Shhhh…don’t tell anyone…but we played hooky on Friday and took our children to feel the Olympic vibe in Vancouver! We jumped in the Volvo and rocketed downtown for some super-size fun. At first we thought about parking at the River Rock Casino in Richmond (a suburb) and taking the Skytrain in to town, but when I caught a glimpse of the massive line-up, I pulled a teensy, weensy hissy fit and demanded…er…asked to be driven right to up to the Olympic flame.
The kids and I sat pinned in our seats wild-eyed as Mark, who is normally a mild-mannered businessy-type guy (although I’m starting to wonder about how super-duper “calm” he is at the office), turned into some kind of road warrrior (watch out darling little old ladies and bike couriers) and managed to park two blocks from the flame–he’s my Olympic hero!
We started out by feasting on fabulous oysters and beer at one of our favourite restaurants, Cardero’s, which sits right out over the water in Coal Harbour.
Then we strolled along the boardwalk to the Vancouver Convention Centre, which has the largest “living” roof in Canada, covered in grass. It’s also where the Olympic flame is staying until the end of the Games. I have to say that seeing the flame(s) was exhilirating, but it’s flanked by fencing to keep the throngs of onlookers from burning themselves. Bummer, ’cause I had to tell the kids to put away their marshmallows!
The streets were packed with people enjoying the Olympic spirit. It reminded me of walking through Times Square–awesome. However, the line ups were insane. People were lining up for an hour just to get an “unobstructed” view of the flame, from the roof of the Convention Centre (although, judging from my photo, maybe it’s time well spent). They were lining up for 5 hours just to ride the Olympic zipline over Robson Square for a few seconds. Wow! The line ups for all the pavilions were hours-long. Ugh.