Wednesday, March 24, 2010

"We Serve People Here"

First picture is from my brother-in-law Dave, who snapped this shot in Roatan.  His comment about the sign says it all; "Cannibal Cafe: We serve people here."  The other pics are just a reminder to keep your eyes never know what you'll see.  This woodpecker came swooping in a couple of days ago.

Saturday, March 13, 2010

A Budding Musician?

Adri's musical debut...she's got rhythm!

Monday, March 08, 2010

March Shower...

What kind of shower you ask? Both kinds...a "baby" shower and a "snow" shower.  Of course, I didn't attend the baby shower, but came in at the end and snapped a few photos.  And who would have thunk, two days after "shorts" weather, we'd actually have snow at our house.

Friday, March 05, 2010

Whatcom Falls Vid and time with my Family

My Family came up last Saturday and spent some time with us.  Here's some vid and pics from the weekend.

Pictures are here (click below)

Monday, March 01, 2010

Congrats Canada: My Day in Vancouver, and other Olympic thoughts

First, if you want to skip it all and just see the pictures I took in Vancouver Sunday, (day of Canada's gold medal in hockey and closing ceremonies), click here (weenie - what, you don't want to read my writings?).

First: Congrats Canada on your gold medal in hockey.  While I wanted USA to win, I have to admit, my day in Vancouver wouldn't have been as fun (or as safe) if you had lost.

Second: I have a USA Today in front of me (Monday) and they have little blurb that says "broadcast earns silver."  WHAT?  Is USA Today in cohoots with NBC?  Silver?  I'd say more like "participant award" unless they're talking about the Canadian Coverage.  Where do I start?

- I live 1 hour from Vancouver but can't watch anything live on NBC
- I have to stay up until midnight to see the action?  Hello, who picked 8-midnight on the west coast?  How about 6-10, or 7-11, or here's a thought, LIVE COVERAGE?
- When they did show coverage, WAY too many commercials. 

Enough about that, though, this post was supposed to be about my day in Vancouver.  I had no plans for the day, except I knew I'd regret it if I didn't get up there at least once.  I ended up having a great time.  Rather then write a nice flowing narrative, I'll just bullet point a bunch of thoughts, highlights, and impressions for you...and of course, there's about 100 pictures of my day here.

- Public Transportation...what's our problem?  Every time I travel outside the Seattle area, I am reminded at how poor our public transportation is.  I left our church in Bellingham at 12:25, and by 2:15 I was in downtown Vancouver.  The boarder crossing?  Never been easier...all lanes open, and I drove right up and through; (same thing on the way back, by the way).  From there, 30 minutes to Surrey where I found parking, hopped on their sky-train, and 45 minutes later was dropped in downtown, 10 minutes (walk) from the Olympic Cauldron.  What would happen if Seattle ever hosted a games?  Gridlock.

- Hockey: Canada, as we all know, is hockey MAD.  I arrived while the game was going on.  You could hear people all over the city cheering, booing, and following the game on their various devices.  I literally could ask ANYONE the score, and they would all know.  I knew when the game was almost over, and I knew the exact moment the U.S. tied the game...(it got eerily quiet in the city).  And, of course, when Crosby scored the game winner, I knew.  Bedlam.  Words and pictures can't describe the scene that unfoled the rest of the day.  Horns honking, cheering, all manner of patriotic outfits, lots of drinking and public intoxication, high-fives to complete strangers and more.  At least they were "happy drunks."  Check out a video below.

- Speaking of which, I was wearing my red North Face jacket, which I realized later looked like the Canadian red.  I was getting high-fives from complete strangers, and decided not to tell them I was rooting against them.

- Blue Jacket people: this is something Vancouver did RIGHT.  On almost every street corner scattered throughout the city, you'd see 2-3 people with blue jackets.  They were there to help.  Ask them a question and they could give you an answer.  Some of my questions to them: "Which way to the cauldron?  Which way to the stadium?  I'm lost, how do I get to the Granville Island?  Is this the train to King George Station?  Where's the heart of the action?  Where's the nearest bathroom?"  In all cases, I got a very good and accurate answer.

- Crowds.  Especially after the hockey game, it got very crowded.  I bugged out on the Train about 6:30 PM and I think the party was just getting started; (the closing ceremonies hadn't ended yet).  Even still, I doubt 1 more person would have fit in the sky-train I took.

- The city is beautiful...a huge, modern city, surrounded by mountains and water.

- My one souvenir: a great t-shirt that says "Vancouver Snow-Storm 2010" and has a picture of about 3 helicopters dropping snow onto a barren slope.

- People: lots of people from multiple cultures...however, by far and away, most of who I saw were Canadians.  And why not?  This was their day.  Closing ceremonies, Hockey gold, it was their time to enjoy the spectacle.

- Bathroom: Huh?  Let me explain.  There was one conveniently located bathroom facility for both men/women.  However, upon descending the stairs I was confronted with a small office with a window on both sides and a woman monitoring both bathrooms.  That will make you think twice...I chose a stall.

In the end, while I really wanted USA to win the hockey gold, a part of me was happy to see our friends to north celebrating so hard.  After all, our USA hockey team wasn't even supposed to medal at all...(many of our team had flights booked ahead of time by NHL officials to get back to their NHL team for the morning of the gold-medal game).

Other Video:

Full album here;
Nice Job Vancouver