Saturday, February 27, 2010

Vancouver Olympics: Downtown Robson Street and Pacific Centre

Today, it is a weekday, but it is still absolute crazy in downtown Vancouver.  People everywhere and line up everywhere.  One hour for hotdog.  Six hours for Zipline.  On Robson, they give out free merchandise like keychains, hats, pins, etc.  The merchants all have mascots on the street, RCMP beavers, Croc's crocodile and Purdy's mascot.
The Sakura came out 1 months early this year due to warm climate:

Vancouver Olympics: Northern House

On a weekend, we went to the Northern House at 9 am, and there was still an 1.5 hour wait.  I think it is crazy, but oh well, I am gonna do this once a life time.
Here, we can receive souvenir such as pins, dvd, chances for draw, books, etc.  Unlike some pavilions without exhibits, here they have native performances, art, crafts, sculptures and animal specimen for viewing.

Vancouver Olympics: Royal Canadian Mint Pavilion

I have heard that for the Royal Canadian Mint Pavilion, you need 4 to 6 hours to line up to enter and touch the gold medals.  Because I have a family with kid, I decided to wake up at 6 am and line up before 7:30 am, and my wife and kid can join me later.  The wait was exactly 4 hours and part of the reason is that they allowed school kids groups to enter without lining up.  That is very unfair for the people who have been there for hours.
Here are the things I saw:
Line ups:
Gold medals:

Million dollar coin worth 3.5 million dollars:
Gold coin art:

Mint Elevator:

Big coin Inukshuk:

Overall, the experience was more positive than other pavilions we visited, but the wait is grueling.  You also get to do coin exchange for different coins everyday here.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Metrotown Olympic Hockey Exhibits

My wife went to Metrotown and came across the exhibit they have on hockey during the Winter Olympics.  They are jerseys, posters, memoralbilia for famous hockey players.  (Crosby, Sakic, Loungo, etc)

Olympic Pin Collecting and Trading

Pin trading is a hot and popular "unofficial" sport of the olympics.  We are also very into that right now and have been trading everytime we go downtown.  It is interesting to see what each trader has and how they behave.  Watch out for fake pins though!  I traded couple of pins outside Waterfront station and got fake pins from the trader.  Now, I am sure some knows whether a pin is real or not but decides to sell or trade for a profit.  Here are a few I bought on sale from London Drugs:
They are the Olympics holidays pins and a Mukmuk pin and others.

McDonald's Olympic Mascot Toys - 7 collected now

I am still missing the figure skating one.  It is frustrating trying to find the last one.

Me me me!! (my chihuahua)

It has been a week since I blogged.  Too busy watching the Olympics and going to events...
Here is a cute picture of my chihuahuas.  They say to the camera, "me me me"!!!

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Vancouver Olympics: House of Switzerland and Swiss Food

We went to House of Switzerland for Valentine dinner on Granville Island in Vancouver.

They had a giant Lindt Chocolate Inukshuk Statue in front of the door.
The food tastes great but pricey.  We ordered 3 Swiss dishes:  Luganighe Pork Sausage,  Raclette Pizza and Cheese Fondue.  We enjoyed the Raclette Pizza the most and I have never seen or taste a pizza like that.  The material and texture for the crust is clearly different.


Vancouver Olympics: Olympic Cauldron

So....Vancouver Olympic Commitee had completely fenced off the areas surrounding the Olympic Cauldron.  The fence is so high that it blocks all views unless you are in front of the fence.  My wonderful wife squeezed through the crowds and took this shot:

They say they will change the fence to glass.  We will see about that.

Vancouver Olympics: Countdown Clock

Before the opening ceremony, we took a picture in front of the countdown clock:

Monday, February 15, 2010

Vancouver Olympics: LiveCity Yaletown and Coke Pavilion

We went to LiveCity Yaletown and Coke Paviliion and got a free bottle of Coke.  LiveCity Yaletown has Acer, Panasonic, Samsung and Coca Cola in there.  After lining up for 30 minutes, they made people watch this 10 minutes Coca Cola video saying how good they are to support the torch run.  This, I don't necessary agree with.

People can play some kind of video game to get stickers for getting a customed Coke bottle.  I was not into lining up to play games, so we went out.  The Greek food stand there offered "Legendary Greek Tycoon", which includes "Lamb, Chicken and Beef".

Vancouver Olympics: Saskatchewan Pavilion - Bison Burger

We went to the Saskatchewan Pavilion and lined up for 30 minutes for the Bison Burger (there is a line up for everything. 30 minutes is not bad).  The Bison burger is absolutely delicious.  It tastes like a steak in a big hamburger (maybe similar to sirloin burger?) but with a different texture.

Vancouver Olympics: BC House (Art Gallery) & Leonardo Da Vinci

During the Olympic period, the Art Gallery and the special exhibit  for Leonardo Da Vinci are free to the public.  It features the sketches of human anatomy, which has never been on any medical journal before (on loan from the Queen's Gallery).  We were not allowed to take pictures inside and the security was tight.  However, I was amazed at what Da Vinci observed and drew.

Vancouver Olympics: Italian House

They had wine and cheese tasting in the Italian House, but no other activities...maybe they have more parties at night.  They had this huge Cheese so everyone can dig in:

Vancouver Olympics: Australian Olympic Villiage and the Fighting Kangaroo

Remember the controversy about the "fighting kangaroo" flag hanged by the Australian at their headquarter?  Here is a picture that we took this weekend:
I think it looks very cool.

Vancouver Olympics: Russian House

We went to check out different sites of Vancouver Olympics and we went to Russian House (Sochi House).  When we arrived, they didn't have much special concert of celebration, but they did have a few Russian dressed in traditional clothes singing folk songs.  The second floor have a Russian Olympic store and a few sponsor rooms.  The hostesses are very beautiful and friendly.  I guess they have more activities at night...
Picture of Sochi House (at the Science World site):
We didn't line up for long, but the line up grew to at least 1 hour on Sunday morning.

Olympics Event: Ladies Moguls

We went to the Women's Moguls at Cypress Mountain on Saturday.  First of all, I feel the transportation Logistics coordination was absolutely terrible.  People waited for 2 to 3 hours for the "olympic buses" rented from USA and they breakdown on the mountains.  The US drivers don't know where to drive to and got lost.  All these should have been identified as potential risk and should have back up strategy for such happening.  Anyways, overall, we had a awesome time cheering on the athletes and the Canadian and Japanese teams.
Here is a picture of Aiko Uemura:
Here is a picture of the course:

There were around 12000 people there and it was hard to get to the snack stand.  Again, not enough space planned for people to move around and not enough food vendors.  People had to wait 2 hours in line to get food.  We decided to skip the food for the night and just watch athletes practice.

Friday, February 12, 2010

Vancouver Olympics Day 1 Activities

We went to all kinds of places for the Vancouver Olympics today including Sochi House (Russian House), Casa Italia, Saskatchewan House, Vancouver House, Coca Cola House, etc.  I will upload more pictures and feedback tomorrow since it is late here already.  We are going to the women's mogul events tomorrow.  The Opening is graceful but I think it lacks energy and the hydrolic problem at the end was embarrassing.  The bison burger at the Saskatchewan house was very tasty but only lukewarm.  (I liked it)

Bento Lunch Box: Terimayo Bento

My bento box today is "terimayo bento" (teriyaki mayonnaise).  The main section is Terimayo chicken and the chicken was already soaked with teriyaki sauce from the previous day.  With some extra sauce and some mayonnaise on top, this dish is excellent for a lunch bento.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Product Review: Dried Shiitake Mushroom Can

The other day, we found this dried mushroom can at King's Farm Market for 5.00 dollars and it is cheaper than buying dried mushroom in T&T and other places. 
This is useful if you need the mushroom for cooking or soup and if you don't have the fresh ones right away.

My chihuahua and dog dental work

My poor chihuahua had some dental work done this week.  Small breeds of dogs tend to build up tartar and the end result is loosened teeth.  In order to do some teeth cleaning and extraction, my dog needed some anesthetics and IV for that day's procedures.  The cost for dogs are typically 500 to 750 dollars in SPCA.  Now, he is recovering fine even though he was a little uncomfortable yesterday.
At the end, 5 teeth had to be taken out but the vet said he can still have a normal diet.
Here are some pictures:  (My chihuahua has really big eyes...)
I hate dentist!!

Don't touch me!!

Am I cute? 

Here are the brush kit and medicine after teeth cleaning: