Saturday, May 31, 2014

South Africa flight booked

The cheque(s) i was waiting for arrived yesterday , i went to the bank with a huge shit eating grin on my face and deposited them came home and paid Visa .... i paid Kathleen's Visa so she could get some aeroplan points , remember it's all about the points and really why not . If you can get a free flight for paying for something a different way then why not . I know some of you are paranoid and you feel like someone wants your identity but really they probably don't LOL ... really they don't .

The thought was to wait until after midnight or this morning as i have heard the best flight deals pop up Saturday mornings but i couldn't wait . When Kathleen got home she was excited too and she said to just book it now so i did and it didn't take long to find what i wanted ... kinda . I went onto Cheapoair and put in my dates ... i already knew what kind of flights i was going to have to deal with , last i checked i had cheapest option to fly into either Istanbul with Turkish Air OR Frankfurt with Lufthansa , there was the other option too of flying into Newark and leaving from JFK in New York area ... with 3 hours to spare that is ridiculous . Turkey i would need a visa for even as a Maltese citizen so forget that ... its good ol' Germany again hahaha . So when i logged on and started looking i was obviously gonna book to land in Frankfurt and hopefully convince some friends to meet me for a short day trip . Frankfurt is not really close to any friends but worth the chance , at least i can have a couple beers and a good schnitzel and get on my merry way .

It was a pleasant surprise when i went on to book my flights and found a layover in Munich ! I would be surprised if i couldn't meet any of my Bavarian friends there . So i booked it :) Be expecting some messages in the near future if you live near there .... i land in Munich on Thurs. June 26 @ 10:05 AM and i don't fly out until 9:05 PM that same day which basically give me about 6 or 7 hours to hang out , drink beer and get on my way to South Africa . Now you are all wondering what the hell , why is this flight so crazy ? Honestly i have never been in transit this long and i have flown just about everywhere .... i leave Toronto on Wednesday and arrive in Cape Town on Friday , that is 35 hours 15 min of transit ! So the thought has crossed my mind about finding the time to take a shower somewhere in that time :) i hate travelling and feeling icky ... i don't mind landing and smelling like an old rug but getting on the plane feeling filthy is not for me , remember i am getting back in Germany almost a day after i have left Toronto . Surely things will work out , i hope ....

Now all i have to do is start booking hotels ....just have to wait for Timo to find out if he is coming . If Timo joins we stay in nicer hotels , he likes to travel in style :P if it is just me and my host Gary travelling we will book some cheaper if not find some free accommodations . If someone has room for 3 of us then obviously we will take the offer ... its all up in the air right now so i have to be patient and if anything book my hotel & safari during the coming week . Obviously excitement is getting the better of me , i can't wait to get down there to skate with the locals .

My flight to Barcelona, Spain was also booked last night :) i will end up there on my way home . Meeting up with Rainer , Melanie and Dom to play in a tournament there with them ... they are all members of the prestigious Rainman All-Stars travelling ice hockey club . My trip wouldn't be complete without a wild weekend with these lunatics :) lets see if i can add another trophy to my collection LOL . If you are wondering how much these flights cost me ... it was $2400 for all my flights , 7 flights all with Lufthansa . I have pretty much next to no worries about my luggage , usually i don't have to pay with them . Recently i have had discussions with some people that seem to think it is about the size but its not ... oversize fee is waived with sporting equipment , its the weight ! So all i have to do is bring my spare bag just in case as i usually do :P .... so excited ! 

Friday, May 30, 2014


Oh my first world problems :P so i am in limbo at the moment waiting .... firstly i am waiting to get some cheques from some employers that are slow to pull the payment trigger . I love you guys the most , can't wait to work for you again ( no comment ) . Once that magical cheque arrives in that mailbox i have set up surveillance on then i can run to my favorite money institute to put it into my account , hopefully clearing immediately ... i will have to conjure up some magic to convince teller to push it through so i can run home and book my flights . yeah the flights aren't really intriguing either .... 35 hours in transit :( with a 9 or 10 hour layover in either Frankfurt or Istanbul ... i am not interested in obtaining visa to leave airport in Istanbul so i am hoping that some of my German kackvogel friends decide they want to meet me for some lunch or beers to help kill time and make this decision easier .

The next thing i am waiting on is Timo ... oh Timo please tell me you are coming to South Africa buddy , your work is really keeping this trip interesting by not giving you their decision LOL . Don't worry i have faith that we will be drinking a few bottles of wine on the coast there next month ( Timo is the wine drinker ) . If Timo joins us it will be ridiculous fun ... even our host Gary Bock is interested to have a skater join us ! I hope there are vehicles big enough for us 3 as we are all heavyweights :P Once i have this all planned then we can begin booking our lodging . From what i plan we will be in Cape Town landing on June 27 and staying until June 30 when we will go on our first safari :) ... hopefully i will be joining Ryan Bahl & wife to go enjoy the overnight safari which they suggested to me . Check out the link , it looks amazing complete with drinks, meals,lodging and of course SAFARI :) , thanks for the link Ryan also they are hooking us up with that same deal you got !

So if all falls into place in the next coming days i will be able to book all this and ensure that the beginning of my trip to South Africa will be probably some of the best days of my life ... Hockey, new friends , travel and safari ... just wow ! anyways i better go wait near the mailbox , i think i hear the mailman :P  

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

On The Hunt

Alright so i have been hunting for tournaments , as i have said a million times ... i really wish there was a complete list that every tournament would be listed on . That would be a dream come true ... i might have to start my own . Of course i have some in mind that always pop up that i want to go to like Rainer's tourney in Tachov in April and the tourney in Bangkok in October .... i want more ! I want to know if there are others close enough not to break the bank . Ultimately a 3 week trip with 3 tourneys is always what i have searched for and i have had that organized before but then 1 of the tournaments cancelled and my path was broken :(

The plan is to travel as much as i can in the next year ! What i have done in the past is nothing compared to what i am planning .... this is not a travelling bug anymore , it's a full blown disease :) that's a good thing don't worry i will be fine . Just my wallet that will hurt more hahaha! As i write this i am in discussion looking for this same dream trip .... Macedonia , Serbia and Greece is very much a possibility in November . It is a region i have not skated on yet and would be really amazing to be there . Organizing these trips takes time , yeah i am still organizing my trip to South Africa which i plan on leaving next month ... and no i haven't booked anything yet LOL . I know i am crazy but i am definitely going .... South Africa and Spain , wish i could make it a 3 country trip but everything between the 2 countries is a risk to visit at the moment . As i have said before i really wish Africa was safer to visit but it's not :(

I really should start working on a trip to the west coast too ... i have never been to Vancouver and my friends at Hockey-Community are organizing a tournament on August 16,17 and it would be really amazing if i make my way over there and represent Toronto seeing how i am the HC Ambassador for Toronto :) It is crazy that i haven't seen most of my own country but the reality is that it costs about as much to fly to Europe as it does to fly to the other side of my country .... Europe just has that more exotic factor over staying within my own borders .

i should get back to my planning , so much to do .... so many places to visit and see ! If you have any ideas please share them with me .

Monday, May 19, 2014

Finding Tournaments

It's been a year now since i have introduced you and the rest of my readers' to Hockey Community . A year ago i told you all how amazing it was and is still ! Last year i was dreaming of how that app and website would be able to help my travels . It would be really amazing if tournaments around the world were posted there so it would be a click away to find a tournament anywhere in the world ... you would think in the last year i have convinced enough people to do that . At the moment i am browsing it and i don't see even 1 tournament from any of my tournament organizing friends ???

Guys how do we make this all easier for everyone if we don't start posting and using this amazing tool we have to our advantage ? Really i am begging you guys to start posting your  tournaments on their tournament list . It will make it easier for teams to organize trips if they are all posted there ...

I for one look forward to the day that i can organize a big trip just by looking on Hockey Community ... it might just be a dream but the option is there ! If you run a tournament and you want people to come you have to advertise it and what better way then to post it on Hockey Community ? At the moment i am in search of a tournament the week before my tournament in Barcelona ... so first weekend of July ... if you know of one in Europe or Africa let me know ? as i can't find any :( 

Saturday, May 17, 2014

Aston Villa in Texas

Not sure if you all know that i am a huge football fan , some of you call it soccer but i don't . My time in Europe has made me grow fond of this sport and i really wish some day that ice hockey reaches the global level that football has reached . That would truly be amazing . So about a month or so ago my favorite team in the whole world announced that they would be coming to North America . Recently i have been talking with Kathleen about cities i haven't been to in the USA and we had mentioned not going to Texas , of course a week or so after Aston Villa announce a Texas tour !

Last time Aston Villa came to North America they did a big tour and i went to Chicago and had one of the best weekends of my life , that is when i truly became a Villan . Before that i was watching games alone in my living room and honestly didn't know that there were other Villans in Toronto .... when i went to Chicago i met a bunch and became a Canadian Villan , its something i am proud to be a part of ! Kinda wish we had supporter clubs or sections clubs for ice hockey ... hopefully it will be adopted at some point here as i know they have that in Europe where hockey games are actually exciting to watch . Toronto hockey games are a snooze fest with fans that don't even know what a puck is making business deals . I try to make a trek over the pond to watch Aston Villa once a year to see my English mates too since Chicago ... it was an epic trip .

So when these friendlies were announced you can only imagine that i was all over it like a fly on shit . :) I have ordered tickets to both matches in Dallas and Houston . Booked my flights ( all star alliance ) , i won't be checking baggage on the way there to save time and my flights are direct ... rather pay the extra couple bucks for direct flights ! I have booked my hotels staying where most of the crazy Villans i know will be staying and in hotel chains i have enjoyed before .... Wyndham in Frisco and Club Quarters in Houston , i booked both hotel stays on to get my aeroplan points . If you travel as much as i do you should have points cards and you should save up ! i am saving for Australia with those points :) All in this trip cost me about $1300 Hotels/flights/tickets ... booze and food will probably set me back another $500 US so it won't be a cheap trip . It will be a trip that will be hard to remember LOL .

I can't wait to see what changes Villa makes to their roster before then . Up The Villa !

And no i am not bringing my hockey gear for this trip but i might find my way to the Dr.Pepper Star Center LOL !