Olympic Blogs for the People

August 10th, 2008 @ 9:27pm (PT) by Rebecca Bollwitt

One of the biggest concerns I have right now is not about keeping up with the Summer Games in Beijing in terms of information and results, but how on earth Vancouver will be able to live up to the spectacle witnessed during this year’s opening ceremonies (mostly since ours will be held indoors).

BC Place to get a facelift for 2010 – Photo credit: John Bollwitt on Flickr

Aside from that, we’ve been following the Olympics when we can during our trip to Kansas City. At random rest stops in hotel rooms during the day we’ll catch some water polo or basketball, but overall I’m missing quite a bit of the action that I have been glued to in past years. Actually, it’s even difficult to see a lot of coverage when we are in front of a television since NBC pretty much only shows events in which the USA is participating as well.

Photo credit: Kris Krug on Flickr

Photo credit: Kris Krug on Flickr – [kriskrug.com / staticphotography.com]

I’ve searched around a bit for some blogs, twitters and Flickr photos (most of which are coming from Kris and Scales) but here are some other bits of coverage from the social media realm.

– Robert Scales gives some on-the-ground blog posts over on the BBC.

The Sports Corner is a collection of local journalists and sports enthusiasts have been liveblogging events on their group blog.

Daily Vancouver 2010 coverage, starting years in advance they have some updates about this summer’s games in Beijing.

Tony and his team are doing a great job on the LA Times blogs as well.

Photo Credit: Kris Krug on Flickr

You can Google several other sources however if you already have a website or blog you’re watching for Olympic updates, please feel free to share a link in the comments.

Harmony in Beijing and Kansas City

August 9th, 2008 @ 11:26am (PT) by Rebecca Bollwitt

We watched the opening ceremonies of the Beijing Olympics from a hotel room in Kansas City last night.

Photo credit: Kris Krug on Flickr

We had to wait about 12 hours to see coverage on NBC since they didn’t air it live in the morning. Surrounded by John’s family, most of which I had just met that evening, I was given tasty samples of tequila and welcomed with open arms. When team Canada entered the stadium during the parade of nations my new family raised their glasses, toasted, and applauded.

Photo credit: John Bollwitt on Flickr

Photo credit: John Bollwitt on Flickr

I know that some Canadians have a certain view of Americans – our nation probably has as many stereotypes of our neighbours to the south as they have about us in the Great White North. During my last trip to the Midwest I wrote about our journey and the people down here. Nancy commented about this country, which pretty much summed up how I felt, “[sometimes]… we forget the stuff that is absolutely wonderful.”

What I haven’t yet mentioned is that the room also saluted Spain, Mexico and of course the US as members of the family hail from all parts of the globe. Even though I couldn’t pick a favourite college football team off the top of my head and I had no comments about the Edwards situation – it doesn’t matter where you go in the world or where you’re from, family is family, and they can make you feel at home in any situation.

West End Block Party 2008 This Saturday

August 8th, 2008 @ 10:00am (PT) by Rebecca Bollwitt

Last year I attended the West End Block Party with Keira (and her hot dog t-shirt). We had a really great time playing some games, touring the transit museum on wheels, and hanging out in our ‘hood on a sunny afternoon.

The Partay

“Gordon Neighbourhood House is holding its 10th annual West End Summer Block Party on Saturday August 9th, 2008 from 11 am – 2 pm on the 1000 block of Broughton Street. This is a free event with live street entertainment featuring Eve Smith, Tropical Heat, a clown, and much more!!! There will also be a huge children’s carnival with games and prizes, face painting and tattoo booths, 25 cent hot dogs, seniors’ tea and tarts, and a youth corner.” [Gordon House] [Upcoming]

Photo credit: Keira on Flickr

The Strong Woman

The event kicks off at 11:00am and if you can’t make it to the West End, there’s always Yaletown… although I cannot speak to its level of fun-ness and potential for hot dog t-shirts.

The Victory Square Block Party will be coming up on September 1st

The Plaza in Kansas City

August 7th, 2008 @ 9:12pm (PT) by Rebecca Bollwitt

The first full day in town was mostly spent visiting with John’s grandma, who is the entire reason for our trip down to Kansas City. In the late afternoon we had some time to walk around the fancy-shmancy shopping district of KC called The Country Club Plaza. This is where you will find Saks, Coach, Burberry and of course my two faves: the Apple Store and Victoria’s Secret.

Photo credit: John Bollwitt on Flickr

Photo credit: John Bollwitt on Flickr

Photo credit: John Bollwitt on Flickr

Photo credit: John Bollwitt on

Photo credit: John Bollwitt on Flickr

You can view photos and video from our trip on my Flickr set, or John’s.

Vancouver's Raincity All Stars Cover Beijing 2008

August 6th, 2008 @ 8:36pm (PT) by Rebecca Bollwitt

For years the guys over at Raincity Studios have had my back when it comes to social media in this town so naturally when I hear they’re making waves across the globe, I’m happy to report on it.

kk+ me Scales and me

They’re all about outreach, community, and spreading the gospel of digital media along with the power of the citizen journalist and they’ve taken Beijing by storm, despite the obstacles of great firewall proportions.

If you’ve been following Kris Krug’s Tweets or his amazing Flickr stream (side note check out his new tattoo) you’ll know that he and Robert Scales (CEO) have been spending much time in China.

Photo credit: Kris Krug on Flickr

As a result of their photos and microblogging about the events unfolding around them, they have garnered much attention from mass media outlets around the world, especially in the days leading up to the Olympics and their involvement in the International Symposium on Olympic Studies.

Photo credit: Kris Krug on Flickr

Blogosphere guru and our good friend DaveO has a list of all of kk+ and scales coverage over on the Raincity Blog including links to YouTube videos and Flickr sets.

Photo credit: Kris Krug on Flickr

If you’re wondering what the summer games are like from a civilian perspective enhanced with social media know how, stay tuned to their Twitter [scales / kk] and Flickr [scales / kk] feeds for coverage. Additionally, I hear Kris (also of Static Photography) is looking to get into the men’s basketball event and in exchange he’ll trade off some photography, which I think would be well worth it to anyone.

The Land of Luggage Lost

August 6th, 2008 @ 7:13pm (PT) by Rebecca Bollwitt

Well we’re pretty much two for two coming to the Midwest; our baggage missed our connecting flight and is somewhere in the Denver Airport vortex (here I thought ORD was bad for that). Not entirely DEN’s fault though, our first flight was late and that only left us 20 minutes to connect.

Landing in KCMO (Kansas City Missouri) we got a rental car from my favourite place – by favourite I mean we’ve rented from them so many times at so many locations and they always have a free upgrade or some type of add-on for us.

Tonight we enjoyed probably the tastiest room service I’ve had in ages and we’re settling in for a night of rest before big eventful family times for the rest of the week. It’s tough to disconnect and not reply to emails however I’ll spare everyone the auto-reply for now and address things as soon as I’m able. As for tonight, our 10 hour journey with no food breaks has come to an end on this king size bed, with this bottle of 2005 Merlot. I’ll definitely be making the disconnect very soon on one of these medium down pillows where I will be “cradled in its feathery support” until morning.

Get Me to the Airport on Time

August 6th, 2008 @ 9:23am (PT) by Rebecca Bollwitt

Despite going through a painless “random agriculture check” we’re soaking up some of the free public wifi here at YVR. It’s is a pretty great airport (actually it’s one of the best in the world) but getting here in the months before there Canada Line opens up is a bit of a challenge if you don’t know your options. If you do not have access to a car you’ll have to rely on shuttle services and taxis to get you to YVR and back so allow me to lend a hand and share some of the options for locals and those visiting our fair region.

Photo credit:
John Bollwitt on Flickr

The YVR Airporter
This is the most convenient option if you are traveling alone and have extra time to get to the airport. Purchase a round trip ticket from one of many departure hotels in downtown Vancouver for $28. This will get you to the airport and secure your way home when you return to Vancouver. This does make many stops at other hotels along the way (you don’t necessarily need to be a guest at any of the hotels) so it takes about 1.5 hours. [website]

Taxi Service
In non-peak hours (afternoon rush hour) this could be a quick 20 minute trek across town. This morning we got from downtown to the airport in 30 minutes and our total far was $29.00 for the two of us. Many local cab companies have shiny new cars (YVR boasts they’re all 6 years old or newer) and some operate hybrids, in case you’re concerned about adding to the smog. [YVR Taxi Listing]

Public Transit – Bus
From downtown you can take the 98 B-line express bus (Burrard Station Bay 9) to Richmond’s Airport Station (Bay 2) from there you can connect to the 424 airport bus. After 6pm and on weekends this will cost you all of $2.50 and will take about 50 minutes from downtown depending on traffic. [Translink]

Of course my preferred option is having a family member drop us off as this is also conducive to plenty of hug time.

Outdoor Movie Series in Metro Vancouver

August 5th, 2008 @ 9:26am (PT) by Rebecca Bollwitt

Update: View 2011 Outdoor Movies in Vancouver.

Update: View 2010 listings for Free Outdoor Movies in Vancouver.

Update: If you’re looking for 2009 listings, visit the Outdoor Movie Series Facebook page for all of the details.

Outdoor movies have taken Metro Vancouver by storm this summer, with sunny days outnumbering the wet ones, it’s a picturesque way to spend a warm evening. So far folks have already seen Mr. Magorium’s Wonder Emporium at Killarney Community Centre and E.T. at David Lam Park in Yaletown as well as at Hastings Racecourse.

Photo credit: NetChick on Flickr

There are several locations across the region that continue to show film gems after dusk (for FREE), here are some of the upcoming listings:

Monsters in the Meadow
Location: Ceperley Meadow – Stanley Park (near Second Beach)
Movie: Dracula – Friday, August 22, 9:00pm
Movie: The Creature from the Black Lagoon – Friday, August 29, 9:00pm
Rain date: Friday, September 5
More info: City of Vancouver

Movie Nights
Location: The Hastings Racetrack (McGill and Renfrew, Vancouver)
Movie: The Wizard of Oz – Tuesday, August 5, 9:35pm
More info: Fresh Air Cinemas / Facebook Group /Hastings Racecourse

Movie Under the Stars
Location: Fraser Heights (10588 160th St, Surrey)
Movie: Night at the Museum – Friday, August 8
More info: City of Surrey

Location: Holland Park (King George & 100 Avenue, Surrey)
Movie: Grease – Saturday, August 16 with BBQ starting at 4:00pm

Location: Station Tower at Gateway (West Whalley Ring Road & 108 Avenue, Surrey)
Movie: Nim’s Island – Saturday, August 23
More info: Downtown Surrey BIA

Prospera Great Outdoors Film Festival
Location: Central Plaza (1524 Foster Street, Uptown White Rock)
Movie: Viewer’s Choice – The Chronicles Of Narnia: Prince Caspian OR Speed Racer OR Ghostbusters – Friday, August 15
More info: White Rock BIA

Location: Five Corners 15208 Pacific Avenue at Johnston Road, White Rock
Movie: American Graffiti – Friday, August 29
More info: Fresh Air Cinema / White Rock BIA

Fresh Air Cinema has been moving across the province, popping up screens in parks for free public viewing all summer long. You can check out a full event listing on their site, which also include several dates on Vancouver Island.