Yes, itâ€™s rainy. The wind is howling and the 2010 Olympic flame is blowing sideways leaving my umbrella to resembles a closed tulip, but the enthusiasm for the Olympic games is infectious.
The minute my husband, Tom, and I stepped off the Skytrain, we are greeted with a chorus of welcomes.
â€œGood morningâ€ said one Mapleleaf clad young women.
â€œGood morningâ€ said another.
â€œGood morningâ€ said a third.
Oh my gosh, Iâ€™ve got to move to this friendly city. Iâ€™ve already got three friends in less than a minute. Just think, by the time I get to my hotel, letâ€™s say ten minutes or so-Iâ€™ll have 30 new friends. I did notice a lot of my new â€˜friendsâ€™ were wearing bright green coats and badges.
At our centrally located hotel, Rosedale on Robson in Vancouver BC, the staff personnel practically fall over each other with their welcomes. I love this place. I canâ€™t wait to tell my old college friend, Deb, how much I love her country. Deb moved here 20+ years ago and never left. She probably has loads of friends.
The phone rings five minutes after we settle into our room.
â€œIâ€™m downstairs.â€ Said my old friend.
I quickly put on some lipstick and ran downstairs.
â€œDam girl, you look the same as you did in college.â€ I said
Waiting, waiting, waiting for similar reply. Guess Iâ€™m not looking as fresh as I thought. Oh well, things could be worse.
â€œDeb, everyone here is so friendly.â€
Iâ€™m rather deflated by this statement. Maybe I donâ€™t have quite so many friends as I imagined. Maybe they are paid to be nice!
â€œWhat about all the people in green jackets?â€ I ask.
â€œOh, those are volunteers, they donâ€™t get paid unless their employers pay for their time off to help with the Olympics.â€ She said as we walked towards the waterfront to see our first ever â€˜live in personâ€™ Olympic flame.
Tomorrowâ€“we hope to be first in line at The Bay department storeâ€“the only place in Vancouver which sells Olympic souvenirs. The line was three blocks long today. I donâ€™t want the popular maple-leaf mittens that bad.
Mondayâ€“Off to Cypress Mountain to watch Tomâ€™s relative, Nate Holland. A â€œfive-peteâ€ X Games champion. Hopefully Iâ€™ll be wearing my new souvenir maple leaf mittens.
Shawn enjoys writing about daily events, family adventures, vacations and travel, her three well behaved children and her favorite subject, her husband. She lived in France with her family for a year in 2001-2002 and her misadventures of speaking the language and day-to-day living in a foreign country are legendary. Her book; “Mommy Are we French Yet?” will be released March 2010. http://www.shawnunderwood.com/