Friday, February 19, 2010


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. 


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.