Summer and Makena Thomas will have a great story to tell when they go back to school next month.
On a blisteringly hot Monday afternoon, the girls sipped lemonade through a straw from the best beverage container in Canada.
"We got to drink from the Stanley Cup," said eight-year-old Makena, who's going into Grade 3. "It was so cool and the cup was so big that we had to go get some straws."
"I got to blow bubbles in the cup," said younger sister Summer, six and bound for Grade 2 in September. "We had so much fun blowing big lemonade bubbles."
Makena and Summer's uncle, Bill Ranford, is the Los Angeles Kings goalie coach and Monday was his day with the Stanley Cup.
Ranford's a three-time winner of the cherished silver chalice - he won as a backup for the Edmonton Oilers in 1988 and then as a starter and Conn Smythe winner in 1990 - but Monday was the first time he got the cup for the day because the tradition of winners getting 24 hours with the cup didn't start until the early-'90s.
(Ranford did have the Stanley Cup in New Westminster in 2004 as part of the festivities surrouding the B.C. Hockey League All-Star Game in Coquitlam.)
While Kings' defenceman Willie Mitchell took the Cup everywhere on the Sunday before Ranford's time - shots of Mitchell on Mt. Benedict, on a fishing boat and in a First Nations big house were all over the Internet - Ranford's Cup time was mostly spent in New Westminster, including visits to Hyack Tire and Atkinson and Terry Insurance.
When the Cup arrived just after 7:30 a.m. at Vancouver International Airport, Ranford, along with neighbours Russ Davidson and his daughter Delaney, were there to pick up Walt Neubrand and the big rectangular case housing the 16-kilogram Stanley Cup.
Neubrand is one of a team of "Keepers of the Cup" - Neubrand's boss Phil Pritchard is the best known of the team - who accompany the Stanley Cup wherever it goes to make sure nothing nefarious happens.
Neubrand's 10-day shift with the Stanley Cup started on Aug. 11 when he accompanied Matt Greene in Michigan and ends in Kenora, Ontario with Mike Richards.
"It was so much fun to pick up the cup," said Delaney.
The first stop was at Hyack Tire, where owner Brian Bannan has worked on Ranford's cars for more than a decade.
"They got here just as we were opening up," said Bannan. "It was great for all the guys here to see the cup and I'm so pleased for Bill and his family. He's such a great guy, a great ambassador for sports and a great representative for the city."
Bannan said he initially broached the idea to Ranford's wife Kelly and after the Kings won the cup in June, he asked Bill if bringing the cup to Hyack Tire was feasible.
"He told me he'd let me know and if time allows, he would see what he could do," said Bannan.
Early in August, Ranford had his Dodge pickup truck in for some servicing at Hyack and when Bannan asked for an update, he got the answer he was looking for.
"Bill asked if I was working Monday and I said sure, I'm always working," said Bannan. "He then said, 'See you at 8:30.'"
After Delaney collected donations from Hyack staffers - the money was being raised for the hockey and trampoline programs at the Royal City Alternate School where Kelly teaches - the cup went north to Atkinson and Terry Insurance, which is owned by Kelly's father Brent.
After a short visit there, it was off to the Ranford home in the Queen's Park area, where a family gathering in the backyard saw several generations of Ranfords and Atkinsons bask in the glow of the Stanley Cup.
Ranford's mom Kalla couldn't stop smiling.
"We drove all night from Red Deer to see this," she said of the drive made with eldest daughter Paula. "I'm just so thrilled for him."
Kalla said Bill's father, Bill Sr., stayed in Red Deer for work, but her husband did see the cup when coach Darryl Sutter had it earlier this summer.
Kalla said Bill's work was evident every time she saw Jonathan Quick play.
"I saw an intensity in him that was exactly what I saw when Bill played," said Kalla. "He never gave up on a play and that's something that I remember about Bill. ... All the hard work that Bill has put in, flying to Los Angeles, flying to Manchester (New Hampshire, where the Kings' minor league team plays) and working with the players, not just the goalies, it's all worth it."
Kelly also sees a lot of her husband in the Kings' on-ice product.
"Bill worked with a lot of the forwards, telling them where they might want to shoot on an opposing goalie," said Kelly. "That's the sort of thing that really helps (forwards) and I think they respected what Bill had to say because of his record and the fact that he had already won Stanley Cups before."
After the Kings won the cup, Kelly, along with daughters Cassady, 19, and Tristan, 17, flew down to Los Angeles for the Stanley Cup parade.
"I don't think people know how much work my dad did," said Cassady. "I remember all the nights he'd be upstairs looking at video, cutting video and then he'd be off to Los Angeles or Manchester. ... It means a lot for my grandmother (Kalla) as well. For her to have a son make the NHL, that was a one-in-a-million thing and then to see him win the cup as a player and now in management, I'm so happy for her and my dad."
Tristan agreed, joking that having the cup in her backyard made her one of the most popular people on her lacrosse team.
"It's been so cool watching how the Kings kept on getting better and then we were down in L.A. for Game 4 (of the Stanley Cup Finals)," said Tristan. "And when we won, it was such a huge thing, not just for my dad, but my mom and for our entire family."
The daughters, much like their cousins, also got to drink out of the Stanley Cup, albeit a stronger beverage, in the afternoon.
Journalist Ian Walker asked a seemingly innocent question of how many cans of 355-ml beverage would fit into the Stanley Cup.
After Neubrand and Ranford agreed to help find out, 14 cans were poured in the cup and the assembled family and friends were able to partake in quaffing from the cup.
Cassady had no problem having a sip while Tristan, with some gentle prodding, did her turn with grandpa Brent.
Watching in amazement was 14-year-old James Cunningham, who was invited by Kelly, his Royal City Alternate Program teacher.
"I went through the Stick it to Violence program," said James. "I learned quite a bit from both (Kelly and Bill). ... I'm so happy they invited me here."
Also happy to be invited was current Burnaby resident George Ryan, whose history with Bill goes back several decades.
"I taught Bill Grade 7 on the Canadian Forces base at Baden Sollingen (Germany)," said Ryan. "I've watched how his career has continued to grow and it's very special to see where he it has taken him. Now he's giving back and teaching and I'm so pleased for him.
The one person who refused to touch or drink from the Stanley Cup has a very good reason.
Nephew Brendan Ranford, a star with the Western Hockey League's Kamloops Blazers, has pro aspirations of his own and wants to earn the right to sip from the silver chalice.
"My uncle is a lucky man to be able to win it as many times as he has," said Brendan, who's off to Montreal on a tryout with the Canadiens next month. "I've seen the cup several times, I'll have my picture taken with it, but I won't touch it and I won't drink from it until I win it myself."
As for the host of the big party, watching everybody's big smiles as they see the Stanley Cup was as big a gift as he could ever hope to receive.
"To have my family and my friends, everybody from Kelly's soccer team to Tristan's lacrosse team to Cassady's friends, getting their time with the cup, that's pretty special," said Bill. "For me, probably the best moment was seeing the girls drinking out of the cup. I don't think I'll forget that one."
After the Stanley Cup went to Queen's Park Arena for a charity event that raised thousands of dollars for RCAP's hockey and trampoline programs, it was back to the Ranford home for a neighbourhood block party.
Just after 10 p.m., a party bus arrived at the front door to take the family downtown for a private party.
As Neubrand and Bill tried to figure out how to get Neubrand's luggage and the Stanley Cup on the bus, it became apparent the only way to do so was to take the cup out of its container and have the Davidsons take the case and the luggage in a separate car.
"I've got to take the cup back at midnight," said Neubrand, who would take it to his airport hotel before flying out on Tuesday morning to Saskatchewan for the next three days as "Keeper of the Cup."
And with that, Bill hoisted the cup on the bus and Russ Davidson wheeled the case back down the street to his car.
The Stanley Cup has left the building.