Monday, August 06, 2012

Four Hundred And Four

Incredibly, this is my four hundredth post on One Terrific Day! When I started all of this back in May of 2006, I never dreamed I'd still be using it this far along, over six years later, with 400 posts!

But while I might feel content with that anniversary, there's a far more important one that I celebrate on this same date.

Four years ago today I married my long time girlfriend, Claire, in an unforgettable ceremony in Las Vegas, Nevada! I've described the day in a previous post, and still remember it today with perfect clarity. I remember how nervous I was at the time. I can still recall how amazed I was when the doors opened and I saw Claire standing there, even though I had been with her just moments before. And I'll never forget that first kiss as husband and wife.

To celebrate the day, Claire and I started out by heading into Downtown Vancouver to see the annual Gay Pride Parade. It was... colourful. In more ways than one! The costumes, floats and displays were fantastic. Everyone was having a great time and the sunshine was beating down as the temperatures reached 28 or 29 degrees! This allowed for some extreme costuming choices, such as the various girls that went topless, with just some bodypaint across their chests, or the one that we saw that could spin the tassels on her nipples by just moving her body in a particular way. Of course, the guys were just as free with their choices of clothing. There were unending displays of topless males, from chiseled chests to less than muscular bellies. There was even one guy who was just all out naked. Given his age and physical condition, it was an image I could have lived without seeing, but it did bolster my confidence in my own assets. Claire, thankfully, completely missed him.

After the parade we walked on to Stanley Park and found our way to the Stanley Park Bar & Grill for two of the most delicious burgers we've had in a long time. I got my usual, a bacon and cheese burger, and Claire got her own usual, grilled chicken. They were really yummy. Given that our wedding dinner was in Quarks Bar on DS9, which also consisted of burgers, I think we're building up a tradition. We cooled down a little after our time in the sun with homemade lemonade slushies at the restaurant too.

After feeding and watering ourselves we headed to the wonderful Vancouver Aquarium. Thanks to being friends with a staff member, we had two tickets waiting for us at the reception, picked them up, skipped the queue and headed in to the cool temperatures of the main building.

We got to see the belugas, the dolphins, the baby porpoise and the newest addition to the aquarium, the African penguins. The penguins were just as adorable as expected. The aquarium is also home to a cheeky otter who loved to show off and perform for the viewing public.

Apart form the aquatic animals, the aquarium plays home to several other animals, including snakes, bats, tropical butterflies, two large, beautiful blue parrots, several small monkeys and, according to staff, three sloths, though we only saw one while we were there.

Just before we left, I got to go into the wetlab and watch the dissection of a herring and a squid, two of the foods that almost all the animals in the aquarium eat. Claire opted out of that experience!

Then it was a short walk to the bus and we headed back home. We had a cool shower to wash away the sweat and heat of the day, before settling in to watch some YouTube over dinner before experiencing part of Earth history: The landing of the Mars Curiosity Rover.

It has been a good day.

Four hundred posts, and four years of love, respect and happiness.

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