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Thursday, June 15, 2017

Seattle



Last weekend was my girlfriends birthday and a few months ago we both decided it would be fun to go visit Seattle and watch the Toronto Blue Jays play the Seattle Mariners which happened to land on Kathleen's bday weekend .... perfect . Neither of us have been there before so why not ? I have a good friend living there also that I have travelled with before and I'm sure it will be fun seeing him . So we booked this trip before I went to Egypt , used my aeroplan points to pay for my flight and that made the trip cheap but then we went to book a hotel and found out about the evils of booking in a city that will be flooded by Jays fans from BC and the west coast .... it's called cost and demand :( yeah our hotel we booked sure as heck made up for the cost of the flight over .... we paid $1200 CDN for the 3 nights there !!!! The location was fantastic so I can't moan about that at all as we were walking distance to Safeco Field and everything else you can imagine . Had to bite the bullet . 

 

The flight over was an early one with Air Canada . No checked luggage , just a couple back packs . Unfortunately there was no food served on the 5 hour flight which sucked but I could have paid for some mediocre food , pass on that ! When we arrived in Seattle we found the Link transit which took us directly from the airport to our hotel for only $3 USD which is very good because we are hoping to avoid using taxis as much as possible . We dropped our bags and met up with Chris Fetters who is also known as the Dawgman and is a sports writer for UW . He took us everywhere that day and then we ended up at his local pub where the Seattle Aston Villa supporters meet and we had a couple pints . We thought it was gonna rain but the weather ended up being fantastic with only a few drops of rain over the whole weekend .... it is Seattle after all lol ! One of the highlights for me was making it over to The Angry Beaver which is Seattles only hockey bar . This place was amazing with hockey jerseys decorating the walls and crazy bobbleheads on the bar like a Hillary Clinton one in hockey gear ???? Yeah funny stuff . 

 

Of course I had to tie in some hockey stuff even though this wasn't really a Travelling Goalie trip and more of just a vacation . That is why I didn't write a daily blog while there ... just wanted to chill but still gotta let you all know how amazing Seattle is ! Did I mention that we had poutine at the Angry Beaver ? Yeah and it was very good and had real curds not like some places that claim to have poutine :) That night we went to see the Jays play with Chris . We parked his car at UW and took the link directly to the grounds where we experienced what I would almost consider a Jays home game ?!?!? No joke there was way way way more jays fans then Mariners fans , it was ridiculous :) we sat in a section with a younger crowd and I got into sampling the local fare (IPA beer) and man was it ever fun .... too bad the Jays lost but it was a close one .... after the game we fell asleep pretty easily .... remember jet lag and the fact we woke up at 1 am based on the time zone we were in ... it was a long day ! 

 

Next morning was Kathleen's bday and our tourist day . We started off by getting some coffee which wasn't up to par for Kathleen unfortunately :( after that we went for a walk to the Space Needle which was roughly a 45 minute walk .... on that walk we encountered some police with some barricades near city hall . We asked what the special occasion was and they told us it was for a protest ... oooh . We kept walking and a few blocks down we saw people putting masks on getting ready for the protest ? Or more then likely to cause trouble at the protest ? Regardless ... this is somewhere we will avoid later and good thing we did because it kicked off and we saw it all on the local news the next morning . It was a clear sky and we went up the Space Needle and had some fun getting pics and hanging out , then we went to book our Duck Boat ride but had to kill a few hours so we first went for a Dicks Burger and yes we grabbed a bag o dicks as they say in Seattle :) they were ok to be honest I thought they would be better but I didn't think they were awful or anything .... it's really a Seattle thing I guess as it was quite busy ! 

 

After that we decided to wander down to the wharf where the Ferris wheel is and of course we went on it . Lucky for us we had a couple of lovers share our carriage :( Kathleen and myself sat across from each other and the two lovers sat beside me .... whispering and making out and I'm sure there was some other stuff happening too and yes it was uncomfortable for us but when I was young I probably did the same thing . Ahh to be young again , I'm sure they broke up by now lol ! By the end of the ride we were saying random stuff to confuse the lovers and we couldn't wait to get off this thing lol ! Eventually we did and then made our way back to the meeting point for the Duck Boats .... if you didn't know , these things are amphibious and drive on land and water . When we finally got on we had the back seats and we drove around to all the spots Chris took us to see the day before , which was kinda redundant but still fun and we learned a couple things we didn't know about through Chris . Overall it's worth doing if we didn't already see everything hahaha . We took an Uber home after the Duck Boat because we walked more then enough .... we were supposed to get to our room change and go to dinner but instead I passed out . I feel bad still because I wanted to take Kathleen out for a fancy dinner but that never happened :( 

 

When Kathleen finally woke me up we went to do another tour instead of going to watch the Jays . This time we wanted the spooky stuff so we booked a tour with Spooked in Seattle and on our walk there encountered the biggest pod of homeless people I have ever encountered which I must say made me nervous , because if there was ever a time I was susceptible to being mugged this was it .... we kept our cool and kept walking without any hassle phew! This tour was fun and we saw a lot of the underground and heard a bunch of spooky stories that still give me the shivers .... see that doll in the pic above ? One of th spirits apparently is a young girl that plays with this doll .... super chills went up my spine :0 this is a tour I would highly suggest for anyone into the supernatural . It was an hour and a half and totally worth it .... only problem now is we are hungry and there is not a single place open serving food in this area or any area on way to our place .... we never had dinner :( I always hate it when I'm in a city that I can't find a place to eat at after 10 pm . This was one of the knocks against the city and the homeless issue which is pretty bad . If I was homeless I would probably want to live in Seattle too ! So I don't or can't blame any of them for doing or wanting the same . 


The next morning Chris picked us up and took us to Beth's Cafe which was on Man vs. Food and is known for its omelettes .... particularly the 12 egg omelettes ! I couldn't even imagine trying to stomach that so I opted for the 6 egg omelette which is ridiculous also ! I almost ate it all ... probably a good 3/4 of it . I was STUFFED !!! Chris dropped us off at our place and we needed to walk it off so we went to the big open market and went to visit the original Starbucks and then watched the guys toss fish around in the market which always draws a crowd . It was a lot of fun . We grabbed a couple delicious cupcakes even though we were still full then made our way back to our room to get ready for the Jays game which was an afternoon match .... before the game we stopped in for some
oysters and they were awesome aside from the massive ones I had to bite into to swallow .... of course Kathleen had to remind me they were alive . Thanks ! From now on I will stick to the smaller oysters .... lesson learned hahaha . We sat in a different section for this game and we were on our own . Unfortunately we were on the shady side of stadium and the section we were in was totally opposite of crowd we were amongst on Friday . This seemed more like a family section :( not my cuppa . We didn't drink but we did end up stuffing our faces with garlic fries which is a must eat at Safeco Field . The Jays played awesome and the weather was great aside from being on the shady side of the stadium lol πŸ˜‚ it was a great view of the city and finally we got to see the Jays win a game this year .... I think Kathleen had seen them lose 5 times this year already without a win so for the both of us it was a good day . 


After the game we went to our room and waited for teraffic to cool down before calling an uber to go meet Chris at the George & Dragon  to watch USA vs Mexico in World Cup qualifying . Good match that ended up in a draw then we watched the end of the Stanley Cup Final which Pittsburgh won then we went to have one more pint at Chucks Hop Shop which we loved and has like 1000 beers in the store to purchase and over 50 taps ! This is a store with a beer garden so you can go grab a 6 pack and sit out front and drink it :) how awesome is that ? Oh and there is a food truck there too ! We had one last stop before calling it a night and that was to see The Fremont Troll . When Chris mentioned it I thought it would be some rinky dink statue but no it wasn't . It was massive and amazing :) so glad I got to see this amazing piece of art. Seattle is filled with art and I really haven't covered enough of what we saw or did . But basically do yourself all a favour and go visit Seattle . You won't regret it . 

 

Friday, June 9, 2017

Goalie Heaven



Sitting at YYZ and finally I find the time to write about my new pads . Yes after roughly 10 years of service I've retired the old Kohos which I've grown to hate because of their colours ... you wonder what's wrong with the colours ? Well they are the same colours that the dirty habs wear ! Done with em :) hahaha ! So for years I have been taking them in to get repaired by my friends at Toronto Hockey Repair / Goalie Heaven and thanks to them I have never needed a new set but over all those years the shop owner Fiorenzo Arcadi has heard me bitch and complain about weight issues I have while travelling . So just before I went to Egypt I went in to get the set I was donating repaired which Brendan Krick donated (thank you again!) and when I walked in Fiorenzo handed me a sweet new black pair of pads ? They were light . I mean like 5 lbs lighter per leg which is unreal .... he says to me they are all mine if I wanna give them a shot .... ummm YEAH !!! 


 

New pads have come a long way from when I last got a new set .... goalies are now hybrid style and the pads are geared to that . More padding on the side of knees allows a smoother surface to slide on which will take some adjustments and they are much bigger then my old pads . I'm not gonna get into a discussion on sizes as I have said many times that goalie equipment should be worn based on feel rather then what someone told you to wear . This is obviously gonna take time to adjust to . When I got the new pads I was already planning to wear the donated gear on my last adventure and now that mission turned into trying to adjust to larger pads . Larger in height not width as the new pads are roughly 2 inches thinner on the width side .... will have to get used to that too .... so off on my adventure I went thinking when I got back the new pads from Goalie Heaven would be suited for me and ready to go .... 

 

When I got back I had a game and it was go time for the new pads ....  which might I add are a new design for the team at Goalie Heaven . They have been making gear for decades under the name Arcadi and THR so this is nothing new for this shop but the design as I mentioned is new .... the face of the pads is a one piece with no stitching and has a knee fitting that helps you drop down in the butterfly quite easily . Honestly they are very comfortable and quite sleek looking . They have received many compliments and I'm sure will be flying off the racks . These pads have no breaks on them and that will take time to get used to also as my old pads have the triple break on them which allows me to stop a bit easier when sliding across the crease .... with this new hybrid style (that I have to get used to ) I shouldn't need that instead there is more breaking with your skate heel and toe ... or at least that's how it's working for me :) 

 

As of now I have played in 7 games wearing the new pads and I have pulled off a 5-1-1 record which is good . The first game and first shot I faced with them was a left pad toe save which felt good that I made the save but I really couldn't feel the puck hitting me and I felt like I was floating above the ice when me knees hit the ice flat . That's how much things have changed since my old gear where you could feel everything and I mean that I could feel impact and not in and ouchy kinda way . I highly doubt I can get hurt wearing these pads which is awesome . It is taking some time getting used to the new style of pads and how to use them but I'm sure I will be able to adjust over the summer . I definitely would highly recommend checking them out if I were you and if you are a goalie . If you're not a goalie beware because these pads are gonna help me loads . These pads are geared to make the 5 hole disappear and so far they have helped me out with my problem . Honestly I'm so excited to have the opportunity to try out this new gear and I'm looking forward to testing out the new blocker and catchers also in the next month or so . It's definitely a good thing to be working out with new leg pads now and breaking in new gloves later . This hasn't been the easiest transition for an old school flopping goalie to try to learn a hybrid style but i have to admit that these pads are making the transition much easier and I'm sure that anyone reading this with the same issues would benefit from this too . If you ever are interested in getting a pair contact Fiorenzo at the link below .... they are going for a good price . And tell them I sent ya ! 


Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Going Back To Egypt


This project to help my Egyptian friends is far from over . There were plenty of skates and sticks but they need more protective gear . Right now my goal is to keep my GoFundMe page going www.gofundme.com/Egyptianicehockey and continue collecting as much as I can to collect some more gear from friends around the globe to help get the sport going over there . More then likely I will make another trek through England to visit my friends there and collect more gear to take over . I would also like to pick up some goalie gear to leave for my friends there to finalize the kit I left .... the skates didn't quite fit and I didn't leave a goalie jock and the pants also didn't fit my friend Ahmed there who is now The Egyptian Goalie ... I dubbed him with that moniker . Man do I miss it over there . At the moment I am looking at trying to make my way over there later this year but I might have to push it back a few months pending on how things go . I am hoping to get another 100 kilos of gear again to take over and I'm pretty sure i can get it easily from what i heard and i do know there is a full kit waiting at my buddy Karl's place in Birmingham which will surely disappear next time ... hopefully Karl is around next time too and lets me crash at his pad again , really i wouldn't mind sleeping on that couch if you have a tenant next time :)

Now you are probably wondering how safe it was over there right ? I know a bunch of people expressed concern over me travelling to a country that our Canadian Travel website says to exercise extreme caution ... that freaks people out . Here's the thing ok ... if you are scared to go somewhere then the terrorists win . I wasn't scared but I was cautious and I was lucky to have the opportunity to stay with my Egyptian friends but that put me in areas where I didn't see any other "tourists" . That all being said it is what I actually prefer as I'm not a tourist loving person and I rather be with locals over tourists ... I mean I can be with Canadians every day of my life so why bother when travelling right :) Back to the safety of it all and I would say I felt 100% safe all the time except for when I thought I was gonna get punched in the face by the "professional photographer " near the Sphinx . That is the only thing I would warn people to steer clear of is the leeches that are around historic sites waiting to make a buck off you .... don't let anyone take pictures of you and try your best not to respond to anyone , seriously pretend you are there alone and ignore people ! Aside from that everyone I met was very friendly and it seems the norm for us Canadians to be referred to as AHH Canada Dry but when you ask for a ginger ale they have no clue what you are asking for so don't bother hahaha !!! Obviously don't put yourself in bad situations like getting drunk publicly or doing anything to sort you out as a stupid westerner . And the main thing to remember when in Cairo is to get used to dodging cars as you are crossing roads and basically walking on roads all the time .... yes there is a sidewalk but for some reason people don't use them very much ? don't ask cause I couldn't figure it out :)

Before you do decide to go to Egypt if you are Canadian don't bother buying a visa through the Egyptian consulates website !!!! They have a link on their site that leads you to a private company and the one in Toronto had told me that I must buy a visa before flying over and it was over $100 CDN ... I was told by my friends in Cairo that I can get one upon arrival for $25 USD and that is a big difference in cost . When I arrived I received my visa as was told and you have to have USD as they won't accept anything else not even Egyptian Pounds . So don't fall for the scam . When you arrive all you have to do is hit one of the banks in the terminal before you get to security and you can buy your visa there and it is very easy , just give them cash and they give you visa and the customs officer will stick it into your passport so don't try to stick it in yourself :)

This all being said I really hope that more people start going back to Egypt  , I am definitely going back as I have so much more to see ... there are another 8 or 9 rinks across the country that I have yet to visit and I'm hoping Ahmed and Ayman will take me on a road trip the next time I'm over and we can share some good stories about more of Egypt . Definitely some of the wildest most historic jaw dropping stuff I have ever seen and I really want to see more . The Egyptian pound is really low now which makes everything really cheap so now is the time to visit if you have ever dreamt of visiting .... if you are a hockey fanatic like myself you should contact egypticehockey.wixsite.com/egypticehockey or look up www.facebook.com/EgyptAnubis/ and they will definitely help get you some ice time .... the guys there skate at least 3 times a week at 3 different locations my favourite so far is the rink at Maadi Family Land www.facebook.com/pages/Maadi-Family-Land/235092160001502 . If you have any questions just leave a comment below and I will do my best to help you get in touch with the guys over there   . The sport is growing there and hopefully it will grow to the point that someday we might be cheering for an Egyptian National hockey team at the Olympics .... I am hoping to see this in my lifetime . But for now the guys really need help developing the sport so if you want to help then please get the guys equipment or some money for protective netting or actual glass for their boards ? At the least go there and leave your gear for them after skating with them . And don't be shy to make a donation to my GoFundMe page :)
 

Do yourself a favour and go to Egypt ... its amazing .







Thursday, May 4, 2017

Keep Your Cool



Man that last night at Karl's I just couldn't sleep because I probably fell asleep by 8 pm or something .... regardless I was up at like 3 am and I packed my bags . Not so many bags with my goalie bag left behind in Cairo ,Egypt . I'm only carrying a duffel bag with a few bits of my personal gear and some clothes in a backpack and of course my stick bag is packed in my other bag . Gonna leave a stick at Karl's to use in future and hopefully I won't have to travel with sticks home anymore .... leaving Toronto with Air Canada allows me the sticks for free but coming home from Europe with another airline means money πŸ’°.... like $100 for a stick that might cost less .... not worth it . 

 

I've had such a great trip spending time with family and hockey buddies and my Villa family and making new friends and when I tried to get back to sleep I just couldn't so I stayed awake until I had to get ready and leave . I called myself a taxi and locked the door and tossed the key into the mail slot and I was off to BHX to catch my flight to Frankfurt with Lufthansa . For once I booked a later flight and didn't have to leave until 1 pm and I was at the airport quite early which was great .... it's nice to not be in a rush right ? Well .... that was the only moment of peace I had . No I didn't have some crazed woman eyeballing me again lol πŸ˜‚ 

 

The plane boarded on time but then the delay came .... I didn't notice how long we were delayed but I do know I had 1.5 hours between landing in Frankfurt and boarding for Toronto which is standard . The flight was decent , food was crap but I ate before the flight so I was good to go ! When the plane landed in Frankfurt we got off plane and onto the bus to the terminal .... there was free wifi and I logged on , that's when I realized I had 15 min to get to terminal , switch terminals , clear security and get to my gate . I'm not stressed . I'm cool , just walk fast .... got to the train that transports from one terminal to next and I got through doors as they were closing and I was feeling confident . Kept walking briskly and got to security and two women came by freakish out .... we are gonna miss our flight it's boarding now !!!! I said are you on the flight to Toronto ? They said yes . I said yeah don't worry we will catch it and I will even have time to shop duty free :) they looked at me like I was insane !!!!! Hahahaha .

 

Cool as a cucumber I went through security , let them know it was my puter belt buckle that is going off in their sensor grabbed my stuff and by this time those two gals were long gone . They went running like the wind lol . I'm not nervous .... went by duty free and got me a nice bottle of Johnnie Walker blue and got to my gate just in time . I knew there wouldn't be any problems . I had a window seat that didn't have that concave indent to lean into :( that sucked and the movies were still same as last time but hey I'm on my way home . The guy beside me pulls out his laptop and doesn't give me an inch of the armrest but oh well .... I napped a bit and then realized the plane hasn't left yet ???? Wtf .... 

 

Keep cool 😎 and it will all be over soon . Flight was good aside from the screeching baby two seats behind me and the person that used my back as a foot rest . I'm still happy 😊 then the plane approached and circled Toronto forever and we landed and sat forever then finally we got off the plane .... only an hour and a half delay and I was just a bit agitated 😑. Got my bags and headed out for a taxi , when I got in I put my two equally sized bags in back seat and the driver argued that one bag needs to be in the trunk . I had it at this point and got angry and told him that this is bullshit . He said it's the rules , now he could be right but I wasn't interested in his rules ..... when I got home I gave my girlfriend the perfume I bought her and she said it was the wrong one ..... FML ! Hahaha .... one day I'm gonna win . Life is never what you expect of it and travel is just as intricate . Can't wait to experience stuff like this again , hopefully sooner then later ! Even though it sounds rough the way I write about it , trust me these are all fun experiences . 

Wednesday, May 3, 2017

One More Drink



When I woke up I was sharing a room with Chris Fetters aka "Darth Vader" and we were in Manchester . It's been strange that I haven't had a hangover this whole trip ? Is it that the beer here is poured from cleaner taps or is it that I'm just drinking quality beer like BrewDog ? I'm not sure but every day I wake up after those hazy nights and I don't feel like death is a blessing ! This day was one of those days .... I jumped into the shower and made sure to have my Kiddy Lions badge upright and left the room to meet the other 6 lads . We met in lobby and went to a Wetherspoon's for breakfast , that's the name of the chain that takes on menu and food at most pubs across U.K. Standard pub grub and cheap and cheerful breakfast which is always better option then paying hotel for their food . I gobbled my food and we headed for the train but not before we said our good byes to Fetters who is heading to Scotland .... safe travels my friend ! And see you in Seattle next month 😜

 

When I got on the train someone was sitting in my seat and she looked like she was enjoying a hangover ... NOT ! She shifted over and grunted a bit .... this didn't seem like it was gonna be a pleasant trip but I was with the Kidderminster Lions and these guys know how to brighten up someone's day . Debbie had a motorcycle helmet with her and Adrian is into racing so he sparked conversation with her and then the Jaffa cakes came out and Debbie smiled ! We got to know Debbie over the train ride to Birmingham and had a few laughs with her . When we got to New St. we made our own ways but unfortunately Debbie went the wrong way and went to Scotland instead of Leicester 😳 we made our way to Indian Brewery and I have plans to meet a few friends and have a few farewell pints . It was great chatting with you Debbie ! 

 

Reece and Alexia came to meet us at Indian Brewery and I had a good 3 or 4 pints of their yummy IPA and we had some garlic and cheese naan with some other yummy Indian snacks . This brewery is an Indian themed brew pub with Indian movie posters on the walls and some great curry . Try it if you ever visit Birmingham , it's right near Snow Hill train station . You won't regret it . Kidderminster lads had to boogie and they ordered an uber back to Kiddy instead of train as it was cheaper and faster to split a ride . The three of us went to another pub which was closer to where they parked . 

 

Things got interesting when we got to The Actress & Bishop on Ludgate Hill . Soon after we sat down and grabbed a pint these rugby wankers came in . They weren't bothering me but they seemed to find a way to make themselves look like dicks to everyone else . They were doing an end of season hazing type session where they had to do things off this list . I saw them trying to get these girls to tie their shoelaces and they were chugging milk while flexing their muscles .... all super cool . Then one of the guys asked if his buddy could steal my beer and they would buy me another one .... I said sure why not it will be funny . The guy hesitantly grabbed my beer and chugged it . Then they all looked at the ground and scurried out the door like a bunch of little girls  . Yeah you guys were pretty brave lol . Anyways no bother and no chase . The barman saw what happened and gave me another pint and as this happened Ritchie and Amy showed up ... 

 

It was Amy's bday a few days earlier so they were on their way to dinner . When she heard what had just happened she wished she was there to tear them apart hahaha she's a feisty one . Love it ! Reece and Alexia bounced and we had another quick pint before heading off ... it was great seeing everyone for some farewell pints . On my way back to Smethwick in taxi I stopped off at McDonalds and honestly I don't even remember eating it but when I woke up it was all gone so I'm assuming I had a good ending to my night ;) I'm already waiting to plan my next trip back but for now I have to pack to head back to Canada πŸ‡¨πŸ‡¦ . I'm actually in Toronto now so don't be confused lol πŸ˜‚ this is just part of the story . And almost the end .....

Monday, May 1, 2017

Blackburn Away



When I got back to Karl's place in Smethwick I had to do my laundry and repack my bag for my trip in the morning to watch Aston Villa play Blackburn away . Didn't get to sleep until 2 am and had to be up round 730 am to grab a taxi to go to Halesowen to meet the Kidderminster Lions bus . That was a bit of an adventure as I was told to get off at a pub and cross the road and walk to a lay by which is basically a gas station . When I arrived there I saw a gas station right beside the pub so I messaged Harry and yeah I'm not good with directions lol ! I found myself crossing the road and seeing that there was no sidewalks so I was a bit leery about walking on the road like everyone does in Egypt . I'm not sure if that would even be legal so I just waited near the Audi shop for the bus and it arrived in due time with me running to get on before  causing any ruckus on the road way :) 

 

Of course I bought a bunch of beers before catching the bus and I bought a bottle of Johnnie Black for Elvis as a thank you for hooking me up with tickets for the Reading match . A small token of my appreciation and really these guys always take good care of me . He was really happy with the small gift . I sat beside Chris Fetters on bus for the first 15 min then made my way back to the back of the bus to cause some trouble with the Kiddy Youth ( YOOF!) the banter was really good and the pints were yummy . We stopped in a pub on the way and did a few rounds with Fetters and Pete Aston and then we got back on the bus but where were the Yoof ? Rounded the corner and there they came running after the bus lol ! Apparently one of the lads became a bit ill and the lads did the right thing by not leaving him behind .... mates should always look out for each other right ? Anyways they got a bit of an ear full from the people that were worried about losing em and that's understood but I fully agree they did the right thing and everything worked out and we carried on to the match . 


When we got to the ground the atmosphere was electric with almost 7,000 Villans singing and dressed up in costumes . Last away day is always dress up day but I didn't bring a costume or anything . It's a bit of a carnival atmosphere and everyone is having a good time . We bolted to find a pub or shop to get hopped up a bit . Ran by some guy selling 4 beers for £5 and he lied and said the shops were all out of beer so I bought them . How desperate is someone to do that ? He made a whole £1 off me with his elaborate lie . Seems like a waste of his time isn't it .... I wouldn't bother doing that even if I was broke . I went into the shop and they were selling beer and I bought some ciders to hand out to everyone as it was my round . 

 

The match started and it was a crazy atmosphere but there were a few idiots in our stand who were actually cheering for Blackburn ???  Some wearing their tops and a bunch of them even cheered when they scored against us which really upset me and I don't think a single person that travelled with Kiddy lads were cheering . I made some eye contact with 2 guys jumping up and down and after the game those same 2 guys didn't seem to be cheering anymore???? Didn't you want us to lose ? How can anyone dare say they support the Villa and then cheer for the opposing team to score and beat us ! I'm appalled by these so called fans . Yeah it would be great to see them Bluenoses go down but do it with honour . Don't just roll over for another club to go down . Not a sportsmanlike attitude if you ask me . Imagine how the players that you came to cheer on felt ? Yeah they are pros getting paid but you know they didn't seem to be interested in playing after that . Absolutely pathetic display by the people that call themselves supporters .... if you were one of them then you're not Villa . I'm VTID , no excuses . 

 

We lost and to be honest I'm glad to be going home instead of wasting more money to watch this showerof shit . Love the Villa but roll on next season . Let's get some new faces into the club and shed the money grubbers . This was one of the worst performances I've ever seen from the Villa and this trip I watched us play 4 shit matches where we got lucky once and beat Small Heath (scum) .... I did 7 matches this season and saw 2 wins 3 losses and 2 draws . Not bad for a supporter that lives in πŸ‡¨πŸ‡¦. 

 

After the match there were 8 of us that grabbed our bags off the bus and we hopped on the train to Manchester for a night out . Gotta love these away days ! When we got to the Premier Inn just round the corner from train station, we dropped our bags and washed up and met in the hotel bar for first pint 🍻 
I was happy to see BrewDog punk IPA at the bar and bought one and chugged it . We then decided to put £20 each into the kitty for our night out . 8 of us makes £160 , this was nobody gets ripped off on buying rounds at a more expensive pub when moving about . We went to the Patamount next and then hit up the BrewDog pub and then the big boxing match was on and a few lads wanted to catch it but every pub showing it was full to the max and we had to settle for watching it on a phone in the pub next door . I think we hit up 4 or maybe 5 puns before a couple of the guys had to leave . We had another pint and decided we should go for a sit down Chinese . 

 

I have no clue what the name of the place was but the food was fantastic . Adrian and Gavin left early apparently to go sleep but when we walked into the restaurant there they were ordering take away lol ! We got them to come sit with us and the staff there didn't want to let them sit with us so I spoke to them and told them we are together . We can all go somewhere else and they brought seats for them :) we were a bit loud and I could see some other tables eyeing us but hey we are just having fun not causing trouble and honestly I laughed my ass off for most of our stay there . We had some duck to share and I ordered a lovely beef plate . All the food was fantastic and I really wish I knew the name of the place .... they did kinda rush us out of there , I'm guessing to make their other patrons happy . We pitched in £30 each and I thought it was worth every penny . Being with this group I would have paid twice as much because we are all good friends having a laugh and that for me is priceless . 


 

After we all had a hot towel we went off to find another pub .... unfortunately it was 1 am and our only possible choice would be the casino . I am very happy to say we didn't go in because if we did I have no clue what would have happened but I'm guessing it would have gotten very messy as we were already Good from the amount of drink we had all day . Remember we started drinking in the morning and only stopped because they wouldn't sell us alcohol at Ewood Park . That little break from when kickoff until round 6 pm was a blessing in disguise . I'm still tired from the amount of travel the last few days and I'm looking forward to some rest when I get back to Toronto . Once again great night out with my Villa mates . Thanks for organizing everything Paul Harris , great being your room mate Chris Fetters and always a laugh being with Mark Byworth, Pete Aston and Steve Woodward .... last but not least it was gray meeting Adrian and Gavin Sabel . You're all top lads , see you all in the morning :) 

 

Sunday, April 30, 2017

Leaving Egypt



Woke up today earlier then I wanted too because Edgar who is a fellow Canuck wanted to find out if there was hockey today ? Grrr .... needed that sleep but oh well life goes on and no there is no hockey today . Bags were already packed and all I needed to do was wash up and give Ahmed a quick lesson on how to put this gear on . He is really keen to become The Egyptian Goalie , we came up with his nickname yesterday and I'm sure he's gonna take some pics in some iconic places wearing that gear which was all donated by my good friend Brendan Krick . Unfortunately the pants and skates didn't fit him but I'm sure he will survive without them OR I will have to bring him some other stuff when I go back .... yes I'm going back . This project is far from done and I'm gonna keep working on helping these guys to get international recognition . 

 

We all barely slept and were all tired and there was some urgency to get me to the airport early because the Pope was due to arrive before my flight takes off . I thought he was here already but I guess not .... haven't really been following the news to be honest . Before I left we took one more stab at finding an Egyptian flag patch to sew onto my bag but no luck :( yeah that sucks big time ! I didn't leave empty handed though as I picked up a game worn Egypt jersey that captain Ayman wore at the first African club cup last year .  I'm sure some people will be a bit jealous of that but yeah i don't care hahaha ! I also was given a football top from an Egyptian club called El Zamalek :) I put it on and wore it to the airport . Ahmed said people will bother me about wearing this and let me tell you I did ! 

 

The guys got me to the airport with plenty of time and it was tough saying bye and I don't think I will ever get used to saying good-byes .... wiped a few tears away and headed into the airport where I had to go through security to get into airport then security before check in then security after check in with customs . Security is tight here but I'm guessing it's crazier because the Pope is due to arrive any minute . Before you ask ... I didn't see him and to be honest I wasn't looking . What I was looking for was that Egyptian flag patch for my bag which seems to be non existent here :( duty free was no help either and I'm guessing the top I was wearing had something to do with it . One guy plainly told me he couldn't help me and told me to go to another counter while he frowned at me hahaha ! 

 

When I got on the plane I put my bag away and grabbed my seat got comfy and put some music on with my head phones just like 3 of the other 5 did in my aisle and napped a bit until food came . When the stewardess brought my meal she leaned over and said the lady in front (seen above cutting me the evil eye ) asked if I could turn my music off ??? She shrugged her shoulders while saying it and I was confused .... how did she figure it was my music and how dare she do that anyway ! I turned it down a bit but wasn't gonna turn it off . I noticed this crazy woman asking the stewardess again and then we made eye contact and she muttered something and I told her if she wants she can pay for my seat and I will turn it off but until then I've paid and even the couple beside me were confused ? They even said they can't here it ! This woman was nuts hahaha ! While talking to the couple next to me I made sure to speak loud enough so she could hear me and I said she must be lonely or dying for a drink :) she turned around and said you know I understand and I said good I want you to hear this since your being an idiot then I blew her a kiss and put my headphones back on . I didn't pay any notice to her after that but she seemed to have OCD or something because she wouldn't stop bugging the attendants . Misery really does live company and I wasn't about to join her . In all my years of travelling I have never ever encountered this level of ignorance and even though she heard other passengers saying they couldn't hear my music she just wouldn't give up until she got what she wanted .... she never attained that goal :) beeeyotch ! 

Anyways I am on the next flight now heading to Birmingham from Frankfurt and I'm hoping this is uneventful as I have to get to Karl's do some laundry sleep and wake up early to go to Blackburn to watch Aston Villa . I'm sure it's gonna be a wild day so it's best I do my writing now because tomorrow I'm sure I won't even know my own name lol !