Monday, July 12, 2010

Playing Catch Up: Canada

Papa had to take a lengthy research trip to Texas, so Aunt Natty and I took the kids to Canada for the world music festival our family has been attending for the last 15 years. Sunfest has been going on for 16 years now and we've been going for 15. Last year we didn't go due to our trip to North Carolina, there was one year when it was at the same time as another festival my parents go to, and one year, just as we were getting ready to go, our grandfather passed away. Other than those few times, my parents have gone faithfully, despite the increasing popularity of the event (it's free and public) which includes increased crowds, and despite the sometimes less-than-inspirational lineup. I wouldn't really know much about that, however. It's my step-father who's the real world music expert. I just go for the vacation. It's a good time.The park the festival is held in is called Victoria Park, so there's lots of monuments to wars and soldiers past. The kids always climb on them.

Grandpa Jim's friend Ishmael (here on the right) is the one who originally discovered this festival. He also puts on a music festival in Detroit every year called The Concert of Colors. Somehow, I've not been to the Concert of Colors though my mom and Jim normally do.
We stay in a fancy hotel where all the musicians stay while we're in Canada. The kids in particular are quite fond of it. They like television and room service.
The London skyline from our room.
We take lots of photos of ourselves.
Friday night we watched this fun group called Five Alarm Funk. If you can see, that's a gorilla, a shark, and a man wearing lifeguard shorts and a construction helmet. The man in the lifeguard shorts reminded all of us of our friend Joey London who also sports lifeguard shorts and not much else when he parties. Last time we saw him, Jon and I took the kids to a Good Friday musical sing-along party where Joey London was wearing his lifeguard shorts, fake boot tops around his calves over black-on-black wing-tips, and a Santa Claus coat and hat. Oh, plus sunglasses at night.
The fog from Drums United at the bandshell was pretty in the night sky.
We buy Unlearn t-shirts every time we visit. Abhi (on the left) remembers us year-to-year. Natty gave Bastian sunglasses and I bought both the kids hats. They looked way cool.

We always, always, always have to spend lots of time climbing on the tank.
At least now, the boys are big enough to do so without me and I can sit and relax and enjoy my ginormous fresh-squeezed lemonade (made by hand in a booth shaped like a giant lemon).

The food vendors at Sunfest are incredibly diverse. We ate middle eastern, Vietnamese, Jamaican, Indian, Thai, Mexican, Argentinian, and lots of other varieties of food. Yum.
Aleks and Bastian saved up the toonies and loonies pulled out their ears by Grandpa Jim to buy a Chinese dragon puppet.
We got to go swimming in the hotel pool. I like Aleks' stance here.

Aunt Lillian gave Aleks a mohawk in honor of Saturday night.
At the Galaxie stage that night was LA-33, a fantastic salsa band from Colombia.

Then we all watched The Lightning Thief on pay-per-view up in Grandma's room.
The next morning, it was our last day for breakfast at our favorite breakfast joint, The Kings Inn.
Finally, Grandma engaged in a giant tickle fight before we prepared for departure.

On the drive back towards the border, the rain fell despite a sunny day, just like in a Creedence song.
The American border always takes much longer than the Canadian and I always get in the wrong lane.
We had to drive Lilly into Detroit so she could catch the Megabus back to Chicago. At five o'clock on a Sunday, we had forgotten that Detroit was dead and that there'd be no food. Luckily, right across from the bus stop was Roast, a Michael Symon restaurant. Natalie works in a Michael Symon restaurant back home in Cleveland and the maƮtre d' at Roast turned out to know several of the same people we know. We got treated like rock stars, despite being improperly dressed and having small children. Of course, the food was fantastic. The menu is primarily comprised of things we've had at the varying Symon restaurants here in Cleveland, though. Still, it's good. Try the brussel sprouts if you ever get the chance. There have been segments on cooking shows (2nd video) about those things. In fact, here's the recipe. So good.
Bastian in downtown Rock City.
The Motor City appears to be dead. I suppose it's like the Hastily Made Cleveland Tourist Video (2nd attempt) says, "At least we're not Detroit." Sad.
But Bastian's happy. He later got sick in the car. Woo-hoo vacation!

*This post is dated July 12th, but was written August 10th because I forgot to update the blog for a month.

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