There is something to be said about beauty rest …and I clearly am not getting any and it shows. My road trip insomnia usually kicks in a couple days before my departures and lasts until my arrival back in Toronto. And with my inability to sleep comes an inability to eat. Quite often I go from eating three meals a day to just one. However, this pattern proves to be problematic when I am on extended stays, like I am right now in Philadelphia! I’ve been trying to force myself to eat two meals a day by frequently visiting Campo’s crack house for a little delicacy known as the Philly cheese steak! Yum! But I often find that it is far too much food and end up speed walking to and from South Street trying to speed up digestion, or lying on my bed feeling sorry for myself.
Yesterday I made my first ever trip to Philadelphia by air. I have only ever flown into Philadelphia once, last year on the EXACT same day, but that was for a connecting flight to Miami for a Panthers/Bruins game. My flight from Buffalo was delayed and I ended up missing my flight to Florida, so I became quite familiar with the Philadelphia airport and its naughty food and Express Spa! This time around I flew in from Pearson International in Toronto. Boy, do I hate that. I hate the traffic, I hate the parking, I hate the lines, but I have to admit that I do like to ride the monorail weeeeeeeee – reminds me of Disney World! I prefer to go through customs by car, but this time around airport customs was surprisingly painless. The customs officer and I just talked about hockey and that was that – welcome to America!
Flying may save time, but it certainly doesn’t cut back on my stress. By the time I arrived at my hotel, I hardly had any time to do anything before I had to leave for the rink. It reminded me of my early days before I had perfected the art of the road trip; trips that included endless nights of driving, only to arrive on game day exhausted, bitchy, and hideous. My face tends to glow bright red when I haven’t slept! I discovered that on my first trip to Milwaukee! I was traveling with a friend who was a smoker at the time, so the trip took twelve hours on account of her threatening to end my life if I didn’t stop to let her get her Nicotine fix. My face was in a similar state when I got in yesterday. I had to spend what little time I had (about one hour) trying to calm my skin down with a hot towel…but that only did so much.
I was so tired and jittery when I got to the game that I was practically napping in my seat before the warm up started – CRASH! The fact that I pretty much only consumed an energy drink that day added to my nerves (which are usually pretty high before Flyers games as it is). I was close to tears until I had a beer in the first period to counterbalance the effects of the caffeine. I felt pretty good after that, even though I suspect that I am getting sick. I wonder if I caught the throat Syphilis that is affecting all the Flyers while I was in Boston. I’m looking at you, Niittymaki!
My seat was a couple rows behind the Flyers bench, which mimics the seats I have when I go to HSBC Arena – kind of funny considering the Sabres were in town. This time I had a better view of the Sabres’ bench, though…ahem Paul Gaustad! Flyers/Sabres match ups are always exciting, and last night’s game was no exception! The Flyers came away with the W in a 6-3 victory, but seeing as Buffalo is the frontrunner to become my new favourite team (for economical/convenient/anti-fake boob reasons), I made sure to take a serious look at them. I even clapped (but not very loudly) for Derek Roy’s goal out of respect for my hockey roots with Kitchener.
I was dreading having to catch a cab after the game – a feat that proved to be quite challenging in Boston. I HATE not having a car! There was a lone cab waiting outside Wachovia Center for the thousands of exiting fans. I saw a couple approach the cab and get turned away, so I thought I would ask him where to find the others since I couldn’t see any. He told me he would take me and later revealed that he had been called in to pick up a group of guys, but changed his mind because I’m “very nice.” SCORE!!!
I didn’t do much the first night – I was really exhausted. I made the hike to Wawa to stock up on supplies (two six packs of water). While I was there I made a very important discovery – a brand new Rockstar flavour – GREEN (citrus/acai)!! I was, after all, on my first trip to Philadelphia on March 5th, 2007 when I discovered the purple Rockstar! I was never the same again! I always bring a box back home when I run low on supplies. Neither the purple nor the green are available in Canada. Unfortunately, the green Rockstar wasn’t my idea of a good time, but it came in handy when I needed to get up early for the Flyers practice the next morning. On my way back to the hotel a guy stopped his car and asked if I needed a ride – men are creepy! WHAT KIND OF GIRL SAYS YES TO THIS!?!
Since I didn’t drive, I don’t have a car in Philly. Long road trips are like therapy to me, so the fact that my last two trips (and my next trip to Boston on the 2nd of March) were flights, I am starting to notice that I have far more pent up aggression when I’m driving around at home. A simple drive to the store ends up becoming a forty minute cruise around town to my favourite jams, and I have been known to bust out the bird on a few occasions! That’s class. Despite the fact that the Flyers (hang over friendly) practice was scheduled for 11:30 this morning, I still had to be up very early to make sure that I was able to secure a rental car in time to get out to New Jersey. I went the Enterprise route – they pick you up! I really needed that drive to Voorhees for my sanity!
The car rental place was trying to load my information into the computer and told me that they couldn’t find Toronto on the list of provinces. This is the first week that I have actually heard Americans think of Toronto as a state-like entity! I was pretty sure Americans pretty much knew Toronto as the only existing major Canadian city. However, on Wednesday, my friend and I finally booked our mid-June graduation trip to the Bellagio in Vegas! We couldn’t book online because we aren’t American, so while I was on the phone with the reservations staff, I had the same situation. She asked me for my address, and when I got to the city portion and said Toronto she thought that I had given her a “state” name. I said, “No, Toronto, Ontario,” which she retained for all of three seconds before clarifying, “So that was Toronto, Montreal, Canada.” Uhh, no. Luckily, she was dealing with me, I’m sure my friend would have had a fit if she was talking to her! Even when I told her the story after the fact, she seriously had a five minute laughing spell.
Once again, I was very jittery at the practice on account of having a Rockstar breakfast! I was bouncing up and down, and found it very hard to stand still. Then to add to my excitement, a team of pee wee hockey players from Gatineau, QC came in for the practice with their gentlemen guardians – yummy twenty- something French-Canadian men, oh my! I need to move to Ottawa! Yes, indeed!
I took it pretty easy for the rest of the day – a cheese steak being the only highlight of the afternoon. That and I discovered that I don’t get charged an ATM fee for taking money out at TD Bank machines. See it pays to go TD! Take that, Scotiabank! I went back to Buddakan for dinner and it was like I had only been there yesterday! This time around I specifically ordered less food than last time. Back in the beginning of January, I had eaten so much that I could hardly move by the time I paid my bill! Buddakan would have none of this, though, and sent me a complimentary order of edamame ravioli to start! I’m glad they did! They were soooooooo , soooooooo, soooooooooo good!!!! I highly recommend! And I am happy to report that my fullness was manageable by the end of the night – but I did still take a brisk walk after!
Anyway, I am currently in bed watching A&E, though I should be studying for my midterm on Wednesday. The Flyers are playing the Penguins in a matinee game tomorrow, which means another fairly early morning, so I’m going to turn in! Sweet dreams!