B.C. Premier Christy Clark @ Okanagan Pride 2016
Our trip to the town of Merritt (population 7189) was great fun, as well as surprising... One thing that was amazing is that the town has the CANADIAN COUNTRY MUSIC HALL OF FAME... and it is also considred the country music capital of Canada. In honor of that, the streets are lined with huge murals of country's biggest stars: Loretta Lynn, Dolly Parton, Randy Travis, and the list goes on...as well as hand prints and autographs on large plaques... with at least 2 on every block. There is also a fabulous old hotel called the COLD WATER. It looks like it is right out of the wild, wild west. They have a great little restaurant in there (which we had a nice lunch), but we didn't go into the pub... too early! lol There were lots of fun & funky shops selling everything from aboriginal art to live bate & firearms... but not all were open because it was a Monday... We noticed there was also a marijuana dispensary, but it was closed down before it ever opened. WTF? Hopefully Prime Minister Trudeau with legalize cannabis soon. The town is surrounded by mountains, which makes it very picturesque. I have to say... we were impressed!
It was scorching hot in KELOWNA on PRIDE day, and after the festival HUGO A GO-GO & I headed downtown to sight-see. It is a city of amazing murals, funky shops and loads of fun things to do. It is no wonder people from all over the world flock here during the summer. We went on a search to find some cool "Kelowna" T-shirts, and ended searching every street for a shop that sold them. We found 2 places, and second place we stopped in had the perfect ones. We wandered down literally every street in town, winding up at a great little eatery called FSH. They didn't have much actual seafood on the menu, but we did have a feed of fish & chips... lol... and a few cocktails to cool us off. We asked our waitress where the nearest liquor store was, and directed us to the farthest end of the city. We picked up a few beverages to take to our campsite, and then walked back along Okanagan Lake. It is a long, winding lake, with all sorts of watery activities happening... a massive inflatable fun park, paragliding and of course swimming. We didn't get into the water, as we were dressed for the Pride celebration and didn't bring our bathing suits or a towel. NEXT trip we will definitely going in... and try EVERYTHING.
Our fabulous vacation continued with day 2 @ OKANAGAN PRIDE in Kelowna. It was about an hour and a half drive from our campsite. It was a very hot day, and the location couldn't have been more beautiful... on the shores of Okanagan Lake. One of the first people HUGO A GO-GO & I "bumped" into was our own B.C. Premier CHRISTY CLARK. She said "OH, you're the guys who always wear the great costumes!" OMG! SHE KNEW US???? lol She even wore my gay glasses for a photo op and it ended up on her official Facebook page. HUGO A GO-GO told her she is prettier in person and she called him a BIG flirt... I piped in and said "That's why I married him!" We saw a few people we recognized from different PRIDES we have attended in other cities... along with the usual booths and familiar food trucks. They even had a small beer garden, where we had a much needed ice cold cider... and a nice looooooong sit...LOL HUGO A GO-GO had been having some ankle issues, but it didn't stop him from walking around all day long... after the PRIDE festival we wandered around the gorgeous city of Kelowna... THAT is the next blog I will be posting...
We just got back from our trip to MERRITT and the OKANAGAN PRIDE in KELOWNA. It was the first time in years HUGO A GO-GO & I have been out of the city for a vacation... and even longer to actually go camping. We stuffed the "Cherry Bomb" full of gear and hit the road. The campsite was called MOON SHADOWS, and the experience there was literally life altering. Such great people there, the manager of the campsite was really cool, and there was a mix of different types of people there... from young couples, to families to groups of bikers. The first thing we saw was a doe and 2 fawns walking along Cold Water River. Our campsite was right on the river. I (yes ME) put up the tent and the screen house. We had never even taken them out of the packages before, so I was nervous that I wouldn't be able to figure it out... but it was literally a piece of cake. I loved cooking over a camp stove, and the brand new orange bbq HUGO A GO-GO bought a few years ago. everything went so smoothly, and of course, I was a bit stressed things wouldn't go well, but they did... it was like it was meant to be. I took plenty of pictures, and I will post the ones of OKANAGAN PRIDE soon, as well as the rest of our trip to MERRITT... Canada's Country Music Capital! Oh yes, the town is just full of massive murals and hand prints of the world's biggest country stars... and we got photos of them all!
The sun FINALLY decided to make an appearance here on the west coast, so we're off for the week... CAMPING! HUGO A GO-GO & I are heading out to MERRITT where we found a campsite that was available... It is an hour or so from the Okanagan. We will be attending their GAY PRIDE in Kelowna on Saturday. And I see a few wineries in our future as well...lol We haven't been on a vacation like this... well, EVER. We always stay in hotels when we travel, but this time we decided to throw caution to the wind and rough it. We will trying our hand at fishing, something I haven't done in YEARS. It should be a blast!
I visited my BFF BRENT this week and he wanted to check out the new Jim Deva Plaza. It is located in the heart of the gay village on Davie & Bute Street. They have done a great job, and it really does look amazing. A few years ago there were some picnic tables set up there, and they didn't go over well with one of the local businesses... who felt the people hanging out in the area, plus the loss of parking were both costing them business. I think this more permanent space will attract a better crowd. HOWEVER... There is already some graffiti tagged on the huge pink & turquoise megaphone sculpture... so I guess time will tell... anyway, we enjoyed it.
We have grown some massive tomato plants on our balcony this year... HUGO A GO-GO has been tending to them lovingly, and now we are ready to reap the benefits... all sorts of different kinds of tomatoes. We are going to have a bumper crop! You say tomato, we say FABULOUS!
We found some more photos of us in the local papers and on line... We get so psyched when we find one... I am now updating our PRESS page on our official website www.ebears.ca... We noticed that photos for prides past are used in all sorts of promos on TB shows like Shaw GO!
Yesterday was annual VANCOUVER PRIDE PARADE! HUGO A GO-GO & I had the privilege of marching again in the parade (for the 8th year in a row) along side POSITIVE LIVING SOCIETY. This year our outfits were both very large, and very very PINK! The day started out at my BFF BRENT'S apartment... our inflatable flamingo costumes were much too large to attempt to ride on the Skytrain with them at full size. We found out Brent's place was too small as well so we ended up getting dressed in the lobby of his building...LOL Too hysterical!
After getting it all together we had a little time before the parade so we walked through the gay village, carefully maneuvering down the sidewalks without a mishap. All went well, with no explosions lol, and we met up with everyone about an hour before parade time. We had our photos taken a whole bunch of times, by both passers-by and the press. We have a photo in the Vancouver Sun today, as well as Vancity Buzz. Brent watched the parade on television and said he saw us coming from a mile away. The weather started out overcast and ended up sunny and hot... we BOTH got a bit sun burnt. The parade itself was amazing... and it was the first time we had a sitting PRIME MINISTER, JUSTIN TRUDEAU, marching in it. He brought his entire family, and though we didn't get to see him this year, we DID meet him the last time he walked in the parade. They looked like they were having a blast...Sophie looked FABULOUS... with their youngest son asleep in his stroller through most of it.
The parade itself went on without a hitch, no issues or anyone trying to disrupt it... just a perfect day all around. By the time we reached the end of the parade at Sunset Beach (where the festival was being held) we were exhausted. We wandered around the beach for a while and then headed back up the hill to take the Skytrain home... We took a break as we deflated out flamingos (which may people kept calling SWANS, including the reporter from the Vancouver Sun lol) and many who passed us commented on how much they loved our costumes...even MISS JOAN E, a famous local drag queen who was on air doing a live broadcast, said WE were HER favorite! A glowing endorsement indeed.
HUGO A GO-GO found this great orange plastic curtain at the Sally Anne... it fits into our decor perfectly... (tacky)
It is PRIDE week, and in honor of it, HUGO A GO-GO has donned a fabulous orange, palm tree print sarong to celebrate... and cope with the high temps and humidity here in the lower mainland... there is supposed to be some clouds and cooler weather over the weekend, so it should be great for the VANCOUVER PRIDE PARADE. I made some changes to my costume so it will make it easier to maneuver during the parade that is taking place on Sunday. Our costumes are more complex and cumbersome than anything we have ever worn before, so I wanted to make sure it will all work out for the parade. We will be getting all decked out at our BFF Brent's place, as he lives in YALETOWN, near where we have to meet PLS (Positive Living Society) We chose to march with them this year. Every year we choose an organization we support, and PLS is where HUGO A GO-GO used to work. They are a great group, and we are very pleased to walk with them in this years parade....
The Census people knocked on our door today, saying they never received our form (even though we filled it and sent it in over a month ago) HUGO A GO-GO freaked out because I was literally BUCK NAKED when they knocked on our door... and he was only in his sexy, revealing orange sarong...LOL I thew on a tank top (backwards) and answered the door... They asked the usual invasive questions... name, birth date, income... everything that was TOTALLY none of their business... we were in the middle of lunch when they banged on or door... and HUGO A GO-GO wasn't having it... but I stood their, half naked, answering all the same questions we had already answered in the form we mailed in...talk about a total BUZZ KILL... not to mention they ruined a perfectly good lunch!
So I figured out how to get my huge, inflatable flamingo costume to hang on me without having to hold on to the thing during the entire parade... without giving too much away, our costume have elements that I have not had to deal with in past years... So it has been a challenge to figure out how to make the whole thing work, and not have to sacrifice any of our "accessories" in the process... I think I figured out how to wire the whole thing together... TONIGHT we are skipping the Davie Street Party... we had every intention of going but with all the stuff we had to get ready for the parade, we just weren't able to fit it in... Tonight we bought a box of wine... and getting ourselves prepped for Sunday's VANCOUVER PRIDE PARADE. That's what you call "keepin' it classy"...lol CHEERS!
Everyone here is gearing up for this weeks VANCOUVER PRIDE 2016 festivities. The West End, or "gay villages" as it called, is literally covered with rainbows... the businesses really do a great job of getting into the spirit of the celebration. We came in to see if we could pick up some wrist bands for the Davie Street Party on Friday night, but apparently they are only available on line. WTF? I think most of the event is free but to get into the beer gardens you need a wrist band... I guess we will get one at the party...
We have our costumes organized and are making last minute adjustments. We have never worn anything quite so LARGE before, so the mechanics of the outfit has to be perfect... especially to walk the entire length of the parade AND all around the gay village afterwards... We are really excited this year to march in the parade... this is our 9th year walking in it. HUGO A GO-GO walked in the PRIDE parades in Hollywood, California... I had never marched before... and had only been to 1 pride...LOL It is going to be a blast. We've come a long way baby!
Every year we have attended the Vancouver Pride Picnic at Brockton Oval... so we checked the date, JULY 24th "Pride Walk and Picnic in Stanley Park" I was up at the butt-crack-of-dawn making our big picnic lunch, got out all the rainbow stuff, packed it all up and headed out to the event... only one problem... IT WASN'T THERE!!! WTF??? HUGO A GO-GO thought maybe I had the wrong date & time... or that I read it wrong on the Pride website... So we are now home and I re-checked the website... date right... location right... but no picnic. Did I segway into a parallel universe??? I am STILL confused... and PISSED! I know we are a bit out of the loop since moving out to New West, but you would think there would have been more info online. I noticed that it is all a bit vague about the picnic itself as there is also a fun run/walk before hand... they said it started at Sunset Beach... We stopped there after driving all the way around Stanley Park looking for the event. NOTHIN'! We decided to spread out our rainbow blanket and have our own little picnic anyway...