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26 days to go – Meeting new friends

January 17, 2010

For me, one of the absolute best things about Vancouver hosting the Olympic and Paralympic Games is the opportunity to meet so many new people.  I have met pin heads and bloggers, young people and old, many who are very keen on the Games and some that are not.  I have met many people online, through blogs and contests, as well as right here on 2010vanfan.  What is great about the Games starting in less than 26 days is that I am starting to get to meet some of my online friends in person.

I met up with Rachael from Tinkerblue on Saturday.  Rachael is working for VANOC and has been involved with most (if not all) of the Vancouver 2010 merchandise.  She’ll be up in Whistler during the Games and by the sounds of it will be getting very, very little sleep.  We have emailed and commented on each others blogs before but this was our first meet.  Rachael had come into town to visit the Olympic Athlete’s Village as part of a staff tour so it was easy for her to come downtown.  I knew we would be very good friends when she suggested meeting by the Countdown Clock and then to the Four Seasons Hotel Lounge.  The reason that this was such a great idea is that several months ago, the Four Seasons Yew Restaurant & Bar launched three Olympic Cocktails.  They are called Bronze, Silver, and Gold and are themed along our Canadian Olympic cities: Montreal, Calgary and Vancouver respectively.  We of course had to try all three!

From left to right: Bronze, Silver and Gold cocktails at Yew Restaurant & Grill at the Four Seasons. I love the boot glass!

Rachael enjoyed Bronze the most.  It’s a rye and apple concoction with a brûléed sugar egg-foam crust.  It was really quite tasty.  I had the Gold.  I am not a cucumber fan at all, but once the garnish was placed to the side (so that I wasn’t smelling only cucumber) it was a very tasty drink that also featured gin, lemon and dill.  The Silver drink is a smoky caesar.  Now, neither Rachael or I are particularly big caesar fans, and this one was particularly interesting as it was garnished with smoked buffalo.  We found at first all we could smell was the buffalo which was a bit disconcerting.  I found though that by sinking the garnish into the drink that it really was reasonably tasty.  I know a lot of caesar fans that really would like it!

Our visit certainly wasn’t inexpensive (the cocktails are rather labour intensive), but we did have a blast.  If someone was particularly keen on trying out these cocktails I would go back again.  Actually, they’ve made that really rather appealing as, besides the Olympic cocktails, the Yew restaurant has also added an Olympic three-course “No Passport Required” dinner.  The dinner is $35 for three courses; the appetisers and mains feature options from each of Canada’s Olympic cities and the dessert sound divine (Sweet Spiced Poached Pears, Agassiz Hazelnuts, Soft Dark Chocolate Crème LeGer, Caramel Ice Cream).  And they’re not done yet!  They have selected a medal event for each day of the Games, and if your country wins the Gold medal in that event you can go in an receive a complimentary Gold Medal Cocktail, all you need to do is bring your passport (click here to see the medal event schedule).  Hopefully Canada wins lots of Gold medals!

*     *     *     *     *

Before Rachael headed back home she had to stop and pick up some Olympic tickets that she had bought online.  Ticket pickups for Vancouver are at the Main Ticket Centre at Robson Square.  Luckily she mentioned this as I also had tickets that I had to pick up (and had completely forgotten that pickup was required).  We were only a block from Robson Square so it made for a quick visit, though it was really exciting to see the lineup for tickets was out the door.  And the lineup for skating at GE Plaza?  Mad!  And I think it’s wonderful.

I picked up my tickets for Olympic Skeleton and Paralympic Sledge Hockey, Biathlon and Alpine Skiing and planned to put them with the tickets I already received.  Now, if you ever hear me say “That’s okay, I’ll put this in a safe spot” please give me a good shake.  For me, safe spots are so safe I have trouble finding them again.  I realised, while picking up my new batch of tickets, that I couldn’t remember where I had put the ones sent by Purolator.  Once home, and after several minutes of worry followed by more minutes of panic (I did once accidently put Canucks tickets out with the recycling, amazingly got them back too!) I did manage to find the very safe spot I put the tickets in so all is well.

Back to my original story… before Rachael and I went our respective directions, we ran into Nancy and James, who also blog about the Olympics.  We found them watching some new wrap (really big decals with images) onto the stairs at Robson Square.  Oops… nearly forgot.  I had won a pin from one of Rachael’s pin contests a few weeks ago.  So she brought me that, as well as a few other pins that I’m absolutely over the moon about!  Thanks Rachael!  I hope you have fun in Whistler and manage to fit some sleep in!

I won the Bell pin but Rachael also gave me the ticket, Mukmuk and Aussie pins! Sweet!

*     *     *     *     *

After that I cruised past the Olympic Superstore to trade pins with Maeve, who is a friend and employee at the store; I completed a Visa set of pins, or at least I now have all of the ones that we know about.  Being there I of course had to stop by the Coca-Cola Pin Trading Centre, which always seems to take longer than I intend. 🙂  I made a few trades including an NBC camera pin from Carol and a See Ya Later Ranch pin from Paul.  I’m only one Vincor pin away from having all of the Olympic wine pins that are released so far!  Yay!

New Visa pins from the US - snowboarding, hockey and alpine skiing.

We've heard the pin on the left was given to volunteers for the ceremonies for the Olympics but I'm hoping to find out more information on it soon. The NBC camera pin is pretty neat and I love my new wine pin!

*     *     *     *     *

Last item for the day, as I’m already so late posting as it is.

Yahoo! is also opening a hospitality house during the Games.  They will be taking over Mini in Yaletown to install their ‘FanCouver‘ entertainment centre.  They will be open from February 12 – 28, 11am to 11pm and will feature:

  • Live video streaming with “Fan-Cam”
  • Free WiFi lounge
  • Free hot cocoa bar
  • Photo booth
  • Pin giveaway, a tradition at the Games
  • Appearances by athletes
  • Games and giveways

Yahoo! is also featuring a contest:

“Beginning January 25, 2010, fans can submit their favorite winter sports photos in the “Winter Sports Moment” sweepstakes at for a chance to win prizes ranging from digital cameras to a trip to the U.S. Freestyle Skiing Championship held at Squaw Valley, California, in March 2010. Participants are encouraged to share great hockey moments, downhill triumphs, or other thrilling winter sports photos. The sweepstakes is open to residents of the United States and Canada (excluding Quebec).”

Conveniently FanCouver is located between the LiveCity Yaletown and Downtown sites so lots of people should be able to stop by!

*     *     *     *     *

Let’s see…

1. Don’t forget to submit your Vancouver 2010 Spirit photos for your chance to win a pin!  I’ll be doing a draw on the evening of Sunday, January 17th, but don’t worry, I’ll have a new pin competition on next week too!

2. Please continue to email me about any Vancouver 2010 venues you hear about so that I may add them to the Vancouver 2010 Venue map.  I really appreciate everyone’s help and I do make updates as quickly as I can.

3. Looks like Walkabout 3 will be on Thursday, January 21 and may require a transit pass.  We may go investigate some of the SkyTrain and Canada Line stations, as they’re all getting wrapped, as well as perusing some venues along the way.  Let me know if there is anything in particular you’d be interested in doing if you are able to come along (

4 – I may start changing the format of my blog a bit as they’re getting a bit long and harder to write all at once.  I am planning on starting to submit several smaller posts through the day so keep your eyes open and you mouse finger ready!

Thank you merci for reading and sharing!

11 Comments leave one →
  1. Rowena permalink
    January 17, 2010 10:00 am


    Thanks for the heads up on the prix fixe menu at the Four Seasons. I’ve been looking for restaurants with prix fixe promos so that I could taste the best of Vancouver for less. However, still going to book Tojo’s and splurge there!

    I’m a foodie in training and during my planning have gotten so excited about the culinary experience in Vancouver that I briefly forgot that I was going for the games! Gasp!

    Feel free to post or email me with any other restaurant promos.


    • Rowena permalink
      January 17, 2010 10:03 am

      I just realized the prix fixe is only available until January 31st. Oh well…keep me posted if they decide to extend it?

      But, I will stay tuned and hope to have a gold medal cocktail!


  2. elspeth permalink
    January 17, 2010 10:12 am

    Hi Andrea,
    I was wondering this morning whether you might change things on your blog in the build up to the Games, and you just answered my question…you’re writing more!!
    Just like you.
    You are doing an amazing job and you’ll soon have to plan something big for your 50 000th hit.
    Bundle some of your energy over this way will you?;~)

  3. January 17, 2010 10:55 am

    Hiya Andrea,

    FYI I’ve created an online iCal of all the medal events for the Games, Anyone is welcome to subscribe, download or bookmark it. Here’s the link:

    The start times are all precise–or a few minutes early for the events with whacky (1:22PM) start times. The end times are totally arbritrary, so a bit of knowledge about a sport will help. The sprint anything finals are over in 5 minutes or less; the figure skating long programs take between 3 and 4 hours to get through 24 4.5 minute long programs.

    And I love you signing off with “Thank you! Merci!” I actually came up with that 🙂

  4. Rachael permalink
    January 17, 2010 11:49 pm

    Glad you found the tickets, now make a note in your phone as to where the safe place is.

  5. January 28, 2010 9:55 am

    Which Vincor pin are you missing? I have a friend who works there, perhaps I can see if they can get that one for you.

    Your enthusiasm is definitely infectious! (I mean that in a good way!) There’s definitely a need and the soul craves for uplifting blogs like yours. Make no apologies to the naysayers as you’re very upfront about your intentions for blogging. Although their opinions and preferences need not be discounted, this is not their forum and they can create their own blog and following to promote their agenda.

    My Olympic Spirit? Being a volunteer performer for the 2010 Opening and Closing Ceremonies. That’s all I can say for now!

    Thanks for sharing your enthusiasm! It’s much appreciated.

    • 2010vanfan permalink
      January 28, 2010 3:40 pm

      Wow! A performer for both the Opening and Closing?! How wonderful. I know you can’t say anything about them yet and that is just perfect in my books 🙂 I think everyone should have the joy of surprise with such exciting events. And thanks for your support on the positivity of my blog, I’m glad that there are people just looking for happy.

      I am still looking for the Vincor pin. I have all of the wine brand pins. So it’s just the first pin on this page. It would be wonderful if you found one for me. I’ll even trade you a pin for it 🙂

      Thanks again! Andrea


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