BRAD     |     EMILLIE

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Beacon Hill Park

In Vancouver... and the truism seems to apply to Victoria as well... May and June are always fraught with bad weather.  However, July 1st seems to herald the start of sunshine and summer.  This axiom definitely seems to be holding true this year.  So I finally have the photos to give a complete picture of the FABULOUS park that we live a block away from.

The park is so absolutely FAB that it was the only anchor in our choice of a place to live.  We simply wanted to be within walking distance of Victoria's largest city park.  Our proximity to the park certainly has lead to some interesting backyard companions... like peacocks... and the deer who ate up our peas.  But living so close to the park is worth it, because it's THAT amazing. And why is the park so fabulous?

Let's start with what it offers the bus loads of tourists who stop for photographs... it has a cliffside that overlooks the ocean, with views that stretch out to the snow-peaked Olympic mountains on mainland USA.   It has plentiful numbers of cultivated gardens of all different sorts.  Nikolai likes exploring around the many duck ponds and the alpine rock garden best.

Of course it has a pretty fab playground (though admittedly it's not quite as fantastic as the playground in Maynooth, but I suspect the litigiousness of our society would not permit for three-story slides).

It has two water parks.
There's a mini golf area that's free... but requires you to bring your own putters (we don't have any yet... so no picture).  There's a children's farm that allows kids to get up close and personal with the animals.
But our favourite feature would have to be the band shelter. There are free concerts every Friday, Saturday and Sunday throughout the summer.  Nikolai really has been enjoying the variety of music, and has much more patience to sit through a concert than I do!  So far we've seen some folk, Celtic, Cajun and jazz bands.  However, on four Wednesdays throughout the summer they have special concerts for children.  Today we attended our first of the children's concerts, and Nikolai was enraptured.  It was a subset of the Victoria symphony, who taught the children about the various instruments. They explored music, and played some "animal" themed songs, getting the kids involved with "dancing like a turtle", etc. The best part of all was at the end when the children got to try out some of the instruments.  And even though the audience was well packed, and there were line ups for every instrument, Nikolai got to successfully try a violin and not so successfully try a trumpet.  I figure he needs a bit larger lung capacity before he'll be able to get any sound from a brass instrument.  However, he would like to take up the violin! Right now! Please! 

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