Yes, it'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.

"Good morning" said one Mapleleaf clad young women.

"Good morning" said another.

"Good morning" said a third.

Oh my gosh, I've got to move to this friendly city. I've already got three friends in less than a minute. Just think, by the time I get to my hotel, let's say ten minutes or so-I'll have 30 new friends. I did notice a lot of my new 'friends' 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 can'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.

"I'm downstairs." Said my old friend.

I quickly put on some lipstick and ran downstairs.

"Dam girl, you look the same as you did in college." I said

Waiting, waiting, waiting for similar reply. Guess I'm not looking as fresh as I thought. Oh well, things could be worse.

"Deb, everyone here is so friendly."

"Oh yeah, we've been barraged with public announcements before the Olympics, stuff like, remember you are a representative of Canada, go out of your way to be friendly."

I'm rather deflated by this statement. Maybe I don't have quite so many friends as I imagined. Maybe they are paid to be nice!

"What about all the people in green jackets?" I ask.

"Oh, those are volunteers, they don't get paid unless their employers pay for their time off to help with the Olympics." She said as we walked towards the waterfront to see our first ever 'live in person' Olympic flame.

Tomorrow"“we hope to be first in line at The Bay department store"“the only place in Vancouver which sells Olympic souvenirs. The line was three blocks long today. I don't want the popular maple-leaf mittens that bad.

Monday"“Off to Cypress Mountain to watch Tom's relative, Nate Holland. A "five-pete" X Games champion. Hopefully I'll be wearing my new souvenir maple leaf mittens.

ShawnUnderwood200Shawn 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.