Seattle / Vancouver 

November 1997

Dave and Jesse see USA vs Canada Soccer

Dave had only been slightly aware that the USA soccer team was in the final qualifying round for the France 1998 World Cup when he spotted the Canada / USA score in March after the game was played at Stanford (he was actually in SF!).  Too late for that one, he looked up the rest of the schedule and saw that USA was scheduled to play at Canada in Vancouver in six months, the first week-end in November. We had wanted to visit the Seattle area for some time, so Dave ordered 3 tickets to the match then waited to form a detail plan.

In the interim, Lyn felt ill and Dave's mom passed away. We all but figured to give up the trip. In the end, however,  we decided that Dave and Jesse would go, as a long week-end 'scouting mission' and we would only give up the third ticket. Dave remembered his friend Winston lived in Vancouver (they had last met at a client in Calgary in January) so he invited Winston to meet up with them and use the third ticket. Everybody was delighted when he accepted. It turned into a "boy's Saturday" in Vancouver and Winston was delightful to be with. Dave and Jesse spent an extra day (Sunday) as tourists, then returned home. They got to have a 'taste' of Seattle for one day each direction.

Click here to view the official site for the USA Soccer Federation




USA vs Canada



Arrive in Seattle / Space Needle

Dave returned home from his mom's funeral and took off the very next day with Jesse. They flew first class all the way to Seattle and were greeted with this spectacular vision of Mt Hood upon arrival. Unfortunately, those puffy clouds meant it would be overcast below, but the weather broke and they experienced bright blue skies and unseasonably warm weather.

After getting the rental car, they headed to the Space needle and exposition park area. Due to the wonderful weather, the place was packed and the line for the elevator was over two hours! Instead they rode the Ferris wheel beneath it and took the marvelous pictures below. After a couple other rides to let Jesse unwind from the plane, they pointed the car north and headed for Vancouver. They would stay on points at the Hyatt downtown and be meeting Winston

The fall colors were evident on November 8th
Downtown Seattle and the Seattle Center area

Scenes of Dave and Jesse riding the Ferris Wheel beneath Seattle's Space Needle

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Visit Vancouver and see Winston

Dave's friend Winston joined us for the soccer Game 
when Lyn decided to stay home in Florida. But first we
visited Vancouver - here at the Harbor Centre Tower.

Winston came bearing gifts, and was aware of Dave's strange collections. He brought us a stuffed animal, a small beaver in a Mountie uniform, that sits proudly in our collection.

Winston told us about his hometown, drove us around a bit and helped us find the tiny and obscure soccer stadium in suburban Burnaby. We stopped at Tim Horton's, of course, for coffee and doughnuts on the way.

Dave met Winston in Dallas, then again in Calgary during client engagements. When Lyn decided to skip the trip to Vancouver, his name immediately popped up as a perfect host for our visit.


Winston and Dave at Vancouver's Skylon Tower
Winston and Dave at the Harbor Centre Tower
Jesse and Winston

Dave and Jesse in Vancouver - Nov 1997

Downtown Vancouver from the Harbor Center
Dave and Jesse

USA vs Canada Soccer Match

We traveled a great distance (Florida to Vancouver) and had a great time overall, but the USA vs Canada soccer game was definitely a disappointment. USA scored in the first few minutes, then nursed the 1-0 lead for the entire two periods. Two quick goals were scored in the 89th and 90th minute and actually resulted from Canada putting on a 'full press' offense to capture a last minute tie. There was a lot of muddled play back and forth across midfield, but it was still the first ever World Cup qualifying match for Dave, Jesse and, for that matter, Winston.

The Burnaby stadium was small, setup for track meets and large field Canadian football. The small amount of seating implied that it was used by local high schools or a community college. We had expected to be sitting downtown, in the "BC Place" the soft domed stadium used by the Vancouver Whitecaps and BC Lions. The one small grandstand seated 5,000 and small 5-tier bleachers ringed the rest of the field, much like a high-school football stadium. Also, the pitch was ringed by a full running track; consequently all seats were a great distance from the play. (Thank goodness we had brought the 2x zoom lens).

Sam's Army was present, and in strong voice, but as always were in the end-zone bleachers, standing and stomping for the entire match. On top of everything else, Canada wore black uniforms (instead of Red with White) and the USA wore boring white kits with a simple blue stripe. Oh well.

CBC broadcast the game and fed it to ABC

The stadium was small and surrounded by huge pines

Lots of muddled play in midfield
Canada took a direct free kick at the USA wall

The small stadium had only one grandstand (att 6,000) and was surrounded by spectacular trees of the adjoining park.

When the final whistle blue, the USA won 3-0 and celebrated clinching a berth in France. Several players wrapped themselves in a French tri-color flag to dance and run about and let everybody know that next week's game with El Salvador would not affect the final standings for the France World Cup. The entire team stopped by the end-zone to thanks Sam's Army for their unflinching support. Canada finished at the bottom of the six team round robin final with the USA, Mexico and Jamaica advancing. (Here is a game summary web page).

Even though the actual game was pretty dreadful, we still had a lot of fun and were certainly glad we went.

Around Vancouver

After the game, Winston led us around the city, showing us Chinatown, Simon Frasier university, and helping Dave get pictures for his Home Depot collection. We specifically wanted to cross the "Ironworkers Memorial Bridge" (known commonly as the "Second Narrows" bridge) as Dave had learned of its story from the Stompin Tom Connors Song "The Bridge Came Tumbling Down". Afterward, we joined up with Winston's wife and had a nice dinner and visit before returning to the Hyatt for the night. What a delightful day we had in Vancouver.

The Ironworkers Memorial Bridge over Vancouver Harbor
Vancouver's port was novel to us Midwesterners

In the morning, we headed over the Lion's Gate bridge to Stanley island to enjoy the fall colors and to show Jesse the display of totem poles. To our surprise, a huge flock of Canadian geese (of course) were strutting about and ten-year-old Jesse couldn't resist wandering about scattering the flock. It was around noon when we finished circling the city and headed south back to the USA.

Jesse with totem poles in Stanley park

Downtown Vancouver and Stanley park from the Hyatt

Canadian Geese at Stanley Park

Return to Seattle / Fly Home

The Boeing plant in Bellingham built 747's this is their parking lot of finished planes

We crossed the border to the USA and drove down to Everett to tour the Boeing aircraft factory.  They proudly boast that it is the factory is the largest man-made enclosed volume of space in the world, and it sure seemed that way to both of us. The tour was interesting and informative for Jesse.  It was fun to see the "finished goods inventory" of painted aircraft out on the runway with tail designs from all over the world.

After the tour, we watched the sun set nearby on the Puget Sound and then headed off for pizza and bed.

We would be flying home on a red-eye around 9pm, so we had a full day to goof around in Seattle. We headed back to the space needle, but the sky was overcast so we visited the ground level Science Museum instead.  Several museums and public spaces now reside in the buildings that were built for the 1962 Seattle World's Fair. We particularly enjoyed the display with 3-D goggles and a mouse. You could write or draw with a hand held mouse and see the writing in 3-D.

Jesse writing in 3-D at the Science Center
The grounds of the 1962 Seattle Worlds Fair

After the science center, we had lunch at Ivars on Lake Union (of course!) and took an hour to visit one of Dave's clients nearby. He had taught at a local micro-brewery a couple years previously, so he and Jesse got to walk the factory floor and see all the brew kettles and bottling line.

With time available, we drove around the Fremont neighborhood to shop at quirky Archie McPhees emporium of popular culture and stopped by to take our picture with the troll sculpture under the Aurora Avenue bridge. We hit a jack-in-the box for a small dinner, then pointed the rental car toward Sea-Tac airport and headed home to Florida on the red-eye.

Jesse in the clutches of the Fremont Troll

Original Web Upload January 2003
Last Update: February 7, 2003