Here is the second journal entry from our young Olympic reporters, Courtney and Lauren:
February 14: Valentine’s Day & Chinese New Year
Today is the Year of the Tiger and we went to Chinatown to celebrate it. Before going there we went to see the Olympic cauldron which had been lit on Friday night. We walked through Gastown and saw the Steam Clock which whistles and shoots steam. We walked to Chinatown and when we got there a parade of dragons was happening. They weren’t real though, just a lot of people in a costume. We saw the Tiger and got our picture taken with him because it is the Year of the Tiger. We saw a lot of interesting things in Chinatown. The streetlights were Chinese Lanterns. There was a very pretty Chinese garden and we explored it. In one of the buildings we got our faces painted like a tiger and even hearts too for Valentines Day. We got balloon animals made to look like Tigers and we saw many people dressed in pretty silk dresses.
Later in the day we went to Stanley Park and looked at the Olympic rings which are in the water. They are lit up at night but it wasn’t dark enough to see that yet. We saw the totem poles which were kind of cool and nearby a statue of a runner had torchbearer mittens tied onto it’s hands…that was kind of funny.
Going to Chinatown was my favorite part of the day. It had a very cool gate entrance and the garden was very neat. It was very exciting to celebrate Chinese New Year in Chinatown. I really liked it.
Today we went to the Vancouver Aquarium. We saw sharks, a big sea turtle and lots of other marine animals. There was a dolphin show and a beluga whale show. I learned that dolphins skin feels like a hard boiled egg and that beluga skin feels more squishy than a dolphin’s skin. I asked the trainers what they eat and they told me that dolphins eat fish and belugas eat whatever they can get their mouths on. There was a rainforest room with tropical birds and butterflies and there were turtles and a lizard. There was a frog area and a kids zone. There was a whole area of fish that live in the Pacific Ocean. There was also a tropical area. We even saw a 4D movie Planet Earth. It was kind of scary because it felt real and it even sprayed us and touched us so we really felt like we were in the Ocean. The people who worked there were really nice to us. They answered all our questions and did a really great job making sure we understood the animals. We had a really good time there.
We played in the playground at Stanley Park and then we went to see the Inukshuk that is the symbol of the Olympics. Inukshuk is actually pronounced Inuksuk….the h is silent. They told us that at the aquarium. It was very big and it is right next to the Pacific Ocean. I wonder how the Native Americans who built it were able to stack the rocks that high. Another thing I wonder is how they stay together without falling over. It was super tall.
My favorite part of today was when I got to see the beluga whales because I thought that the trainers did a really good job getting the whales to listen to what they said and the babies were really cute.
Lauren liked the dolphin show best because it was very exciting to see them leap and mom said she liked the dolphins best because kids could take a lesson from them about cleaning up their toys. They picked up all their toys and brought them to their trainer.