Well it is once again snowing here in Upstate NY. 4 inches falling and more to come. Same scenario as when I was preparing to leave for Canada last week.
Last Thursday I hadnt heard from the Boys (Al or Riggstad) I had exchanged a few emails with CK and called her Thursday nite. I had never met CK, had never spoken to her but I can talk to just about anyone and figured we would hit it off. And I was right but more on that later. She was going to take the train into Philly from NYC and meet the guys there to begin the journey. I thought two things: They are going to have a long long drive and the back ways could be treacherous. Originally they had thought of coming up thru Albany but decided the shorter way would be thru Binghamtom up 81. Sometime on Friday afternoon before they were exiting PA, CK called me from the car and said meet up in Syracuse. This sounded good at first until I realized I would never make it Syracuse in time with the roads the way they were during high traffic time. Heck Albany airport was closed. Plus I hadnt packed and my cat sitter/neighbor hadn't come over for the key. SO I called CK and the guys back and said 'I'll wait for the roads to clear and head out first light tomorrow"... Which I did.
I got up to a text message that Trent, my sub had won week #22 of the APL the nite before, inking me into the Tournament of Champions. Plus that pretty much cemented a top ten finish for me. I still have bad finish and three tourneys to improve that with but thats a story for another day.
You gotta love the Grateful Dead Dicks Picks or downloads for long drives. I listened to All three discs of this particular Dicks Picks and repeated a little. Then I listened to All the Road Running (Emily Lou Harris and Mark Knopfler of Dire Straits-awesome)
I hit Buffalo/Niagara Falls in record time stopping to refuel once after topping off my tank at the start. Plus I had to stop about every hour and a half to pee. With my recent issues I cant hold it long and was told not to try so I stopped as needed.
Customs on the Canadian side was a breeze I went over on the Lewiston bridge, the same one VinNay was hassled on. I have a recycling tub in my car and I was just asked what was in it (Illegals my dear) no old newspapers to bring to the dump which was one errand not completed. Where are you going??. Toronto. Why?? Dinner with a friend.. Staying Over? Yes one night definitely, perhaps two. She nodded and I was waved thru, coverted some cash into Canadian Called Kat and Carol to give an approximate arrival time
The drive into Canada had a lot to look at. The Lake was visible on my right alot of times. There were vineyards to look at and signs to read, Tim Hortons to ponder and lots of shopping all the way into Toronto on the QEW. I am really good with directions but MapQuest is a little confusing at times. I passed Astin's exit and got off the next one. I was headed the right way but couldnt find University (I was on it but no signs telling me this). I turned off the route I was on stopped about ten people to ask directions before finally getting a Toronto downtown local and not a tourist. I asked where University was looped around and got back on it the wrong way heading to the lake which I knew wasnt right, this was after calling CK who had no idea which way to go as she slept thru most of this navigational dance. I did a U Turn illegally (there were a few of those this weekend) and got back too where I needed to go and finally got/found Sutton Place when I finally had an unblocked view of the building and was able to find my way there.
I head up to the room and am greeted by CK/BWOP. Now I no CK from self description is Korean but for some reason I expected her to be a towering Asian gal. Maybe because some of the short male bloggers have referred to her as tall or stateuesque so Im thinking Evy Eng height. Nope CK is about my height and petite. I liked her immediately. Having been on many a dead tour I have no problem bunking/traveling with friends of friends. LJ can vouch for CK and so can MiamiDon and thats enough for me. And it was great getting to spend as much time with her as I did.
Joanne and Kat walked over to our hotel and we cabbed for the Female procedure which included Brunch (Eggs Benedict with peameal bacon for IG) and then some browsing/shopping in the Distillery District. We never made it too one shop that Kat had thrown out to me in chat, so no toys were purchased. I figured why go to a strip club unless someone is going to stick bills down my own shirt and I had never met Joanne or Kat in person only chatted with Kat over the last year or so. So I thought it would be more fun to get to know them both leisurely. Plus Kat said the strippers the nite before were pretty lame.
Back to the hotel where CK and I talked right up till dinner about some of our favorite bloggers, her plans for being a non-lawyer etc. Then we went down to cab to Astin's. That is when I got my first BamBam hug. he was getting into the cab, Pebbles was already in it. I said you must be BamBam. With a slightly tipsy cock of the head he smiled and said IG (as in IGGY). So I am IG to BamBam and I... G... to everyone else.
16 or was 18 invaded Astin's for Dinner. The chef in me wanted to help Astin but I know not to invade someone else's space and let the man do his thing. He had sliced a few of his fingers peeling potatoes (something Ive done) and I was ready to carve if needed but Astin deftly served soup, carved roast elk, made mashed potatoes and oven roasted veggies for us. Garlic bread came courtesy of Kat. Dessert was delicious Creme Brulee icecream with some brittle on it and gourmet Cupcakes Kat and Joanne had picked up.
It was at Astin's I met the Tuckfard crew of Donkaaaa, SuzyQ ,Carson, NutzFirth, Mr Bankwell and Pokertart,OueenK as well as Pebbles, BamBam and Im pretty sure I missed a tuckfard gal. Correct me and Ill link you up as soon as I do my links. I also met the man himself AlCantHang and Riggstad another dude who was funnier then hell but who spent too much time on his Crackberry.
There was lots of laugh, WII Guitar Hero which I didnt take a turn at. CK was mesmerized by it. Carson was the man putting everyone to shame except Joanne who held her own as the leading female player.
Then it was off to the club for some poker. I did final table but let go of some hands one I'm pretty sure Kat had me on. We only started with 2k chips. I could get nothing going after the add-on and was short to boot after taking a big hit in the hand vs Kat Plus it was kind of a turbo structure which missed a few levels my league's and club play. I was really tired and hooked a ride with BamBam and Pebbles and AL, Then CK busted and joined us.
Sunday we slept in and the CK and I went to Starbucks. In our chats I found out we both have the same favorite pocket pair 99 which of course is the IG and we both love love love Kirk Morrison We then caravaned to Casino Niagara. Kat said to me when we got out, You know IG you drive really close. Sorry gal, thats the way we roll in NYS we drive really fast and close together. Im so used to it I had no idea I was on her small cars butt with my Santa Fe. I had to pull an OTis/Pauly and pee in the parking garage. Yes indeedy I couldnt hold it and I was only 7 days off meds for a kidney infection. My teeth were swimming and I said Fawk it. A girls gotta do what a girls gotta do. Relief.
The gang was waiting for a table at 4PM still and since I was already 1.5 hours closer to home and rarely play cash I decided to head home to Albany. I met VinNay briefly as he had been turned back at the border the nite before.
I returned over the Peace Bridge pretty much thru Buffalo center. I was hassled at the Border too. Apparently I had rolled across the line where I was supposed to wait for the asshat/douchebag customs dude. He waved me back so I rolled back and waited and waited and waited after the car in front of me had taken off. That car was there a long time. The dude finally shrugged his shoulders like what are you waiting for and I rolled up and then he started his Gestapo shit which got me surly and peeved as I was tired and wanted to get the FAWK back into my own country.
What were you waiting for?
You to wave me forward!!
You waved me back!!
You tripped sensors you had to back up behind the line. You cheap bastards paint a line dont make us look for an imaginary one.
So why didnt you pull up when you had the green light?
I was waiting for you to wave me ahead!! Blood pressure boiling now and I wanted to punch the little Nazi. Ive been hassled by cops before in my dead days and don't find it amusing especially when I am a citizen of the US who pays this clowns salary.....
I could see this was going to go on and on in an endless loop till I finally said loudly. "Ive never driven thru customs before Only flown Im not familair with how you do things at the border!!!"". That seemed to satisfy him. Where were you? For what? where are you going? Home to Albany. Are you bringing anything back.. Yes you donk SARS which I am going to inflict on you and your firstborn you little prick. And I thought what Chad would say and giggled... Of Course I then stupidly asked the Asshat which way to Buffalo and the Thruway I got "I dont know Im not from around here." All I can think of is this clown hassles US Citizens and is a moron and has zero personality or customer service skills
God Bless the USA and the Govermment drones who call themselves employees of the Federal Government.
Time is always too short blogger folk and it was back to reality on Monday. Im now coming down with a sore throat and have plugged ears and im losing my voice. What are the symptoms of SARS?