Our Olympic Adventure

We decided to head into Vancouver yesterday because we are so close just to check out the Olympic atmosphere.  We had some grand plans to check out the city, and then go to one of the venues to see if we could scalp some reasonable tickets.  I looked online when we decided to move to Seattle and tickets were crazy expensive, so we passed at that time.  Things didn't quite go as planned.

We got a late start and left the house a bit before 11am, expecting a 2.5 - 3hr drive.  Well, after a short stop for lunch, and an hour long delay at the border, then finding parking, it took us 4 hours to get into Vancouver.  Ella got a hold of the camera and took a great picture of someone getting a ticket in her boredom.  And we had to park quite a ways away on the street.  We parked close to a subway station and rode the train into the city.

Our first order of business was to check out the Olympic torch.  We got sidetracked on the way there by some shopping.  After spending way too much money getting outfitted in the official Team USA Olympic gear (except for Sarah, she couldn't find anything that she liked), we turned our attention back to goal number one.  When we got to the site, it was absolutely packed.  It didn't help that they have the whole area fenced off.  You can only get about 75 - 100 yards from the torch by pressing up against a big fence.  They had an elevated viewing area, but the line for that was probably an hour long.  It would have been a lot smarter to have fenced right around the cauldron, then put security around it (which they had anyway).  It is in the middle of a big plaza that was not being used, so all the people needed to cram into a little space to try and get a shot of it.  It was really nice looking in person.

Ella and I had to fight our way to the fence to get that shot.  We took a quick one of us before clearing the frenzy.  Then we took a family shot, the lady who took the picture is maybe the world's worse photographer, she didn't get the flame in the shot.

By now, we were really running low on time.  Our plan was to go to the Pacific Coliseum to try and catch some short track speed skating.  We grabbed an Olympic map that showed the area to be pretty close, maybe 10 blocks or so.  We walked and walked and walked, and we never crossed a road that was on the map.  We had to stop into Starbucks for a bathroom break in an area of Vancouver known as Gas Town.  I managed to locate us on a map and determined there was no way we were going to make it to the venue in time to see anything.  Despite the kids being very disappointed on not seeing any sports we decided to have dinner and head home. We managed to get into a brewer/restaurant after only about a 20 minute wait which was good, and shared some massive nachos for dinner.

After dinner we went to the official Olympic store to check it out.  This was ridiculous too, apparently they decided that they only needed one official store in the whole city.  We had to wait in line for about 15 minutes just to get into the store.  And once we got in, we once again spent way too much money mostly on stuffed animals of the mascots.  Ella did get to hold an actual torch used in the torch relay (it wasn't as heavy as it looked).

Now it was just after 11pm and it was time to get back to Seattle.  We jumped back on the train and got back to the car.  We had to stop for gas just before 2am, Max woke up hungry so he had an ice cream sandwich and then fell right back asleep.  A little bit later and we finally arrived home just before 2:30am.  The kids were asleep and we just carried them into bed.

So it was a bit of a rough day, but we had a good time.  The kids got to see people from a lot of different countries and go to the Olympics which was pretty exciting for them.  They still really want to attend an event, but that is unlikely to happen at this point.


Anonymous said...

What a cool adventure, one you all will remember....even if you did not get to see an event, you got the Olympic flavor Eh?
I guess you must have remembered your passports!
TTYS, Love,
Aunt Pam

Anonymous said...

WOW - very cool. Great synopsis of the day. What a great experience. Brenden and I were just reading and looking at the pictures. B was impressed that you got to visit the olympic site even thought you didn't get to see an event. Good adventure. :-) Miss you guys, Kathi, Mike, Brenden and Avery

Anonymous said...

I thought I would jump on to say hello, I haven't been able to talk to Sarah since Christmas week. I was thinking that you all might have been able to make it to the Olympics being so close...And you did! What a nice story. Give Sarah and the kids a big kiss from me, miss you guys! Let us know when you are coming to FL for a "vacation"! Hope the hectic changes are calming down for you all. Love - Megan

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