Friday, February 19, 2010

I Hugged A Mountie!!!!!

Yesterday was our last day at the Olympics.  Cody-Anne had the day off and she and Kevin joined us for the day.  I really felt bad for Kevin as his arthritis was bothering him  a lot.  Walking is not a good thing for him and he has done a great deal in the past week but he was a trooper and joined us on a basically sight-seeing day.  

Our first stop was to be the Canada Pavilion and the SkyTrain dropped us within 2 blocks.  When we got there the line up seemed endless but in actuality we were within the gates and clearing security with 30 minutes.  

A flash of scarlet greeted my eyes as I walked into the secure area and I raised my head to the most amazing sight; two RCMP officers standing in front of a big sign getting their picture taken with folks.  Well,l that was all it took for Mar.  She just grabbed my camera out of my hand, took my bag and pushed me into line.

 When I walked up to the Mounties she began giving them my whole life story; how I live in the States but I'm Canadian and that I love the scarlet coats and how excited I get every time I see them etc, etc, etc!  They were kind of laughing and when she and Cody-Anne had taken several pictures I asked the tall one if I could give him a hug.  He said, "Of course" and held his arms wide.  Mar caught that on the camera, too. 

 As I walked away from  that experience I burst into tears and then felt like a ninny.  Man, do I love me some Mounties!!!

Canada Pavilion was a bit of a letdown but the Mounties would make up for its downfall. Next we headed over to Yaletown to scope out Coca-Cola.  Yaletown is a fairly newly renovated area of downtown with really cool, trendy, unique shops and restaurants.  We wandered in and out of several of them accompanied of course by hundreds of tourists just like us.   The sidewalks were decorated with circular flags of the participating countries.  Who thinks to do that?  How cool is that?  Who gets to take them off?

Mar said she'd treat us all to lunch so we took her up on it.  It turned out we ate a place which had only been open a week!  I had salmon but the others had ribs.  It was great to just be together enjoying one another's company.  

Refreshed,  we headed to Coca-Cola where we succumbed to another round of security and after about a 45 minute wait we finally got in.  I liked the Coke place.  There was display of about 8 torches from past Olympics, pictures of Canadian Olympians and even free Coke!  
This red torch is from the Atlanta Olympics.

The place was staffed mostly by enthusiastic college students so it was energetic and enthusiastic.  The Coke Polar Bear was in attendance

 and there were lots of explanations as to Coke's involvement with the Olympics over the years.  In the same area as the Coke pavilion there were others, too, as well as huge screens and a performance stage.  We took a lot of pictures yesterday hoping to capture even the insignificant memories of our journey.

By the time we got out of there it was time to head back to BC Place for our final event.  Our last Victory Ceremony.  It was Prince Edward Island night ( Each night at the Victory ceremony they celebrated a different Canadian province)   Even Anne of Green Gables was there !  Although I enjoyed that segment of it the presentation was kind of lame and a bit amateurish.  
More Mounties!

The best part of the evening was the medal ceremony - Shawn White, Shani Davis, Chad Hedrick, Marianne St-Gelais  and Christine Nesbitt were there in person. 
Shawn White
Shani Davis
Christine Nesbitt

 The rest we saw from Whistler.  That place exploded when Christine Nesbitt got her medal. (We watched the Mens Free Skate when we got home.  We didn't know who had won so it was fun to watch it without prior results knowledge.  I am soo happy Evan won!)  Although my red mittens made no noise as I clapped my enthusiasm was no less than the others in attendance.  My hands were just cold, that's all!  We stayed for a couple of Hedley songs and then headed out.
As we walked the streets of Vancouver to the SkyTrain station, we waved goodbye to everything as we passed.  

Goodbye BC Place. Goodbye Robson Square. Goodbye crazy orange people. Goodbye press of bodies. Goodbye looney, hockey-loving Canadians. Good bye amazing blue coated volunteers. Goodbye cops on bikes. Goodbye Sky Train.  Goodbye to the adventure of a lifetime.  Good bye, Vancouver.