A Day Off

And I found myself right smack-dab in the middle of Vancouver.

As I’m working nearly every day until the end of the month, we figured today was the day to take the kids downtown to experience the Olympic ambiance. Tickets to sporting events were not in our plan (nor in our budget), but after spending the last few nights driving around the downtown core I knew there was still a lot for us to experience.  We left early to beat the crowds but apparently that wasn’t a novel idea as we rubbed elbows with thousands. 

We started with the Olympic Flame.  The last time I was at the new Convention Center I marvelled at the beautiful structure but today I was a bit put off by the security fencing.  Knowing there was a high chain-link fence enclosing the flame to protect it against vandals (the fencing story had been top news) I was expecting to only get within 30-50 feet of it.  Imagine my surprise when we discovered the fencing was erected almost a full city block from the base of the flame! 

Oh well – improvise, adapt, overcome.  I managed to get the lense of my new camera between the chain-links, and snapped the following photo:

Olympic Flame



Our travels took us down Robson Street where the zinging of steel cables alerted us to the Zip-Line riders overhead.  Zooming from one side of Robson Square to the other, high in the air and above the crowds, the riders screamed, squealed and yahoo’d themselves into the hearts of many.  It looked like a blast, but the 1.5 hr wait was enough of a deterrent so we carried on.

We stopped at the Irish House (of course).  All weekend long this place has absolutely rocked so I really wanted to see what all the fuss was about.  Because we were early in the day the kids were allowed in, and they were exposed to their first bit of Celtic music.  Very cool.  We could have stayed there all day/night. 

After extracting ourselves from the pull of the Irish we wound our way through Yaletown, a part of Vancouver I love.  Even though it is very trendy, the old buildings are exquisite with breath taking architecture at every turn.  The streets were packed with people, all of whom were in great spirit and displaying the colours of their countries.





And really, it isn’t a visit to downtown Vancouver unless there is hockey involved, the proof of which were barricades set up on one street to allow for a street hockey game. 

Grown men with road hockey sticks, orange pucks/balls, and a lot of gusto were a crowd pleaser. It was awesome!  We stayed and watched until the game was over, and even though I’m still unsure as to who won, it did not matter.  The sportsmanship, camaraderie and great atmosphere were everything Vancouver.  The best part of the game?  When players or a member of the crowd yelled, “CAR!” and they scooted the net off to the side to allow the vehicle passage.  It was quite nostalgic.


Street Hockey in Yaletown



All in all it was a great day.  The only thing remotely police-related about this blog-post is that even though I saw dozens of police officers and stopped and talked to several, I saw no protesters. 

Can you say hallelujah!

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