The first cup of coffee in the morning is always a favorite of mine....after that I have several, usually a mix of decaf and the straight stuff....I know some reports say too much coffee is bad for you, as is too much beer, or too much of anything. But we all have our vices, mine happen to be good cigars on occasion, a good variety of beers, and my morning pot of coffee...with non dairy creamer and Sweet and Low...no, I'm not a fan of strong black coffee...just strong coffee, with a little flavor. I'm running a little late this morning, and getting ready to pour my 4th cup as I type.
As regular readers of this blog know, I'm a hockey fan, my professional tastes are the NHL Philadelphia Flyers and in the minor leagues, the Fort Wayne Komets...both teams have rich histories. I get to the Komets on occasion, never been lucky enough to see the Flyers in person. However, I have seen the Ohio team in the NHL, the Columbus Blue Jackets several times...and last night, I was in the Capital City to see the Jackets take on the Anaheim Ducks.
My old friend Bill Clem lives in Marion, Ohio, and I last saw him in August when he drove over to participate on our Bar Stool Open team in and around the bars on Grand Lake...after that we agreed to meet in Waldo, the resting place of many of my ancestors, and the home of the world famous bologna sandwiches at G & R Tavern. Turns out Bill had won a couple of prime Blue Jacket tickets valued at $79 each along with a garage parking pass at his golf clubs raffle...and last night happened to be the night the tickets were good for....we could kill several birds with one trip. Waldo, a few quality brews, and professional hockey at Nationwide Arena.
I left Celina about 1:30pm for the 85 mile trip to Marion, where I hooked up with Bill, had a couple of beers in his basement pool table and bar area, got to see and visit with his son, Bill Jr, whom I had not seen since he helped lead his Marion Pleasant team to the Ohio Baseball Championship back in 2001...Billy, who was a standout Soccer and Baseball player at Pleasant, now teaches Math and coaches both baseball and basketball at his Alma Mater...after that, Bill and I headed for Waldo and G&R...then on to Columbus for the Hockey game.
G & R and Waldo have not changed much over the years since I started researching my Genealogy Roots back before the turn of the century...so far the urban sprawl that has moved north from Columbus and infested Delaware County almost in it's entirety, has not reached into Waldo, the small town of 300 or so, that lies on the north side of the Delaware/Marion County lines. It's a quick 15 minute trip from Bill's house in Marion to Waldo, after arriving we downed a beer, I had my usual(two times or so a year when I visit) Bologna Sammy with Pepper Jack Cheese, sweet pickle, and mustard...added a batch of deep fried mushrooms, and I had pretty much had my calorie intake for the day. We watched a bit of the Yankees/Texas Ranger game(won by NY 7-2, to cut the AL series to 3 game to 2 in favor of the Rangers), washed the food down with a beer and then headed for Columbus.
After parking the car in the prime garage parking spot that came with the tickets, we walked into the Arena District and headed to the Gordon Biersch Brewery Restaurant....no food needed since we had filled up in Waldo...we did however, order in house speciality beers...Bill got a house lager, while I choose the Black Beer called Schwarzbier, which is basically the same as the Sam Adams Black that I tried and really liked last weekend...great on draft as well...I'm really starting to enjoy black beer and of course the usual favorites Guinness Extra Stout, as my beers away from my weekend stand by, Miller Lite.
Off to the arena in time to get our seats, just six rows up from the ice...we spent the first 2 periods there, while the Jackets built a 2-0 lead...great seats, but the view of the far end of the ice at that level was distorted by the "glass" to protect the fans at the lower levels...with a unusually lite crowd, Bill and I moved up about 10 rows and towards center ice for the final period. The Ducks scored a quick goal and Columbus had to hold on for dear life, until securing a "empty net" goal with 27 seconds left, to close out the final 3-1 win...the Ducks forth straight road loss, and now they move on to Philadelphia tonight to play my Flyers.
Great time, great seats, and then we headed back to Marion...Bill showed me the easy route out of town, and I headed back Ohio 309 through Kenton, then my usual route from there through the small bergs of Roundhead(another Houseworth family ancestral location), and New Hampshire. I finally hit the 4 lane and hour out of Marion and arrived home at 12:30 this morning...I grabbed a cold beer to relax after the drive, and hit the sack about 1:30 or so...up by 8 this morning, and now working my way through the day. I'm running behind, here it is Noon-30, and I've been working on this thing for 2 hours...way to long, but I've been on the phone, with Bill, Rick Person, and Sam...so I can always blame them...time to load the photos and I'll be back later!
Photos-My favorite morning brew in my Gold Coast Casino Las Vegas cup...a pot a day is the rule. The Blue Jackets battle the Ducks right in front of our 6th row section 101 seats. In The Clem Basement Bar...Bill Sr, Billy, and Me, before Bill and I headed to Waldo and G&R Tavern, where I had my favorite Balonga Sandwich with cheese, pickles, and mustard...a great tasting Black Beer called Schwarzbier draft(similar to the Sam Adams Black Larger available in bottles), that I had at the Gordon Biersch Brewery Restaurant before the game. The Jackets surround goalie Steve Mason at the end of last night's 3-1 victory.
More photos from last night's game below...click on any for larger view.