Sunday, February 21, 2010

Vancouver for 2010 Olympics

Pictures are posted! (click here)

U-S-A! U-S-A!! Went to downtown Vancouver and Richmond this weekend to join the fringe of the Olympic crowds, weaving through the downtown crowds to chants of "Ca-na-da! Ca-na-da!" We didn't have any tickets to events, but plenty of scalpers near the venues with offerings. Plenty of things to do for free, but they always have the lines to go with it. It was a great way to spend an easy-going sunny weekend.

I joined the hoards of kiddies around the ice rink at Robson Square screaming for Quatchi (Sasquatch) and his friends Sumi and Miga. Couldn't believe that so many people would wait 8+ hours, some starting 2 am, to zip line above the square (it only lasts like 30 secs!). The line for Vancouver Art Museum went around the block, so I sadly passed up a chance of glimpsing featured Da Vinci's works. After watching some events live on the screen available, we headed to the Robson Street for light shopping and quickly adopted mascots Quatchi and MukMuk (egg-shaped marmot). Roots store was mobbed as BF asked, "Where can we buy US apparel?" to cheer our teams on. Of course there was none to be found. Plenty of crowds and street entertainers, saw singers, hip-hop dancers, rappers, capuera. We went to see the Olympic Cauldron by the waterfront (I got patted down by a friendly drunken couple as I was taking pictures), and sadly the viewing platform was closed already. There was a concert going on at LiveCity Downtown so we couldn't check the venue out. The line to get into the official Olympic shop was crazy during the day, but we got in quickly at the end of the night. Didn't get anything there, but they had a pretty good deal on the plushies; the biggest luxury item I saw was a commemorative hockey stick.

The following day we checked out Richmond's O Zone, it's a smaller area but a nice open-air place with a higher concentration of things to check out. The Bay mall was right across from the train station, so we got 100% fruit slushies (there was a cute girl cutting mangos earlier) inside before heading out. The O Zone was much more kid-friendly with the open astroturf for bajillion kids to run on. They had ice wine tasting, live ice-carving, magic card tricks, outdoor skating loop, and long line for the balloon animal guy. I pooped out after the 15-20 minute walk to Richmond Olympic Oval, but there were three japanese food trucks at the boxcar train replica of the olympic logo (stone henge-like human figure) for energy pick me up.

Had the awesomest drive back to Seattle, the exciting Canada versus USA hockey game was on the radio, I didn't need my HK coffee tea drink to keep me awake. We drove into downtown, but if you're in the spirit of mass transit, make sure to wear layers, comfy shoes and bring your patience.

Overheard quote that sums up the trip, straight from the Canadian's mouth. "Walkin a lot, eh?"


Ching said...

Updated blog with link to pictures at the beginning.

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