Sunday, March 14, 2010

Paralympic Saturday

I did go out on Friday noon to the the Paralympic Torch run through my neighbourhood.  It was a pretty low key even with only a few hundred observers, mainly thanks to a group of school kids gathered on a corner on Denman Street.  Global TV came by on Friday afternoon for a spot they aired Friday night and I think Saturday morning.   It was right after the opening story about the Opening of the Paralympic Games.  They did a really nice piece on it.  So we did get a bit of renewed interest, and are looking forward to hitting 7,000 today.   I uploaded it to Phanfare if you want to have a look: 


Click Here to See Global TV's spot.  


We tried to find the spirit of the Paralympic games downtown on Saturday.  Alas, it is just not the same as the Big Games.  We walked through downtown a bit, over to the live site where we met Sumi and took in a bit of wheelchair curling.  We were expecting Sledge Hockey though, and the curling just didn't measure up, so we went to a Pub for the rest of the afternoon instead.  Eventually it filled with pre-game Canuck fans which proved a decent simulation of Olympic Spirit, and kept us going through the day. 




We came home and watched the Paralympic Opening Ceremonies which we had taped.  Yay us!  Yay Terry Fox... can we even imagine how his parents felt bringing that torch into the big stadium 30 years after their son's Marathon of Hope?  Amazing.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

My Letter to Mr. Campbell

I sent this email to the very vague "contact at BC Liberals" email address which is the closest I could find to Mr. Campbell's email... I wonder if he's heard about the petition... what do you think the chances of him personally reading my message?  


* * * 


Mr. Gordon Campbell
Premier of British Columbia,

I had an idea for a BC Holiday to honour our 2010 Experience.  You know – that time when all of us from different places, backgrounds, colours and languages, came together as ONE HAPPY FAMILY and actually ENJOYED each other’s company?  The one when we were unified in our pride, happiness, and maybe just a bit giddy to be so lucky as to BE FROM HERE?  

You might have heard about my petition to start a new Provincial Statutory Holiday – Glowing Hearts Day.  Already in less than a week, more than 5,680 happy citizens have signed it.  

The petition was mine, but the editorial from The North Shore News says it all better than I could:  
 


"GLOWING HEARTS  North Shore News
Published: Wednesday, March 10, 2010

THIS paper has been inundated with story suggestions from life coaches, fitness trainers and volunteer organizers as to how they are harnessing or building on the collective high the majority of us experienced during the Games.

We think it's exciting that individuals are actively trying to maintain that confluence of positive energy British Columbia generated in February. And if the B.C. Liberals were smart, they would already be collecting, grading and facilitating some of the best. This might be a time when just a little government help in terms of expertise or marketing might have a huge cost/benefit outcome for all of us.
We especially like Vancouver interior designer Katie Holmes' call for a February statutory holiday in memory of the Olympics. She suggests calling it Glowing Hearts Day -- which might seem a little over the top until one recalls that unification was one of the most positive themes of the Games.

We've called for a February stat before, and we don't buy the government's "lost productivity" argument. Sure, a day off costs the economy. But so does spurious sick leave when folks take a mental health day as a break from the winter blahs. We don't think the net loss would be anywhere near the $270-million figure Labour Minister Murray Coell gloomily predicts. And what if Glowing Hearts Day was dedicated to volunteering: one deed for the betterment of others. That's productivity.

You can view and sign on to Holmes' petition at www.gopetition.com/petitions/glowing-hearts-day-in-bc . “

Some people are suggesting other names, like “Hockey Day”,  or “Family Day” or “Patriot Day”.  Glowing Hearts is an obvious tie-in with our National Anthem and the theme of the Olympic Games, but we would be happy to have a day to remember our experience, no matter what the name is.  Many people would like this to eventually become a national holiday – that’s how passionate they feel about their Olympic experience.  What a great legacy!

The petition includes a comments field, and we are receiving many positive comments like,    
THE OLYMPICS WAS THE FIRST TIME I REALLY FELT PROUD TO BE A CANADIAN!!!! “
“The Olympics that were held in Vancouver unified a whole nation and mosaic of different backgrounds/races”
“especially for all of us volunteers and employees who put their hearts out for these games”
“We definitely need a day to celebrate in the what is normally a dreary month. Wouldn't it be grand if every year we could remember the excitement and patriotism we felt during the Vancouver 2010 Olympics. It was truly magical and made me even more proud to be a Canadian...we are so fortunate to live here!”
“A great way to keep the Olympic spirit going”  
It goes on for 142 Pages.

A New Statutory Holiday represents a great opportunity to leave a legacy in our hearts.   When the petition is printed and delivered, I really hope that you and your legislative colleagues will give it serious thought.

Do you think you could pass this email onto Mr. John Furlong?  He’s a hero for how well he represented you, the Olympics, and all of us here in BC.  I’d be happy if he would hear about our petition and the positive feedback from our citizens.  

Paralympics Mar 12 - 21

The Paralympics starts tomorrow.  By the way people, It's PARA-LYMPICS, Not PARA-O-LYMPICS, just sayin'.

Sumi is the official mascot for the Paralympics.

Sumi is part Orca whale Thunderbird and Black Bear.  See his CV below.  His specialties are Alpine Skiing and flying.

The Opening ceremony is Friday night, at the same venue as the main games.    I wonder what it will be like?  We'll certainly be more exposed to Paralympic games and issues than ever before, and I'm looking forward to getting some more amazing inspiration from these great athletes.
 
The Olympic Cauldron will be re-lit.  I'm happy about that too, because I think it really only looks nice at night, and we didn't have a chance to get down there in the dark during the main Games.  Are they really going to leave us with those big ugly ducts after all the games are gone?

A few former Olympic venues will be re-opened, including 

The very popular Canadian Mint
Canada Pavilion
Manitoba Pavilion
Northern House
BC Pavilion at the Art Gallery
Live City downtown

I will definitely get to the BC Pavilion.  Come to think of it, it's the only one of those I couldn't get to.  The line ups were HOURS long.  We'll be seeing a semi-final playoff Sledge Hockey Game next week.

And my most favourite re-opening:  I'm supposed to meet a friend tomorrow morning and see how the line up is for the Ziptrek across Robson Street.  I hope it's not POURING rain tomorrow as it is today, or else I'll hae to think of something else to amuse me tomorrow.


click image to see webpage below 

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Glowing Article on Glowing Hearts

A VERY Nice article from NSN  in support of Glowing Hearts Day. 


Have a look !! 





North Shore News

Published: Wednesday, March 10, 2010
THIS paper has been inundated with story suggestions from life coaches, fitness trainers and volunteer organizers as to how they are harnessing or building on the collective high the majority of us experienced during the Games.
We think it's exciting that individuals are actively trying to maintain that confluence of positive energy British Columbia generated in February. And if the B.C. Liberals were smart, they would already be collecting, grading and facilitating some of the best. This might be a time when just a little government help in terms of expertise or marketing might have a huge cost/benefit outcome for all of us.
We especially like Vancouver interior designer Kate Holmes' call for a February statutory holiday in memory of the Olympics. She suggests calling it Glowing Hearts Day -- which might seem a little over the top until one recalls that unification was one of the most positive themes of the Games.
We've called for a February stat before, and we don't buy the government's "lost productivity" argument. Sure, a day off costs the economy. But so does spurious sick leave when folks take a mental health day as a break from the winter blahs. We don't think the net loss would be anywhere near the $270-million figure Labour Minister Murray Coell gloomily predicts. And what if Glowing Hearts Day was dedicated to volunteering: one deed for the betterment of others. That's productivity.
You can view and sign on to Holmes' petition at www.gopetition.com/petitions/glowing-hearts-day-in-bc.

CBC interview link

City TV was here today... honestly, things are beginning to slow down a little, but I'd still like to get as many signatures on that petition as possible, as quickly as possible, and package that petition up for the Premier.  It would be great to hit him while the glow is still around from the Olympics.  Perhaps as soon as the Paralympics is over. 


If you want to hear the CBC interview you can find it on this page... http://www.cbc.ca/onthecoast/  Look for interviews under March 9th and you'll see it.  Not too much else going on here today!   

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Big Interview about Glowing Hearts Day

Today's big interview is with CBC Radio One just before the 6:00 evening news, around 5:50 pm Pacific time.   If you want a laugh, and to listen live, you can access it on line...http://www.cbc.ca/radio/



Controversy Growing over Glowing



1700 Signatures on THE PETITION yesterday.  Crazy.  I have surely hit on a hot topic, or a sore point.  Here's an updated story from The Province newspaper.  
http://www.theprovince.com/sports/2010wintergames/government+cool+idea+February+stat+holiday/2658564/story.html 
Oh, and here's another humuorous one from the same paper, but this one has one of your typical cranky B.C. skeptic points of view: 
http://www.theprovince.com/sports/2010wintergames/Back+chat/2660304/story.html  
S/he thinks it would be better to have a holiday on February 29th.  Every four years.  Let's have some celebration, but not TOO MUCH, eh?  We're Vancouverites after all, and apparently we should get back to our reputation as a "NO FUN" city, as soon as possible.  
People continue to blog, tweet and sign the petition!  It's the 7th most popular Canadian petition at GoPetition.com EVER, and is about to beat a similar petition launched by Quebecers to have Family Day in their Province.  That petition took over TWO YEARS to reach 4498.  We're at 4389 in 4.5 DAYS!  


Monday, March 8, 2010

Beauty

This has ALSO been helping with the Post Olympic Depression Syndrome:  Pink blooms below crystal clear blue skies, warm sunshine over cool breezes!  Heavenly.  DO CLICK HERE to see more pink beauty.... 



Media Attention Galore

So, I must have hit on a pretty good idea, with some pretty good timing!  


About 3000 people have signed my little impromptu petition now, and I have had interviews with two TV stations, a newspaper, three radio stations, and a Facebook Group was started to support it.  


I hope you have signed the petition.... there's a link on  the top right of my blog page.  


Don't forget to pass it on... 3,000 people are counting on me now!   ;-)  

Friday, March 5, 2010

CTV Interview

Hopefully, my petition is going to "get legs" and "go viral"!!

Right after that News 1130 interview, there was another message from a CTV reporter.  She wanted to SEND A CAMERAMAN over!  Heck, I would have washed my hair today, instead of gardening and cleaning the windows, EH?  :-)    But of course, I readily agreed, and he came over.




It should be a rather short spot on our 11:30 news tonight.  Not a seriously big deal, but I must say, the most FREE fun I've had ALL WEEK! 

Interview with NewsRadio 1130

Just did a quick telephone interview with NewsRadio 1130 about our "movement". We received 440 signatures in about 24 hours. Fun!

what do we mean by "Glowing Hearts?? See this....

I'm petitioning for a new Statutory Holiday in BC

When we were walking home from the BIG HOCKEY GAME last weekend Mike and I came up with this idea for a National Holiday called Hockey Day!  The idea has evolved into a Provincial Holiday called Glowing Hearts Day to honour and remember our great success, pride and patriotism during our Olympic Games.  


So I started an online petition (you can see it by clicking HERE) and sent it out at the end of the workday yesterday.  It's still before work hours this morning and already we have 128 signatures.  I've sent it to Vancouver bloggers, media, MLA's and so on, and I'm hoping it "goes viral".    It's a fun experiment unto itself!  


Many people in BC have lobbied long and hard for a holiday in February, so we actually want this holiday to be approved, and are recommending we harmonize it with other provinces Family Day. 


The nicest part of this exercise is seeing people's wonderful comments when they sign the petition: 


I am from the United States and have been a Landed Immigrant since 1990. Although I do love BC, I have always missed my home mainly due to the overwhelming patriotism that was always shown everywhere down South. Down home, everyone was proud to be an American. During the Olympics I was happy to tell everyone who would listen that I was proud to live in Vancouver. The Olympics was the first time since I have been here that I saw the same type of patriotism that I had been missing. Great idea


This is a fantastic idea and a tribute not only to the athletes and their families who sacrificed so much to get to the Olympics and Paralympics (and congrats to those who achieved their goals) but to all British Columbians who rallied behind the Olympics so wholeheartedly and were unabashedly Canadian and so proud of it!


We have to keep this feeling going for what this province and the games have embraced


BC rocks! It's about time we had a day thats totally for us :)


We have been pushing for a holiday at this time of year, what better way to celebrate the wonder and excitement that we all have just experienced than an holiday devoted to our Games? This is a commendable idea and I hope it will touch the hearts of all BCers! Go Canada Go!


Living in the lower mainland, I experienced the thrill of the Olympics firsthand. What an absolutely amazing experience! To see and feel the Olympic spirit is an experience I will always treasure! My kids (ages 20 & 22) were completely blown away with everything as well. The Canadian athletes were amazing and I believe had such a sense of pride competing in their homeland.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Day 17 Final Day - "GLOWING HEARTS DAY"

Our friends Brent and Missy invited us over to the Jericho tennis club to watch the big hockey game with them, and we thought it might be fun to watch it with a crowd, so took them up on the offer.  Indeed it was a good time, and the caesars helped provide a little hair of the dog from the night before.  What a heart-stopper when the USA scored with just 24 seconds left to tie the game at the end of the 3rd period, eh?  

Thank goodness for Sidney Crosby!  (did you hear, his gloves and hockey stick have gone mysteriously astray....) He's our hero!  

We took a ride back to the Kits side of the Burrard bridge and walked home from there, because a cab or bus would have been a little pointless with all those crowds in the street!  We didn't brave Robson Street which I know was crowded beyond capactity until the wee hours of the morning, but we did amuse ourselves with the fans on Davie and down Denman.  Lots of hooting, high-fives, flag waving and horn-tooting all around.  Hard to imagine this going on coast to coast to coast, isn't it?  But 16.6 million people across Canada watched the game and another 10 milion watched part of the game at least.  That's about 80% of us and makes that game the most watched TV event in history.  Kate is maybe even a fan now.... 

I think significant though, and testament to the Olympic Games spirit that we were all part of, is that the Closing Ceremonies were the second most watched TV event ever.  Amazing.

Seeing as how there is no February holiday in BC Mike and I are going to start a petition to start a holiday for February 28th every year.  Maybe we could call it Hockey Day, but maybe "Glowing Hearts Day" will work... what do you think?  

This photo sums up the hockey game results!


And these will give you an idea of the mood on the street after!  

More photos are HERE


DAY 16 SATURDAY

Originally we had tickets to the Ladies Parallel Giant Slalom Snowboard but they were standing room and cancelled when Vanoc had trouble with that facility.  Lucky for us too, because it was a crummy day all foggy and rainy up at Cypress that day, and we'd subsequently bought tickets for Molson Canadian Hockey House for the evening.  A Canadian didn't win a medal at the PGS anyway, but while we were at MCHH, we saw Canadians win gold in Speed Skating,  Mens Parallel Giant Slalom, and Men's Curling.

It was a pretty exciting few hours at MCHH and then we watched the Men's Bronze Medal Game between Finland and Slovakia.   There's a buffet meal which changes every few hours, but you have to buy your own drinks.  We showed up early to get a seat.

A main benefit of going this day was to help celebrate the last Saturday night of our big Games, and also Colin James was entertaining.  How great to see him twice in one week, and how fantastic in such a tiny venue.  I hopped right up to the stage for a great view, as you'll see in our photos.

All in all we spend a long day there, and several beers, but it was a great time!




More fun photos of Saturday HERE 


Day 15 Friday

This day slowed my blogging because there really wasn't much to say about it.  The lineup to get into the Speed Skating Oval was long because of security delays, and we missed the Canadian heat.  :-(  Not too happy about that.  We took advantage of the Richmond location to find some Chinese food for lunch and headed home to see the Canada eliminate Slovakia and clinch their gold medal match for Sunday. 




To see more SpEed Skating click HERE 



Monday, March 1, 2010

Guest Blog from Mike

I am certainly behind in blogging, but it's been quite a PARTY around here!  We are madly uploading our photos of hockey heroes, crazy partying canucks, curlers, rockers and more, but in the meantime, I'll give you Michael's favourite Olympic experiences, in photos.  I don't think he'll mind.... 




* * * 
Easily my favourite Olympic memory will be the global reach of the Games, as we welcomed the world and the many people who came to Vancouver to see the best Olympics ever. During the week, we met people from everywhere, heard at least a dozen languages, cheered wildly for the underdogs when they weren't going against Canadians (HOP, SUISSE !!!!) and even got on New Zealand television (we think). I will always remember the great cheer of the crowd at snowboarding for the competitor from Andorra who ended up with a bloody chin and a last place finish for his efforts - but we loved that guy!
No doubt we have all been impressed by the massive outpouring of Canadian National pride by fans wearing the Maple Leaf, but here are a few pictures of those fans who travelled from far and wide to cheer on their athletes at venues around the city.
The French (Army?) at Mens Snowboard Cross:
  A group of Dutch (who successfully infiltrated Richmond and built THE House to visit) doing a wave:


A Swiss fan taken off the Jumbotron. By the third period this guys paintjob was
a flaking and dripping mess, but he didn't care:

Latvian fans in full battle dress:

Americans at Cypress Mountain keeping warm:


The Japanese at the Skating Oval yelling Japanese things to their speed skaters:

 
And finally, fans of the Vega 9 Team - not entered into any sporting events that
we could tell but they sent a delegation to Vancouver anyways:



  

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Day 14 Thursday - Busy!!

9:00 am saw us at the new Vancouver Olympic Centre to see ladies semi-final Curling, and Canadian winning against Swiss.... they will now face Sweden for the gold medal match.    We ran into friends so I spent most of the rest of the day with them while M went to Molson Canadian Hockey House to watch the Ladies Gold Medal Hockey... G O   C A N A D A ! ! !   

We got easily and luckily into Sochi house and then watched the game from their big screen condo common room with comfy couches, but head back out to see the Victory Ceremony tonight.  I thought we would see Clara Hughes, but we weren't that lucky.   Seeing us in 1st and 2nd in Bobsleigh was fun though, and then Burton Cummings entertained the big crowd at BC Place Stadium.    We heard that Joannie Rochette would be skating at 8:37 so we took off a little early and rushed home, arriving right at 8:37 in time to watch that classy lady skate for Bronze!  Yay Joannie. you've won gold in our hearts. 

Tomorrow we are down to Richmond again to see Ladies Team Pursuit which should be fun to watch.  Probably meeting up with friends after, so who knows where that day will end.  Too tired to download our photos right now. It was a long day, but every day is very exciting with our medal counts growing!  

▌♥ ▌GO CANADA GO! ▌♥ ▌

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Hockey Cheer



▌♥ ▌GO CANADA GO ▌♥ ▌

Day 12 Tuesday

Another mostly rest day, with no events planned in the evening.  We had to catch the Canada vs. Germany hockey game, and the Saxony House is right over in Stanley Park at the Rowing Club, so you KNOW we couldn't resist going there to see it.  The rain has come back, so there was no lineup at all.  There's no where to sit down and there are just enough TV's but we managed to make the most of it by drinking a few beers, making a few new friends and decided if we can't sit, you may as well DANCE!  


What a blast.  


The very best thing about these games is the happy attitude of our city.  Most of the people we meet are locals, but we are all out and about, being friendly, talking to strangers, sharing stories, feeling supportive of our nation, our team, our people.  It's the best, and I hope we can keep some of it after the Olympic Games are over. 




Party Pictures HERE 

Day 11 Monday

Monday was largely a rest day because of the festivities on the weekend, but we did have an early evening Hockey Game (women's semi-final Canada vs. Finland)  Canada won easily 5-0 but the Finnish goalie was fantastic and it was a good game.


The crowds had largely dissipated so we were able to walk right in to the Yaletown LiveCity celebration site and watch a little bit of the figure skating and then catch a show by Colin James and see the closing evening show with a video montage of Olympic moments, great music, fabulous fireworks and a cool water spray thingy with images projected on it, and fireworks erupting all around... I guess you "GOTTA BE HERE"  
See Monday's photos HERE.

Monday, February 22, 2010

Road Trip!

Saturday begins with a great hockey game between Switzerland and Norway.  The highlight for me was a hat trick by Norwegian #29 Vikingstad.  Everytime he scored his family was shown up on the big screen in the stadium with a sign reading "GoDAD".... after the second goal I was cheering him on, "Go DAaaaAAD".  They lost by only one goal, but we had a great time with B+M.  
When they told us they were going up to Whislter later that day, and we realized we might have a place to sleep at L+J's we quickly jumped on that bandwagon and invited ourselves along for a road trip.  If M is going to party in Whislter, I definitely wanted in on that!  It was no mistake.  We arrived sometime around 6pm and right before the medal ceremony for Jon Montomery's Whislter Gold Medal for Skeleton.  The town was abuzz and there was no room at the Celebration Site for us.  No problem, we scored a front row seat on a heated patio overlooking town plaza with the awards ceremony on the big screen.  Great Vibe.  J+L, several friends of B+M, and some friends of theirs joined us until we were a roving pack of disorderlies but we had a fun time. 

The weather in Whistler could not have been nicer so Sunday was a mashup of more food and beer, sunshine and celebrations.  Sam Roberts band entertained in the town plaza mid-afternoon and Whislter was a crazy-happy place to be.  Great entertainment, and a Canada-USA hockey game after?  Do Sundays get ANY better than this??  I think not!  Mike had a brilliant idea to go to the Jamaica House to watch the game because they have taken over an intimate bar which proved very relaxing.  Made some new friends there and had a great view of that EXCITING game.  I'd definitely be more of a hockey fan if hockey was more like that game more often.  Too bad that Amercian Goalie is like a WALL.  Who can get by him??   
Although L extended the invitation to stay on in Whislter, I really had to get home and dry out!   Plus, we have a hockey game tonight.  

There is still a LOT to do in Vancouver and sadly, the big party is half over.  The lineups have been a little discouraging but we will press on... I learned a new phrase this morning for a common emotion in our town... "FOMO"  Fear of Missing Out!    Plus we are beginning to worry about what Vancouverites will do when this big party is over!  I'll have to find an acronym for that one... 

Time for another coffee.  

Such photos as are suitable for sharing may be viewed HERE   

Day 8, Friday

What a weekend!   Perhaps numbering our days was a bad idea... I clearly cannot keep up!  Not when I hang out with Miss M anyway!  The Weekend started with a 4:30 Hockey Game, Hockey Game Friday evening - Czekslovakia vs Latvia.   I LOVE the fantastic vibe at these games.  Canadians all get on board with the underdogs and a great game ensues, no matter what the score. 


We checked out the Ontario Pavilion down at False Creek and were pleased to find only a short line up.  Our hometown Pavilion is a good one.... quality beers for only $6 and open airy, super clean space with lots of nice big TVs and a good feel to it.  Ran into a couple of RJ guys, had a couple of beers, but couldn't manage the standing until the entertainment started later that night, so we waked along False Creek and made a stop at the Asian Night Market outside the Edgewater Casino.  Good cheap eats!  I had been remarking that we could use a bit more accessible street food with all these people in town, and here it is, right on cue.  And no big lineups.  


Proceeded onto Yaletown and could not believe the crowds.  Crazy number of happy people all over downtown on Friday night.  The longest lineup was at the liquor store, so we could see it was probably time to head home.   The Yaletown LiveCity site had been filled to capacity for hours, so there was no chance to check that out.   Besides, we had a noon hockey game Saturday to rest up for! 




See more day 8 photos HERE.  

Friday, February 19, 2010

forecast

Day Seven

It must be great to visit Vancouver and hit a weather spell like this one.  Vancouverites are definitely happier and more friendly with the sunshine, and this is getting ridiculous... I got a hug from an American lady from Kansas City after a city bus ride last night..  ;-)    Tralaalaalaalaaa

Yesterday was our rest day, and indeed I was lazy!  It was nice enough to sit on my little deck and get some Vitamin D for a spell, until the sun passed behind a building.  There is so much going on, it didn't look right to have an empty spot in our calendar, so Michael went and got us two tickets to "Hal Willner's Neil Young Project" which is a big show with many guitars and vocalists singing Neil Young songs.  There were a few slow and even wobbly spots but some great moments.   Included in the large group of artists were Lou Reed, Ron Sexmith and Elvis Costello.  Elvis made the show....I had almost forgotten how much of a fan I am.  He's still got it.  Good vocals, great guitar.

Today we enter into a new hockey stretch.  This evening: Czechoslovakia vs. Latvia.  Tomorrow we see a noon game between Norway and Switzerland which could be good.  We have a couple of fun friends joining us so we're looking forward to the day.

No photos from yesterday!  All my concert photos are too blurry!   So here's one from CityCaucus.  A sight you don't often see:  Stephen Colbert rides a moose in downtown Vancouver!

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Day Six - Mens 1000M Speed Skating

The weather is now a beautiful Vancouver Winter... BRIGHT Sunshine, cold nights, warm afternoons and glittery scenery.  Just what we've been hoping for.  I'll have to go out and get some cherry blossom photos.  


We took the train down to Richmond to the new oval and took in the 1000M Mens Speed Skating.  The Dutch really love this sport and have some great skaters.  They must feel really at home in flat Richmond, and brought 400 bikes with them you can rent (for free) and ride between the OZone and the Oval.  They showed up in DROVES to cheer on their men, most of them wearing their trademark orange colour and crazy hats or orange crazy wigs.  That didn't work - they came in 4,5, and 6th.  There were two Americans and a Korean in the medals.  Shani Davis of the USA continues to dominate and win gold, and the Silver was won by Tae-Bum Mo who has won gold in the 5000M as well.  


We walked down to the OZone (our feet are getting plenty of work these days) and took in the chilly outdoor attractions for a while, watching some events and the gold medal presentation to our Maelle Richer (Ladies Snowboard Cross Gold Medalist).  







Luckily, I had reserved dinner at the Holland Heineken House, and that allowed us to by pass a line up that appeared to be a couple of hours long.  It was mighty cold out and I don't think I could have done it, which accounts in part why most of the revelers there look to be in their 20s.  It's located in a hockey arena and can hold some 4,000 people.  Heineken does a pretty excellent job of making a fun zone and a party hall out of this venue.   By far the best pavilion we've seen so far.  We zoomed past everyone and had a few beers in the main hall before our dinner overlooking the beer hall.  The dining atmosphere wasn't that fine (it's in a hockey arena after all) but the food was really pretty good.  They had some crazy euro-pop bands who were pretty good, and we had money left on our card so we had to have a few MORE beers and listen to some music before we head back on the subway.  I knew the party was over for us when a girl forcefully knocked an entire beer out of my hand onto the floor.  Ah well, they're pretty small beers!  

More photos at:    CLICK to see Day 6 photos 

Day 5 Hockey Day

"Day 5" was Tuesday and today is Thursday already.  I'm not keeping up with the big bloggers out there, but I am keeping busy.  Thought I would add something about Tuesday just to keep a place there.  We saw two hockey games that day, which accounts for me being away from my computer so much.  First at UBC we say the USA Ladies team completely trounce the Russian Ladies, final score 12-1.  Wow.   The Russians just couldn't compete, but you would be amazed to hear the support they got from the fans.  By the third period when they final scored a goal, the crowd went wild every time they got the puck.  It didn't quite work obviously! Shots on goal:  37-7 


Between games we went down to Concord Place on False Creek where we took in the Saskatchewan Pavilion mostly because it wasn't too busy, it was spacious and had good entertainment.  We had a couple of Bison Burgers and a couple of beers.   Their nightly house band was in fine form, but we had to catch a game at GM Place.  


The men's game was Russia vs. Latvia.  It was late in the day and it seemed like many folks have been celebrating all day... :-)  Final score Russia 8 Latvia 2.  






Day 5 Photos are at :  


Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Flash Mob

I hope I come across a Flash Mob sometime this week.


What's a flash mob you ask?  Click here to find out:    F L A S H M O B !!!

Day Four - SILVER MEDAL in Snowboard Cross

We spent the day up at Cypress Mountain today.  Lucky for us, some 4,000 other fans who had standing room tickets were cancelled because of snow conditions, so transportation was a breeze.  We had to drive up to Capilano College in North Van and catch a bus up the mountain.  Then the 2km walk to the venue, and finally about 130 steps up to our seats!  Good thing we stopped for some refreshments first.  


The qualifying went on all morning but the show is really entertaining, you learn about the race and the competitors backgrounds, and we were entertained by Kid Koala in the break. 


Then there's the crazy races!  We were sure our Mike Robertson was going to win gold because he was far ahead of the pack on every one of  his races.  He was edged out by inches at the last second by the american gold medal defender, and Silver was still a great result.  Very fun to watch. 





Today (Tuesday) we'll see two Ice Hockey games:   Women's Russia vs. USA at UBC Thunderbird arena, then Men's Russia vs. Latvia downtown in the evening.   

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Day Three Activities

Today is Sunday, end of the first weekend.... the big problem with this big event we've been so looking forward to, is how QUICKLY it's all going to ZOOM by us! 
It was a GORGEOUS day in Vancouver today.  We took it easy for the morning, reading our special edition Globe and Mail and then took a walk in Coal Harbour over to see the new Olympic Flame burning in Coal Harbour.  As far as you can get up to that big chain link fence that surrounds it anyway.  Security has gone a bit far in this city lately.  We considered going to the Saxony House at the Rowing Club but one look at the lineup convinced us otherwise.  
We were on our way to Yaletown when we could FEEL the excitement building on the moguls hills... we popped into a local Waves coffee house on Pacific to watch the awesome Freestyle ski run by Alex Bilodeau and his GOLD medal win.  Go Canada!!! 


We were a bit disappointed that they have only Coke and No Molsons, at Yaletown so no beer tent. There is a beer tent at the Downtown site, but Yaletown is "family friendly" ... funny, not more than a handful of kids were there, most memorably a newborn whom her parents had protected wisely with some huge headphones. :-)  We did run into our friend Suzanne though.  We saw a couple of bands, lined up for a Samsung Pavilion and opened a little happiness at the Coke Pavilion before we were cold enough to call it a day.  Yes, it was actually chilly out there tonight.  The weather is turning sunny which means cold nights and beautiful days.  I think the rain is GONE! 



Just came in to hear the evening news that General Admission tickets to Snowboard Cross is cancelled tomorrow because the terrain was washed out from all the rain.  We do have some general admission tickets later in the games, and we are going to Snowboard Cross, but have double checked, and yes, we have seats for tomorrow.  Should be a LOT less crowded on Cypress tomorrow.  A little bonus for us.  



That's exciting because there really are alot of crowds here.  Here's a screen shot from a Webcam viewing Robson Street in the middle of the afternoon today:    A few more folks than usual! 






If you would like to see more of our photos from today, CLICK HERE  

Day Two Photos

I am going to move my photos onto Phanfare so Mike and I can combine our photos and you can also see any he takes.  We'll sort them into days so you can keep your visits short if you like, but you can always  go and have a look at his main directory and explore from there.   


Don't miss the DDP,  Decentralized Dance Party dudes. 

DAY Two SATURDAY

The day started in a noisy way with the non-stop racket of helicopters flying overhead non stop for a long time.  Of course we KNEW something was up, and were able to ascertain some hooligans were out on Robson and Georgia.  Better that we were not out in the neighbourhood.  We stayed in and watched skating and women's moguls and saved up our energy for the evening. 

Although there was some rain, it didn't dampen the spirits of fans and tourists and locals alike.   We head downtown to the LiveCity Downtown site first and checked out the Canada Pavilion and the Manitoba pavilion for a preview of the new Human Rights Museum there, among other things.  Not too much going on there, so we head over to Robson Square which was happening! 

First thing we caught some of Andrew Allen's show.   Then we came across an incredible moving party called a "Decentralized Dance Party".  These guys were commissioned by a street festival to bring their movable party around town last night.  They have a DJ with an iPod and an FM transmitter in his backpack, and they broadcast to at least 60 boom-boxes they bring along, and the party and the music can travel along.   They were positioned on the steps by the Robson Square skating rink with the Art Gallery in the background, and we could all have a good look.  You have to check out these videos!  So fun.  Really, so spontaneous and mad-in-Canada.  These kids were all dressed in Red and White and would often shout out GO-CANADA-GO... I heard a few choruses of Oh Canada breaking out around us last night.  


How do these kids know the words to these oldies??  
Who said Vancouver was a No-Fun City?





Afterward, we were able to take in a performance by Jeremy Fisher, local Surrey musician, 
which was terrific, before calling it a night.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Our hearts are GLOWING

this is from my nephew Mitchell in Toronto...  and he's right, our hearts are glowing!  



We took down our Christmas lights, but left our red lights in our small maple in our front yard... it is meant to resemble an Olympic Flame, white lights on the trunk, and opening up and widening at the top, all bright red and  yellow like a torch.  We have had them off for the month as well, and are waiting for tomorrow to start it up! 


We are off to party downtown at the first night of LiveCity celebrations when the torch arrives in Yaletown.  I hope they can squeeze us in!

Ready, Set . . .

Last Night I was really priviledged to see the final Dress Rehearsal for the Olympic Opening Ceremeonies!  Yay!   Coming from the West End, we decided to take a Georgia Street bus rather than the skytrain.  Bad decision.  You are made to walk all the way around the Stadium Skytrain Station, through China town and around to the far side of BC Place.  Yes, of course it was raining!    Anyway, the moral of that long story is that you must GO WITH THE FLOW, keep smiling and if all they offer at the end of the road is Molson Beer, drink it up anyway!  


We had a blast at our two seats in the upper level, but dead centre for an excellent vantage point to see everything in the stadium.  What fun, great talent, great show.    I really can't wait to see it on Friday on TV.  I can't tell you anything else, or VanOC will hunt me down and kill me!  No, really, I promised John Furlong I wouldn't say a word. 
 :-)  

The Live celebration site in Yaletown will host a big Olympic Torch celebration tonight beginning at 4:30.  The torch should arrive at 8 pm.  Organizers are expecting a BIG crowd, but David Lam Park apparently only holds 6,000 people.  


For Opening Day tomorrow, LiveCity Yaletown will be showing video recordings of all the past Opening Ceremonies from Winter Olympics since Calgary 1988.   There is a Vancouver pre-show from 4 until 6, and the BIG SHOW will start at 6 p.m. local time.   It should be a great place to watch the Opening Ceremonies, as there is a big light show every night to finish off the celebration.   


For a full schedule of daily free events at the two LiveCity sites, click here:  http://livecityvancouver.ca/schedule/default.aspx?d=2010-02-12


OMG, I can't believe it's really starting!   But I do BELIEVE!