Antics in the city

During my time in Vancouver, many of nights were spent exploring the different exhibits, pavilions, and houses for many countries. I spent these experiences most often with my cousin Monique and her boyfriend Jeff. There were houses (really just bars) for each Canadian province and many countries that had athletes. These houses had beer, drinks, food, and entertainment from each of the provinces/countries! The one downfall with the houses was the wait to get in to some of them. Over the course of the Games we managed to make it to many, including the Alberta house, Quebec house and Irish house. Outside the pavilions the streets were crazy, I’m not quite sure if Robson street ever slept.  The streets were full with everything from dancing, screaming, bands to people dancing in fountains! One day at the beginning we cruised Robson Square, the centre of the festivities where there were activities for the family like outdoor skating, games and a zipline. The feeling was of good nature and fun all around. We also checked out a native exhibit that featured First Nations art and carvings. Very cool! Due to mine and Monique’s French heritage and Monique being a French teacher, we went to the Francophone pavilion for a bit one day to see what was happening there.  They had a marching band, which began on the ground and then was elevated on a crane high into the sky where they continued to play as an acrobat preformed above them.

In the city

First Nations carving

Robson Square

Flag wrap

Monique and Jeff

Fountain Dancing

I spent a Saturday with my Uncle Craig and cousin Noah. It was a nice day so we decided to head down to Granville Island. However, the lineup to get on a tram car that had been borrowed from Germany to transport people was so busy that we decided to take the ferry. Walking around there was quite busy, but a splendid way to spend a day in February. This place has a great micro-brewery called Granville Island Brewing; if ever in the Vancouver area, try a bottle or six!

My buddy Eric was in town for a few days, at the end of a trip across the west snowboarding, to catch some of the fever, as well as a Men’s preliminary hockey game. Some pints were consumed while he was there and late nights had. My other good buddy Duncan showed up for the final weekend to watch the Snowboard Giant Slalom. We dined on some spectacular west coast seafood and partied a couple of nights away.  Also, as well as previously mentioned in the last post, we went to the Closing Ceremonies! In his words, “if I knew the Olympics were this good, I would’ve come for more!”

One of the greatest antics in the city was the tram ride home after the closing ceremonies were I happened to pick the right train car where there was a 4 piece band rocking out as people were packed right in and we just partied on; banged the roofs to keep the beat and chanted for more!  Make sure to check out the vid!

The city was full of fun and excitement all the time and it was great to experience it with my friends and family.

Gold Medal Hockey Day!

Entering the final day of competition at the 21st Winter Olympics, Canada had 13 Gold medals, a tie for the most by not only the host nation, but by a country ever at a Winter Olympics. Canada would surpass this mark and set records this day, and do it in style!

This day was like many others when Team Canada played hockey, we settled into our spot at the local watering hole in Coquitlam, the John B Neighbourhood Pub. Joining me for this exciting and memorable day was my dad, my brother, my cousin Ken, my cousin Monique and her boyfriend Jeff, her dad Albert, and her grandpa (my grand uncle Johnny). A good crowd if I do say so myself! The pub was packed with everyone in their Canada gear.

Once the game started at just after noon, everyone was on pins and needles waiting to see if our boys in red and white could bring it home (I guess technically it was “keep it here”). Boy, those guys sure made us tense! As millions across Canada watched, we all had a united “ohhhhh…” as those pesky Americans scored to tie the game at 2 with 24 seconds remaining in the game to force overtime. The 20 minute wait between the 3rd and Overtime was very stressful. Overtime begins, here we go, all on the line now boys. Here’s the setup: Canada comes out guns a blazin’, about 7 minutes into Overtime Canada makes a rush into the Americans’ end, they get it deep and start to cycle the puck, Iginla gets the puck, feeds it to the golden boy Sidney Crosby who fires a shot immediately through Ryan Miller into the net. CANADA WINS, CANADA WINS, CANADA WINS!

Could there really be a better ending to this, almost scripted?

The pub erupted and went absolutely nuts! High fives all around, spontaneous singing of O’ Canada, beer being chugged in true Canadian fashion!

Now back when we got the tickets, I made a promise. The promise was: if Canada wins the Gold medal in Men’s Hockey, I will drink beer. Well, Canada won, so here’s the moment many of you have waited to see for years…

That’s all I drank. Was kind of disgusting. However, it was a free pint of Canadian courtesy of the pub because Canada won Gold. I’ll try beer again, just not Canadian draught.

We then awaited the Closing Ceremonies that evening to conclude the past 17 days.

Medals, Dallas Green, and disappointment

Canada wins a GOLD! We got our very first gold medal on home soil on Sunday by Alex Bilodeau in Men’s Moguls. The monkey is off our back now, time to get some more. We also recieved a Silver in Women’s Moguls and Men’s Snowboard Cross, and a Bronze in Women’s Speed Skating.

Last night’s concert Chris & I went to was great. We saw City and Colour, otherwise known as Dallas Green. The concert was part of the Cultural Olympiad. The opener was a band called The Rural Alberta Advantage. Both of us quite enjoyed them.

Unfortunately, due to weather, the event Mom & Chris were supposed to go to on Thursday, they’re seats have been cancelled. It was Women’s Snowboard Halfpipe. The standing room area is very beat up and not safe enough for spectators. It is quite a bummer, but we shall prevail and overcome.

My first event is tomorrow at the Pacific Coliseum at 5pm for Short Track Speed Skating. Should be fun!