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A day off in Vancouver — sort of

I woke up to a dark and dreary day here in Vancouver. It has threatened to rain all day, but it hasn't. It's cool outside, but not much wind (unlike some places I know), just enough to wave the flags.

I thought I'd go site seeing and shopping and such today. I got to the shopping part (nice to have shuttle service), but all of the wonders of Vancouver are kind of far from here and the thought of trying to maneuver my way through this town was a bit scary. I think I need to be on the other side of town to ease my fears. I'm not much good without map quest. I had to make it to a mall with a Purdy's chocolate store. I've spoiled my friends Krichelle, Jan and Tammy from the gym with their delicious soft caramel and chocolate goodies with previous trips to Chilliwack and Kelowna. At least now they will let me come back.

The Americans had a light skate this morning and then were going out on the town — to where I don't know. It's good for them to get away and have a little fun. Spending an extra day without a game is quite an expense. For me, I have to earn my keep with stories (filed by lunch time) and blogs (like this one). But I'm one person with one room and a couple of meals. For the team, it's like 15 rooms, with 30 mouths to feed. The Holiday Inn Express where we all are staying, has a really nice continental breakfast, which takes care of one meal at no added cost. The team was kind enough to wait until the rest of the guests were done at 9:30 a.m. to come down to eat. Tri-City GM Bob Tory said it was nice to have the breakfast — free of charge. He said a spread like that would cost about $10 a guy, not including juice, milk or coffee. The team saved about $350 on breakfast, but it still has to feed 24 growing boys, coaches and trainers lunch and dinner.

I think it would be worth bringing this up at the league meeting — making a team wait around for an extra day so that Vancouver Canucks fans can watch the Vancouver-L.A. Kings game on TV. Have they never heard of TiVo? At $120 bucks a night for the hotel (maybe they got a discount), that's around $1,800 extra so that people can watch a game on TV. Add in meals and you can double that amount. Maybe the Vancouver Giants and Canucks will pony up the difference. Yeah, right.

My traveling companion, Flat Stanley, went to the hockey game last night and we've sent back postcards from our trip to my niece Camryn and her second grade class. Actually, we've sent quite a few back. Either they will all hate her because she always gets something, or she will be oh so popular because the class is getting something, no matter who it's for. We will have pictures to send when we get back. It's nice to be able to help out a class in a small farming community. A lot of those kids don't get to go many places, so to help them see the world a postcard and a few pictures at a time is not too much to ask.

I plan on getting dinner at the Press Box next door and take in a bit of the Canucks game. Maybe they will have the Montreal-Washington game on another screen. Carey Price is starting in goal tonight for the Habs.

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