Tuesday, March 16, 2010

A Party Unlike Any Other

 

Hola Bloggies:

Sorry for my unexpected absence from the blog! Last week was kind of crazy with overnight guests to the casa. First the Fiancé's family came to visit. And then a friend of mine drove down and chilled during the weekend. It was super fun but it left no time for my neglectorino of a blog! No worries though – I’m back to finish my epic Vancouver 2010 recap!!

 

When last we left off the Canadian Men’s Hockey Team had just won the gold medal . . .

The atmosphere in the room was awesome! No sooner had the game ended when random people started heading out on the streets. The once deserted roads were full of cars honking their horns with complete abandon.

Truth be told I don’t even remember when the Fiancé and I decided to head downtown. All we knew was that there was going to be a crazy celebration and we had to be there! So we got in our car and headed to downtown!!! WOOHOO!!!

One of the most vivid images of our drive will forever be the kids on the overpasses. You see to get to downtown Van from where we were (Coquitlam) we had to take a highway with a series of overpasses. It seemed that practically every overpass had a kid holding a flag, waving it like there was no tomorrow! And so we honked!!! We honked because we could. Because it would make them happy. And because we too wanted to share in the joy.

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Instead of trying to drive straight into downtown (they were starting to shut down the roads to prevent over-crowding) we decided to drive to North Vancouver and take the Seabus to Vancouver. Once we arrived downtown I looked up and realized that the grey clouds that had prevailed during our visit were gone. In their place was the most gorgeous blue sky! I couldn’t imagine a more fittingly beautiful Vancouver afternoon!!

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And the crowds? They were CRAZY!!!!!!!! But in a really good way!!!!!!!!!! Everyone was decked out in their red and white (we even saw one older lady wearing tight red pants, a red sweater, red socks, and white shoes – it killed us!! lol), waving their Canadian flags (attached to their hockey sticks no less), and loving every minute of the experience!!

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I mean seriously!?!? Look at that picture!! That couple is embracing in the middle of what is normally Vancouver’s busiest intersection. That girl I’m sure is on the phone with someone saying something along the lines of “You HAVE to get down here!" lol

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It’s hard to describe the feeling from pictures alone. And so I bring you some video – the scene a couple of blocks away from Robson and Burrard (more or less the intersection pictured above) looked a little like this:

And yes that would be a random guy high fiving yours truly!! Ahahah! It was that kind of a day!! smile_wink

It was also a random sign kind of day! Downtown Vancouver was full of people carrying signs saying all kinds of things. My favourite were held by a group of guys standing right near the CTV Network Outdoor Studio. So many people were coming up to them and posing for pictures that they eventually started chanting “Non-stop Photo Op! Non-stop Photo Op! Non-stop Photo Op!” LOL They were hilarious! I may have even gotten a little excited and jumped into the fray!!!

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HA!!! I wasn’t faking the amount of excitement you see on my face either! It was totally genuine! I really was that excited!! And I really was having that much fun!!! Time of my life really!!!

What!?!? You think I was the only one!?!?! lol Not so amigos. You’d like to see an example?!??! Okay!

“Hey Fiancé! How do you feel about the Canadian Men’s Hockey Gold Medal?”

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Bwaahahhahaha! I’d say that’s pretty unequivocal! Wouldn’t you!?!?

Remember how I said that there is no activity more Canadian than kinds playing a good old hockey game!??! Well it turns out that the same is still true on Gold medal Sunday. Imagine my delight when in the midst of the downtown mayhem we discovered an impromptu street hockey game. Classic.

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Those kids will always remember that on the day the whole country celebrated, they played hockey. On the streets. Of Vancouver no less. And I think that’s all kinds of amazing!

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Eventually we decided to leave the mayhem of the crowds in favour of taking a walk on the Sea Wall. It was a spectacular night in Vancouver and we wanted to drink in the beauty of the place before heading away from the Coast the next morning!

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Le sigh. Have I mentioned how much I love the views in Van-city?

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During the Olympics whenever Canada won Gold the Olympic rings floating in the harbour would change colours to a yellow hue. On that night – the colour of the rings was particularly lovely! smile_regular

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After a quick visit to say goodbye to the Olympic Flame we found a cafe to watch the Closing Ceremonies. It was with a decidedly heavy heart that we watched as the Vancouver 2010 games were officially closed. But instead of dwelling on that feeling we decided to go back out and continue enjoying the party!

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I wish I could bottle the feeling of being in Vancouver that day. In fact I wish I could come close to describing how it felt to be there. I don’t think I can! You just had to be there!!!! And I was!!! It was one for the books boys and girls!!!

We stayed downtown as long as we could but soon enough we had to call it a night. And so we headed to the Seabus while enjoying the very last of the Olympic celebrations.

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I won’t lie. It was hard to leave Vancouver that night. It was hard to say goodbye to that feeling of complete elation. Of overwhelming joy on the streets. Truth is, as Canadians we don’t often toot our own horn but for two weeks we tooted to our hearts content! And on that last day we waved our flags, grinned like silly people, and loved the feeling of being proud to be Canadian! Unlike our friends to the South we don’t engage in such blatant acts of patriotism. But maybe we should.

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At the end of the night I was decidedly melancholic and said to the Fiancé, “The World came to visit! And now they’re all leaving . . . When will they come back again?” His reply, “They’re always here Karen.” I hope that’s true. I hope we Canadians are fortunate enough to experience an event like this again. I hope the feeling of patriotism lives on beyond Vancouver2010. And I hope all of you enjoyed coming to our corner of the World – because we sure loved having you here!

 

Signing off from the Vancouver 2010 Winter Games,

 

A Toronto Girl out West

9 comments:

Kelly said...

Yay! Now I can comment! For some reason I couldn't see the comment button before. Maybe I'm just going crazy :)
Anyway, I just wanted to say those pictures look amazing, especially all the red everywhere! I'm not even Canadian but I still find it sooo cool.

Kelly said...

Yay! Now I can comment! For some reason I couldn't see the comment button before. Maybe I'm just going crazy :)
Anyway, I just wanted to say those pictures look amazing, especially all the red everywhere! I'm not even Canadian but I still find it sooo cool.

A Toronto girl out West said...

Kelly,

I think you made up for it by commenting twice! lol :oP I kid, I kid!!!

And it was cool - no matter what nationatilty you were!!

Jessica said...

Great photos!! Looks like such a fun time!!

A Toronto girl out West said...

Jessica,

Were there any celebrations in your neck of the woods?

Marianne (frenchfriestoflaxseeds) said...

Le sigh - I wish I hadn't felt like a sack of crap that day. I would have been down there, soaking it all in with you.

Newlywed Next Door said...

I'm glad that Canada won! You all deserved it.

Thanks for stopping by my blog! Congrats on your engagement!

A Toronto girl out West said...

Marianne,

It would have been no fun to be out and brutally sick! There will be other times! :o)

Newlywed,

Thanks! :o)

I've added your blog to my Google Reader so I'll definitely be back!

ironpigpen said...

Another great piece sharing the excitement from Vancouver!

Thanks for that and congrats, once again.

IRONPIGPEN

FEI (for everyone's information)

I have all 30 Match Reports done from the Vancouver tournament now.

I am also in the process of making "picture books" for each and every Olympic game.

Like 30-40 pics per game capturing big hits, all the goals and other magic moments from Vancouver.

For posterity, to help people better relive their memories.

Everyone is welcome. Particularly you Olympic champion Canucks, because I know you guys love your hockey so and that's cool.

Enjoy :)

www.goironpigs.com