Winter Games

Who knew I was so into the Olympics? Maybe I’m just kinda jazzed about it because I live about 25 minutes from British Columbia.

I’ve always liked figure skating, which should come as no surprise, as it’s an awful lot like dance. I remember watching the figure skating during the 1994 Winter Games in Lillehammer. Alone, in my freshman dorm room. On a Saturday night.

Yesterday, I found myself thoroughly entertained by men’s cross-country skiing and snowboard cross events.

On Sunday, Rob and I drove to Vancouver because it just seemed like the thing to do. To quote this guide: Why Stay Home When the Party’s Next Door?

We had the shortest border wait of all time on the way in. Only one car in front of us. Which was a shame, because I planned to use the wait time to eat a sandwich and find the map of Vancouver that’s in my car somewhere. We parked near a casino park and ride (not actually in the parking lot, because it was full, but next to two cars in front of a nearby shop that appeared to be closed. This may have been poor judgment, as I had an erroneous tow in Vancouver before, but the car was still there when we got back.)

The Skytrain downtown was packed, but festive. The atmosphere around Robson Street was less “rah rah” Olympics and more insanely crowded street fair. I have to say, there weren’t a lot of activities. We wanted to take the free Zipline over Robson Square (5-hour wait) or go in the LiveCity Vancouver viewing area (line around the block), see the medals at the Royal Canadian Mint (line around the corner), or ice skate (line around the corner), but we didn’t do any of those things.

I bought a little stuffed mascot at the Shoppers Drug Mart, which is sitting on my desk, making me smile. We walked to Chinatown in search of a place to eat/drink beer, but didn’t find any place that suited us. There was less Lunar New Year fanfare than I expected. Hopped a bus back to downtown and waited in line to get into a pub.

For some reason, I thought we were waiting in line to get a table, but once inside, we still had to lurk in the shadows to see who was paying their bill and snag their table. Fortunately, this didn’t take too long. Rob drank beer and I had a sockeye salmon burger and yam fries, with a pomegranate cider, as the Canadians around us cheered the country’s first Olympic gold on home soil. Men’s freestyle ski.

We walked to the ice rink after, and spotted the mascots leaving the rink after their show. We missed the show, but seeing the mascots made me day. Seriously, that was all the Olympic flavor I needed. Felt like a totally successful day.

On the way back , our border wait was even shorter. NO cars in front of us.

Published by Kari Neumeyer

Writer, editor, dog mom, ovarian cancer survivor

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