I Scoooooooooooooooooooooooored!

I scored Executive Suite tickets to the Edmonton Oilers vs Philadelphia Flyers. I was invited to a business schmooze by the offspring’s pop, The Hubs. His associates didn’t want to couldn’t go so he hinted to the Sales rep that I needed to go being the hugest Oiler fan in River City. The Sales guy said “Bring her Along!” Yippee Kiaaaaaaaayyyyyyyyyyyyy!  I had never sat in an Executive Suite before! I could add this to my 52 new things this year! I have sat in the Skybox, Standing Room, Nose Bleeds, Terrace, Upper Deck, Lower Bowl and Club…but never Executive Suite for an Edmonton Oilers game! Was it as fabulous as the Skybox? Yes and No. I will get to that in a minute, but first the event complete with pics because inquiring Oiler fans want to know. Well, Evil Genius wants to know, so this is for him.

The fancy name plate on the main floor of Rexall Place told me I had arrived.

We walked into the room and were greeted by the sales guys who told us to help ourselves to the unending buffet and bar…. Bar? where?

Telus ordered Wings!

This may be hard for people to believe, but this was my FIRST BEER at a hockey game! I usually drink vodka when I am in the skybox…not that I am there all the time, just once. I am too cheap to spring for beer or hard stuff at Rexall.

The suite was wide but shallow. It had a bar on one side and buffet on the other. The private bathroom is a plus. There were two large screen TVs showing the game inside. The sliding glass doors opened up to two rows of seats surrounded by a rail keeping the riffraff out.

I sat in the front row because I didn’t want to miss the game. I take hockey seriously, unlike the guys who were drinking  working. I was one of 3 women there as dates. The other women were doing their nails… wow… Executive Suite hockey seats and they could care less!

My boys were on tonight! First Hall scores!

My phone told me in case I missed it.

The Eberle scoooooooooooooooooooooooooooooores

My phone confirms what my own eyes witnessed.

The most overpaid captain in the history of the Oilers then gets a penalty shot! Wooooohoooo

Naturally he misses…boooooooooooooooooo not that any of us were surprised. Oh Horcoff…

Bobby Clarke sat in front of me and if you squint you can see the Octane…Canada’s first hockey cheer squad…Really? We needed a Cheer Squad?

Here in Canada we do things Old School and shovel the ice during the whistle stoppages because we can’t afford Zambonis

Psych! We have two Zambonis because we are awesome like that, the shovelers are there because we are fussy about our ice.

The fan tribute at the end. This is my favorite tradition. The Czechs introduced this tradition of standing at centre ice and raising their sticks to the fans. Love it!

By the way, we won! We beat Philly 2-0 That’s right, Duuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuube got the shutout!

Duuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuube!!

ok now for the comparison between the Skybox and Executive (Lux) Suites.

Skybox has beside the door parking – We parked 6 blocks away at the Thistle Curling Club for the Lux.

The Skybox has a separate entrance and private elevator to the suite. The Lux requires you walk amongst the riffraff in huge crowds.

The skybox was long and had 6 rows of seats. The Lux was wide and had 2 rows of suites.

Skybox had a better decorator – although each suite is kitted out according to the box owner’s taste. Skybox owner has better taste…and a broken cement truck on the shelf.

You can watch the play develop from the skybox. It gives a fascinating perspective of the game. From the Lux you feel like you are in the middle of the game and I could hear the boys yell at each other and the refs.

Beer came in regular size cans in the Lux, and baby cans in Skybox.

I could cross my legs and lounge in the Lux. It was a tight squeeze for legs up in Skybox…to be fair I am way lighter so my size may have something to do with it.

The Scotia Bank man I sat beside in the Lux – he was across the rail , a neighbor if you will, was pretending to be knowledgable about the team. I challenged him twice…hahaha I won.

The last time I was at a Philly game, I am pretty sure they Flyers were wearing those stupid long pants that made them look like Juniors. It was 25 years ago last light that the Oil won their 3rd Stanley Cup against the Flyers. It was also the FLyers in 1981 that Wayne Gretzky scored 5 goals on to have 50 goals in 39 games. Ahhhh the good old days. I love my boys but I miss my Oilers.

I think I prefered the proximity of the Executive Suite. I love hearing the game as well as seeing the game. My sister was correct in suggesting I would have a hard time slumming it with the peasants next time I get to go to a game again…She is right. I need to schmooze more with those sales guys and drum up some business for them at work.

Have a great weekend and keep your stick on the ice!

What am I going to use that Klondike Dollar for now?

Dressed and ready for the Klondike Promenade

Today is the last day of my summer vacation. No one cares? That is okay, I am well rested and excited about heading back to work. This summer I set a goal for myself. Happily I achieved it! It was my intent that I would attend as many Edmonton Festivals as possible. Edmonton has a bit of a reputation for being Festival City. All year-long, right here in River City, there are many fantastic festivals and some that are just meh. This Summer I was able to attend 9. That meant heading out every weekend and trying something new. I went with family and friends, or brought my children and I even went solo on occasion.

It was an import goal for me because I didn’t want to waste my summer. In years past, I have over planned my vacation, enjoyed every minute during the usual 10 days away, then came home a floated in the pool. It sounds much more glamorous than it really is. My pool is a 32″ deep wadding pool. Just big enough for me to float on an air mattress, have my standard issue beverage with paper umbrella perched on the side, and read one book or more a week. Last summer it was 15 books. This summer it was 2.

Now if you have read my past blogs dear reader, then you know that I don’t consider reading to be a waste of time. But I always felt I could do more with my days other than clean and organize my linen closet. Don’t get me wrong, I did that too, but I wanted to explore this great city I live in. And I did that.

When I was small, Edmonton didn’t have as many festivals, but the ones we had were so amazing! The biggest and Best was called Klondike Days. I know you are thinking – the Klondike was in the Yukon not Edmonton! True. Edmonton was known as the “gateway to the Klondike” the Alaska highway is just down the road and for the longest time Edmonton was the last major city to get supplies before heading north. So that’s how we called it Klondike Days.

Klondike Days had 10 days of bizarre and fun activities as well as a midway. There was everything from Bathtub races down Jasper Avenue to the Sourdough Raft races on the North Saskatchewan River. Sunday was the Promenade. Jasper Avenue would close down for the afternoon and people would dress up in their Klondike finery and stroll dawn the street parading around like peacocks with feathers in the lady’s hair and straw hats on the gents heads. Thinking about it now seems unbelievable that people would take the time and effort to do this. Shop owners would paint their store windows with Klondike themed pictures, the city would use Klondike dollars for currency during the 10 days.

The year I was 4, my mom made matching pink Klondike dresses and hand bags for me, her sister and herself. I felt like a princess! We went downtown and walked with the hundreds of other people in their Klondike attire. Stopping to look at booths set up for the street fair. People would stop and compliment us on our gowns. I loved every minute of it! If you weren’t dressed up there was a chance that you would be thrown into the Klondike jail and would have to be bailed out. That terrified  me, so I was secretly glad we had the pretty pink dresses.

I couldn’t be bothered with all of that costuming now, and I am sure no one else can either, which is largely the reason for the festival to be changed in the first place. Now it is just Capital Ex. A non descriptive midway carnival with not a lot of other things going on during that week. Thankfully there are other festivals with flair and flash that make festival season here fun.

I am thankful that my mom thought it was important to get out and explore the world where you live. It has brought a richer sense of community into my life and I appreciate home after traveling. It makes me feel like Dorothy from The Wizard of Oz, “There’s No Place Like Home”. I am trying to bring that sense to my children and hope they carry fun and crazy memories with them into their adult lives.

This summer I learned that to be a tourist in your own life, you really need to take the time to get to explore and discover your surroundings in order to better understand your personal journey.