Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Costa Del Sol

When I woke up yesterday it was one of those last day of my trip blah days . We decided to walk to the Carefour shop to hopefully find this elusive deodorant that Kathleen loves . The walk there took forever and it started to piss rain on the way there so we hopped into a cafe and had a cappuccino and wait for the rain to stop , as soon as we finished our drinks it stopped ... Perfect timing :) unfortunately we walked all that way and didn't find what we were looking for but all was not lost as we did all of our shopping there ... Bought some Orujo (alcohol) , some local coffee and honey and some olive oil which looks really good ... Compared to the crap we get at home this stuff is gold ! After shopping we took a taxi back :p 

We arrived back at Casa Pilkington's just in time to meet Don Rickardo :) Kathleen went for a dip in the pool and I had a nice siesta ... Oh how I love naps !!! This lifestyle is my kinda life ... Work half day go home take a nap then go back to work ? Would that work in the film biz ? Doubt it but you never know eh LOL ! After my siesta I got dressed and walked over to Club Municipal de Hielo to meet Rickard Astrom to talk some hockey :) 

Rickard is from Skelleftea,Sweden and is a phys. ed teacher in Fuengirola but most of all he is the president of the Costa del Sol ice hockey league here in Benalmadena,Spain . As soon as we met I asked him to show me the rink which is a smaller 3 on 3 sized rink with proper boards and round corners unlike Gibraltars square ones :( there is no ice at this time and there won't be ice until October . Not really sure if the rink is privately owned or government funded or both ... Didn't get a clear answer about that but who cares they have an ice rink . And as Rickard told me , when he found this rink it made his decision easy to stay instead of moving back to Sweden :) that's a good thing as it sounds like he does a lot for the hockey community there . Rickard refs games and even works the zamboni , yeah they have a real zamboni ... Awesome ! Apparently there is never a shortage of expats coming through to play and the cost to play in the league is really cheap ... Something like €10 per game where we pay about $25 per game in Toronto ! The main goal is to get more of the locals involved and Rickard says every season is like a new adventure there and the people that sign up are really committed to their teams which are chosen lately based on where players live . 

This league will more then likely expand into a regional league as there are rinks in Granada and Fuengirola and it sounds like they might have another one opening in Marbella in the future . Ice hockey is not the dominant sport here but surely it is growing and who knows maybe someday they might have a full sized rink in Benalmadena too ! So apparently Rickard played for the Granada team at the Barcelona tournament last year and it's too bad I never had the chance to meet him then as we did play them , and yes I mentioned that we beat them ... Sorry Rickard , where are my manners LOL?!?!? While we were at the rink I busted out my GoPro and conducted a small interview in front of the zamboni and we talked about the rink which does need some upgrading , some glass on the boards would be good and the roof insulated a bit better would surely help and cut costs for the rink . They have home made nets which someone donated to the rink/league and it really feels from my point of view that there is a great sense of pride to be part of this project coming from Rickard which is really good . Sometimes people I meet have this negativity about them and Rickard was the exact opposite . 

After conducting the interview we went for a quick beverage and parted ways . It was a pleasure meeting you Rickard and I wish you and the league the best and I hope the next season is as successful as the others :) it would be my pleasure to come back some day and play hockey with you guys . 

Went back to Casa Pilkington's and got ready for my last night out with the highlight being a curry at Noor Mahal which was fantastic :) food was great and the service was fantastico ! Alas we have to fly early so couldn't get too mental ... Went to bed at midnight so I could wake up at 5 am to fly home ... Here I am now in an airport wasting time until my next flight ... If any of you reading this want to visit the rink or jump on the ice in Benalmadena let me know and I can gladly put anyone in contact with Rickard as they are always welcoming skaters to join them . Adios muchachos ! 

Monday, June 15, 2015

Beach Time

I'm not a beach person in fact I kinda hate beaches but as I have said on many occasions, this trip is for Kathleen :) yesterday she wanted to hit the beach so I bit my tongue and went to the beach also . We paid €4.50 for each bed and kicked back and almost slept ..... Sounds exciting ? Nope ! 

Days like this really leave me with nothing to talk about :( I mean we just laid there and burned our bodies ... There is no chance I'm going in the water as it is too cold and along with beaches I'm not a swimming enthusiast . I like the water when it's frozen , and yeah I am the exact opposite of a beach lover . I like the cold , I like being on ice and not water , I rather play ice hockey then beach volleyball although I don't mind watching women's beach volleyball sometimes ;);)! LOL ;) so yeah nothing exciting . Just flirted with sleeping while on the beach ... You must be so excited reading this hahaha ... Sorry to waste your time ! 

Things have been hectic so I am happy Kathleen had her beach day . After the beach we came back to Casa Pilkington and watched England vs Slovenia in Euro Cup qualifying , had a couple cans of beer then watched An Idiot Abroad and The Moaning Of Life , both are hilarious travel shows so it's kinda like I'm doing homework for my show . 

Oh yeah , my shows first episode is ready for me to finally see ;) I get my private viewing on Wednesday . Super Jacked to see it . Way more excited then being on a beach ....

Sunday, June 14, 2015

The Rock Of Gibraltar (part 2)

Sometimes things don't go my way and that's understood and I get by but that first day heading up the rock on my own (with Kathleen) was shitty ... And that night things were stranger as we headed out for dinner the downtown area was all closed but it was after siesta ??? Anyways we were looking for something to eat and headed to Casemates Square and sat down at a restaurant called All's Well Restaurant . People were eating and it looked good , so we sat down and this bald server comes up to us and says no food is being served and dinner is closed at 7 pm ... Kinda strange because it's around 8 and people are eating . He told us to sit at the next restaurant ... 10 mins later we saw the same jerk bringing food out so I went over to him and asked why how these other people got served ... He said they were in the band performing in the square and they ordered their food before 7 ... So I asked him if they served the food cold ? He said no it was fresh ... I said ok thanks asshole and walked away ... If you go to Gibraltar expect this treatment from this high nosed restaurant and avoid it like the plague !!! 

Ok that was a bit off track and you can see that my first day totally didn't go as I wanted it to but the 2nd day was different . We checked out of the Cannon Hotel which was amazing , left our bags there and headed off to find a taxi tour of The Rock . Yes we were keen to find out the cost difference and experience everything we wanted to see ... We found a guy named Fidelio Bonfante who worked for a company called Official Rock Tours we approached him and asked the cost . Now regularly I avoid these guys like the plague but I had no choice since the other option I experienced was ridiculous . So for £22 we get a ride up and down and all the entrances are covered ok that sounds good :) first stop was the Hurculean Pillars which was cool with a beautiful view of Morocco in the distance ! Second stop was St.Michaels Cave which was fantastic then we headed to the Great Siege Tunnels and then back to where we started in under 2 hours ... Not bad eh ? 

After that we went for a hike to go see the 100 ton gun . It was about a half hour walk and when we got there we saw that there was an entrance fee and agreed if it cost £10 we would just turn back :( thank goodness it was only £1 each and when we went in we were the only people there which was cool . We had all the time to take pics and of course my camera handling gf took this pic ... 

Yup that is her finger in the shot :( and the only pic she took . Sorry Kathleen you are a horrible photgrapher :( after taking pics we headed off to take public transit back to city center where it was again a dead zone ... It's weird to be in a city that just shuts down like this ??? Where does everyone go ? Even the tourist ? So we decide to walk over to this boat hotel as I am looking for some oysters but apparently in Gibraltar they don't have oysters ??? I know it's surrounded by water but for some reason  there is nowhere that has or sells oysters . Ok whatever I will settle for chicken wings lol ! We had our last meal grabbed our bags and headed to the boarder after crossing that landing strip again .

At the boarder nobody even glanced at my passport and we were back in junkie vill aka La Linea ... What a shit hole this town is . Anyways I am glad I stayed in Gibraltar over the other option which was to stay in La Linea ... Trust me you should do the same . We knew killed time waiting for our bus and headed back to Benalmadena , back to Casa Pilkington :) back to the beautiful beaches and landscape . 

We went out to Emilio's Restaurnt which specializes in steaks and it was bloody fantastic ... A+++ food !!! After our massive meal we wandered about in this area fit for locals and far from the tourists and ended up at a bar called Buddha where we enjoyed some Sheesha ... I ordered watermelon flavour and it was delicious :p what a great night out to end a fantastically interesting day . It was well worth the trip to Gibraltar , I hope to help the guys at Kings Bastion Leisure Center start up an ice hockey program someday and it would be fantastic to go back  to play a game or teach some kids . If you guys from the rink are reading this please contact me if you have any questions or need any help and I will do my best for you guys ok . 

Let's get ice hockey going in Gibraltar ! 

The Rock Of Gibraltar (part 1)

This is gonna be like a tale of 2 cities except this is about my 2 visits to the top of the rock ... The first time I headed up was on my first day in Gibraltar right after leaving the ice rink we walked over to the cable car and headed up on our own with no guide and no deal . When we arrived at the cable car I asked for a ride up to the top , not a return but was charged for return and wasn't offered or told of anything else I would have to pay for . We took the cable car up but never took the return ... You ask why ? Well when you get up there you have to start walking down the mountain to get to the historic sites! 

Yes there are monkeys everywhere and yes they will harass you if you harass them OR if you have food so don't take food up there because they rule the rock . So when we got off cable car we decided to start making our trek across to O'Hara's Battery which is a murderous  half kilometre climb which took about 20 minutes to get up :( when we reach the top there is a guy locking the gate so I went over and asked why they are closing early ? He tells me they have special permission to film there and nobody can enter ... Ok that's fine and dandy but why isn't there a friggin sign at the bottom of this hill where it says that O'Hara's Battery is opened ??? And why isn't anyone telling us this on the walk up ??? Well that was shitty so we walked down ... Headed to St. Michaels cave and found out it was £10 each to enter ?!?!? Ok I'm not paying $40 Canadian for the 2 of us to walk into a cave for 10 minutes ...

Ok so we decided to make the trek down to the Apes Den which was free :) yeah only free thing on the rock ! The walk from site to site is non descriptive as there is not too many signs hanging around to let visitors that are walking know where they are so what we thought was the Apes Den might not be the Apes Den ... LOL . Also by this point I am wondering what they do with the money they gouge people for ? There is garbage  everywhere !!! Maybe they can spend some of that money on cleaning up the rock ? 

After seeing some monkeys at what we thought was the apes den we headed across the rock all the way to The Great Siege Tunnels ... Another £10 entry fee ... WTF !!! Is this a joke ? So if I wanna hike the trails and see the sights I have to pay around £60 which is equivalent of $120 CDN ?!?!? Wow this is a massive tourist trap ... Usually it's cheaper to do these things on your own without tour guides . We start contemplating if we made the right decision ... If you like walking for over 3 hours and spending loads of money then you made the right decision , and if you are trying to budget yourself then well this is a bad choice ! 

We hiked down to the Moorish Castle and it was another £10 entrance , ok this is ridiculous ... I paid £13 for a cable car ride walked forever got turned away from locations and had to pay an arm and a leg to see sites which I refused to pay so much to see ... Obviously I will write later about how easy it was to do this with a tour guide .... I gotta go enjoy the beach now :) 

Saturday, June 13, 2015


Alright ... Yesterday we left our gracious hosts in Benalmadena to come over to Gibraltar. Ticket for our bus was booked a few days ago and seat numbers were assigned ... We walked over to the bus stop and when we got on there were 2 Asian tourists in our seats so we sat elsewhere thinking nothing of it . The bus was empty anyways . We made a couple stops and realized people took the seating arrangement serious ? If that was the case then 20 of us would be jammed up at the front with the back open ...makes no sense aside from bus company keeping track of how many people are on the bus right ??? Well this dumb American gets on with his buddies sits beside me and tells his buddies to go sit in the back ??? Why you don't you go with them dumbass !!! Well we make a couple more stops and the row in front of us is empty and beside is empty so is this guy that freaking stupid ??? YUP ! So I was sick of sitting beside this numpty and got up to move to the window seat in front of us ... Of course the cunt moves to the window and of course I put my seat back as far as possible :) yeah fuck you asshole LOL ! Why are people so stupid ? You could have sat anywhere you jerk ! Suffer then HAHAHA !!!!!

When we got off the bus in LaLinea , Spain we then walked across the boarder ... La Linea is kinda dirty with drugs being sold right in the open ( at least I saw it ) then you cross boarder and you are in English speaking Gibraltar ... It belongs to England and for the most part is filled with British people ;) oh and the rock is huge ... You can't miss it . We arrived around 10 am but couldn't check in until 12 so we dropped our bags and wandered around grabbed a coffee and baguette in Kecsmar square which was good until the server took over 15 minutes to give us our change ??? Yeah he comes to us after clearing table and asks "are you waiting for change ? ". Really dude do you think we are giving you a £10 tip on a £10 bill ??? We left him nothing for wasting our time :) 

Finally we get out room at the hotel and our room is massive !!! There is a nice sized bed , bunk beds , couch ... Then there is a hallway with a fridge that leads to the bathroom ... Quite impressed with The Cannon Hotel ... If you're here look it up , nothing snazzy but for the money it's totally worth it ! It's right on the main strip  which is rammed with tourists ... I hate tourist pylons , those are the clusters of people that stand in the middle of sidewalks lost instead of pushing over to the side or stopping in a cafe to figure out stuff ... Hate em and they are everywhere !!! You see there are bus' that come here for 5 hours to shop , you can tell who they are because they have stickers on their shirts lol . So far Gibraltar seems like a giant tourist trap ! 

I know there is an ice rink here so I figured out where it was and I headed  over there as soon as I dropped my bags  . It is just around the corner :) as soon as I got there I asked to speak to the manager and gave him my spiel how I wanted to interview him and talk about the rink . The young guy I spoke to said the manager was busy and took me to the rink where I met the guys upstairs and I told them my story and they took me to the head honcho . John Azzopardi (yes a fellow Malteser) is the Managing Director of King's Bastion Leisure Center which has a bowling alley , movie theatre and best of all ..... An ice rink ! John told me he would gladly do an interview so I rushed back to my hotel set up my GoPro and rushed back ... The interview was great ! Found out the rink is 8 years old and they don't play hockey due to the proximity of the glass surrounding the rink , but there are plans to make the government subsidized rink bigger . John offered me a complimentary skate and I obliged . The guys upstairs set me up with some Bauer skates not the generic blue skates you see at ice rinks as rentals and I stepped out onto their small sheet of ice . It has square corners , the ice is a bit dry and thin but they let me know about that already . I wish I had taken down all the guys names to mention them as they were really friendly and had a lot of questions about how to maintain and how to get ice hockey started here :) I am sure it's gonna happen sooner then later ! I will do what I can to help these guys as it really seems like they want to play the game . 

The maintenance guys showed up to watch me skate around ... It would be nice to see more people using the rink here even for pleasure skating . I'm pretty sure I will hear from them ... And guys if you are reading this please contact me if you have any questions , I would like to help however I can ;)

When I left the rink I had to take a quick shower before heading to the Rock Of Gibraltar ... I will write about that experience later on . If you are ever here in Gibraltar please make sure to visit the rink and tell the guys I said hello !!!


Friday, June 12, 2015

Cable Car Madness

Yesterday morning we started our day in Benalmadena with a lovely breakfast made by our lovely hosts then we started hiking over to the Teleferico Cable Car where we spent €14 each to go up the mountain on the long cable car ride ... Takes a good 10 minutes for the ride up :) when we arrived there was a display of predatory birds ... It was free !!!! Yeah is that unreal ? Pay €14 to go up a mountain and have a free show hahaha . 

Nothing is perfect right ?!?!? You know it's not ... I know I mentioned free but when we got to the entrance we were all stopped and posed with an owl . I wanted to snap a pic of Richard & Noemi but the person taking photos said something to me and yeah I didn't like it ... Listen I don't give a shit if you want to take a pic of me and then sell my likeness back to me without my permission but if I can't take a pic of my friends in the moment then go fuck yourself !!!! Ok got that off my chest :) anyways show was brilliant , birds were fantastic and I am sure they are doing a good job keeping these birds happy ... Now learn how to act with human beings . 

Don Rickardo (seen above) had the day all planned out to a T :) after the bird show we headed back on the cable car but this time Kathleen and I took our own cable car .... Yeah , so we get on and start descending and next thing you know we get caught in a mad gust of wind !!!! It was pretty crazy as I could see the bottom of the ravine out of the side window as we swayed dangerously close to the upright poles , seriously I am not making this up !!! Don Rickardo will attest to it as he told me last night ... He thought we were done for :( as the car swayed and we just missed the pole I was looking over to see if it had caught the other card but alas it was a problem we faced on our own ... And we survived LOL . When we got to the bottom we jumped on the train to Fuengirola which as I mentioned was all part of the plan . 

Fuengirola is the last stop and the Malaga train line and it wasn't as far as we were going as we had to jump on a bus to go up the mountain where we had an amazing pizza then did some shopping for the ladies :) we stopped in this artisanal chocolate shop where the guy serving me swore he saw me on tv before ... I mentioned the FA Cup and he said that is where it was LOL ! Hilarious eh ? After my brush with popularity we headed to this amazing little church where of course I lit a candle for Chris and said a prayer for him ... I still miss him :( .... And I will never forget him !!! 

We headed back to Benalmadena by bus , the ladies went to do some grocery shopping and I went to buy a new pair of Puma running shoes for the hike I have the next day in Gibraltar .... The shoes I have are killing me so it's time for a new pair ... Shoes are dirt cheap ! I paid €39.99 with taxes incl. after that we headed down the road and checked out a shop selling Malaga FC shirts ... Don Rickardo is buying season tickets and should get a top to wear to the games so we went to do some window shopping ... Well things went sour fast in this shop :( we saw a top asked about it and the loser there got really aggressive and grabbed a top said that I must be an XL and we were just looking at the top to make sure it was real as any shopper should right ? Well the shop owner comes over and says "it's always you Engliah people that need to make sure the shirt is official " ummm I'm Canadian ! Yeah I said that to him and it didn't matter ? He continued to accost us and basically told us off on the way out ... Customer service at its best . Later we found out that the price he told us was different then what is on the official team page .... Sounds fishy doesn't it ? Regardless he lost the sale :p douche ! 

We ended up hanging out at the Palm 5 Beach Bar shooting the shit having a few laughs then headed back home for an amazing spaghetti and meatballs meal ... Had a couple more pints and turned in around 1 am ... Gotta get up early to catch our bus to Gibraltar . 

Thursday, June 11, 2015

Kathleen's Birthday

Yesterday was Kathleen's birthday , she is the most important person in my life ... Without her there is no Travelling Goalie . Think about it , how many of you guys out there have girlfriends or wives that would let you take off 2 or 3 times a year on your own to play hockey ??? Yeah I thought so ! Really we don't go on enough vacations together and after her last trip alone this was the perfect plan :)

It was hot as piss yesterday here in Benalmadena and we didn't fully realize it until we started walking away from Richards place . Kathleen loves sailing but unfortunately due to her accident can not participate so we took her to the marina to check out the boats :) Benalmadena's marina was rated top marina on the planet last year so it was worth a look ! Before we headed there we had a few things to sort out like money exchange and bus tickets to Gibraltar . When we arrived at the marina it was sweltering heat :( no I don't love the heat ! Whatever this is for Kathleen ... We found an American style restaurant called Jacks and sat down to have a bite to eat and watched some sailboats come into the marina then headed back to Richards for siesta .... When in Rome do as the Romans do ! 

Richard booked us a table at La Sarina on the beach to have dinner at 830 pm . Dinner in Europe is generally later then our typical North American 6 pm probably because everyone is still waking up from siesta at that time LOL ! I had a steak at this seafood restaurant and I could taste the yucky fish on my steak which really didn't sit well with me ... I don't like fish but I didn't say anything because I didn't want to ruin Kathleen's bday so I ate most of the steak but really didn't love it ... Richard didn't love his paella either but the service was great , the view was spectacular and the company had was the main course . 

After dinner we headed up the hill to the center of town and had a cappuccino and ice cream then went for a brandy and espresso ... 2 brandy's and 2 espresso's cost a grand total of 5 Euros !!! Exceptional :) did I mention they were both doubles ??? This was a local shop with no tourists , why you travel always go where the locals go !!! 

On the walk home we passed this place seen in the picture above ! Club Municipal de Hielo , the local ice rink :) I was happier then a pig in shit when I saw this :) :) that's a double smile !!!! Well I guess I am gonna have to go see it on Monday with local hockey player Rickard Astrom . I'm excited to find out more about the local hockey scene . Enough of my jibber jabber , I gotta get ready for another beautiful day in Spain . 

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

Blue Jays Cap

Yesterday we arrived in Malaga and were greeted by Richard Pilkington at the airport and were whisked off to the train where we then headed to Benalmadena which is about 15 minutes from the airport . Benalmadena is definitely more then I expected ... I mean it's not a small little rinky dink town , it's actually a city . When we got off the train we walked down towards the sea which is where Richard lives ... No joke I can see it from my window ;) what a beautiful place this is !!! 

When we arrived at Richards we were greeted by his girlfriend Noemi .She had some tapas and beers waiting for us , gracias ! After gobbling up the yummy snacks we headed out for a walk down to the beach and ended up at the Palm 5 Beach Bar where we continued drinking ... I had a few San Miguels while Kathleen enjoyed her half bucket of sangria ;) and the day was great ! 

Alright so you must be wondering about this Blue Jays cap and what's the story ... Ok here it is ! When I was over in England last month Richard was over also and he wore a really nice Jays cap all the time . On his last day in London he got a bit lost in the Underground and was shown his way home by a 7 year old autistic child ! Pretty cool stuff having a 7 year old show you the way home ;) anyways Richard was taken back by this and decided to give the young lad his Blue Jays cap .... I know how awesome is that ? So I told Kathleen this story and we decided it would be nice to get him a new one . Only problem was that we had to figure out his hat size ??? 

One day last week I get a message from Richard asking if we can get him a new Blue Jays cap ? He even gave me his hat size LOL ... Ok that makes things easier ;) so we grabbed the cap and gave it to him yesterday .... This is not the end of the story ... After drinking all day we decided to go for a dip in the pool which is like 5 steps away from Richards place .. It's truly amazing :) so when we are getting in the pool we bump into this young guy and have a chat with him ... He has a disability but he does his best to communicate with us and at the end of the encounter Richard gives him his Maple Leafs cap ! Yeah what a great guy , the kid really loved it . After our swim we went back to Richards deck and the kid came running over to give us high 5's and then he left ... We sat there smiling , it was pretty awesome to have this happen ! 

It's not just the scenery that is beautiful here . Today is Kathleen's birthday ;) hoping it is just as amazing as yesterday !!!!

Tuesday, June 9, 2015

Back in Europe

I know I live such a tough life :( travelling around doing this and that while all of you scratch your heads wondering if I have a job or if I am rich or how does he get so much time off work ? Well keep wondering LOL ! Regardless I ponied up the loot to get my ass back out for another non hockey related adventure this time with Kathleen . 

This one is for her bit of course for me too but really this beach adventure is not my cup of tea but I'm willing to bite the bullet to head over to Spain to hang out with my mate Richard . Oh yeah this is for Kathleen so I won't be too selfish LOL ... Apparently some people out there actually think I'm selfish ? Ok maybe a little but I swear this trip is just to make my lady happy after her ordeal :( 

Her arm is still in rough shape but she is gonna motor through the next week drinking sangria's and eating seafood while chilling on a beach or in a pool ... Yeah it's a good thing for her ! And of course there is always the possibility of hockey but once again I am travelling without my gear ...

Now don't get me wrong just because I have no gear doesn't mean there is nothing hockey related on the schedule .... The town we are staying in is called Benalmadena in the south of Spain near Malaga and there is a small rink , unfortunately it's closed at this time of year BUT I am planning to meet up with one of the guys that plays there to talk about their league . There is more too :) When I get to Gibraltar I am gonna go for a pleasure skate on their super small rink and hopefully find someone to talk to about the options to play there in the future . 

Anyways I think it's time to start boarding my last flight from Zurich so I should get going .... Hoping to find the time to write between pints over the next week . Cheers ! 

Sunday, June 7, 2015

This Would Not Have Happened Without ...

What an epic trip that was ... Obviously its about the people i spent such amazing moments with and of course the pinnacle of this last trip was going to the FA Cup Final @ Wembley . This would not have happened if Simon Leach didn't put me in touch with Matthew Haywood ! Simon is the clubman of the year amongst us Aston Villa Supporters and there is a reason why ... well because he is just amazing , honestly i don't know how to explain the stuff this guy does for his fellow Villans . He 110% deserves to be clubman of the year and he definitely gets the BIG thank you from me .... Of course he was the guy to organize tickets for everyone to sit together at the Burnley match and he organized a spectacular 3.5 hour tour of Villa Park and just for doing all the he deserves my vote but that FA Final ticket was just unbelievable .... i'm sure a lot of people would have died for that ticket but thanks to Matthew Haywood they didn't get it :) Matthew and i were put in touch with each other through Simon and Matthew had a spare ticket which he thought a foreigner deserved more then a local ... for that i am forever in debt .... mostly because i couldn't get together with Matthew for long enough to buy him a pint LOL ... i promise next time we meet i am forcing a few on you !

After that first weekend of debauchery with my fellow Villa Supporters from across North America i got really lucky finding out that my hockey buddy Darrin Pfeiffer was performing in Wolverhampton with his band Goldfinger :) here check them out ... . They were on tour travelling with the  Slam Dunk Festival so it was a sure bet that i was gonna go ... never would have expected to be slam dancing to their set but i did and it was awesome ... even Karl McNelly had a great time while mashing his foot up :( but from what he tells me it was well worth it ! I'm telling ya , the guy knew it was fucked up and he kept on keeping on like a trooper ... when i saw this pic i knew that must have hurt and honestly it was super rocking the way he carried on ! You rock Karl :) Made a bunch of new friends at the show but the time we spent just drinking at the pub next to the venue was almost as good as seeing Pfeiffer perform again ... we finished off that keg of Brooklyn Lager like champs HAHAHA ! Thanks for the passes Pfeiffer !! You guys fucking rock :) 

One of the main reasons i did this trip was because i had to cancel my hockey trip to take care of Kathleen and really i just wanted to spend time with friends and family and heading up to Sheffield to chill out with Daz and Mark was top marks ... we really just hung out and drank alot :) Spent time with good friends and went on walks around the outskirts of Sheffield ... yeah it was really relaxing and at the same time good fun . Of course there was the threat of me playing outside of goal on the ice there which never happened and Daz took me to some amazing hockey related places and we got to hang out with Leon from Fargo Railroad Co. ... really awesome band ! check them out too ... . Really looking forward to seeing my Sheffield friends again soon ! 

Of course as usual it is a must that i thank Paul Harris , Ben Mitchell and the rest of the Kidderminster Lions who in my mind should be constantly club of the year when it comes to Villa Supporter clubs . These guys regularly take us North Americans in to their houses and drag us along with them across the UK to watch Aston Villa games and without them i am sure that we all wouldn't be having as much fun as we do when going over to England . If you disagree with me i will argue until my lungs explode because i would be hard pressed to find a better group of  guys to know when heading over to watch the Villa ! They will sort your tickets , sort your coach and if you are nice enough Ben will even let you stay at Casa Mitchell :) thanks mate ! These guys are kings amongst kings :) 

Of course this trip was for me , i needed a break from reality ... being with the people i mentioned really brought my mind to a relaxed state and one of the big things i had to do was to uphold my promise to bring my Aunty Carmen a bottle of Ice Wine from Canada ... i kinda wish i took 2 bottles for her because she damn near dusted off that bottle while i was there :) It was good to see her and my cousins ... i had a few laughs with her drinking up while i had a horrible hangover . I am really happy i did that , another promise upheld ... even though it took 10 years . 

It was amazing seeing friends , having fun ! 

i can't wait to head on my next adventure tomorrow ... yeah i know its rough being me isn't it ? This next trip is more for Kathleen . She lost her trip due to her horrible accident and we decided for her birthday we should go somewhere and our good friend Richard Pilkington recently moved to Benalmadena , Spain so why not head over to have some fun in the sun ? yeah ok its not entirely for Kathleen LOL !