Monday, July 27, 2015

Visiting Friends

So the day started with us rolling out of bed to get coffee , Tim Hortons again of course . After hockey last night I had a couple pints of good strong beer , no I didn't get wasted but I did get a proper buzz ... No cobwebs as I said I have some people to meet up with while I'm in Montreal . Gotta see my paesano Vince Fazio who I met way back when in Itsly . He doesn't live too far from Adil's and Khalid is not that far either as they are all in the east end of the city . 

First stop was Vince though , we were gonna take the Metro transit and then I saw that Uber wouldn't be too much so I decided to message Vince and then I Facebook messaged him then I finally decided to call him and his phone was off ? Or dead ? Who knows I never aske him but I do know once I got a hold of him my uber options were going through surge pricing :( yeah I know I wasn't about to spend $40 to get there when I could pay $6 for metro with Kathleen ... Argh ! So I waited .... Price went down and I booked it ended up paying $20 ... Oh well . I hate transit ! I'm actually writing I this now while I'm on transit going to work .... The person beside me is probably watching me type this now .... MOVE OVER chump lol ! Sorry for the sise track :p 

When we met Vince we went to Burger de Ville ? Yeah I had to have poutine and apparently this was the place to go and yes it is ! YUMMY !!! Vince didn't really seem his energetic self as I think he was a bit tired so we didn't hang out too long ... Had a pint at 3 Brasseurs then we were dropped off at Adil's where Khalid came to pick us up . Khalid Mrini is the president of the Moroccan Ice Hockey Association and is a good friend of mine .  He took us to a Moroccan coffee shop and I smoked some sheesha and enjoyed a lovely Moroccan coffee . We spoke about plans for me to revisit Morocco in the coming year and I was invited to join the Moroccan delegation to Russia for the 2016 world championships  ... Yeah I know , wicked ! After all the formalities he drove us up to Mont Royal and we enjoyed a chat up there before heading back to Adil's . Thank you for everything Khalid ! 

Adil hosted a BBQ for his close friends which we were invited to . Beer can chicken was on the menu with obviously St.Ambroise IPA :) thanks buddy ... Yeah I love that stuff and we had a bunch of other beers and even some Becherovka which he brought back from Prague ... I'm still upset I missed that trip , oh well . 

We had some great conversations with Adil's friends and I wish I got some pics or at least took notes but I was living in the moment and honestly the moment was perfect . We were the last ones to leave via Uber again this time with a driver also named Adil lol . When we got to the room we crashed ... Next day we fly home and I have a big playoff game for my Ghetto Blasters team so I need some rest ... 

Peace Out ! 

Saturday, July 25, 2015

Les 4 Glaces

Yesterday was great ! We woke up and headed to Tim Hortons for coffee and then decided to do some walking about on St. Laurent which is mostly a pedestrian only street during the JFL festival which stands for Just for Laughs ... Huge comedy festival . Montreal is great when it comes to the arts , I would also say it is better then Toronto with all the beautiful graffiti everywhere ... It's nice to see a city embrace street art and walking along St. Laurent was no disappointment !!!!

We were both hungry and the plan was to go to Lafayettes for a poutine but I got side tracked when I saw St. Hubert's which for those of you that don't know is a rotisserie chicken joint primarily ... I haven't had this stuff in eons so obviously the time was now and we totally enjoyed the service and the food was great . Only thing is that it's quite chilly here , yeah I know it's July and I kinda wish I brought a hoodie ... C'est la vie :) 

After sucking back that delicious chicken we headed back to our comfy hotel room ... I will definitely stay at Hotel Zero One again ! While I was in my room I contemplated my hockey options as I have ice time booked at 9 pm with Adil at Les 4 Glaces and i have the option to go skate at Westmount through a Hockey Community event ... Only problem is that the guy posting the event is not really reliable ! He was supposed to show up for the ice time I organized here a few months ago and no showed ... I hate no shows , totally rude stuff that I NEVER forget about . So since I was already skeptical I decided to message the unreliable one and wouldn't you know it , he didn't respond LOL ! In fact almost 24 hours later and buddy still hasn't responded ... I would have cancelled evening skate in favour of partying a bit ... Can't get day drunk and go play hockey right ? 

Once I realized that I had to get on the ice at night i decided to go for another walk and was supposed to meet Khalid Mrini (president of Moroccan ice hockey association) we had a bit of time to kill so we went over to St.Laurent again and walked in the opposite direction . Kathleen had a sangria and I started to crave getting a buzz hahaha so I grabbed a Boreale IPA which was yummy and a fellow named Guillaume approached me asking about my Aston Villa top , he was a Tottenham fan that hates TFC with a passion as a true Montrealer which really was cool because we had some good banter and ended up chatting for a good half hour or so while I chugged a few beers .... Then I get a message from Adil saying Khalid can't meet me ??? Shitty but it's not gonna stop me from going out for food ... I have been craving oysters and Kathleen found a great oyster bar called Maestro S.V.P. which is where we planned to meet Khalid . We walked over and gobbled a good 2.5 dozen of the slimey sea food creatures :) I don't even wanna tell you all how much we spent but I do wanna say it was worth every penny :p 

We walked back to the hotel and I took my pre skate nap ... When I woke up I didn't want to get out of bed , but hockey rules all an there was no chance that I was going to leave Montreal without getting on the ice . Adil picked me up after 8 pm and we headed to Brossard . It was shinny and it was good ... I mean there were no dickheads , there was a level of respect amongst the skaters there and the level was great ... There was this one kid that was fantastic ! He must be a QMJHL player , I should have asked him in between evil eye glares I gave him for scoring on me HAHAHA ! Unfortunately I didn't and kept on keeping on during my hour and a half of pure hockey enjoyment :) man do I love hockey or what ! After the skate both myself and Adil were beat up ... These kids really did us both in :p 

The night was still young and Kathleen went to bed after she went to watch another comedy show and I was not about to call it a night . Adil and myself went over to Dieu du Ciel for some beers ... I love it there ! Great friggin beer !!! We met up with Moroccan team captain Saad and talked hockey the whole time effortlessly... Always a pleasure talking puck with friends even if they hate the Leafs :) first question I was asked was if I was happy that Kessel got traded ... Hell yeah LOL ! We stuck around until 2:30 am then called it a night ... What more can I say about yesterday ? 

It was a great day . I love being here in Montreal ... If you love hockey as much as I do you will clearly understand ... But I still hate the Habs ;) today I am gonna wear a Leafs shirt just to piss everyone off HEHEHE ! 

Friday, July 24, 2015

Montreal 2015 ... Again !

Alright a couple weeks ago Kathleen found out that Dave Chappelle was performing in Montreal . We always liked his comedy so we decided to get tickets ... They sold out and a few minutes later we found out that there was another show added so Kathleen went online and got the tickets the next day ;) obviously now I have to tell my buddies in MontrealL that I'm coming ... This is where hockey plans get made LOL ! 

We booked flights with my visa rewards ... Got a hotel room down the road from Places des Arts (where Chappelle is performing ) and continued making plans loosely . Time passed and next thing you know we are on our merry way . We wanted to use the Air Csnada lounge in.Toronto but realized it would be a waste  because of the stupid liquor laws in Ontario ... I mean why waste a pass to go to lounge when you can't drink alcohol until 11 am ? My flight was at 12 which means boarding at 11 so realistically we might have had time for 1 drink . Yea I know foods free too but I'm saving my appetite for some smoked meat ! 

The flight was great ! I watched half of the new Avengers movie and I'm hoping to watch other half on way home :p flight was a bit bumpy but nothing I couldn't handle . When we arrived in Montreal we were greeted by my friend Adil El Farj , my great friend from the Moroccan Hockey Association and the first place he took us was to Main ... It's a smoked meat joint across the street from Schwartz's , apparently Schwartz's is for tourists and this is where locals go ! Let me tell ya ... This meat was delicious !! What a way to kick off my trip . I was stuffed and after that Adil drove us to our hotel . 

Hotel Zero One is a boutique hotel ... Our room has wood floors and is very nice and comfy . I am glad we chose this place ... Proximity to most things are good except for seeing Vince (lol) and the beds comfy , found that out right away as I needed to sleep after eating that much smoked meat .... Yeah I went into a meat coma hahaha!!! When I woke up we got ready to meet Adil to go for a beer down the road and he was a bit late so it ended up being just 1 beer ... I had a Boreale . 

We headed to Places des Arts and I noticed this guy in our row looked familiar ... It was Shaun Majumder ! Of course I plotted how to get that picture with him through most of the show as stupid hecklers tried their best to have their voices heard ... They were annoying and pretty much ruined the show so I was happy to see one of the idiots get dragged from their seat ... He was kicking and screaming that he had diplomatic immunity or something . Anyways the opening act was a funny dude named Mo , he was Arabic so he covered all the terrorist jokes . The next act was dude that played Ashy Larry on The Chappelle Show ... He was funny ... Then came Dave Chappelle with trade mark cigarette in tow , he smoked like a chimney got the whole show . He was funny but the hecklers threw him off and yes there was ALOT of heckling and it was all ridiculous shit which Dave ducked and dodged but had to face the music at some times to put these hecklers to shame . Honestly if you go to a comedy show and heckle the act , why did you come ? Really ! Why don't you stay home and act like an idiot on your own ? 

The show wasn't totally ruined ... At the end while people were piling out all of a sudden Yasim Bey aka Mos Def jumps on stage and starts performing !!! Yo Word ! Great ending to a show of you ask me ;) 

I am up early typing this out on my iPhone , today should be a good day as I have ice time tonight ... If you are reading this and you are in Montreal then come out for shinny tonight at Les 4 Glaces (Brossard) unless of course you don't really like playing hockey as much as I do .... Yes I brought my gear for 1 skate ... You ask why ? Well I'm The Travelling Goalie ! That's why ....

Thursday, July 9, 2015

Five Hole For Food

As most of you all know i do have a soft spot for those that go the extra mile to volunteer their time for anything hockey related but lets just say some people will go the extra mile . I try to be like these people but its hard to fill some of their shoes . Yesterday Adam Sherlip was in Toronto and i really wanted to meet him as he is the national team coach for India and obviously visiting India is high on my list of things to do . Very high ! Adam is travelling across Canada to help raise money and food for the homeless through this hockey program where you just show up with your twig , make a donation , register and jump out on the surface to play some ball hockey . Amazing ! The charity is called Five Hole For Food which i kept calling 5 hole for hockey LOL , hockey is always on my mind eh :) please follow that link and if they are anywhere near you in the next week or 2 please pop over and make a donation and play some hockey !!!!!

Now knowing this guy who coaches India is travelling across the country for a charity as a volunteer is here in Toronto and as i said i try to be as amazing as people like this right , so i have to make sure to get down to Yonge-Dundas Square ... pretty easy right ? Here is the scenario ... the night before i had to work an overnight commercial shoot and then after i was supposed to return gear which i agreed to do . When i started to plan to go to this charity event i thought i would be there well before noon but some extra drop offs and an extra part of the schedule which was not emailed to us got added and next thing you know i am awake for well around 30 hours in which 20 of them were work related . At one point i was thinking of actually dressing up to play at the charity event and then heading home to hit the gym LMAO ... that was such a dream . While i was working i thought about bailing and just not going , i was so dead beat tired but i went that extra mile and made it ...Adam sorry if i looked like death hahaha! 

When i finally arrived it was around 3 pm or something like that , when i met Adam he introduced me to some of the others there like Brian Anderson :) and then we headed to a coffee shop to talk about things . Adam is also the founder of The Hockey Foundation and is very very keen on his charity and being involved with other like minded charities which is just unreal ... look , this guy is from NYC ... he started a charity foundation ended up in India coaching their national team and is now travelling across Canada helping another charity !!! Really how many of us (me included) have done anything remotely close to this ? My hats off to ya Adam ! What you and all of you guys were doing yesterday was amazing ... i am not joking when i say that all i saw was people smiling . Everyone i saw playing looked like they were giving it their all having the times of their lives , all the volunteers seemed to be having great days too with their big smiles and it was just an all around amazing energy to be around ... it kinda gave me the energy to somehow make it home on the subway HAHAHA ! 

So if you are reading this do us all a favour and check out the links i posted and do what you can to help ! I had $5 in my pocket so i donated it ... the girl that took my donation was also smiling :) Every bit counts .... Thanks guys for making my day .

Sunday, July 5, 2015

Back To Montreal :)

Yeah i know that i visit Montreal quite a bit for a guy that hates the Habs LOL . I can't help it though as Montreal is one of the best cities on the planet and has some of the coolest people i know living there . That was part of the reason why i decided to book tickets to go see a comedy show in Montreal ... I'm going to see Dave Chappelle with Kathleen :) yeah that Dave Chappelle HAHAHA! should be amazing , but as usual i am taking my hockey gear even if it's just to get on the ice once while I'm there with as many friends as possible ... so if you are reading this and you live in Montreal be prepared to get an invite to come out for some shinny :P 

Had to make this cheap to leave room for another trip coming up , that is yet to be determined . To make this one cheap i decided to use my Visa Avion points to book both our flights ... yes of course I'm flying with Air Canada because they will handle my bags for free , thank you very much Air Canada ! Well i mean it helps that i have Altitude status and get an extra bag now due to flying so much with Air Canada and Star Alliance flights ... the bonus is that i have these passes to the lounge at the airport that i can use ... looks like i will be half in the bag when i fly off LOL ! FREE BEER ! Hotels were not cheap but we did what we could to minimize our Uber receipts by staying as close to the venue as possible . We are staying right down the road from Places Des Artes at a hotel called Hotel Zero One , it looks like a boutique style hotel so it should be interesting . I booked it on Rocketmiles to maximize my point intake ... i am getting 3,000 Aeroplan points for my 3 night stay . 

As usual i am really really hoping to get my hands on a sandwich at Momesso's restaurant , my last 2 trips i have ear marked this place to visit due to its ties to the game of hockey ... its somewhat of a hockey shrine inside and i want to check it out this time for sure ! Just recently i joined a gym and started working out and i have a strong feeling that i am gonna have to work twice as hard to work off all the poutine and smoked meats that i am gonna gobble while i am in La Belle Provence hahaha! Visions of Lafayette poutine and i am hoping to eat at Main which is another elusive food joint i haven't hit up yet ... I'm drooling just thinking about it YUM :) 

Hopefully my ice time(s) will be sorted in the next week or so , this way i can invite everyone out to hang and see me ... if i can get 2 ice times on the same day it would be amazing but i do have to consider the boredom levels for Kathleen ... yeah i can't be too selfish , can i ?