Category Archives: Canada & USA

Friday 9th Sept 2006

I’m in Calgary and what a great town and sooo much work on offer so many businesses have workers wanted signs up – and I’ve talked to a few people who say that work is plentiful accommodation hard to find.
I’ve had a great time in New York, Alaska, The Yukon and Vancouver and now I’m moving on to Seattle.

15th August 2006

I’m in New york and loving it same as last time but too little time and tooo much to do – todfay we went for a tour of Brooklyn and Downtown and its all so noisy and bustly and great but the best thing is …. the food of course!
I love the self service bars where you can get a little bit of everything fresh and delicious and buy it by the lb. what a great way to eat i would never cook again – ok gotta go 1 min left love to all! and to my new friends.

Wednesday 19th July

Up at the usual time and off to the drug store to get a battery for my watch – when the man tried to close the back he cracked the glass so they gave me a new watch same as my old one but a little night light on it as well. so im pretty pleased about that!
Went and ate at the same place it has such good vaiety! And then off to ballroom dancing for a few hours – I was lucky that some guy was standing at the door with a ticket to sell so i got a premium seat for $10 and sat there till lunch time – some of the Australian women were dancing so I saw Bridget and the couple from Melb/Perth dancing. It was great and I think they made it tomthe next category so I will see them this pm.
Sat next to Raoul after lunch and we went upstairs we chatted about the dancing he and his partner are thinking of taking it up so I warned him about some differences he’ll find in dancing styles so to look out foe that!
We exchanged pins – he’s in the cheer squad so now i have cheer squad pin!
I sayed as long as I could and saw the men’s final mmm they are such great dancers there was an especially good German couple – I’ll find out who got where in the next few days.
Went off to swimming – ran home changes d and out for the train – and wouldn’t you knoe it everything was running late so I was a bit worried but still made it there for 5pm one odf the NZ women missed her race however – irt’s so nerve racking getting there on time but niot too too early!
We all went home together agin and as luck would have it Terry got a taxi immediately and I was home by 10pm an early night for once.
I swam my freestyle and wasn’t even puffed so I realised I could actually swim it faster – will do next tiem. Most of us have finished our races so we could chat cheer and take photos all of which we did!
50m Freestyle  53.78 5th place

Tuesday 18th July

I’m not thinking about early starts anymore – I’m up whenever! 11am today. I went to another Sports Attack store this one was huge, had 7 floors and i found a couple of things i needed in the bargain basenmment which was lucky cos i probably wont ever need to wear waterproof trousers again!
i looked around the neighbourhood and found a Food Market these are whole big supermarkets where everything is organic and natural so i was able to buy even more prepared food by the lb. and the food is so different and delicious I will be working my way through the salad bar, then the hot food bar and of course the pastries bar where they have cherry danish and such!
i tried to gethome for a rest and found myself running really alte cos my watch stopped at 1.20 and it was just after 3pm when i got home – so a quick ret and off to the pool – today is the 100Im and 50m backstroke neither of which i hold out anything more than a finish and as i dint win a medal for either breaststroke or butterfly which are actually the strokes i trained for well whatever happens happens!
The I’m went quite well and I finished feeling Ok about it – I was nervous aboutthe backstroke cos i dont swim backstroke much – I hate hitting the wall – but itb went relatively well there were 5 of us swimming it.
Much to my surprise I got a 3rd in both of these so 2 bronze medals for me!!!!
Went home by car with 2 Fins who have a car so that was a treat!
100m IM 2.35.56 3rd place Bronze medal
50m backstroke 1.21.44 3rd place Bronze medal
check the photos!

Monday 17th July

Well I was going to get up and out early but after being out at the meet and greet last night well i did get up but just hung around doing little jobs till about 10am. i had brekfast just down the rad and had a cold drink and a custard bun – it’s pretty hot here s am eating lightly but good – there are lots of bananas here and i am taking advantage of that – so far I can’t say food is cheaper but if you think our serves are big they are enormous here! I’m so glad i found a deli where you can buy salads or whatever by the lb!
I have been stpping at Starbucks for there cold coffee of which I buy small because that is the size of our large! but it’s black coffee with ice and very nice too!
wel I managed 15 mins on the internet just enough to send a message to say im hee and ok but that’s all – and then off to Sports attack tand i checked out shoes and sleeping bag and tent – none of which i wanted so i”ve left it and am going to their other store tomorrow as well as the Patagonia store and Erehwon – which is No where backwards.
I checked around for a coffee shop but everyone sends me out some distant place – lots of chain stores but the locals tell me good coffee shops are few and far between and I’ll do better in Canada – well i’ve grown to like starbucks iced black coffee so i’m happy for now!
i went home for my little afternoon nap and was off to the pool by 54pm it takes me generally half an hour to get there – so went straight in for my warmup when i got there and still felt like i was swimming thru treacle but did my best – this is my nighmare butterfly day so i’ll be all ready luckily its up first!
The lovely Fins cheered me on wildley which was so good! I could hear them as I swm and I finished I was so glad and breathless!
I stayed till the end of the night and cheered on the other Fins and as some were swimming relkays we were there till about 11pm so it was abouut 1am by the time i got home – Terry F, Terry and i went home together and met Micheal so he joined us and when we got off the train – it was a windy horrible night! Terry F found a a taxi immediatly one wwho was on his way home but took her to the hotel anyway – so that worked out well. Chinatown is the nearset stop for Terry to her hotel but too far to walk so this will be a good system and the other Terry is not far from the train when she gets off.
Michael and I walked home and i went off to bed – exhausted!
50m butterfly 1.21.38 4th place

Sunday 16th july

Up at a reasonable time and got to the pool for the 9.30am warm – up. this swimming will mean i hardly have time to get to anything else so have just resigned myself to be a full time sports person for these 2 games.
on the train and on the bus everone chats to each other so i’ve now met some new zealanders as well. i got in to the pool changed, and warmed up – it doesn’t seem any easier than yesterday the water still feels like treacle!
i did 300m and ran through all the strokes just to make sure that i can still coordinate them but still had to stop on every 50m. then i went up and sat with the Fins – who were very lovely ran through the rules and Terry came down with me to my first heat . All the women in my event came down early and we chatted and wished each other well. they don’t announce events – the heat number is on the board and if you are not in the right spot for your event you miss it – and lots of people did – the New zealand gut completely missed his 800m event yeaserday!
Well i swam mine and the woman next to me waited and said good on you we chatted then I weny up feeling a whole lot better because i had completed my first event! But a whole lot worse cos it’s butterfly tomorrow!
i left early to go and get sdome sleep before going to the meet and greet for swimming.
I met michael on the train home he is staying in my hotel so we are going to the meet and greet together – he’ll stay on and party and I’ll go home at a decent hour!
I went in for a salad agin and took it home to eat – had a nap and then got ready to go. i met michael at 6.30, caught the train and went to some place way out somewhere. It was dark and everyone knows how i just LOOVVE dark places! and loud so i couldn’t see or hear or speak without losing my voice.
– i think my party days are over. but i met a few more people chris was one of them a lovely young man from Utah who I have already bumped into several times.
i also ran into Jen from the Fins so we organized to leave together just after 8pm.
So by the time we walked to the train and i caught 2 trains home it was 10pm – Michael had said good night and stayed on.
i got myself ready for the next day so by then it was midnight and off to sleep. My swimming is all at night so i can sleep in till at least 8am and then do my little jobs, go where i need to and will need to leave for swimming just before 4pm to get the for 4.30 training.
My time for 50m breastroke was: 58.59 and I came 5th.

Saturday 15th July

Ok I’ll go into the pool for the session which is about 1pm so will go into town first and see what there is there to eat. i found a great place at Marshall fields – he donated the ground for the stdium at Soldiers field – some while ago like 100yrs maybe?
i found a great place to eat – i don’t need to find anyone to share – you buy salad by the lb. So I got a fabulous salad with strange vegies I had never heard of and dressings i still am not sure what they are but trully fresh and delicious! So that solves my eating problems.
The pool is great and i went straight in for a swim I met a young woman from Philadelphia walking in and she invited me to sit with them seeing i was on my own. So now the Philadelphia Fins have adopted me! And that’s great they are so friendly , supportive and social.
I did get a practice swim in – I could hardley do a lap it felt like treacle in the water – I think it must be something to do with the travel – well at least tomorrow is breaststroke which i can cruise but there is nothing cruisy about
i’m so glad i wasn’t racing today.
Went home early to get ready for the opening – i had a little nap and then got ready and went off took plenty of water and food – i remember how little there was for Sydney!
Well as usual we had a long wait but but I found a nice tree with another couple of women to chat to and lay on the grass till it was time to move to location 2 i was so happy to have done that as we stood for an hour and a half in a hot steamy bunker waiting for our call.
Everone sang songs we all sang waltzing matilda of course – ansd aussie Oye Oye Oye!!! and everone cheered wildley cos they all loved sydney.
i met Des there suzanne’s brother – this seems to be a habit to meet Suzanne’s relies whenever i go to Gay Games events! We had a nice catch up chat and passed the time.
i also searched for any Australian women swimmers – NONE i did not find a singlr Australian woman swimmer. I was told there were a couple of men but did not meet them so i will probably see them at the event.
at last we went on and everyone cheered mmm it’s lovely being a stra!!!
and then the event went on till midnight – i didn’t get home till 1am so swimming will be interesting for me and everyone else!!!
the whole affair was may toooo long and somewhat dreary – well sort of i don’t know how to describe it dramatic? a dancer throwing himself around in  dramatric poses…. that went on and on!!!
most of it could have been run closer together and way les of the dramatic dancer – i asked Americans around me who he was and not many knew or cared they said! which was interesting cos there was a political reason for him being there.
the fireworks were great.

Friday 14th July

I don’t know how but I managed to get up early and get into the Hilton to get my accreditation – and it went well!!! There was hardly anyone there so I was able to walk through and go for a tour around the merchandise stalls and get a good lot of stuff – you always have to be careful at these things cos you pick things up then you can’t carry them! but I did miss out on a great swimming bag that came out on Saturday and I was already busy swimming by then – oh well i got a nice red bag so maybe I can send some things home in that.
my photo wasn’t there but it was not busy so easy enough to have my photo taken and to get my ID and best of all my transport ticket which means I can travel everywhere without paying – I loveee that and makes life so easy .
So far my hotel is proving to be in a good location – i caught the red line out to the swimming – that’s my line so it’s pretty direct. I went into town – oh sorry i went downtown, registered then went home for a nap and off to the swimming – i’m not swimming today but i get to ckeck out the way and the facilities. It was an easy ride and i forgot to say they are having a heatwave! and am I complaining – NO it’s at least hot so i’m enjoying every minute of hot.
So off home for a short nap – living in Chinatown makes it easy to get food and I went to the local market and into a nice cool shop to eat buddah’s special – vegies and tofu so that was nice. i also got an umbrella for the sun because i may need it for the opening ceremony – in Sydney it was hot and sunny so I’m ready. they make delicious ice tea near my place so i had that and a custard bun as desert – i also got fruit and tomatoes – that will do till i get to town.
had a nap then got ready to go to the washington DC meet and greet – it was great! at the palmer Hilton, the oldest continuos running hotel with the most beautiful art deco ceiling – I thought I was in a fancy sistine Chapel [jet lag!].
got home about 11pm having met many people all of whom are extremely friendly all loved Sydney and Australia and love to tell you so!
Went tto sleep – my first swim tomorrow!

Thursday 13th July

This day lasted some 48 hours and about 30+ were flying so this entry may not be all that riveting!
Woke early and did my exercises and got ready to go to the terminal – and through customs – i got a nifty search for explosives that was a new thing so i was fasinated by that! so onto the first leg and the longest and for everyone who asked – yes we do stop we stop in Hawaii and have to got through customs there.
the flight was comfortable enough – i sent next to someone who slept most of the way so it wa also peaceful.
It was an uneventful flight but after having flown with Qantas, malaysia, japan , Singapore – the service was mmmm minimalist would be the description – you got what was required so no complaints but not like the others also the air cnada planes seem to be decidedly older – and scruffier – but hey who am I to complain – it got me there and comfortably enough.
Honolulu – well Amerca has no transit so everytime you go in and out of America you need to go through customs – so this is custom check number 2 – had to get off the plane walk through customs and rebourd at the other end through a security check – at htis one we didnt collect our lugage just had to take everything off the plane.
so about 1hr later i was back on the plabne and the second leg of the longest part – went on sleeping, snoozing doing soduko! and reading magazines and newspapers – i dont know why i carry a book i never touch it!
we landed in Vancouver – and through customs agail – so now customs number 3! We had to collect all our lugage and recheck it in and and they made everyone open there bag so they could look through it. i had to get my boarding pass for the next leg of the journey as i couldnt get that in Sydney even though I was booked all the way through and my lugage was booked all the way through – but that doesn’t mean it goes all the way through – oh no! you still have to collect it and put it back on!
so about 4 hours later back on another air Canada – even scruffier – and off to Toronto – now this is an internal flight of some 4 hours so you get a drink and a bag of nibblies and everthing else you buy Air Canada has no service on internal flights any more.
Toronto and yes yo’ve giuesed it another custom check – get all my luggage go through customs and onto my next plane for Chicago. Everything went smoothly so that was at least something! and the transition was about 2hrs.
A 2 hr flight to Chicago – I had a sandwich at the airport so not hungry – landed and yes you guessed it Customs number 5! and yet another check oh i forgat to mention – inhonolulu I had to take my shoes off for the check and in Chicago they discovered a suspicious pencil sharpener  [for my sudoku pencil] in my bag – so i had to open it up and let them look – i then found the express bus joined 2 Americans and 1 Australian here for the gaymes and we went off to be dropped off at our hotels – there were 4 others as well so it took a while – and mine was not in downtown so i was last and this is 10pm by now – still Thursday! – so I’m feeling a bit worried by this dark neighbourhood. But what the heck worry about that tomoorw – so I checked in and went to bed – I want to get up early [ish] tomorrow to get my accreditation!

Wednesday 12 July

This was my last day at home and it was very quiet and peaceful – i went down the street with James and had a leisurely breakfast at Froot and then just got myself organised. james kindly drove me to the airport and I went from there to Sydney – i had to pass through a security check there. i got to Sydney at about 8.30pm and to my hotel by 9.30 and so reorganised a few things and went to bed – as i said – a quiet uneventful day – i did get a phone call from Nic in holland for some last minute goodbyes which was very lovely.