Jun 042010


Have you ever wanted to knock on the door of a complete stranger and give them a big kiss?

No? Well, the urge hit me just last week. There’s a house right on Dunbar near the Dunbar Community Centre on the same side of the street (1 house in from Dunbar and 31st Avenue). I’ve walked by this house many times (in a hurry and self absorbed no doubt) and never noticed that there is something wonderful about it.

Last week, while walking by this house, a child of about eight appeared out of nowhere, ran in front of me, and pushed a button on the home’s gate. He had a grin on his face, peered over the fence, then turned and ran away. Once I reached the same spot on the fence, I stopped and peered over.

I don’t know who or why or even how, but what I do know is that that someone has built a model train (with large landscaped tunnel) into their front yard. The structure is detailed and built to last. The best part is that they’ve rigged  a start button for the train into their gate. How cool is that? I love this person. They are quietly creative and generous; sharing something wonderful with the neighbourhood.

I stood there a long time taking it all in before I sprung into action. I unsnapped Caden’s stroller harness, got him onto his feet, and we peered over the top of the gate. I motioned him to press the button (is there anything a toddler loves more….not really). The train started up. Caden squealed, pointed and beamed as we watched it chug around the track and through the tunnel. We presssed the button a few more times before moving on to the Kokopelli Cafe.

What a wonderful surprise and special memory. Thanks, “who ever you are”…this one’s for you….SMACK!

May 162010


The VC Mayfair is not your everyday school fair. Yes, they have the obligatory baked goods, toys, books, sporting goods, and clothing for sale but they also have an International Food Fair and an “inflated playground” for kids.

Once again, I was first in line at the Toys and “man oh man” did I clean up. I nabbed a Fisher-Price Rock, Roll ‘N Ride Trike (reg $45), a Fisher Price Radio/Alarm Clock that talks, a battery operated fire engine, some toy cars, a Kawasaki Digital Drum Set (reg $45), a Kawasaki Musical Keyboard (reg $34), a cute wooden growth chart, a Crayola Crayon Maker (Reg $60), and a brand new (never opened) Fisher Price Fun to Imagine Power Sounds Workshop Tool Bench (reg $40). The kicker…I think I paid $35 for everything. Isn’t that just crazy? The trike was 6 bucks. That’s it, I’m never paying retail  for toys again.

The Internation Food Fair is unique. Here, you can buy Latin, Filipino, Korean, Greek, Indian, Japanese and Chinese food. There are also the typical hamburgers, hotdogs and pizza lurking around plus pancakes to be had in the morning.

Around back, beside O’Hagan field was every kids’ fantasy; a bright, bouncy village that included a farm, gianormous pirate ship, huge slide, and jungle. There was even an obstacle course with kids racing from within huge, clear plastic balls. I’ve never seen anyone so happy to be zipped inside a huge, inflated plastic bubble. These kids were hysterical. There were 2 areas appropriate for toddlers but the rest was definitely for bigger kids.

Talk about cheap entertainment for the kids, the entry fee was only $2. The fair is well-organized and the people volunteering are friendly and laid back. This is a fun way to spend part of your Saturday. The fair is usually held the second Saturday in May.

Vancouver College School
5400 Cartier Street,
Vancouver, BC