First day in Vancouver – We’re keen to check it all out

February 6, 2010 by  

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We arrived in Vancouver last night at dinner time. A clear and beautiful day woke us early. The time change – Vancouver is on Pacific time which is 3 hours earlier than Eastern Standard time – sent us to bed earlier than usual and up, ready to go early to see what’s happening here. It was sunny in Vancouver which is a rare and wonderful event. The temperature reached 11C. We watched the snow-capped mountains in the distance as we motored up to Vancouver in Karen’s Honda Civic. Traffic is light on a sunny Saturday – lots of locals on bikes and walking – all basking in the sunshine in their light fleece jackets and shirtsleeves! What a difference from Toronto in February.

The city is alive with anticipation. The words Go Canada with red maple leaves brighten billboards and buses, store windows, pubs and restaurants. The buses all have Welcome World flashing on their signs.Our first stop after breakfast was Accreditation and Uniform Distribution. We proved who we were with our passports, had our pictures taken and badges made, and were assisted to choose the right size uniforms – all in a very efficient and friendly process at the PNE- the Pacific National Exhibition building – site of figure skating and short track speed skating. Apparently over 20,000 volunteers have been through accreditation to date – we were among the last wave

We were given jackets, vests and pants and 2 long sleeve shirts – all excellent quality and easy care (Vancouver style!) – as well as maps and instructions and a few gifts from sponsors. Everyone was exceedingly helpful, chatty and so excited about the upcoming games. With our gear in tow – thanks to Karen and Glenn we could store it all in the trunk of the car – we headed south and west to find the skytrain and check out the transportation system that will get us to the Village each day. My first shift is tomorrow at 7am and I want to know how I will get there on time!

After a bit of a drive around – signs to the new Canada Line are not plentiful – we found the Bridgeport station which we discovered would take us to downtown where we could pick up our complementary tickets to the Rehearsal for the Opening Ceremonies on Feb 10th, and then on to the Olympic Village.

Once at the Village, who is standing at the entrance gate but an old friend, Ann Peters from Montreal, who is also a volunteer with Event Services. What fun! Ann is on Day 5 so she had lots to tell us. I had a quick look at the Polyclinic and said hello. I feel much better now and will sleep tonite knowing what I need to do early tomorrow to get there.

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