As one of my earlier posts on Nanaimo street signs attested, the Harbour City has a wonderful sense of playfulness (maybe you remember Twiggly Wiggly Road?). But now that I’ve seen it for myself, I have to say that nowhere is the city’s dedication to fun better on display than at the Silly Boat Regatta.
We’re now in late January, and the Christmas holidays are well behind us. Ornaments, wreaths, and bells have all been packed up and stored away till next season. But out this way, Nanaimo continues to “jingle”; in fact, the city jingles year-round. For as I’ve learned in my local travels, the delightfully named Jingle Pot Road appears here, there, and (it seems) almost everywhere. Drive along the Nanaimo Parkway and you’ll cross Jingle Pot Road not once, but twice. The road loops around. It morphs from other roads. And at one corner of town, it even meets itself.
I grew up in the suburbs north of Montreal, and my concept of Christmas was set at an early age. Snow was a given. We never had to dream of a white Christmas when I was a kid—we just looked out the window. The season meant chilly temperatures and bundling up with a scarf, a knitted toque—with a pom-pom, of course—and woolen mittens. (Gloves? You josh.) Christmas also meant brightly colored lights strung around fir trees, windows, and eaves. And…well, there were a lot of things that made Christmas Christmas when I was growing up. Continue reading