Canada Trip Rewinds

Trip Rewind: 2010 Vancouver Olympics The Luck of the Unlucky

2010 Vancouver Olympics experience
Olympic Calderon in Vancouver Canada

I consider myself pretty lucky. There were quite a few events that lead up to or happened during my Vancouver Olympic adventure that seriously tested my luck however. I have listed the events as they happened. You can be the judge on just how lucky or unlucky I was 🙂

Testing My Luck #1

Once my friend Jen and I had decided we were going to go to the Vancouver Olympics we started planning. If you read my blog regularly you know that I am a planner, usually down to the minute. However the Olympics are a different kind of planning. For starters tickets are hard to come by. If you are from the host nation you get first dibs on the tickets. In this case we were not from the host nation of Canada. To add to the madness ticket sales are very controlled and only allowed through authorized dealers. It was not like you could hop on Ticketmaster and say “I want this”.

Once the tickets went on sale Jen and I submitted our request for the events that we wanted, curling, speed skating and hockey. Our names were then added to a lottery system for each event we had to be chosen. After what felt like forever we found out that we were granted two of the three events we had asked for, curling and speed skating.

Luck Outcome: At least we got 2 of the 3 events!

Testing My Luck #2

A few weeks later I got an email from the authorized ticket dealer indicating that additional tickets for hockey events had opened up and if I acted fast I could pick up some hockey tickets. Well me and probably a zillion other people all acted fast. I placed my order for the tickets and the website crashed. I lost my basket and the tickets. AHHHHH!!!! Once the site was back up I went back in to try to complete my order and they were all sold out. It was pretty heart breaking.

2010 Vancouver Olympics experience
my tickets to the Vancouver Olympics

Lady Luck seemed to be on our side however and a few days after the cart crash heard around the world the ticket dealer emailed me again and said they had recovered my shopping cart.  I was delighted to get another crack at the tickets again and purchased them!

Luck Outcome: 3 out of 3 events!

Testing My Luck #3

Lodging would be our next task. I did some research on Vancouver and found an amazing hotel in the north part of town. It was a chic hotel that had an amazing price. Although still higher than usual, we had expected to pay a little more due to the games. I booked the hotel and received my conformation from the hotel. And with that final purchase we were all set with our tickets and a place to stay.

Luck Outcome: Lodging and tickets secured! Looking Good!

Testing My Luck #4

A few weeks after completing our hotel booking I kept getting a random email from someone I did not know and I finally opened it (I know you are not suppose to do that). Luckily I did and found that my hotel reservation had been canceled. The email said that the hotel was no longer available at the price I had booked it at. Luckily I had opened the email otherwise I would not have confirmed our room until just before we went to Vancouver. I checked the hotel’s site and the price of the same room had gone up by $200 a night.

I frantically started looking around for lodging, even across the USA border in Washington state. One hotel in Washington was charging $500 a night for a 2 star hotel. When I asked the clerk why the price was so high she said “it’s just what it costs”. My response “in 3 months it won’t cost $500 a night. How are you allowed to price gouge like that?” Her response was lame and I told her I hoped she felt good about ripping people off. Needless to say we did not stay there.

We were able to secure lodging in Canada in a small town outside of Vancouver. A Super 8 for about $280 a night. I was not pleased but we really had no other choice other than to let them rip us off.

Luck Outcome: It’s a toss-up. I was annoyed about the hotel cancelling and cancelling the reservation by email but at least we were able to find another room.

Testing My Luck #5

2010 Vancouver Olympics experience
Me at the 2010 Vancouver Olympics

We wasted a lot of time waiting in line for things. Our first and shortest line was for the cauldron. It was a quick-moving line that funneled over several stairs and walkways. Once we reached the cauldron you were only allowed to quickly snap a photo of the cauldron and move on. This restriction I wished had been implemented elsewhere as loitering and taking forever was common.

2010 Vancouver Olympics experience
the long line to see the Olympic Medals

Our next line was our longest and most disappointing. Jen and I spent some quality time in line to see the Olympic medals up close. I think my drive for wanting to see them was that I had not really researched the Olympic village enough to know what else we could do. We stood in line two days in a row. In hindsight I wish we would have just wandered around and experienced the village. It was the Olympics, there is always something going on!

2010 Vancouver Olympics experience
Retail stores partaking in the fun of the games!
2010 Vancouver Olympics experience
And we did have this guy to keep us entertained for awhile.. until he skated away
2010 Vancouver Olympics experience
Bye Bye!

Both days we failed to get into the building to see the medals. It was disappointing. On the second day we got much closer than we did the day before. Unfortunately we had to get out of line as we were rounding the last corner to catch one of our events. It was heartbreaking for us and shocking to the people standing around us. Someone even said to us “you can’t get out of line now” but our event was more important than seeing the medals.

Luck Outcome: Not good. We wasted a lot of time with no reward.

Testing My Luck #6

We decided to visit The Hudson’s Bay Company to pick up some souvenirs. When we arrived to the store the line wrapped around the building and down the street. Another long wait but neither Jen nor I would be leaving the Olympics without some sort of souvenir.

Once we got in to the store we were on the hunt for the red knit gloves with the white maple leaf patch. It was the hot item of the games. After searching for them we came to the realization that there were none to be found.

Jen and I reluctantly walked up to the cash wrap with our other souvenirs and waited for a sales rep to check us out. Jen was in line in front of me and was whisked off to a cash wrap where I could not see her. As soon as she vanished the doors to the stock room flung open and a three-tiered cart came rolling out piled high with red knit gloves.

As I saw people clambering to get to the cart I knew this would be my only chance. I stepped out of line and made my way to the gloves. I was able to grab myself and Jen a pair of gloves.

Luck Outcome: Awesome!

Testing My Luck #7

2010 Winter Olympics Vancouver
Me proudly displaying my Maple Leaf Red Knit Gloves!

The number 7 is often associated with luck so I will end my testing of my luck series with a 7th test. As soon as I purchased the gloves I looked around the store for Jen. She was nowhere to be found. Since we were in Canada neither of us had our phones on as we would be charged for roaming.

I had lost Jen.

I could not believe that this had happened. If I went outside to look for her I would not be able to come back inside without waiting in the long line again if I could not find her outside. I began to panic and probably should have asked a clerk to page her over the loudspeaker but of course I never thought of that. After what was probably only minutes, but felt like an hour I spotted her and pushed my way through the people. The cart full of gloves had been devoured and I proudly showed Jen that I scored us each a pair of gloves.

Luck Outcome: I found Jen

All in all I think things turned out in our favor for this trip but it was certainly stressful at times.  Especially getting separated from Jen.  I was not sure how I would have broken that news to her parents.  Luckily I didn’t have to!

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2 replies on “Trip Rewind: 2010 Vancouver Olympics The Luck of the Unlucky”

Wow you have incredible patience to stand in line to see the medals. I didn’t even attempt it. Nor did I go see the cauldron. I have never seen it lit – even after the games. I think I might have to change that during these games!

Congrats on scoring hockey tickets. Those are the hottest tickets especially in Canada! And $500 a night for a crummy hotel?! That is ridiculous! At least you were able to find something though.

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