Day: July 26, 2015

Phil’s Travels: Players’ Championship Day 3 (Curling & Rain & More Curling)

Originally posted to Windy City Curling Blog.   This is pretty much what I was like leaving the arena Tuesday night: Thankfully I did manage to get some sleep pretty easily. We’ve been doing a lot of walking, and the beer didn’t hurt either. Nevertheless, we were up early and wolfed down a quick breakfast before heading off to the arena. We got there just as the teams were warming up. Team Muirhead was playing Team Paetz, and Team Sidorova was playing Team Feltscher…those were the two games we were focusing on. Team Edin was playing Team Bottcher, and Team Jennifer Jones was playing Team Nedohin as well. I took a lot of pictures. Muirhead played well, but Paetz made some great shots and won. We tried to see if we could get some pictures or autographs after the match, but they got out of there pretty quickly. We had decided beforehand to skip on the draw at noon, so we walked back towards our hotel. It started raining pretty steadily and we got slightly soaked. We had also decided to pick up some flags to help us cheer for our favorite non-Canadian teams, and the two (yes, there are two) flag stores near our hotel were closed, so we were checking out some stores nearby to see what we could find. No luck. After some lunch we went back...

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Phil’s Travels: Players’ Championship Day 2 (Toronto & Opening Draw)

Originally posted to Windy City Curling Blog   I fell asleep sometime before midnight on Monday, anxiously awaiting the next day. I woke up around 5:30 and couldn’t fall back asleep, so I decided to get up and get moving. After packing and breakfast we were on the road a little after 9:00. The drive to Toronto was uneventful, other than the increased traffic once we hit Toronto proper. Around 11:30 we parked and hit up the St. Lawrence Market for lunch. It’s a really cool place and definitely worth checking out if you’re in town. After lunch we walked over to the Hockey Hall Of Fame. There is a lot to see there, and some really cool interactive exhibits. Of course, no visit would be complete without seeing the Stanley Cup itself. I did go up there and check it out. It was cool to see the Blackhawks teams from 09-10 and 12-13 on there, and there even is a blank space for the infamous 04-05 lockout season. I think my favorite exhibit though was about the St. Louis Blues. It wasn’t anything fancy, just a blank touchscreen monitor that said “PLAY.” When touched, it played the following video:   After that, we went back to the market so Neil could buy some mustard. Seriously, that’s all he’s been talking about since we started planning this trip. I am...

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Phil’s Travels: Players’ Championship Day 1 (Driving & London)

Originally posted to Windy City Curling Blog.   As I write this I’m drinking Labatt Crystal, which (as far as I know) is only available in Canada. Neil and I are staying in downtown London, Ontario for the night. London is about an hour past the border, and roughly 90 minutes from Toronto. We hit the road about 9:00 AM (Central) this morning, traffic wasn’t bad at all. We stopped for lunch in Lansing, Michigan at Big John Steak & Onion…with a name and a sign like this, how could you not stop? We ate quickly and jumped back on the highway. One more stop for gas, and before we knew it we were through Port Huron, over the bridge, and at the border. When it was our turn, we got through in about 90 seconds and immediately hit up the currency exchange. A few minutes later and all our American money had been converted into shiny Canadian Money. The exchange rate is about $1.20 Canadian for every $1.00 American, so needless to say I felt a little bit richer heading back to the car…of course, I’m sure I’ll be quite disappointed when I change it back and lose out. If you’re not familiar, Canadian money looks very different from American money. It’s more colorful, and different denominations have different colors. The coins are similar, but since there are no...

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