Monday, February 22, 2010

Day 10 - Exploring Vancouver

February 21, 2010

Another beautiful day in Vancouver. I decided that maybe we should wait until after the weekend to attempt to go to LiveCity Yaletown. I’m hoping the line ups won’t be so bad during the week. Instead I took my Mom and brother down to the Olympic Cauldron on the waterfront. Personally I think it is a very impressive structure. I saw it last weekend when I was in Vancouver for the Opening Ceremony. Today I noticed that you are able to get much closer to it than last week and there were huge crowds down there taking it in. The line up for the viewing platform was about an hour. Given some of the line ups I’ve seen around Vancouver, that isn’t too bad. We skipped that part today but at some point I would like to get up on there and see it. Perhaps at night and then I can see the Olympic rings lit up as well.

From there we headed to Canada’s Northern House which so far is the best pavilion I’ve seen yet. It is exactly what I thought a pavilion should be. Exhibits showing the culture and lifestyle of our Northern territories, there were some beautiful works of art and clothing items that I assume were handmade. There is an area where you can record a video against a backdrop of different Northern attractions like dog sledding or a beautiful waterfall. All 3 of us jumped into the video and sent it to my Dad whose email address I hopefully remembered. The line up for this pavilion was measured in minutes, not hours. I highly recommend making the trip down there to see it. All those other pavilions could learn a lesson from this one. So enjoyable to see.

As we came out of Canada’s Northern House, I heard this little voice asking me if I wanted to trade pins. When I looked down, I saw the most adorable little girl with a whole lanyard full of Olympic pins. I wasn’t feeling very well at the time, I think I had gone too long without eating so I was anxious to get home and get some food. I felt so bad telling this girl that I couldn’t trade pins with her but I had to otherwise I might have been passed out on the sidewalk, that is how light headed I felt. I told her I could give her something and she wouldn’t even have to trade me anything for it. I gave her one of the Canada Loot Bags I always have with me and also gave one to her Mom and who I assume was her Grandmother. She seemed quite happy with that and even was mildly excited about the Toronto pin. I asked them to visit my blog and write a comment about their Vancouver Olympic experience. We’ll see if they do!

Walking down Robson Street before the Canada/USA game started was absolutely nuts! Honestly I have never seen anything like it. Tons of people with flags draped around them, wearing them cape style. Painted faces, wigs and costumes seemed to be the norm today. In front of one store a DJ was blaring music and some people were dancing, maybe even break dancing. Ten youngsters from Sweden were decked out in Sweden flags, yellow tights, wigs and whatever else they could find. They actually got the Canadian crowd to give up a few cheers for Sweden. As we made our way back to the condo, who do we see when we are crossing the street but Rick Hansen! My Mom started screaming, “Hey do you know who this is?” and I said yes of course I do, and then she proceeded to grab his hand and say “Nice to meet you”. Unfortunately we were crossing the street otherwise I would have stopped and taken his picture. I hope my Mom didn’t scare him, she was just excited. It’s not like seeing Canadian legends while you are crossing the street is an everyday occurrence. Going to have to add him to my famous celebrity citings. He is in good company with Dean and Dan Caten (Dsquared), Brian Williams from CTV, and Jenn Heil.

Obviously we watched the Canada/USA hockey game and were disappointed like everyone else. Then I heard Canada’s Kristina Groves won a silver medal in her 1500 m race and it was a happy day again. And then I saw Canada figure skaters Tessa Virtue and Scott Moir skate their original program and they were stunning, amazing, unbelievable! And I will get to see them skate tomorrow night which is super cool!

Our night finished off at Robson Square and their “Ignite the Dream” light and pyrotechnic show. I would have loved to take video for you but my battery was dying. Maybe I’ll get to it again one night this week and get video for you then. Robson Street had tons of people on it as usual and despite our hockey loss everyone was still in a good mood and ready to party. Dancing in the street to drum beats, street performers and tons and tons of Canada flags. There didn’t seem to be any problems in the crowd as far as I could tell.

After the Ignite the Dream show was over we went to check out a group performing at one of the stages set up around Robson Square. I believe it was a group called SoJourners. They were fantastic. People were up and dancing in no time. We stayed for a few songs and then made our way back home. The days in Vancouver are long and busy and tend to go by very quickly which doesn’t surprise me, but does disappoint me. I want them to last for so long!

Tomorrow will be another exciting day as I finally get to see my first Olympic event. And with our Canadians currently sitting in first after compulsory and original dances, it is going to be a great competition.

For all of today's photos and a few from previous days, click here. I warn you, there are many!

Canada Medal Results

Kristina Groves – Silver in 1500 m speed skating

1 comment:

  1. Just so you know, the crowd around the Torch this morning (Monday) was greatly reduced. The Viewing Platform line-up was still about the same (est. 1hr) though.

    Btw your coverage is beyond excellent!