Life is short and full of opportunities to expand intellectual and cultural horizons so when the IOC decided to land practically on our doorstep with their quadrennial circus it was incumbent on me and some fellow intrepids to descend on Vansterdam to partake in the festivities.
With tickets in hand for some Hockey (they will treat you with scorn and ridicule if you call it “Ice” Hockey) and a booking secured in salubrious Langley we departed early with plans for a hearty breakfast en route.
The breakfast (IHOP, Bellingham) ended up being the thing that delayed us getting to the game on time. There was also a curious pit-stop made by our traveling companions as we approached the Canadian border. We eyed them with fascination and some friendly derision as we passed them…out of the car, donning sturdy overcoats and dropping the top on the new convertible for an al fresco procession over the border – this was February, to be clear…we were on our way to a ‘Winter’ Olympics.
We dropped bags and cars and blow-up mattresses in Langley and rode a train to the city. We missed the first third or quarter or half of the game, the exact fraction escapes me now but the part we did see was an eminently entertaining spectacle. Norway v Switzerland with the Norwegians winning 5-4 in overtime.
What followed is now something of a blur but in approximate chronological order: pints and food in Malones…jumping the line at the magnificent Irish House by flashing the passport (line was round the block and then some)..many many beers and some riverdancing in the Irish House…haggling with limos for a ride back to Langley…making it back to the Shark Club for last orders…heading next door to Denny’s at about 3am for a some proper nosebag…finally getting the head down on the blow-up and slept like a baby.
Check out this video clip that NBC did with Brian Williams the night we were in the Irish House.
On Sunday we headed out to Richmond to check out another Olympic venue and to see if we could blag our way into the Dutch House. IHOP Richmond was jam-packed so we ended up having a breakfast of Beef in Black Bean Sauce at a Chinese. No such luck getting into the Dutch House but it was a worthwhile side-trip to check out the Olympic vibe before heading back to the sobriety of the Plateau.