We had a short time for her to show me all the touristy Olympic attractions, before grabbing the Olympic shuttle bus down to the arena.
First stop: walking across the Cambie street bridge. This is where I got my first taste of the crazy billboards. They were on like half the buildings... and I liked it. For some reason that I do not, know except that it's just in true Elise fashion, she had attached a cow bell to her purse. Every step was jingle, jingle, jingle. Let's just say she got her fair share of strange looks, with a few dirty looks thrown in. I have to admit though, it made her much easier to find in a crowd.
Next stop: Robson square. The lineup to take the 10 second zipline across the square was demented. There were people lining up for approximately 6 hours. I had heard the wait was upto 8 hours on other days. Really? A whole day for a 10 second zip ride? It would be fun, but no thanks. We walked down the stairs to take a peek at the open-air ice skating area, and we were just in time: the mascots were making an appearance! Unfortunately my view was blocked by a bunch of CHILDREN! Ugh! Who let them out in public!
On one street were cutouts of different Olympics sports that you can wedge your body into and take pictures. Unfortunately for me I tried to take the form of a ski jumper... and pulled my neck badly. Maybe this one should be for the kids, after all. Also there were cute little Japanese lanterns strung up that kids from the elementary schools had painted.
We headed down to the courthouse, which was decorated beautifully with large pictures of cherry blossoms. The Olympic countdown clock was here too. Oh, and of course there were hippies protesting the seal hunt. Normally I don't take much notice of protesters... but these ones had cute flags. And no one can resist a cute flags. I mean, "Club Soda, not Seals" !? It takes cute to the next level!
The final stop downtown before heading to the ice dancing for the day was of course, the Olympic cauldron. Of course it was surrounded by an unsightly fence so crazies couldn't try to climb it and set their hair on fire (this IS Vancouver, after all), but it was ok. We got some pics from a little farther away and all was well. It was really cool to see this.
We headed to the bus stop to grab the Olympic bus to the Pacific Coliseum. The best part about the bus ride was the super-loud guy on the bus, who clearly was from somewhere that is NOT Vancouver, sounding off about how he knows everything about the city. And he kept being wrong. For example: "We're heading down now to the TNE." Umm buddy, it's the PNE.
Just as we were entering the arena we saw the man of our dreams: Quatchi. And since I was with Elise, and we're both up for anything, we did what any normal girl in her mid-twenties would do: we ran towards him. We had almost lost him, when he headed down a ramp, so we started to yell: "Quaaaattttcchhhiiiii!!!!" It was great, his "handlers" stopped him, (and Sumi too) and they posed as we took pictures. And then they threw us some mascot pins. It was amazeballs.
We found our seats, watched the warmup, and then the show started. When we had first purchased tickets we'd just wanted any kind of ice skating, and boy-oh-boy, that is what we got. It was the 2nd out of 3 days of ice dance, and we were watching the "Original Dance." What we didn't know was that the "Original Dances" had a theme: and it was "country." So as well as being subjected to some rockin country beats, we also got to experience folk dances of some pretty random countries. This was the dance that the Australian couple had gotten into with their aboriginee costumes.
The Canadians, Tessa Virtue and Scott Moir came in second that day, and went on to rock the "Free Dance" to take home the Gold. We were so happy to have seen them skate. All in all it was an awesome adventure, with an awesome friend, at the awesome Olympics.