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Colorado (Day 1): [Insert clever title here]

I thought I’d be smarter about things this time around, and I made a special trip to 7-Eleven on my way to Buffalo to acquire an energy drink – so I wouldn’t pass out again like I did in New York. I was on the hunt for the rumoured purple Rockstar that my friend claimed now existed in Canada. I had mixed feelings when I discovered that she was right. On the one hand, I was excited because the guava flavoured Rockstar is my favourite one of all, but, on the other hand, now my road trip missions to smuggle as many across the border whenever I go to a hockey game (by land) was obsolete. I used to have so much fun scouring the States looking for convenience stores and gas stations that had a hefty supply, and then completely buying them out. I guess those days are gone.

The Canadian purple Rockstar tasted off to me, which completely validates my suspicion that there must be something in the American version that didn’t comply with our Nutrition board. The American version has a slight detergent-y undertone to it, which, for some reason, I enjoyed. Anyway, after consuming the drink I was both wired and jittery when I approached the bridge to cross into the States. My border experience this time around was not as pleasant as last week.

When I pulled up to the window, there was a chick standing there. Great. Not that I’m against female border guards or cops, I think it would be fun to be a border guard personally, but they are ALWAYS the worst (on both sides of the border). I remember I once had a Canadian female border guard giving me shit because my eyes were “glassy.” Umm, it’s 1 AM and I’ve been traveling from Boston for eight hours, why do YOU think they are “glassy?” Anyway, once I revealed my “hockey games” card to her, I sat back and waited to see how she was going to handle her game. As anticipated, she had to be the “tough” woman who is fighting way too hard to be “taken seriously.” Sound like anyone we know? She selected the three year old approach to our song and dance, which means that, no matter what I said to her, her answer would be, “WHY!?” Well, I knew where this was going; been down that road more than a few times now, and quite frankly I didn’t have the time to waste with her questions, if I was just going to have to do it all again. Basically, I laid the attitude on thick in an attempt to have her speed up her inevitable decision to send me for further inspection.

Once in the inspections building, the man working the counter basically sat there chatting about hockey and reading Psycho Lady Hockey, and laughing, or exclaiming, “Wow, this is neat” periodically. The guy who was searching my car finally came in trying to play the asshole. He found “suspicious” materials in my car. Do you know what it was? A copy of Down the Rabbit Hole: A Guide to Puck Bunnies! NO LIE! But the guy working inside would have none of this assholery, and in the most polite way possible, told the other guy to fuck off essentially. Anyway, the guy was nice enough to write up a file including my website, book, and hockey gaming endeavours in the computer in an attempt to help me out in the future, should the border guard not already be familiar with my work, that is. He also gave me an official “Visitor on Business” stamp in my passport – oh no! Psycho Lady Hockey is being legitimized by the US government; whatever will all the self-proclaimed “intelligent” female hockey bloggers do now?

When I was finally back on the road I had very little time to catch my flight. I was speeding like a bat out of Hell, all the while rehearsing what I would say to the police officer if I got pulled over. “Please, mister, my flight is boarding in ten minutes…” Luckily, it never came to that. I had no time to be protective of Lynxie this time around either. He had his first sleepover last week, and I am confident he’ll be OK again (I hope). I just locked him up, and sprinted all the way to the terminal. I had two minutes to spare by the time I arrived at my gate. Phew.

On the plane to Colorado I was having a bit of a life crisis. If the border guards are good for anything, it’s making you feel like you shouldn’t be doing what you’re doing. They like to judge you on things they feel you shouldn’t possess based on the level of income they’ve assigned to you on superficial grounds. For some reason they are very suspicious of my car, and think that I probably can’t afford it or to do what I’m doing. These things always make me feel like maybe they are right. Maybe I’m ruining my life following my bliss. I started to think about my job interviews because of this, freaking out that maybe I’m screwing myself over because I’m not going to get the job(s).

I tried to relax, and Reiki out all the jitters. I resolved to stop thinking the worst about the job front, and that I would check my business emails as soon as I checked into my hotel, and see if there was anything good (or bad) waiting for me. Once checked in, I did just that, and the email from that employer was sitting in the inbox like I suspected it would be. The news wasn’t bad, and the job in Kamloops, British Columbia was mine. This doesn’t mean that I’ll be packing it in and heading to British Columbia right away. Now, it’s a bit of a waiting game until they summon me to the post, and likely I’ll be sent to Ottawa for a few weeks first! If the waiting game takes too long, however, then, out of necessity, I may have to take a different job. So, don’t ASSUME I’m moving to the Western Conference full time just yet!

My waiter at lunch was recommending places for me to go while I’m here. He started off by saying, “Do you know the movie The Shining?” Well, I knew where he was going with that, so I said, “Yeah, I wanted to stay at the Stanley Hotel, but I thought it was too far to commute for the game.” Anyway, he told me I should still check it out, so after a brief nap, I made the hour long trek up to Estes Park, and I have to say that the drive through the mountains at sundown was awe inspiring.

By the time I got to Estes Park, it was dusk. Everything was dark, but you could tell it was a beautiful place. The Stanley Hotel loomed on top of a hill glowing from the strands of white lights that framed its edges, and a field worth of pumpkins lined the stairway to the main entrance. I knew that the ghost tours were over for the day, but I just wanted to wander around a bit. After I did the main level, I went down to the basement where the gift shop was and where the tour meets. They had a really cute mug that said “REDRUM” on it, so I had to buy it because apparently I have a cute mug collection now.

I went into the tour room and announced to one of the guides that I bought the mug, and he responded with, “Now you finally have a STANLEY CUP!” hahaha. My response was, “Yeah, living in Toronto this is probably the closest thing we’re ever going to see in our lifetime.” Anyway, we started chatting informally about ghosts, past experiences, demons, exorcisms, all kinds of interesting stuff. He declared that I must be an “empath,” someone whose intuition is based mostly on emotional reactions. I’ve always been somewhat aware of this. That is actually what alarmed me about my emotions at the Blues game last week. I didn’t really get the impression that I was the one who was actually sad, more that something was coming at me from somewhere else in the building. I’m not actually an overly emotional person by my own right. Anyway, he wanted to give me a bit a of brief, informal, off-the-record (which I think I accidentally blurted part of it out at the front desk while I was leaving –eek! My bad!) tour because he wanted to see the kind of response I’d get in certain hot spots.

I wasn’t in top physical form, though, and I was always aware that anything I might be feeling might just be the result of altitude. I told him if my heart raced, or if I felt anxious, or if my head felt cloudy, but again, any of those could be the result of the altitude and too much caffeine. The only place where I definitely felt something (non-altitude related) was in the vortex – the portal in the house which has acted as the gateway to the other side. Standing there I began sweating all over, which is typically the reaction you get when something is sucking your energy out of you. A few more moments there, and I probably would have fainted.

Back downstairs, I finally said, “OK I don’t know if this is anything, but I feel like I have to tell you that from the moment I arrived at the hotel, that painting right there has been trying to grab my attention.” He responds with, “That painting there? Interesting. Well, I’m not going to ruin your official tour tomorrow by telling you the story of that one. You’ll have to wait and see.” Anyway, I signed up for the tour and left for the night, and the strange thing was, the pressure on my head (a usual sign of paranormal activity), which I chalked up to possible altitude, lifted as soon as I left the building, so, I guess it was caused by all the ghosties after all.

Anyway, I’m actually on my way back up to the Stanley Hotel for my tour right now before I go to the Avs game tonight. So, very briefly, I want to thank the several people who sent me emails of apology and/or support over the rumours started a couple weeks ago. I was truly touched that these people felt the need to “make it right.” So, I will say publicly, what I said to all of them, in case there are others feeling the same way. I don’t judge you, and I am not offended that you believed what was presented to you as truth. It is not your fault, and I may have done the same thing if I were in your position. Thank you again; your support is appreciated.

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3 Responses to Colorado (Day 1): [Insert clever title here]

  1. Mike_Fahmy says:

    Wow I want to visit the Stanley Hotel one of these days so is Vancouver the team you’re test driving ?

  2. ShanniAGD says:

    GO Canucks GO!

  3. I’m waiting for the next part of the story about the hotel…

    I want to know about the painting!

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