Friday, October 29, 2010

Any Suggestions ?

Sitting around on this early morning wondering how all my friends overseas are doing ? Especially the ones that are playing in Thailand right now at the Bangkok Tournament...damn i hope i get the chance to play in that tournament someday . Lots of reminiscing lately as i am still fresh off my last trip , this always happens .

Still have not gotten any confirmation from my friends in Germany pertaining to this Hawaii trip . Like i mentioned before most of the time these trips don't come to fruition ..... i am also currently looking to make some connections with anyone that can get me on the ice in Slovenia, Croatia,Serbia,Greece and Bulgaria  as i am planning to return to Cortina D'Ampezzo next year to defend the championship that we won there . A perfect trip would have me land in Milan ( either rent car or take train ) and start heading east leaving from Sofia,Bulgaria back home . If anyone has any suggestions or ideas please feel free to comment .

Willing to go anywhere in the world that i can play ice hockey in !

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Remainder of 2008 Euro Trip

Going to England with my hockey equipment in hand , hoping and praying to find a rink into London and Snowy comes to pick me up . Snowy is somehow related to me ???? Kathleen's ( my girlfriend) sister lives in Ringwood ( England ) and Snowy is Izzy's better half LOL!!! So yeah Snowy picks me up and totally dislikes driving into London but does me this huge favor and we are off to Ringwood . Now i know there is a rink somewhere but not too sure where , so i ask ....nah no clue mate .

Getting into Ringwood i basically drop my bags say my hellos and get whisked off to the PUB !!! Basically we did a mini pub crawl , it was a Sunday but the pubs are always bustling and packed with laughs . Got the chance in this one pub to play the meat draw , local butcher donates 5pound coupons for meat at his butcher to meet the butcher too ! Unfortunately for him, everyone saves their coupons to cash in on holidays hahahaha. That night Snowy took me to meet a couple of his old mates , Flimmy & JT . These guys were 2 of the most standout characters i have ever met and really showed me a good night .

Over my stay in Ringwood i was lucky to meet alot of amazing people and i go there as much as i possibly can ( i love the pubs) . But on this trip it was more of a touristy thing then a hockey thing . Nobody i met knew of ice hockey . And i don't think i am going to be playing much here .

So some of the touristy things i did while in the south of England were going to Bournemouth Pier ( went for Greek dinner mmmm!) also took a day to go to Stonehenge which totally appeased to the inner geek in me :) Stonehenge is something most people should see , really unbelievable place and if you do go then listen to the recordings they are quite interesting . That day Snowy, Isabelle and the kids ( Jack and Faegan ) also took me to Salisbury . Also visiting the New Forest to see a Canadian monument on my stay in Ringwood . I was REALLY lucky to be in England for Guy Fawkes Day , drank alot that night , blew up things and watched a movie in Snowy and Izzy's shed ( The Poxy Roxy ) ,it is set up as a theatre with a pull down screen and projector . B movies are the specialty here...

So i am not only in England to visit Ringwood and surrounding area . Rock The Bells took their Hip Hop tour to Birmingham and i bought a ticket as i have family there . The day before i was to head out to catch my train i find out that the concert has been cancelled ( to this day i have never gotten a reply from RTB about this ! , but i still go to their concerts ) . So instead of freaking out i calmly cancelled and got my full refund and then called the ASTON VILLA box office . Villa is my favorite football club in the whole wide world and as it works out they have a game that same day vs. Middlesborough , so i booked my ticket ...being a member has its privileges :)

Jumped on a train and started my 3.5 hour trek from Bournemouth to Birmingham to stay with my Aunt Carmen and Uncle Albert , they live in a small borough of Birmingham called Solihull . My aunt & uncle picked me up at the train station and took me off to their place . Cousins Paul & Steve always are willing to show me around the city when i got there , first stop is always to the local mall ...the bus station is there so we head to Villa park to get me some Villa gear . Went to the Aston House ( pub) for some drinks and hit a couple other friendly pubs , what a great time i had . Oh i forgot to mention that i left my bag in Ringwood as i booked a flight out of Birmingham to meet my girlfriend in Malta hockey in Malta :(  

So on a rainy day i finally got to go to see my favorite club play on their home pitch ! ASTON VILLA . It was raining and i had an unbelievable seat in the 3rd row at centre field , unfortunately the wind was blowing and i got soaked but what better way to watch a Premier League game then in the rain ....gotta love it .

Next part of this trip takes me from Birmingham to Dublin ( spend a night there at Jen's place) and catch next flight at 6 AM to Malta where i will meet my favorite cousin in the whole wide world Adrian Bonett. This guy is a champ and is always ready and prepared to show me a good time . Apparently he has a room for Kathleen and i to stay at , not too sure what to expect .....

oh yeah and Villa lost to stupid Middlesborough ( who got relegated that year ) :(

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Remember This Was 2008

Wernau ...Rainer takes me to Wernau to play hockey the next day , that day was honestly spent sleeping ALL DAY !!! In Wernau we were going to practise with some Americans from the army base stationed there that Nate knew , Nate met us there early and we basically messed around inside the arena to kill time ( there was this little playground) . We got on the ice , my breathing was really bothering me and it was basically just over 24 hours after breaking it ( definitely fresh ) . Probably should not do this kind of stuff but like i said before and will say again "i am a goalie " .

After our shinny game Rainer and myself said our goodbyes and i jumped into Nate's car , we ended up going out for some pasta in this nice little Italian joint in Alberhausen then called it a night . The next morning Nate was gone to work or school and i was left alone with Nate's amazing grandparents ( that don't speak English LOL) . Sorry Nate i really wish i knew their names ....that day i had to get on a plane to Ireland ! Nate's grandfather drove me to Stuttgart and i was off . I have to mention that unfortunately Nate's grandfather passed away within the year after this trip :( he was a really nice guy and i appreciated his and Nate's grandmothers hospitality .

At the airport , with my bag and sticks and my backpack ....and my broken nose and black eyes. Of course i get asked if i am a fighter at the airport by random strangers . The attendants at the airport were very helpful in Stuttgart and i had no problems with my bags . This is my main concern when travelling , i am constantly worried about my gear and having to pay for overweight or oversize .

Let me fill you in on how and why i am going to Ireland .....this same year earlier in the year i was in Thailand and met some girls from Ireland ( i was with my girlfriend ) , well one of them had a roommate that was a hockey player in Ireland so she put us in touch . Also through Facebook i found a long lost friend named Jen Plummer , she was living in Dublin and invited me to come stay with her and her roommates there . So i had a place to stay and a place to play hockey ....i am so there ! Arriving in Dublin i jump into a taxi with this couple i met on the flight from London as i had a crazy connection ( in London the plane was also delayed as there was ice on the planes wings !)

Getting out the taxi i really had a vague description of where Jen lived. And the taxi driver was a bit confused as well , but i found the place . Soon enough Jen had me drinking a pint of Guinness and settled me in. Jen had this apartment in a part of Dublin called Ranelagh . Really cool little area with some great restaurants and all the amenities needed ( transit ,etc...)  Jennifer's roommates were really nice , none of them complained about the smell of my equipment that wafted through their house for the week i was there :)

So the ice rink i was going to was in Dundalk , about an hours drive from where i was . Jen drove me ( thank -you ) out there and met her boyfriend ( at the time , they are now married ) and his brothers and sisters , so i kinda had a cheering section LOL. I mentioned earlier that i was put in touch with a fellow that played hockey there named Martin Robinson , unfortunately he was in Toronto at the time ! But he put me in touch with some fellows and told them i would be coming to practise on this date , so i knew when and where to be , but i was late for the practise for the A team . SHIT ....drove all this way and i am not gonna get onto the ice . Good thing that the guys from the B team were practising right after , as i met a couple guys hanging around the rink ( Shane Muldoon and Graeme Barrett ) .So i am on the ice in Ireland with the Dundalk Bulls B team , they were pretty good ...most of the guys were quite young and a few of the A team guys stuck around particularly Jan Prusa . Jan is a fighter and for some reason i really get along with team fighters , for me fighting is a part of the intimidation game and this guy was intimidating ! Pretty sure that Jan is now playing in the U.S.A. for the Park City Pioneers , check out his fights online there are a few of them if you like that stuff :).

The practise was odd with some really weird drills i have not seen since i was a child and some drills that just don't make sense like having 5 pucks in play at the same time ???? This is not the first time that i have seen weird drills and wanted to shake the coach and ask what are you doing , but i did not as i am a guest LOL. All the guys were really amazing and in the dressing room after we had allot of laughs , i really wish i had more time to spend with these guys but unfortunately pubs were closed as it was late at night , we stretched out my stay as long as i could as the girls wanted to leave . In the parking lot i got to say my goodbyes to those guys and we drove back to Ranelagh .... what a great experience ! Now today unfortunately these guys do not have a rink to play ice hockey in as the Dundalk Ice Dome has been closed for some time due to financial difficulties apparently  ....PLEASE OPEN THE RINK FOR THESE GUYS THEY DESERVE IT !

The rest of my stay in Ireland was grand to say the least with visits to the Guinness Brewery and Jameson's , and no i did not get really drunk . My trip after Ireland was planned very loosely and while i was in Ireland i was beginning to miss my girlfriend being with 5 women in a house in Ireland ...pretty much all of them had boyfriends so i felt kinda lonely , so we planned to meet in Malta . Finding some cheap flights i booked the rest of my 2 weeks to kill as my only other flight was from London to Toronto . Booked a cheap flight to Malta and began making plans with Kathleen . My next stop though was in London where i will be meeting Snowy ( Kathleen's brother in-law? ) where i will be staying in Ringwood and hopefully finding a rink to play in there !

oh i almost forgot to mention that during my stay in Ireland i got to experience Halloween .....people basically burn EVERYTHING and become vandals running wild in Dublin . We went to visit Shane and his friends up in Cavan County and had a quiet night of drinking . Got to meet some awesome people there too ! Thanks for letting me stay at your place Stephen ! Can't forget that i saw Jenny's house before it was built as well , hope it is finished by now ?

Monday, October 25, 2010

Part 5 : Bolzano 2008

No i don't learn my lesson , back in my hungover state we have to play our crossover game and i am waking up somehow on 2 hours of sleep , packing my bag and getting into a car to drive to our game . So feeling like shit AGAIN ( hahahaha) . Our game is vs. Bolzano Youth Club , basically one of the home teams ....this game is for the bronze ( 3rd place) . We get onto the ice and as usual i like to take off my mask while skating into the corner for a few squirts of water , when BLAM !!!! I feel something whack my nose and i take a few more strides , next thing i notice blood squirting madly out of me onto the ice and i buckle ....

When i skated out of my crease Maria took a mystery shot , something like the JFK bullet . The puck hit the crossbar ricocheted in an impossible angle and came at my mask ( i was almost in corner with back turned to net on the goal line ) , after hitting the chin part of my mask it whacked me on the bridge of my nose . Totally flukey . My teammates dragged me to the bench and our coach was telling me that they are gonna call an ambulance and take me to the hospital , while he was saying all this all i could think in my mind was ....i came all this way to play hockey ! So looking at him i asked if he could get me some cotton , they looked at me like i was crazy . I am .

So i stuffed the cotton up my nose and skated onto the ice to play our game , yeah this happened during our warmup ....with a huge blood spot on the ice i went out there dazed and confused. Of course one of the first shots on me is a breakaway , which i save :) ....the refs continuously asked me if i was ok , i am stubborn ! We went on to win that game very easily 9-3 . Our Czech teammates took off as fast as possible , probably still upset over losing to Slovaks LOL. The rest of us gathered after the championship game which the Slovaks won and had our awards ceremony . I accepted our third place trophy and immediately got on the phone to call my girlfriend .

Wow the pain really kicked in at this point . Standing on the side of a mountain near a waterfall i was in so much agony and will never forget having to say bye to people while i was in this shape . We had to leave to drive back to Germany . What a long painful ride ....this is just the beginning of my trip , now i have a busted nose and black eyes to travel through Europe with :( . I was in and out of consciousness on the drive back to Germany with Rudi driving and Rainer passed out in the back seat . When we got to Aalen i was quickly introduced to the hospital ....i had to pay 80  Euros in cash just to see a doctor , he took xrays ( which were all useless) and sent me off ( no painkillers) . On the way back to Rainers we discuss playing hockey tomorrow with Nate in Wernau ? with my response being ....that is what i came here for !

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Part 4 : The Tournament

Another day another tournament :)  On this day i was still hungover ( alcohol poisoning ) and felt like total ass times 2 . Our first game of the day was vs. Augsburg Woodstocks , and we already had a feeling that the divisions were stacked and we were on the wrong side of the stack . Before we went to the rink i wandered around and drank as much cafe americanos as possible out of the vending machine in the hall of our hostel . Bolzano was not some huge bustling town and we had to get to our game , the arena was not quite around the corner ...more like a 20 min drive . We drove to the rink , which we popped by the night before to drop off our equipment but never really saw anything as it was pitch black .

Not quite sure what the name of this arena was ....but i can say the view was magnificent as it was up in the mountains and right near it there was a waterfall , and it was one of the best rinks i have played on outside of Canada . Our first game was early so we crammed into our room and got dressed and ready for our game vs. Augsburg ( Germany ) . We came out fast and went up quickly 2-0 , i did not have to do much and still was feeling awful ....pretty sure they scored on one of their first shots and we were up 2-1 when we widened the spread winning the game 6-3 .

After the game we had some time to go back into the city centre and we did , and unfortunately i could not stomach any food so i did what i had to do . GET THE EVIL out of me ! Gently touching the back of my throat in my rooms bathroom i threw up , unfortunately in the bidet :) One of my roommates suggested that it would not burn so much if i ate a banana and did the same thing so i did . To my surprise it actually did help . So now i can try eating again .....we went to this cafe to get some food . I actually got it down . And now i am feeling better and we have our big showdown game coming up .

The next game was vs.Slovakia Old Boys , now i am pretty sure some of these guys played for their national team as they had full gear . The Czech guys on our team really wanted to beat these guys and were so focused to win . The tournament setup was 6 teams , 3 in each group , 2 round robin games , everyone gets crossover first in our group plays first in the other group . So basically the winner of this game goes to the final and the loser goes to 3rd place game . Unfortunately this game was not going to go our way .....our Czech guys just could not produce as the Slovaks really played amazing position hockey in their own zone , and their goalie was ridiculous . On the other hand our luck was totally in the toilet as Rudi scored a goal on me with a 1-1 tie giving them a 2-1 lead ( our only goal coming from Rainer ) . These Slovak guys were good even though they played with 7 skaters and a goalie . As you can predict we ended up losing the game 3-1 ,dejected we all head back to our rooms.

Feeling better we head out to dinner as a team and then out to the city centre for drinks ....yes drinks! Basically it was Rainer , Timo, Rob, Paul , Daz and myself ( the Czechs did their own thing ) that went out and got our drink on . We went to the first bar and basically started drinking casually outside and then a woman came by with a basket full of beer to sell....much cheaper than beer inside so we buy the whole basket ( which i kept a few of and dragged all the way home ) next thing you know we run into some of the Augsburg players and head off to another steamy bar with live music . It was in a basement or something and basically everyone had their shirts off and were plastered drunk . I am sure we were there for quite some time and most of our guys took off and went back to the hostel as their is a CURFEW !

Rainer and myself stayed at this bar , basically i remember drinking there and all the windows were closed and they were really paranoid about something or other so we left and ended up in some other disco . Well at this disco we grabbed a couple drinks. The floor was totally covered in broken glass , and the crowd was ALL MEN ....looking at Rainer i said " Rainer i think this is a gay bar " , " no its not " . Grabbing him i stopped him from bopping around dancing and said "look around , do you see women ?" after this he finished his drink slammed it down and we left . With no clue where we were and knowing we were out past curfew we wandered the streets of Bolzano ....even asking other drunken strangers for directions ( they were lost too ) somehow we show up at the hostel and of course the automatic door is not opening . Rainer looks at me and says we can sleep in his car , i was not having that so i pryed my fingers in between the doors and forced my way in LOL. There is another door and it is a swing door with a lock , no way i am prying my way into this :( so i just start banging on the glass . We were lucky the security guard let us in with the promise of being quiet . Yeah right , getting off the elevator we decided to wake up our neighbours before going to sleep ....shit i forgot my key ! Thanks for opening the door guys :)

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Part 3 of the Bolzano Story : The Arrival

The call of "wake up we have to leave , they are kicking us out !" is familiar . The pounding headache i woke up with is somewhat familiar . Alcohol poisoning is new to me , and i don't like it . Now when i woke up i did not know i had alcohol poisoning , but i did know i didn't want to drink and by the time we got to Bolzano which was not too far from Innsbruck .

When we got to Bolzano the first thing we did was check into the youth hostel and i found out my roommates were our British teammates aka the Island Monkeys ( LOL)  Daz,Paul,and Rob . These 3 drove some odd 24 hours all the way from Sheffield,UK to join us for the exhibition games and tournament . We actually bumped into them on the highway going to Innsbruck ....funny it is when we stopped for more booze that we bumped into them randomly . But on this day we only had an exhibition game to look forward to and that was in the evening and it was barely midday at this point so we all decided to go into the city centre . When i say we all i mean all of us that were not Czech as our Czech teammates had their own agendas apparently . So it was Rainer, Timo,Andi,Maria,Rudi (all in the room across from mine ) and the English speakers HAHAHA , that mainly hung out .

Walking into the city centre i realized how truly hungover i was and began to experience what i call "The Liver Quiver " . Oh man feeling like shit would be a major upgrade . And yeah it was sunny and beautiful , we were all wearing shorts and it was such an amazing experience , if i was not so damn hurting . So i was a trooper and dealt with it and enjoyed the day to the utmost watching my new found friends enjoy Latte's and beer on patios , i couldn't stomach anything :( 
That night we finally got on the ice , not in Bolzano but in Meran . Another town not too far from Bolzano . I was hoping to kick the hard feelings from the night before with a bit of sweat .To my knowledge the name of the team we played in Meran was the Bolzano Black Tigers and we kicked the living shit out of them ! Like i mentioned before we had 2 ex NHL players (Czechs) on our team ....Petr Havelka was drafted ( not sure if he ever played) and we had Michal Sivek who was also C of Czech National Jr. team at one point and also traded for Jaromir Jagr . These guys laid a hardcore beatdown on these poor guys that i think invited us out to play them and were not very excited about getting killed 12-1 . We were happy though and went back to have dinner before turning in . Tomorrow the tournament starts and i still feel like crap .

Friday, October 22, 2010

Where Are We ? : pt.2 of the Bolzano story ....

If you guessed that we were late to pick up Rudi then you were right , apparently he was waiting on the side of this highway ( autobahn ) for about 2 or 3 hours as we slept away . But when we woke up boy did we feel like shit and in a zombie like trance we got into the car and started on our way ....about 5 minutes in we decide to start drinking again ! it's alright Rudi will drive HEHEHE....

Wow i don't think i have ever got so blasted on 4 wheels before ! We even stopped at a gas station to get more booze , including that bottle of Jaeger that you see in the picture earlier ! I have no clue how Rudi did not want to kill us both as we were like 2 wild animals locked in a cage WITH BOOZE . So yeah we are driving to Innsbruck to play hockey and i am smashed out of my mind, we arrive just in time and i meet my teammates ....i am sure they were all shocked to see me so hammered LOL.

All i remember was stumbling around the dressing room introducing myself and almost stepping on people with my skates on . Not a pretty sight and it gets worse. Now i am gonna say this with a grin ....i have played some of my best hockey drunk but this was a shit show . As soon as i stepped on the ice i had this urge to drop onto my head , oh yeah feet over head , blocker and catcher flopping around . Somehow i make it to my net and we start our game vs. the Innsbruck Wolves . From my recollection one of the first shots was a break away which i fell down on and somehow made the save . Seriously i was using the crossbar to stand up LOL! At some point the glass behind me broke and some of our ice time was wasted away , we walked off the ice with a win ....yes we won 3-2 don't ask i have no clue aside from the fact that we have 2 ex NHL'ers on our squad :)

After our game we head back to our hostel to have dinner and start our evening off , or in my case continue my evening . So we get back finish off the bottle of Jaeger that we bought earlier in the day and begin to meet our teammates which was a mixed group from all over the place . ( 7 Czechs, 4 Germans, 3 Brits, 1 Austrian and me ) After dinner we headed around the corner to the local bar and had a good time taking silly pics with Rainers crazy big sunglass' and his wig LOL. Then we went to the disco .....long blank.......after disco i woke up the next morning !

Apparently i made it through the night drinking and dancing the night away and even got into a cab with my favorite cohort Rainer :) , this time i passed out in the cab . We went to the wrong hostel , found our hostel . Rainer had to drag me out of the cab and carry me inside where i basically passed out not that i was ever conscious or have ever regained any of these memories in this last paragraph .

All i can say is that i am a goalie !

Bolzano Tournament 2008

Some of my friends are playing in a tournament this weekend in Bolzano,Italy ....good luck Rainman All-Stars !!! In 2008 i started a 5 week trek through Europe by heading to Stuttgart to meet my friend Nate (he is actually an American living with his grandparents) , i met Nate in Singapore the year before :) The first part of my trip was Germany ....playing hockey in Pforzheim . During my stay with Nate everything was calm and very relaxing even spending a day going to school with Nate .

The main reason i went to Europe though was to play hockey and for that i had to meet up with Rainer , and when we met up the party started !!!! Rainer picked me up in Alberhausen on a rainy night , and we went to Aalen where he lives ( my first time in Aalen ) . On the ride i told him i wanted to go out for drinks and he was gung ho , so our first stop on my adventurous first night with Rainer was at the Irish Pub around the corner from his house . We started off nice and slow having a beer each and then i started to buy us shots of Jaegermeister ( little did i know that this is a major trigger for party Rainer to come out) , shot after shot and next thing you know we make a couple friends at the bar ( just random people) . The bar is closing but one of the randoms knows of an after hours bar we go !

Now we are supposed to meet one of Rainers friend Rudi on the ride to Austria tomorrow morning , just an afterthought LOL. The after hours was totally dead just the 4 of us but at least there is booze ! I have no clue what the heck goes on next but all of a sudden i am at the after hours with some new random people that i don't know and Rainer is gone . In my drunken stupor i decide that i know the way back to Rainers place , so into the morning rain i leave the bar . It is roughly 730 AM and i am now lost , sitting on a corner in the rain watching people go to work ...yes shitty ! With my cellphone in hand i call Kathleen back in Toronto ( she stayed home for first part of this trip ) . So it's like 1 or 2 AM in Toronto and she answers as i reluctantly called her " what's wrong ?"  , "i'm lost!" i talk her into going online opening my email , getting address for Rainer , and Mapquesting my way to his house from the intersection i was at LOL! WHEN i arrive at Rainers house i knock on the door and his father ( who has never met me) answers the door ( oh and does not speak English ) , basically i just walked right by him and up the stairs . I wonder what he thought LOL !

Rainer shows up not too long after and is just as confused as i am . But he know where that shoebox full of mini Jaeger bottles is , and drink drink drink must have been around 10 AM and at this point we were belligerent and Rainer was just tossing empty bottles out of his window from his bed . Well you can see where this is going , with his last toss he hits the window and cracks it ....not too sure how he explained that to his parents but i am sure he did ! Totally piss drunk i fall asleep texting people in Canada ....the day after we start our trip to Austria , what a messed up day that was .

These are old stories , i am just reminiscing ....

Monday, October 18, 2010

Tournaments i dream of ....

Having the travelling bug for me just doesn't mean i am dreaming of going to countries , i dream of the tournaments i can go to in certain countries ! Since my first bite of the travelling bug after the tournament in Dubai 2005 i started my search for tournaments . I am probably thinking about this stuff right now because there is a tournament that has eluded me for years in Bangkok ( )  that i am dying to go to someday . The Bangkok tournament is HUGE , pretty much everyone i know in Asia will be there ! I have had invites that have been revoked, had to pass on going there , and also have had an injury hold me from going there ....that is about 3 invites wasted away . If i am correct they are mostly invites from the Kuala Lumpur Cobras ( which is a country i have been dying to visit as well !) i was actually asked to go this year but because of my euro trip i had to pass :(

The Bolzano trip i took two years ago starts this week too , what a blast that was . I hope that Rainer and his troop of Kackvogels can do a tournament repeat and win this one too ...good luck guys/gals ! Basically most of the tournaments that i dream of are the ones that have eluded me somehow. Hawaii is one of them which i am chasing at the moment . Last year i was supposed to go to play in Hawaii then go to Sheffield,UK the following month , unfortunately the team i was going with to Hawaii could not make it and the tournament in Sheffield was cancelled.

England is definitely high on my list as i go there ALOT (family visits) and i have been there 3 times with my gear and have yet to see a rink !!! So you can all guess that the next time i go family will be second to hockey :) I really wish that i can find a tournament to attend there , when i become more focused on it i will ! As i planned last year , i would love to pick up my buddy Snowy in Ringwood and start driving ...obviously the stops i want to make would be in Birmingham ,Sheffield to visit family and friends ( play hockey ) drive up to Edinburgh,Scotland ( get on ice ) and drive through Cardiff on the way back to go for a skate . Like i said earlier this one will have to wait .

As of now i am chasing Hawaii for April , then i am hoping and planning to go back to Cortina in September with stops after in Slovenia, Serbia,Croatia, Macedonia,Greece and Bulgaria ( taking train with my gear ). Then the April after i am finally bringing my own hockey team ( Ghetto Blasters)  out to Europe to play in Tachov , Czech Republic . Bringing my team will be more organizing than i have ever had to do , with some players leaving after 1 week and some players after 2 weeks ....only the brave will keep on rolling with me deeper into Eastern Europe LOL!

So yeah i am gonna keep myself busy until 2013 ! If all goes as planned then by this time i will have played in almost every country in Europe ...i said almost not all . Then i can start to focus on South America or Africa . As long as i don't wake up from this dream i will be happy :)

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Plans For Hawaii Tournament

Good Morning !

I have been in a really good mood since my last trip , things seem to be going well as of late ( in my prozac state of mind they seem well ) . Yesterday i received a reply from one of the organizers of the tournament in Hawaii that i really want to go to at the end of April . As i have mentioned before ...planning for these trips is not as easy as you may think it is .

Last year i was invited by Timo ( good friend from Germany ) to play with his team , not run by him but by another fellow. Well he had trouble finding players and it was aborted and i was heartbroken :( that same month i had my tournament in Sheffield ,UK cancelled . So this time i contacted the tournament organizer and asked if they need goalies ? Tournaments always need goalie to float around ( injuries, too drunk,etc..) so i decided to ask just in case my team this year decided to bail ....yes i am planning to go with Timo again ! This time i am keeping my fingers crossed and have my backup plan in play :)

Really wanting to book this flight right now ! From all these crazy flights i have paid for , finally attaining enough aeroplan ( Air Canada) points ! 40,000 pts and $175 ( stupid taxes !) gets me a flight to Hawaii ....the sooner i book the better .

After booking next step is hotel . Currently waiting to hear what my German friends are planning . Oh and if anyone is interested in coming it is a 30+ tournament , here is the link . check it out and if you are interested in joining me just post a comment . pretty sure my dates for travel will be April 12-21 , have to leave right after tournament in Hawaii to get back to Toronto for a tournament here with my Ghetto Blasters !

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

No Hockey but abit of travelling ...

Ok this is real time , i am at home in Toronto . Some people seem to think that i am either still in Europe or possibly somewhere else, just to clarify i am home :) I have been trying to catch up with all the days i promised i would write about . It was really hard to get either time from my drinking,playing and travelling and when i did have time i did not have power , when i had power i had no Internet connection . Should i get myself one of those satellite connections ? possibly

This weekend past no hockey was played , my girlfriend who i have not seen much of since we were both travelling on our own separate vacations , bought me tickets to see Cheech & Chong at Casino Rama. So we went up to her families cottage in Wasaga Beach . Every time i drive in and out of Wasaga i drive by their arena and obviously you all know what goes through my mind LOL. Someday i will take my gear (dreams of running my own tournament there !) and i will skate there but this was not a hockey weekend , it was my birthday and a nice quiet escape from the city ...yeah i need a vacation hahaha.

We drove up to Orillia where Casino Rama is nowhere near the highway like they advertise , found this massive mirage of a building in the middle of nowhere. When i was entering all i could think was that i did not want to gamble ( not very big on gambling ) . This place was basically a huge building with an open ceiling and shit loads of machines , it was like a circus in there. I am sure i saw the bearded lady , couple guys dressed as gymnasts and a few clowns . Basically every weirdo you have ever seen was there , no joke ! We grab a couple drinks upon entering the area where the show was and have nowhere to sit , so i sit on a ledge . I mean c'mon put some chairs for people to drink and eat ! We had seats that were really close and really hard on our ass'!!!! The show was not bad as these guys are icons that i grew up watching but overall i would give the show a 5/10 , they performed alot of skits and Tommy Chong's wife Shelby shared her potty mouth humour with the crowd as she showed off her body in her scantily clad outfits . So eh what can i say not drunk and not exactly happy we leave the disaster they call Casino Rama ....honestly if you can say you like it , then i can say you are addicted to gambling !

On the Sunday morning one of us decided that we wanted to go for a walk on a trail in Collingwood. So we drove there and stopped at a candy store named Crave ...mmmmm......yeah i got enticed into driving up this hill and finding a parking spot , apparently this place with scenic caves and a bridge is the hotspot for tourists ! We did not realize that we had wasted our time on a tourist trap until we walked all the way to where the entrance was ? entrance, so we ask a parking attendant when he tells us it is $20 per person to go walk on this path to see a cave and walk across a bridge !!!! He has the audacity to tell me that " we spent 1.6 million on this , how do you expect us to pay for it " , i guess he thought i was not one of them . Instead of slapping him across the head with my Canadian passport i just walked away . If you are a tourist coming to Canada do not bother wasting your time or money on this ! 

We went back to the cottage and smoke some shisha , Kathleen was in Egypt and brought back some nice flavoured tobacco to enjoy so it is kinda our new thing to do now LOL. Yesterday was my birthday and i feel younger everyday except the days that i drink like an idiot , last night i drank some absinthe i brought home ...yeah i feel great today :(  All in all this past weekend was definitely interesting and obviously someday i am planning to drive across Canada with my equipment and play hockey ! First stop might just have to be Wasaga Beach . Can't wait to play some hockey this week !

Saturday, October 9, 2010

Thank You's

So there is no way that this trip would have been so unbelievably amazing without the help of ALOT of people that i will never forget and hope to stay in touch with . First and foremost i NEED to thank Rainer Schmid ( , this guy is like my long lost brother . I hope to meet you again sooner than later Kackvogel . Rainer endured almost 4 weeks of me , not too many people can handle 1 week LOL. He drove me everywhere , planned out everything (even though sometimes i had no clue what the plans were ?) organized everything and if anyone reading this ever wants to experience anything close to what i just did than contact Rainer ! He also has a facebook group Rainman All-Stars . Thank You Rainer !

Through Rainer i got to meet tons of amazing people starting in Tachov. He introduced and got me the opportunity to skate with EHC Waldkraiburg (from Germany) i got to meet Wolfgang and his daughter Julia Klose . One of the better (maybe the best ) players that i got to meet at the disco was Jan Loboda . He should be Canadian as he loves to drop the gloves ( YEAH ! ) .
Also was lucky while i was in Tachov to meet this super amazing guy named Petr Vrana . Petr runs the local rink and is quite the historian . Petr should honestly be the mayor of Tachov, with his undying love for his town and his great charm and charizma ! I am very happy to have had the opportunity to spend time with Petr , too bad we never got to get on the ice together :( . I also can not forget to metion the WOID BOYZ , best fan club i have ever met ...well maybe tied with another fan club i met on this tour that i will mention later on . The WOID BOYZ were most gracious in taking dozens of pics of me drinking booze out of buckets at the disco and giving me the shirts basically off of their backs . It was my pleasure meeting you guys .

In Finland i was pleased to finally meet Petri Riihelainen ! We had alot of good times drinking and winning hockey games together , Petri had a birthday party in Finland and it was unlike anything i have witnessed before and there i met his family and hockey team ,the Tampere Ice Devils ! These guys were all top notch guys but one person definitely sticks out more than the rest for me .....Jari Kurtti . A fellow goalie he honored me by letting me use his gear early on a Monday morning meeting me at the rink with a smile and his gear in hand for me at 7:30 AM ! Thank you Jari , i told you before and i will tell you again that i owe you BIGTIME !

Getting into the tournaments there are some people that i have met before that i was glad to meet again and there were some new people that i was happy to meet . Timo and Andi , it is always a pleasure playing on the same hockey team with you guys and i know we will be on other teams together again as life goes on , and i will always enjoy it too !  There was also Sybille on my team but never really got to talk to her much ...                    

One of my teammates i was also happy to meet on this trip was Rob Carter ( sorry for the pic LOL ) Rob brought me some great memories , especially of him serving everyone free booze behind the bar at Moskito ! Also a great hockey player , it was a pleasure being on the same team as you , too bad the rest of our team did not have as much heart and desire to win as you did ! At least we did not end up last. Also got to meet alot of great hockey players from around the world , mostly from Canada like the Dancing Bears . They were from Calgary , really amazing hockey team and great ambassadors for Canadian Hockey . They were party animals on and off the ice with skill in both categories! I can never forget 2 individuals that i met that are Canadians but living overseas . Paul Loretan is a Canadian with a Swiss accent now . If you are ever in Switzerland go to his bar Yambalaya . Wish you had a website Paul for your bar!/group.php?gid=61843228600&v=info   that is a link for his facebook group . My worldwide goalie fraternity grew when i met Chucky (French Canadian ) living in Germany , stopping pucks in a corner of the world on any given day ! Chucky you were amazing and i loved all of your awesome stories and the way you tell them with your hard Quebecois accent !

 One more person i can't forget to mention that was a pleasure to meet and be on the same team with was somebody that i did not remember meeting in Innsbruck a few years ago ( i was way too drunk ) Dom Schramm . Great defenseman , i know that Rob and myself both missed you when you left         :( hope to see you again someday !

Didn't meet too many standout people along the drive to Cortina but when i got there i was lucky enough to meet the Klagenfurt Teatro and got the chance to practise and party with them , Thanks guys !

This tournament honestly was the best tournament i have ever been to. So much good free food and free alcohol and good music with an amazing view and it is all thanks to Luca Lacedelli and his teammates from Squali Cortina !!!!! Everyday that goes by makes me miss Cortina more and more , you guys really are doing a wonderful thing there , keep up the great work guys !

In Cortina i got the amazing opportunity to play for the Feldkirch Chiefs ,even before i met all of my teammates ! Thank you guys , the honor was all mine . But i really really really am happy to say that i got to meet a group of people that i will always and forever be attached to in Cortina ....Rudi ( i knew you before but now we are champions together), Petri ( The Finnish Flash) , Rainer ( KACKVOGEL ), Mario ( Super Mario), Alex ( German taking shirt off at the disco ...AGAIN) , Klaus ( dancing machine), Melanie ( playboy bunny 5 Euros for a picture with her LOL) , Marco ( Pussy Wagon) , and Romeo ( Tomassos buddy LOL ) .  

I was also lucky to meet this cool dude from Montreal ( yeah i said it a cool guy from Montreal LOL) Vince Fazio ! He was living in Milan and introduced me to his amazing teammates and hopefully i will get the opportunity to go there someday and play hockey there , now he is in Montreal so he is only 5 hours drive away so hopefully we find the time to hook up ! Among his teammates were 2 standout guys Francesco and Roger , it was a pleasure meeting your whole team but these 3  stood out from the rest !
Last but not least i got to meet up with Nate for only a moment at the Bayern Munich Champions League game and i also met Jyrki Lumme , yeah i might have told you that already . LOL! Thanks to all of you guys ! Hope to play hockey against/with you all again , you are all good sports !