• Lara

Flashbacks of Running For my Life...(Sunnyside Park Vancouver)

Remember that time when someone tried to kidnap me? Probably not. I don't talk about it often. Yes, there are some parts of my childhood I actually don’t want to recall... ever. While nearly being kidnapped not once, but twice, has only made me wiser and fiercer as a parent, it isn’t something I enjoy reminiscing.

Thankfully, there are other parts of my childhood I do recall fondly. One of which was my love for watching Sesame Street. Laying on my back on an orange shag carpet with my sister in the heat of an African summer. Both of us looking up at the TV while we sang along to the theme song. Singing “how to get to Sesame Street" fills me with that Apple Pie and Ice Cream in my belly type of feeling. Although most of my days are centered around my own children and their needs, I don’t often have nostalgia for my own youth despite how cute I was.

I was pretty cute wasn't I?

That all changed when we pulled up to Sunnyside Park in Vancouver. It was a surprise stop. The plan was to pick up Jazlyn’s new run bike and then use google maps to find the closest park and we would go and spend the next few hours there. This method of exploration has always allowed us to discover new favourite places and this day was no exception. We landed at Sunnyside Park

The biggest smiles crept across our four faces as we pulled up to this rainbow painted street. It was blocked off from cars allowing the kids a safe and long stretch on a smooth surface to ride their bikes and scooters.

The entire park itself was raised and sat in the middle of a cozy residential block. I had finally found Sesame Street after a 30 year search! Gnarly trees waiting for climbing hands decorated the space. We even saw another family with a hammock strung between trees. That's how we knew this felt like home. It was the kind of park you could spend hours in and still find new things that left you saying Awwww.

This park had painted fairy doors at the bottom of most trees, hidden rocks and birdhouses.

I couldn’t help but become a kid again myself and make the climb up to explore a full-sized house myself! I had flashbacks to playing tag in the Frangipani tree of my youth that called all the neighbourhood kids into it hiding from the heat of the day.

My children enjoyed the park as much as I did. They skirted here and there from biking on the pavement to biking down a wide flight of stairs and playing in the sand at the base of a play structure.

We even found ourselves adding to the vibrant ground with our own sidewalk chalk. Close to a school, it came with additional outdoor space and unique climbing structures. We didn’t get to explore those due to Covid limitations, but made a note to come back again when it’s safe to climb.

If you are looking for Sesame Street, I can tell you how to get there. You won’t be disappointed 1100 E 17th Ave, Vancouver, BC.