First Impressions from Sochi: Where Did the Palm Trees Come From? - NBC4 Washington
Winter Olympics Sochi 2014

Winter Olympics Sochi 2014

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First Impressions from Sochi: Where Did the Palm Trees Come From?

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    Palm Trees In Sochi

    RAW VIDEO: Jim Handly's first look at the site of the Winter Games. (Published Friday, Jan. 31, 2014)

    The welcome and the temperature were both warmer than expected when we arrived in Sochi, Russia.

    We were not expecting smiles, but everybody has on their game face for the big event. On the ride in to where we're staying, we saw cranes everywhere -- and workers scrambling to put the finishing touches on an endless number of brand-new mega-hotels.

    The roads are new and all along them you see just-planted palm trees. That seems a bit out of place,  but for this Florida native, it's a taste of home.

    There are just-built pedestrian bridges over man-made lagoons ... even a roller coaster for some future amusement park. Our driver said it may look like Disneyland, but it's Putinland.

    Everthing is new and now thousands are making sure it all shines on the big day. I'm looking forward to sharing daylight pics and video tomorrow. First meal btw ... pizza, eaten to '80s music and jingle bells.

    That's all from Camp Sochi for now.