Tuesday, October 17, 2017

Gathering Essentials

I'm back in Toronto sitting here on a shoot for a tv commercial hoping we don't go late so I can make my Ghetto Blaster game tonight . Isn't it fitting that today the food stylists on my truck are cooking French fries which would be so yummy with the cheese curds I brought back from Montreal ? Before I left Montreal I needed to go get some bagels and cheese curds ... it would be a waste to come home without these two essential things . Yeah I can get those here in Toronto but trust me ... it's not the same ! 

When we woke up yesterday we started packing up then dropped our bags in the car before running out to grab some candy from the shop down the road called Chocolats Favoris ... we were in here the other day but ended up giving most of the lollipops we bought to Adil to give to the kids from us :) so we had to replenish and then grab a coffee for the road . We checked out of Hotel Chrome and drove to St.Viateur Bakery to grab bagels . There is a bunch of different locations , we just went to the closest one ... the guy behind the counter was awesome and we grabbed a couple dozen which can always be frozen and reheated but are extra special when fresh . After that we had to grab some cheese curds to make some home made poutine . We googled fromagerie and went to the closest location which ended up being Fromagerie Maitre Corbeau , Kathleen ran in and grabbed a few bags of extra squeaky cheese YUM ! 

You're probably wondering why I didn't grab this stuff earlier and that's because it's much better refrigerated and would have probably gone to the trash bin if I bought it earlier or I would have ate it by the time I left anyways lol ! Was hoping to meet up with some hockey contacts before I left but it was time to get going . I didn't really consider where I was going to grab stuff based on where we had to get on highway but luckily when we left the fromagerie we were in the right place to get on our way . 

The ride home was uneventful ... set the cruise control to 120 km/hr and put some tunes on . Stopped for gas outside of Quebec as it is much cheaper and only had to stop a couple more times ... once for a pee break and once for another fill up before hitting Toronto . It took about 6 hours to get back which isn't bad and when we arrived we got into the city just before rush hour . If we were a half hour later we probably would have been caught in traffic making the trip longer . We had some luck I guess :) seemed to be fitting that an amazing weekend like this would end so well ! 

Hoping to do another road trip before I head to India in January . If anyone has any ideas let me know ? For now I gotta thank Kathleen for being such an awesome girlfriend ... she didn't even complain about sitting in an arena for almost 2 hours :) also wanna thank Adil for hooking up the ice time and bringing back a jersey from the Development Cup ... unfortunately I never got to see the trophy :( maybe next time ? It was also great seeing Kathleen's buddy Jen Arseneault on Friday ... and if you're wondering Jen , I did buy some Dieu du Ciel beers to bring home :) Moralite is a fantastic IPA !!! I can't wait to go home now hahaha ! Montreal you've spoiled me . Until next time . 

Monday, October 16, 2017

Hockey Night in Laval

It was raining yesterday when I woke up , both myself and Kathleen need that morning coffee to get the brain working again so we embraced the rain and went to another Tim Hortons in the opposite direction along St.Catharine street and there were some interesting people out ... one of the gay dance clubs was closing I guess ? It was around 9 am and the sidewalk was littered with dudes wearing sunglasses in the rain lol ! A bit further down the road we bumped into two people randomly calling each other crazy ... I thought they would have made a good couple :) I got my Timmies and this place had herb and garlic cream cheese , even though they messed up my order it was all straightened out before I left and the day was off to an interesting start . 

After we had our coffees we chilled out in the room and made a plan of attack . We were invited to a Moroccan community event but opted to take it easy . That bagel wasn't enough and we were getting hungry and when you are in Quebec if you want good rotisserie chicken you gotta go to St.Huberts ! Went to the same location last time I was here and it has yet to disappoint me .... quarter chicken comes with fries and coleslaw and bread , very filling . Of course after we needed to walk it off .... the picture above is of me in front of a Montreal landmark ... maybe next time I will get a pic with my gear on there lol . ? Maybe I should ? 

Went to put some stuff in the car after and was very happy to see that my Leafs flag was still waving proudly off it :) yes I left this on my car all weekend and then drove around yesterday taunting every Habs fan I drive by ... I'm sure a few of those high beams were from friendly Habs fans lol ! Before going to play hockey I took a nap as I do most game days . My one and only ice time on this trip is in Laval at a beautiful old barn where Mario Lemieux played his junior hockey .... for me , this is special ! 

The drive to Laval was kinda crappy with rain and badly lit roads . Eventually we got there . I played with these guys a few years back when we came here to film my show (which never aired ) . Back then they wore Predators jerseys and old Coyotes jerseys . Now they wear Team Canada and Rangers jerseys ... same group still , older dudes that are at least 35 years old . My good buddy Adil El Farj plays with them and let me have his spot . Thanks buddy ! When we got in the room he introduced me then went home to get a towel for me (nobody I know would do this ) when he left things were quiet and the guys spoke French . I can read French but hearing it flying around the room so fast is hard to keep up with . One of the last guys in the room walks in and looks around the room for a spot to sit and I shoved over gave him a smile and said I didn't bite .... he kept looking for someone else to shift then hesitantly sat beside me . This is quite normal as the outsider . Nobody really talks to you until after the game and that's if you didn't play shit . I was in my happy place though and of course this is not something new for me . 

So this is a 3 period game with 20 minute run times so about 1.5 hours on ice . During warmup my groin felt good and I got lumbered up and then the game started . First period we went up 2-0 , made a couple decent saves then switched ends .... it seemed like that end of the ice had some bad juju because when I got there I gave up 3 goals ... so now we are down 3-2 . I wouldn't blame myself for the goals :) third period starts and as a goalie you realize that all the goals are at the same end so in your head you think you should win or if you give up the only goal at this dry end you might lose . The first goal of the 3rd period was at the other end to give us a 3-3 tie and then I gave up a goal on the dry side :( oh no ! It was off my D and just barely trickled in .... one of those slow mo goals any goalie will know what I'm talking about ... so frustrating ! A minute left in the game and I start hollering at the bench and make the mad dash for the extra attacker . We lost possession and I thought we were doomed but we recovered went down the ice and with 8 seconds left tied the match . Game ended with a 4-4 tie game ... everyone was happy and it was a good fun game . 

When we got back to the room we had a beer and guys started to open up and we're talking to me :) I passed out my Ghetto Blaster stickers and then I asked who scored the tying goal and the hesitant guy beside me puts his hand up with a big smile . I turned to him and said you see bonne chance ! What I was telling him was that my luck rubbed off on him :) after my shower I said my good byes then headed off with Adil to eat . We went to a place called Miami Deli and I had a smoked meat poutine !!! Oh the calories hahaha . Who cares right ? When you're in Montreal if you aren't stuffing your face with poutine and smoked meat then you are obviously missing out !!! Seriously 😒 .

When all was said and done we waddled out and said our good byes . Adil you are a true friend and I think it's time for you to visit us in Toronto . Don't worry we can deal with the torture lol ! Thanks for everything . I will probably come back for that tournament in May in Mt. Tremblant .... I never leave Montreal disappointed . Au Revoi

Sunday, October 15, 2017

The Leafs are in Montreal

Ahh the joy of waking up in a foreign city ... well not really foreign but they do speak French here . So I guess it's not foreign but yeah whatever . You get the jist . Time for some java juice so we hiked it to the closest Tim Hortons to get coffee and bagels . Now I know you are all thinking , why is he going for a bagel there when Montreal is famous for its bagels ?? Well I do want a nice warm St.Viateur bagel but it's quite the walk so I will settle for this and only because I like the herb & garlic cream cheese . I put my order in and paid then they told me they are out of herb & garlic cream cheese :0 OMG the world is ending . No it isn't ... just gimme my money back . Yeah I don't care for their bagels with butter or something else on it so I opted for my money back . Wasn't gonna let this get under my skin . Kept my cool went back to hotel and got ready to go watch Aston Villa at the pub/bar . 

The bar just down the road is called MVP Sports so you figure they could show the match but I'm not sure if the game is on tv or if we have to use a subscription to watch it . These are the pains of cheering for a team in the Championship ... I know some of you don't like the footie ... boo to you :) we got to the bar and it was on ??? Really !! So we got a table , I ordered a pork souvlaki which was really really good and large portions . I was very happy and then Villa lost and back in the dumps . Funny how sports does that to us crazy sports fanatics . Hopefully my Leafs don't disappoint tonight because it will sting like a gunshot if we lose . I really honestly hate the Montreal Canadiens with all my heart . Not a bandwagon jumper and never will cheer for them even if they are the last Canadian team in the playoffs . I don't get those people . Either you are a leafs fan or not ... no in between crap like some losers I know . (You know who you are) so if you are ever in Montreal looking to watch a random sporting event check this place out !!! Staff were friendly and the food and atmosphere are good too . 

Needed to walk off this food so we headed down to Old Montreal to wander around . So many tourists and honestly not much too see aside from cobble stone roads and tourist shops . Basically a tourist trap . Don't bother if you're here unless it's just to go for a walk somewhere lol . Maybe it's just me but I've been there and done that before . Back to the hotel , rest up a bit and get ready to make the hike to the Bell Centre to watch my Leafs stomp the dirty Habs . Gonna wear my Leafs jersey with pride and I don't care if anyone wants to chirp or scrap ... even told Kathleen that , she said she'd leave if I got into a fight hahaha ! 

Heard a few chirps on the way to the rink but mostly other Leafs fans saying Go Leafs ! So no scraps :( who doesn't like a good scrap eh ? Lol ! Ok ok I'm not here for that but I'm on high alert heading into enemy territory . When we finally got to our seats we had only concrete behind us which was good because now I can't get spit on or kicked in the head , don't laugh I've been here before and I've see fights in the stands . Our fans don't love each other ! The kid beside me was a dirty little Habs fan and he kept giving me stink eye until the usher came and told them they were in the wrong seat . Bye suckers ! The two guys that replaced them were dirty Habs fans also ... when they scored these two turds made sure I knew . They would hit this metal board with their fists to make this loud noise ... the metal plate was on the concrete wall behind me and I didn't like it when they scored . When we scored I would just stand up and clap my hands but as both teams scored it got more excitable . Before the first intermission I found out an old high school buddy was in the stands too so we met at the bar for intermission both times . John Douldouras it was honestly amazing seeing you buddy ,let's make sure it's not another 20 years before we raise a glass together ok 😌!

When it got to OT I had fists clenched with excitement and terror . Did I mention it's been a few years since the leafs beat this team . Yeah big game ! You can only imagine what happened when Austin Matthews scored the winner . I turned around and started banging that same metal sheet and the two turds beside me angrily left . I put it right in their faces WOOO ! Guess they didn't like it hahaha . Leaving the Bell Centre was awesome seeing all these dirty Habs fans with their heads down hahaha ! Time to race back to the hotel to meet Adil El Farj from the Moroccan National Team . Yes ice hockey , this guy is one of my closest hockey buddies on the planet . He's always here to make sure I have a great time in Montreal and is a great ambassador for Morocco ! We went for a bite to eat , tried to get into Lafayette first but it was just closed :( we opted to go to Jarrys which is equally awesome . I drool thinking about smoked meat mmmm .... Montreal has some hella good food and I don't think I could stay in shape if I lived here hahaha .... now and m craving more smoked meat ! So yeah it was really good but unfortunately I am feeling a bit under the weather ... sneezing and coughing :( had to say no to an even later night out . Sorry Adil .... but it was great seeing you and we will see you later on Sunday buddy . 

Tonight I'm on the ice here in Laval . Can't wait . 

Saturday, October 14, 2017

Montreal (love it)

Well , well , well ... is not the way I usually start the story but what the heck :) as of recent I have been sidelined with an injury which I picked up in my summer league and no it was not from the fight . I will tell you guys about that someday hahaha ! I thought it was a hernia .... took 5 weeks off hockey , got ultrasound and consulted with doctors to find out it was just a crazy high groin strain . It sucked the life out of me . I didn't work as much or exercise and I put on some weight ... I wasn't depressed or anything but it totally sucked . I'm really lucky to have the woman I have in my life though . Very lucky ! This past week was my birthday and she really outdid herself . She got me a Fitbit, a new goalie mask and of course some nice new undies to replace the old skids hahaha . We also decided to make a road trip to Montreal to watch the Toronto Maple Leafs play the dirty toilet seats from Montreal ( I hate you with all my heart ) . On our way out here we stopped to see Erich Ferguson to drop off my mask to get painted .... stay tuned on that but check out Resurrection Custom Painting . Will post link when back in Toronto . 

When we arrived at Hotel Chrome in downtown Montreal we dropped our bags and headed out to have some oysters . Yes I love oysters but I hate seafood . I know I'm crazy and the usual excuse is ... I'm a goalie . Ok that's settled right ? We went to the same place last time called Maestro S.V.P. , got there in time for happy hour for some Beaujolais oysters .... might have misspelled that ... they were $20 for a dozen .... we left the place after an hour with a $150 tab :) no it's not cheap but it's not everyday either . Enjoy life while we can friends and worry bout the bill later . That's what credit cards are for hahaha ! 

My favourite part of Montreal is all the absolutely magnificent street art / graffiti. After our oyster tab was paid we strolled over to Dieu du Ciel which is a brewpub with some amazing beers . I've been here bundles of times and I will always come back . We met Kathleen's buddy Jen who was supposed to be with Thim but he bailed out with a hangover (?) on a Friday night :( c'est la vie . Of course I had a couple pints and got a really good buzz on while we had a few laughs then we hiked it back to the hotel with a late night stop for some dirty poutine . Not dirty but you get the jist ... don't you ? Whatever ... if you don't get it then you probably don't go out much . What was the name of that place again ... ahh La Belle Provence ! It's a chain , nothing special ... greased me up nice and good and filled my belly enough to help me pass out . 

It's Saturday morning now . I'm a bit hungover .... can't wait to see the Leafs smash the Habs ! Go Leafs Go !