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51 days to go – My Olympic walkabout, what a great day!

December 22, 2009

My goal for today was to visit a large number of existing and under-construction Vancouver 2010 venues throughout downtown Vancouver.  I think I was quite successful.  While the day started a bit slow it did mean that I got to take some photos of the city at sunset which was really quite lovely.  But I suppose that I should really start at the beginning instead of at the end.  Logic… right… I should probably work on that.

As I said, I was a bit slow to get going this morning, but that was perfect as I had time to have breakfast with my wonderful friend/adopted grandpa David.  This is always a very good way to start a day!  Plus I needed sustenance to see me through my journeys.  From breakfast at Davie and Burrard I was headed in the direction of the Olympic Superstore to check on a bit of work and to say Merry Christmas to a few folks that I won’t be seeing until after the holidays.  This meant I walked right past Robson Square where I heard music coming up from beside the ice rink at the GE Plaza.  Of course I had to investigate!

The stage at the GE Plaza. There is live entertainment everyday!

There is so much going on at the GE Plaza/Robson Square/BC Pavilion area: skating, entertainment and there is also Santa’s Workshop!  It’s quite the treat to see how much the space has changed in the last few months.  From there I headed back to street level to visit the Olympic and Paralympic Countdown clocks and was surprised to find a giant Christmas tree and a Menorah at the north end of the Vancouver Art Gallery grounds.  I did pop into the new Omega shop in the Hotel Vancouver, but was not permitted to take pictures of their shop.  I have to say I was rather disappointed by that.  Luckily there were lots of wonderful things today to distract me from the outright dismissal I received there.

The Christmas tree at the Vancouver Art Gallery and the Canada Flag at the Georgia Hotel.

Off I walked to the Olympic Superstore for my visits.  Yes, I am there 7 days a week.  I do visit on my days off, mostly to get Christmas shopping done lately, but also to check on work things and to have lunch with friends as we don’t get much opportunity while working.  I even ran into Andrew today, my airplane buddy from my flight back from Montreal!  I did manage to make it out of the store having done only a little bit of work, so it was a fairly successful visit!

Next up was a walk down Georgia Street to visit quite a number of sites.  The Canada Post main depot on Georgia Street sells stamps and Royal Canadian Mint coins.  At the Queen Elizabeth Theatre the Four Host First Nations Pavilion is under construction and right next to that is going to be the LiveCity Downtown site!  Then on to Canada Hockey Place (aka GM Place) and BC Place.  I walked across the Georgia viaduct which gave me a really great view of the construction around False Creek, like Molson Canadian Hockey House, the Saskatchewan Pavilion and the Vancouver Athlete’s Village.

Molson Canadian Hockey House is the large white tent.

Today I also visited 52.5 flags on FlagWalk in Yaletown.  The future home of the USA Olympic House.  I stopped for a pint of beer at Doolin’s Irish pub, as it is going to be the Irish Olympic House.  I even read that they’re going to have a tent outside to provide extra space!  I strolled up Granville Street past the Olympic Superstore again as well as Birks and a RBC branch on my way to Canada Place and the Vancouver Convention Centre.  I had hoped to view the light show on the Sails of Canada Place tonight, but when they say it can be viewed from Stanley Park, North Vancouver and West Vancouver they mean it!  You can’t see it from downtown.  But that’s okay, because I got to sit and have dinner looking at the Olympic Rings in Coal Harbour and that was lovely!

The Vancouver Convention Centre and the Olympic Rings in Coal Harbour!

I’m so glad I went walkabout today and found out how far along things are.  If you would like to see more of my little expedition I have posted an album of today’s photos on Picasa.  And here’s a map of where I walked:

My walkabout tour of downtown Vancouver 2010 sites. Blue line is my path and the green dots are at least some of the Vancouver 2010 sites I saw today.

It has magically gotten late again, I am off to bed.  Gotta get my shopping done for Christmas dinner tomorrow morning before heading into work.  I should be working from 3-11pm tomorrow if you happen to find yourself in the neighbourhood and in need of some Vancouver 2010 presents!

Good night, bonsoir!

22 Comments leave one →
  1. Patti permalink
    December 23, 2009 1:45 am

    Wow, what a great day you had. I just looked at all 77 photos and you sure covered a lot of territory so I’m glad the weather co-operated. I love the lights in the shape of Maple Leafs on the crane in Photo #76. I guess the 5 colours are meant to represent the colours of the Olympic Rings but I’m not sure because the order is different (should be blue, yellow, black/white, green and red). But what the heck, at least they went to all the trouble to put up the lights and show their Olympic Spirit!

  2. keith77cdn permalink
    December 23, 2009 6:01 am

    i wonder what is the tent on other side of science world across from mcdonalds and burger king on main street.

    • Patti permalink
      December 23, 2009 6:10 am

      I think that tent is the Main Dining Hall for the Athletes. I’m not sure but that’s where the Dining Hall is located according to the map I received during Venue Training for the Olympic Village. Maybe Andrea knows more???

    • 2010vanfan permalink
      December 23, 2009 8:13 am

      Yup, the biggest tent that is all enclosed is the dining hall for the Vancouver Athlete’s Village. There is a new tent that I haven’t seen before in there as well. The tall one that is missing at least one wall so far. I would suspect that it will have something to do with accreditation and access to the village, possibly for media and guests as that side of the Village is where anyone who isn’t residing or working in the Village must enter.

  3. dan pederson permalink
    December 23, 2009 9:27 am

    Wishing everyone a great holiday season and an even better new year. May it bring us all a bunch of pins! Speaking of pins – come out to The Pacific Pin Club’s monthly meeting this Sunday – December 27th. Bring your traders to the Capital Hill Community Centre in Burnaby. The meeting goes from 9 – 2. Hope to see a lot of you in attendance. Come out and say hi and learn more about pin collecting and 2010 pins.

  4. Tom permalink
    December 23, 2009 11:00 am

    Just wanted to say how much I am enjoying your posts – they really bring the Olympic spirit into my life every evening. Looking forward to my visit to Vancouver from London – England. Keep up the great work!

    • 2010vanfan permalink
      December 23, 2009 12:14 pm

      Thanks Tom! That is so great that you’re coming from London. Are you part of the London 2012 workforce?

      • Tom permalink
        December 29, 2009 2:05 pm

        Sadly not 😦 Looking forward to my Vancouver visit though – it will be mu fourth games in a row! Looking forward to stocking up on some good merchandise in the superstore (particularly some Mascot slippers!) – will you be working there over the games?

  5. December 23, 2009 1:43 pm

    Hey Andrea your google venue map is great ( ). Helpful to know where all the country houses are going to be located. When we were in Salt Lake we visited the Canada House and spent time with the athletes in a really casual atmosphere. One of the best was hanging with Diedra Dionne after her Silver win (such a shame she won’t be able to compete in Van). Don’t think the Canada House will be as accessible this time around. Hopefully Holland House will work out – It’s always a blast.

  6. Bob permalink
    December 23, 2009 7:22 pm

    One stop you missed … not on an Olympic theme, but a Christmas theme … the gingerbread houses at the Hyatt on Burrard. There are some very good ones this year. The display runs until the 27th.

  7. Bob permalink
    December 23, 2009 7:25 pm

    The lights on the dome of Science World will be back on at 4pm on December 24th … just in time to guide Santa on his way. They have been in the process of replacing all the incandescent bulbs with LED’s.

  8. Bob permalink
    December 23, 2009 11:40 pm

    As long as I can replace the mittens that I ended up gaving away as a Christmas present (they still had the tags on) before the start of the Games I will be happy!!!


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