Monday, June 30, 2014

Lions & Crocodiles

The day after that crazy drink up with the Springs Rugby Klub I woke up feeling like hell in an odd bed ! No I wasn't in the bed with the kissing bandit but in the haze I was in it took me a few minutes to realize I was at Gary's place . Boy did I feel like something the cat dragged in ! 

Gary and his mom took me out for breakfast and I swear I tried to eat but I was not exactly feeling right ... Not that I ever do lol ! I pecked at my breakfast but just couldn't get in the mood to chow down . I really tried to hide the fact I felt like shit but I don't think my acting was oscar winning material . It was more like cheap theatrical performance . Who am I fooling ? Nobody ! 

After trying to eat Gary took me by Northgate Mall to see their rink briefly which was a really nice big rink . Did i mention I was supposed to be on ice in the morning ? Well yeah I set my alarm for 5 am but didn't turn it on. Regardless to this moment I am not sure if there was ice time or not ? Seems to have been some miscommunication ? 

We headed to the Lion Park in Johannesburg and boy was I sweating ... Mostly alcohol ! We headed to the petting cage to pet some link cubs and on way in we were told to pet lions with a flat hand and not to touch tails or head , simple enough ;) we get in and the reality that I was in a cage with animals that can kill me kicked in . Yeah I was nervous ! Here kitty kitty , of course they were cute and docile as they are fed beforehand . There was a small girl that jumped right in started petting all of them and I watched in fear then went ahead pet a couple got a few pics and moved away only to hear the volunteer explaining to the girls father that if they wanted to eat they would go after his daughter first ? Thanks for the disclaimer buddy lol . The poor girls father didn't seem excited to hear this after the fact . I don't blame him ;) 

We then jumped into Gary's car to go into the lion enclosure where they were being fed and let me tell you these animals are beautiful and HUGE ! Almost as soon as we got in a female lion walked right over to our car and just walked right past the hood of our car !!!! My pants felt heavier after that WOW . Watching these great beasts gnaw on dead carcass was a pretty cool sight ! We had great timing . 

After driving through all the enclosures we were about to leave when we saw a sign for Croc City which was just down the road so we went to check it out . When we arrived we were told it was feeding time but the crocs didn't seem so hungry as they weren't really interested in the dead chickens that were being tossed at them . It was a nice little place pretty much catered for families with a small picnic area . There were tons of kids there ... We were told to go see the snakes and spiders so we did , some pretty cool stuff ! I held a baby crocodile and got some pics on my camera which I can't post now unfortunately :( then I was offered to have a boa constrictor put on me .... Ummm sorry i'll pass :) it was a short stay but it didn't cost much to enter so I would suggest checking it out . The gentleman wandering around was interesting enough as he educated us about the animals there , which I thought was pretty cool . 

Gary took me out for a really good steak then we headed to his place on way to another ice rink at Festival Mall where I thought I would be playing but as I said there must have been a miscomunication and instead we ended up watching the U20 championships final game . The kids playing are pretty good ! There was a great atmosphere with the stands quite full . At this point I am in limbo wondering when I can get on ice but Gary is keen to help so he introduces me as his Canadian goalie friend that travelled here to help with the question asked if I can get on ice . Apparently goalies here have never had anyone come out to help them .... Seriously never and all the people I met were ecstatic to know that I want to help . The word got around the rink and by the end of the game I was invited to help the SAIHA coach their goalies starting Wednesday at their junior development camp !!!!! Unbelievable eh ? Do you know how exciting it is knowing I am going to help the federation here ? And that some of these kids will represent South Africa at future world championships .... I am very happy and proud !!! This will be special for all of us , I   am jumping out of my skin with excitement ;) 

What a great day ! Thank you Gary Bock you are truly a great friend , thanks to your mom also for buying me breakfast 
even though I hardly ate it lol ! I couldn't have done all this without you :) 

Sunday, June 29, 2014

A Rugby Player Kissed Me ?!?!?

My first night here was tough . Jet lag kicked in and I couldn't sleep yet I had to be up and ready in lobby for 730 am ... I fell asleep around 4 am after watching Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon on the tv here . When my alarm went off I didn't want to get out of bed but I had to meet Gary . I was a guest if his Rugby club , the Springs . They had a game in another city so I was joining them ;)

When we got to the rugby club I had a beer met a few of the lads then got on the team bus which was probably a model from 1940 or something lol . We all piled in and started our trek to Orkney . On the bus I had a few beers alone as the team was getting prepared to battle . It was a 3.5 hour drive and along the ride I ended up eating some Impala ( rooibok) it was really good ! Honestly I will try it again . The fellow that gave me the sausage to try actually hunted it himself and showed me a picture of the animal . Then I took a nap ... Damn jet lag ! 

When I woke up we were just pulling into the stadium parking lot. ... This place was in the middle of nowhere . First thing I looked for was the bar ;) grabbed a beer and joined the Springs in the stand. . The second team played first . Gary is the captain :) the guys were calling him captain courageous ! I met up with a fellow named Cornelius whose brother is on the team and we started drinking together exchanging beers . I have the next round ;) 

This was my first time watching rugby live and it was great ... Then it got better when a brawl started WOO !! It was awesome hehehehe .... Unfortunately the ref had lost control of the game and it got out of hand so a bunch of red cards were handed out then the game was cancelled but we won . 

Before the game the teams make a tunnel for players to enter so I was taken onto field to join them which was pretty cool . The first team took to the field and wow they smashed the other club ! I think the final was like 35-5 or something ? I was pretty wasted lol . And now the party starts.  We all got to the bus and everyone was excited . 

On the bus nobody sat down we all partied with guys playing guitars singing and drinking it was really awesome . Everyone was calling me the Canadian  ... Hey Canadian ! Drink some brandy Yay! I almost barfed as I chugged brandy straight from the bottle . Next thing you know we are back at their rugby club still drinking and celebrating . 

Just before I left 1 of the guys wanted a picture with me so we posed he grabbed my face and kissed me ... His tongue was in my mouth !!!! Wtf . Apparently he is a repeat offender and it seemed ok and totally hilarious as I stood there in utter shock . I guess it was a friendly way to say good bye and it was more then fitting to end my visit with these guys . I can check that off my bucket list now .... Get rugby dude to shove his tongue in my mouth ... Check :( 

Friday, June 27, 2014

Tired and Cranky

After being ripped off by the Reise Bank I was kinda pissed off and tired which is a deadly combination ... I wandered the airport killing more time and basically I was a hornets nest ready to attack ... Not good ! 

The Germans were playing their World Cup match and I figured watching it in Germany would be an event . Unfortunately there was only 1 tv in a bar showing it . The bar had 2 tv' and the other was showing a motor cycle race and volume was off ... Kinda odd but I still battled to stay awake while I enjoyed a Paulaner bier . I had to leave at half time as I could not keep my eyes open and didn't want to pass out with my bags unwatched . I won't pass out walking so I walked and walked and then got to my gate . 

I won't book a flight like this again ! 11 hours to kill in an airport is a tough task . I mean at least I got my schnitzel and my German beer but I also got ripped off as I thought changing money would help pass the time .... Please don't do what I did . Change money in country and just use a proper bank ! It's so much cheaper .

I have to thank Paolo del Grosso for making sure I didn't lose my gear . Thanks buddy I owe you some beer if we ever meet again ! 

Back to my super bitchy day :( yeah I got to the counter and had to get my ticket printed . The guy behind the desk seemed to know me better then I know myself and decided to book my an aisle seat in middle row ... I had an exit row window booked and didn't want to argue with him since he knew me better then I did so when I got on plane I tried getting my seat back .... What a stink ! They made it out to be a critical situation wanted to call this guy onto plane to argue with me and I just gave in .... Really as a paying customer I don't want to deal with this shit . I'm tired hungry and pissed off already  ... So I told them forget it and they told me I started too much commotion . This is how you get treated these days ! This is customer service ? Anyways I kept my cool as I really believed they wanted to kick me off the plane :p 

Let's just say I didn't make any friends , kept my mouth shut and just made sure to stay in the plane . I did the right thing but I kinda want to file a complaint anyway ... Remember the good old days when the customer was always right ? Those days are DEAD !!!! 

Enough of my bitching lol ! The flight was actually petty good ! Food was amazing probably best I have had on a flight . The crew was nice enough and dealt with me appropriately . The guy that changed my seat was a Lufthansa employee but I was flying South African Airways . They don't know it but they get 2 thumbs up ! 

I slept a bunch and arrived in Johannesburg , my bags were all there and then I met the beast of a man ... Gary Bock ! He makes me look like a small child standing beside him :) I got my gear loaded in his car and we were off for breakfast ! 

After breakfast I was dropped off at my hotel which is amazing ! Had a shower (finally) then passed out .... This is real time now kinda like Jack Bauer lol ! I am sitting in Nelson Mandela Square at the Hard Rock Cafe drinking beer by myself now writing this as I hear people speaking Afrikaans trying to understand to no avail . 

I should be meeting Gary in a few hours for dinner and drinks . Tomorrow I will be going with Gary and his rugby club on a 3 hour bus ride to watch them kick some ass !!!! Apparently they are planning to get me totally wasted so it should be quite the event .... I'm excited ! 

I should get back to my hotel and rest up a bit but I am enjoying this South African beer called Castle ... I think it's called castle . Whatever :) 

Thursday, June 26, 2014

Reise Bank

This is absolutely insane ! I just was flat out ripped off by this bank at the airport . I purchased /exchanged Canadian dollars for South African Rands ... I am not exactly with it right now as I am dead beat tired and really I wish I didn't bother exchanging cash .

The bank exchanged $1000 for 600€ which if you look online is not off by much .... I check usually but for some reason went on blind faith and got scammed hard . $1000 cdn is roughly 680€ I got 600€ then they changed to Rands and I got 7200 ... If you check online $1000 Canadian dollars gets you about 9800 Rands so there is about 2600 Rands missing ??? That is about the equivalent of $250 . So apparently Reis Bank made that much off my 1 transaction !?!?? Highway robbery right ? 

I went to the counter to try to get charges reversed and was told I was too late ??? If I did it in 15 min it was possible but after that it isn't ... How am I supposed to know that you ask ? Well if I knew German I would have seen that it says that on the receipt ... So because I don't understand German I am shit out of luck . 

So the guy at kiosk couldn't help me . He gave me a number to call the office LOL ... The person at office said it's my own fault and that if I want they can buy the rands back from me , here is the kicker .... Remember 600 € got me 7200 rands well they offered to give me 405€ In exchange ! Yeah they tried making more off of me . UNBELIEVABLE ... So I asked the person on the phone if they were ok knowing they are robbing people ... Wanna know the answer ? They don't care and they don't mind robbing people . Yup I heard it they said it and I can't believe it .... So at the end of it all I lost over $250  . 

Thank you Reise Bank . You thieving bastards ! Lesson learned ... In future exchange cash at bank machine and pay the $5 exchange rate from my bank as it's much cheaper then $250 :( 

Sitting in airport

I left Toronto yesterday and today I am here sitting in Munich waiting for my next flight to Johannesburg ... I have another 9 hours to kill :( the flight here was ok aside from the usual idiots ... The guy behind me kicked my foot at least 10 times and the person in front of me needed to be reclined even during meals and my sleep was interrupted by the person on other side of plane who decided to keep their window open for the rest of us to enjoy the sunlight they were letting in . Obviously I am chugging coffee now to stay awake but these are the tribulations of long travel ! 

When I landed here I had to go to Lufthansa desk to cancel flight to Cape Town and yes thanks again Cheapoair for the screw job u did for me ... Bastards ! Anyways it took forever and is not as of yet fixed as South African Air is not opened until 6 pm .... The staff at the desk were super amazing as they have me a bottle of water and kept me pretty calm during the whole process :) when I go back I will have to pay 50€ to cancel the flight and I will get a 15€ voucher to send to cheapoair which I have no doubt will ever be returned ... I have lost total faith in that joke for a booking agency ! 

Doesn't look like I will be meeting any of my German friends an I don't think there are any showers here so unfortunately I will smell pretty rough when I arrive in Johannesburg tomorrow ... Sorry Gary :( 

Things can be lonely travelling .. At least I saw one familiar face today lol . Hoping the airport is hopping for the German game tonight ... Hopefully I will have an appetite for some good German beer later , the mission at hand now is staying awake ! I don't want to be one of those douches that takes a row of seats to sleep . Anyways my internet is running out . Stay tuned for more adventures ! 

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

First Stop : Deutschland

Here we go ! Just doing my laundry and drying my gear out .... had a game last night and didn't start drying it until 1 am when i got up this morning it was not dry yet . I have a fan pointed at my gear while it sits on concrete , the drier it gets the better because if its wet then i might be overweight and that will suck bad :( i don't want to have to pay extra baggage fees ... as usual i will have a spare bag within the bag ready to pull out as a carry on just in case . Oh and if you were wondering we beat old friends Sgt. Rock last night in league action ... i wouldn't say i played great but a win is a win and i am off to strut my stuff on a couple other continents .

I will land in Munich tomorrow morning , as of now i am not sure if i am meeting any friends there ? I have an 11 hour layover there which in reality gives me about 6 hours to go out and do what ever ... as of now i would probably say i will slum it in the airport for the duration but we'll see what happens  . You never know with my crazy friends . I know for sure i won't be able to play any hockey because i am going to check my bags before leaving airport , if i do leave airport ... enough of the wishful thinking . Right now i am pumped full of coffee and ready to go !!!

Before i get out of here i gotta thank all my friends at work for making yesterday a fun last shoot day . Thanks Petri,Marco,Liam, Katelyn and Niva and obviously the rest of the crew for making it a fun day .... i know i was at work but it sure as hell didn't feel like i was :)

So German friends reading , you know who you are :P if you are available to meet up tomorrow , drink some beers and have a schnitzel or a bite to eat at Vapiano ... and if you have somewhere for me to shower then let me know ... the shower thing is kinda close to my heart before getting on another 10 hour flight to South Africa ... sorry if i am a bit rank when i land there Gary , blame it on the Germans if i am LOL . Bring a bottle of spray deodorant or cologne just in case hahaha.


Saturday, June 21, 2014

What To Pack

Here we go ! I take off in 4 days and now i have to start thinking about what to stuff in my backpack for the 3 week trip . As you all know i will be touching down in Germany , South Africa and Spain ... the main portion of the trip is in South Africa where it is winter at this time , and yes believe it or not the temperature drops to below 0 . No joke . I mentioned it to a couple people and they were shocked , really i don't know why as i am pretty sure most people took geography and most people know it is winter in Australia during our summer ... SO why don't they figure that other southern continents are in the same position ? i don't know lol ... regardless after the winter in South Africa i will be in the piss hot Spanish weather so my zip off pants/shorts are a must . 2 pairs of those will travel with me along with all the underwear and socks i can muster up .

Gonna have to bring a hoodie which will be my Villa hoodie as it is thick and with that i won't need a jacket :) from what i see there is no rain but i will still pack a small rain jacket just in case . The main thing i really think about is t-shirts ... i have a cool collection of tshirts from hockey teams around the world , which ones to bring ? Also probably only gonna bring 4 or 5 and buy a few on the road . If any of you South African clubs are reading this be prepared ! I want your tshirts and shwag :P You are probably wondering how i live off 4 shirts and 2 pairs of shorts for 3 weeks ... its called doing laundry ! I am notorious for my laundry/shower , saves a lot of time hahaha! Usually i give 'em a good wash at one of the hotels i stop at or if i get near someone with a laundry machine .

The bottom line is travelling minimal is the best , i mean this is coming from a guy who is dragging a goalie bag around the world LOL . The minimal part just counts for my carry on luggage which is my only luggage technically . Enough talking about this , i should probably start my pre packing ... as i will take the bag apart after packing it and i will remove things ... who knows maybe i will just leave here with an empty bag this time . probably not ...

Thursday, June 19, 2014

Am i Ready ?

Things have been crazy lately ... work has been busy , turning down so many jobs being offered while i am gone kinda sucks . Hoping all my employers understand and respect that i need a break . Even though its been really busy i am still caught up thinking about the loss of my friend Matt Wheeler the other week ... these things don't heal too easy but has helped the time fly somehow . As usual the therapy of hockey has helped even though we (Ghetto Blasters) lost our last game with our new backup goalie who is playing great and strangely enough we probably won't ever get to meet each other LOL ... i wouldn't ask him to come sit on the bench and when he is playing i am either working or travelling ... regardless he should get a good number of games playing for both my squads .

My hotel was finally booked last week in Johannesburg and it wasn't cheap . I booked through Rocket Miles and will let you all know how that works out as they promise a lot of points with Aeroplan and other airlines too . Its worth the try , lets see if it comes through .... the hotel wasn't cheap but is in a good area close to a lot of tourist stuff like the aquarium and other spots to fill the time , yes to fill the time when i am not having fun doing other stuff :P like playing hockey . I know you thought i was gonna talk about getting wasted , i am sure that will happen as i saw my host Gary Bock drinking out of a shoe on facebook yesterday which only leads me to believe that i will probably end up having 1 drink at least hahaha!

Also booked tickets for myself and Gary to go see Extreme Fighting Challenge which is MMA fighting :) it will be my first time watching this sport live which will be amazing . The Coca-Cola Dome is not too far from where i am staying either which is great . I only have 3 more days of work and 6 more days until i leave ... i am getting excited . Pretty sure this trip is gonna be epic ! 

Sunday, June 15, 2014

Anyone wanna hang out in Munich ?

10 more days and i head out on my next adventure ... this one is a bit different as i am spending a bit of time in South Africa instead of my usual  bouncing around , no i won't be in 6 countries in 3 weeks ... just South Africa and Spain . But before all that starts i am heading to Germany ! There are no direct flights and at a reasonable price all the flights i found had these 11 hour layovers .... i had a choice between Turkey and Germany ... Turkey i would have needed to get a visa to leave the airport so i opted for Germany . At first the option was for Frankfurt but then Munich popped up on my screen :) . I figured Munich would be a great place to meet up with some friends have a couple pints of German beer and head back to the airport .

Here is what i think might be a problem ... this is a week day ! Landing on Thursday June 26 in the morning i am going to have to switch my flights when i get there to make sure my baggage ends up in the right city . Who knows how long that takes but i do know i land at 10:05 am and my flight to Johannesburg leaves at 9:05 pm which is 11 hours after .... i have to be at the airport by 6ish so in all reality i have about 6 or 7 hours to enjoy with whoever can or wants to meet up with me :) that is more then enough to go out and eat , almost thinking a shower would be amazing with another marathon flight ahead . I won't arrive in South Africa until 7:35 am the next day .... yes i leave on a Wednesday and arrive on a Friday . its not gonna be an easy trip especially if i don't get a shower in between flights .... sorry Gary i met smell pretty rank when i arrive there LOL .

Anyways ... if you are reading this and you are one of my crazy Bavarian friends that wants to meet up and drink a bit then let me know ! I won't be there for long :P and no i won't be playing hockey , hopefully won't have my bag .... maybe i should call the airline .... again ....

Saturday, June 14, 2014

Plans Change

My flights were booked last Friday with an online booking agent called Cheapoair , they are horrible . Yeah i know they do have some cheap flights but check this out ... i have booked with them before and have never really had any problems but this was weird . After i booked my flight i received emails telling me that they have been trying to contact me even though my phone wasn't ringing and in the email it said to call a certain number which i did ... it was not working ?!?! OK .... couple days pass and i get an email that my flights were cancelled . Now that is some messed up shit right ?

Obviously i called and asked what the heck is going on and Cheapoair claimed that the credit card i used was not responding so they had to cancel my flight ?!?!?! so we called the credit card company and they said they would have it on file if Cheapoair had contacted them and as far as they knew they didn't ... getting weird ? So i called them back and told them and next thing you know my flight was re-instated without my permission ... i mean you cancel my flight because my credit card doesn't confirm and then without my confirmation you go ahead and charge my card again .... now hold on , if you ask me i would say that is crazy ! How can they charge my card for something i have not confirmed ? Strange as it seems i did not want all those flights any more ... i wanted to drop the Cape Town part of my trip so i argued it and Cheapoair wanted to charge me extra for changing a booking i did not make . Remember they re booked it after cancelling it for no reason at all ... and were pretty much just lying to me . They never have admitted to being at fault to this day !

So as i said i didn't want to go to Cape Town as they don't have any ice available for some strange reason and i am not interested in spending a bunch of cash to go to some city with no hockey involved on a hockey trip LOL ! After yelling at Cheapoair for a few hours i got Kathleen to call them and they lied to her to but told her we can contact the airline to cancel i did . Luckily all my flights are through Lufthansa , they said they can't just outright cancel it but what they can do is cancel it when i land in Munich ... i guess they want to make sure i am using the flights and not just cancelling for money reasons . They told me they don't allow travel agents to do this or they would do it all the time . So if you have a leg of a trip where you are flying with a specific airline you can rearrange your trip after you complete your first flight . Yeah its weird they should be happy to just cancel the flight and resell it which means selling the seat twice ... doubling profit on one seat ! You would think Cheapoair would want to do that to but all they want is to keep sticking to their lies and making more money ... they are not there to be customer friendly as i was yelled at by an agent there who would not listen to my complaints .

From now on i am going back to using Expedia to book my flights as Cheapoair is just one horrible group to deal with that really does not care about what they do or how they treat their customers . I still can't believe that they took it upon their own will to book my flight without my confirmation ... if you want to deal with some crazy stuff like this then go ahead and book with them but just remember when you have something to complain about don't bother calling them ... they will just lie to you and ask for more money :(

When i land in Munich on the 26th my first stop will be the Lufthansa booth , at least they are willing to help ... thanks Lufthansa :) 

Friday, June 13, 2014

R.I.P. Matt Wheeler

It's always hard to swallow when you find out someone you have known has passed away , this week the hockey world lost a great guy . Matt Wheeler was an American teaching , living and loving life in Indonesia . I met Matt in Singapore at the tournament there in 2007 , we played together for the Singapore Lions and won the Maple Leaf Cup together as team mates . The year after i was invited by Matt to play for the first travel team from Jakarta . He put the team together and organized everything for us and i flew out to Indonesia to play hockey with him and the rest of the gang out there . 

During my stay in Indonesia i was lucky enough to stay with his family . We had so much fun as they introduced me to Jakarta . I will never forget my first night there with Matt watching Californication , he loved that show and introduced it to me that very first night as we sat around talking about what had happened in the year we haven't seen each other . It
was genuine , we really had a good chat and called it a night . There was no wild party , no faking or pretending to be anyone else ... it was really just me and Matt bonding as team mates and friends . It was special and i wish i would have told him that .... this is really hard for me to talk about as i have been busy fighting tears off at work for the last couple days . Doing this , writing this right now is my therapy ... but its' hard , we really lost a great guy !

Over my stay in Jakarta Matt took me everywhere and i was astonished at how busy he was and how he flowed through it all like it was nothing ... in reality it was something . Matt was a teacher at an American school in Indonesia where he was also a tennis instructor , he ran a soccer (football) tournament for his school which i went to and saw Matt at his finest with parents , colleagues and children there all showing him the utmost respect . I remember that day vividly when Matt told me to
walk into the village next to the school , it was pretty rough there ... people were living in huts and there were chickens running freely across the dirt roads and the one thing that sticks out is having Matt tell me to not be scared and if i see anything to buy it from the people . He said it would make them happy if i spent money in the village ... so i went on my own into this village and i did exactly as he said and he was right ... the people were so happy when i walked into this hut just to buy a cola . Only a guy like Matt would be fully aware of his surroundings like this .

It was really amazing seeing how many people Matt would help without even realizing he was helping them , i think he enjoyed it himself as the experiences rolled over for him . I was in Jakarta for a week with him then we went to play in Singapore . Matt was a fierce competitor on the ice , with his trade mark yellow bucket helmet ... a few guys asked me who the guy with that yellow helmet was LOL ! It was Wheels as we all called him :) 

Matt you have left us for now , the hockey world in Asia will definitely miss you . My condolences go out to your family and friends as i/we all know you had blessed so many of us by just knowing you . I feel extra lucky to have had the time that we spent together , i was hoping to visit you next summer and now i only hope to come to Jakarta some day to play in a tournament named in your honour or to at least see a trophy named after you ... as we all know anything that had anything to do with you was golden . Matt i will miss you buddy , i really hope we have the chance to play some puck on the other side some day . Rest in Peace my friend :( 

Saturday, June 7, 2014

Looking For A Hotel

18 more days until departure to Munich en route to Cape Town landing in 20 days , of course hotel has not been booked yet LOL . Its a pain ... trying to figure out where is the best part of the city to stay , with parking ... free parking is best and my main problem right now is finding that . Recently i was informed about this website called Rocket Miles here check it out : . You get tons of points for booking with these guys . Remember i pay for my own trips so i am always looking for that extra bump to pay for my trips .... free flights always help :)

Most of my trips are planned around gaining Aeroplan points , so i usually book Star Alliance flights and i try to stay in hotels that are partners with Aeroplan but now this Rocket Miles website pops up and they give way more points for stays at hotels . The last couple trips i have booked my flights through Air Canada's website and that would give me like 300 points for a 3 nights stay , it's based on how much you spend . With Rocket Miles for those same 3 nights at the same rate i get roughly 6000 points !?!?!?! WOW . Kinda wish i didn't book my Texas trip already , but i had to or else i would be staying in some lonely hotel without the rest of my mates :( , so with Rocket Miles i get 1000 pts for a night at a hotel i am spending $100 a night for and with Air Canada's website i get 100 pts for a night .... hmmm ....

You guessed it right , i am gonna book with Rocket Miles when i find a hotel with free parking and hopefully a sauna LOL ! Just a heads up though .... if and when you are looking for a hotel don't book just based on price , always do your research . Everyone should have in mind that they want to stay somewhere near to where they plan to frequent ( like the rink ) , somewhere with airport shuttle is a + , places to eat nearby or in hotel is a definite + ... and if you are travelling with a car make sure to find out how much parking is . Once in New York City i ended up staying at a hotel with parking .... $60 a night ! So before you press the button and send your credit card info call the hotel or look up their website to find out more .... these booking websites get great deals but they don't always have all the info you need to confirm that you want to stay there .

Guess i should get back to hunting for hotels .... decisions ,decisions :)

Sunday, June 1, 2014

Plans for South Africa

All day yesterday was spent looking for events to go to while in South Africa ... i found a lot of cool stuff to do :) was kinda hoping to find a concert or something with some local flavour but that i am sure will pop up without notice . I looked for any big concerts in Cape Town , doesn't seem to be a concert hub like Toronto with big shows almost nightly here ... maybe i was looking on the wrong sites but they all seem to have the same info . Regardless going to a concert is not tops on the list . I am more of a sports kinda guy , so i was looking for something unique and i came across Super League Rugby which pits teams from South Africa,New Zealand and Australia ... check it out ! i found a game in Johannesburg on July 4th at Ellis Park between the Lions vs. Rebels . Having never been to a rugby match this should be a good event ... and our host Gary is a huge rugby fan too so even better to learn more about the game and the rivalries :)

As i was searching there were UFC events on all day yesterday ... my girlfriend LOVES watching mixed martial arts :) so do i ! we try to watch most of the fights together , i know its cute eh LOL . So i decided to google African MMA and i came up with this .... , i checked their schedule and wouldn't you know it there is a fight card happening on July 3rd in Johannesburg also . Do i have to even think about this ? i just need to wait until tomorrow to see if i am booking 2 or 3 tickets ... Johannesburg is gonna be one hell of a good time drinking , watching fights and rugby and getting on the ice at some point too HA this is gonna be sick !

At this point i am really not sure how long we are hanging in Johannesburg as we are planning a trip out to Durban , hopefully seeing all 5 rink across the country if possible . All i know is i have to be in Johannesburg on July 9th to fly to Barcelona after this and from the sounds of it , this will be a sad day ... yeah i hate leaving these awesome countries and i have a great feeling that South Africa is gonna be more then just fun . In the first week there i am probably going to an overnight safari , a rugby match and an mma card along with making friends drinking beers and playing some puck ! wow . remind me why more people don't do this ? its crazy isn't it . if you are reading this and you have never experienced a true sporting vacation like this then do yourself a favour ... go do it !!!  And if you need any help or advice , don't be shy to ask me :) 

i should get back to researching things to do in South Africa ....