Have you been wondering where we’ve been hiding since the end of January? We do apologize… we’ve been JUST a tad busy!
What with the Vancouver 2010 Winter Olympics and the pending launch of our new product on May 1st, we admit we have fallen quite behind!
Let’s start with the Olympics. I have to be honest with you – I wasn’t that jazzed about the Olympics coming to town. I’m a bit of a control freak (shhhh!) and the thought that our city was going to be “invaded” (for lack of a better word) by essentially the world, well… disturbed me. I was checking my calendar and planning any trips into the city BEFORE and AFTER the games. It was the unknown. How crazy would it be? I didn’t want to know. And I don’t think anyone really DID know.
And then of course there is the money that we have spent for the last SEVEN YEARS getting ready for this world-class event. There has never been an Olympic Games, from what I understand, that broke even, let alone made a profit… so obviously as a taxpayer, I was concerned about that as well.
BUT (and this is a big “but”) then there were those Opening Ceremonies. I actually missed the better part of them as I was out to dinner with my girls, my mom and my sister’s family for my niece’s 7th birthday (DH was working afternoon shift). Afterwards, EVERYONE was talking about how fantastic they were. Twitter and Facebook were all a-buzz. No matter where you were, you heard about them. AND.I.MISSED.THEM.AND.I.WAS.STRESSING.ABOUT.IT. Ya, I know, I’m a geek. For the record, I bought both the opening and closing ceremonies on iTunes a few days back so now I have them for all prosperity. So there! But I digress… They were touting our Opening Ceremonies as one of the best in the history of the Olympic Games and Canadian pride swelled in everyone’s hearts – I didn’t have a chance – I was HOOKED! You see, I am a pretty proud Canadian anyways. I have a big Canadian flag on my house 24/7/365. When I travel, I wear a Canadian pin on my person. And now I have not one, but TWO Canadian flags on my car. And although I would like to experience living in another country at some point in my life, I would always, ALWAYS come back to Canada… Vancouver, Canada – my home!
So we decided, after swearing up and down that we were going nowhere near downtown Vancouver between February 12th and 28th, that we would check it out. Mike and the girls and I ventured downtown on Sunday, February 21st with my sister and her family. We caught the Skytrain as we had NO IDEA what the parking would be like (turns out that because so many people were scared of the parking situation and thus took transit, there WAS actually parking throughout (most of) the Olympics! Who Knew?). We headed to see the cauldron first. There were wall-to-wall people so we didn’t wait in line for the viewing platform. And despite the gorgeous sunshine, it was COLD and WINDY down at the waterfront, and in general, that day… BRRRRR!
Then up Burrard to Robson Street. We window-shopped and people-watched. We saw the zip line and its 6+ hour line-up. We cruised past the flower-bedecked Vancouver Art Gallery (aka The BC Pavillion). We met up with my good friend Vici and her dog Max… We saw street performers and tons of people, people, people! And it was SO COOL to see the “sea of red” – almost everyone was wearing red for Canada! After a quick lunch we walked some more, checking out the amazing transformation of the beautiful city that we call home. The Residences on Georgia (corner of Georgia and Howe Streets) were wrapped in a HUGE Canadian flag. I wonder how many millions of people took this pic?
We then went to the Olympic Store at The Bay. I had to eat my words because I had already told my sister that I was NOT going downtown to go “shopping”. But we were both SO JONESING for the zip-up hoodies with “CANADA” emblazoned across the front that we totally went tourist. First we went inside only to find out that the only way into the Olympic Store was via an outside entrance. And yes, there was a line-up. Keep in mind that you don’t get anywhere “quickly” on a weekend during the Vancouver 2010 Olympic Winter Games, let alone with eight people including three kids under 8 and a 14-month old. So off we went to go back outside. The line-up looked L-O-N-G (over a block and 4-5 people deep) but was only about a 20 minute wait. Did we get our hoodies? NOPE. We found out later that they were sold out pretty much everywhere. I even asked my cousin who lives in Regina, Saskatchewan to check there and in Saskatoon where she just happened to be the following weekend – NADA! BUT they’re on Craig’s List for $300+ if you REALLY want one. I REALLY want one, but not “$300 want”. We did get a couple more things for the girls though and they were pretty stoked about that!
It was a good day – and I hope the girls will both remember “the day they went to the Olympics”. Here we are on the Skytrain home. As you can see, the girls are pretty tired and so is Mom and Dad.
But Mama wanted to check out the Olympics “adult-style” so off my friend Vici and I went the following Thursday, February 25th! It was the evening of the day that the Canadian Women’s Hockey Team had won the Gold Medal (for the third straight time by the way… ahem). We didn’t have a clue how “nuts” it was going to be downtown, so we started out in Yaletown and after kyboshing waiting in line to go into LiveCity Yaletown, we decided to check out some of the False Creek pavillions. There were line-ups everywhere, but most of them moved fairly quickly. Many of the pavillions had free admission and I had “heard” which ones were especially good and which ones were sleepers – but I soon found out it just depended on the night and who (athletes, celebs, media) were inside. The Saskatchewan Pavillion was our first stop … meh. Had a drink and got our pics taken with two RCMP officers decked out in their red serge. Off to Ontario House. Again, not quite the “party” we were looking for (yes, we was lookin’ for a PAR-TAY). Had a drink and off we went. We went by Molson Canadian Hockey House and tried to get in there. Ahem… private event – $900 to get in (no joke). Well, I guess that’s where the women’s hockey team was hangin’! They obviously had no idea who we were. I mean, look at my boots! How could they NOT let me in in those boots!
We then headed back to Yaletown and went to the Yaletown Brewing Company. They had a rockin’ live band and the place was packed! SCORE! We miraculously found a couple of seats and started chatting with our neighbours. EVERYONE was in a great mood! We met some lovely people from all over the world including Kimmy and Hannu from Finland (I had never met a Finn before – too cool!). That’s Kimmy with Vici and I below. I was having fun “discussing” (read bragging) about how Canada was going to “whoop their @SSES” in Men’s Hockey. Hannu and I texted each other over the next few days – teasing each other to the max – after Finland’s loss to the USA (I have to apologize to all my American friends as I was rooting for Finland. After that initial Canada-USA game, I’ll admit I was trying to avoid you!) and right up to THAT NAIL-BITER GOLD MEDAL GAME! My goodness, Mike and I were GLUED to the TV that day – I nearly had a heart attack! I think Mike’s poor thigh was bruised from me hitting it everytime we scored! Now please look the other way while I gloat… CANADA RULES HOCKEY! Not to mention the records that we broke: Canada won more gold medals than any host nation in Winter Olympic history AND it also marked the most gold medals Canada has won at any Olympics — winter or summer. Finally, Canadian WOMEN were first in GOLD overall! LOVE IT!
But I must say, meeting people from all over the world and listening to them “gush” about our city was right up there with all the medals and the broken records. Their words acted as a MIRROR, so as to remind us, when we are “too close” to all this fantasticness (is that a word?) and taking for granted where we live, that we really DO have the pleasure of living in one of the greatest cities in the world! Needless to say, I was feeling pretty proud to be Canadian that night too!
We danced, we drank, we got home at 3:30 am… groan! I was soooo dragging my butt the next day (but it was worth it!). Then two days later, I did it all again – this time with my hubby Mike. We walked Granville Street, checking out the cool art installations, we hooked-up with friends and we ate pizza-by-the-slice at the wee hours of the morn’ after leaving Doolin’s Irish Pub – part of Irish House. Guess what time we got home… yup 3:30 am. Thank goodness Grandma had the girls overnight and we could sleep-in a teensy bit past their normal wake-up time of 8 am. Twice in one week and I was thinking, “I’m too old for this”. Then I came to my senses and realized that I’m just out of practice. Yup, that’s my story and I’m stickin’ to it!
And here it is the middle of March already, a full 2 weeks after the closing ceremonies, and I am just getting to this blog post. So yes, we are still behind, however, the good news is, we’ve FINALLY hired an office assistant (official trés cool title TBA) so we hope to be back to posting a little more regularly going forward. Her name is Rebekah and we’re counting down the days until she starts (this Friday, March 19th – T minus 5 days and counting woot!), so please watch for our blog post introducing her – she is quite an interesting gal!
And we promise to really try not to go MIA ever again…
I almost forgot! If you want to hear more about the other reason that we are so far behind – our fantabulous new product, ETA May 1st – you will simply need to keep coming back here to check. But I WILL tell you this… you are going to love it!
So what did you do during the Olympics? Were you lucky enough to go to any actual events? Any victory ceremonies? The opening or closing ceremonies? Tell us about it below!