Greetings from Vancouver, British, Columbia. We are on Pacific Standard Time, which is the exact time as Portland. I couldn't get the Timezone clock on the blog to work, so right now it says 08:20 a.m., but it's just after midnight. Oh well.
It took 5-1/2 hours of driving time to get to Vancouver, as it is only 315 miles from Portland. We left at 7 a.m., stopped for a snack in Seattle, and got into Vancouver at around 2 p.m. We are staying at the Opus Hotel. Downstairs is a French Restaurant called the "Elixir," and that is where we had dinner. I don't care that much for French cuisine, but bothTameka and Demetrius fell in love with it in Paris, so that is where we landed. I have to say the food was very good.
The mood is one of excitement, and the atmosphere festive. Everyone is very friendly, and very welcoming. We met people from all over, just in the few hours we have been here. The "chap" I ran into in the hotel lobby was from London. I traded one of my Oregon pins for one of his from England. It's a tradition to trade pins at the Olympics, so I brought plenty. So far I have pins from England, Canada, Sweden and Norway. They're pinned onto my toque.
The opening ceremonies will take place tomorrow at the B.C. Palace, which made us laugh. We bought all kinds of thermal underwear, and it turns out the the Palace is indoors. We won't even be wearing jackets.
The kids I've run into are just like me. They dress like me, talk like me, and listen to the same music. I hung out with some of them at an outdoor ice skating rink, and the guys were breakdancing on ice to Jay-Z. It was so cool to see. I told them they are just like American teens, and they told me "No, you're just like a Canadian teen."
There is all kinds of speculation as to who will light the Cauldron at the opening ceremonies. They all thought my guess of Wayne Gretzky was pretty good, but they were thinking it might be Rick Hanson, who is a paralyzed paralympic or Betty Fox, the mom of Terry Fox. That is who Pat said would light it. Another name going around is Cindy Klassen who is a speed skater.
Demetrius already found the Pubs, and Tameka and I hung out at a coffee shop this evening and talked to some locals. One man was really interesting. He talked of the atmosphere being the same as it was back in 1986 when Vancouver hosted the World Exposition. He said he was a kid back then, and they handed out blank passports. He said he and his friends would run from the exposition of one country to another, trying to see how many stamps they could get on their passports.
We walked close to the Olympic Village, but Security is very tight. We did get to see athletes, though, who had left the Village and were walking about town.
I didn't get to see my goats, but I hear Mr. Axle has been practicing for the Men's Figure Skating Program all day. ha ha
Well, I'm calling it a night. Hasta La Vista!