It's always Sunny in Vancouver

Trip Start Feb 14, 2010
1
5
12
Trip End Feb 21, 2010


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Where I stayed
Delta, BC

Flag of Canada  , British Columbia,
Thursday, February 25, 2010

The day I've been waiting for seven years has finally arrived. I'm leaving for Vancouver at 9 am Eastern time. When I checked in for my flight online on Saturday I was shocked to discover the aircraft would be the massive Boeing 777 which is the biggest type of aircraft in Air Canada's fleet. Didn't expect that on a national route. But that only helped me to realize it's the OLYMPICS.

Arrived at the airport around 7 am and in need of significant amounts of coffee. Thank God for Tim Hortons! It was cute how the way to Canadian check in desks and gates had been decorated with Inukshuks (Vancouver 2010 logo and Native symbol of friendship and hospitality), including the floor buttons in the elevators. Cute and practical.

Going through security was a breeze for a change. Just by my departure gate there was an Olympics viewing area with huge "Go for Gold, Canada". Needless to say I felt totally silly sitting there in my Team USA jacket.

The boarding felt like it took ages due to to the immense size or the plane. After all, it must take a while to board over 360 passengers. Just a part of the deal, I guess.

The flight itself was rather uneventful. couldn't see anything as I was sitting above the wing and the engine was blocking my view, plus it was cloudy to boot. I opted for watching a movie and found 'Inglourious Bastards' by Quentin Tarantino starring Brad Pitt and Quentin Tarrantino. I always try to watch all Jewish interest movies to have an opinion in case someone asks me so that was a perfect opportunity to watch this one. The main action of the movie takes place in the spring of 1944, Lt. Aldo Raine (Brad Pitt) recruits a team of eight Jewish-American soldiers in Italy for a mission to get behind enemy lines and bring fear to all German servicemen. He tells the soldiers that they each owe him a hundred Nazi scalps. They operate with a "take no prisoners" attitude and come to be known as the 'Basterds'. Their fate intervenes with that of Shosanna, a Jewish girl seen at the beginning of the movie who has assumed a new identity as 'Emmanuelle Mimieux' and is operating a cinema in Paris. The movie is bizarre, but considering it's Tarantino's work it's hard to expect anything less. And it's wort watching for Brad Pitt's accent alone. The 2 and a half hours flew by incredibly quickly and the next think I knew we were landing at the Vancouver International Airport.

My Toronto friend, Larry, and his brother Paul greeted me at the airport. I felt bad for them as the wait for my luggage took forever. Once again, joys of flying on an enormous aircraft. Once reunited with my suitcases (way to many of them, will I ever stop over packing?) I was ready to kickoff my Olympic adventure for good. Since Paul was kind enough to take my stuff to the house, Larry and I took the train downtown straight from the airport. I loved how convenient it was. Soon after, we arrived at the downtown Waterfront station. I was so happy to be back in Vancouver, it's natural beauty and architecture never fail to amaze me. And just like list year when I was there foe the ISU Four Continents Championships, the weather was amazing - warm and sunny. We contemplated having lunch outdoors but the restaurants with the menu didn't offer a menu we liked. We ended up having big brunch at Pourhouse in Gastown where we also watched some speed skating while nervously checking our phones for the Men's SP draw. When it was finally published, I started feeling a bit nervous as it meant the event was coming up soon (Tuesday). Fortunately, Evan drew to skate third last in the final flight which was optimal for him. That made me feel slightly more relaxed thinking about the event.

After the meal we headed, slowly but surely, for the arena. Having heard so much about the efficiency of the Vancouver Transit System we expected to catch a bus in no time. We ended up waiting forever in one of the worst parts of the town as all of the buses that came by were full. As we found out later, there was a march blocking one of the main downtown streets and that caused the insane delays. Nonetheless, we ended up cutting it very close to the Pairs SP.

That didn't make me too worried personally as I was only going to the arena to pick up the practice passes for myself and a group of friends. Well, my plans changed when a random scalper sold me a tickets to the Pairs SP for less than 60% of the face value. Next thing I knew, I was sitting inside the arena, only 9 rows up from the ice. Oh lucky day! Practice passes had to wait.
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