We survived the night in Waitomo Caves Hotel ! Didn’t sleep well at all as I had a couple nightmares about things scratching under the bed or I thought it was a nightmare ? Also had another bad dream that Kathleen was possessed .... nothing new eh 🤫 she didn’t have a good sleep either as the room was not air conditioned and the windows had no screens on them so we didn’t want to get eaten alive by bugs . I didn’t even get under the sheets as we had this fan blowing directly at us that didn’t cool the room down at all but I did get the shivers . Is this place really haunted ? I have no solid evidence so I’m gonna say it probably is but we didn’t go running out of the place in the middle of the night so you believe what you believe in and have your own opinion but don’t go telling me it’s not haunted if you’ve never even been there ok 👌 when we got up we just wanted to hit the road so we washed up and grabbed a coffee at the bottom of the hill and hit the road which should be roughly a 2.5 hour drive but I’m gonna stop in Hamilton to grab a jersey that my buddy Cam Green ( aka punchy ) left on his porch for me at his place . We were chatting online in the morning as I was leaving the hotel so this is all fitted into our plans . The ride there was much nicer then the white knuckle stressfest I had on the way here and the views are gorgeous ... would be nice if someone else was driving ( hint hint ) .
Plans are changing constantly here in New Zealand and en route I find out that there is an ice time I can play in tonight at 545 pm at Avondale Ice Rink which is the same rink I’ve already skated in but this time the ice time is organized by rink manager Shane Langley who messages me letting me know there are way more ice times then just the one I was planning to join in on Sunday which for me sucks because flying with wet gear is a huge no-no when it comes to weight restrictions my bag is over weight when dry so don’t ask how bad it is when wet .... that’s why I carry an extra bag anyways . So Shane tells me they have a skate that day so I contact Avis to see if I will get billed for an extra day rate on the car rental , and they say no as I have it until 8 am the next morning based on the 24 hour rental that I’m paying daily anyway . This is good as the taxi would be at least $30 each way then we contact ( by we I mean Kathleen ) the hotel to reserve a parking spot which is $30 which still is cheaper then taking a taxi . Bonus !!!! I let Shane know I’m coming and he tells me to post on the event page that I’m a goalie and as far as he knows at that moment there are only 2 goalies .... that’s all sorted and now it’s time to roll up grab this jersey at Cam’s place and now we alter our plans to go visit him at his work down the road . Cam works for this really awesome company called International Foods that imports all kinds of American goods here to sell to shops and people here in New Zealand , his boss is a fella named Steve who is super energetic and very friendly .... great guy ! He’s from Texas but has been living here for ages and we got along really well .
While we were at the shop we were told to take what we wanted in exchange for doing a promo video to promote his company and the BHL All-Star game which is on January 19 , unfortunately I’m not here for that 😢 Cam grabs a box and starts filling it with goodies like candies , chocolates and other travel snacks but the thing that blew my mind was when Steve introduced me to microwave pork rinds , yes I said it microwaveable just like popcorn !!! No joke these are really good and good if you’re on the keto diet which I might give a shot at after this trip . If you haven’t noticed I’m getting chubby lol ! Steve lost something like 22 kilos over the last couple years by switching his lifestyle which he swears by and he shared a few secrets with us . Oh yeah the promo we shot only took two takes and was fun to make and is now on their website page , here is the link for the video if you have not seen it yet ( https://www.facebook.com/314196258686671/posts/1710956752343941/ ) always fun helping out my buddies however I can and honestly if you’re ever here and you wanna pick up some American snacks go visit these guys . After all this fun we didn’t wanna just run off with our box of goodies so we planned to go for lunch with Cam and Steve at a place Steve suggested called Cinnamon Cafe which has options for all sorts of diets . I had a nice croissant sandwich with a salad and Kathleen had a salad and we enjoyed a good long chat and honestly I have no clue how long we were there as they same time flies when you’re having fun and it’s probably time to hit the road and get to the hotel in Auckland to check in drop Kathleen off and head to the rink on my own for some hockey . Steve it was more then a pleasure meeting you and I look forward to meeting again someday hopefully sooner then later and I am more then sad to say good bye to Cam who made it happen here for me and is my hockey hero in this country . Oh damn Cam forgot the magazine ... yeah I’m rolling with a few copies of The Hockey News and I wanna give him one so I drove back to the shop to drop one off and give him one last hug . Cheers bro !
We mad our way back to Auckland and got to our hotel with no issues and found out we are pretty much across the road from the sky tower here which is definitely a great and easy photo opportunity for me 🤪 stay tuned for those pics to pop up . Parked the car got up into our room and rested for about 20 minutes . Kathleen went to get her nails done and I jumped into the car and made my way to the rink and met a couple of the fellas out in the parking lot waiting to get into the rink as we basked in the sun chatting about what else ? Hockey 🏒. It sounded like there were 3 goalies now and the rule is if there are more then 17 skaters they will extend the scrimmage from an hour to an hour and a half ... in our room there were a few guys but the room soon became filled and eventually a fourth goalie showed up ... that fine as we can just share sides and fingers crossed we get that extra half hour but I have no clue how many guys are in the other room . I jumped on the ice before our ice time to max my ice time knowing there are more then just the two of us which I was told there would be . Any of you goalies out there would say that sucks and yes it does suck to sit on the bench for any reason . The four of us decided to take 10 minute shifts and as we were about to disperse a 5th goalie showed up ! What the fuck !!! The though of just leaving did cross my mind and I was kinda pissed off that anyone would show up for an ice time knowing there are other goalies there already and to top it off they didn’t even announce they were coming on the event page and apparently one of them doesn’t use social media ??? welcome to 2019 dude , wait for the mail to arrive brah . At least the guys are all nice and I got on for the opening of the game and jumped off ten minutes in and with the rotation had to wait 30 minutes to get on again so I made the most of it and heckled players on the bench and I was joking around but deep inside I was fuming 😤 if I got to a rink and saw 3 goalies I would go home without a doubt .... seeing 4 other goalies on the ice ? I wouldn’t even tell anyone I was there so what goes through the mind of someone selfish enough to just want this ice time at whatever cost to anyone else .... I am not trying to be an asshole but c’mon ! Anyways after sitting on the bench for 20 minutes heckling guys while my gear was drying out I went over to the other bench to talk with the other goalies about the situation and they weren’t exactly pleased either ... at least the guys that said they were coming on the event page weren’t but all in all the other guys were nice guys too so it was hard to hold a grudge . Don’t get me wrong I had fun skating with this group which was a mix of more experienced skaters and newcomers , this ice time wasn’t as challenging as the other day and I got to show off some sweet glove saves and even a diving stick save after throwing the puck away behind the net . When I got off the ice from what I thought was my last shift I was going to leave but one of the goalies let me have his spot in the rotation which was super nice of him as he realized I’m not from here . I then told all the goalies to stick around for a couple pics and they were all happy to hang around and I grabbed some sweet pics and then tried to get all their info but only got Maia Rata and Paul Taillon on Facebook . Maia is a cool dude who I got along with and probably was the best skilled goalie out of the bunch and is a backup goalie for the Botany Swarm here , he invited me to a bbq at his place for the next day but I have to pass it by the boss (Kathleen) . Unfortunately I forgot to bring a towel or any soap so I drove back to my hotel all stanky and when I got back I took a quick shower , grabbed a burger and hit the sack ... it was a long day and I was a bit bitchy and tired . It’s Friday night in Auckland but tomorrow is another day ... time to crash .