Iona beach is a "go to" location for
migratory birds. It's "go to" because it has a large sewage
treatment plant with outside settling ponds full of powering an
ecosystem that wouldn't normally be so rich. It's Southern
migration time which means you could see something out of the
ordinary. I decided to get up early and go take a look.
I've seen Caspian Tern's at Iona before. They have a
distinctive raspy croak but they have always been either at a far
distant ocean edge or high overhead. This morning they were
near to shore fishing in high tide shallows. Their fishing
is definitely not seagull like - they glide high over the water
and then drop head first into the water to grab a fish, or
sometimes they fly just over the surface and try to grab fish at
the surface. Both were a pleasure to watch.
While watching the Tern's I noticed some duck
like birds vacuuming up crabs in the shallow water around the
reeds. When I got home I identified these eating machines
as common merganser - Juveniles. There serrated bills had
a firm grasp on the small crabs and they had no problem finding
them - every minute a new morsel came up from the bottom to be
re-positioned and then ripped apart.
Granville Island Water Park
It is the end of the summer and
sadly the water park at Granville Island is closing
soon. We did one last day at the park and met up with
some friends. Our kids wanted to go in the water park
so we arrived early to make sure the line ups weren't that
Nara really likes the water slide - she will line up for 10 minutes
just for the 15 seconds it takes to ride down. She is tall
enough that she can ride on her own, but she still likes to go with
Dad. We made a video.
The other kids weren't so interested in
water park - they wanted to play Uno. One of the surprises
of having kids in daycare is that you never know what they
know. My kids already know how to play Uno which was quite a
surprise to me because we don't own the game.
So the kids played Uno, ran around in the
grass and played in the playground. A great way to spend the
last summer weekend before the return to school.
David and Shauna's Wedding
David is my cousin on my Mom's side.
He is getting married to his long time girlfriend Shauna. We
were really happy to receive the invite which was more of a
package than an invite. The wedding took part over two days,
with a traditional Sikh wedding on Friday and a western style
wedding on Saturday.
I signed the kids out of school/daycare
and got them ready in their best dresses. The ceremony was
being held at the Sikh temple near the border of Vancouver and
Burnaby which is quite close to where I work. Food figured
prominently - doors opened at 9am for breakfast (Sikh with some
western favorites like pancakes).
After breakfast, we made sure our heads were covered and went
upstairs to the larger hall for the ceremony. You take your
shoes off before you enter and sit men on the right, women on the
left but kids can sit either side. We sat a bit more toward
the back so we could make a quick getaway if the kids got too
bored. There was a band playing and singing while we were
Shauna and David have 5 sisters between them so there were lots of
brides maids. David had 3 groomsmen, including a
brother-in-law. Everyone was especially attentive when the
bridge came in on her parents arms wearing a spectacular dress.
The ceremony was a mix familiar and
new. There were songs sung to the couple and readings from
scripture. The groom and bridge held onto a common scarf
(tying the knot sort of) and walked around the alter with the help
of brides maids. There was some audience participation, but
it wasn't in English so there was little we could do.
And then we went for lunch! Nara's favorite Saag Paneer with
Naan was on offer so she was happy. It was all vegetarian so
I was thrilled. My mom found the cucumber sandwiches a
little spicy. Overall we had a fantastic time - the girls
really loved all of the dresses and seeing the wedding actually
The western ceremony was on Saturday
afternoon at the Hotel Vancouver. The location is amazing,
the flowers were awesome, the decor was great.
David and Shauna had four
photographers/videographers. My dad was taking photos.
I put my camera down and watched the ceremony. Only when my
super cute cousin's kids (
first cousins once removed) came down the
aisle did I pick up my camera.
After the ceremony there were drinks and snacks served.
David's mom (my aunt) makes great perogies that were also at David's Sisters Wedding.
It was fun to see everyone all dressed up with a little plate of
perogies, trying desperately not to drop food on themselves.
It's uncommon to have everyone in one place so we did take some
photos. The family got together for my Grandfathers birthday
just a few weeks before so we didn't seem to gather in large
formal photos. That said, it was fun to see everyone really
Dinner was of course fabulous, followed
by speeches and dancing.
Thanks for the invitation - we had a great time!
Like most little girls, Nara and Claira want
long hair. Neither of them can work tangles out of their own
hair and Claira can't hold barrettes in her bangs for more than
about three minutes. Neither of them like getting their hair
cut, but the stylists provide them with pocky so they behave
amazingly well while their hair is being cut.
Claira's stylist somehow figured out that Claira
wanted curly hair (her hair is normally straight straight) and
started curling it - a new look for Claira. She really
liked her hair with curls. Sadly, they only lasted about
an hour, but with product they might have lasted longer.
It always makes me smile when the stylist
gets out a mirror to show the kids of the back of their
heads. Claira turns in her chair to face the mirror behind
her - like it will show something novel compared to the mirror in
front of her. That said, what does she care what the back of
her head looks like - she doesn't see it. She just wants her
hair longer and the stylist never gives here that. She will
settle for pocky.
Trip to the Aquarium
I had the kids for a few hours and was
looking for something to do on a raining morning. We have an
Aquarium membership so we went! I've seen the advertisments
on the buses in town for petting stingrays so we lined up to try
that out. It's a good setup - 50 people plus can be near the
pool. Unfortunaltly for kids, the rays are often pretty deep
(but not always) so the shorter you are, the less likely you are
to have a ray pass close enough to touch. The kids were
really good about two fingers, aim for the back.
I like to take photos. The kids like
to watch videos of themselves when they were younger. I'm no
film maker, so I decided to pick two things the kids are good at
and try to make videos of them doing it. Nara loves monkey
bars and Claira loves to read.