Thank You, Vancouver

When I first started working at Cartan Tours, a co-worker spoke of measuring a program’s success by the “Games Afterglow” of departing clients.

Thankfully, the airport atmosphere was tribute to the happiness of Vancouver Games travelers.

A record-breaking 39,000 departed a day after Vancouver’s closing ceremony.  Despite the suggested five-hour wait time, people continued the celebration all the way to the plane, enjoying athlete sightings, medalist photo ops and live musical entertainment.

Airport spokesperson Rebecca Catley said the Vancouver Airport Authority had been planning for the day for several years.

“We knew that the day after the closing ceremonies would be busy because we spoke to other Olympic airports,” she said. “I’m sorry we haven’t been able to oblige (the media’s expectation of chaos) but I’ve been very happy. We had a good plan, we were confident with our plan, but you never know. Everybody is in a great mood.”

The spirit was contagious.  As the communications director for Cartan Tours, I was lucky enough to have the chance to interview a few members of the Cartan Games Family in Vancouver.

Downtown Vancouver

From local staff, to senior executives to first-time Games travelers, I soon realized that I was not the only one rooting for Canada this February. The universal spirt of happiness and praise for Vancouver’s organizing committee was overwhelming. We all wanted Canada’s Games to succeed, especially in light of the tragedies they faced early on. I’ll even admit to secretly rooting for their hockey team on Sunday – just because I thought the maple-leaf-covered fans that packed the streets of Granville were delightful.

The Vancouver Sun said it best,

“Tens of thousands of people poured into downtown streets Sunday, as they had each night of the Olympics, to celebrate and cheer not only Canada’s hockey win but merely being Canadian and part of these Games.

There were seniors, babies in strollers, kids holding glow-sticks and middle-aged men and women waving flags tied to hockey sticks. And at the intersection of Smithe and Howe, at 9:30 p.m., there was a full-on street hockey game, complete with nets.

Five hundred people stood and watched and cheered every goal, no matter which team scored.”

street parties

Hockey Fans on Granville Street

Were these the best Games the world has ever seen? Anyone else coping from Vancouver withdrawal? Back in Los Angeles, I’m already started my countdown for London.

Wicked Good Travel Tips Features Cartan Tours Latest Packages Winter Games 2010

Wicked Good Travel Tips just released a new article featuring Cartan Tours’ latest travel packages to Vancouver in February.

Cartan Tours’ discounts range in dates from February 11 – 26 which includes opening day on February 12th.  The games will take place both in the city of Vancouver and in the famed ski resort of Whistler, just to the north.

Read more of the article here:


Vancouver Foodies: Get ready for 2010 Winter Dining!

According to Zagat’s 2010 Vancouver Guide in Time for the Olympics: an expected 2.3 million attendees will descend on Vancouver by mid-February.  This means great news for  the “world’s most livable city” and its decidedly fierce restaurant scene.  

As the winter games excitement heats up, foodies from all over the world are churning out their top lists of not-to-be-missed Vancouver restaurants for a 2010 vacation.   To help you sort out the top picks, below is my “best of the best for Vancouver Dining” link compilation list.  A survey of personal favorite restaurant memories at the Cartan Tours office revealed  the “Blue Water Cafe” “La Bodega” “Granville Island Public Market” “Raincity Grill” and  “A Kettle of Fish” to be amongst the top Cartan Tours staff picks.


The “Burgandy Bible” on Vancouver Dining 2010: Zagat’s 2010 Vancouver Survey Out Now

Vancouver magazine’s 20th Annual Restaurant Awards: 2009 Winners by category

A sweeping overview with great picks: LA Times: Vancouver’s smorgasbord of cuisines

Vancouver food-lovers update this awesome resource daily:

Vancouver’s “Best Kept Restaurant Secrets” are revealed daily at:

IgoUgo community picks for Chinese cuisine: Community Highlights: Tips for Visiting Vancouver & Whistler This Winter

Perfect hot-spots for eco-concious travelers: Eco Chic Guide to Vancouver 

See the Chowhounds battle it out in October 2009: Vancouver: lots of suggestions needed

For the diehard Vancouver foodies, a tour of Yaletown for Ben and Suanne’s Adventures from Vancouver, BC

Delve into the background of Vancouver’s Gastronomy with Edible British Columbia & BON APPETIT