I live just outside Vancouver, and it seems like the whole city is gearing up for the Olympics. Only one problem. It doesn't feel like winter! Last year we had an uncommonly cold, yucky winter, but this year has been really warm. It's so warm that the cherry blossoms are already coming out, and the daffodils are almost ready to bloom. Poor, confused darlings. That's one thing I wanted to stress to you all. Up here in Vancouver we don't get much snow. It belongs in the mountains and on the ski hills, and we don't do very well when it falls in the city. Even a light dusting can put all the drivers into a panic :) Up here, we get mostly rain. And more rain. From November through March, chances are it's raining somewhere in the city.
Considering the warm winter we're having this year, the Olympic organizers must be freaking out. On the local mountains they're flying in thousands of hay bales by helicopter to provide a platform for the snow they have to push down from the top of of the mountains because there's not enough of a base. Things are getting, uh...interesting as the clock ticks down.
Here's a shot of downtown, looking from Stanley Park. See that building with all the white sails? That's Canada Place, where I've partially set one of my upcoming books. You should see the view of the city from the mountains on the North Shore. It's something else. You can swim in the ocean, golf, hike through the woods and ski all in the same day in this city.
We've got lots of friends and relatives working for the Games. My best pal/sister-in-law (I love it when a plan comes together) works with the VIPs coming into town. She lives up near Whistler where a lot of the events are being held, about three hours from us, and she says there's tons of snow up there. My favorite uncle is a military liaison attached to the security forces with the Provincial Emergency Response Unit. I heart my uncle Kevin! For nearly every book I've written, I've pestered him with questions about weapons and tactics, and he answers every one with unfailing patience. Plus he plays softball and loves history just as much as I do.
Now don't spread this around, because I'll just deny it, but I may be one of the only Canadians who really doesn't care about hockey. Even if you're really not familiar with Canada, you must know how hockey crazy the entire country is. Our men's and women's teams are coming into this event with the expectation that they will both be in the gold medal game. Because I love hockey soooo much (yes, that would be sarcasm dripping from those words), I somehow got tickets to the men's quarter final game for my birthday. I'm going with a really awesome group of people though, so it should be fun no matter who's playing. But if it turns out to be team Canada on the ice that night, the atmosphere is going to be nuts!
So even if you're not into the Olympics or winter sports in general, keep your eyes peeled for snippets in the news. I hope you learn more about our beautiful city!