Sunday, December 29, 2013

Aston Villa

It was a big day yesterday . Villa was playing Swansea . Met Karl in the lobby of my hotel and went to have breakfast at Coast 2 Coast ... Yeah the restaurant I was complaining about last night :( anyway after we headed to the New St train station to catch train to Aston Station . We met this Polish Villan that was lost an couldn't figure out how to get a train ticket . We were already on platform told him just to follow us and he did . When we got off we were heading directly to the Villa fan shop on the grounds hoping to find my hoodie I wanted ... As u can see above I found it ! 

On the way to the  grounds we also found the Adventurers pub where we stopped in for a quick pint and met Paul Harris and the Belgian Lions were already there getting ready for the big game :) 

After doing out quick shopping we headed back to the pub for a pre match piss up ! Good times :) our friends have a private room at the pub and we filled in and drank beer to our hearts content . Took a few pics met some old acquaintances from Chicago and headed back to Villa Park. ! Game time 

We sat in the legendary Holte End ... To be exact the Upper Holte where everyone is mental for Villa and it was unbelievably amazing !!! What an atmosphere :) 

To make a long story short we tied 
Swansea 1-1 and heade back to Addies for more beer and to say our good byes . Always tough to say bye but I can leave with more friends and all I can say is I can't wait to get back . 

As you all know I had a shitty experience at this restaurant went to my room posted a blog and crashed out . Today I am on way to Munich to meet Timo and Karl who should be at the airport waiting now . See you guys in a few hours ... Keep the beers cold :) 

Saturday, December 28, 2013

Coast 2 Coast Restaurant

Here we go ! Just a little warning ... Tonight I went to a restaurant called Coast 2 Coast on Broad St. with Kathleen and Karl ... The service there is spectacular , seriously it is . Unfortunately  my food wasn't :( I ordered a bacon cheeseburger and when it arrived I noticed it didn't have bacon , and I put my own ketchup on it , dressed my fries then decided I wanted my bacon . Called waitress over and let her know . She checked order said that is what she put in and took plate away ... Now under normal circumstances they should remake the whole meal . Well within seconds my food came back and I was suspicious ??? Fries were different but they decided to slap bacon on and send me back my now cold burger ... 

I am not about to be duped into paying or eating cold food so I asked for the manager . He came and I asked if they thought I was stupid or something and pointed out that they sent me the same burger back but with bacon this time . I asked if this was a regular practise for their establishment and the manager was embarassed ... Rightfully so . The manager asked if I wanted something else and I asked if he were me would he trust the cooks after this ? I don't think he would and anyone that would should be ok with eating out of a dog bowl . Gross ... And no I didn't say that to him lol . The manager tried his best to make up for it by not charging us for our meal and gave me coupons which I told him there was no way I would ever use . Regardless I took them and gave them to Karl . I told him it was a horrible experience having cooks trying to fool me with their lazy behaviour and that it sucked sitting there watching my friends eat . I also told him whoever did this should be fired ! And I hope he does . 

I can be quite stubborn and the bottom line is don't mess with my meals . I think what they did was absolutely disgusting and I just feel that I should share the experience with you all ... You can agree with me or not but the bottom line is I won't eat food coming from a kitchen that has already tried to trick me into eating shite food . Be warned that if you are in Birmingham , UK don't eat at Coast 2 Coast on Broad St !!! 

Visiting Family

Ok so I have to write this all over again but this time it will be shorter cause now I am pissed off at this stupid app ! Basically I went shopping at villa fan shop , went to see family ... Ate food chilled out and went to bed . Sorry for the small post ! Just wasted half an hour typing out blog to have it disappear :( 


Friday, December 27, 2013

Aalen to Birmingham

It was an early morning , had to wake Rainer up and get a ride to Stuttgart airport ... Most importantly we need coffee ! Off to the McDrive :) it's closed ! Next one should be open but it's not .. Keep on truckin ' and we arrive in Stuttgart and finally an open establishment with coffee ... had a couple mcmuffins too , yeah I know it's been awhile since I've spent money at this place ... Whatever it sure beats plane food ! 

We had tickets in hand with a light security check and we were off to Paris :( my gear was lost there last time so u can imagine how much I love it there . It's ok this time they have no baggage to "misplace" bunch of morons LOL . And on the bright side we are going to watch Aston Villa . 

Before I go on let me tell you how shitty air France is ! There stewardess' are as polite as human feces .... The snack was trash and yeah I am starting to think that I will try to avoid their airline in future excursions . This was not my fav part of the day ... 

When we landed Karl McNelly met us at the gate and we headed to drop our bags at the Novotel then rushed to Villa Park to meet Paul Harris ! He got us into the Lions Lounge where it's absolutely amazing . Saw pictures of some of my American Villa mates on the walls ... We should have a picture of Canadian Villans there too ( hope the guys back home are reading this ) ... Game on ! Vs. Crystal Palace , we should beat them .... Shite , we lost ! 1-0 with a last minute goal . I was gutted :( this was definitely a day of highs and lows .

We went back to the Lions Lounge to drown our sorrows and then I heard some fans getting rowdy ... Paul told me it was the Belgian Lions ;) we went over and immediately became friends . Tommy is the chairman , this guy is a riot ... Pretty much the Belgian Rainer , so we got on well and then they tell us about this Belgian vodka we have to try ... Ok ! So off to their hotel to get drunk ;) and we had our tasting . Cosmik Vodka was quite nice . Gonna have to bring back a bottle if I can . As I said this day was all highs and lows ... Next thing u know my mother wrote to me saying the family dog passed away :( poor little Sheena ... I was torn apart , fighting the tears I had to leave ! Not exactly the news I wanted to hear .... 

On th bright side I finally had a decent nights sleep and I am ready for a day of shopping and visiting my aunt ! First things first ... I need bacon ! 

Thursday, December 26, 2013

Christmas in Germany

Yesterday was Christmas and we woke up at a decent hour :) worked the hangover that was chasing me around off by going to eat . Unfortunately everything was closed aside from my favorite kebab shop ... It was a good omen that I got to show Kathleen this great food I have been raging about for years . It's right next to the Irish Pub. :) we had the kebab platters which wa shaved chicken , fries and salad ... It's a huge meal and we were all stuffed and happy . 

Rainers brother Gerd is married to a Mexican woman named Pilar they invited us to go skating so we accepted and went to work off the humongous meal :) the ice is smaller then when i was last there and it was full of pleasure skaters . As soon as I got on ice I saw a young boy fall on his face and I knew immediately that he needed help ! I grabbed him and took him off the ice , the poor kid split his face open ... I was concerned ... Not sure what happened if an ambulance came or not but he definitely needed stitches . I hope this doesn't stop him from learning to skate in the future :( 

We skated for an hour then went to have a quick shower at Rainers ... I was schweaty :) when I left Rainers I slipped and fell ... Yeah lucky me eh ? Sprained my ankle and hurt my knee and arm but I am sure beer will cure it so we continue on to the bar ...Rambazamba . Great little bar with amazing service :) 

We weren't about to get too hammered due to our early flight to Birmingham today . After we went by to have a couple pints at Cobans as we saw him at the ice rink an he told Rainer we should pop by for one more :) as I said we didn't stay long and turned in early but at least I got to say by to Servet ... Thanks again to Rainer and his family for treating us like their own it was more then a pleasure. To spend the holidays with you all ... Hope to see u all on my next European adventure ... As I told Rainer this morning , all roads through Europe go through Aalen and I am positive that I will be back again .... Danke ! 

Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Merry Christmas

Ho!Ho!Ho! Yesterday I slept most of the day as I usually do when I am at Rainers place ... No i didn't drink too much the night before . Just have been wiped out from all the other nights of celebrating and the hockey game took its toll on me . I am not as young as I was when I started this travelling thing .... With age comes wisdom ? Yeah right lol! 

Any hoo . Basically showed Kathleen around the city center ... Everything was closing early though so we didn't see much aside from where we buy the Aalener Spionle cakes which we did buy :) I also showed her the infamous spot where I called her from in 2007 when I first came to Germany and got lost hahah a...

As I said earlier it was a pretty chill day we came back to Rainers took a nap then washed up to go for dinner at Rainers brothers place where we drank some tequila had nachos and spaghetti along with this fabulous punch they made ... They are pretty much foodies with great taste in the culinary arts ... Can't forget the fantastic salad we had too . Thanks ! 

To end the night we went to Cobans Irish Pub ;) my favorite bar in Aalen! Servet owns th bar and we have stayed in touch online since I first met him about 4 or 5 years ago .... Was so happy to see him when we got there and Rainer and I both told Kathleen stories about our past adventures there ... Oh the good ol times , well we didn't want to overdue it so we only stayed out until about 3 am then crashed ... Today should be another great day to celebrate Christmas in Germany. :) 

Merry Christmas everybody !

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Finally on Ice

Yesterday was quite the day . Woke up in Berlin and Rainer had to go get our rental car from this company called Sixt . He prepaid for it and was told he would not need a deposit for damages just in case. Then I get a message to come there with my credit card so I took a taxi which I got a nice tour in and it cost 18 euros ! When I got there they wanted my drivers license which I had and my passport ??? Yeah wasn't told and woman behind counter was not the friendliest person ... So we went back to apartment got my passport and headed back again .... When we arrived computer was down and it took 45 min to get our vehicle ... This after she asked for my address ? It's in my passport just read it dummy ! 

We were told our apartment had no renter for that day and cleaner was coming at 5 pm . Well that was not true ... Getting messages from Kathleen like the cleaner is here and new tenants arrived ! This was at 1 pm . When we arrive there is a woman at main entrance blocking door way with her baby carriage so I walked around and was in a rush as we were parked in handicap spot . People were in apartment with Kathleen . Got my stuff went downstairs and this woman was still blocking the exit and she was in no rush to move . Rainer came to door I handed him sticks and 1 fell over hitting the baby ... We made sure the baby was fine and she was . We left and said sorry .... Kathleen was smiling and this woman lost her mind and came out to the car yelling at her . I tried to calm her down but her attitude changed .... So I told her she was an idiot for standing in a doorway and she said she was there for a minute , I called her a liar and she wanted to take pictures of my license plate .... I offered to pose in the picture and she said its in case her baby has future problems ? I kindly told her do what you want it's a rental car and I live in Canada ;) no doubt she left angry telling me she hopes I have a bad day ...ahh the Christmas spirit .

7 hours of driving and we arrive in Aalen drop luggage and Kathleen at Rainers house and head off to Senden to play some puck ;) finally ... Ice time at 9 pm with Tussa Ice Eagles organized by Ralf Dreisettel ! I skated with these guys a few years back . The rink is kinda dark with crazy shadows on the ice. , I was wiped out but still managed to make a couple saves and help my side win in this friendly scrimmage . Most of the guys remembered me and this one fella Anton seems to be a big fan of my blog ;) we spoke for quite some time after while drinking beers and eating some meat , cheese and bread . These guys know how to have fun . Even on the ice these guys all had the utmost respect for each other and all in all are great sports . 

We were supposed to go to my favorite bar in Aalen after but we were wiped out instead opting for some sleep ... Today is Christmas Eve and I expect we will need the rest . 

Anyways another crazy day in the life of The Travelling Goalie . I should take a pre drinking nap now before I start celebrating Christmas in Germany :)

Merry Christmas everyone !

Ho!Ho!Ho ! 

Monday, December 23, 2013

Red Bull Salute Final

Last night was the big game , Farjestad ( Sweden) vs JYP (Finland) ! I was prepared to see a blood bath but instead was treated to a clinic on how to be a bad referee . 

I don't mean to take anything away from the tournament but what I saw was atrocious with moments where refs were behind goalies in the crease , linesmen keeping pucks in zone by not jumping out of way from clearing passes and unknown penalties like the 10 minute misconduct Wallin got with mere minutes left in a close game ! These calls all went against Farjestad :( they battled through adversity and kept it close but in the end the refs seemed to look as though they were doing everything in their power to help JYP win .

The atmosphere was pretty annoying too with some real stupid fans throwing paper planes , running to penalty box to yell at players , and just general annoyances  . Really if you wanna say something to the players get on the other side of the glass ! It's obvious these stupid people have never played the game as they showed no respect at all towards it !

It didn't help that an arena that holds close to 15,000 only had 3,500 fans ??? Apparently free tv kept the fans home ! Anyways all in all I would do it again . As a true fan of the game seeing these events is what makes me happy . This was my second year coming to watch games from this tournament and it won't be the last . 

Congratulations to JYP on a fine performance . The 2-1 score was intense but at the end of it I really wonder if the score would have been different if there were some better referees . Just a suggestion for next year don't televise tournament for free and try to have the tournament somewhere non traditional like Spain Lol .... Just so I have an excuse to come . I haven't played there yet :) 

One last thing .... Why are you selling patches for the tournament for 10 Euros !!! Why ??? Really they are now worthless , will u just store them to sell next year saying 2013 and will u bother even shipping them to the next city OR should u have just sold me one at a discount/realistic price ? I have never paid more then  $5 for something like that and I am not about to begin now . 

Enough of my rant .... Time to pack and head south for my ice time ... Yes finally I can get on the ice with my gear here YAY !

Sunday, December 22, 2013

Couldn't be Happier

What a day ... Woke up freaked our still as my gear was AWOL still. Checked online then got message from a friend back home about pestering the airline ( thanks Niva) so I did ! When I called, the operator hesitated then said my bag was located in Paris LOL ! It will be shipped immediately ;) 

No clue when it's coming . Really I have to keep enjoying myself so we plan on going to the Ritter chocolate factory mmm! Damn I love this chocolate and so does Kathleen so it was natural for us to go there

So I bought like 23 bars and other bags full of chocolate ! Should keep me happy and in a chocolate high for a month or so lol . It was a good day an was getting better since we had more hockey games to watch :) unfortunately Rainer was out of commission ... He stayed out late both nights and the nightlife manager was tired ;p 

Did I mention there was a twitter campaign launched to help me get gear ? I am not on twitter but was told it was getting responses ! Maybe I should start an account there to find this ... Needless to say I am happy that people care and were very supportive in my time of need and I hope it doesn't happen again .

So before going to the O2 World we stopped into our apartment to drop off the chocolates and blam !!!! There is my bag ;) big smiles all around . We went to the rink and watched a couple amazing games and we drank beers and made friends all in all a great day in Berlin . I truly love it here and could probably live here if I had a good work opportunity such an awesome city ! 

Before I forget we also bumped into the Eisbaren Berlin players at Vapiano then to top it all off we got pictures with the European Trophy ! What a day ... Today is the final between Farjestad and JYP ... It should be a blood bath . Sweden vs Finland ;) can't wait !

Saturday, December 21, 2013

Red Bull Salute

First thing I did yesterday , called Lufthansa .... My gear is still being traced, not located ! They have no clue where this monster hockey bag could be ??? Wtf ! 

We slept in pretty late as we got smashed the night before . I mean total loss of memory smashed . Regardless it took my mind off the matter at hand . Unfortunately yesterday I could not drink enough to drown those sorrows . Trust me i tried .

We went to the Christmas market and had a couple nasty alcohol concoctions ... Something about hot wine that gross' me out . We have tickets for this huge hockey tournament called Red Bull Salute which is European Championships . We got to O2 world and it was dead ! No joke there was only about 1500 people at the games . Apparently they are televising the games which means nobody goes to the games ??? Yeah it's a bit strange .

First game was JYP ( Finland ) vs Lulea ( Sweden ) ... What a great game ! It was really dirty rough grimy hockey ... I loved  it ! Was like watching a war , and nobody was going to give up ... We sat in the section with JYP fans and they were rowdy awesome fans . We realized we were in the party section :) I must have had at least 15 beers as we sat there watching some world class hockey . JYP eventually went on to win 3-2 in shootout . It was exciting ! 

Second game was Eisbaren Berlin (Germany ) vs Farjestad (Sweden) just bought tickets to see them in Toronto too . They were way better then Berlin . Now I know why nobody was there .... Berlin this year are not so good :( they are the host team and that is only reason they are here . Trust me thy got spanked ! It was like 5-0 or something .

After the game Rainer made some friends and took off on us lol ! We went to get a kebab mmmmm ! I had my doner wrap and gobbled it and we came home to our apartment ! Immediately I started checking online for gear ... Still missing .... 

Today I got a couple more games to watch , hopefully my gear shows up before I leave Berlin . If it's not here by Monday I will have to seriously consider buying new stuff .... Maybe Toronto hockey repair can ship it to me as I have no clue where to buy gear here ugh ! Anyways I should get ready to go to the Ritter factory to make some personalized chocolates . 

Friday, December 20, 2013

Lost my Equipment

So the worst case scenario has occurred ;( my hockey bag with everything in it has gone missing . I just called them to find out that they have still not located it and I am pretty pissed off about it ! 

When I arrived from my long brutally shit flights my bag did not arrive , my sticks made it but no sign of my equipment . They told me it's because of the connecting flights which still baffles me as I had 2 hours between flights and actually had close to 4 hours in Paris which honestly is one of the worst airports I have been too . Unfortunately I have to fly through there 3 more times on this trip . I can't even imagine what I will do if my gear is gone .... What the hell am I going to do if I fly to morocco with no gear ....

Instead of pondering over this I may as well go enjoy some German beers . Scheiss 

Wednesday, December 18, 2013


So here I am sitting at the airport ! Good thing I got some lounge passes ... Free food and beer , don't mind if I do :) this is my first time posting in the new blogger app so bare with me . I am sure I will have it figured out over the next 3 weeks . My beer is getting warm ... 

So the taxi driver here was cool an I had people in the lineup asking about where I was playing . Pretty sure I caught the eye of one of the local sportscasters here too ... Ultimate it doesn't matter I am having a great day . Kathleen is already leaving Philadelphia as we are flying different routes . Really can't wait to get to Berlin . I have to be on the ice 2 hours after I land .

Good thing my super friends at Goalie Heaven took care of me today when I showed up for some leather repair on my toe strap . Darn thing broke last night during my big Ghetto Blasters win ( come from behind shootout victory ) pretty sure I got everything packed , it's usually around this time that I start second guessing my packing decisions . It's too late now anyways , I should honour me another pint . Berlin see u tomorrow ! 

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Registering My Gear

If you did not know this already .... i prefer to fly with Air Canada or Star Alliance flights . Air Canada never charges for hockey gear ... they have a policy where you have to call in to register your gear , you can register your gear with up to 24 hours left ... its getting close for me now i think i have like 37 hours until i leave . I tried yesterday but there was a 3 hour wait on the phone line and you can't do it online unfortunately .

This morning i woke up early and tried again . It said a 25 minute wait so i decided to follow through ( i am still waiting 39 minutes ) this snow storm that is going through Eastern part of the country is hampering this for me as i am sure people are calling in to rebook flights due to cancellations ... yeah sucks for me but its probably worse for those stranded .

I get asked a lot about how i travel with my gear , there is your answer if you were wondering .... just read above LOL ! When i am not on these aforementioned airlines i usually try to sneak my gear on as ski equipment :P no joke trust me it works ... most of these people have no clue what a hockey stick looks like anyway . It is unfortunate that even the people working for Air Canada can be air heads not knowing their own policies ... that is why i print out the sports equipment policy page just to have proof . Seriously it comes handy and i have pulled it out on many occasions . So even if you fly Air Canada be prepared ... some of you may remember my anti Air Canada rant years back when i had a huge "discussion" with one of the managers at the desk there .... still can't believe he didn't know the policies of the airline he was working for , regardless i taught him :) hopefully he is not there tomorrow LOL .

I have a hockey game tonight then i have to dry and wash my gear for tomorrow's departure ... stay tuned for some crazy stories . I can almost guarantee some crazy shit is gonna happen to me over the next few weeks hahaha. Just remember if you see me don't be scared to buy me a beer ! Cheers .

PS ... 50 min waiting to change my booking :( and still waiting .... 

Monday, December 16, 2013

Adding more hockey

2 more days and i head out to Germany for some hockey and it looks like i will be on the ice 2 hours after i land in Berlin ... Kathleen is going to be there already and hopefully she finds our apartment we rented as she lands before me and i am not going to put her through coming to watch me skate there immediately , she can rest up and get ready to party .... the first night is always the craziest so i expect nothing less the total utter destruction of my liver .

Seems like more and more ice times are being added to this trip , i kinda hope i can find enough time to take Kathleen site seeing and obviously i don't want her to be bored out of her tree ! It is kinda difficult trying to find balance in making this a hockey trip and having my girlfriend along for the ride ... yeah i know in the past i have relished in the freedom of travelling alone but this had to be done ... i can't spend the holidays without her and at the same time i want her to see how amazing Germany is !!! there are many reasons i love going there so much and the main one is the people i know there ... can't wait to see you all :)

Ahh 2 more days and i will be chugging German beers while giving cheers to friends with eye contact ... no eye contact means 7 years bad sex ( that is what Rainer claims ) LOL . So from the sounds of it this ice time i have to get rushed to is at a rink in East Berlin ( former East Germany) which is apparently a historic rink .... i haven't received much info but will try to get as much as i can when i find out its name LOL . things are moving fast lately with plans flying all over the place so names at this time are irrelevant .... i get questions like , so do you want to play 2 hours after you arrive ? it is in the most famous arena from East Germany ! we will play with women .... how can i say no to any of that ? for sure just pick me up at the airport LOL . from the sounds of it this trip will take off in full throttle from the get go ... i can't wait .

2 more days ... better start doing my laundry and packing . this is gonna be epic :) 

Thursday, December 5, 2013

Not Yet Completely Booked

Those of you that travel and do anything as crazy as i am doing realize that it is not an easy process . Most of you that do resort to travelling with travel team like the Rainman All-Stars where everything is set and organized for you . I do this mostly but a lot of the time i am organizing my own add- ons to those trips . Like when i leave in a couple weeks i am going to hang out with the Rainman All-Stars but i am also taking off for the UK and Morocco on my own .... these are the 2 places on my trip that i have yet to book my place of residence .

Last night i finally gave in and booked my flights with Air France to go from Stuttgart-Birmingham and Birmingham-Munich ... i was hoping to get a cheap Lufthansa flights that my buddy Karl booked but it never came down in prices . So all my flights are booked and now i have the hardest part ... firstly i have to decide where to stay in Birmingham ? I land at 1 pm and have to be at Villa Park before the 3 pm kickoff ! I will have my backpack so i have to decide if i want to just get a room near the park , in the city centre OR somewhere on the way to the park so i can stop and swiftly drop my bags while checking in in one fell swoop .... probably best bet is to get Karl to get our tickets and i just meet him at Villa Park . Yes this part of my trip has nothing to do with hockey :) i love Aston Villa football and if i am in Europe i have to stop in to watch a game ... it is my duty LOL .

Morocco is another hotel i have yet to book .... Adil is trying to find out where is best to stay ... so far it will be near the rink (diplomats all live there ) , or in the city where i would probably have more fun . The problem is that i have to see what works best for my hosts as i will have a driver picking me up for my ice times and hopefully for some leisure activities too :) I don't want to book a hotel and end up in an area that would be difficult for my hosts to arrange rides for me ... it is the considerate thing to do . I leave in 13 days so time is starting to run out and hotels are starting to book up for my dates so guess what i am doing over the next few days .... time to start researching . Sometimes i wish i had someone to book my trips for me LOL .

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Feeling Some Good Karma

The last week has been absolutely ridiculous insane ... i worked over 100 hours in 8 days ! This past weekend i woke up Saturday at 3 am to go shoot a commercial came home at 730 pm slept until 3:30 am went back to shoot commercial came home at 8 pm slept until 11 pm and went to shoot another commercial overnight then returned gear getting home on Monday at 2 pm .... you can all guess that i was just a bit tired . So i crashed hard slept through the night woke up yesterday ( Tuesday ) and was in and out of consciousness while farting around on Facebook i noticed that one of the companies i pick up film gear from was having a draw for Toronto Maple Leafs tickets . I entered .... crashed out and woke up a few hours later to find out i won :)

AE TO is short for Affiliated Equipment Toronto . Awesome company they are always giving out tickets and other great prizes to their customers/clients . I live pretty close to their shop so i hopped in the car to go get my tix .... $225 a pop ! i won 2 tickets and i took my gf with me ... even though i probably should have taken one of my fellow workers ( sorry Marco,Petri,Phibbs ) seems like everyone found out about me winning these tickets and i was getting so many offers to be picked up to go there . The main problem was that i had my own game that same night so i had to leave the game early :( The Leafs played San Jose and honestly San Jose looked really good and the Leafs well umm didn't look so good , but in their defense they are missing some key skaters like Kadri and Lupul .

Honestly i have never won anything with so much value ... $450 in Leafs tickets is quite the prize . To top it all off when i was at the game i had a team mate sitting about 10 seats away from me in the same row . It was great seeing you there Evan and nice to finally meet Joe . Its a small world and i am feeling that karma is smiling upon me lately . Now i am gonna go take a nap since i am still pretty wiped out from all that crazy work ! No work no play .... and you were wondering how i pay for these trips :) 

Sunday, November 24, 2013


Last trip i went on as usual i was posting from my ipod touch , yeah it sucked because i could never add pics and then when i come home i go through all my pics and start reposting with pictures calling posts RECAP ... i never finished the last trip because i kinda got sick of RECAPping . I wanna live in the moment  .

Around the same time i stopped RECAPping changed its app . YUP now i can post pics from my ipod touch or iphone or iwhatever . Life progresses and this should make things more interesting as i am sure i will get more crazy in the moment pics to post as i am writing my blog . Really looking forward to trying this out ... actually i should have written this on there but to be honest writing on that small thing kinda sucks but it sure beats dragging a laptop around with me . I mean yeah if i didn't have this huge friggin goalie bag to drag around then it would not be a problem . My backpack is basically my luggage and i am not going to give up on a couple extra tshirts to stuff a laptop in there . Its difficult .... you should all try it at least once in your lives . You totally have to be a crazy goalie to want to do this stuff . YUP .

So my trip is almost all booked up and i am already researching my next adventure , not the one next month ... the one next summer . Hoping to travel down to South America again ! Looking at rinks in Bolivia , Colombia and Venezuela .... i see pics of people playing hockey but hope to make contacts there . If you are reading this and live down there please feel free to comment and let me know if you know if there is any hockey in any of these countries ??? At the moment i have contacts in Ecuador and the obvious Chile,Brazil and Argentina ... would love to visit some new countries on my next trek . And if you are all wondering we plan to put a Ghetto Blaster team in La Copa Invernada down in Punta Arenas, Chile again so if you are interested in joining me let me know ! we are looking for skaters .

i should do my laundry , this week i am gonna kill myself working .... need to make money somehow to pay for these trips . 

Friday, November 22, 2013

Morocco Here I Come

Alright here we go ! Just booked my flight to Europe and added Morocco to the trip . It will be my first trip into Africa as i don't include my layover in Tripoli as visit ...

It should be interesting as i don't know anyone that lives there , i was contacted some time ago by a fellow goaltender named Adil El Farj . He plays for the Moroccan National Team but lives in Montreal , he wrote to me as he had read my blog and thought it would be great if i visited there . Adil has been bugging me for some time to go there and now finally i am going and the unfortunate thing is that Adil won't be there :( that being said i am bugging him daily for info on where to stay ? if someone can pick me up for hockey ? when can i play ?  .... its a good thing he is such a nice guy . Which for the record i have yet to meet !!! But we seem to get on well online so it feels as though we know each other already .

So i will be in Rabat playing hopefully every day at the Mega Mall rink .... if anyone has any info on Rabat (things to do , places to hang out , etc ...) please pass it on so i don't have to bug Adil so much :) Over the next few days i plan to do some research but any help from anyone there or anyone that has been there will help ! Ultimately i would love to meet someone to hang out with to show me around ... lets see what Adil can do for me LOL .

This is exciting ... Morocco see you on Jan 4 ! 

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Last Trip for 2013

It's been some time since i have posted anything ... over a month now . Life has been hectic with work , my hockey club and absolutely no social life because i am saving for my next trip . This all equals a very uninteresting person doesn't it . Well my team here has had its ups and downs , we just turned things around recently after having both teams demoted :( yeah it sucked but winning is more fun ... i don't care what anyone says its plain and simple .

So the pains i am enduring for this trip are oh so horrible LOL .. nah i am just kidding , same as usual i am sitting here trying to contact a rink in Liechtenstein . Yes there is a rink there , not regulation size and not indoors but it is a place that can facilitate my hockey needs . And i just wanted to let all the nay sayers know that i am going to skate there .... So many people have told me there is nowhere to skate there or play hockey , well i found this - ... check it out , its beautiful and the website seems to be up to date . In fact there is another place to go for a pleasure skate this year also :)

Here is my plan ... not being too selfish as there will be others on this trip like my girlfriend who does not play hockey but will endure a lot of it on this trip . We will be in Europe tripping around for a few weeks , but the main part of the trip will be meeting the gang of Rainman Allstars in Austria where we are spending NYE . We are staying in Feldkirch ( hopefully i can meet up with my former team mates there from the Feldkirch Chiefs ????) this city is close to Liechtenstein and not far from Davos , Switzerland where we will be watching the Spengler Cup Final :) already got our tickets booked . I am hoping we can have 1 day in Liechtenstein where we go for some puck at the ice hockey rink and then go into the city center for some public skating of course mixed in with lots of libations and a nice dinner somewhere in Vaduz . Would be a great way to spend a day there ... hopefully the rest of the lot will agree to it . I think they will since they are bringing their gear with them , it would just be nice for the non hockey players with us to get on the ice for a skate though ... be prepared to see some nice pics as it looks like a beautiful rink there . If you check that link above you will see proof of it .

The main problem is contacting the rink ! I emailed them last week and yesterday again with no response , this is nothing new to me ... the website is in English but i assume they speak German there ( not sure ) and it doesn't matter what language they speak , the point i am getting at is that when i send out emails to make contacts in foreign countries where English is not the first language , usually i don't get responses . Yeah its odd , i mean don't they want people to come there ??? Anyways i don't want to rant too much about it as i am hoping Timo can contact them , he speaks German so hopefully it makes some difference . I want that flag on my bag so badly ....

At the moment the plan is to add Liechtenstein , Switzerland and Morocco on my bag after this trip .... yeah Morocco . Just waiting to finalize everything before i write about it :) stay tuned . 

Thursday, October 17, 2013

More NYC ...

Along my travels i end up doing a lot of really interesting things , not sure if you all know but i have this love for hip hop that i have had since i was a kid . There is this one of a kind hip hop tour in New York called Hush Hip Hop Tours, it is something i have wanted to do for years but whenever i am in NYC i either have not planned for this tour or have had friends with me that were not interested . This past weekend we went to NYC for my bday and the main objective was to do this tour and see some live hip hop shows at the CBGB festival .

Kathleen and myself walked down to the meeting spot where a rep from the tour met us , we waited for the bus and watched the city move past us .... when the bus showed up our tour guide exited the bus and darted across the street ... for those of you that know anything about hip hop our tour guide was the one and only Grandmaster Caz from the Cold Crush Crew and a former member of the Casanova Crew when he was known as Casanova Fly . This tour was really amazing as we went to spots where famous battles took place and we were shown a very good break dancing demonstration along with some really amazing graf pieces . We covered the 4 elements of hip hop on this tour and even spoke about the potential 5th elements :) You hip hop heads can all discuss that one !

We hit up spots like where the first hip hop party was held 40 years ago at 1520 Sedgwick Ave. and we stopped at Rucker Park ( famous street ball ) ... we even stopped for lunch with Caz ... he was a really cool cat , much respect for him and what he is doing ! It is truly a one of a kind tour that you should check out if you are in NYC .... seriously !

Now that took up most of our day there in NYC ... the night was a different story .... still had something to do with hip hop , but this was pure pure luck that i got to do this ! Remember we have passes for CBGB festival , before i left for NYC a friend of mine told me about Ice-T performing there on the Saturday and i found out it was something to do with the festival (thanks Chris ) . So i found the venue and we went ... when we got there we lined up and found out from this photographer named Brad that this was an invite only thing :( we stayed in line regardless ... we also found out that this venue ( Chez Andre at the Standard ) was really really really small . The line started to move and we got in ! At the front door was Ice-T greeting people ???? WHAT !!!!  So i guess we got really lucky as this place probably couldn't hold much more then 100 people and when i started to look around i started to notice some other rappers in the crowd that i recognized . I hit the bar and watched the show as the first MC came out , she was hard core even bought a cd off her .... Narubi Selah . 

Ice-T was the headliner but he brought out so many crazy mc's with him for this show which went a couple hours longer then was advertised . I still can't believe i got into this show , Treach from Naughty By Nature ... Lords of the Underground ... Dana Dane ... Smooth da Hustla ... it was really really amazing and such a great sound system in such a wickedly intimate environment . I was 15 feet from the stage when i was standing at the bar !!! This day was purely hip hop from top to bottom .... heck even after we left the club we walked past a Banksy piece he had done the night before  . We found it in a sewage basin on a construction site :) 

Just one last thing about New York before i sign off ... taxi cabs are such a pain to get , you can't call yellow cabs you have to wave them down and honestly good luck !!! And if you are planning to leave your bags in lockers at bus terminals or any public places , they don't have any . Since 9/11 they banned them in fears of them being used for any attacks .  New York is such a fun adventurous place to be , have fun ! 

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Letter from Anonymous Person

Morning All ...

This morning i am waking up finding a particularly strange yet interesting email from an anonymous reader asking me to post this ... there is a first for everything so here we go .. check this out .

                                                      Rumour has it...

Rumours normally lack any statement that is not quickly confirmed by both parties . So, when i heard Canadian Tire may purchase RBK/CCM Hockey , i dismissed it as propaganda and misinformation . Mind your, i was surprised when Canadian Tire purchased Hockey Life -even though... it was a good move . It adds future growth and may provide Canadian Tire a unique model to grow their business south of the border .

Canadian Tire is synonymous to hockey . And by growing the sport in the States , it will make shareholders richer . Companies like Bauer,CCM, and Easton , only provide lip service when trying to grow the sport . They are more concerned with taking market share away from each other . Most investors loathe the words "market share distribution" . It provides limited intrinsic value to the company and limited growth. Companies that trade market shares are often referred to as a standard piece of theatrical scenery called "limbo!"

When RBK/CCM slashed their prices on their high-end jerseys , and told me any team that signs a 3 year contract with them , they would provide that team with free helmets the first year , and free gloves the second year , etc . I felt that was an appropriate move to keep their jersey business intact and their brand closer to the consumer. That is something Canadian Tire does well at too . Bauer took a different approach by hiring 'gunslingers' to approach all the teams , and allocating the team business to a select few retailers - leaving out the rest with no piece of the pie , and very little margin to call it a business .

This is where it gets interesting . A friend of mine who works at Athletic Knit on Scarlett Road , told me he has over 100 workers , and is a Canadian Company with quality that speaks for itself . They have been around for over 50 years , and will do whatever they have to do to survive- even if it means they have to change their business model . I told my friend why not sell the business to Canadian Tire . I'm sure there is no problems competing with offshore countries ( plus, all the teams will love them ) . On another note , even SP Apparel from Montreal went ahead and reduced their pricing . Everyday , they are getting close-out lists from companies,and their current products are closing out a lot quicker than usual. And other companies like Kamazu are getting more aggressive than ever .

For my own peace of mind , I had to pursue and find out if this rumour that Canadian Tire is purchasing RBK/CCM is true. So i had lunch with a friend of mine who works at Hockey Life . He said that all this competition was unnecessary . Next year, the prices will tumble even more and it makes no sense what they're doing . He said he buys more hockey equipment that anybody else , and he should the the team business from Bauer . I smiled and told him i heard a rumour that Canadian Tire may buy RBK/CCM. He looked puzzled .

Two days later, a Jersey Representative came into my store . He was excited. He took me aside and whispered that the guys from Hockey Life told him Canadian Tire is just about to purchase RBK/CCM. I was confused by the rumour , and this is why i sign this letter anonymously , in order not to start a rumour ....


* interesting stuff ... that is why i thought i would share this with anyone that reads my blog . and trust me i did not write this , words like intrinsic are words i can't lay claim to using :) 

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

My Hockey Number Birthday

Last Friday i turned 39 ... that is my hockey number so i had to do something special . Being the Travelling Goalie i had the urge to get on a plane LOL so we flew out to NYC that morning . We being me and my amazing, forgiving person that allows me to do these crazy things . SO that means i didn't bring my gear ... there is a silver lining though ... after we went to the Bowery Electric to pick up our passes for the CBGB Festival (movies & music ) and as you can see i started my day with some good Brooklyn Lager :) Oh yeah back to the topic at hand ... i was meeting up with Alex Toul ! Well i was supposed to meet up with him Saturday morning but that changed as my plans were very flimsy and mainly included me having a glass of beer in my hand ... while i was at the Bowery i checked my messages and Alex wanted to meet earlier so we made plans to meet at the hotel . Yeah we went to the bar before the hotel so it was time to check in . Its my birthday give me some slack ok LOL !

We stayed up at Lexington & 45 E at this hotel called Club Quarters which by NY standards is cheap ?!?!?! Listen up the bottom line is NYC is not cheap , i am sure there is a cheap rough way to stay there but for me
travelling with my lady is not the most ideal way to be there ... and yeah NYC is one of those cities that she loves to come to so i haven't figured out the hostel scene but i am sure by the standards of food prices , etc.. that they are not so cheap either .... regardless beer in hand constantly aside from during taxi rides , i was getting nicely pissed up when i met Alex i think i was a good 6 or 7 pints in already .
 Alex is the creator of one of my favorite apps and websites out there please check it out and sign up !!! We met up at a pub called The Perfect Pint which was just down the road from the hotel and let me tell ya , the pints were nice :) It was great to meet up with Alex and talk hockey , they have so many great new ideas and i tried to push a few of my ideas on him too hehehe . But seriously check out Hockey Community and sign up , start posting your tournaments , equipment sales , anything to do with hockey !!! lets bring the world together .

After we left the pub Kathleen and i had dinner reservations at the amazing restaurant called Beauty & Essex
which a friend suggested , very swank restaurant hidden behind a pawn shop . Of course i kept drinking ! Yeah i look pretty plastered in that pic hahaha ... anyways the food was awesome there , i even ended up trying something ... different .... the waiter suggested the bone marrow was one of his favorites and drunken Adrian agreed to try it :( yuck , not only was i drunk enough to order it , i even ate most of it and pretty much regret even thinking about eating that as i write this ... yuck yuck yuck . After dinner we jumped in another cab and flew over to the Leftfield bar to watch some bands performing for the music festival which was in bars all across NYC . There was a band in particular that we wanted to check out and thinking it would be packed based on all the press we thought this band was getting we decided to go early and watch the other bands . Oh yeah the band we wanted to watch was this hip hop/rock fusion band called Apollo Quad . Unfortunately all the other bands were great but not really what we came to see ... good thing there was beer there LOL ! and scotch ... yeah it got messy .

The crazy thing is that the bar was absolutely dead ... we were the only 2 people that watched these guys perform their set . And they were really really good , if you like good hip hop check them out ! I met up with them obviously and they tossed me a cd which i checked out and it is good . They were a bit confused why the bar was so dead too .... anyways the best part was that for me on a personal level i was kinda looking for that kind of atmosphere to watch some bands . We ended the night flagging down a black taxi , after impatiently trying to flag down yellow cabs we agreed to pay $35 for this black taxi with no meter .... i kinda regret paying double for the ride but at least he got me to my hotel . Kathleen claims i was passing out in the cab but i don't remember , by this point i was totally inebriated :) that was only the first day of my weekend in New York .... it gets crazier LOL ! 

Saturday, October 5, 2013

RECAP : Punta Arenas Pt.2

When i was planning this trip there were so many highlights that i had planned for , but what we were about to experience will probably never be matched . Unfortunately i was feeling under the weather , i remember spending a full day running from my hotel room to the pharmacy LOL ... i think i went there 3 times and yes i was battling a bad hangover that day too . The crazy part of this trip was just about to begin as the tournament was upon us and we were about to be a part of Chilean history . 

First we had to start dealing with the press there , we had a few TV shows to go on to promote the tournament . The first one i took all the guys that were on my team , Alejandro brought Ricardo as a translator . We were all excited to be there as guests on the show , basically we were asked one question each like how do you like it here and why did you come here type questions ... very basic . I am waiting on a copy of it to arrive here at some point !

The tournament was finally starting the next day . La Copa Invernada ( Winter Cup ) first team up to bat was C.A.U. ( Club Andino Ushuaia ) they are from Argentina , i met most of them when they visited Toronto so i knew what we were up against . They brought a young squad and some of the guys were from Buenos Aires where they have quite a bit of skaters . Before the game there was this HUGE opening ceremony with an MC introducing us all , the Mayor was there , all the big wigs from the arena and the area we were in ( Zona Franca ) were all there too . Oh and there was about 700 fans there too with a few camera crews and reporters . It was absolutely insane ... we even had our own security guard :) You can't imagine how ridiculously amazing this experience was . When we skated on the ice they had a singer come out to sing the national anthems for Canada, Argentina and Chile !!!! The girl flubbed our Canadian anthem but it was still very beautiful . Kinda wish they sang the German anthem since half my team was from there ... maybe next year :P

After the opening ceremonies i had an interview for live television ... oh yeah did i mention this was historic ???? OH YEAH !!! First EVER live televised ice hockey game in Chile !!!! So the tv crew grabbed me and did an interview at the side of the rink before our opening game . I posted a link for the live feed and so did the other guys and it was amazing to see how many people watched it around the world . Kathleen watched it back home and said it was funny watching us play hockey on TV . It is one of the proudest moments in my life to be a part of such an unbelievable experience . Remember our goal going there was to help the sport grow , based on what we experience ... it will grow .

Once the game started we began our dominance and the fans loved watching some good hockey , when we got ourselves a good comfy lead it became more of a demonstrators event as there were some nifty moves that my team mates put on the Argentines . They were a bit nervous but so were we . The crowd and our television audience got to see a lot of scoring as we won the game 17-5. Remember it is 3 on 3 hockey and trust me when i say this , we really took it easy on them . We didn't come here to kill teams as you may think and we all think the same when i say we didn't fly all the way here to let teams beat us or act like idiots on the ice . We came here to show these guys how to play hockey and they saw some good skaters do what they do ... score goals . After the game we all got together to face the mob as fans and reporters all came onto the ice to congratulate us and our friends from Argentina . It was overwhelming and took about 30 minutes to get off the ice HAHAHA . Fans were taking pictures and asking for autographs . It looks like there is a chance that this sport will grow here . 

I will get more into the game actions in my next post . Its unbelievable how fast time is flying , next week i am off to NYC to celebrate my birthday . Hope to gather some stories from there too ... this time i am travelling with no gear :( 

Have a great weekend ! 

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

RECAP : Punta Arenas Pt.1

This has been a long time coming so here we go . Sorry for the delay been working like a dog lately trying to save up for my next adventure :) We were going to Chile to help them promote the game of hockey as they had just built their new arena there way down south in Punta Arenas ... way way way south , the flight was like forever LOL . I was put in touch online with a fella named Alejandro Trabas aka Bon Jovi . When we acquainted ourselves i suggested he put together a tournament and that he did plus so much more . We were told the mayor and the city would be fully involved and they came through with flying colours from the second we landed . Our chariots were waiting for us with city workers and the mayors assistant . Before i go any further into this and i may do this a few times , i would like to thank the City of Punta Arenas , Chile and Emilio Bocazzi for the unbelievable stuff they did for me and my friends . 

We did not meet the Mayor on our first night but we were totally amazed at where he put us to stay :) We were guests of the mayor at Hotel Casino Dreams . When we arrived there we were told we just had enough time to drop our bags as we had to get to the arena for our first skate . This was the moment of truth ! The arena is called Pista Cool Center and it is in a duty free area as Punta Arenas is a huge port city ... i have personally never been or seen such a big duty free area , its not just 1 building hahaha . The name of the duty free area is called Zona Franca , i wish i had more time to go shopping there ( maybe next year ) . Punta Arenas is not exactly in a warm area of Chile , don't be fooled this is way down near Antarctica !!! 

We got to the rink , it was small but good enough for 3 on 3 hockey . The ice looked a bit rough but generally the conditions were much better then the other rinks we had encountered in South America ... the fact that it is a cold climate helps . The rink is not even a year old but you could tell they have a tough time maintaining the corners and they could use some glass above the boards . This is also why we are here as we really want to help Alejandro and the other guys we met there ... mainly getting people interested in the sport and getting that interest to translate into them getting better equipment , better facilities and hopefully some day a bigger rink . All the guys there were so happy to meet us and we could already feel as though we were going to receive the celebrity treatment . Alejandro told me to be ready but for this we were not prepared as the guys were so helpful from the start , these guys really want to learn and really want to make this sport stronger in their community . There is some real passion and i could tell before i even got on the ice with them . 

They are lacking dressing room facilities but this is normal when travelling to unconventional hockey countries , at least they have 2 rooms that can be called changing areas . We got our gear into the room and got dressed and ready to skate , obviously i knew that most of the guys had only been playing for a max of 1 year and that we would have to help these guys get better in preparation of our trip to Ushuaia as we will become members of the first Chilean hockey team to travel to an tournament outside of Chile , first thing is first though ... we were in Chile for this monumental tournament there also and there was so much to happen that i , you , or the other guys would never have guessed would happen . 

That first night ended up being a really really late one :P after our skate we were whisked to Lomito's which seems to be a local fav place to go for a steak and a beer and boy did we get into the beer that night . It was a week night and a few guys had to go home when we were kicked out of Lomito's at midnight ... the hard cores took us to another bar which was absolutely dead but somehow we livened it up after a few more rounds of beers we got Alejandro to start singing , i think we were all singing ! That night ended around 530 AM pretty sure the next day was our only day that was not the most eventful of days , we had a tight schedule there that was yet to be announced :) 

On a side note *** i promise to try to continue this story in the next couple days *** 

Monday, September 2, 2013

RECAP: Buenos Aires ... the first stop

Wow can't believe that i returned home over a month ago , time flies when you are working like a dog ! Trying to save up for my next trip , these trips are never cheap but thanks to friends they are usually much cheaper . We went to Buenos Aires twice and this will be about our first stop there :) Our first stop had us staying at the Howard Johnson Inn Palermo . Palermo is one of the many neighbour hoods in Buenos Aires , i was told to either stay here or in San Telmo and decided this was best based on prices, etc... 
Our good friend Alejo whom i met in Toronto when friends from Argentina visited back in February , met up with us and showed us such a good time . We started by going to pre drink before our night out at Alejo's good friends place , that is when we met Lupe ! She is awesome , so energetic and of course a hockey player ... basically everyone we met that night played hockey , it was great . That night was crazy for me meeting up with all the guys i met in February . They really showed us a great night , we ended up at this awesome bar which had 3 floors and at first it was strange because it seemed like we were the only guys there . I am off the market but my 2 buddies are up for some fun so it seemed like a great place to get really drunk . We stayed there really late and when we decided to leave we took a taxi , and it was a long drive around the corner LOL ! seriously we could have walked but we had no clue where we were .... 

Day 2 saw us going out to watch some inline hockey . I have never actually watched a live game and this game was for the championship ... i think it was game 1 of a best of 3 series . The place where they hold the games is called Peru Beach , pretty cool set up right beside the water with shopping area not too far and an actual beach with some food vendors . We watched most of the game with our buddy Alejo ... too bad we didn't get to watch Ashby play as we picked him up for his game too . we had to leave to go skate on the ice :) it was on the opposite end of city though . Alejo i gotta say bud you friggin rock for doing all that driving to show us around , thanks boludo ! 

So as you see above , i did go to the rink to play ... unfortunately i did not bring my own gear as i had a flight like 6 hours after and didn't want my gear to be wet and was told there would be gear for me at the rink . Well there was gear at the rink , but it did not fit :( so i watched Andi skate there and trust me that sucked as this rink was different . Alpina Skate (name of rink ) is in a friggin bar !!!! no joke , we almost walked by it on the road as we were looking for an arena LOL . we were told to go inside this bar and way at the back of the bar was the ice pad ... its unreal . Funny as i got undressed i thought this isn't the first time i have been naked in a bar HAHAHA . Of course this rink had its own version of a zamboni as seen above .

We didn't have much time to spend on our first stay in Buenos Aires , and to be honest i totally loved it there and was looking forward to the return trip . I would love to thank Alejo and Lupe and the rest of the gang there ... was great meeting up with Max and Pablo again , and it was great meeting all the new people like Matt and Liz ... you all helped me with some great memories . Next time i visit Alpina i will bring my own gear :)