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 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 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 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

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Memmingen Indians

For some reason i am getting really comfortable here in Aalen , sleeping in daily until around noon . Last night i hardly even drank and went to bed at a decent time but still woke up late :) yeah this is really not one of my traits .... today i have to pack all my bags and head over to Memmingen to practise with their semi-pro team ( Andi will argue otherwise but you can even follow their games on tv there ) . Rainer has an old friend we are going to stay with while we are there so we have to drive to his place first .

Michael is the biggest German i have ever met ... but also one of the nicest people i have ever encountered :) and seriously i am not just saying that because the man can probably crush me like a tin can he really was top notch ( there more about him in future stories ) regardless he is a really good friend of Rainers and he set up a room for us to stay in with chocolates on the pillows even LOL .

Rainer also knows one of the guys on the Memmingen Indians squad named Andreas Borner another great guy he got us on for the 90 minute training with the team and also told their Canadian skater about me ...Brit Oullette. Memmingen are allowed to sign an international skater and they chose Brit . Unfortunately Brit is injured at this time and is not skating with us but met us in our dressing room and we really got along well , i am sure mainly due to the fact that he is new to Germany and was happy to speak with another canuck :) Brit i hope you are doing alright out there bud ! Check out Brits hockey db ... . We get dressed and i am late , i asked Brit to take some pics from me and he got a few good ones ... when i got on the ice i could tell that these guys were good , no offense to the other German clubs i have practised with but these guys are a level above the rest easily .

You probably can't tell in the pictures below that i got my ass whooped the whole practise by these guys , i mean i held my own for the better part but at the end of it i was super gassed . In my mind a few weeks of good training and i think i would be up to speed and able to play for a team like this but lets face it ... i am getting old :) these guys were mostly youngins and they are truly the future and present of hockey .

For me it was a really good skate and a great experience to help me out when i get home . I want to thank Andreas for getting us on the ice , and yes i did puke in the dressing room after houghing and puffing my way off the ice , this was a real  killer 90 minute skate !!! Thanks to the Memmingen Indians and good luck this season ! I will be following your progress this season :) Brit it was great talking with you , hope all goes well for you and keep on rocking that kick ass scooter LOL ! Tomorrow we are heading to London and Andreas thankfully helps us by taking our gear to dry off at his place . Bye bye bags !

We go meet Michael at Burger King and i have some King Wings which totally are awesome :P we meet Michaels wife and head back to their place to crash out . Pretty sure both myself and Rainer passed out quickly in our comfy little beds . I hope London is ready for us , cause we are sure not ready for London ! 

European Trophy Game

First of all i want to say that i am safely home now and about to begin catching up on my blog . The day i am going to talk about right now was actually 1 week ago . As some of you know things got a bit crazy at the end of this trip ... i will write all about it over the next few days .

At this point of the trip i was still in Aalen , Germany waking up late after a night of drinking at the Irish Pub and i was at Rainer's place . Today we are going to watch a European Trophy match between Adler Mannheim v. EV Zug . There will be a handful of NHL stars playing but the big draw is Henrik Zetterberg who is playing for Zug :)

We are picking up my good old buddy Nate Underwood to come watch the game with us , he is in Stuttgart which is a bit out of the way but Rainer knows we are good friends and he wanted to offer so i see him . We are late as usual , when with Rainer you have to tell him earlier times so we don't show up late ! I met Nate back in 2007 in Singapore at the same tournament i met Rainer ( they were on the same team travelling together ) . It was great seeing Nate again , last time i saw him was at a Bayern Munich Champions League game vs. AS Roma in 2010  .... hope to see you sooner then later Nate !

The game was not sold out , we showed up about 3 minutes late . It was my first time at a European Trophy game so i was excited about that but even better was watching Zetterberg not even trying and just doing what he wanted out there . There were a bunch of other players like Seidenberg,Goc,Holden,Wozniewski , the game itself was entertaining enough and we were lucky to see the home team win . The arena there is pretty cool but the black protective mesh was hard to see through and was quite annoying to say the least . As usual the fans were ridiculous and the more i go to sporting events in Europe the more i think we should take a lesson in how to be fans .... we need home and away sections with organized chants and singing , i hope some day fans here can get together to start doing this !

After the game we wandered around a bit but really had to get back quickly as Nate had to work early and we had to get some rest in as we were going to practise with the Memmingen Indians the next day , i wanted to have a good relaxing day with some good meals to help give me a chance at surviving their practise . So on this night at the Adler Mannheim game i only had 1 beer :) or that is the story that i am sticking with ??? your choice , you decide ! what do you think i did ? 

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Quiet Day in Aalen

Trying to catch up as much on my blog today ... i am basically 2 days behind and i doubt i will have much time to write anything from here on out as i head to Memmingen today for a practise and tomorrow i head to London,England where i am sure things will get really crazy :)

So 2 days ago i woke up here in Aalen probably around noon , i am staying at Rainers house and he is sleeping so i am blogging just as i am now . When he finally woke up we decided to go out for a bite to eat so we wandered into the city center and grabbed a coffee then went to get some Aalener Spionle cakes MMMM !!! Then we went to the supermarket and i raided the Ritter bar display buying roughly 30 chocolate bars all to send home in a care package ... yeah i know 30 chocolate bars i must be crazy ! Ritter is one of my girlfriend and my own favorite chocolates , the ones back home just don't taste the same and are roughly $3.50 for 1 bar ...over here i paid 80 euro cents for each one :) can't help getting a good deal .

We go back to Rainers place to drop off all my goodies and i begin to pack them in a box to send home and we find out it will cost me roughly 45 euros to send 10 kg in a box ... so i pack my dirty laundry in , at this point i can start weeding out the stuff i have to bring to London etc... trying to make my bag lighter and make more room in case i find more stuff to buy in my last week here . We chill out for a bit then decide to go grab a kebab down the street .

After we have our meal we head over to Coban's Irish Pub is right next door , it is bingo night and in order to play you must drink :) when you buy a beer you get a bingo card so we had 4 beers before bingo started and began to play ... just as usual i win nothing and the jackpot goes untouched . Servet owns the bar there and we have met on many occasions when i have passed through Aalen , we have stayed in touch through Facebook and when we meet we have a warm welcome vodka shot . As i am getting comfortable i notice Freddy is here .... we met Freddy last time i was here in January and had one really crazy night out and of course we stayed in touch . He was not feeling too good but stuck around as long as he could while he watched Rainer and myself pour alcohol into our systems (again!) .

I took pictures but have yet to upload them and i promise i will make a few blog posts when i am home next week with tons of pictures to highlight this trip ..... reality is starting to kick in that this trip is coming to an end .... some crazy times about to come though .

Plzen to Aalen


Pretty sure Rainer came in at 6 am , just look at the picture above taken roughly 7 hours after he went to sleep LOL ! I woke up at around 830 and knocked on Timo's door which was next to us , he was awake and we headed downstairs to try the hotel breakfast that came with our room . THERE WAS BACON :) yup it was a proper breakfast set out with bacon,eggs, sausage toast , etc... i would recommend staying at Hotel Plzen if you ever end up in Plzen . The service there was great too and very accomodating for us all . There were a couple guys in the breakfast area that out late with Rainer , somehow i think Rainer partied harder then all of them hahaha.

When i went upstairs i wanted to write my blog and chill but people kept knocking on the door trying to wake up Rainer ... his friends from Aalen ( Shishko , his father and Reinhart ) all came by and finally we got him out of bed and over to the rink after we checked out . The whole time i am thinking there is no way we are getting all of our gear into the car going to Aalen.... when we get to the rink there were some more chipper people like Melanie as she was one of the smart ones that went to bed relatively early . Pretty sure we were back in hotel by about 1 AM . I got my own dressing room with FUK written on my dressing room door and got changed gathered my shit and headed out to the rink for my last skate in Plzen .

I took a bunch of pics as we were going on and told people to take pictures of me when i was on .... Rainer was the only one to use the camera and honestly i don't think he know how to use one LOL all the pics are fuzzy and small and to make things worse i tried to get a good pic of the whole group after and the zamboni driver took 2 pics which i will post the better one below :( yes i know we all look so small . i guess hockey and photography don't mix well .

After the game we are supposed to get 5 big guys with 2 goalie bags and 3 players bags with all of our sticks and backpacks (Rainer brought way too much shit !!!!!) and drive from Plzen to Aalen,Germany ??? As you can see the back of the car was already jammed before we put the rest of this stuff in !!!! We went up to the restaurant at the rink and ate and tried to figure how the hell we are getting to Aalen ... thank God Melanie had not left as she had room for 1 person to fit in her car to go to Nuremberg . So Rainer will go with her and take a train back to Aalen . I will somehow squeeze into that car that is jam packed and get a ride straight to Aalen .... Only problem for me is that nobody speaks English ... so i just went to sleep for the whole ride with Rainers stinky wet bag on me . OUCH did i ever cramp ... it was a really painful trip but i gotta thank the guys for squeezing me in and dealing with my snoring LOL .

We had a bite to eat at their place , Reinhart jumped into his car and went off to Ulm ( 1 hour drive ) and we went to get Rainer at the train station . Then got dropped off at his place , we went out for a kebab walked by Coban's Irish Pub and didn't see anyone in there so we called it a night is now time to chill :)

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Another Hangover ...

Opened my eyes and wondered where the hell am i , i think i am still totally drunk . I look over and Rainer is sleeping beside me and i realize i am in Plzen ... then i  realize that we are supposed to be on this ice this  morning . Look at my ipod touch to see what time it is ... its 11:30 AM and i ask Rainer what time are we playing this morning . 11:30 he responds , so i guess we missed hockey again LOL .

Took a shower stumbling everywhere , i think i hit all the walls in the shower . Woke Rainer up and went out for food , we decided in our drunken stupor that pasta would be awesome .... we were just walking aimlessly and came across this Italian Restaurant called La Dolce Vita ... DONT EVER GO THERE !!! We sat down i asked for a water they said no , the service was how you would say BRUTAL .... we were treated like people they didn't want to have around . We ordered a tomato soup to start and it was served SCOLDING HOT !!! it wasn't bad aside from burning my mouth , then we ordered lasagna and let me tell you that this was honestly the worst lasagna i have ever had by far ... the pasta was not even cooked ! it was put into a with sauce on it and cheese melted all over the place ... there was more cheese than anything and seriously the pasta was nowhere near cooked ??? they didn't give us knives so we hacked away at this piece of shit food , the hangover got worse ! i was pissed off at the food and the service and just got up and left .... one of the guys organizing the camps came and ordered a pizza and i left before it showed .

Walked back to the hotel with the sun beaming on my face and alcohol coming out of my pores , it felt like an eternity to get to the hotel which was only a 10 min walk from this Italian shit restaurant . When i got to the room i went back to sleep ... we are supposed to be on the ice later on today and right now i am not thinking about playing hockey .....

When i woke up i changed my mind and went to the rink ... and actually played really awesome ;) sometimes i play better when i am in rough shape .After the game we all met at hotel and went to have dinner . As you can see Andy and Michael (friends of Timo ) were already having a good time . I on the other hand wanted nothing to do with alcohol , i am almost sure if i drink today i will get alcohol poisoning , been there before and i know when my liver needs a break !

We had dinner at the Pilsner Urquell brewery with the whole group , well most of the group ... there were these 4 guys that never introduced themselves and never seemed to wait for anything , they were pretty much dickheads in their Mercedes jackets . Honestly they meant nothing to me aside from a couple fuckers that always showed up and left early ;) i will probably never see them again ..... i ordered the ball steak and was expecting this amazing feast , WRONG ! i have never had a steak that was so bad :( it was seared on the sides and not cooked at all in middle , totally raw ??? i ate it and blood spewed out of it all over and at this point i was fed up with the whole service industry in Plzen . Please learn English if you are dealing with tourists !!! PLEASE !!! i don't think anyone liked there food there and honestly if you ever go to Plzen don't eat there . Only thing i wish i had done was have a beer there which i couldn't bring myself to do .

We went by this other bar again with some awful service from this staff little gay dude ( i have nothing against the gays ) i wanted to put this guy in a head lock he was such a fucking dick . Not even gonna mention the bar , i had a quick one and got the hell out of dodge . Rainer and some other guys tore up the town and stayed out all night but i knew better and went back to the hotel with Timo and Melanie . It would be nice to wake up tomorrow feeling well ... my tonsils are really swollen now and i think i am still ill from the shithead in Iceland .... Plzen is a nice looking place but all in all i wouldn't bother going back there , service and food everywhere gets a 0 out of 10 .