Sunday, February 28, 2010

The Final Weekend....Congratulations Canada!

Hello family and friends:

Well this will be my last entry of my olympic journey and it is a little sad to have all this come to an end... I think Vancouver did an amazing job hosting the Olympics and we really show cased Canada to the world.

This has definitely been a highlight in my life. I did not know what to expect but every day has been so great. I hope I was able to pass on the spirit of the Olympics to you. It was fun doing the blog.

I was so lucky to have the host family that I had... they are a lovely family and made me feel such a part of their life. I am really going to miss seeing the boys grow up as they are great little guys.

I always knew Bruce was great but I really want to thank him for taking over the reins at home for 3 weeks. He was always supportive even despite a few challenges at home!

Hope to touch base with all of you soon,


Saturday, February 27, 2010

Canada - "What an Amazing Day" We are so proud!

I had my last shift up at Cypress was just like my 1st shift...standing outside in the pouring rain! At least this time I had a poncho. I kept dry and warm and I was posted down where the spectators enter...away from the action. Our canadian athletes have done so well at Cypress...another gold today!

Today was a "last day" for a few last shift, my last ride on public transit (that is not so bad..) It is all a bit sad as I have had such an amazing time.

I am spending the evening hanging out with my host Rebecca. The kids have gone to bed, she has ordered Thai food in for us and we'll probably have a little wine! Her husband Scott has gone "out with the boys" to partake in the atmosphere down town.... (see picture of Scott in his kilt with his friend Richard before they hit downtown!)

The picture of the boys is taken before bed while they are watching a cartoon. It hit me today that I have really become fond of these boys and I will miss them.

The other picture is of some fans from Holland. You can not probably see but on the hat of the first fan is a "skate". I didn't have time to ask them to pose for me so I had to take a rear view shot.

Tomorrow Rebecca is having a few people over to watch the Canada/US hockey game and the closing ceremonies.

Hope all is well,


"Show and tell at preschool and the Vancouver aquarium.

Hello all:

I started out yesterday by going to Luke's preschool and being his "show and tell". I wore my volunteer uniform and took all my pins to show the kids. Preschool has not changed much since our girls went 15+ years ago. The teachers are magical in getting the kids to listen! The children performed their welcome song in English, French and sign language. I was impressed. I talked about being a volunteer and talked about how Luke's family had welcomed me into their home. I talked about pin trading and I showed each of them my pins I had collected. They liked the pins!

Rebecca then took me to one of her job sites. She is an interior designer and has had her own business for 12 years. She tries to work 3 days/week so she can have some time the boys. I have included a picture of the renovation she is doing. She is renovating the whole main floor of a house; I have included a picture of the kitchen. All the ceiling is done in cedar. Outside the kitchen window there is a beautiful stream running.

Rebecca & I then took the boys to the aquarium which was very enjoyable. I like the picture of the sloth up in the tree... Jamie, the sea otter cruising around on his back is for you!

After the aquarium, I met up with my cousin Anne who lives in Vancouver. We haven't seen each other for 10 years. We went to pick up my aunt (her mom) at her seniors apartment so she could join us for dinner. My aunt is 90 and lives alone independently. She is doing great and certainly doesn't look her age. She is taking a trip to England in April to visit her daughter and see her grandchildren and great grandchildren.

Anne and Monte bought fresh salmon at Granville market and made a beautiful dinner. We had a nice visit.

I am off to work shortly... my last shift. It is pouring rain out. I was going to request a job on the hill but I may change my mind and ask to be in the security area where we are protected from the elements.

Hope you have a nice day.........Marianne

Thursday, February 25, 2010

More Pictures from go with Thursday's post.

Canada women's hockey final today....

Hello all:

I want to post my blog before the final in women's hockey so I can watch it on TV.

My shift today was cancelled at Cypress so I took the opportunity to check out the Capilano suspension bridge which is 230 feet above the Capilano River. As I think most people would feel, I wondered how that wobbly, bouncy bridge would hold so many tourists; especially during the Olympics! I did my duty and read the information board which told me that the bridge would hold the equivalent of 96 elephants. I looked at the bridge and there were only 6 people on it so I went for it. It's a challenge to take a picture as you are weaving up and down. Not for the faint of heart or not for anyone who has had some alcohol prior to walking the bridge.

Another piece of trivia, one of the Douglas Fir trees that supported the bridge was 300 years old and 14 feet in circumference. They claim that the trees get stronger with all the winds and weight they have to support. That was comforting.

My highlight of the excursion was when this wee little 5 year old boy came up to me and asked me if I would trade pins with him. ( before I came to the Olympics I didn't really know much about pin trading - pretty self explanatory- but I have now become more adept to "the process") The little boy asked me for one of my pins with the mascots on it so I gave it to him. He then asked me which one I would like. He only had about 5 pins so how could I take a pin from a 5 year old... I thanked him and said "you keep them" but he insisted on giving me a skater pin of Joannie Roachet (SP??) He was from the US so I think he was OK with letting it go.

I then headed home but took one stop to take a photo of the Russian "tall ship" that is docked in harbour. This is one of Russia's attractions to advertise that they are the next host of the 2014 Olympics.

I also went to see Luke (age 5) play hockey. It was very cute....he got 7 goals, he is the tallest on the team.... if you look at the height of his parents, it makes sense.

Tomorrow I am "show and tell" for Luke at his preschool so I better figure out what I am going to say to a group of 5 year olds! After that, we plan to take the boys to the aquarium.

Go Canada Go!!!! P.S. the picture of Lynda and I on the jumbotron is from Monday's semi final hockey game.


Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Great Medal Day for Canada! All women!

Vancouver was pumped today! I had the day off so I decided to go downtown, do a little shopping and see some of the free Olympic attractions.

I was curious to see the official Olympic store at the Bay as it has daily 2-3 block line ups to get in. I got into line, called my sister Leslie in Kingston and after a 20 minute call, the line up was only a few minutes! The Olympic store was massive, anything you can imagine was there. I wanted the red hoodie with Canada on it for Bruce but they have not had any for 2 weeks. Shopping in the store was like shopping on boxing day.... shoulder to shoulder. People were not even trying on clothes, they were just taking them. It was a frenzy. Bruce will be glad that I only bought a few things. (see picture of line up)

I then went to visit The Northern House which show cases our Canadian north. It was very well done, see pictures. Did you know that the average wage in the Yukon for all occupations is $24.80? I then hopped on the sky train (I am getting to be a pro at using the transit system) and went to try and get into the Russia, Ontario, Quebec and Saskatchewan House, as they were all side by side. Russia House was closed because of the mens hockey game and the others all had line ups and they all had TV screens inside showing the men's hockey game between Canada and Russia. The lines did not budge as no one was going leave to go outside and walk in the rain! I watched the game for a bit outside on the TV screen and could hear the roar when Canada scored as we were right beside GM Hockey Place.

I walked over to BC Place as I was meeting my house hosts Rebecca, Scott and Luke to see the Medals ceremony and see the band INXS. Luke is 5 and this was his first Olympic event so he was very excited; wearing his Canada flag as a cape! The medal ceremony was well done; it was nice to see Clara Hughes get her bronze medal. It's too bad we couldn't see all the medals that were won today.

It is getting late so I shall sign off...this is my second attempt to do the blog tonight. I was previewing my 1st blog and somehow I erased it all.....I was not impressed. So then I ate some junk food and here I am again...

We'll talk soon.


Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Another GOLDEN day at Cypress!


The sun has left us but Cypress had snow all day......just a few months late!

As you probably know we had the debut of ladies ski cross at the Olympics and Canada won the gold!!

I was working at the entrance scanning spectator tickets so I had no clue as to what was happening on the hill but our team leader filled us in on the good news. We also helped the spectators find their way out of the venue to the buses so they were in a good mood after the gold and I got many "high fives" from fans.

I had a stroke of good luck today. One of the volunteers had 4 tickets for tomorrows medal ceremony at BC Place with the feature band being INXS. At $30 each I scooped them up. Myself, my host family and Luke, their 5 year old son will go to the ceremony. Luke is very excited as he has been wanting to go to an Olympic event. This is much more affordable than most events.

I didn't really have any photos for today (I must have been exhausted from our last 2 days!!) so this one is me holding my tickets for INXS!!

Take care,


Monday, February 22, 2010

Canadian Women's hockey team win against Finland!

Lynda, Mitch and I saw our first Olympic event; a great hockey game in which our Canadian women won. As you probably saw, the crowd was a "sea of red" and a very happy crowd.

The big thrill was that Lynda and I got to be on the "jumbotron"... being very silly.

It was another sunny and warm day in Vancouver...the last sunny day they tell us, but it has been a great run!

Lynda, Mitch and I met up again in downtown Vancouver. We went to visit a friend of Mitch's that he used to work with in Ottawa. His friend now lives on his boat with his wife in False Creek. We all (including his wife's brother who is the skip of the Australia curling team. His team missed being in the olympics by 1/2 point) ate lunch at Granville Island and then walked to Canada Hockey Place. The photos are of our day and of the game. (the picture of the girls from work is also included in many of the photos as they couldn't be with us in body but we had them in picture with us) By the way, that is Lynda's toe with the maple leaf! She is so patriotic!

We had a great 2 days together, many laughs. Lynda and Mitch are on their way back to Ottawa tomorrow morning.

Tomorrow is back to reality more or less, I have a shift up at Cypress. I think it is the women's ski cross, debuting it's first time in the Olympics.

Take care,