Monday, February 15, 2010

Planes, Trains, and Automobiles (Minus the Plane)

One Amtrak train.

Six Skytrains.

One taxi.

One citybus.

That's the total after our first day of travel to the Vancouver Winter Olympics. Definitely the greenest international vacation I've ever taken! All is well in Canada and I just thought I'd share a few observations...

* My local train station (Everett, Washington) is way more beautiful than I would have guessed. Sort of a cross of Frank Lloyd Wright and local Pacific Northwest glass.

* Vancouver, British Columbia is rocking and ready to win! I don't know if they always wear maple leaves on their hands, heads, and necks, or have flags hanging out their apartment and car windows, but I will definitely not forget what country I'm in. Great local spirit.

* Canada seems to have thought of everything to make this as green as possible. I'll mention the specifics of the venues when I get to see them, but the transportation is what has most impressed me so far. Many streets are open to pedestrians and driving single-occupant vehicles is discouraged in every way possible. All public transportation is free on any day you have a ticket and easy to navigate. Any time you look lost, a turquoise uniformed City of Vancouver person approaches and asks how they can help.

* They have garbage and recycling bins on every corner - nice way to keep the city and Earth clean at the same time.

All in all, it was a great day. We got to know the area, met a woman on the Skytrain who is in the Opening and Closing ceremonies, received some Olympic pins from some nice Americans, and took in the excitement of Canada getting their first gold medal. We're cheering for the US, of course, but being in a fun local BBQ restaurant (Dix, in case you're headed up this way) with the Canadians when Alexandre Bilodeau accepted his moguls gold medal would get anyone in the spirit.

We're ready to see the rest...

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