Long Weekend Expectations
Long Weekend Reality

Today marks the kick off of the first long weekend of the summer in Canada. The Victoria Day weekend! Also known as May 2-4 because of the fact that it’s usually happens around May 24th. And in honour of the case of beer known as a 2-4. Mainly it’s for the beer actually.

I also know that my American readers are getting ready for their first long weekend of the summer … Memorial Day which happens next week.

BE forewarned. We all have certain anticipations and expectations about how GREAT the summer long weekend is supposed to be. How it’s supposed to go. There will be eating outdoors, no bugs, gingham dresses and smiling faces. It will be Pinterest perfect. And then Reality wretchedness sets in. Just be ready for it.   The Victoria Day long weekend may not be all fireworks and frisbees.

How we imagine the long weekend will be.

Victoria Day Dream
Victoria Day Truth 2

For my Canadian readers, I hope you have a safe and happy long weekend.  For my American readers, when next weekend rolls around and you’ve had a few and you see a hill … don’t say I didn’t warn you.


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  1. Valerie says:

    Do any other Canadians remember this?

    The twenty fourth of May,
    The queen’s birthday,
    If we don’t get a holiday,
    We’ll all run away.

  2. victoria says:

    Enjoy your weekend! The temperature was 108 today in Los Angeles. It’s hard to enjoy ANYTHING except a cold shower. …

  3. Dagmar says:

    Can anyone tell me the last 2-4 week-end that is DIDN’T rain? It’s almost like that’s part of the tradition now. And I can’t say I ever remember still wearing my winter jacket (okay autumn) other Victoria days. I guess maybe the only good thing about year’s this crummy cold weather is that they’ll be fewer mosquitos. Have a good and safe one everyone !

  4. Pat says:

    Yes, yes, I remember that rhyme. Does that mean Valerie and I are in the same age bracket?
    As a child living in Thunder Bay, on the May long weekend there might still be snow on the ground or you got your first sunburn. Here in B.C. it will probably rain.

  5. Cindy Bell says:

    I live in Vernon B C. Where do you live? It was hot today and the rain might be a bit tomorrow with lightening but then nice till Monday. Hope so, have a good weekend

    • Karen says:

      An hour outside of Toronto Cindy. Where it will be cold, rainy and cold. And rainy. ~ karen!

      • Bols says:

        I am so loving this weather. It’s nice to have spring, for once, instead of jumping straight from winter into summer with the heat and unbearable humidity.
        Karen, stop complaining. The rains is moving eastward and tomorrow and Sunday are supposed to be sunny even though a bit cooler than usual. My weather forecast shows shows only two days ahead of the current day so I don’t know about Monday. But Monday is a regular working day for me anyway (like on any other holiday) so I don’t care so much.

        It was actually amazing to watch things to grow this week. I swear the leaves grew 1/2″ each day. Last Sunday, barely anything yet and this morning, my garden is wearing a green fluffy terry robe. There is a high hedge (don’t know what it is) between me and my neighbours at the back, and I always anxiously await its leaves. The shrubs are old and not in best condition so I always pray they survive winter. It’s nice to have some privacy in one’s own back yard.

  6. Lindsay H says:

    I’ve always called it “May Long”. And so does everyone I know. Never heard of May 2-4. I like it.

    I’m heading to Alaska for “may 2-4”. Soooo excited!

  7. bees&queues says:

    We always just called it May Long (weekend) too. Only after I moved to Newfoundland did I start hearing called May 2-4. Drives me! And camping this early? Nonsense. Typically the forecast is good long enough for the campsites to be booked up. Then it starts with the rain. And snow, which helps keep the 2-4 cold.

  8. Maureen Locke says:

    I’ve never heard of May Long or May 2-4 either but I love the 2-4 one. We’ve just always called it Victoria Day weekend. There is rain forecast for Sat, Sunday is supposed to be nice but the black flies are out and biting. In retail, there’s no such thing as a long weekend, so I work on Monday. End of long weekend which isn’t. I really wish I had a normal job. Retail sucks the fun and life out of any long weekend. Hope those of you who have a long weekend, enjoy it. I’d sooner be off and suffering the rain, cold and black flies than working.

    • Sera says:

      I hear ya about retail. Although I’m in the states, my holiday weekends consist of working both Saturday and Sunday and dealing with the drunk weekenders on their holidays. Bah. We don’t get an extra day off unless we don’t want to get paid.

  9. Sally A says:

    The last one reminds me of the joke about the last thing a Redneck says before they die…”Hey y’all, watch this!” Ha! My apologies to my smart Redneck brethren!

    Have a great holiday weekend! Looking forward to the US one next week!

    • Sboo says:

      Actually, the way I’ve always heard it is

      “Hey, one of y’all hold my beer…”


      -Sara in Arkansas

  10. Su says:

    speaking of the rain… around here it’s been raining all week and it seems in my neck of the woods in the states it rains Memorial Day weekend too…. but a three day is a three day….

  11. Hope says:

    Here in WInterpeg aka Winnipeg, Manitoba, permanent home of the Polar Vortex 2014, we are looking forward to several lovely days. The weather man (who now has to wear a ski mask in public for safety reasons after a horrible winter) has promised us 20C on Sunday. So there will be lots of raking and hopefully some digging….followed by some ribs and some wine and hopefully a fire in the fire pit! There are still 736 homes in the city whose water line from the water main into their house is frozen and who are waiting for the city to thaw them out.The frost went that deep this year.Thick frost on my neighbours roof and my windshield this morning. My seeds are are still in their little packages!

  12. I really did need to see it again! Thanks for that. Have a great “May long” Karen Cheers.

  13. Robin Siegerman says:

    Oh, PISH-POSH!

    My May 2-4 weekend always has the perfect amount of beer, with the perfect amount of burnt and smoking BBQ burgers (because my husband, who has never boiled water believes he is the BBQ MASTER), and soggy knees from kneeling in the wet, muddy grass, clearing out the weeds in my garden so my house won’t be mistaken for Sleeping Beauty’s house…God forbid Prince Charming should pay ME a visit! If it doesn’t snow, I’ll get the annuals in, and conk out with a beer on the dock wrapped in my winter blankie!

    Now try and top THAT!!

    Have a happy 2-4!


  14. Keelea L says:

    Who asks anyone to turn down Motley Crüe?

  15. Robin says:

    I too have never heard the phrases mentioned…must be an other side of Canada thing. Here on the West Coast, Victoria to be exact, we just refer to it as Victoria Day long weekend…I do like the mention by another reader “that a 3 day is a 3 day!” I like long weekend’s so SO much I booked Tuesday off as well, so I get a 4 DAY-yay for me!
    Happy long weekend to those who get ’em!

  16. jeannie B says:

    Victoria Day long weekend is really early this year. Traditionally, it’s always been the weekend to plant the flowers, or break out the tent and go camping or, spend the weekend evenings trying to calm down the dog whenever someone let off a firecracker. Speaking of firecrackers. Stupidest thing ever, (now that I’m older and wiser.)Some twit in my neighbourhood, let off fireworks on Easter weekend and Mother’s Day weekend. A holiday! Let off a few firecrackers!
    Yeh, it’ll likely be damp and cold. Have some quiet, safe fun everyone.

  17. Ev Wilcox says:

    Here in Northeast Ohio we are hoping to dry out any day now! Even so, I am grateful to not be in the dire dry conditions in California! Where I live we have a medium-sized Memorial Day parade that goes right down my street. We bring out chairs and enjoy with friends and family and eat muffins with coffee. Prob will have a lunch-time early cookout this year. And no black flies! My spouse comes to your beautiful Canada every year to fish. Would love to see Toronto some day. Hope you have a fun 2-4, maybe just cold enough to inhibit the black flies!

  18. Nancy S says:

    When I was growing up we called it Firecracker Day. Because of the public fireworks. What is now Winnipeg was a cluster of smaller cities, only a few of which allowed the sale of firecrackers. We had to bicycle to St. Boniface (maybe a mile) to buy them. Remember running around twirling sparklers?

  19. Andreae says:

    Here in Newfoundland, 24th of May is such a ritual that it has been granted its own anthem. You’re welcome/I’m sorry: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0KybSXc44uI

  20. SusanR says:

    Cold and rainy sounds so wonderful! Here in San Diego, the whole county is on fire.

  21. Sandy says:

    Hey Karen! Long time fan (back to your OMNI-in-between shows-thing cause’ I thought you had/have the best hair!), first time poster and kinda neighbour (Burlington, but my parents live in your sleepy little town). ANYWAYS, I remember the verse and it’s always been May 2-4 around here. WARNING – I’ll be looking for (and perhaps, stalking) you at the Cactus Festival this year!

  22. AngieC says:

    I’ll be happy if it doesn’t snow. I’ll take the rain, my yard and garden need it but, please for the love of green and growing things, let it not snow here on this high hill in central Alberta.

  23. Chris says:

    Always called this the May 2-4 weekend…as a teenager this meant the first long weekend that we could camp and drink a 2-4-a-day! Interupted by fire roasted hotdogs, mallows, soggy chips and shots of Southern Compfort to take the chill off! It always rained or sometimes snowed or hailed but we didn’t care because we were young, indesctructable, not at work, with our boyfriend and doing whatev!
    Oh the good ole days…now its my garden-appolooza-weekend-start-of-the-summer! Yippee!

  24. Barbie says:

    The weather in Spokane has been hot and sunny “unusually” so! However today is rainy once again 🙁 Hope we have a nice memorial day weekend next week! I will let you know if I survive it! Have a great weekend Karen!

  25. Nancy Blue Moon says:

    Have fun Karen!!

  26. kardan says:

    We here call it May Long or May 2-4. The weather is always terrible. And, you have to camp so you have something to talk about for another year. We finally bought a camper to avoid the horror of the tent. That year my daughter and her friend wanted to sleep in the tent. Everyone had had too much to drink. At about five o’clock in the morning the girls admitted defeat and moved into the comforts of our camper. They had woken up frozen and soaked by rain in the waterproof tent. The next morning the rain had turned to snow and when we looked in the tent, both of their air mattresses were floating in water. We just picked up all our crap, threw it in the back of the truck, drove back to town. All bedraggled and out of sorts we went to Smitty’s for breakfast on the way home where we met all sorts just like us. And we all talked about it. THAT is the purpose of this weekend. It’s just a weekend that we can make small talk to strangers about for a year.

  27. calliek says:

    True story- I once got a $53 fine for being responsible for a Public Eyesore on May 2-4!
    3 days of rain, 5 campsites of people, of which 4 got their permits revoked for excessive noise/drinking, so everyone moved to mine, a van buried up to its axle in mud, a half burnt picnic table ( it was the only dry wood), and enough empties to pay the fine and still have money left over. Oh the good old days…

  28. caryl says:

    Happy holiday we’re not so different after all. But I’d rather be there!

  29. kelli says:

    wow, y’all’s summer starts early. Must be to make up for those long winters, eh?

    Like most, I have lots planned for Memorial weekend, and am even taking Friday off as well, yay! However the weather report doesn’t bode well for the weekend here in Dallas…rain on both Saturday AND Sunday! UGH. It just makes me stabby.

    Mother Natural can really be a mother sometimes. 🙁

  30. Julesie says:

    I vote cougar because it’s unexpected while honey do seems funny but a little too bitter. Tho I totally agree with everyone who says the model isn’t old enough to be a cougar- she’s far too young.

    • Karen says:

      Hah! You’ve obviously never lived with someone who does nothing! Then you’d know it isn’t bitter … it’s just the plain truth. 🙂 ~ karen

      • Julesie says:

        Ha. Actually my hubby liked honey do because he thought it was spot on. And he’s right- I end up doing way more around the house by far and he’s an admitted slacker. If he wasn’t so amazing at other stuff ( cooking, being a hands on dad) I might have been tempted to print & frame that one. Maybe the fact that he did do major lawn work between running our 12 year old to hockey all weekend just made me feel generous. I’m always amazed at the number of jobs on the list that I threaten to hire done and which he counters “that’s a 5 minute job” only to apparently never have 5 extra minutes free. So maybe you are right after all.

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