STITCH LINES...... Ramblings on life as a quilter, stitcher, traveler, photographer, gardener and lover of books, cats and fine chocolate....

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Happy Birthday Canada!

Happy 142nd birthday Canada! Last night as I lay in bed trying to get to sleep (one of those nights when I was awake till at least 3a.m.) I was thinking about all the beautiful spots in Canada I have been lucky to visit.. too many to name. I feel fortunate to have had the experience of driving coast to coast - from New Brunswick to the northern tip of Vancouver Island-to see our beautiful country.
I was lucky to have parents who loved to travel, and they believed in taking us with them. So I guess I come by the travel bug honestly... My first BIG trip was a 3 week drive to Florida and back when I was 7 years old. My biggest concern at that age was being away from home for my birthday, but it was a memorable one in Florida - I can remember visiting "Parrot Jungle" that day, and having my pic taken with parrots perched on my head and outstretched arms... (They have very sharp claws, by the way!!!) We made many stops along the way - one in particular I remember was Washington DC. I guess I proved to be a good traveller, because after that, we always did a trip somewhere each year. Often it was in the Maritimes: to PEI, around the Cabot Trail or the southern coast of Nova Scotia, Grand Manan, Campobello Island, Fundy National Park; often further afield- to Quebec City, Montreal, Niagara Falls, etc. My parents always made sure that I was seeing new things and learning about my country.
It's too bad that more people don't make this a priority these days- prying the kids away from the TV, computer and video games and hitting the road to see Canada. You don't have to go too far to find interesting places to visit- right here in our own province we have beautiful parks, both provincial and national with trails to hike, wonderful interpretive programs, beach walks and more; heritage sites such as Kings Landing , a living history museum where you can learn about life in the 1800's in the Saint John River Valley - one can even participate in hands-on activities, which makes the learning so much more real. New Brunswick is well known as a craft and cultural center- in fact, Fredericton has been designated the Cultural Capital of Canada for 2009, so why not take advantage: visit the many art galleries and fine craft studios, or take the kids (grandkids) to a free concert, free outdoor summer theatre or plan to attend one of the many Summer Festivals.
If you want a suggestion of a really great trip to "celebrate" Canada - here's mine: Take the family to Ottawa for July 1st. What a party!! Every Canadian should do this at least once! The feeling of national pride is amazing, and although the crowds are large, they close off the streets near Parliament Hill and it is just one big street party. I've been twice, the latter with my two children, and I felt safe enough to let them wander a bit on their own. The fireworks alone are worth the trip...
Okay, I'm starting to sound like a tourism commercial.. I'll stop now. I'm just trying to say- we are so lucky to live in such a wonderful corner of the world - celebrate being Canadian by getting out and taking advantage of what our wonderful region has to offer. You don't have to spend a lot of money and travel thousands of miles to enjoy Canada- you can start right here at home. Of all the many places I've travelled to, I've yet to see a spot I'd rather live in... there's no place like Canada!! I am one proud Canadian!
Sorry I do not have a pic of my finished Maple Leaf wallhanging to show you- it's still in the quilting stage... but I'll post a pic as soon as it's finished, you can be sure. I'm heading off to work on it now... Happy Canada Day!!
Mid pleasures and palaces though we may roam, be it ever so humble, there's no place like home.

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