Wednesday, December 28, 2016

Boxing Day Chaos

Did I mention how absolutely insane Times Square was on the night of Christmas Day ? I am still in shock of it . We really shouldn't have dived into that and to think that our taxi driver from the airport told us that it will be quiet in the city hahaha . That night we didn't do any drinking as that experience kinda shook us both . Nothing personally bad happened , it's just I'm not a big fan of most tourists ... You know ! The ones that stop in the middle of an intersection to take a picture or the ones huddled in the middle of a sidewalk instead of moving to the side ? I call them tourist pylons that one has to weave through to navigate a sidewalk ๐Ÿ˜œ well imagine that with thousands of people possibly tens of thousands ... It was so packed . Anyways that was Christmas and this is Boxing Day . 


We woke up with our bags already packed the night before and grabbed a Starbucks which was closer then we thought ! I gobbled the second half of Kathleen's leftover pastrami sandwich from Katz's (remember it was like $25cdn ) and we checked out and dropped out bags off at hotel storage , by the way I would definitely recommend the Holiday Inn on Washington in the financial district . We knew after last night that there is a possibility for chaos and we wanted to beat the rush if we could .... Too bad we missed the R train and the next one showed up 20 minutes later . First stop ... NHL Store powered by Reebok . 

I was hoping for some Boxing Day sales but that was a pipe dream . Regardless I found what I wanted and probably paid more then I would have back in Toronto but regardless as a hockey fan you must go to this store to at least see all the stuff that ou probably have browsed over on their website before :) then it was time to have a pint or 5 .....

Yup I got on the piss before I had to fly home .... Never the best idea , what do you think ? Anyways we went to the Aston Villa supporters pub in hopes of meeting other Villa fans but with the game not being televised would make those hopes probably not possible . When we arrived after walking 20 min we knew Villa were winning 1-0 with a Bacuna goal and we got a table with the Man U game and sat beside a group with every plastic jersey you could imagine at it . Funny . I asked where the villa supporters hung out and they said downstairs at the bar ... I went down and it was rammed with Chelsea supporters ... Not my cup of tea ... So back to the table beside the group of plastics and thankfully Brooklyn East IPA was on tap .... 5 pints later we had to leave . Nothing spectacular happened , Villa did win with a goal from McCormack and we did end up finding the villa shrine in the bar on our way out after the Chelsea supporters left ... Oh we also found the championship supporters down there huddled together . Newcastle and Norwich were 2 of the 3 lol .... It's tough for clubs to keep fans coming out so thumbs up to them for showing up at the boozer to support their clubs ! 

We were both pretty buzzed and we decided to walk the 1 hour walk back o our hotel with what I though was soho , not sure lol but it was really nice with a lot of cool bars that we would love to check out next time , yes there will be a next time as I really do love visiting this city . Now like I said we were on our way to get our bags , jump in a taxi and head to the airport . All went as planned and maybe too well planned because when we got to the airport it was dead ? No joke ! Just like on our way here at Pearson same thing we basically walked through with no lineups at all .... Amazing since its Laguardia which you would expect to be constantly busy ? Can't complain but I was not too impressed with the airport and its duty free which was pretty limited .... At least I found my Johnnie Walker Island Green to add to my collection . Too bad Kathleen ended up settling for a Smirnoff bottle or something boringly lame ... I know she likes it but we usually get stuff we can't buy at the LCBO . 

By the time I cleared customs I was sobering up and somewhat feeling hungover ... It's more fun when you keep drinking and then things got shitty as soon as we boarded our plane we were told that we would sit on the plane and wait an hour and a half to fly to Toronto because it was foggy in Toronto :( in that time I finished Suicide Squad which I liked and started to feel a bit crappier . Then we took off .... I watched some Vice program and a JFL comedy show which was ok but yeah , I didn't feel great . Our landing was rough as it was raining in Toronto and I felt a bit air sick .... Remind me not to drink the day I fly home again :( when we got out we grabbed our bag which was opened and rifled through by our American friends :) thanks ... Again ๐Ÿค— happens every time . Get home and find that magic note that says they went through it .... Just so you know I could tell someone went though it and if anyone I thought it was you . When I got home I gave Kathleen her other little gift , a bottle of Simple Syrup to make some cocktails with ... Can't wait to try some !

Monday, December 26, 2016

Christmas Day in NYC

Who doesn't like waking up on Christmas morning and opening gifts ? I am lucky to have an amazing person like Kathleen in my life because she brought gifts with her for me . I was lucky enough to open two gifts :) first I gave her the gift I bought here for her .... A selfie stick :) she mentioned she wanted one a few times in the last couple weeks ! Then I opened my gifts ... I got a new pair of fancy socks with planes on them and the new A Tribe Called Quest cd ! When we get home I will have to give her the other gift I bought her . 

We went for breakfast at George's again since it's so close and was pretty good then we started to plan our day . Originally I wanted to go skate at that rink in Central Park but then I realized how much it was !!! I think they wanted like $40 USD for the 2 of us ??? So instead I looked to see if there were any rinks closer to us and there was this little rink right on the Hudson River called Brookfield Place which wasn't as expensive ao we went over . It wasn't rammed or crazy busy and it was good enough o give Kathleen some more practise :) she really is getting better and I will have to continue helping her over the rest of the winter . We stayed at the rink for about 45 mins then headed back to the Holiday Inn to get washed up ... I was sweaty :) 

One of our new traditions lately is to go watch a movie on Christmas and the last 2 years now we have been lucky to go watch Star Wars movies ! Lat year I passed out watching The Force Awakens in Birmingham, England and yesterday I stayed awake to watch all of Rogue One . I am not gonna ruin the plot , don't worry :) but let me say that I loved it . It's hard for me to not like anything that has to do with Star Wars but I did not love watching it in 3D . The glasses hurt my face and my eyes and that will probably be the last time I ever go to watch a 3D movie . Waste of time and cash . 

We then went for our Christmas Dinner at Katz's Deli . It is an iconic place to eat in NYC and if you like a good deli then this is the place to be . We had to wait half an hour before being seated but we were expecting that . When we were seated we found out that this place ain't cheap but nothing is in NYC . We wanted pastrami sandwiches and yeah .... They were $20 USD each and that comes with nothing , just the bread with meat on it ! That makes this the most expensive sandwich that I personally have ever had , no joke !!! Have you ever had a sandwich that cost this much ? It seems to be the norm here that a decent meal will cost the 2 of us more then $60 and we have burned through our funds like a hot knife through butter but we knew what we were getting into . Now don't get me wrong , the sandwich made me drool it was so good and I would do it again but I have to let you and everyone else know that it is not cheap . As I've said the last few days , nothing is cheap here but this is what you get when you come to NYC . So if you ever decide to visit which I will do again and again make sure to bring a pocket full of cash :) 

I hope you all had a great day like I did and most of all I hope you all had the Merriest of Christmas' . Ho Ho Ho ;) 

Sunday, December 25, 2016

Christmas Eve in NYC

What's this ? I woke up yesterday and didn't have a hangover ? Strange isn't it . I didn't go on a rager the night before and I'm travelling ... Doesn't seem like me does it hahaha ! I'm on good behaviour this time since I'm travelling with Kathleen :) so first thing I did was to get a couple coffees from the Dunkin Doughnuts down the road . This stuff is awful .... Both of us agreed . After drinking our sludge we washed up and went to George's for breakfast . Standard breakfast was had (bacon & eggs) then we went to the closest tourist shop and bought some things . I bought Kathleen a selfie stick for a Christmas gift which I did in full stealth mode then we headed to Starbucks for another coffee before we really started our day . 

We went to catch a train at Rector St and headed up to Central Park to go skating . It was raining in the morning but the website said the rink was opened ..... When we got there it was closed ? Wtf ! I was not a happy camper . There are two rinks in Central Park , I played in a tournament on the other rink about 10 years ago . That rink is Lasker Rink and this one we were at yesterday was Wollman Rink , obviously I am going back today to say I skated on both ! 

We both have our skates in our bags and I am super determined to go for a skate so we started walking down towards Rockefeller Centre but it was rammed beyond belief ... Damn it ! I'm not giving up , I will skate on a puddle if I have to !!! There is another rink a bit further south in Bryant Park at the Christmas Market . When we arrived there was no lineup but a lot of people watching others skate . Now here is the low down for this rink which is a total scam .... It's free to skate here , you are allowed to bring your own skates and there are rentals if need be so if you don't have your own they make money . Now if you brought your own skates more then likely they are in a backpack of some sort which we both had . I asked the girl at the entrance if I could wear my backpack while skating like I do back home , she said yes . So after I got my skates on I went to jump on the ice and one of the rink guards stopped me saying that I can't bring my bag . I asked him , so where doin leave my bag ? He said in a locker :( so if you bring your own skates they still make money of you ! Does this seem free ? Nope ! So being the ghetto kinda guy I am :) I took Kathleen's bag and put it into mine and checked one bag ..... For $10 !!!! Ok don't get me wrong , I enjoyed getting on the ice but I don't enjoy being swindled with these fake free skate bs . We skated around for almost an hour and had another run in with the rink guard when we were taking photos .... The rink guard said we are not allowed to take photos and I asked him is there anything we are allowed to do here ? He didn't like that but I didn't care . Come
chase me down if you want you ankle burner hahaha ! We did manage to get a few pics though :) 

After getting my sweat on we went for a wander to find NHL store which was closed ... But on the way we stumbled upon the HBO store , Kathleen was in Game of Thrones heaven . She loved it , and that made me happy . After that we wandered over to Heartland Brewery for a pint and I had some wings which I might add were really really good . 

We were a hop and a skip away from Times Square so we went to experience the madness on the way to the next pub I had to hit .... The Flying Puck ! Yes it's a hockey bar dedicated mainly to the New York Rangers , I have been here before . It's a bit of a dive bar but that's what I like . It is Christmas Eve so unfortunately it was about to close but I snuck in a quick pint and we headed back to our hotel to relax for a minute .... 

After mulling around in our room for a bit we decided to go hit a bar . We were gonna head to the lower east side but decided to check the hotel boozer which is called St. George Tavern and we met a very friendly Mexican bartender and decided to spend the night at the bar :) I drank a few glasses of scotch with the local IPA and we both got a good buzz . On the way out I went to the convenience store to grab snacks for the room and that was it .... That was my Christmas Eve in NYC . 

Merry Christmas to one and all , I hope you all have a great day today . Ho Ho Ho !

Saturday, December 24, 2016

Back in The Big Apple

What a day I/we had yesterday . It's not just about me in case you didn't know ๐Ÿ˜€ we took a taxi to the airport yesterday as Uber is becoming more of a scam with their hiked up prices . An Uber to airport was same cost as taxi .... It is becoming more and more redundant to use their service .... I'm sure most can agree . When we got to the airport the machine checking me in couldn't process my check in so I was sent to the 1 hour lineup . Gotta love those automated machines that never work for me . I think it's because it reads my name as Adriana instead of Adrian A. as my middle name is on my passport . When we finally checked out bags we wen through American customs and believe it or not , it was dead ? Yeah no joke ... We walked straight through with no lineups ? It makes no sense at all but I'm not complaining ! 

The flight seemed to have left late but was on time when we landed . I watched the first half of Suicide Squad and will watch the other half on the way home so don't ruin it for me ok :) when we arrived at LaGuardia Airport we jumped into another taxi and made our way to the Holiday Inn in the financial district . Right near where the World Trade Center used to be :( we dropped our bags and walked over to check it out . I have done the 911 memorial and I don't think I can handle that again to be honest and the last time I was here with Kathleen it was just a giant hole .... She was pleasantly surprised to see what they have done here. I noticed that there is a church being built here at what was once called ground zero . It's good to see progress . New York is a resilient city and I love it for that . 

Time to eat . I spotted a place from our 38th floor window called Bills Bar & Burger which was intriguing since it had 2 things I wanted in its name . Yeah I could go for a pint and a burgers , so we ended up there and the food was awesome , the service was fantastic and the cost was high but this is New York and nothing is cheap here . $9 USD for a pint of Brooklyn IPA ... That is like $12 CDN ... I had 2 pints , gobbled my food and we were off to Brooklyn to watch the New York Islanders play the Buffalo Sabres . 

It was Ralph Macchio bobblehead night. We got 2 of them lol ! He is a super fan that can't skate or play hockey , he said so himself at the beginning of the game which we got to via transit , did I mention how amazing transit is here? $3 gets you anywhere !!! Don't get me started about how shit transit is in Toronto ! We got o the Barclays Center a bit early and I was really happy to find tins of this Brooklyn IPA at the rink and yes it wasn't cheaper .... $12 USD for a large tin . I had 3 or 4 as I do when I'm out and about , no I wasn't too drunk but I was feeling good . Kathleen had a couple vodka crans which kept her smiling and we watched a game full of goals with the kinda home team Islanders winning 5-1 . It was fun talking with some local fans about the good ol days when they were a dynasty and we talked about players that played for both the Isles and Leafs .... That Jason Blake guy ??? What a bad signing that was eh lol ! 

After the game we got back on the subway and got lost . Funny thing is everyone that got off that same stop were also lost . The subway system here is crazy but in a good way . Between the people lost at this random station we figured where to go and found our way back to the Holiday Inn YAY ! We were hungry but not starved so we walked over to a local pizzeria called Pomodoro which was pretty friggin good . We gobbled it and next thing you know I was sleeping .... I slept great ! At least one of us did ๐Ÿ˜œ

Thursday, December 22, 2016

Christmas Holiday 2016

Today is the day that I have to pack my bag (no hockey bag) for NYC . I'm heading over with Kathleen to spend a few days over Christmas . Most years we are overseas together over the holidays and this year won't be any exception . When I was planning my trip to Eastern Europe I was looking at using my RBC Rewards Points before I switched over to my new Aeroplan Visa . I had enough points for a flight from Birmingham-Sofia & Bucharest-Birmingham .... I was thinking ahead and checked to see what I could get for 2 tickets and saw I could get 2 flights to NYC with the same amount of points . So I booked the flights and broke the news to Kathleen :) she was happy ! 

Tomorrow my flight leaves and yeah I'm not playing any hockey BUT I'm going to watch the Islanders play the Sabres tomorrow night and I'm taking my skates to go for a skate probably at Rockefeller Center with Kathleen . We are also going to watch Rogue One just like last year when we watched The Force Awakens on Christmas Eve in Birmingham .... If you read that you would know that night was fun lol ! Highly doubt that will be the case this year but you never know with me :) hahaha !!!! 

I took today off work :) and I'm glad because I have to do more laundry , visit the bank , and get a haircut ... Yeah I have to look half decent to fly :) I also have to get some flags sewn onto my new travel bag if I find the time . Today will be busy , and I can't wait to get over to New York tomorrow . 

Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Home Time

Was I happy to go home ? Yeah I kinda missed my lady , but I kinda didn't want this trip to end . This was one of those trips that nobody in their right mind would want to end . Alas the ticket I booked had me leaving on this day and for some stupid reason I booked another stupid early flight .... This time I had to be up at 4 am to get to the airport for 5ish as my flight left at 7 ... When I woke up I wasn't in the soberest of moods :( 

When I got downstairs at the Jurys Inn the night manager who is a dbag was there ... I have had words with him before on other trip and I've actually complained about him , he must have some nuclear cockroach super powers because he is still there .... Whatever I'm checking out . He offers a taxi and I declined and ordered an uber . The driver that showed up was super friendly and we had a good chat as the reality of me leaving set in . I was sad and I am still sad that I left but my life is here in Toronto . It will always be my home .... But I love leaving it ! When we got to the airport I checked my bags in with Lufthansa ... Yes they suck ! They charged me another $100 for my luggage and at this point I don't even care , ok maybe I care a bit but hey it's money and Lufthansa is not about making you happy ... They are about keeping their pockets lined until they go on strike again like they currently are ...grrr ! 

Anywho I flew to Frankfurt and had enough time to buy some Prada cologne and a bottle of Johnnie Walker :) new bottle aged in rum casks only available at certain airports ! I barely had time but made my flight to Toronto on time . When we boarded it was chaos ... Don't they know about queues ? Why can't they rope off a line ? What a disaster free for all ! Took forever to get us on the flight ... I ended up with a window seat in the back with a bunch of spare room beside me :) a girl sat beside me and was instantly looking to move seats ... Is it me ? Do I smell ? Maybe it's my breath ? Who cares right ? That self conscious behaviour made me a bit sweaty . Maybe it is better if she moves then I have a row to myself :) how can I chase her away ? Do I fart or turn the air on or keep the window open ? Forget it ! I'm ok the way this is lol . She stuck around and no I didn't fart (that much) hahaha . 

I was hoping to see a good movie on board .... Best selection was Ghostbusters . Wow was that shit ! I wish I could've slept but that didn't happen . Instead I watched 3 horrible life stealing movies which I won't talk about because they seemed to drag the flight on . You can't imagine how happy I was to arrive in Toronto . Home sweet home . Now I have to clear customs and I'm home free ..... I know I lead you to believe I had some issues but no it was all good . No weirdos , no hassles and next thing you know I'm in a taxi home . And that was that ..... Another amazing trip in the books . I can't wait for my next trip ....

Tuesday, November 29, 2016

That last day :(

Last day of my trip . I know this happened a week ago now ... I'm so sorry I have been busy being normal again back home :) I'm happy to be home now but last week I wasn't feeling so good . 24 days of travelling by plane , by bus and by car rental . Covered a lot of space and had some good times ...maybe too many based on the way I was feeling . Made a lot of good friends and a lot of amazing memories .... Usually this is that day I reflect on all this and it's sad .... 

When I woke up I went downstairs to get some breakfast because the person that checked me in had said that there was breakfast included . As said in my last post ... I doubted it when she even said it as you never get anything inclusive when you book third party reservations . When I got to the breakfast area the person at the entrance took my number then called for his manager and honestly I knew what was coming and I wanted to run and hide as this makes me feel a bit desperate and embarassed and sure as heck the manager tells me sir your room is not inclusive of breakfast but you can pay £10 and charge it to your room .... Of course I'm not that stupid so I replied I will just go to the Witherspoons and pay £4 for the same food , then I scurried back to my room . I still like Jurys Inn but this is one of those embarassing experiences I don't like having to deal with in a hotel I am paying a premium to stay at !!!  

Never had breakfast :( instead I went to my room , packed my bags and went back to bed . When I arose from my sleep I noticed Aideen was out on New St so I got ready and weaved my way through the massive Christmas Market and met her inside the Villa Shop . No i didn't buy anything else as I already have something like 50 kilos to drag around ! We met to grab a bite so we went to the Wok & Go and had a box of noodles before finding where Peever was at . Newcastle plays Leeds so we wanted to find a pub .... Peever suggested The Outback on Broad St , I haven't been in there since my trip over in 2004 ... Back then they served all types of interesting meat like crocodile and kangaroo !!!! So when we were going I thought about trying something different .... Unfortunately they don't serve anything aside from pub grub now :( at least they have BrewDog on tap !!!!! Yes I had drinks that day .... 21 out of the 24 days travelling I consumed alcohol ... I am such a drunk lol ! Anyways Aideen had to split and catch her flight after a couple pints and one of Peeve's buddies showed up and we had a pint with him before heading to Mike's place . He is so close to Broad St ! It's just a hop and a skip away :) we "chilled" there for a bit ๐Ÿ˜œthen headed out for dinner . 

There is no better place to go to eat in Brum then Turtle Bay . I know it's not for everyone but man the food is so good there . I love me some Carribbean spices :) I'm still surprised Peeve had never been there . So when we went over I made some suggestions and we ended up slinging back some Beachcomber Zombie cocktails . The beer selection there is actually shite so if I was you I would stick to the cocktails ok ? Yeah that beachcomber zombie has 3 or 4 rums and absinthe in it so it has kick . I know as a manly man I shouldn't be drinking cocktails like Reece does but hey when the beer option is slacking then go with the flow . I had another jerked steak , couldn't bring myself to eat anything but ! Peeve had a full chicken , it was massive and he smiled the whole time he ate that bird . I'm sure he liked the food and atmosphere there . It was actually quiet and hung in with the theme of being sad a depressed about leaving . After we ate we went to BrewDog and had a pint there to was down the food ! And yes Peeve tried a beer at Turtle Bay .... Ask him how it went . Lol ! Stick to the cocktails ๐Ÿธ

It was nice hanging out with Peeve that night . At some point we gotta call it a night and walk back ... Surprisingly he didn't wanna go for some sheesha so we  left John Bright St and headed for Broad St. .... When we got to Fletcher's Walk we emptied out our pockets and gave some homeless kid our shrapnel . He must've got at least £5 in change just from me and when we arrived at Jury's Inn we gave each other a big hug and said our good byes ... I already miss you big guy ! This is the end of my trip . Have to wake up at 4 am to get to the airport .... I'm not booking early flights ever again  .... Think I've said this before hahaha ! 

Wednesday, November 23, 2016

English Weather

Yes of course I woke up hungover :) Peever just was getting up and I messaged to see if anyone was alive . Reece was up ! Peever is heading to meet this local gal he knows and Mike .... Well Mike is sleeping . So I met Reece in the lobby to go to this pub called Post & Telegraph to meet Craig Alsop . He says he is there and leaving Brighton at 11 am . When I get down to the lobby there are some fuzzy stories circulating about what happened the night before ? Everyone wondering where each other ended up and apparently we missed the party :( most everyone stayed out until 4 am on the lash . 

The weather at 10 am was gorgeous in a warm and sunny way . We walked fast to get to the pub to meet Craig and at least say bye and when we got there he was not there ? I messaged him and he said they left but were coming back so Reece and I grabbed a table upstairs an ordered breakfast ... Craig showed up soon after my food did and said hey and bye and said they were going to sit downstairs and that was the last and only moment I saw him :( I needed that breakfast so badly . Reece had ordered 2 coronas as you do when there is a 2 for 1 sale and I knocked one off em :0 ok I asked politely and he graciously gave it to me and yes we chugged them and left an on our way downstairs spotted the kiddy lions :) 

The Kiddy Lions are like my footie mentors when I'm over . They treat me really well , like one of their own :) this weekend I didn't spend as much time with them as usual with Peever running us round all these Brighton hotspots so today it was great to wander about with them . We all wanted to go watch some footie on the telly and we found a place called Horatios on the pier which would be sound . When we started walking over it started to get grey out ..... Unfortunately Horatio's was holding a private function so we ended up at the Queen Anne ( I think ?) and beer was not so tantalizing . I got on the cider with Reece and Mike soon arrived and so did Peever with his lady friend ( sorry I forgot her name ) the banter started kicking off again and poor Reece hahaha ! Those tight jeggings or meggings or whatever you call them ... Oh Brighton lol :) 

It started to piss rain so hard and beautiful Brighton became walk faster !!!! When it started coming down I noticed this sign and got Reece to take it with me . Our Elvis , Mark Byworth who goes by the nickname decided to replace the other Elvis and I have no clue what Steede was doing ? Pisshead lol :) I love posing for these funny photos . Just to let you all know .... It didn't work out , we split up before consummation and I am currently asking for half of his worth . That might be a fag and an empty tin of Kopperberg . 

After pictures the race was on as it was raining cats and dogs . Only thing to do is to pop into a couple boozers to stay drier on our way back to hotel . We stopped in a hotel grabbed beers and sat down in the dining area hahaha ! That didn't last long though as the overly fake smiling manager came and removed us and put us in another area , that was too ba because I was already eyeing that steak at table 4 ! 

Got to our hotel ! Everyone was drenched and I found out my hotel bar has BrewDog so I grabbed a few for the bus and when everyone was done changing into drier clothes we headed off with our first stop in Swindon . Well after some interesting occurrences like that naked kid , or that guy that smashed all his pints of beer he snuck onto the bus in his paper bag for some reason and didn't want to clean it because he was too drunk OR that kid that smashed up the bathroom ..... No this wasn't us or the kiddy lot either . Not gonna say who but they collectively didn't really do much to impress me if you know what I'm sayin ..... Anyways I contacted my mate Nick Onslow and told him to meet me at the Dolphin Hotel which he thought was totally random but really you should always be expecting the unexpected from me :) when I landed in Swindon I was pissed and needed a kebab . It was shitty but I gobbled it then met Nick !!! It was so good to see my good friend Onsy .... Love this guy so much !!!! We haven't seen each other in a couple years so we had some catching up to do .... So we grabbed a pint and pulled up a couple chairs and made the most of our 20 minutes before my bus left . I really hope we get more time next time mate , it was great catching up with you and I would love to do a tourney with you soon !!!!!

When I got back on the bus I was a bit sad , tired and totally drunk so it was now time for a nap . I know everyone is gonna have their way with me .... I'm still waiting for some picture of me being tea bagged to surface .... When I woke up we were arriving at Land Oak out in Kiddy where Mikes car is parked . He stopped drinking a long time ago to drive legally . We dropped off Reece first :( see ya soon mate ! Then I was dropped off somewhere on Broad St which was hopping .... Forgot it was Saturday night to be honest . I stumbled to Jury's Inn checked in and grabbed my goalie bag and was told I have breakfast included with my room .... Hmmm ... 

Before I end this off I would really love to thank Mr. Paul Harris aka Harry for organizing this and all my Aston Villa related adventurers , you are clearly in a class of your own !!!! Also have to thank the Kiddy Lions for being the best Lions Club in the world .... I really mean that ! And it was nice meeting you too Reece ✊๐Ÿป๐Ÿ’ฆ๐Ÿ’ฆ๐Ÿ’ฆ

Monday, November 21, 2016

Brilliant Villa Away Days

Before I start let me first say that this was the best away day I've ever had .... My morning started with Mike Steede and Perver coming to pick me up at Jurys Inn at 7:30 am . And yes I was already drunk from the night before . Left my hockey gear at the hotel for the night as there was no way that massive bag was coming on this trip :) the guys were a bit late and then we headed to get Reece ... This guy is so frigging funny that it hurts just thinking about him ... A very unique individual he is and we all love him for tha . Not taking anything away from the 2 other wanka's lol ! We have to make our way out to Land Oak in Kidderminster and Mike is driving but we need to A) get beers for the road and B) eat something .... First shop we saw open had their beer fridge raided by the bunch of us ... Food ended up being off a chippy truck at the side of the road .... Somehow they fit 2 eggs , 2 sausage and bacon on a sandwich that I consumed in a very fast manner . It wasn't great but we need to eat before we start drinking ....  And that started when we got on the bus ... Ok it's a coach Mike ๐Ÿค—

As soon as we met up with the Kiddy Lads the race was on ... To get totally pissed . Ok maybe it wasn't a race up front but we are the back of the bunch lot and we got pissed by the time we reached the first stop to pick up a fellow supporters group . Not gonna mention em as we didn't really socialize with them too much ... Doesn't matter we have each other and lots of beer and cider . I got on the cider cause it was cold and k have to admit that Kopperberg stuff is fruity but ain't so bad . 

The banter was fantastic on the bus . I mean I must have smiled or laughed the whole ride . Some of us got knackered and took naps and yeah a few nice photos were taken ... I expect the same if I pass out on the coach (bus) see how this works Mike ? Now people think I passed out on my coach ! The guy on my team on the bench screaming at me not the thing with wheels that took us to Brighton ... Argh ! And I fully agree with Reece that a kit Kat is a biscuit not a chocolate hahaha ... Is it a biscuit or a chocolate ? Leave responses please . 

We had to make a stop for the (bus) coach driver to take a mandatory 45 minute break ? Yeah they get breaks after 5 hours here ... Not like back home , workers have rights here :) of course we stopped into a posh little pub that were absolutely horrified when us footie hooligans popped in . I think I had 3 pints and 1 or 2 shots there during that 45 minutes :) had to keep hydrated ya know ? Back on the coach , back of the bus and back on the piss ! I honestly have no clue how much was consumed on the bus (coach) but it was a lot and by the time we arrived at our sea front hotel I was tanked . 

I shared a room with Peever . He was sober enough to check us in and got our keys and I'm sure we were both praying for two beds ..... And then you open the door and , and , ???? Thank you God ! There are 2 beds !!!!! Mike and Reece got the cuddle room with 1 bed hahaha ! I think I mentioned I was drunk right ? Didn't even remember what room I was in when I came back to it .... Yikes , surprised I remember any of this to be honest :) 

We then went to grab some grub at a fish n chip shop .... I don't like fish so I got chicken wings . Then I got shit on .... Yes I got shit on by a bastard seagull . Almost shit on my food too ... Apparently I'm lucky one didn't swoop in on me for my food lol ! Stupid tourist hahaha ! We then made our way to a Brighton supporters pub were I felt like we shouldn't have been but apparently is a pub that welcomes away fans too ? Didn't feel like it when I went to the bathroom that was plastered with Brighton stickers and all the friendly smiles I wasn't receiving as I wore my colours with pride ... Yea pride , Brighton hahaha ! 

We took the train over from that pub to the ground . Free train with ticket :) not bad aside from the fact the train is on a partial strike .... So less trains . I know it's a bit messed up but the idea is great . When we got to the stadium I was amazed at how nice it was ! Gotta admit it when it's true and what a contrast from the shithole St. Andrews . Total opposites . I was hungry so I grabbed a pizza and shares it with everyone and then things went absolutely mental in the concourse !!!!! I'm still buzzing thinking about how all us Villans just went crazy singing and jumping and flares and wow .... Look it up online and you will see videos . Most ridiculously amazing feeling I have ever experienced by a mile . Everyone went mental . Beer flying everywhere . Peever lost his wallet and Mike found it along with someone's keys :) just imagine a couple hundred drunk Brummies going totally off !!!! Wow . Everyone needs to experience this . 

We had a moment of silence to kick off the match which some of our supporters interrupted as they were coming in the stadium late and didn't know what was going on .... Next thing you know we scored !!!  Peever jumped on me and I swear he bent me backwards and somehow I held us both up ... Don't ask it's one of those things that shouldn't be physically possible ... Maybe it was the alcohol ? Unfortunately Brighton tied it up at the 45th minute and went into half time  with the boost . I sat in my seat for the half time as I needed a bit of sobering up . The next half I am sure that all those cocky Brighton supporters were humbled as we totally owned them ! They had some serious luck on their side . Maybe they were shit on by more birds then I was that day ? We hit a cross bar and their keeper made two amazing saves to keep them drawn .... I think we all knew who the better team and better supporters were that night . After the match we cued for the train and waited 45 minutes to get back into town . By that time I was just plain tired and when Reece said he was going to the hotel I decided the same . Brighton was hopping too . It's a party town ! Too bad I partied too much earlier . And that was that , couldn't have asked for a better away day even though it was a 1-1 draw . Felt more like a win :) UTV ! 

Sunday, November 20, 2016

Back to Brum

So this happened a few days ago and I have been too plastered to write about it . With less then 24 hours left in my trip now I will try to catch up as today as usual will be hopefully very chill .... You never know though judging from my last night I wrote about :) that next morning I had to get up at 4 am to get to the airport for 5 am .... This was all after drinking all night in Bucharest with The Michelin Boys !!! I was feeling like shit and Nebojsa woke up and called me a taxi . When the taxi arrived I said bye and tried to stuff my massively overweight bag . I've accepted too many hockey gifts and my bag is bursting from the seams . My bag had to go in the back seat while I sat up front with the disgruntled taxi driver who sped along and got me to the airport with plenty of time to spare . 

There used to be a time that I enjoyed flying Lufthansa but those days are long gone since they became a money grubbing company that are only a step above Ryan Air when it comes to their thievery . Show up early to deal with bags and try holding a smile in my drunken state :) my bag is so heavy I get told it has to go as cargo ? This is a new one .... Good thing I have a bag inside my bag . Good thing for Lufthansa ? Yeah the money grubbing dirt balls sucked €80 out of my wallet like a vacuum . You can't even disagree , just pay the fees and move on . The days of getting by without paying for luggage are long behind us . Don't even want to think what I'm paying tomorrow :( 

The first flight was OK aside from the little woman sitting in the middle seat that had to talk the entire flight !!! Shut the f*#k up please ! Not only that ... She was small so she turned around and was constantly hitting me in the ribs with her elbows so she could be comfortable .... These Romanian women are really a piece of work . When we arrived in Frankfurt I blew by her and that was that .... Then I chilled out there for a few hours and waited anxiously for my flight to Burmingham . Another Lufthansa flight but this time I ended up with someone with a bit of class beside me and I slept like a baby . 

Once I arrived in Brum I jumped in a taxi and dropped my bags off at Jury's Inn and headed off to meet some friends quickly before heading back to the hotel to meet Daniel Peever ... Who was late and i ended up meeting Aideen Quinn and had my first pint in the hotel before meeting Mike Steede and heading to his for a nice curry ... It really was good and I gobbled it all :) love a good curry ! Mike stayed in and Peever , Aideen and myself heade to O'Neills pub on Broad street to have a few pints . It's one of the only places without a stupid dress code . Who cares what kind of shoes I'm wearing ? Really ?

Aideen left early and we carried on with our pints and scratchings . Yes I'm over the horror of the hairy scratching :) we tied one on and headed to the only place you go to when you are drunk on broad st. .... The kebab shop :) I think it is called yum yum and really it should be called no no but it's food , I think lol ! We called it a night and went back to our rooms . Tomorrow is the big road trip to Brighton and we have to be up early . Not sure what time it was but it wasn't that early . Nothing new ....

Thursday, November 17, 2016

Last Day in Bucharest

Yesterday when I woke up I had no plans at all to do anything aside from going for drinks with Nebojsa in the evening . I got him to put on that Red Army documentary again and I watched it from the beginning and man that flick was solid . Totally loved it and would recommend any hockey enthusiast to watch it .... If you don't , you're missing out ! After the movie I packed my bags and headed out for a coffee :) but not any coffee , I wanted some of the good shit :) so I went to 2 Minutes and hung out there for quite some time chatting about hockey , football and of course coffee ! This is the coffee I gotta bring home to my lady , she will love it and I totally have faith in Ionutz who is a barista through and through that learned his trade in Toronto . He hooked me up with a nice bag of coffee to take home and a few cups to take pics with . I really hope they survive the trip :) Alex saw me check in from there and came over to meet me and we had another coffee and had some great conversations with the locals . Just like a real coffee shop should be , with people socializing and enjoying the coffee ....mmmm ! Highly suggest checking this place out of you ever go to Bucharest . 

Alex and myself left to go eat some pasta which a few of the guys highly suggested at the coffee shop but first I noticed a liquor store across the street and I figured I would take a stab at finding that Gin Mare that Kathleen loves and wants so badly . Just my luck , they have it :) I bought it without any hesitance and then we jumped into Alex's awkwardly parked car .... People park everywhere here ! I mean everywhere with absolutely no regard or fear of being ticketed . I mean who needs sidewalks anyways hahaha .... Over here cars park on them and people walk on streets ? Sounds right ? Hahaha ! We then headed to Osteria Ciao Niki and the pasta there was hand made in front of us and was really really good . Good enough to give me the pasta itis .... I should go home and nap before drinking . I keep calling Nebojsa's place home because he made me feel at home there :) when I got there it was around 4:30 said my good bye to Alex who I'm gonna miss . Such a great guy and good contact to have in Bucharest . Buddy I hope to see you someday somewhere and you know you have a place to stay if you ever visit Taranna aka Toronto ;p 

That little nap was not long enough but much needed . I thought Nebojsa would be back at 7 pm and I would have a couple hours sleep .... Then my phone rang around 6 , it was Nebojsa asking if he should come back or if I should just meet him at Apartment 13 which is the bar where it all started a week ago . I offered to meet him there . Got my head straight and walked over ... It's about a 20 minute walk at my pace :) he was already there with the guys from work and his brother showed up soon after and we did some drinking . I have to be up at 4 am to shower and catch a taxi but that's nothing new for me .... You all know how I roll :) 

I had 3 or 4 bottles of Ciuc at Apartment 13 and we decided to go to another bar . It's in the big park that I can't recall the name of but its huge and the place is like a Bavarian beer house it's called Beraria H and it's massive . First we got lost in the park after taking the metro over and Nebojsa's brother did the responsible thing and called it a night while the rest of us trudged on through bushes and paths to finally get a beer , or 4 :) the guys ordered a metre of beer which is 11 pints on a meter long board seen above . They got the Weiss beer and I don't like that stuff so I ordered an IPA which was quite good . I think I had 3 or 4 there also so I was pretty buzzed . For some reason one of the guys had a craving to eat and we went to a KFC that was closed then instead of staying in the taxi we got out ? Walked around to find a 24 hour shop and they grabbed burgers and at this point I was tired ! It was already about 1 am and I saw a taxi and called it a night . Sorry guys I needed the minimum sleep to deal with my bags at the airport :( I felt bad because they wanted to go back to there place and I just felt like the night was beginning to drag on . Not that I didn't want to stay out it is just that I have  to feel a little bit decent for my flight which I'm on today at the moment (feeling like shit) . When I got to Nebojsa's I didn't waste any time and hit the sack . Thank you Michelin boys for a great night ! You're a really good group of friends that I had a lot of fun hanging out with . We definitely had some interesting stuff to joke around about eh :)