Vicky Collins Online

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Olympics: Canada Style

I walked out of my hotel room in Vancouver this morning to see a flock of seagulls squacking their heads off.  That’s the most noise I’ve heard since I arrived in Canada.  Toto, we’re not in Beijing anymore.  In 2008, with the Olympic Games a week and a half away, the city was buzzing with anticipation and chaotic with last minute preparations.  Thousands of people were planting flowers, cleaning up and security was fierce.  Here in Vancouver it is so calm and low key you hardly know it will soon be the center of the universe.  There are some banners, new buildings and infrastructure improvements but you don’t sense that Canada’s place in the world hangs on these games.  I’ve been asking around and people tell me that’s just how it is in British Columbia.  People are pretty relaxed and take things in stride.  Even the security is laid back.  Police greet you with friendly smiles.  Maybe it’s because there aren’t that many media, athletes or guests here yet, or maybe folks are being polite and deferential to those who felt the money could be better spent.  Or maybe it’s just that the only thing Canadians get really worked up about is sport.  As one young woman told me, “I’ll get excited for the men’s hockey.”

For more information on Vicky Collins visit http://teletrendstv.com.

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Greyhound Bus to Vancouver

This blog was born so that I could post to my friends, family and anyone else interested from the 2008 Olympics in Beijing. Now on the eve of 2010 Olympics, as I prepare to board an airplane for British Columbia, I find myself blogging again and reflecting on the only other time I was in Vancouver. I was 10 years old and my great uncle Jacques, who lived in Canada, was getting married. My great grandmother, Daisy Peraya, would not fly on a plane so four generations boarded a Greyhound Bus in Long Beach, California and spent the next 36 hours heading up the coast to Vancouver.

I am certain that this is where the seeds of my wanderlust were planted. I loved looking out the windows at the rugged coast and pulling into Oregon and Washington bus stations at 3 in the morning.  I was mesmerized by the people along the way with character written on their faces and smoke coming out of their mouths.  More than anything else I loved talking to the teenage girls in the back row. They regaled me with the stories about running away, sex, boyfriends and bad behavior. I was flattered that they would tell me secrets only older kids knew.  I aspired to be free just like them. 

I don’t really remember much about the wedding. My most vivid memory of Vancouver was going with a 17 year old distant relative/hottie named Boris to the Pacific National Exhibition. The PNE was a huge provincial fair and I developed the biggest crush on Boris as we were hurtling down the largest roller coaster I had ever dared to ride.   I literally “fell” in love.  I’m certain the Olympics in Vancouver will be another great adventure and I will do my best to share them on this blog.

For more information on Vicky Collins visit http://teletrendstv.com.