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Thursday, December 20, 2012

The Apocalypse


Apparently the world is going to end tomorrow , so today with my sore shoulder i am going to go out to the rink and get some ice time in .... i think if the world were to end the one place i would want to be is at the rink . If we are gonna die anyway i might as well go playing hockey :)

If it does come to fruition then i guess i would die kinda happy seeing and meeting all the great people i have met on my travels but i would not have seen the whole world and played hockey all over it thus leaving my legacy as a failed one .... i don't actually believe the world is ending tomorrow but just like everyone else i will humour myself thinking about it as it is a hot topic these days . I guess i would play drunk , i am guessing most of you reading would die drunk IF there were an apocalypse ... mainly those of you that i have been drunk with at one of those crazy hockey tournaments .... hmmm i wonder if there is an apocalypse tournament somewhere this weekend ???

So how is this all gonna end ? maybe this is a precursor to an end to the NHL lockout LOL ... probably not ! Seems that the world is coming to an end here in Toronto , usually at this time of year it is all hockey hockey hockey talk and right now everyone is talking about the Blue Jays . Yeah friggin baseball . *On a side note to all those coming for my tournament in June , it looks like going to a Blue Jays game might be a good idea , pending the apocalypse *

What do you think ? is it over ? are you planning to do something tomorrow to commemorate the end of all existence ? Is this gonna be a morning thing or is it an afternooner , do i have time for a nap ? Also is this on Australian time , because if it is then the world might end soon ... i better go pack my hockey bag just in case :P 

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Cancelled Trip

Kinda disappointed ... i was planning to go visit Puerto Rico in a week , but i can't ! I am kinda stupid for even trying to book something at this time of year as it is time to pay the piper ... if you don't know i run a hockey club called the Ghetto Blasters in Toronto . At this time of year we have to finish our team payments and as a team organizer it is my duty to make sure we are all paid up OR i have to pay out of my pocket to cover guys that have not paid in full yet . I know you are wondering why and i had this chat with one of the guys that runs the league i play in and he said that if my team ever couldn't pay up and he had to take someone to court it would be me . Don't take it the wrong way he wasn't being a dick to me or anything it was a question i asked him before i decided to cancel the trip ... so with all that being said i had to cancel !

When i told Phillip ( my contact in Puerto Rico ) he was not too disappointed as the local government there is up to their old tricks again pissing him off to all belief . The first thing he said when i told him was its ok there is a Christmas Tree in the middle of the rink now , at this point i knew i made the right decision . Yeah in some countries it seems that local authorities don't know what they are doing with these rinks ... i am guessing it is going to be a big hit for pleasure skaters around this time of year ??? and i am sure if someone ends up tackling that tree i will be one of the first ones to see a picture of it LOL . i don't even doubt this happening ...

Onward and upward , i guess when i collect all this loot back from my team mates i can get my savings started for my big trip to South America . Still trying to get a solid answer from the friends i have made down there , the language barrier is pretty thick between us and i am pretty sure they rely mainly on translations online ... some don't seem to be getting good translations but regardless we are communicating which is amazing ! i have been trying to make contacts down there for quite some time with no replies ... and i am still trying to make a contact with someone in Montevideo , Uruguay ? i know there is a rink there , get me on it ! if its there and i can skate then i will come :)

At the moment i am dealing with teams from overseas that want to play in my tournament here June 21-23 , trying to figure out dates for this tournament in Ushuaia, Argentina and trying to get my team organized for an Easter Tournament ... just another average day for the Travelling Goalie .

Puerto Rico get that tree off the ice ! 

Saturday, December 1, 2012

Last Day in Quebec


Woke up after a good night of drinking with Les Stingers , i was in Etienne/s basement ... rolled over looked at the clock and saw the time was 11 AM !!! we are supposed to be on the ice at 12:30 so i better get my stuff together . When i leave the room Michel is no longer passed out on the matress on the floor ... Michel is a former Montreal Canadiens draft pick , amazing guy ! good laughs :) check out his hockey db http://www.hockeydb.com/ihdb/stats/pdisplay.php?pid=29628 . I head upstairs and Michel and Etienne are chilling out and i then find out that it is actually 10 am and the clock had not been turned back LOL ... that makes me feel better as this morning we have our semi final match and i need all the energy i can muster up . Yesterday beat the hell out of me , 3 games in 1 day is tough ... playing the 3 teams we played was even tougher . 

We were short a skater because Vince got hurt in the first period of the first game :( yeah it sucked and i hope Vince is better ( i think he pulled his groin OUCH ! We have a guy named Patrick Groleau http://www.hockeydb.com/ihdb/stats/pdisplay.php?pid=33217 on our squad and he has a brother that played for the Montreal Canadiens named Frank http://www.hockeydb.com/ihdb/stats/pdisplay.php?pid=2044 it was only natural that we bring him out , the rules for the tournament state that players playing in the championship game must play at least 1 game before the final , this was the semi so he was allowed to play and would be eligible if we make the final ! 

Before we left for the rink we looked online to check times and found out our game was 1 hour later ! Etienne had to contact the guys to let them know that we had another hour of relaxing ... this was a good thing for all of us as i am sure we were all beat up pretty bad from the day/night before ! We chilled for another hour then headed to the rink ... when we get to the rink everyone is there and the stands seem a bit more full ! no i am not nervous about playing in front of crowds , it is actually more exciting with people in the stands :) 

 We had to play Les Agents Libres again , the team we played first and lost 8-3 to , that was yesterday and it was before i got into the pace of this hockey here ( fast ) i am sure they think they can smoke us but we also think we can do better then our first meeting . We started off well scoring in the first period taking the lead then they tied it up on a good goal which i had no chance on :( then we headed to the dressing room after first period with a tie ... i know i have to play above and beyond to get us this win and i was up for the challenge as i felt really good in the first period . The second period starts and i had a couple big breakaway saves to keep us in the match then there was a mix up in our zone and there was a pass across crease which was meant to be tapped in but i made a big toe save ... unfortunately the guy was alone and got the rebound and roofed it on me as i was sprawled out after making the initial save ... we ended the second period down 2-1 and the penalty parade began ...

There were 2 linesmen and 1 ref and somehow they missed a too many men on the ice call against the other team but for some strange reason in the 3rd period we got nailed for too many men ! Yeah a few of the guys were not please with the reffing and i could understand them all when i got to the bench , i told the guys to forget the refs and play our game . We missed some good opportunities in the first period and in the back of my mind i knew we should have been winning 3-1 after the first but at this point we were know down 2-1 at the end of the 2nd and the refs weren't helping ...


The third period was basically a penalty parade , it was honestly disgusting that refs were calling stuff that would not be considered penalties anywhere else in the world . We had to kill 2 five on three power plays , we killed the first one and we were hemmed in our zone for most of the third but we wouldn't give up ! mid way through the 3rd the other team got the puck to the point and a few guys screening me , one of them got lucky and tipped a puck that bounced in front of me and over my pads ... i was told this happened as i did not see a thing . They went up 3-1 and got a couple more power plays .... we battled but we were all dead from all the penalty kills we had to perform . Honestly we gave it our all and layed it all out on the line , with a couple minutes left in the game i was waved to the bench , we were killing a penalty and put our 5th skater back on the ice and gave them some pressure but couldn't get back into the game . yeah they ended up scoring an empty netter and eliminated us :( 

We all went back to the room feeling rough after the loss , i thanked all the guys for such a great experience ! i really wish i could have got us to the final , but the hockey gods were not on our side today . In the dressing room we all had a couple beers and i finally got to see some funny tricks that were performed by one of the guys whom i won't mention his name LOL ... with the invisible string he performed his penis tricks LOL ... i was hoping to see the other trick called the bomb HAHAHA it is a messy trick that has to be performed in the shower which part of me wanted to see but the other part didn't want to get into the way of the BOMB ! You are all wondering what the hell i am talking about ? Ok ... This guy gets his foreskin and pinches it really tight and takes a piss , then lets go of it and piss flies all over the place HAHAHA !!! with the invisible string the guy gets his penis half cocked , just a bit hard and then pretends to pull a string to make his penis dance around LOL ... yeah this was an interesting group of guys they made me laugh my ass off when they told me about this shit LOL ... i still laugh thinking about it ! 


I had no clue that we were going home right after the game , Alexandre told me lets go and i abruptly left after saying bye to the guys , we headed out to get some cheese curds to bring home . I had to bring home curds from the home of poutine , it does not get any better then this if you like poutine ! trust me ! The ride home was tiring for all of us heading back to Toronto ... i am so thankful that i was able to join these guys on this adventure and i hope to return to play with them again next year .. I want to thank Etienne for organizing this team and i have to thank Alexandre for bringing me there ... Les Stingers you guys are the best group of guys a goalie could ask to play for you guys all play with heart and you definitely earned my respect . 

PS- Les Agents Libres won the championship and apparently we have been told that their game against us in the semi was much more challenging then the final ... it is consolation knowing we could have won it if we made final , but in my heart i would love to try it again next year . 

Aurevoir mon freres . it was a pleasure competing with you all ! 




Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Sleeman Open


Woke up quite early at Vince & Valerie's place when i went downstairs Vince was already making us fried eggs on croissants , and might i add they were very yummy ! Everyone was ready to rock and head off to Victoriaville which was about 1.5 hours drive from where we were ... didn't seem that long , i was pumped anyways . The whole ride i was getting myself more and more worried about impressing these guys and getting comfortable playing at their level . If i didn't mention these guys mostly played some form of pro hockey , i didn't ....

Our first game was against this team called Les Agents Libre , they were all young guys . I was still confident that i was on a really good team . They hadn't played together as a team in 13 years and as the team organizer Etienne put it that he was happy to wait so long so he could play with them . Etienne was the team physiotherapist but always a huge fan of hockey , he has also been a trainer with a few National Jr. teams . Etienne felt it was a good time as he may have caught up in skill level with the guys . On the ride to Victoriaville we met up with Alex's family and a couple other guys from our squad . We played at this rink called Arena College Claretain which is apparently a private school and 1 of 3 rinks in Victroriaville which has a population of roughly 60,000 people as i was told .
Back to the hockey ... when i get to the rink i soon find out i am the ONLY non french speaker at the tournament and everyone seems to be amazed by this guy here from Toronto , and yes i wore a Leafs shirt to the rink LOL ! We get into the dressing room and all the guys are having a great time re acquainting themselves and the jokes start flying around in French ... i backed into a corner and got dressed and started praying :) We stepped onto the ice quite early and had a long warmup ... some may say that was not a good idea as these kids we played were FAST !!! After the first period we are already losing and i am not feeling too confident about my play ... things got worse and then we went into the dressing room between 2nd and 3rd period and it was quiet . I wouldn't doubt that these guys were wondering why Alex brought this shit goalie . We got back on the ice and things didn't end up any better as we ended up losing 8-3 . After the game we had a beer in the room and headed back to Etienne's place to order some food .
I got a ride with Etienne and we acquainted ourselves and he assured me that i wasn't that bad but i think he was just being really nice :) We all put in our orders for food and i got a lasagna , which was tre tre bon !!! our next game was at like 5 pm and we had some time to chill . I don't think the next team is gonna be any easier and i know i have to step up my game if i want to feel more welcomed on this team .
Since we lost our first game we already knew we had to play 3 games today , the 3rd being a quarter final game . If we lose that 3rd game we don't play tomorrow and it is a 1 day tourney for us . We don't want that ! When we get to rink we find out that the team we are playing are a fast team too that tied the 1st team we played ... you could only imagine what was going through my head ... OMG . The second team was called Les Touristes if we beat them we cross over and play 3rd place team in other conference and that is what we were going for . We stepped on ice had a lighter warmup and began playing , we went down 1-0 then tied it up and soon gave up the 2-1 lead ... i was actually playing really good making some big saves and holding us in there . We jumped into the lead and went to the dressing room .... on a personal note i could feel that the team was beginning to like my play much more this game and the guys were more vocal with me at this point . We got on the ice and were winning 4-3 when they tied it up ... we took a lot of penalties in this game too and eventually the tying goal was while we were killing a penalty . With a minute left in the game i was waved to the bench for the extra attacker as the team decided to go for the 2 pts instead of 1 which would have meant nothing . We gave up an empty net goal and i was kinds disappointed to take the loss over the tie , strategically we did the right thing but after the effort i put out it was a bit of a sour taste .


After showering and getting dressed we headed out to a resto/bar called Cactus , we had a pint and some food there and spoke about what we need to do in our next game . I had some wings w/fries and let me tell you there was way too many fries LOL ! great food and good atmosphere there i would highly recommend it ! As we were sitting there the guys all assured me that we will win our quarter final game and i believed them , these guys are not used to losing . As a team playing for Concordia they were at one point ranked #2 in Canada !!! not an easy task and no you don't lose alot to get to that point LOL . We were crossing over to play the 2nd place team from the other pool which we all felt would be the weaker of the 2 pools as the 2 teams we had played looked much better then the teams we watched in other pool . I did know that the goalie we were about to play is a pro and i watched him make some ridiculous saves earlier in the day . My confidence level is high and i am ready for the challenge ! The weather outside was crazy , we were actually sliding all over the place when we left Cactus ... and Etienne had his winter tires on already as it is mandatory in Quebec to have winter tires on during winter !!! 
When i get to the dressing room i hide in corner and get into my own world ...there is no chance i am losing this game and i know i have to put on a great performance to win this one . We step on the ice and it is all buisness , i can see it on everyones face that we weren't here to play , we were here to win ! At the intermission after 1st period we were tied and soon went down 2-1 ... it was a serious goalie battle between me ant the keeper for Team Sleeman . back and forth breakaway after breakaway were saved , opportunities shut down !!! i must have made about 4 crazy breakaway saves and he equalled me the whole way ... i had to hold us in there , i knew we would get that goal back and we did :) When we tied it up i knew it was all over for them as long as i did my job . We soon scored our 3rd and 4th goals to go up 4-2 and i knew with a minute left that we had won ... unfortunately i gave up another goal but we got the win and we were going to play tomorrow in semi final which meant a lot to us . 

After the game we headed out to this Irish Pub , listened to some really really bad live music and drank beers . At this point after finally winning i felt like a part of the team :) We were all joking around having a good time , they were all telling me about some dressing room pranks that some of the guys have pulled . Some are kinda x rated stories ... might have to get into that some other time though LOL . After last call we headed out for poutine and witnessed this super drunk chick totally tackle a whole row of chairs in her crazy stumble ... it was like watching a train wreck hahaha. Drunk , filled with poutine and happy to be part of this team we head off to Etienne's place to crash . i seemed lucky to get the bed ..... 


tomorrow we have our semi final ... i need my rest :) 

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Trip to Quebec

Yeah i know i am a few days behind on this story ... i actually took my laptop but didn't even pull it out of my bag i was so busy ! Anyways .... Friday i got dropped off at DelaSalle Arena here in Toronto to meet Alex , his son had a hockey game there so it was the best option to meet and my gf had plans so she dropped me there early as i never mind hanging out at a hockey rink :) Alex was surprised to see me there before he even got there as we planned to meet at the end of his sons game whom actually plays with another teammates son from my Ghetto Blaster squad ... so David was there too , we all had a good chat watching the kids play . 

After the skate we had to go pick up Alex's wife , daughter and dog . Alex and his wife Anick took turns driving out to Quebec , when Anick was driving it was like we had a dance party going in the van , it was actually fun times with the kids singing and everyone was genuinely having fun and i am pretty sure we were all excited to be going on this road trip :) Our first destination was to Montreal where we will spend the night with one of our team mates as most of the guys on our team actually live in the Montreal area . Vince was our host for our first night in Quebec .... he also played for Concordia as did most of the guys on the team i was joining ... here is his Hockey DB check it out ! http://www.hockeydb.com/ihdb/stats/pdisplay.php?pid=33226 
The moment we pulled into the driveway Vince and his lovely wife Valerie were there with big smiles awaiting us ! We stepped into the house and were shown our rooms then i was asked if i enjoyed some time in the jacuzzi ??? umm yeah ! Only problem is i didn't bring a pair of swimming trunks on this trip so Vince tossed me a pair of trunks and in i went with beer in hand . Alex , Vince and myself sat in there joking around for who knows how long , it felt like over an hour i would say .... i think we had 2 or 3 beers while sitting in the tub getting all water logged . 

We had a curfew that we had to keep LOL i think it was 3 AM or something like this , we stepped back into the house had another cold one then called it a night .. our first game was the next morning and the drive to Victoriaville is about 1.5 hours or so .... 

at this point i already know that the competition will be good at this tournament ... i am going to need to play some top notch hockey to impress the guys as i am sure they have all seen a good keeper or 2 in their day ! 

Friday, November 23, 2012

Black Friday

Today in our neigbouring country people are attacking each other for the opportunity to buy something much cheaper then usual .... over here in Canada (particularly in Toronto) there are some stores observing these sales going on south of the border and are putting on some decent sales as well . I personally was hoping to go to Dukes Source for Sports today to pick up a Warrior goal stick , they are 40% off !!! Unfortunately my gf wanted and needed to take the car to work today so she could get back on time to take me to meet Alexandre .

 I have a couple sticks and the newer one i have seems to have some bad luck .... when i am lazy and i don't drop a knee to stop pucks coming in they seem to backspin off the heel into my net .... yeah they are real shitters , embarassing to have happen goals ! i really really hope this shit doesn't happen to me this weekend , it happened on Tuesday , it happened in Iceland , i just don't like the luck that stick holds . Now remember i am a goalie with many many superstitions and yes i washed the bad luck out of my gear this week LOL ! My gf is already on her way to work and she probably won't like this but i might force her to drive me buy the shop to get that stick .....

Tonight i have to meet Alexandre at DelaSalle Arena to head off to Montreal , originally i thought we were leaving early and kept today off but now we are leaving in evening and possibly staying until Monday instead of Sunday ... i don't mind :) I am pretty sure tonight we are stopping in Montreal for the night and tomorrow morning my first game is before noon , so i am not sure how long or what time i have to be up tomorrow to go to Victoriaville but i am sure i will find out more on the ride.... hey i did find out that the name of this tournament is Sleeman Open ... Sleeman is a brewery here in Ontario, pretty good beer to try if you ever visit :)

At the moment i am trying to decide whether i should take my laptop or not ... it might be better if i brought it so i can post some pictures with my blogs .... i am pretty sure the guys i am going to play for would enjoy that more too . Really looking forward to meeting my team mates , eating some poutine and drinking some good Quebecois beer ! 

Monday, November 19, 2012

Quebec Hockey Tournament

Quebec is not another country but it is not exactly close to home for me ... in Europe i would be crossing a couple countries to get there LOL . Next weekend i have a tournament in Victoriaville , Quebec which is between Montreal and Quebec City . One of my new team mates this year invited me to join his team out there .

Alexandre Charette http://www.hockeydb.com/ihdb/stats/pdisplay.php?pid=33222 was captain of the Concordia Stingers CIAU team in the late 90's and actually played pro hockey in France after that , we are very lucky to have him on our Ghetto Blasters squad here in Toronto . Always smiling and making us laugh with his Quebecois accent ... above all he is our leading scorer . Alex had been reading my blog during my trip to Europe and asked me when i arrived if i would come to Victoriaville with him . He offered to drive me there and even put me up with somewhere to sleep for free ... basically this is a free trip .

I gladly accepted and have been trying to get as much info as possible , as Alex had asked that i write a blog about the team and the tournament . Hoping to get some more info about the team and the tournament , it looks like i will have to get caught up on the 8 hour drive out there on Friday . At the moment i know that our first game is 11 AM Saturday morning and the final is on Sunday afternoon ... our team name is the Stingers and i am almost certain that the whole team played together for Concordia so we should be really really good .

Last night i got lit up pretty bad at the rink so my confidence is not exactly at a high ... i have a game tomorrow night hopefully things change . It is always a mental battle for us goalies , going into this tournament i will want to be playing at my best ... winning tomorrow will help but making some big saves will make things much better !

When i get more info i will try to make another post before i head off to La Belle Province :)

Aurevoir ! 

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Ghetto Blaster 3 Year Anniversary


3 Years ago today on November 14 ,2009 i put a squad together that played a team called the Meat . We beat them but that doesn't matter . The win made me want more . It seems like yesterday that i got this rag tag bunch of guys that were all looking for a new team to play for and started the Ghetto Blasters . As usual i have to thank Greg Majster for coming up with the name and all the logos for my team ! Thanks Stro ! Unfortunately Stro does not play for us anymore as he has opted to play in a co-ed league instead of playing more competitively . Not his fault i don't blame him ....

Over the 3 years we went from being a team playing in an artist league to a team playing in 2 leagues which are both very competitive ... i mean its not pro but its still good adult hockey ! We went from playing 1 night a week to 2 and have a squad of over 30 skaters to pool from for all of our games and tournaments which we plan to attend . Speaking of tournaments we will be holding our 4th annual Ghetto Classic Tournament on June 21 -23 , 2013 hope to see you all there . If you would have told me 3 years ago that all this would be happening in my life i probably would have said no ... running a team and a tournament is a job , an unpaid job but someone has to do it . The main perk for me is the pride i have when i know guys are happy to be a part of this club/team . .

Every year we will gradually grow , this summer i will probably enter us into 2 leagues to accommodate all the guys on our squad that want to play summer hockey as i am sure most if not all will want to . If guys want to play i am more then happy to organize it , more hockey for me :)

Keep it Ghetto !



Monday, November 5, 2012

Is there Ice Hockey in Montevideo , Uruguay ???

For the last few days i have been working on organizing a trip to South America ... At first i was really into going to Brazil to play but unfortunately the price for flights from Buenos Aires to Rio are quite expensive . I mean they are cheap compared to what i am paying to fly down there but when you add it up and then add on another $800 makes it much more expensive :(

The main reason i am going to South America is to play hockey in the "End of the World Tournament " which is in Ushuaia , Argentina ... way down in Patagonia where it is cold . Recently i found out that i would have to join a club ($60) pay the yearly fees and that would make me eligible to play in the tournament for the club i sign on with ... there is someone at the moment looking for a club for me . There is a group of guys from Chile in Punta Arenas that want me to come there and help organize a team for this tournament ... if all goes well i think i will ! If the tournament organizer will allow them entry then things will be really amazing :) I can then fly to Ushuaia and take a bus to Punta Arenas and really see Patagonia , meet my team mates and travel back with them which is always fun travelling with a group of hockey players . I am hoping and praying that this is all possible as it is probably the only way that all of us can play together ( me. Timo and Andi ) at the moment there are 3 of us looking to do this crazy trip ! If anyone else is going to join us they have to commit soon ... or they will have to organize their own hockey experience LOL . this is not going to be easy ...

Right now today i am looking online for any info if there is any ice hockey in Montevideo , Uruguay ??? i found an ice rink in a mall there on the 6th floor ... no pictures just stuff online and mention of it on the shopping mall website . The flight from Buenos Aires to Montevideo is only $155 which is nothing compared to paying $800 to fly to Rio . Honestly i would love to go play in Rio and i have connections to play there on their small ice pad ( 3 on 3 ) but to pay an extra $800 on top of all the other flights is just impossible unless the flights get cheaper ... i will keep my eye on it . If i can get a cheaper flight then i know the guys in Rio would like to hold a mini tournament there for us .

This is being planned for July ... i am sure between now and then this trip will change LOL today i am hoping to find a rink in Montevideo and hopefully i will get a good idea when the tournament will be held and if we can play for this team from Punta Arenas .... i will be extremely happy to add Argentina and Chile to my collection of flags on my stick bag ! 

Friday, November 2, 2012

Quebec , Puerto Rico and South America

Things have been very relaxing since i have been back home ... and no i still have not spoken or chatted with Rainer online ..lost him 13 days ago ! Since i have been home i have been on a good winning streak last night was the cherry on top as i played for my friends team and we beat a team i lost to in Iceland ...3 Buds and a Rum . In the next 3 weeks i will be off on my next adventure with one of my new teammates .

Alexandre Charette is one of my new Ghetto Blasters . he played pro in France and before that was the captain of the Concordia Stingers ice hockey team back in the day . His team mates have stayed in touch over the years and are planning a tournament together and needed a goalie so they asked me with the promise that i write about them .... no problemo !! Free ride out there and a place to stay makes it next to impossible to say no doesn't it :) I am trying to find out the name of the tourney and any other info i can get like team mates names etc... so i can start a good buildup for the story . I asked to get some info and hopefully it finds its way to me sooner then later . At the moment i know the tournament is in Victoriaville, Quebec from Nov .23-25 ...when i find out more i will write about it but until then your guess is as good as mine .

After Quebec i am planning to hopefully visit Puerto Rico from Dec.13-18 ... at the moment they seem to have a few problems with their arenas and their situation there . These rinks might not be open for very much longer so i have to take advantage and head out there as soon as i can ... would be a shame to see them close but it will be a bigger shame if i never get the chance to go out there to visit these rinks ! Puerto Rico seems like a neat little place to have a mini vacay !

The big trip i am really working on is for July .... South America ! Looks like i am going to try to start in Buenos Aires , Argentina then make my way over to Ushuaia, Argentina to play then i am trying to convince my travel buddies to come to Punta Arenas , Chile to jump on the new ice rink they have there ... don't bother looking for it , i don't think there is anything online from most of these rinks down south ! Not too long ago i figured out there is a rink in Montevideo , Uruguay .... now if there is hockey is another question ....

Lots of time to plan the big trip but i will need it ... have to make sure i make the most of this travel as it is a long trip down there and a once in a lifetime trip. If any of my friends reading this want to join me , just message me and let me know ... i am sure the guys down there are more then excited to have a bunch of hockey players visiting them !

Gotta get back to researching these trips :) 

Thursday, November 1, 2012

The Conclusion

The last i heard anything about Rainer was from this taxi driver that confirmed that Rainer was still drunk when he picked him up , and i knew that he dropped him off at Baker Station .... i can only hope that he found the bus and was told the pick up was a couple blocks over .... Timo and myself woke up in Augsburg and we checked the flights and the next one was supposed to land when i was leaving for home , this means there is no chance of me saying bye to Rainer :( it is really sad for me thinking i have been travelling with Rainer for almost a month and i don't even get to say good bye ...

Timo takes me out for breakfast before taking me to the airport in Munich , we go to this nice little coffee shop and have a sandwich and some pastries with a cappuccino ... at this point i am kinda wishing i saw more of Augsburg ... Timo i will come back to visit and hopefully play hockey there with you some day ! The ride to Munich was filled with us talking about what could have happened to Rainer ????

When i get to the airport i am sent this way and that way until i find out where to really go . Dragging my gear around isn't so bad but when i have a 3L bottle of beer in my bag that weighs roughly 8 kilos it makes it a bit tougher .... I got the bottle from Melanie Blume for my bday and there was no way i was leaving it behind . I brought a spare bag that i put some of my gear in to carry onto the plane so i could make room and weight for this monster bottle ! Thanks Melanie !!! I was lucky to meet a really nice person working at Lufthansa that helped me make sure my bags made weight :) i was also lucky to get there early enough for my flight that the airport was not so busy .

I waited to get on my flight and wasted time by buying some chocolates and a bottle of Bombay East Gin .... never tried or seen this bottle before ! it will look good in my collection of alcohol which i hardly ever touch at home ... yeah i know you have been reading about all this drinking i have been doing but in reality i don't drink so much at home ....only on special occasions or on trips ! When i boarded the plane i found a movie to watch , not much choices :( so i started watching the newest Spider-Man movie and 1 .5 hours into the movie we finally left ... this is the second time i have departed for Toronto from Munich and this is the second time that my flight was delayed ... last time was 25 hours this time was 1.5 so not so bad except i had a connecting flight to catch . I was stuck in the middle of the middle row and it was not the most comfortable , the people beside me were a bunch of bible thumpers that came from some "mission" and the girl right beside me seemed to be super crazy as she sat there the whole flight and never watched any movies and just sat there looking forward the whole flight ... my best guess is that she has something against watching movies or listening to music .... she must be super hard core religious ... i think i will try to avoid her ;) she might be scared of me if i open my mouth LOL

So i land in Montreal and confusion hits me in the worst way ... my ticket to Toronto has a time on it and i assume it is departure time and i show it to someone and they tell me i can still catch the flight , i am so confused ... i have to get my bags , clear customs then clear security again and the time on my ticket is about to pass !!! when i get to security one of the guys tells me i won't make the flight but to rush through the lineup so i did ... security searches my bag and finds the bottle of gin sealed in the duty free bag . They have to check it just in case its a bomb ... now the bag is totally sealed but they have to poke a hole in it to test it ??? yeah it totally makes sense ??? somehow on the flight i must have found the materials to turn this bottle into a bomb and somehow i did it without opening the bag and somehow i sealed it too !!! makes total sense LOL

I caught my flight and when i arrived in Toronto i begin to get messages that Rainer has landed in Germany :) ok so he is alive ! Kathleen picks me up and when i get home i go online to find out some of the story of what happened to Rainer ..... Now this is all speculation as to this date i have not yet spoken to Rainer ! So here we go ....

Apparently when Rainer got dropped off at Baker Station he was robbed by 3 guys at knife point !!! yeah that is something we figured would happen to him .... good thing he is safe . Apparently he went back to the amazing hostel we stayed at and they would not let him stay there , so he found somewhere else to stay . Then he goes to sleep and wakes up with his backpack opened with his valuables missing from there too ... robbed twice !!! I am sure there is more craziness that i have not heard of ... i am sure of it ! he figured out he had enough points with Lufthansa to get a free flight home but from another airport which i don't know which one ... there are a few airports in the London area ! Everyone was worried for him , when he got to Germany i got a few messages on Facebook and a couple texts letting me know he is alright .... and instead of taking it easy in Germany he decided to go to Thailand  .. so today i am not exactly sure what happened to Rainer , i am sure in the next week i will know some or at least more of the story ... until then it is all speculation .

This all happened over a week ago now ... at the end of the trip i was almost happy to be going home but i am more happy to know that Rainer is ok .... Through thick and thin Rainer will always be a friend of mine , even when he is doing all this crazy stuff ! that is what makes most of my trips with him so interesting LOL .... if you are looking for a good adventure go play for the Rainman All-Stars ;) 

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

I Lost Rainer pt.2

So i think i left off the story around 5 AM  and technically this another day but realistically i have not slept so it is just a continuation of the wild night . Rainer i now know has picked up his bag from the hostel is trying to get a taxi and hopefully is trying to catch this flight . If he does not come i will have to get a hold of Michael in Memmingen, Germany and we will have to track down my equipment + i am hoping to figure out a place to stay and a ride to Munich for Mondays flight home !

My Ipod Touch is dead and my phone is dead , the last message i got from anyone was from Michael letting me know that he will pick me up at the airport and that i should call him when i land as he is only 10 minutes away from the airport . At this point i am frantically looking for somewhere to plug my phone and ipod in , unfortunately there are not so many outlets out in the open as there are in airports in North America .... so i boarded the plane and no sign of Rainer . No way to contact him , and with regret i fall asleep for the 45 min flight ....


When i wake up the pilot is announcing that we can't land and have to go to another airport???? yeah this is just about the freakiest thing to wake up to hear when you are in the state i am in .... i took a deep breath and looked at the odd looking girl beside me and asked if she heard the announcement and she said no . She must have been in some strange trance or something LOL! I soon figure that it is due to fog , Michael mentioned that they get deep fog in the morning there so it only made sense . I have no clue what the name of this airport was but as soon as i landed i scoured for an outlet to power up my devices . And the shuttle bus' to Memmingen showed up ... the bus ride was about an hour , so i took another nap and when i got to Memmingen airport i finally found an outlet to power my devices in .... only 1 problem , it was in the bathroom just inside the entrance door ..... So yeah i stood there for about 20 minutes with my phone powering up so i could make at least the 1 phone call to Michael . People were walking in looking at me and laughing but none of them really knew what i had been through over the last evening . I am sure that whatever Rainer is going through is worse but this is not something that we had exactly planned to happen :( At this point i am worried for him as i have no clue where he is or what he is up to ... and nobody does .

Michael comes to get me outside the pay area of the airports parking lot and tells me right away that he has got hold of Andreas and he has left my equipment at the arena as they are headed to a game already and he asked if i saw the post Timo made on my facebook wall and i said no everything is dead with no power .Timo is on his way to pick me up !!!! That crazy distress signal i sent out on Facebook the night before was answered . Michael really was like this giant angel for me picking me up at this airport getting my equipment and to top it all off letting me have a much needed shower ... most of my clothes were pretty much dampened from the night before . It must have been 10 AM and Timo was at the door ready to take me to Munich ? i would have figured that this going away party would be cancelled since the organizer was nowhere to be found , WRONG Andrea Baader sent Jochen Reimer (Munich's goalie) a text to let him know Rainer was missing and we still wanted the tickets he was going to set us up with . He replied and the event was still on :)


I was tired sore and tired , did i mention i was tired ? yeah i was tired ! fuck ... i am surprised i did not pass out on the ride from Memmingen to Munich where we met Andrea near her work . I was so hungry and so was Timo so we went to eat at Vapiano which i ate at in Berlin , great food made right in front of you ! i had spaghetti bolognese again and enjoyed it thoroughly .... the girl that made my bruschetta actually worked at Terroni's here in Toronto which is a great place to eat :) The 3 of us sat outside and ate and continuously tried to contact anyone that would have contact with Rainer , to no avail ... he was nowhere to be found , gone vanished ! Everyone i have told this story to up to this point have all agreed that this can not be true this has to be some movie i seen .... no it's not , i wish it was .

After lunch we met up with Alex and Armin ( the Eberhardt cousins ) outside the arena in Munich in the Olympic Park and we went in to the box office got our tickets which were left for us by Mr. Reimer himself ( thanks again ! ) we got to our seats and a couple of us decided to go get some drinks ... everyone was surprised when i ordered a Fanta , yeah i am so pickled from the last few weeks that i can't bear to drink another beer at this point . The last thing i want is to be drunk , again . The game was great it was pretty much a derby match against Ingolstadt which is quite close to Munich . During the game Andrea was messaging Lydia Lanzl who was in the box seats above us , she came down to say hi and hung out between both periods .... all of us know her from playing in these tournaments , she is a pretty good hockey player .

Unfortunately Munich lost but it was a good entertaining game , i struggled to keep my eyes open at some points but that was not due to the game it was all this lack of sleep and everything mixed together . I was actually drinking the Fanta for the sugar to keep me alive :) Then we went to eat at the same Italian restaurant we went to in January , but without Rainer ... we were still all wondering what he is up to ? has he been robbed ? is he in jail ? is he in the hospital ? these were the questions we all asked ourselves as we ate our dinner .... after dinner i said bye to everyone and Timo drove me back to Augsburg to spend the night at his place .

When we got to his place we had 1 last beer together , i got online and as we were about to pass out he gets this phone call ..... it is a taxi driver from London ! Rainer lost his phone in the taxi . First question i ask is where did he drop him ? Driver says that he picked him up at hostel that his friend left his bag at and had to get to airport for his flight and that his bus had to leave at 1 AM from Baker Station . The driver tells us that he told Rainer that it is past 1 AM and in fact it is 3:30 AM and he can drive him to the airport for 100 Euros ( it is an hour drive out of city ) Rainer scoffed at that and told the driver to drop him at Baker Station . I then ask the driver so was he drunk ? Yes he was he was very friendly and kept trying to shake my hand .... Timo and myself both started laughing !!!! The driver noticed this German number that was constantly trying to call this drunk German guy that lost his phone in his cab , was doing the good Samaritan thing by trying to get the phone back to him .....

It is now time for bed ... as i go to sleep i wonder ... what the hell were you doing between 930 PM and 3 AM ??? some mysteries will remain unsolved ....

Monday, October 29, 2012

I Lost Rainer


Above is the last picture i have of Rainer ...my last post left us off with the Kidderminster Lions leaving us and that is Ben Mitchell above enjoying his Chinese take away food which was directly across the street from where we were .... when the guys had to head off to catch their train to Birmingham we decided to go to the steak house next door ... my treat ! 

Now remember we have been drinking beer all day and we now had to go get our bags and head to the airport . I distinctly remember telling Rainer "lets go to this steak house eat some food to sober up and go get our bags , i will pay " apparently he did not understand . When we got in the steak house it was kinda swank with families and tourists there , the prices were not cheap either and it is in the heart of Oxford Circus smack dab in the middle of London . I ordered us an appetizer of chicken wings which were amazing and got a cola , Rainer asked for wine and water ... then he asked the waitress to mix the 2 for him and put it in a bigger glass , when she brought the glass he asked if he could have a bigger glass ... now you have to know the only thing bigger would have been a fish bowl , this was a pretty big glass of wine !

I remember telling him come on buddy just have the one glass and sober up , but he did not want to sober up . He ordered another glass by yelling out OLA CHIKA bring me more wine .... and then began to talk to the 3 Norwegian women at the next table , they were not interested in talking to him and then the circus began :( i ordered a big juicy steak and he ordered calamari ??? yeah forget eating just nibble and oh yeah 1 more glass of wine !!! He drank about a half a bottle of wine in the time that i ate my steak and i had to apologize to basically everyone we passed and even had to ask the waitress to cut him off . I payed our bill and told Rainer lets go and he just sat there for about 15 minutes before i came back inside to gather him .

So we walk over to the underground station and i use my oyster card to get through the gates he waves his card ,the gate opens ...he throws his hands up in the air and walks towards the top up station , honestly i timed this and i stood there watching him fiddle with all the machines for 20 minutes during this time i was calling him over to come through the gate and he was not responding . Next thing you know he just walks out of the station and up the stairs ??? ok so now i have to leave , run up the stairs and chase him down !!! When i get up the stairs i see him crossing the street and i yell out RAINER !!! he turns around squints at me and a bus pulls up in front of him  ( honestly this is not a movie it is totally true ) .... i am trying to look around the bus and as it leaves i run across the street only to find that he is gone !!! disappeared , i run around looking around every corner for him for about 15 minutes then i decide its best that i go to the hostel .....

Was really hoping he would be there , now i am not sure to this day if he got onto that bus or if he just popped into a pub but regardless i am freaking out . When i get to the hostel he is not there and i ask to check out my bag and ask if i can wait around for my friend , they said yes but not too long . Now that i am not a paying customer they don't care about me but then again they didn't care about me when i was paying ... i begin to sober up and think ahead and figure if i take his bag A) i can't take 2 bags on RyanAir B) if i take his bag and he does not show i have his passport then he is totally screwed , so i decide to grab his keys out of his bag as my sticks and some other stuff is in his car out front of his friends house ( Michael ) whom i have no contact with ....so i sit and wait and begin sending out messages to people just in case Rainer does not show .

Midnight approaches and the hostel staff tell me you must go ! It is pissing rain outside and the transit is pretty much shut down at this time , i have to get to my bus at Baker Station to get to airport . The bus ticket i have is for both of us so if he is not there then he has to find his own way , if i miss this bus then i am up the creek too . I had to walk by Hyde Park and it was dark and i was soaked and pretty much lost aside from the soaked tourist map i was handling , not exactly in a good mood either at this point . It takes me 1 hour to find Baker Station by walk from my hostel and when i get there the bus is waiting but it is not my bus !!! i had to run to catch the bus 3 blocks over and i ran like the wind as the next bus was not for another hour and i was not about to stand in the rain for another hour . When i got there the bus was full ! i showed him my ticket and said look i paid to be on this bus at this time look at the paper and he moved someone into the front for me .... yeah i was straight forward and got what i paid for and honestly there was no way he was leaving me on the street , at this point i would have hijacked the bus :) 

So Rainer never showed at hostel , missed bus and hopefully will show up at the airport . i slept on the bus and this was about the only sleep i was about to get .... when i got to airport i paid for some wifi service and decided to call the hostel to see if Rainer got his bag . No he didn't , this was roughly 2:15 AM .... at 3:30 AM i called again and they said he got his bag around 3 AM and was taking a taxi to meet me !!! ok he has a chance if he just pays the taxi :) Now i am still freaking out emailing and messaging people to find my way from Memmingen airport to Michaels and find a way to get my equipment from Andreas then i need to find somewhere to spend the night and get to Munich for my flight home on Monday .... yeah i was freaking out hard core ! 

90 minutes until flight leaves and i decide to lineup to clear security , i have Rainers printed out RyanAir ticket  :( if he does not show it will cost him 60 Euros to print out the stupid ticket ... yeah it is bullshit but that's the way it is ! So when i get to the counter i explain that i have my friends ticket and if i could leave it at the desk for him and they say no ! when and if he shows up he will have to pay ... can't do anything to help so i just hand over my ticket and go through security ... went to sit down near the gate and honestly every person that came around the corner i eyeballed hoping they were Rainer but to no avail , he was not going to show and i had to board the plane ....... 

stay tuned for the conclusion , this story is just too crazy to write down all at once :) 

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Kidderminster Lions


This is the BIG DAY , the one and only reason i have come to England .... to meet up with the Kidderminster Lions to go watch Aston Villa play vs. Fulham at Craven Cottage :) For those of you that don't know i am a huge Aston Villa supporter and when i went to Chicago this past summer to watch Villa in an exhibition game vs. Chicago Fire i met some really crazy Villa fans from Kidderminster . The 2 particular crazy guys i stayed in touch with are above ... Ben Mitchell and Paul Harris . They hooked me up with Mark "Elvis" Byworth , he is the chairman for the Kidderminster Lions club ... and i am proudly a card holding member of their prestigious club ! 

Every year Villa fan clubs nominate a club of the year and Kidderminster was club of the year at some point which is HUGE !!! Not quite sure how many Lions came down from Kidderminster but i am pretty sure there was something like 15-20 or even more . i do know that roughly 3,500 Villa fans had swarmed London this morning and i was in heaven :) First thing is first we have to meet the guys at the train station they are arriving at ...Marleybone Station . A couple of the underground lines were not in service so we were a bit late but glad to find a few of them waiting for us at the station still . The rest all went to the pub to continue drinking LOL ...when we got in we had like 5 Jaeger Bombs in the first half hour to go with the 4 or so pints we chugged before heading to the next pub . This day was a huge pub crawl leading up to the game !!! 

On the underground we cracked open the 6 small bottles of Jaegermeister and drank them all and we were lost for a bit but found our way to the next pub where we were supposed to meet the Italian Lions Club but that never happened ... it didn't matter we were having way too much fun , like a bunch of children hopped up on sugar we partied good and hard all day ! Our last stop was at a pub that was near Craven Cottage but was fully rammed with Villa Supporters , some of you might wonder of any violence ... Fulham supporters seem to be quite nice and reserved , this is a posh neighbourhood and their fans pride themselves on not being animals . Which makes it a friendly ground to visit if you ever decided to go watch a game and support the visiting side :) 


We had to walk past a tennis court on the way to the pitch and the streets were filled with Villa supporters , as a Villa fan living in Toronto with my small supporters club seeing all these supporters is like dying and going to heaven ! You can't believe how excited i was ... we were separated at the gates and sent to our end of the stadium , which meant i never got the chance to go to the Michael Jackson statue outside :( drinking was more of the priority anyways ... the game was amazing aside from the fact that our beloved manager made some controversial decisions ... starting Bent instead of Benteke ? we didn't have our greatest game and didn't get any shots on target until Benteke was subbed in .... at the end we lost 1-0 it was such a morbid feeling after such ecstasy that i was in all day . We stomped back to the closest pub where we drained our sorrows with beer , the place was so ram packed though and it was hard to move around so we decided to leave . unfortunately we lost Gaz and Gary ( the young lions ) guys it was great meeting you both and i am sorry i never got to properly say bye to you both ... hope to see you at another game in the future . that was a good piss up ! 


I can't remember every ones names but honestly all of the guys welcomed both myself and Rainer into their exclusive group with open arms , i would suggest to any of my friends in the Toronto Supporters group to contact the Kidderminster Lions if you want to have a really top notch experience at a Villa game ... they will  sort out your tickets and you can be sure that you will be well taken care of ! We were not done drinking yet though ... there was this one pub on a boat across from the London Eye which the lads i was with kept calling the London O ( hahahaha) pub was great but was making us all a bit more drunk every time a wave moved us around , so we headed over to some pubs over near Oxford Circus tube station and we had a couple more pints and the guys ( and Tina )  had to leave for their train back to Birmingham . What a wild day i had with you all ... i personally want to thank you all for EVERYTHING .


 Unfortunately this day was only beginning .....






Saturday, October 27, 2012

Meeting McNelly



On this morning i was awaken by night terror , yeah i get this once in a while where i wake up screaming or yelling something out ... i still remember the dream it was weird , i was a delivery guy and people were at the loading dock and they were unloading the truck i went away and when i came back they off loaded everything even the stuff that was not theirs and for some reason Dave LS ( high school buddy) was on the truck and i yelled out WHAT THE FUCK !!!! and i woke up because i am almost sure i was yelling this out loud ???? well on with my day and no the guy in the picture above is not Dave it is Karl McNelly .

Karl and i have battled at the ice rink for many years and downed a few pints after on many occasions as well. He just moved to the UK (Birmingham) and came down to London for the weekend to meet up with myself and some of his other friends . We planned to meet at the meet up spot for the free walking tour which we made sure was the one with Mark Curtis (same tour guide as last night ) . It was a rainy day but we decided to battle it out seeing many sights like Buckingham Palace , just missed the changing of the guards , 

 The tour was great and i would highly suggest taking these "free" walking tours , basically it is generous to tip after taking these tours . Obviously we were more then please to tip Mark at the end of the tour . Check out Sandemans New Europe Tours http://www.neweuropetours.eu/ they are great i wish i checked out more of them in other cities i had visited , i was fully pleased with what was covered during this tour and i am sure you all will agree if you try them out too !

Back to the pub at the end of the tour and we were wasting some time away before we head up to High Barnet which is at the end of the northern line and takes about an hour via transit "underground" .... we were going to watch Barnet they play in Division 2 in the Football League and are not very good :(

We got on the tube and made our way up to Barnet with no tickets when we got to the park we scurried to buy tickets and did not even think of having a pint before hand .... yeah it was raining and we rushed into the ground without thinking there would be no sales of alcohol within the perimeters of the pitch :( oh well at least our seats were MINT ! just behind the keeper off to the side and under the cover of a roof . We considered standing on the terrace but thought it would be better to sit down . The big story of today's match was that Edgar Davids was about to play in his first game for the Bees . The crowd was buzzing LOL ! Barnet had not won a game all season and were dead last ... this was Karl's first football match ever and obviously i am trying to talk him into becoming an Aston Villa Supporter .... UTV !!!

The game was 0-0 at the half and the teams switched sides and we had the visiting goalie right in front of us , the fans jeered him and the Bees went on a swarm scoring 4 goals in the half and winning their first game of the season , you can't imagine how crazy all the Barnet fans were .... they went mental , what a great game to see Barnet 4 Northampton 0 . I am now a fan of Barnet or at the very least a follower , hope they have a good finish with their new leader Davids in toe .

After the match we went for a pint in the supporters club house and realized we should not stay so far from the center of London so late , the trains stop running kinda early which is a shame for such a big city with such a great transit system . Regardless we high tail it and catch the train , at this point i know that i have a big meet up with the Kidderminster Lions in the morning and i am not about to jeopardize that . i know Karl wanted to go for a few more pints and i am sure that Rainer would have too but tomorrow morning is the real reason i came to London .... to watch my beloved Aston Villa .

Karl buddy i hope everything works out for you in the UK , good luck with the hockey out there !!! and hope to see you on the ice sooner then later ... we had a great day out in London :) Tomorrow will be a very long day ......

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Memmingen to London


Woke up bright and early and called a taxi , took a quick shower and left Michaels house . He was already at work so we didn't get to say bye ... it was a 10 Euro fare to the airport which was in the middle of nowhere , there were farmers fields all around this airport and basically it is a former air force base that has been transformed into a smaller airport for budget airlines like Ryan Air . Rainer was stationed at this base when he was in the military , funny that the guy taking our tickets for Ryan Air also used to work at the base with Rainer and they noticed each other and had a laugh . Same as all other airports everything is overpriced even the duty free doesn't seem so duty free , shit was expensive ! We boarded our plane and as usual there were the lemmings that stand in line to get on the plane first ... funny part is that Rainer and myself both found rows for ourselves but settled to sit in rows with someone else and take the aisle seat . This is almost as stupid as the dummies that clap when a plane lands ....

We landed in Stansted which is about 1 hour out of the city of London . So we had to book our bus tickets which i booked and we were off to catch our bus . The bus dropped us off near the Baker St. tube and we didn't know where to go , i had to find some wifi ! First thing i thought was lets go to a pub , so we did and there was free wifi so i checked in and looked up our hostel address , then found the route to get there . We ate some food which was great and then headed off on the streets of London . It took us roughly 45 min to find our hostel and thank goodness for my ipod and its gps working for some reason ( usually doesn't work without wifi but it did on this day ) the route that we were sent on was not exactly a straight line ....when i got to our hostel i knew it was going to be a shit hole and it was .

Don't ever book or think of staying at the Central Hostel in London , for starters there are some staff that are working reception that can hardly even speak English !!!! you have to pay for towels here , and the wifi that is mentioned on the website is a computer in the "main lobby" , apparently they can get wifi in the building but i can pick up other signals and i even asked why is that on your webpage then ??? Regardless it was like 20 bucks a night ... you get what you pay for , but i have stayed in cheaper places with better amenities . just sayin :) Rainer decided to take a nap and i decided to find something to do ..... then i saw a walking tour called the Grim Reaper Tour and said lets go do this !


We went on this tour , the tour guide Mark Curtis seen above took us on a brilliantly described tour of London's underbelly in history . He showed us spots where public executions took place and all the spots where Jack the Ripper attacked his prey ... it was fun and Mark did a great job . The best part is that Mark is a fellow Aston Villa supporter and we hit it off . Rainer and myself were already planning to take the free walking tour of London which covers other aspects of the city and a whole other part of Greater London . Mark asked if i was going to take that tour tomorrow and told me he was doing the 1 pm tour which obviously i decided would be a great idea . I really liked the way Mark presented the city to us .


 We were in the East End of London in the financial district . All the pubs were packed and we decided at the end of the tour to do our own pub crawl covering the tour but backwards to the underground station we started at .... the first pub we hit was the pub that all the victims of Jack the Ripper used to hang out at ! The Ten Bells actually might even be the spot that Jack the Ripper himself frequented :) We went in for a quick slash and a pint then headed off down through the market getting to a row of pubs which we basically went in to each one and grabbed a pint went outside and walked to next pub , it was a lot of fun ! We ended up at a pub called Dirty Dick's  (LOL) there we saw 2 suits ralphing their guts out wherever they could hide . I have never seen so many drunk people in suits . After Dirty Dick's we grabbed a couple cans of beer from a shop and made our way to the station we were familiar with ..... made our way back to the hostel and went to sleep .... tomorrow i am meeting a friend that moved to England a few weeks ago . Karl McNelly . should be a fun day .

On a side note my jet lag is whooping my ass ! need to catch some more zzzz's