Top 5 things to do in SUNNY Vancouver

I live in Vancouver, and always have, and I like to think I have a decent grasp of what to do and where to go for a sunny summer day in Vancouver, as I know we get too few to let slip. Having done many things in Vancouver on sunny days, it is really hard to narrow down to a top 5 list, however, this is what I think is a good start if nothing else.

1. TRIP TO STANLEY PARK

This park is one of the most amazing parks in the world, and it is in our own backyards. Visit the Aquarium if you’re looking for something to do with the kids, the abundance of aquatic animal life will intrigue them for hours upon hours. Are you a young couple looking for a way to enjoy the sunny weather together? Go for a nice walk through the park or along the seawall. This walk allows for great views of the mountains, the city skyline, or the vast ocean, take a rest along the way and just enjoy the view and hold each other tight (Enjoy the moment!).

Aquarium website link: http://www.vanaqua.org/

Stanley Park link: http://vancouver.ca/parks/parks/stanley/

2. VISIT GROUSE

Grouse is a great place to check out during the summer time. There are many great shows going on, and many great trails to walk along, and once again, this location is great for young couples. Once again you can enjoy nice views of Vancouver city atop the mountain. Are you a thrill seeker? Go Ziplining between two peaks. If you are looking for a nice challenge, help yourself to the notorious Grouse Grind. Top it all off with a lumber jack show to see some amazing talent at work.

Grouse Mountain Link: http://www.grousemountain.com/

3. ENGLISH BAY

Just want to relax? Take a trip to English Bay! This is a central location in beautiful Vancouver, and has a great beach. This area is great for a day on the town with the girls. Bask in the heat of the suns rays, but be sure to use sunscreen! I hear the Boathouse in this location is top of the line and has some great service despite being under pressure from so many orders. I also hear the Cactus Club nearby is a great alternative as well!

4. BARD ON THE BEACH

Check out the great acting at Bard on the Beach. This event has some great talent as well, and hosts the best representations of Shakespeare plays I have ever seen. Take a date to this event, and I guarentee a great night. After the show, take your sweetheart for a walk around the park. Not looking to date? That’s okay too! This event is for everyone, and certainly rivals a trip to the movie theater. Take your kids for some entertaining education! But be sure to give your support to the actors and crew!

Bard on the Beach Link: http://www.bardonthebeach.org/

5. ART GALLERY

Need a break from the sun and a great way to cool off during your guilty shopping spree? Take a break and enjoy some fantastic art. Our Vacouver art gallery is in a central location, surrounded by some great shopping centers, and should not be overlooked. The art Gallery gets some amazing exhibits from across the world.

Vancouver art Gallery link: http://www.vanartgallery.bc.ca/index.html

Parenting Today

There is a pandemic that is plaguing the earth. It leads to lashing out, often times in aggressive ways. I am talking, of course, about bad parenting. I see it all the time. Kids not getting scolded for being bad. Parents buying ridiculously violent games for their 5 year old kids. In fact, it is getting so bad that the parents are starting to mimic the childish, juvenile behavior of their child(ren). Parents today don’t seem to realize that this is not good for their kids. Although I am convinced that they simply wouldn’t care even if they could get it through their heads. I may not be a parent, but I know how I was raised, and sure, some things are questionable, however I turned out well and I at least know how to respect others if nothing else.

Kids today not only don’t respect random people they see at stores or on the street, they don’t respect their parents. I see kids not listening to their parents more than ever. I see kids left in stores because the parent threatened to leave them there and the kids took that as a blessing. Parents need to realize that if things become like this, you need to change the way you do things. Often times I see kids essentially vandalizing stores, taking things off shelves and throwing product around like it was their play room. While they do this, the parent is simply standing right there not doing or saying anything, pretending they don’t exist. I don’t know the “right” way to handle this, but I know if I did that as a kid my parents would not only not be happy, they would have picked me up and taken me out of the store, potentially never to return there again. There was no reason for my parents to keep taking me places where I act like a delinquent. Stores are a luxury. If you can’t handle them, you don’t deserve to have them. That’s how I was raised with Luxuries in my life.

Kids that are my customers at my store have such terrible social skills. When their parent tells them to ask me a question they just stare at me with  a puzzled look on their face, as if I was god and they were trying to ask me the meaning of life. Words never escape their mouth and their parents just say what the kid wanted  to say, but clearly was incapable of talking to anyone else except their mommy or daddy. If they don’t stare at me, they are just staring at their parent as though I had just stabbed someone or shot up. To me, it is not the child that looks stupid here. Despite not being able to articulate anything, that is ultimately the parents fault. Clearly the kid has been sheltered by mom and dad, held away from the big bad world. Nobody can go anywhere in life like this.

I work in a game store. I see a lot of nerds, a lot of socially retarded people, and a lot of spoiled brats. Many of the children that are in my store are clearly raised by their Xbox more than their parents. I strongly believe many parents use gaming as a cheap daycare. Today I had a woman with her son, her son traded in two PSP games that were rated E (for everyone), then the kid grabbed a copy of Mortal Kombat for the PS3 and the mom just grabs it and hands it to my co-worker. My co-worker tells the woman “This is rated M for mature, it is intended for seventeen or older people. It is rated M because of intense violence, suggestive themes and mild language, is this ok?” the woman turns to her son in shock and the kid says “But nobody really dies, there’s no swearing, nobody even bleeds!” This is when I pipe up. I tell the woman “this is probably the  most brutal game that’s out right now” but you know what the woman did? She listened to her son and got the game for him. This is not the first time this has happened, and it won’t be the last. In fact, look how hugely popular Call of Duty is. It is a billion dollar grossing game series, however, a large part of the audience is children. Children who’s mommy and daddy bought them their video games so they could be happy.

Many parents that come in my store say things like “I am looking for a game for my (5-10 year old) son, it can be violent or whatever, just no swearing”. Naturally I have to cater to their needs as I am in the customer service industry, but it makes me feel a huge level of concern. What this does is tells the kids that violence, killing, sexual themes, etc. are ok, but swearing is not. It Should be the opposite. I mean, swearing is everywhere, in fact the father probably swore once in the car ride to my store. Swearing is on tv, it’s suggested in ads, popular songs have swearing in them. The only thing more frequent than swearing these days is sexual themes/stupidity.

I strongly believe if this generation of kids keeps being raised as they are they will turn out extremely messed up. If they are taught violence is ok, that hitting women is ok, then what’s to say this generation won’t be full of murdering psychopaths? Especially with the lack of social skills, many serial killers have brutal social problems as well. I often think these kids would be better off in the brutal confines of the foster care system, clearly their parents do not know how to raise a child.Sure, when I was a kid I was allowed to occasionally play an M or T rated game, but it was a luxury if I couldn’t handle it, my parents would not only stop buying me games, but also take away the games I already had. Sure it was Nazi, but that is PARENTING. You as the parent NEED to set the boundaries and set the law for your child. Children can’t raise themselves, video games cannot raise them, the PARENTS need to raise them, and raise them properly if they want their children to succeed.