ok, so I am all over US celebrities (JON HAMM!) loving the Canada garb from the Olympics but it sickens me a wee bit to see them leaving the HBC gift suite with 2 or 3 PAPER bags (this is another pet peeve – why not use the reusable CLOTH bags???) stuffed full of swag when people are lining up for HOURS to pay for it and there is nothing left

like these celebs NEED the stuff?  will they ever wear it again??

sure, give them A sweatshirt or A jacket or A pair of mitts, but 3 entire bags stuffed full??

un peut trop

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Let me preface this by saying I am EXCITED about the Olympics and am a supporter of the games – the energy in this city right now is amazing and I am truly looking forward to the next two weeks.  That said, right now I am simply frustrated with the actual getting to of the events.  I have tickets to the boarder-cross on Monday at Cypress Mountain in West Vancouver. No cars are allowed at the venue, obviously, and there are shuttles for ticket holders to the Cypress Mountain site.  The tickets we got on the shuttle are at 6:55 a.m. (YIKES!) but the early hour we could handle. It`s the getting to the shuttle that is proving to be problematic – Translink buses do not start running from where I live until 7 – we have to BE THERE at 6:30.  Also, I live at the base of Grouse Mountain, a local ski resort thas is open 24/7 during the games. Driving ANYWHERE during the games is being STRONGLY discouraged.  However, there are NO BUSES running, so what is one to do??

Below is a twitter “dialog”  with Translink this week:

ME: have to be at the Sea Bus by 6:25 a.m. for a REQUIRED shuttle at 6:55 a.m. – NO BUSSES that early from fucking GROUSE MOUNTAIN – #EPICFAIL!

THEM: Last Bus from Grouse Mountain: No. 236 Lonsdale @12:32 AM. Trip Planner: http://ow.ly/15Cyj ^JS#olympics #van2010

ME: thanks but LAME – find it inconceivable that you would not put earlier 236 buses on to help with transportation – EPIC fail

THEM: I encourage you to use the Trip Planner. For example, first #SkyTrain out of King George Stn @ 5:08 AM. http://ow.ly/15CWT

ME: @translink the trip planner is of NO USE if the buses don’t run until after 7 a.m. and we have to BE THERE at 6:30 a.m.

THEM: Are you working at Grouse? Perhaps you can speak with your manager, colleagues about organizing a ride share (car pool).

ME: @translink live near there-trying to get to Cypress and booked on the 6:55 shuttle from Lonsdale Quay-encouraged NOT to drive, no parking

THEM: Have you tried Ride-Share to connect with Olympic Bus Network? More information here:http://ow.ly/15DPn #Olympics

ME: so what @translink is saying is that if you have to get anywhere before 7 a.m. you are SOL – another #EPICFAIL for @translink

ME: @translink from Olympic website:Do not drive or rideshare/carpool to this transfer hub as there is no parking for Olympic spectators

THEM: which hub?

ME: @translink Lonsdale Quay

THEM: Did you check the loop at the bottom of Chesterfield Street?

ME: @translink for what, parking? still trying to get there for 6:30 a.m. Monday w/out having to shell out more $ for a taxi or parking

THEM: The loop can be used as a kiss and ride – for drop off only. you might be able to hide and ride a little furtherup the hill.

ME: @translink looks like we will have to shell out $ for a taxi-unless they honour NOW-WORTHLESS OLYMPIC TRANSIT PASSES (that’s sarcasm, BTW)

ME: @translink honestly shocked there is no increase in the 236 considering the mountain is open 24/7 & driving is being STRONGLY discouraged

Funny, that’s the last I heard from them – Translink ENCOURAGING us to drive and “hide & ride” in a residential neighbourhood where I am sure the residents would be thrilled.

Like I said above, I SUPPORT the games.  I am excited that they are here and am looking forward to the next two weeks, inconveniences and all.  However, this is just ONE example of how short-sighted Translink and the Olympic organisers are being.  This scares me more than a little.

I was running an errand at lunch today and was struck but just how beautiful this city is. The energy & excitement about the Olympics (4 sleeps!) is amazing – today at least it seemed like the positive was far out weighing the negative. Or maybe that’s just the way my rose-tinted glasses are seeing things.  Whatever.  Below is just a small example of this amazing city’s Olympic spirit – much, MUCH more to come!

OH! Canada

flag in reflection

CHINTZ!

Yesterday I went to the Bay to pick up a Canada hoodie for my niece Lola (and one for me).  The Olympic store was packed!!  But it was a good kind of packed – people were happy and helpful (the customers) and well staffed and the staff were pleasant and helpful and smiling – very out of character for the Bay!

And this good spirit seems to be permeating throughout the city, which is great – banners are flying, buildings are wrapped with Olympic logos and artist renditions of winter sports, volunteers and staff in their distinctive turquoise uniforms are on the street – the world descends on our fair city in 8 sleeps and I am excited!

There has been a lot of criticism of how Vanoc has conducted themselves, of how too much money has been spent, of how the money should have been spent on the homeless situation in Vancouver (how many times to people have to be told that it was NEVER an either/or situation), of how corrupt the entire organisation is, etc.  So tired of hearing it.

The games are coming. 250,000 people ARE COMING.  There will be events and concerts and ceremonies and skating and FUN to be had by all.  Will it be incovenient?  Hell yes it will.  Traffic will be stupid and busses will be crowded.  Restaurants will be packed and our day to day life will not be normal.

But so what???

It’s 2 weeks. 14 bloody days.  NOT the end of the world.

And such a unique experience – get out there, enjoy, celebrate our fantastic city and all that it has to offer. Go to as many of the events and activities and EXPERIENCES as you can.

I know I will and I will be loving it!

8 more sleeps …