|by Jon on Saturday, February 20, 2010||file under: Off Topic|
Last weekend Kortney and I went up to Vancouver to see a few events at the 2010 Winter Olympics. We drove up Friday afternoon, slipped across the border with only a few cars in front of us and headed downtown for the evening. We checked into the Corkscrew Inn, a cute bed and breakfast in Kitsalano, about 20 minutes by bus to anything we were interested in seeing. After a small complication with our tickets, we roamed around the pedestrian areas that had been blocked off, and watched the opening ceremony while we dined at the Glass City Café. Later on we happened across Wayne Gretzky carrying the Olympic torch in the back of a pickup as he was transported to the cauldron.
Vancouver is dressed in Olympic garnish from head to toe. The signs and banners are all consistent, vibrant, and very well designed. All of the volunteers are uniformed in the same coats, hats, and occasionally snow pants. It was really impressive to see such a large city with such homogenous decoration.
Saturday morning we headed to the University of British Columbia to watch Sweden and Switzerland compete in women's hockey. Kortney and I rooted for the Swiss, but it was for nothing; Sweden shut them out 3-0. We headed back downtown and strolled through Chinatown, Gastown, and finally to Granville Island where we watched women's freestyle moguls while eating at Cat's Socialhouse. The Canadians were thrilled when they took the lead, and disappointed, but good spirited when we took the gold from them.
Finally, on Sunday we went up to Cypress Mountain to watch men's freestyle moguls. This was the highlight of the trip. We spent 4 hours, outdoors in the low 30ºs, but enjoyed the entire time (except the hour+ waiting in the concession line). The crowd erupted when the final skier, from France, got his score placing him in 6th, and it was confirmed that Canada had earned its first gold on its home soil.
Afterwards, we got in the car and headed home. We took a rural back road to a smaller border crossing without any lines. We made it home around 10:30, exhausted but still with the glow of Olympic fever.