July 19 & July 20 Vancouver, British Columbia
Today took us back into the city of Vancouver for the second show of our trip. We started our afternoon with lunch in the business district before going to Canada Place, an enormous shopping center right on the harbor. The boys bustled between stores and bought things to remember their time in Vancouver. After a few hours of shopping and seeing the city, everyone headed to the concert venue, Dunbar Ryerson Church. The church was beautifully aged and displayed impressive and historic architecture. Moss creeped up the sides of the cobble stone walls and sunlight pierced through the tall church windows. The church also had a high ceiling which allowed the voices of the boys to resonate and fill the open church hall. Hearing every part of the chorus blend and echo through the church was chill-inducing. Those who heard the boys sing in the church that day understand the beauty in simplicity in such a song as “Spirituals.” The emotion and life that exists in the words and harmonies of the song made for a really magical experience; and that was just one of many songs sung. After the show, many boys were eager to help the staff organize the equipment and clean up the church. After a quick tear down and a thank you to the church, we headed back to our hotel across the bridge. Tomorrow we head to Victoria.
We were up early to make it in line to the ferry from Vancouver to Victoria. The vessel is so large, we and many others park our buses under the decks. A highlight to many of the boys on this trip is this ferry ride. The winds are so strong on the front of the ship, you can lean right into it and it’ll hold you up. There are always several boys who stay at the front bundled in their jackets. The brisk wind rushing through their hair while beaches and cliff sides pass by. The scenery pulling into Victoria is wonderful, a variety of natural peninsulas and inlets paired with clear blue water makes for more than just a ferry ride. The weather has been much cooler than usual this year as well, but it all adds to the experience of being in a new place. After the ferry ride everyone rushed down the stairs to the bus. As our hands and faces warmed up, we pulled onto the island. Our next stop is the British Columbia Parliament buildings.
Once at the parliament building, we ate lunch on the stairs and massive lawn. The weather cleared up and the sun came out just in time for us to walk around the city for a little. It is also a tradition to try to make human pyramids on the lawn, usually three on the bottom, two above, and a smaller boy on top. A lot of groups formed and the spirit of competition took over, everyone who wanted to take part was able participate. Larger pyramids were attempted but gravity tends to work in the favor of three on the base. After finishing our food and that fun activity, we headed off to explore the city. We walked along the harbor in smaller groups and took many pictures. Of course there were many gift shops with Victoria memorabilia and the boys delighted in finding their next souvenir or even just an ice cream cone. After a bit of walking we made it back to the parliament building for our tour. Our tour guides told us all about the history and processes that take place in the building. It’s really an extensive operation! We even got to meet a few historical figures who just so happened to be alive and on location for our large tour group. After our tour concluded, we had dinner in the city and then proceeded to the University of Victoria. We stayed in a nice dorm that wasn’t being used in the summer time for students and it even brought back some memories from our summer camp. After a full and exhausting day, we all went to bed early to have plenty of energy for our concert and adventure tomorrow.