Sunday, June 9, 2019

Tucson to Sedona

Yesterday was a long day , for me at least as I had to wake up and get ready for my 4 hour drive from Tucson to Sedona which we decided to stop over at on our way to The Grand Canyon . First we need to fuel up and I don’t mean the car ... gimme that coffee ! Can I have a grande flat white please ? The person obliged my request downstairs in the casino at the Starbucks at the ungodly hour we are waking up at 🀨 we both did a last lap of the premises and headed back to our room to pack up and leave . While packing Kathleen showed me two winning tickets she had from the slots and said what are we gonna do with this ? She had two tickets , one was for like 12 cents and the other was for around 65 cents . Basically if you’ve never played the slots I will quickly explain . When you win you can cash out and the machine prints out a ticket which you can take to the cash out booth where you hand in the ticket and the person in the secured booth gives you your winnings OR you can put that ticket into another machine and play your winnings . Ticket goes in same slot where you can also put cash . Cashing these small tickets would be almost as embarrassing as posting a topless picture of yourself posing as an MMA fighter lol 😝. So when she showed me the tickets I said , let’s give one more go on the way out and toss in $5 and leave . Sure ! After cleaning up double checking that we didn’t leave anything in the room and checking out we went to the van and dropped our bags and walked back into the casino with our very small winning tickets and a couple bucks to burn in hand and searched for a lucky machine . Kathleen spotted a slot machine with gorillas 🦍 on it and I looked at her and said let me guess .... you want to play this one because Ellen Degeneres loves gorillas and you love her show ? Kathleen responded with a yes and we sat down and fed the machine . Now I’m not kidding when I say that a few plays in we won !!! As we sat there and the machine was going crazy I was calculating it would cash out to something like $20 and we both decided we should just cash out and hit the road and when we pressed that cash out button the ticket began printing and to our amazement we had won a whopping $81.20 . I know it’s not a million bucks but it sure did cover a bunch of stuff we had paid for in the last few days . Both of us had huge shit eating grins on our faces as we walked out of the casino with our heads held high . We were both extremely happy with our 5 minutes that we spent to win this money on a whim . We jumped into the van and drove straight to the fanciest breakfast joint we could (McDonalds ) and splurged on a pretty gross breakfast hahaha ! I’m not gonna get into how badly the McDonald’s employee messed up my order . This is a McHappy story . 

Nothing crazy happened on the ride to Sedona as 4 hours of driving is nothing for me as I do drive a truck for a living . The scenery drastically changed the more north we went . All those cacti 🌡 disappeared and the landscape was covered in grass and smaller brush which sucks because I wanted to get a pic in front of one of those massive cacti . I had to gas up when we got close to Sedona and stopped at a random station where the pump first told me to lift and start gassing up , then it said please enter credit or debit card πŸ’³. The machine then asked for my zip code ? What if I don’t have a zip code ? I put in a random number and it didn’t want to accept it . How stupid is this shit ? I walk into service station and talk to the attendant who says I can prepay and I said honestly this van is a rental , I’m not from here and I have no clue how many gallons this vehicle takes because I’m used to litres and the brain surgeon behind the counter was little miss know it all . I wanted to choke her with her stupid attitude , I didn’t but I wanted to πŸ€” it was one of those situations where I thought to myself ... if you’re so brilliant then why are you working at a gas station ? Anyways I sorted that , got the van gassed and didn’t choke anyone . Mission success ! Back on the road we go ... 

We made our way into Sedona and almost immediately realized this is a massive tourist trap . This is just like a ski town with everything overpriced and townies that aren’t from here . You know that person that travelled here 20 years ago , found a job and never left. That’s Sedona ! As nice as the view is here I would not suggest coming here and staying for more then a night . We found our way to our motel which has an amazing view and is directly on the main strip but is really overpriced just as everything else is here . We got room 31 at The Matterhorn ... our room is decent but the bed is lumpy and I can tell you now that I did not sleep well on it and I woke up questioning if the place is haunted or not . I had some crazy ass nightmares and when I woke up the lights were on in the room .... at first I told myself that Kathleen might have switched them on but then she rolled over and asked me why I turned the light on .... yup not sleeping anymore , time to start writing and plan an escape route if I hear , see or feel anything weird . As much as I’ve always wanted to experience the super natural I would definitely run like the wind if it did happen . Before all this happened we actually dropped our bags and went for a beer . 

Kathleen found a dispensary and I know it’s not legal here but I could go for a spliff . It’s legal in my country and I’m on holiday πŸ€ͺso we walked over only to find out they only sell to people with medical cards . Before I left the place I told them to get with the times and make it recreational and the guys laughed but still wouldn’t sell me any . Oh well ther is a brewery right here also so time to sit and chug back a pint at the Sedona brewery . They had a rye PA ... it was good and hoppy and had just the right amount of rye flavour to it and would have gone well with a nice smoke as we watched all the people filing in and out of the dispensary coming out with big smiles and white paper bags full of goodies . It smelled nice around there . Oh well , time to wander and see all the tourist shops . Everywhere is busy on the strip as tourists flock to this town to see the sights and do outdoorsy type stuff like hiking . All the shops we walked into had happy and friendly employees which was nice and we found ourselves getting hungry . There is a pizza joint across the road that we have a 15% off coupon for so we tried it out and the pizza was pretty darn good . As we walked into every shop after we had realized that everyone was handing these discount cards to go eat and this restaurant must make a killing off this type of advertising . Again this large amount of carb intake had its effect on me and I needed a nap 😴 I’m getting so bloated from carbs and it’s making me tired . 

When I awoke from my nap I felt refreshed and got ready to go for dinner but both of us were not really hungry so we opted for ice cream instead . Most of the town closes pretty early and as the dark settled everyone began going home . This has always been a pet peeve of mine while travelling but there is no way to control this and I have to settle for the mediocrity that is handed to me . We found a very busy ice cream parlour poem called The Black Cow and we got our dessert settled as we both enjoyed our sundaes out front on a bench before going for a stroll to see the town when it’s not packed with tourists . Nothing wild going on here , the bars seem tame and the few restaurants that remain open really make a killing off everywhere else being closed  . I could go for some food but I’m not gonna finish a full meal and go to bed stuffed . There is definitely a lack of excitement in Sedona and we opt to get to our room and plan out our next day which includes this Pink Jeep Tour and driving further north to the Grand Canyon . Time to go to bed πŸ›Œ. Hopefully the next hotel has a comfier bed in a room with lights that don’t turn on by themselves in the middle of the night πŸ‘» 

Saturday, June 8, 2019

Combate Americas 39

Weighing in at 215 and competing for his first time in the hotel room in Tucson , Arizona and hailing from Toronto , Canada πŸ‡¨πŸ‡¦ welcome to the room Adrian “el drunko “ Mizzi !!!! 

Don’t laugh too hard ok πŸ€ͺ I might regret posting this for the rest of my life but right now I even think this is funny . Let’s just say I had a great time last night watching Combate Americas here in Tucson . Now let me tell you how this day ended up like this .... as you know I am travelling around Arizona with Kathleen for her birthday and we both love watching mixed martial arts and the only place I would ever want to chuck knuckles is on the ice and watching pugilists duke it out is the limit for me . There is no way I should ever be in a ring lol 😝. When we woke up here at Casino del Sol we immediately went for a coffee down at Starbucks which is in the hotel/casino and we decided to laze around the pool for a bit and go for a dip before grabbing a bite to eat . We did a bit of wandering while the casino was quiet and threw a couple bucks in the slots also ... I’m not much of a gambler and of course I lost my money but whatever . As we wandered we decided to move our van closer to the entrance and went to a convenience store only to be amazed by all the selection of different flavours of our favourite snacks and grabbed some for the drive the next day ( next stop is Sedona ) . 

We found out that the box office at the AVA Amphitheater opens at 4 pm and that’s the magic hour for us to pick up our VIP passes to the big event . We also realized that the amphitheater is an open air venue which is really nice especially with the nice weather here . The casino is nice and all but the smoke inside is kinda getting to me . People are allowed to smoke indoors at the casino so a little fresh air won’t hurt . After our wander we decided to go to a restaurant in the hotel called Moby which is a diner with your usual burgers and fries type of menu and if I didn’t mention is in the casino also . We have not had to leave here for any reason at all which is nice and having a nice gin and tonic with breakfast is a good start to any day lol 😝 the only knock I have about the casino is the people that all seem so unfortunate to be addicted to gambling which is kinda unattractive and did put a bit of a damper on my outlook of things here . It’s kinda sad but I got over it by the time I gobbled my burger then retreated to my room with a tummy ache πŸ˜– I am convinced that it has to do with all the carbs I’m eating . Imagine going keto for a few months then carb loading for a week ... I feel bloated and once again the time difference means a nap is very much needed . While I slept Kathleen went to the pool to chill ....

When I awoke from my slumber it was just about magic hour and with a bit of doubt in my mind we both strolled over to the box office to pick up our VIP passes . Yes I had some doubt that we would actually get these passes , I mean how crazy is it that Kathleen contacted Campbell McLaren who owns Combate Americas and she told him that she wanted to come see a fight and we are coming from Toronto only to have him respond by offering us VIP passes ? Does this seem real to you ? Kinda unreal eh ? So there was no surprise in my mind when we got to the box office and the ladies behind the window said our names are not on any lists πŸ€”.... we retreated to the bar and had a drink while Kathleen contacted Campbell and I shit you not when I say he responded and said our passes are there . Put it this way , he responded so quickly that we had not even got half way through our drink ! Kathleen went back to the box office while I nursed my g & t and we she returned she had a big smile and two VIP passes !!! Fuckin eh !!! Fights start at 7 and we were told to get there early to get seats in the VIP section . 

We decided to go throw some more money in the slots and test our luck . Kathleen has the magic touch today and walked away a winner while I just fed the machine my money . The last machine we hit up was a monopoly slot machine and Kathleen walked away with $65 in winnings and we called it a night as we wanted to have another drink while watching the Toronto Raptors play in the NBA Finals . I’m not a fan of basketball but I’m a bit excited at the prospect of having my home town team win a championship . The game tipped off at 6 pm so we watched a bit and left to go get our coveted seats . When we got to the AVA amphitheater which is also right beside the casino/hotel we were guided to the stage and grabbed seats right at the corner and grabbed a couple drinks and began watching the fights . We soon realized that we were sitting amongst the fighters with their families . Jose Alday who is one of the main event fighters was sitting right beside us for most of the match . It was crazy 😜 and I’m sure everyone was wondering who the fuck these two gringos are as everyone was speaking Spanish around us and clearly we are not Mexican ...maybe with a bit of tanning I can look almost Mexican but I’m sure my Blue Jays baseball cap gave it away that we were a couple crazy canucks hahaha ! 

The fights were all amazing with little to no wrestling involved and that’s why we really enjoy watching Combate at home and wanted to see this live . The fella that owns this company was the original owner of UFC and he is not a fan of fighters lying down and wrestling each other for the whole fight and he has stated that on numerous occasions .... this is more of a stand up and fight for your life kinda event and it didn’t let us down . Every single fight we watched was entertaining with all the fighters giving it their all and then coming to stand right beside us to get interviewed which was kinda neat . The only thing I kinda wanted was a merch table to buy a T-shirt and get a poster for home which they did not have unfortunately and I kept looking around to see if I missed it or walked by it and didn’t notice it but I didn’t and it wasn’t meant to be .... don’t get me wrong , it didn’t sully the event one bit . As the night went on and the giant cans of Tecate were downed I noticed Tito Ortiz at the event . Hold up , you don’t know who Tito Ortiz is ? He’s a fucking legend in mixed martial arts and he has just signed on to fight in Combate Americas which is huge . Next thing you know he is shaking my hand and I’m talking to him ... yeah holy crap . He was probably wondering who we were also hahaha ! I wish I got a picture with him but in true Canadian fashion I did not want to be a bother and just relished the idea of meeting him which I’m still happy about . 

After the last fights were over we witnessed some animosity between a couple fighters which didn’t get out of hand but I would really like to see them go at it as there were a few choice words that were spit at eachother with a venomous bite . As the amphitheater emptied out we met one of the fellas that works for Combate and we had a chat and mentioned the lack of merch table and he graciously gave Kathleen a T-shirt and gave me the gloves which I drunkenly tried on in my room afterwards ( as seen at top of blog ) . All we can talk about amongst ourselves is how gracious Campbell McLaren has been to us and how amazing his staff are at doing it the right way . We are already planning to travel for another event and would gladly pay for a seat to watch a fight in another city , it was such a cool experience being amongst the fighters in a foreign country and having that feeling of acceptance amongst them as everyone did speak to us and we all had a good time together . Maybe it was all the beer that made me feel this good ? Who knows ... but what I do know is that I will do this again and I will have a great time . If you wanna see some good fights don’t think twice and check out Combate Americas and if you have a subscription for DAZN then watch it on there . I’m so glad I have that subscription because if not we probably would have never found ourselves sitting on a stage in a VIP area in Arizona watching MMA . 

After the fights we went back to the casino and grabbed some Mexican food and swigged one more drink before calling it a night . The fighters were all at the bar celebrating their accomplishments and we were knackered and retreated to our room . This 3 hour time difference is having its effect on me and that’s when I ended up drunk posing with my new fight gloves on posing topless and punching things .... oh drunky Adrian hahaha ! What a great day πŸ₯³

Friday, June 7, 2019

Tucson or bust ?

First of all let me tell you all that you never get used to changing time zones and that is why I’m up at 5 am in Arizona . Some people say they do but there is a firm reason as to why I arrived here yesterday and passed out before 10 pm local time and that’s because it was almost 1 am on my watch which by all standards is way later then what I’m used to . I’m getting old and those early mornings are more for coffee then going to bed these days . 

Getting here yesterday was not super easy as we had to wake up bright and early to get packed and head to the airport which was a breeze aside from being chosen for extra inspection at security and no I didn’t get the full inspection πŸ˜› no rubber gloves were needed but it’s made me start thinking about what these foreign countries have against me ? I am never able to check in online and I always get pulled into security ... ok not always but it seems to be acceptably normal for me now . I remember how pissed off I used to get and now I just roll with it and go through the motions . Is it because I travel so much or because of the countries I visit ? Who knows but if that’s the case wait til they find out I’m going to Turkmenistan lol πŸ˜‚ I’m sure that elusive cavity search might be around the corner 😬 

We had seats at the back of the plane and the flight was full ... I popped on my Netflix and watched the Wanda Sykes standup which was pretty good and then watched Lego Movie 2 which was interesting as I’ve worked on a commercial this past year with Will Arnett and I was dying to ask him to say “I’m Batman “ ! I would have died if he did but you can’t just ask actors to perform for you when trying to be professional on set .... or maybe I can . Anyways I was entertained on the flight and when we arrived in Phoenix the first thing I wanted to do was to get a SIM card for my phone so I can use my GPS while driving here . I’ve always heard how dirt cheap it is here and I was blown away to find out that was wrong !!! I went to a shop and was offered two options .... one had 5 gigs and that was $65 USD which is way more then what I pay at home and the other was unlimited for $100 USD which is ridiculous times ten . I guess Rogers (my provider) will have to do at $7 CDN per day , may I add that I hate my provider or will it ruin any possible sponsorship opportunities ? At his point I’m sure it will and won’t and who cares ... money grubbing scum πŸ˜‘ so that didn’t work the way I expected and I have no time to run around pricing SIM cards out so we head to our car rental place which we need to get a shuttle bus to go to and when we arrive they were super friendly there . We rented a surprise vehicle from Dollar Rental  which I’ve never used before and the premise is that you get whatever car they give you and it will be automatic .... of course my luck puts me in a mini van just like the ones I used to drive as a production assistant which works for me ... we sort out the gps in the vehicle and only made one mistake driving to our first destination which of course is the Puma outlet so I can get me some new kicks ! I love Puma shoes and I’m always buying new shoes while travelling .

After buying my new red Puma kicks I jumped back behind the steering wheel and headed to Tucson which was almost a two hour drive and boy oh boy was I dying for an alcoholic beverage when we finally arrived at Casino del Sol in Tucson which happens to be where the Combate Americas event will be held tomorrow . I can get drunk and stumble back to my room after the fights yay ! Too bad we had just missed the weigh ins but we saw some of the fighters in the lobby and were too chicken to approach them as we were still getting our bearings on the situation . I almost forgot to mention that when we arrived here we saw a road runner in the parking lot before finding out that the hotel thought we were supposed to be here on June 9 instead of June 6 .... hearing that damn near made me shit myself and luckily we had a print out of the receipt which we always carry on us . Better to be safe then sorry . Apparently the hotel is full but they had a room for us ...does that make sense ? Sure whatever ... we got our room which is really big and super comfy and then finally we decided it was time for a drink. When we got to the casino we went straight to the bar and watched the rest of the Blues/Bruins game and I was happy to see Boston lose πŸ₯³ and I quenched my thirst with a lovely local IPA called Dragoon and it had some serious kick . Either that stuff has date rape drugs in it or the alcohol content is like 9% regardless I will likely have a couple more of those today hahaha ! 

With a good buzz going we then headed to the Mexican restaurant for some food and we gorged ourselves with carbs and whatever we could get our hands on . I’ve been on this keto diet for months now and I’m losing tons of weight but this week I’m probably gonna put it back on as everything goes while I’m travelling . No exercise, no diet and best of all no work ! The margarita I had with dinner put me over the edge and as I mentioned earlier that jet lag had its effect and by 10 pm I was fast asleep 😴. It’s a beautiful day out today and I should proebably hit the pool while my swimming trunks still fit me hahaha ! We are both enjoying the Casino del Sol and would highly suggest staying here if you are ever in this neck of the desert 🌡 I think today I will get drunk and try hugging a cactus . 

Thursday, June 6, 2019

Arizona Trip

Hope you all love this pic I just snapped of myself . Take a guess where I am and if I’m happy or not ? 

I know I never finished writing about my last trip and let’s just say I didn’t want to get too negative to end off an amazing journey . And let’s just say I won’t fly through India again . For no reason , no way , never ! Those of you that have read my ramblings before know I can be a bit of a moaner and I’m trying to steer away from that negative approach to writing my blog . My guess is you’re wondering right now why I’m going to Arizona and why I’m not on my way to the Philippines .... well originally I was supposed to fly away on my girlfriends birthday to go play ice hockey for a German team I used to play for all the time but then I’m not sure what happened as the plan originally was to go to Kenya and then we gave up on that as the locals were trying to rip us off for ice time and we all decided to go to the tournament in Manila instead . This was decided and there is a message thread to prove it all where I said count me in and I told the organizer I would finalize and pay for when I got back from Australia and the minute I landed I wanted to pay but was then faced with some bullshit and some lies which basically left me without a team . Pretty shitty on that German teams behalf but let’s just say I won’t be bothering with them again anyways . A female goalie was picked instead of me and I’m sure the prospect of having relations with this other goalie had nothing to do with this decision which in the long run ended up that this team lost their female goalie and the team they merged with asked me to play for them lol 😝 by this time my decision to go to Arizona with Kathleen was made and here I am . 

It’s Kathleen’s birthday this coming Monday and we will be at the Grand Canyon celebrating with no hockey πŸ’, it’s not my birthday or it would be all hockey hahaha . Both of us have never been to Arizona and we have travelled all over the United States πŸ‡ΊπŸ‡Έ and when we were looking for a destination Arizona was both our first picks but we needed a reason to go .... are the Jays in town ? Is there a big concert ? Hmmm nothing came up on our initial searches . One night we were watching Combate Americas which is an MMA company owned by former UFC owner Campbell McLaren which we have watched on numerous occasions on my DAZN app and we’ve always enjoyed the fights and the commentary . That night we found out that Combate 39 will be in Tucson the weekend of Kathleen’s birthday and we immediately jumped head first into the idea of going and began researching things to do and building an itinerary . During that one  broadcast Campbell McLaren gave out his personal phone number and I urged Kathleen to message him saying we will visit from Toronto to watch the fights live . To both of our amazement he responded ? Yeah no shit ! Not only did we get a response but we were also invited to be guests of Campbell McLaren with VIP passes . I know you’re wondering WTF lol 😝 . No joke. This story is real and this is why we are both sitting on a plane as I right this on way to Phoenix where I will jump into our rental vehicle and drive to Tucson . As much as I say this is not hockey related you can bet your bottom dollar that if I come across anything hockey related I will be all over it like white on rice . 

Plane is about to depart now but stay tuned for more pictures and stories over the next week .