Wow wow wow! Finally did it! I can now say that I have been to Worlds! I'm sure everyone has adventures to share. Here's mine:
WED. - Started out early, left Toronto about 7:30. Everything went well until we hit Kitchener. Pockets of whitouts and there had been several accidents and a tractor-trailer jack knife. Boy is that weird seeing a highway completely shut down on one side! Even stranger, no one official came to let people know to get off and detour! We managed to get out, follow a trucker and hit places like Plattsville, Drumbo, etc. Places I doubt I will ever breeze through again. Got back on the 401 and made it to the arena by noon. We only missed about the first 3!
Seats in upper bowl for Pairs Short. The vantage point was much better than I had expected. Friendly people all around. It was nice to see lowe ranked pairs I have never heard of or seen. The Russians, Germans and 2 Canadian teams were absolutely amazing to watch. So nice to see Canada really go for it. Past years there has been a lot of choking at major events. The crowd was wonderful, supportive of everyone.
Dinner out with a London friend who taught with Tessa's grandmother. The wait staff all knew Scott and Tessa well! Connections everywhere!
Back to hotel for champagne, chocolate and bed!
THURS. - Oh the joys of motel living! The coffee machine flooded, then exploded, lamp wouldn't work, the fridge was not plugged in and couldn't be plugged in as they had renovated and blocked off the plug! Huh? Extension cord was 2-pronged rather than 3 so E. brought in her electric cooler. All this before breakfast!
Went off to the arena a few hours early and discovered the joys of Skate Canada house! A heated white tent with great food, beer and 2 massive tv screens with the womens short! Liz Manley and Debi Wilkes were in there doing commentary; Jeff Buttle came in later. People were cheering and slapping the tables for every skater. It was wonderful! Electric atmosphere and people were so excited for Osmond. Outside, people were posing with skatingstatues. Into Covent Garden market for great food, etc. Local designers had taken old skates and decorated them with rhinestones and were selling them (for charity I think). Quite charming! Back outside where it was like a village. I think of it as a folk festival for skate fans.
Upper bowl again for Dance Short. Seated with a grandmother who brought her daughters and a grand-daughter. Really fun! Early skaters did a lot of Cotton-Eyed Joe (oddly, European teams and we were trying to figure out their choice) and Marry Poppins and we were all singing along! Luckily it was deserted up there so I don't think we upset anyone. Giggling ensued and we couldn't stop!
One of the teams lost their skates and the Moirs loaned them some. The announcer told the audience and the team got a huge roar of applause. They did well considering.
The final teams were incredible to watch. W/P - everyone was holding their breath. Couldn't see a trace of the injury. Massive exhale at the end and some moist eyes! Scott and Tessa - massive response of course. It was odd to see the twizzle problem and people were shocked. Many sat in disbelief for the next 2 performances before they realized it was time to support the upcoming ones. No nastiness here that I could see. Meryl and Charlie got a huge welcome, I am happy to say. I would have been mortified if it had been any different as some people were fearing. They were wonderful; the crowd knew it and responded!
Back to motel where we find that the "helpful" staff have unplugged the cooler and put it in the bathroom, thus blocking the sink and toilet! ??? All I can think is that this will make a good story sometime in the future. More wine and exotic cheese and checking in to Mao88's videos to see what we missed. E. wants to use the microwave to heat a bagel. I scream don't go nearthat thing! What else could happen in this room!
FRI. - Lunch with a friend and then off to Canada House forPairs Long. Brilliant once again and people were so excited for 2 Canadian teams. Standing O inside for V/T! The choir singing their national anthem was a brilliant touch and they were so obviously moved that such trouble was taken. Shortly after, Dylan Moscovitch came in to great cheers and hugs. Joannie and Jeff showed up for signing.
Mens Long - lower bowl and better seats than I expected. We were giggling about all the countries the choir had to prepare for (41) and they were probably scrambling to get Denis Ten's pol;ished! Choir was really an inspird touch. We could see Kurt and Tracy and I liked how Kurt was watching every skater with respect. He gave one skater (Kovtun, I think) his own SO when he skated to "As Time Goes By". It was a lovely touch. What a thrill to see Ten and Fernandez on the podium! Patrick didn't win the way that I wanted him to but I am going to cherish the good bits and hope for something different in Sochi. Nice award ceremony and then outside for the light show. It felt like we were in the alps!
Back to motel for more yummies.
SAT. - uneventful ride home and then gallop to the tv for remaining events
The crowd supporting all skaters.
Skate Canada House for its ambience.
Seeing V/T get their medals and the choir.
London volunteers, cab drivers, staff.
Experiencing the shift in Canadian attitude from are we good enough to we can do it ( and I realize that's a whole thread).
It was great! I hope those of you didn't go might get some small feeling that you were through this!