We took a trip down to Vancouver yesterday and spent the day wandering around Commerical and Granville Island with some friends. Commercial is a really fun, quirky place with interesting stores and some great restaurants, and that's where we spent most of our day. Then we took Skytrain and the new "Olympic Line" streetcar over to Granville Island. The streetcar on loan from Brussells is very nice, and very similar to the MAX trains in Portland, Oregon, except the ones from Brussells have leather seats and signs that are in French and what I think was Dutch (since the signs are only a few words long, I wasn't sure if it was Dutch or German, since those can look a tad similar, and both are official languages in Belgium). And the drivers for these were driving much more slowly than the MAX drivers do.
I wasn't terribly enthusiastic about the Olympics until this weekend. We've been hearing about it for years, and so far, it's just seemed to result in lots of construction and road repair. And now, all of a sudden, this is something really, really neat. There were banners everywhere, people wearing maple leaves, and we actually saw the Slovakian Olympic team while we were waiting in line for the streetcar. This is real. It's no longer something we talk about, not something that's happening next year. It's happening now.
We're going back to Vancouver next weekend, the day after the opening ceremonies. We can't afford to go to any of the events, but there's free concerts and cultural stuff happening, and I want to be able to say that I was there when the Olympics were in Vancouver.