A phrase that you hear often is 'You'll never learn' and that certainly applies to me going out before early morning bus journeys. It was Saturday night and with nothing in the pipeline Jordan and I decided to have a casual few beers, it started off at my flat with a six pack of cider which flew down way to easy. We then dragged my house mate Chris and met Tom at Crystal Lounge. It wasn't an exactly a messy night as we only had a few pitchers between the four of us. But that didn't stop me feeling a tad on the drunken side, probably due to the lack of food. I didn't have dinner so to speak, I did have some of Jess's left over pasta, broccoli and carrots which were that hideous and dry I tried to make it better by drenching it in hot sauce, this did nothing but burn my mouth for around half an hour. But when all was said and done and I got back to the flat the rooming was spinning like I was on the teacups!
It was 7.16am when my alarm when off and I still had to throw some stuff together in a bag for the trip to Vancouver, I wasn't feeling great either. I asked Tom to pick me up a bacon and egg muffin from seven eleven but he was delayed too, the grease from the bacon and egg would have sorted me right out, but unfortunately I had to settle for breakfast bus snacks of two ham and cheese rolls and a super sub sarnie from the grocery store. I met Tom and Jordan at the visitor centre and Tom had managed to pick me up a Ham and cheese sandwich, it was basic and lacked the grease I required but the thought was there and although it lacked a lot of what my sub offered but I ate it out of politeness.
I was still feeling a little delicate from the night before and I was I could have a bit of a nap on the bus. I had joked beforehand that I would be too giddy and keep everyone else up on the trip to Van but I was definitely not in the mood for that. That job instead fell to Mr. Tom Ellis, who was a constant pain in my arse the entire journey to Van, prodding me in the side, pinching my leg and just being generally annoying. On another note though I was very impressed with the Greyhound bus in Canada, they had everything Earl and I dreamed of having when we were in South America - plug sockets, free Wi-Fi and ample amounts of leg room. So of course I whatsapped him a picture right away. It didn't help our journey either that after ten days of now snow we were finally getting a down pour. This created one massive accident on the sea to sky highway and we also saw two others as we were driving out of the accident.
Despite the accident we still made it to Vancouver an hour and a half before Tom and I were scheduled to go and see an Ice Hockey game between the Vancouver Canucks and the Minnesota Wild. So we decided to do a bit of shopping seen as though it was much cheaper than in Whistler, and I was desperate for some socks, seen as though I'd been living off only four pairs of trainer socks for the last god knows how long, Tom also wanted a hoody and Jordan wanted some T-Shirts. Our first stop was H&M. We all managed a purchased Tom a black shirt for work, Jordan a shirt and finally I required a naughty going shirt that had been on my shopping list since Australia. Tom likened the garment to a pub carpet, but it looked cracking on. Jordan and I then went to Old Navy were I picked up 12 pairs of socks and he got a bargain shirt for $15 while Tom went to another shop across the road.
We then headed to the Roger's Arena via a double Big Mac Meal at McDonalds and settled down for our first NHL experience. Things didn't start well as our bags got checked on entrance and I got my super sub sandwich took off me and Tom had his opened bottle of Fireball removed too, we wasn't even trying to sneak anything in they were just honest mistakes but the jobs worth checking us had to call Ron, who was presumably management over to give us the all clear to go through. Ron was cool though and let us straight in. It had turned out we had missed the first ten minutes of play with the start time changing from the 12.30pm which was stated on our tickets and while we were trying to locate where we needed to park our arses we started to get heckled with people shouting us to 'sit down' in their thick Canadian accents. After that it didn't take us long to locate our seats.
Despite watching a few games on TV or in the pub neither Tom or myself knew much about Ice Hockey, obviously the aim of the game was to get the puck in the goal and do this more than the opposing team, but all the intricate details we didn't have a clue. We must have sounded like women at football games with some of the things that we were blurting out. What was surprising was the atmosphere, it was nothing more than a few heckles and the odd negative chant. The only time there would be a good atmosphere was when the screen would say Make some noise, but in my opinion a crowd shouldn't be told to get behind a team or make noise at a game, they should be doing it automatically. The other random thing that happened was a chant for the Seahawks who were in the super bowl later that afternoon. I found it weird that a crowd would chant for a completely different sport! It would be like going to an English Premier League game and starting a chant for Andy Murray or Leeds Rhinos. Weird. The Ice Hockey itself was good, I enjoyed watching the game, it was much better than on TV, I could spot the puck easier, follow play and it didn't seem so stop start compared to as on the TV when you get all the adverts. I also got a slight appreciation for the skill involved in the game. Unfortunately the only scraps were a couple of moments of 'handbags' which were quickly stopped / calmed down by the referees. Minnesota Wild ended up winning the game 4-2. The key point perhaps came at 2-0 when the Canucks had a goal very harshly ruled out and moments later Minnesota Wild extended their advantage with another goal. The atmosphere did pick up with ten minutes to go after two quick fire Canucks goals and the fans tried to urge the Canucks to at least force over time but as they went all out attack Minnesota broke and sealed the game when there pacey play broke forward and put the puck into an empty net. All in all it was a good experienced with a few overpriced beers - but aren't they always overpriced at sports events.
The game finished just after 2.30pm so we kicked on met Jordan who had done a bit more shopping, had a coffee and tried to find a decent pub for to watch the Super bowl but with no real success. Ron, the management who let us into the arena had recommended us The Pint to go watch the game, whereas Caitlin a girl I met on the Banana farm said that the Blarney Stone or the Lamp Lighter would be good. We decided to head to The Pint as it was close to where we were and the hostel we would be stopping in that night. Tom and I were also surprised to see Connor working in there, he was the Irish guy we had met at Football, and nearly came up trumps in finding me some accommodation. Knowing him made it much easier for us to order drinks in the busy crowd. Like hockey, I didn't know much about American Football. I'd watch the super bowl for the atmosphere but that was it. And for the most part of the game I didn't watch too much as I took advantage of the cheaper beers and caught up with Meghan Hardman, a friend I made in Malia back in 2007 who had recently moved to Vancouver after accepting a job out there with Enrst & Young. The atmosphere was electric though. Vancouver was supporting the Seattle Seahawks as they are the closest American Football team to them and every ten yards made, interception and anything else decent done by the Seahawks was cheered for emphatically. The atmosphere grew and sucked me in, and I dare say Meghan too who knew diddly squat about the game. It ended up all boiling down to the Seahawks needing a touchdown with the time dwindling fast. They looked like they'd have a great opportunity after a quality fumbled catch sent The Pint into cheers, all it would take was one more good play and they would have their hands on the top prize, but The New England Patriots 21 - Jermaine Kearse made the interception of his life to hand the Patriots the well-earned victory and ended one of the wildest finishes to a Super bowl in history. The wild ending and atmosphere gave me a whole new respect for a game I'd only ever really appreciated in Remember the Titans and maybe other one or two Hollywood films. Or maybe it was the consumption of copious amounts of alcohol; it makes girls look prettier so maybe it makes s*** sports better? I guess I will find out the next time I watch a game. Tom had picked up a chick outside the Pint earlier on in the day, and she had lead us to her table of friends, albeit the long way round the bar when we could have just taken four steps. She was obviously pissed and Tom was very on / off about closing the deal with her, but her friend invited us to another pub so we followed them and walked to a place called The Bourbon. The Bourbon was reminiscent of an old man's pub with a mechanical bull in the corner, it was also dead. I'd had my fill of beer, so ordered a Whisky awesome, which looked more like kiwi juice and I got a hammering for it. Jordan and myself took it upon ourselves to get changed here and I put on my newly acquired naughty 'pub carpet' shirt. With The Bourbon lacking people and an atmosphere Jordan, no not Jordan from Whistler this was also the name of the friend of the girl who Tom had hooked up with made a plan for us to go to the Roxy and she would pay for the cab. We said goodbye to Meghan who left because it was her first day the next day, and it might have been best as it was in the cab that things went a bit AWOL. I started having playful banter with Tom's chick, perhaps being a bit of a dick, and when she rightfully called me on this Tom defended me and laid into her, to the point of her breaking down into tears. One of his better lines was 'you're not even that good looking, you're about a 7 on looks, but you're a 10 on being a dick.' Despite Jordan's (one again her friend) protests that we stay, she obviously didn't see her friend crying we swapped contact details, as she was heading to Whistler for a weekend in the near future and headed to our hostel to finally check-in.
It was no later than 8.30pm when we made the hostel and we were as pissed as if it was 2am. We checked in and had banter with the guy sat behind the desk, he was on a small chair and it made him seem a bit of a midget. Despite us thinking we were as funny as Peter Kay, I bet he thought we were right dicks and he wasn't too far wrong. Tom started pissing down the corridor, then in a cup in our room, which he spilled on the floor before necking the other half! We then proceeded to knock on every door getting people out for a party, Jordan was going round the corridors shouting Party Train, Tom knocking and saying housekeeping and me banging and joining in with whatever. Somehow despite our drunken obnoxious behaviour we managed to convince some folk to join us. A very camp guy from Bali too we all to a place called Malone's where they had Karaoke. We went straight up and sang Backstreet Boys, Call Me Maybe and Wonderwall to name but a few, there was no getting us off the mic. Tom also had a fondness for shouting out Vagina on the mic every thirty seconds or so. Malone's was pretty dead too, the night mainly consisted of karaoke, drinking, Tom trying to bum Harry the guy from Bali and the occasional drunken shot of pool. I tried chatting up a German girl who was out with us from the hostel to no avail and Tom tried with another girl but once again came up short so after some drunken shenanigans we headed for pizza. Normally most stories would end there but there was still one as Tom tried to play a prank on me by putting a tonne of chilli flakes on my remaining slice of pizza, what he didn't realise in his drunken state was that glass is transparent and I could see everything he was doing with his child like mischievous grin. We got back around midnight after a full 12 hour session and passed out with the light on in our beds after Tom was too lazy to turn the light off after he lost at Rock, Paper, Scissors despite him trying to cheat. Jordan was still out talking to a girl at the bar, but came back empty handed to Tom and myself snoring away.
The next morning we woke up with a hangover, great nights / day sessions deserve. We headed next door for the free muffin breakfast, though Jordan and I upgraded to the full breakfast for only $5.25. Tom warned us that the breakfast wasn't that great and rather dry, but I needed bacon. He was right though the breakfast was sub-standard and definitely lacked Baked Beans or something else moist. As we slowly picked our way through our breakfasts we kept encountering people from the previous night, most hadn't a good word for drunken piss drinker Tom. We made our way into the streets of Van for a last bit of shopping and to get a greasy McDonald's burger to sort us before heading back 'home' and to 'reality' in Whistler.
So until next time stay safe and take care