Saturday, February 6, 2010


Well I thought I had already posted these pictures but it seems I didn't. On January 16, my Friend Loretta suggested we go on a field trip to check out the Olympic stuff downtown before the tourists arrived. So Loretta, Leona and I ventured out to check it all out. We wanted to check out "The Happiness Cafe" which is located in the downtown Bay store. The Olympics have taken over a floor of the large department store and opened a very large Olympic store selling just about everything one can possibly imagine. The Happiness Cafe is there too!
While we were checking out the cafe, an employee came over and asked us if we would like to hold one of the Olympic torches! Of course we had to take her up on her kind offer. She disappeared for a few minutes and came back with one for us to hold and she kindly took photos of us holding it! This was actually quite a thrill!! Above we are sitting at The Happiness Cafe. It wasn't too very happy that day...they were still getting the hang of running it I think. They have a number of things surrounding it that weren't yet operational but looked like fun and I am sure will be up and running next week. One machine was designed for you to put your Coke bottle in it and it would print out and seal an Olympic collector covering to it. If you haven't quite figured out by now...The Happiness Cafe is run by Coca Cola which is one of the official Olympic sponsors.

Here I am holding the torch...seems I thought maybe it should be waved like a weapon judging by the way I was holding it...haha...I was surprised to find it was quite heavy considering the torch bearers are running with it. I think maybe it was a good thing I wasn't one of the folks chosen to officially run with it. I envision myself taking off with gusto and tripping over my own feet and falling flat on my face within I said...good thing I wasn't one of the many chosen to do this task!! I also have been watching the runners on the TV news and they were provided with "official" clothes and the famous red mittens while running with the torch...our weather has been a bit warm for both with both today and yesterday hitting record breaking high temperatures of 13C which is about 55 degrees F roughly....not typical winter conditions.

And here is a view of The Happiness Cafe. There is a map and picture spot next to it and that is where we had our photos taken with the torch.

In the store itself, Olympic ("official") gear abounds. Some of it is quite lovely. They have some really nice umbrellas we were eyeing up but the cost is a bit high now...we are hoping it doesn't rain during the games so maybe they won't sell out and we will be able to get them for a lower price following the games.

Here are more displays of Olympic clothing for sale. We found what we think were the best deals there...the fleece blankets are going for 20.00 which seemed totally reasonable to us. There are many different styles. The children's section features 3 different designs and colors each bearing a picture of one of the Olympic mascots on it. An example of one can be seen in a post prior to this one. The adult one is a lovely royal type of blue and black with an Indian design on it. They seemed to be flying off the shelves. But....if you go to the Official Olympic store...go with cash or the official card of the Olympics which is Visa. Your Bay credit card is not accepted, nor are the Bay gift cards (despite the fact this is in the Bay store) and Mastercard and American Express seems to be a nasty word as they are not the official sponsors of the games and not welcome for payment. Interestingly enough, your debit card is not accepted here either.

These miniature coke bottles are locked up with good reason...they are real crystal and I think but am not positive that the tiny one was retailing for 65.00 and the larger ones in excess of 250.00. I can't remember if that is exact but it is a close estimate from my faulty memory.

More coke displays with things you can purchase for souvenirsHere we found a cute "mini" torch... that would be perfect for a certain 20 inch doll however it was a bit costly for a doll prop. We grabbed a few of the Olympic mascot key chains and lined them up with the torch....these key chains are proving to be quite popular for young and old alike and at a 10.00 price tag, they make a souvenir that is not to expensive or too large.

After we were done browsing the Olympic store, we decided to take a field trip to the Airport as the Skytrain (local rapid transit) was extended to the airport for the Olympics. So we went to board the train which was not far away. The poster/billboard above is one of many Coke has put up at the Skytrain stations. Some of those photos of the people in the ad are downright scary though...LOL...rabid coke fans I assume!

This is one of the many shops at the airport. It was a quick trip from downtown to the airport and a very nice, relaxing trip. I personally think Vancouver has one of the most beautiful airports anywhere and I am sure our guests are going to agree. Last summer when we travelled to the US by plane, we had the opportunity to see all the improvements the general public can't see as they are located between the gates and customs and immigration. They have some lovely set ups there to greet our visitors.

There are a couple of Olympic stores set up in the airport as well. Similar things but on a smaller scale are available there. So far the prices on the Olympic stuff seems to be about the same in whichever shop you choose to patronize although I did notice Walmart had the mascot key rings about 50 cents cheaper this last week or so.

And so concludes the tour of the downtown Olympic store and the airport! We have a lovely lunch at the airport and sat at a table overlooking one of the runways and watched planes come and go then we headed back to the Skytrain and headed for home. It was a fun day and not too busy. I suspect this is changing quickly as more and more of our guests arrive in town!

1 comment:

Loretta said...

What a lovely post, Linda. I love reading your write ups. You make Vancouver sound and look marvelous! Maybe you could get a job writing a column somewhere. Leona said it was a very fun day, but now she is tired of the Olympics. LOL It is wearing me out too, hearing about it so much, and it isn't here yet! The keychains were all gone when I was there on Friday; there was only the Quatchi ones left, and there were no blankets of any kind, and people were buying in a complete sort of frenzy! The cashiers looked very, very busy.