Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Our Downtown Adventure

This past Sunday I decided to take Miss. A on a little adventure downtown. She spends all her time in the 'burbs, so I thought it would be an exciting treat to explore the Big City for the afternoon. After all, due to my poor planning skills, we would be downtown anyways for her soccer and t-ball class. I mixed up the locations, instead of going around the corner, we in fact had to go twenty or so minutes into the city. We decided to keep going because it doesn't hurt to get out of your backyard every once in and while. After class we boarded the bus that would take us to one of the more popular and busy areas of the city. She was very excited because this would be her first bus ride! Not everyone has her enthusiasm for public transportation.

Loving the bus ride and the fact there's no car seat! Living on the edge!

The area of Ottawa we were journeying to is called The Glebe. The main street that runs through it is full of interesting shops and places to eat. It was bustling with people of all kinds enjoying the cool but sunny weather. Our main excuse for traveling there was to check out Vegfest, a local Vegetarian/Vegan Festival held by the National Capital Vegetarian Association. We're not vegetarian or vegan, but hey, good food is good food. Also we had been trying to eat more health consciously, so this might be a good resource for new menu ideas. Plus I heard that vegan cupcakes had zero calories. I haven't verified that, but it has an air of truthiness about it, and that's good enough for me.

One of Auntie Loo's delicious vegan cupcakes.
We arrived at lunchtime so it was super busy! The line to get in was very long. I guess everyone was looking to fill up on free samples. Great minds think alike, I guess. We decided to adjourn into the next building were a guest speaker was about to start. I sat down at the back, gave Miss. A some water and snacks, and hoped that she would sit still for a decent length of time. Three minutes in she was shuffling and squirming. Four minutes in she asked about half a dozen questions within a breaths time. Five minutes in she loudly proclaimed her need for ice cream. Ah well, it was worth a try anyways!

Everyone sat outside to talk and eat together. This is only a fraction of the people outside.

The line had shrunk quite a bit while we were making a nuisance of ourselves, so it wasn't long before we had made it into the community centre. It was wall to wall people! Poor little girl didn't get an opportunity to see much at first. We made our way to the back and looked at some interesting non-food related tables. She loved the hand made jewelry and tried on nearly every bracelet the woman had on display. Eventually we made it to some of the tables hosting local restaurants and caterers. Miss. A  of course tried all the cookies and treats and thoroughly enjoyed them. We bought two cupcakes, one for each of us, and I also bought some carrot and ginger soup. We took our food outside to enjoy in the sun with the rest of the crowd.

She made many new friends that day. (friends not pictured lol)

There was a fenced in park that belonged to a co-operative daycare where a number of kids were playing. Miss. A got to know the locals while I enjoyed my soup on a bench near by and watched. There were lots of kids of all ages that attended the festival. That being said, it really wasn't an event that had children or families in mind. Sure there were some people who painted faces and made balloon animals, but they were hidden in a corner and absent when I twice went looking for them. I feel the organizers missed a real opportunity to promote their cause to a wider segment of society. Promoting change in an individual is one thing. However once that person is part of a family you need to make it appealing to everyone as a whole. Though I'm sure it's not impossible, I imagine it's much more difficult for one family member to be vegitarian or vegan, while the others are not. It would certainly factor into the decision process if one considered making a change to their own diet or lifestyle. That being said, all the families that did attend were happy and having fun in their own way. I didn't see one fussy short person or temper tantrum. Just a lot of happy people, big and small, enjoying the day and each others company. Miss. A didn't want to leave! She was having so much fun with a special friend she met at the park. They promised each other they would meet again the same time next year. Sooo dramtic!

Alice wanted to say good-bye to the cow, and somehow I got roped into a group shot.

After we said our good-byes it was back to the bus! I think it was a great day out and it was nice to spend some one on one time with Miss. A. We'll have to bring her little sister along in a few weeks to check out the Tulip Festival. I promise there will be ice cream at that one.

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