A few days ago, my ever generous grandparents took Elisabeth and I to the CNE (Canadian National Exhibition). In case you didn’t know, the CNE is one of the biggest annual events in Canada, attracting visitors from all over Canada, and from around the world as well. There are live concerts, plenty of rides and typical carnival attractions, famous fudge, hundreds of booths selling everything from over-priced DVDs to hand-crafted scrolls from Egypt, and sooooo much more. It runs for about two weeks, and I’ve attended for several years in a row. On those previous occasions, I’ve always gone with my whole family, but this year – as an early birthday present – I went with just Elisabeth and my grandparents. And it was the best CNE yet! So good, in fact, that I’m writing this blog post about it.
Even on the worst years (usually the ones where it was a really hot day or I wasn’t feeling the greatest), there’s always been at least one highlight that brightens up the entire day – or at least makes me look back on that particular CNE with fonder memories. For instance, there was that year when four guys with trumpets and accordions were standing outside The Food Building, playing ‘Singing In The Rain’ and the theme to Around The World In 80 Days (the 1950s adaption). I don’t think they were being paid; they just played for the fun of it. Anyway, stuff like that always makes me happy, and this year was chock-full of awesome experiences.
To begin with, there was that delicious, tingly, excited feeling I experienced when walking onto the CNE grounds. The energy in the air was tangible, and there were all those smells of popcorn and chocolate and hot dogs. It was wonderful. For the next hour or so, we wandered around, looked at different booths (there’s an International Pavilion, and Grandpa stayed at Israel’s section for quite a while) until we came to the military exhibit. Which, because 2015 is another WWI hundred year anniverary, also had a special section called ‘First World War Comes To Life’. It was great (even if it did make me think of Walter, Jem, Shirley, and Kenneth a bit too much). There were a bunch of guys walking around dressed in WWI uniforms (there was an officer, some infantrymen, and a couple of medics – and one woman in a nurse’s uniform), and they explained different parts of the exhibit if you asked. I didn’t, though. Sometimes I hate my introvertedness, because I know it would’ve been really interesting + cool to talk to those guys, but just the thought of it made me highly nervous. And when the odd person did happen to talk to me, it was always suuuuuper awkward (for me, at least).
Still, I had fun. I’d go back to the CNE just to re-visit that exhibit. They also had modern military vehicles to climb into and soldiers/sailors/airplane pilots to talk to – there were a couple of *cough* very cute guys helping with different aspects of the presentation(s). Elisabeth and I were kinda fangirling over them. (What is it about uniforms that make guys look one hundred percent more attractive?) After I thoroughly explored the exhibit, I was about to leave, when Elisabeth pulled me over to a small booth that sold WWII-themed shirts (mostly centered around D-Day) and pointed out that the owner was playing GLENN MILLER MUSIC. And, more specifically, my absolute GM song – ‘American Patrol’. What are the chances of that??? The longer I lingered at the booth, looking at all the awesome t-shirts (I’m planning to buy at least one every year), the music just kept getting better, and when I stumbled across a medic shirt and I just knew I had to buy it. Not just because of the music, but because I think medics don’t get enough recognition (but that’s another post). (My grandpa ended up paying for it, though, as an early birthday gift.)
Then, once we left the military exhibit, we had about an hour to kill before The Big Event Of The Day, so we went to the IAM’s Superdogs Show, which is another CNE tradition with my family, but one that I don’t like all that much, because it’s always the same. Admittedly, this year’s theme was ‘Hollywoof’, and they haven’t had themes (as far as I can remember) for previous years, so there was a few different acts, but it still didn’t really grab me.
And the Event was…AN ICE DANCING SHOW WITH SCOTT MOIR AND TESSA VIRTUE! Scott and Tessa are Canadian ice dancers who won the gold medal for ice dancing at the Olympics in 2010. They’ve been together (as a team, not romantically) for years and years and they’re completely and thoroughly awesome. The lines were huge (tickets were free with admission) and my grandparents, Elisabeth, and I were despairing of getting a good seat or getting inside in time, but Grandpa, who’s a real extrovert and who makes instant friends wherever he goes, started talking to a woman who was a CNE veteran, and she sort of took us under her wing. We were among the first admitted (there were several doorways to the arena, but for some reason, everyone but her and us was lined up at only one of the doors) and she led us straight to the very best seats in the entire room. Front and center. It was a thing of beauty.
As for the show itself. *shivers with the sheer gloriousness of it* OH. MY. GOODNESS. It was sensational. I still can’t form coherent thoughts. The show lasted for about half an hour and there were several acts, each one themed around a different country, and the whole thing started with a little skit (complete with dancing, of course) set to Frank Sinatra’s ‘Come Fly With Me’ that portrayed a couple (Scott and Tessa) setting off on a ’round-the-world trip. Frank Sinatra is my favorite singer, so that was thrilling. And each act was gorgeous and wonderful and basically every other adjective in the thesaurus. I want to go see it again, though I don’t think that will happen. Unfortunately. 😦
We left the CNE and went out for pizza at a nice, quiet restaurant after that. I stuffed myself with Hawaiian, took the rest back to the hotel, and then later that night (after we all came back from prayer meeting), Elisabeth and I stayed up reeeeally late and ate pizza and chocolate-covered almonds and drank iced tea and orange pop and watched State Fair. I love that movie so much, and considering where we’d spent the day, ’twas very appropriate (we debated between watching that or GWTW, but it was pretty late, so we went for the shorter film). Oh, and after that, Elisabeth started flipping through the TV channels and stumbled across a French-dubbed version of Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade that was also narrated in French for the blind. Weird, huh? But we watched it right to the end, anyway. (There was about half an hour left when we discovered it.) All in all, an interesting end to a great day.
Have you ever gone to a fair or an exhibition like the CNE? Have you ever gone to the CNE itself? If you have, let me know!
P.S. Today’s my birthday! 🙂