Wherever you are, we trust you had a wonderful Canada Day!! It’s hard to believe that a) we’re at 150 already, and b) both of us were around for the 100th birthday!! 🙂
We invested a part of the morning and early afternoon being part of the ‘Living Flag’ on the Legislature lawn, and then, wearing our bright red Canada Day 150 T-shirts we headed off to our usual location at the Homecoming Memorial to give out some hugs! Several sections of downtown Victoria, including a portion of Wharf St. where we like to go were closed to traffic. That worked out well for us as there was no shortage of pedestrians and cyclists in a celebratory mood!
We had a mammoth hugging session, lasting some 3½ hours. Yes, we had water and stayed hydrated. Yes, we had a wonderful time! In addition to a steady stream of people coming by for hugs (and waiting in line, where necessary), we had several more firsts: We hugged our first 7′ banana, our first Sasquatch, and our first giant balloon spider! And we got to hug Brad again! We also hugged a lovely golden retriever, and we added two more countries to our Hugging Ambassador count for 2017. We’re still at 57 countries overall, but so far this year we’ve hugged people from 23 countries! Amazing. People often ask us how many hugs we share in a day and we honestly have no idea. What we can say is that each one is unique. And special. In this hugging session we had many more people looking for connection with us, introducing themselves and asking our names. One man was wearing a wrestler’s face mask, but he took it off and introduced himself as himself. We were honoured. We had some repeat customers from last year or earlier this year and we always welcome everyone. We’ve had many more hugging sessions this year than we’ve ever had in years past, and the summer is just beginning. We’ll look forward to seeing you next time!!
Two final comments for now. The first was that with the streets closed to traffic and the increase in pedestrians we were pleasantly surprised by the almost total lack of litter on the streets. There was a little, but it was very little. The garbage cans were stuffed to overflowing, and it was good to see people making that little extra effort. The second was that there was police presence throughout the downtown – foot patrols and officers on bikes, etc. and they all had their dark uniforms, yellow vests and sidearms, but there were no rifles, no assault weapons and for the most part the officers on duty were aware but smiling and chatting with the public. We even watched one officer pick up a couple of abandoned drink cups and carry them to the garbage can. Yes, we are lucky to live here.
P.S. Have you hugged your favourite tree today?