On Friday I took the day off and zipped up to Vancouver to catch the sights and sounds of the Olympics. I didn't have tickets, and from what I heard, the events all cost more than I thought prudent to spend. Get a bicycle or go to a hockey game? That's ok though--there was so much going on up there that tickets were not required to have a great day in Vancouver.
Vancouver is roughly 85 miles north of where I live. I have spent a fair amount of time up there over the years, for play and work. For this trip, I parked in Richmond and rode the skytrain downtown. Vancouver's skytrain is just terrific.
It rained all day. I picked the wrong day to be up there, but I made the most of it. Right off the train, I went and checked out the Olympic cauldron, shown above. It's ok for a cauldron of fire--a little fancy. After that, I wandered up to Robson Street and Robson Square. People are everywhere, and they're all wearing colors. The Canadian pride was everywhere, with red knit hats, hockey jerseys, scarves, and fake maple leaf tattoos.
At Robson Square, there was a 150 yard zip line right above the crowds, with an 6 hour wait--I was content to try to get a picture of the airborne zipsters. There was a small underground skating rink, with the weird Olympic mascots skating around. The kids loved the mascots. A circus troupe did a nice Cirque du Soleil impression. Food. Pins. Lots of stuff, and I wasn't even looking--I would just wander upon some or another form of entertainment. It felt like a city-wide street fair, with national pride.
I stood in line in the rain for 15 minutes to get a "Japadog," which is a famous fusion hot dog cart in Vancouver, featured in the New York Times. They have a picture of Steven Seagal with the proprietor. And some others--Zac Efron, the guy from Lost, Sasquatch, etc. They have meat and non-meat options--they put wasabi and seaweed and other Japanese foods on top of the dog.
From there, it was down through Granville and over to Yaletown. I got really wet. I ate well, sampling from here and there, and stood in a few more lines, and then headed home. I kind of got lost trying to leave Richmond, but it worked out. Great day, depsite the rain. Very glad I went.
Today I knocked out the middle 30k of the Chuckanut course. I feel like I'm improving--I ran pretty ok for me. This was the first time I've ever ran the actual middle 30k as a training run--I always do some variation. It was a good idea. Tomorrow it'll be some snowshoeing on Mt. Baker, full moon style, provided the weather works out.