Several weeks ago, when the topic of the Sounders playing an away game in Vancouver came up, Tom casually asked, "Wanna' go?"
I immediately sparked on the idea. We had gone to Vancouver last September for a Sounders game. It was a beautiful sunny, late summer weekend, and we had enough points then for a free hotel, so we went on line last minute and found resale tickets, which turned out to be in the Vancouver supporter section. That was last year.
This year we had a two week lead time, so we went to our Sounders supporter site, the Emerald City Supporters (ECS), found tickets still available, found a hotel, expensive, but moderate compared to other downtown Vancouver hotels, and so we clicked and clicked and had tickets and a room.
Then it hit me. Going with ECS, we would have to do a lot of walking and standing. I began to worry. I so easily forget that I am not the person I was even a year ago, what with increasing mobility issues caused by arthritis and what else, I'm not sure. So I went into training, and worrying, too, of course.
We also made tentative plans for what else we might do on the weekend. Then as we watched the weather forecasts, we saw rain and decided we would just have to make it up as we went along, depending on weather and timing. We needed to be checked into our hotel by 3:00 so we could meet up with ECS by 4:00.
The border crossing on I-5 was bogged down, so we took a different route which ended up taking just as long with all the traffic. We thought since we were now running late that we would just drive to Granville Island for a late lunch, instead of crossing the bridge and waiting for a little passenger ferry. Bad idea. Heavy traffic and no parking. We escaped, got to our hotel about 2:30, and Hurray!, our room was ready and we could check in early. Then we walked a couple of blocks to a Subway shop and had sandwiches.
So much for a fun lunch somewhere, but at least it wasn't raining. From the hotel we got a taxi to take us to our meet up pub for the pre-func with ECS. It was 4:00 when we settled in, had a bite and a brew, and a nice visit with a couple from Atlanta.
The Pint Brew Pub was full of Sounders fans, and when the ECS buses arrived from Seattle, we all lined up out on the sidewalk for the March to the Match to the stadium.
There was plenty of singing and chanting of our supporter songs.
Because we are considered a rowdy bunch, stadium policy is that we all have to come in to the stadium early, in a group, with special security. We're not really rowdy at all, we just sound rowdy.
There was plenty of waiting around, standing around, which I handled well, since I had been sitting in the car all day. I knew seating would be an issue, because ECS supporters stand through the whole match, and there are big flags to block your view. But we found perfect seats, way up high, at the top of the aisle, with an empty section in front of us. We could sit down when we wanted to and still see the game.
And it was an intense game. Both teams were playing for positioning in the playoffs, and the Cascadia Cup was on the line. Besides our supporter section, there were Sounders fans throughout the stadium. It's a covered stadium, BTW, so we were all warm and dry when the rains came outside.
We won! We won the cup! We lingered to celebrate! Besides, we had to stay because we were the rowdy bunch and we weren't allowed out until the Vancouver fans had exited. :-)
Finally, Tom and I pushed our way out, explaining to the security guard that we needed to walk the mile and a half back to our hotel, and that we were old, so no one would bother us anyway. He smiled and let us go.
Outside the stadium, as we paused to put on rain gear, a couple of different Vancouver fans actually thanked us for being there. Canadians are very polite people.
As we walked back, the rain let up. Along Robson Street, a couple of guys in a sidewalk pub booed us, since we were obviously Sounders fans. I turned, smiled, and quietly said, "Yeah, but we won," and then we walked on.
We found a Starbucks for late night decaf lattes and goodies, and to post on our phones. We were happy and relaxed and, Hey, We Won!
Sunday morning it was raining was we walked a couple of blocks to a place I found on line, Joe's Grill, where we had a yummy breakfast.
Then, since it was raining, we decided to just get out of town and head for the border. The wait was only about 20 minutes, and we were back in Washington.
We made some stops along the way, but this post is already too long.
It's Monday morning now, we are moving slowly, the sun is shining, and WE WON!