Getting up for the Flyers/Penguins matinee game on the third day was challenging. I have stayed at the same hotel on my last two visits to Philly, and for some reason both rooms had the alarm clock programmed for 6 AM! Being technologically inept, I couldn’t figure out how to shut the damn thing off without having it reset for the next night! So, basically, every morning, I would get an initial wakeup call at six, and then there’d be no getting back to sleep completely again. I suppose I could have just unplugged it. It wasn’t all bad, though, on the second day the song that woke me up was Bon Jovi’s Dead or Alive – I love that jam!
The game itself was crazy. I had the same seats behind the Flyers bench again, so I was enjoying the view *WINK.* The Flyers fans HATE Crosby, which I guess is understandable considering they are both division and State rivals. However, I personally found this quite intriguing. I was under the impression that Sidney Crosby had that Gretzky-like sense of awe surrounding him. I thought that when he entered visiting rinks that the local fans had a deep respect for him and were there specifically to see him play. Mind you I have only ever physically seen Crosby play in Toronto, so I actually have no idea if my theory is correct. (And for the record, I, for one, do not go to the games specifically to see him play!)
Anyway, the Flyers fans are merciless toward him and the Pens in general. This rivalry goes well beyond the long-standing bad blood between Leafs fans and Habs fans as depicted in Roch Carrier’s, The Hockey Sweater. (Yes, it’s still my favourite book!) An intense fight broke out in the stands between groups of the two opposing fans. Sure, I’ve seen fights at Leafs/Habs games before; even on the subway after the fact, but this fight happened in the lower bowl….at an afternoon game where beer is not likely to be the cause -crazy, but hilarious. Side note: I am not even going to address *that* goal. So, let’s just try to pretend like it didn’t happen.
It was a beautiful day in Philadelphia, well, at least, in the opinion of this subzero Canadian girl (local press described the south Philly afternoon weather as “chilly”), and I actually opted to walk the five miles back to Old City from the arena after the game. I started to lament my decision part way through, as I hadn’t eaten a thing that day. So by the time I got back, I b-lined straight for Campo’s. I even ordered a new flavour, pizza or something, which I later regretted because it tasted exactly like my own home cooking! Still yummy, though.
That night I was too excited because FINALLY one of the ghost tours I have been dying to go on was running. I love ghost walks – they make history so much more exciting. I try to go on them in all the older cities that I visit. While I was in Charleston, South Carolina, I did a different tour every night! I really hope Boston’s will be running next week! It’s usually the one touristy thing that I do when I travel. Anyway, I thoroughly enjoyed hearing about Philadelphia’s ghosts by trolley. This was the first time I had been on a non-walking tour, which was great considering I did that five mile hike only a few hours earlier.
I turned in relatively early. I still had to pack for check out in the morning. After check out I headed to the Flyers Wives Carnival to kill time until my flight at 7:50 PM. The Carnival was a spectacle, that’s all I can really say. The highlight for me was using the Stanley Cup box as my own personal coat rack – p-i-m-p! And the wives were surprisingly well behaved. The presence of cameramen seemed to keep their claws retracted and their glares to a minimum. The majority of the patrons at this event were young children and their parents, but I did see the odd puckie lurking around; including a former ice girl that seemed to have unsavory intentions! That’s just more proof against the scandalous intent of the girls that go for ice crew-esque jobs. In Toronto that behaviour will get you fired – though some people manage to fly under the radar AHEM! Which brings me to the letter that I had begun to address in the title:
Dear Flyers “Dance Team,”
We need to have a talk. Please do not disgrace the sanctity of hockey’s Holy Grail by offering, nay, threatening, to expose your bare bosoms in its presence. Nobody needs to see that…ever.
I decided to partake in a spot of ale at the festival, but, seeing as I can hardly eat on road trips, that beer did some damage. I tried to sober up by eating some crab fries in the upper bowl. I enjoyed them a lot more than the first time I had them at Chickie and Pete’s back in November, 2007! I remember how mad I was when the waiter brought them to the table because I thought I had ordered real crab! Did I mention I was still blonde at the time? Anyway, a half serving of crab fries was the only thing I could manage to eat all day… until my plane touched down in Toronto at 9 PM and the trip was officially over. Once the trips are over my nerves settle down and my appetite returns – instantly! Thank goodness the event staff at the Carnival were handing out bags of corn chips because by the time I got to the LINK shuttle terminal at Pearson I was starving…it never fails.