My Olympics Part 9 – Heading North

Yes, the Olympic recap just keeps on coming! Hope I’m still keeping you all entertained.

Friday, February 19, 2010

As I stated in the last Olympic post – no breakfast pics. In fact, the pictures don’t start today until lunch at Canada Hockey Place. I had another inside day – this time as an usher in the upper concourse, in the media/athletes/Olympic family seating area. It was pretty slow, but again, got to see a little hockey.

Lunch was…soup and sandwich! Surprised? You shouldn’t be.

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Roasted corn chowder, whole wheat roll, southwestern roast beef on cibatta, and an apple. Yes, they finally had a piece of fruit I would consider consuming! And yet, I ate the soup, sandwich, and roll, and threw the apple in my bag, where it would remain until a good week or so later. LOL.

A note on the messy soup bowls. The people who serve up the soup were not very good at doing so without slopping. Then I would have to carry my tray through the crowded break room, weave my way into a seat, and generally that led to more spillage. Just to let you know.

We had a bit of a lull in between games, so I wandered around the upper concourse for awhile. Here are the people coming through security, and in the waiting area before we officially open the gates.

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Although the arena was almost completely converted to Olympic only signs, posters, food, etc, there were still a few Canucks things they couldn’t cover up. Love my hockey team!

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I think on this day, I got pulled off usher duties, and wound up scanning tickets for those people coming inside for the second game. Talk about fast paced! But I was told I had mad ticket scanning skills. *pats self on back*

This may have also been the day the excessively drunk happy guys didn’t want to leave the arena after the first game. They were stopping at each volunteer they came across, taking pictures. They said they just wanted their pictures taken with hot chicks. And yes, I was lucky enough to be mauled hugged by them and have my photo taken. No, I did not get out my camera and ask for a picture as well. It would have been messy.

I was relieved of my duties just as the second game was to commence, and was off for the evening. I decided it was a good night to stay downtown for awhile, seeing as it was Friday night and all. You knew the atmosphere was going to be buzzing!

I wandered past The Bay, checking out the window displays.

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I went up to the 5th floor to check out the International Village, where they were selling team clothing from a variety of countries. Lo and behold – they also had some of the Team Canada clothing up there. A well kept secret, since everyone was lining up to get into the main floor Olympic Superstore to get their fix. I checked out the beautiful winter jackets – down filled, fur lined hood, made in Canada – but just couldn’t bring myself to drop the $500 to buy one, even though it was really, really tempting.

Then I made my way down to Canada’s Northern House. This pavilion featured  exhibits from our 3 northern territories – Yukon, Northwest Territories, and Nunavut. I had heard nothing but good things about the place, and that the line up was one of the less cumbersome.

I stood in line for maybe 25 min, and when I entered, was greeted with a large stuffed moose (or is it a caribou?). Check out those antlers!

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The lovely tour guide at the entrance took my picture with the inukshuk. It was dark, so I had to turn on the flash and suffer from the dreaded red eye.

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I think it’s funny they have footprints on the ground where you are supposed to stand for pictures. I fail at hitting my mark. LOL.

There was lots to see and learn in the pavilion. I thought it was one of the better ones actually. Plus you could enter a contest to win a Canadian diamond, gold nugget, or First Nations weaving (all worth in the $5000 – $8000 range). I take it I didn’t win any of the prizes though, as the draw date was March 1st. Booo-urns.

So what did I see at the pavilion? Lots of dead animals.

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Some First Nations art.

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They also had live performances. Notice the guy lying on the ground is balancing a glass of water on his forehead as he sits up.

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You were able to learn alot about life in our northern territories. It’s mighty expensive to get goods up there, so many families order groceries only twice per year! Can you imagine?! The cost of staples is insanely expensive up there – probably twice the cost of buying it in Vancouver.

One other fun feature was recording your own video postcard. And yes, you better believe I did one. And against my better judgement…I’m providing you with the link: “Marianne Makes An Ass Of Herself In Canada’s North”. Feel free to laugh at my awkwardness as I didn’t really know what to say or do. I understand if you don’t want to be my friend anymore.

Not wanting my Friday night out on the Olympic town to end just then, I made my way to party central – the intersection of Granville and Robson Streets. Check out the sea of people.

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On the way I checked out the window displays at Holt Renfrew. Gotta love it when the high brow department store even gets in on the Olympic fun.

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Next door Aritzia had an abominable snowman in their window, complete with gold medal.

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Sears was sporting Jarome Iginila on the side of the building.

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And people were gathered on the steps at Robson Square enjoying the festivities.

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I finally ended up out front of the CTV studios on Robson, where I decided to watch the end of the Ice Dance Compulsories.

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While standing in the crowd, I discovered one of the guys I worked with at Canada Hockey Place was next to me. How random! We hung out while we watched skating, and then the Men’s Skeleton finals. In which…we won gold! Yeah Jon Montgomery!

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It was so awesome to be downtown with complete strangers, all celebrating that gold medal. Perfect way to end my Friday night 🙂

Due to my desire to not miss any of the skeleton final, I had to forgo seeking out something for dinner. When I looked at the time, I realized I needed to haul ass in order to make the 9:30 pm express train back to the ‘burbs. Which meant I had to resort to the snack car on the platform for dinner.

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Yes, this was probably the worst meal I devoured throughout the Olympics, but when you are that hungry and options are limited, you gotta go with it. At least I threw some onions on the hot dog – got some veggies in there! And it cost me less than $5.

It would have been awesome to stay downtown and celebrate that gold medal with 1000’s of my new closest friends, but this girl had yet another volunteer shift quickly approaching the next morning. Which we’ll get to in another post 😉

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2 Comments on “My Olympics Part 9 – Heading North”

  1. March 9, 2010 at 6:44 am #

    Marianne, that video was the best part of this pretty awesome post! Thanks for sharing!!!

  2. March 9, 2010 at 7:50 am #

    Definitely a caribou! LoL. The antlers are totally huge! Moose are like three times that size though!

    Yeah onions = veggies. :p I definitely had a couple of those evenings during the Olympics (or the inevitable, these fries are totally my veggies!). Oh well, now I’m back on the real veggie bandwagon feels good.

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