It seemed to be the perfect chance. Consider the possibility of all these factors lining up:
- Tanya and I were together, not only in the same country but in the same city.
- We were only three hours from Winnipeg.
- Aaron had to work, so an adult would not have to crouch in the far-back Volvo seat.
- It was the week of the Winnipeg Fringe Festival (the end of July).
Even so, we woke up that morning thinking that maybe we were crazy to spend six hours (three each way) in a car with four children, so we talked ourselves out of it. But then came an inspiring email from our mom: "Oh, you can do it!" Tanya and I looked at each other in astonishment. We were actually considering not going when our love-to-stay-home-and-keep-things-simple mother was advocating the trip? What was wrong with us!? We threw together some day-trip bags and buckled everyone into the car.
And off we went to Canada for the Fringe Fest. The trip there went unbelievably smoothly (which was made up for by the trip back). Nara and Sebby babbled away, having adorable conversations about bratwursts and other topics. Misha read Calvin and Hobbes and played on the iPod. Harry slept like the good little boy that he is. And Tanya and I car-danced to high-school-years CDs and got mocked only briefly by a car passing us. At the border, we were questioned if our husbands knew what we were doing. (Taking the kids and leaving the country?)
We eventually succeeded in finding parking and locating the fest. The Fringe is a performance fest, featuring street shows, juggling, acrobats, music, etc. There is an outdoor stage for the street acts, plus many indoor venues for theaters, comdey, and improv. We were there for the street performers, which we had enjoyed about 12 years ago when we came to see a friend of ours do his act. We bought ourselves some doughnuts, found a spot to sit, and enjoyed the shows. First, girls on the trapeze and silks:
A short clip:
The second act we saw was our favorite - two hilarious Australian brothers who balanced on ladders and juggled torches.
|The kids watched closely. Sebby on the left, Misha on the right, and Nara way up by the stage.|
Between acts, there was live music, a 3D chalk artist working steadily for all to admire, and a kids' area where they could make masks and try a rola-bola. Misha and Sebby did quite well on the rola-bola, but I didn't get any pictures. And of course there was lots of food to sample.
|I gotta dance ....|
|A Canadian classic: poutine. It's simply french fries and cheese curds smothered in gravy.|
|Rola-bola and jump ropes.|
|Harry, trying to eat and watch at the same time.|
|Hugs by the chalk wishing well.|
|When you stand at the right spot, the drawing pops to life with amazing perspective. It's great!|
The last act had some impressive acrobatics and a Cyr Wheel, which is a huge and heavy metal hoop which one stands inside to do spins and cartwheels. It was very enjoyable to sit outside and enjoy the Finge again!
|The Cyr Wheel|
Then it was time to load everyone back into the car for the long, long trek home as the sun set.
|Just kidding :)|