I’m starting this post with a spectacular image from Friday’s Opening Ceremonies (courtesy of my Beijing Flickr Buddy, Wangqian, who did not take this picture, but made it available) because everything else in this post will be prosaic, if not downright painful. Yes, today is the day we travel to Beijing, which, of course, involves more than a day of airports and airplanes. It all started at 5AM when we rousted ourselves out of bed even earlier than the terriers. Having joined us until past Midnight cheering on the Men’s Swimming Team to their Gold, the dogs were, for once, grumpy about an early wake-up call. Tough! They were hustled out to the park, thrown a bowl of kibbles, locked in the kitchen, and we were out of there and on our way to SFO. Cue up some tense Keystone Kops moments, during which we discovered that flying to Canada does NOT in fact constitute International Travel (at least according to SFO which shoves the Air Canada gates in a nearly inaccessible part of the Domestic Terminal.) We managed to run at a full tilt from the International Terminal over to Domestic with barely time to spare to get boarding passes and make it through an unbelievably long Security line. As usual, Andy got the hairy eyeball as he’s looking particularly swarthy after a summer of Sonoma sun. But I resisted my usual “joke” of referring to him as Mustafa and we made it through in time for a jolt of java at Peet’s.

Andy was sure the Canadians wouldn't serve us breakfast, so he bought a load of crap at Peet's. Ha! I feasted on Smoked Salmon and fresh squeezed orange juice in flight.

Andy was sure the Canadians wouldn't serve us breakfast, so he bought a load of crap at Peet's. Ha! I feasted on Smoked Salmon and fresh squeezed orange juice in flight.

Now, we’re in Vancouver for a three hour wait for our Air China flight to Beijing. Luckily, there’s a Business Class Lounge, so I can catch up on Flickr, Facebook, Twitter and post to my blog. I’m still new enough to flying Business Class that I’m not jaded by it all. Doesn’t take much for them to impress me. Wow! A TV. Comfy chairs. A Continental breakfast buffet. I love you Vancouver Airport!

Did you know, regardless of the fact that SFO does not believe going to Canada constitutes International Travel, the Canadians treat the passage with the proper respect? As you leave the International Zone and enter Canada Proper to clear Customs, you pass over a little bridge and the re-creation of a sylan Northern scene. It was all so lovely, except the faux flowing stream was dry when we saw it. And, if I may make a suggestion to our cousins to the North, wouldn’t a nice statue of a Mountie and a stuffed moose make it just that much better?

Cross the Magic Hobbit Bridge to Canada!

Cross the Magic Hobbit Bridge to Canada! Apparently, this was the spot to have your picture snapped.

My fellow loungees can tell I'm a rube. I'm running around snapping pictures of the Business Class Lounge. Can you say, "Easily Impressed"?

My fellow loungees can tell I'm a rube. I'm running around snapping pictures of the Business Class Lounge. Can you say, "Easily Impressed"?

Checked email and found that my buddy Ollie (whose cousin Natalie Cooke just won the first Gold for Britain in these games with a winning cycle performance) has sent me a video warning about the dangers I may encounter in Beijing. The Onion asks:


The Beijing Olympics: Are They A Trap?

Luckily, for Point-Counterpoint fairness, my Beijing Flickr Buddy had just emailed me a batch of photos of “foreign people” who’d made their way to Beijing and were now desperately seeking tickets.

Oh, those CRAAAAAAZZZY Westerners!

Oh, those CRAAAAAAZZZY Westerners!

Actually, I we dont' have to resort to this. We don't actually know what tickets our hosts have procured for us. Or if they have. They say "all will be revealed" when we arrive.

I hope we don't have to resort to this. We don't yet know what tickets our hosts have procured for us. Or if they have. They say "all will be revealed" when we arrive.

That’s about all the excitement for now. Unless I can blog from the air over the Pacific. Which I would totally do. Just because I could.

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