Sunday, February 28, 2010

I love Vancouver!

And I know that is no secret. I often say that I want to live there, but if I did, then I would live alone. My girlfriend said it first, and I am the same. Our husbands don't share our passion for the big city and our marriages are way more important than our love of the city. It's okay, it's only 40 minutes away and we both go downtown at least twice a month to get in our city-fix. So, needless to say, I think that the Olympics are pretty much the best thing that ever happened. When I found out that they were going to be here for my 50th birthday, I said it then, and I still say it. "Isn't it nice of Vancouver to throw me the biggest party they ever had? The least I can do is show up." And I have. Five times now, and Jenelle and I are heading back in today. Just for a few hours this morning, we are going to enjoy the ambiance, get a couple of last minute things done that we both have on our agendas and we will be home by the time Canada beats the USA in Men's Hockey. Or at least, leaving town. I have a 25th anniversary celebration to attend at 3, and Jen's mom will pick her up in Coquitlam so that Hubby and I can go celebrate a very important milestone with a work friend of his. It's going to be a great day.....I just know it!!

We started our day yesterday by Russia House. We were going to go in so that Jen could look for the russian pin that she had been searching for, but the line-up was about an hour and a half and we decided not to wait.

So we walked down W. 2nd towards Granville Island and this is the Rogers building right now. I am such a tourist and took quite a few pics of some of the buildings and Olympic decorations.

Waiting for the Bombardier to come & take us to Granville Island

The festivities are alive and well on the Island!

This is much later in the day, over on the Georgia viaduct. Slovakian hockey fans who had dressed up for the Bronze medal game. Finland beat them later on 4-3. It was a good game from what I saw of it. Hubby and I joined some friends and went to the Buffalo Club for dinner last night as they had a Pathfinder fund-raiser. It was a great evening......actually it was a great day!! Looking forward to heading back into Vancouver today!! Go Canada Go!!

Friday, February 26, 2010

I love Twitter

Miracle #4's friend has been updating his Twitter account for the past week and I am loving his tweets. Some of them have been:

Feb 23 @ 2:23 pm
Forgot how hard it is to travel by bus. Late arrivals, missed connections, late departures, breakdowns, loud music and passengers.

Feb 24 @ 8 am
La Paz is an amazing city.....at least the ride down into it was. Descending into a canyon with buildings going up the canyon walls=WOW

Feb 24 @ 3:44 pm
Back on the bike tomorrow from 4700m to 1200m on The World's Most Dangerous Road. Don't tell my mom.

Feb 25 @ 3:24 pm
World's Most Dangerous Road/Death Road was so much fun. It was great to be able to tear it down rough ripio.

Isn't that great? I know that they are doing well and everything is okay. I received a call from a Doctor yesterday. He claimed he was eating Humble Pie. This was the Doctor who saw #4 in the Emergency Ward on Saturday, February 13th. At 5 am. The one who didn't send him for an x-ray. He saw the x-ray that was taken on Wednesday, February 17th, and decided that the shoulder might have been dis-located when he saw him. I really didn't know what to say, but I accepted his apology and we will see another Dr when #4 comes home, and he might have to go to Physio. There is nothing that we can do right now......and #4 got to go on his trip. He is having a wonderful time, and I am positive that he is healing. He wouldn't have been able to go on a bike if he wasn't. And now the adventure seekers must be off to Salar Uyuni. He's been gone a week already and it is sure going by fast. Probably faster for him.......

The Men's Hockey team is playing their semi-final game against Slovakia right now. Canada is leading 2-0. Luongo is in net and they are playing great. The Women's team won Gold yesterday and we have received a silver medal in Women's curling today. The Women are dominating our medal count and we are doing very well. Go Canada Go!!

And Happy Birthday to my dear DIL!! She is 29 today!!!

Victory Ceremony Day

I was able to juggle my day a little bit yesterday and go downtown on the West Coast Express instead of the Skytrain and that made it into a very relaxing enjoyable evening. We got to Waterfront Station by 3:15 and made our way to Robson Square. There weren't the crowds that we had seen on the previous few days we had been there. There were still lots of people but nothing like the previous times we had been there. There was only a half hour wait to get into the BC Pavilion/Art Gallery, but the volunteer told us that they had just extended their time there until the end of March. So we decided to go and see something else instead, knowing that we could come back in a few weeks and it would still be there.

This is where we ended up, was the Bell Cube. We got our free earphones and saw some of the Women's Gold medal hockey game. Great big screens. As a matter of fact, that is one thing I have noticed in all of the Houses or Pavilions that we have been into. A stage, some food to buy, and tv screens. A lot of us who experienced Expo 86 were surprised at this at first, but this is the Olympic way, not the Expo way. Just took some getting used to, and the huge line-up at the Ontario pavilion is for the 4D ride, and the huge line-up at the Quebec house is for the poutine. If you just want to see the pavilion, there is rarely much more than a 10 to 15 minute wait, or usually none at all. That's not true of the Royal Canadian Mint or of Russia House, but pretty much everywhere else.
This is Alberta House, a restaurant, and stage and some tv screens.

We got to the Victory Ceremony early, just as the Women's Hockey game was ending and we watched the team get their medals on the screens in BC Place. We sang O Canada with the crowd, and it was a very wonderful experience. My seat is beside Cynde, but look at how much space there was between us (my purple raincoat is on my chair). It almost felt like she was all alone, but we knew she wasn't. I love my friend Cynde and we are really enjoying our Olympic experience together. We were celebrating both of our birthdays last night. I gave her a Victory Ceremony ticket and she bought me a wonderful dinner at Moxie's, where we watched some of the hockey game from the balcony. The screens were across the street at LiveCity Canada Pavilion and we watched until the dying seconds and then dashed across the street and down the Costco stairs to try and avoid the crowds from the hockey game. We didn't realize that the hockey team would also get their medals on the ice, so we didn't have to rush as much as we did. No problem.....Cynde and I don't know how to be anything but early.

Burton Cummings and his band

He did not disappoint. He has aged well, and he is still just as good as he was in 1976 when I last saw him at the Queen Elizabeth Theatre. He is a talented performer and he played all of our favourites, plus more. We actually left during his encore so we would be early to the train station as Cynde was coming back today on the 7:20 train. We thought it would be crowded, but it wasn't. I ran into friends twice yesterday, once at Robson Square, and then at the station. Cynde ran into a friend at the Victory Ceremonies. Even though Burton Cummings said, "Vancouver threw a party and the whole world showed up!" it really is surprising how small our world can truly be. Loving my life right now, and loving the fun times!!

We saw an Olympian!

We were walking by the CBC building today and Ashleigh McIvor was out front. She had a very small group around her and we decided to see what the gathering was about. Cynde and I were both so surprised that neither of us were ready to take a spontaneous picture, so we followed her inside. She was very happy to show us her gold medal and carry on up the stairs. What a special moment!! And she is just as beautiful and gracious in person!! Definitely a highlight for us both!!!

Thursday, February 25, 2010

My bestest birthday ever!!

My friend Chris ran with the torch in Maple Ridge on February 8th. He ran by us so fast that day that we were unable to take any pictures. He came to see me yesterday morning and gave me the photo-op that I had been waiting for!!

I had arranged for coffee and treats all morning, and some of my friends came by and visited and brought gifts and truly gave me the best gift of all.......and that was their presence.

And here was my present from Hubby. He bought me Fin, who came for an hour and spent time with me and the daycare children and lots of my friends and family who love him as much as I do. I was totally surprised!! I really didn't expect him to come as some of the miracles had been telling me for the last few months that they thought what I asked for was "silly." Maybe not even those words, they might have been harsher......so I really did not expect him. Hubby came through for me......and I don't know why I ever would have doubted it, he has been there for me for the last 31 years and loved me unconditionally for all of them.......and came home early from work, and had Fin come to my door. I was so overwhelmed and so happy!!

Some of the children who were here to wish me Happy Birthday, and my favourite mascot! Toddler wasn't so sure of the "big whale" who came to visit, but he got into the picture with his mommy. He liked Fin from afar, but Santa Claus and Fin are pretty much in the same category. Like he knows he supposed to like them.......but only because he is told he is supposed to.

Me and some of the people who made my birthday more perfect than it already was!! There were 3 people taking pictures so they aren't in them, but all I can say is, "WOW!!" I am loved and blessed beyond words. At the end of the evening, I received another really great present from the miracles and that was zip-trekking at Whistler......it will be a family event, with my whole day of meals and fun included. They are also going to pay for a family picture once little Bun comes out in April/May. I really wanted a family picture for my birthday too, but with DIL expecting in 2 months, it seemed kinda of silly to take it now. Not to mention that #4 has left the country.....lol. (and speaking of him, he should really get his own post, but he is ready to bike "the most dangerous road in the world" today in La Paz, Bolivia-----prayers please------it's a road that goes from 4700 ft to 1200 ft, so I think it is steep and winding) So, it was a birthday like no other and I am so overwhelmed and excited that I cannot sleep. Went to bed at 11 and have been lying awake since 1......thinking and processing......thinking and processing. It was the bestest birthday ever!!! Thank-you to everyone, for the cards and the flowers and the $$$ and the gift cards and the emails and the phone calls and the gift of your love. I love you all even more!!!!

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Turning 50 means.....

.....looking back at the choices you've made, the places you've been and embracing the amazing person they've helped you become. It means wearing your confidence like a smile and striding through your life, regret-free, fearless, and purposeful.

Turning 50 means appreciating just how far you've traveled, yet realizing the best of the best is yet to come........It means wrapping yourself in happiness and celebrating every minute of being fifty as if it were the best time of your life-because it truly is.

My friend Leslie dropped by last night and yes, this is what the Hallmark card said. I know that she means every word and I really do agree with it. I am 3 weeks older than her and we still need to figure out how to celebrate these milestones together one day or night. I have another friend turning 50 in April and we have talked about what we are going to do to celebrate as well. She phoned me last night and offered me a Bobsleigh ticket in Whistler today. Oh, it was tempting but it wasn't meant to be.

I am having people over all day, mostly this morning and this evening but I know of one family who are coming by at 2:45, because that is when they can fit me in. I have busy friends. Busy women usually choose friends who are busy too. It's a given. But we all make what is important to us, important. That is one thing that I have learned along the way of this journey called Life. We all do what is important to us. If it is our family and friends, then we make time for them. If it is our work, then that is what we make time for too. If it's a celebration, then we come. I am not a party girl, but I love a good party!! And I like it when my family and little people can participate. I am not into drinking or the silliness, but I love activities that EVERYONE can participate in. The people who I hang with daily are between the ages of 2 and 8. We are having a Canada/Olympics Day party today and yes, it is my birthday!! I will see my family and my friends and that is what is important to me!!! Coffee is ready, the kettle is boiled and I have enough doughnuts, cookies and muffins to feed many, many people!!! Come one, come all!!! Happy Birthday to Me!!! (And Bonnie and Deb too!!!!)

Monday, February 22, 2010

They have had a lot of fun!

All of the miracles have made it into Vancouver for some Olympics sight-seeing this past week. And if you look at some of these pictures, it is still hard to believe that they are at the Winter Olympics. The radio has been calling them the Spring Olympics and rightfully so. I think it was a bit warmer last week than it has been this week, but the sun is shining and the people are all smiling! It's quite the party that Vancouver is giving and we have all soaked it in and had a whole lot of fun!!!

These are some performers from a show in Ontario House.

On Granville Street

At the cauldron, after they had moved the fence

In front of the Art Gallery

This is when he saw the flame from the cauldron. Cute, hey?

Russia House

They let in groups of one hundred or so at a time, just to help control the crowds. We happened to be at the cut-off and we waited outside in the gorgeous sunshine for about five more minutes. This beautiful young lady helped to make the waiting seem very, very short. Not like her legs.....which look very, very long. I thought she should really be a russian model.

This is a map of Sochi. It's a seaport town in the Russian Federation, Krasnodar Region, and they are hosting the 2014 Winter Olympics. They are very, very proud of the work that they are doing.

Can you see us on the monitor? Look for the red fleece.

There were lots of displays that were borrowed from the Hockey Hall of Fame. This is only one of them, but Hubby took at least 20 more pictures. He has memories of every single one........He is a true hockey fan, and loves the memorabilia!

Of course, no pavilion is complete without the big store at the end. We love to browse, and it was fun to see all the russian clothing and souvenirs.

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Tagged

My friend posted this on Facebook last night. It's not the best picture, but it's not the worst either. When we were waiting in line for Russia House, we saw friends and they joined us inside the pavilion. It was a lot of fun and we ran into each other later and ended up grabbing a quick lunch in Quebec House with them. Very yummy pea soup, but a little bit pricey. I thought that my cheesecake on a stick was a way better deal for my dollar earlier in the day, and that was from Ontario House.

I am absolutely loving the Olympics!! I spent 12 hours down there yesterday and could have stayed longer. I was going to go back today but have decided against it. I have too many chores to attend to today and so I am going to watch the Canada/USA game at 4:30 and get some paperwork done. I still have some groceries/vegetables to pick up too, and we have already been to Zellers, (they have a huge shipment of red mittens in if anyone needs any) the bakery, Roots, the meat store and M&M's. I am preparing for my Olympic party on Wednesday. I am having a coffee/tea party from 6am to 12pm if anyone is interested.......sort of an Open House. The Torch will be here as well as my friend who ran with it, and I am working on getting a very special guest appearance from a very special someone. As much red and white as we can wear and decorate with, there will be some snacks and social time.......so please, if you can make it, feel free to drop by.

I heard from Miracle #4 a couple of times now. I love Facebook!! He arrived safe and sound in Lima on Friday night, his friend met him at the airport and they took a cab to their hostel. They booked a bus trip to Bolivia, and are leaving on a 4pm bus. I believe that is 1pm our time, so that means that they are on their way to either La Paz or Uyeni. I am not sure, but I am sure appreciating his updates. When the two miracles were in Europe 5 years ago, there was no such thing as Facebook and Iphones and we had to depend on them finding internet cafes. I am loving technology these days and what it can do for me.........I have come along way, haven't I?

Look who we found!

We actually had the help of modern technology, it's called a cell phone. After our hockey game at 4:30 we made arrangements to meet some of the family on the north side of Dunsmuir Street. We took Toddler down to the park and let him run off some steam. He and his family came down on the 2:23 West Coast Express and it was very, very crowded. He and his mommy got the last seat and everybody else had to stand. They talked to some people who got on in Pitt Meadows and the 12:53 train didn't even stop for them.

He loves the "wheeeee."

Beautiful family, with the Canada Hockey House in the background

Night view of Russia House, formerly known as Science World

Here we are , just before we parted company. Hubby, #2, DIL and I went to meet some friends while the others went to catch the 9:00 train back to Maple Ridge. We went to Tinseltown for dinner and then our friends went to see if they could find fireworks and the light show, while we went home on the Skytrain. Our truck was still safe on the road by Lake City and we arrived back home just after 10. We had a great day, and I can hardly wait to do it all again!!

Latvia 0~Slovakia 6

Some of the flags on display across the rafters at Canada Hockey Place

Pavol Demitra is #38 on Team Slovakia

We had seats in Section 311, Row 11

Quite a star-studded cast from the Slovakia team.....this is Line #2

A pre-game huddle. I noticed that 3 of the 4 teams we have seen play do this. Switzerland, Latvia and Slovakia.

Saturday, February 20, 2010

We went to Vancouver again!

We went to the Olympics again. This is False Creek this morning, around 9 o'clock. The water was as calm as I have ever seen it. There was a chill in the air, but it was a gorgeous morning for a walk around the seawall. Everything was still closed at this end of town.

We came back after our walk. We had a bite to eat and walked up to Granville Street.......and that's where we found all the people. Like, hundreds and thousands of people!! There was a six hour wait to get into The Canadian Mint Pavilion and the line-up to get into The Bay Olympics store went around the block. We decided to come back and wait in the sunshine to see Russia House. It didn't even open until noon (it was 10:30), but we joined into the huge line and waited just over two hours to get in. Hubby is with my new friend Margaret. She and I chatted for quite awhile.......she is 84, has five children between the ages of 49 and 65, and comes down on the bus every day from Kerrisdale to visit the Olympics. A very lovely person, and I really enjoyed talking with her. She told me that our wait would be worth it, according to the newspaper, and she was right.

The Athletes Village, just after noon today.

Somewhere in Russia....I told Hubby I would like to go there one day.

This room was very, very yellow. This lovely Russian girl was with a company who is sponsoring the 2014 Winter Olympics. She was very interesting to talk to and told us a lot about the company who I believe is giving Sochi 180 million dollars to host the Games. It's an oil company. Corporate sponsors......gotta love them!

Friday, February 19, 2010

He's on his way!

Not too many people at YVR at 4:45 am.....in this part, anyway.

He was very excited! I parked so I could help him with his luggage. With his arm in a sling/brace for the next few days, I knew that he could use a little bit of extra help. The airport has changed since I last went to the USA. The ticket agent let me go all the way to the luggage drop-off area with him, so that we could check his big back-pack on it's way to Lima. I was pleasantly surprised that he will not have to pick up his luggage in LA and transfer it himself. He has two hours between his arrival at LAX and when he has to be on his flight to Lima via Lan Chile. As I left him, I said to him, "Have a great time in Chile." I really do know that he is on his way to Peru, but I got the words mixed up because I had said Chile in the last sentence. Miracle #4, if you are reading this, just know that your mom gets very air-headed when she is anxious!! I really do know that you are on your way to Peru!! I am sooooooo excited for you!!!

This is where I left him in yet another line-up. Minimal at check-in but this one looked a little bit longer. They do move fast, and I am sure he is ready to take to the wild blue yonder very, very soon!! This was taken around 5:15 this morning.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

What a week he has had!!

Miracle #4 leaves tomorrow morning for Lima, Peru. Please pray for his safety in traveling, and for good health while he is away. He has more strength than me......and is way braver too!! If I had the kind of week he has had, then I think I might have used my cancellation insurance. When I took him to the Dr yesterday, I was really wondering if he was going to be well enough to go. Dr sent us to Emergency because he had a dislocated shoulder.......and only the specialist at the hospital could fix it. He was put under conscious sedation and fifteen minutes later when he woke up, he felt like a new man. Still has some healing to do, and it is definitely going to be tricky maneuvering a backpack in the first week, but his friend will help him, I already know that.

So when did he dislocate his shoulder? That is the question of the week. We don't know. Was it on Saturday morning? When he was in so much pain that we went to ER with a " severe muscle spasm?" Was he mis-diagnosed? The Dr did check his bones, but never did send him for an x-ray. Did he dislocate it when he was walking so gimpy all week because his arm was hurting so badly? Whenever I asked him how he was, he often answered, "no better, no worse." I was good with him not getting any worse, but he wasn't getting any better and that was a huge concern, especially because he had a flight to South America on Friday. When he showed me his neck and arm bone on Tuesday morning, I really did feel that he needed to go to the chiropractor, so it was awfully handy when we met Hody (our massage therapist) and her friends that morning and they gave Miracle #4 some first aid treatment before our hockey game. But then Hody phoned yesterday morning, and asked me a few questions about how #4 was and her concern for me getting him back to the Dr was extremely apparent. I called some friends, and Friend #3 was able to help by taking care of my 4 year olds while Toddler and I took Uncle Manna to the the Dr. After an hour of waiting there, and then seeing a GP, they sent us to ER and the rest is history. He is ready to go. He is looking a little bit tired (and probably feeling it too) as we have done a few last minute errands this morning. He still has to pack but he is ready, willing and able.......and ready for his adventure!! He is my hero this week, I have watched him endure pain and discomfort that cannot be described........Please keep him in your prayers......as his Mom, I would just really appreciate that right now!!

We had a visitor


This is Muggs. He came for a visit yesterday and Toddler loved him. Kisses and giggles and lots of running and laughter. Two year olds and puppies; they really do belong together, and we can hardly wait for him to come back and visit again!!

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

The Royal Canadian Mint Pavilion

We waited just over half an hour to get into the Pavilion. And that's pretty good, considering it didn't even open until 9. We arrived just after 8:30, as we ended up taking an earlier train.

The floor, from the second story.

The gold medal!! For the Paralympic Games.

Gold medal for the Olympics 2010! Do you like our white gloves?

A couple of miracles with the Gold Medal!