We arrived in Vancouver Wednesday night and I am so glad we got in a day earlier than planned (thank you karma and the lovely lady who gave us a bonus night in her timeshare for free). Yesterday and today the main bridge into downtown is closed from noon-6pm – ouch. We, on the other hand, had no traffic, and are you ready for it . . .no wait at the border – unbelievable!
The other advantage of course, is that we have an entire day to hang out in Vancouver before our first event in Whistler tomorrow. Vancouver has gone nuts for the Olympics and there are a lot of perks and freebies being offered. My husband hooked up a week pass at the Steve Nash fitness centers for only $25 – usually it’s $25 a day. While there they told him that lululemon and Y Yoga were giving out free passes to Y Yoga centers – and I’m pretty sure the passes are unlimited use Feb 12-28!
I’m sorry to say so far that the town is pretty dead – maybe it will pick up tomorrow? We headed to Granville Island to check out the “French Quarter” and “Suisse House.” Both were dead. The French Quarter consisted of a stage with some pretty good music playing, a crêpe and beignet “taco truck”, an inside sit down place with fare such as poutine and Canadian wines, and a community center type room with information about agrotourism. We didn’t even go into Swiss House, because it looked like it was closed for a private party that hadn’t started yet – we may try again. We had a nice Malbec at the Cat’s Social so the venture was still worthwhile.
And Karma worked in our favor yet again, as we were walking back from the ferry we took back from Granville, we stumbled upon a large crowd of people lining the street – turns out the Olympic Torch was about to make an appearance in oh 15-20 minutes. So, we found a spot and decided to hang out and wait. The torch was being carried by Michael Buble a Canadian singer/songwriter we had never heard of, but people around us were pretty excited. So we waited, we chatted with a couple from North England, and we waited. Then the torch came, the crowd surged (never in America people, tear gas would have been flying) and a guy in a white snow suit style outfit came walking, yes, you read that right, walking with, wait for it . . . . . . . . an extinguished torch that looked like a white light saber with a dead battery. I did not manage a picture due to (1) the crowd surge and (2) the complete shock (I felt like when I “missed” New Year’s in Paris because my watch was slow and I was expecting fire works).
We followed up our Olympic torch excitement with dinner at Sala Thai on Burrard. We leave at 4:45 am for our 3 hour bus ride to Whistler for the ski jumping event. Jim is bringing his camera so I hope to have good photos loaded for you tomorrow!