Friday night in Chicago, Heather and I went out with Mike Myers after the game. Not the one from Wayne's World, but a great guy nonetheless. He dropped us off at the train station just after midnight so we could head back to O'Hare airport (We were staying at the Hilton inside the airport, very convenient). We hop on the train and are four stops away from O'Hare, when a garbled voice comes over the PA saying everyone has to get off at the next stop as they are fixing the track. We follow orders, are loaded onto a bus and are hauled off to the next stop, where we get on another train. This turned our 25 minute ride into an hour and a half journey. So who cares, and why is this relevant to the Capitals/Lightning game, you may ask?
I flew into BWI (Baltimore/Washington) airport from Chicago as the airfare was only $59, instead of $259 to Washington National or Dulles airports, and got a hotel room near BWI. I've been to a Caps game at the Verizon Center before with my friend Warren The Tan Man, and I know it's a pain to find a place to park, so I was going to park at the Greenbelt station out in the suburbs and take the Metro to the game. But after our Chicago train adventure, we swore off trains and drove into DC. Bad move, Steve.
We took the highway to DC and my directions said take New York Ave to 6th Street and follow it down to the arena on F Street. Sounds easy, right? In the dark, I missed 6th, but took 4th and doubled back to 6th. Cruise down 6th to F Street, but no Verizon Center in sight. It's a seedy residential area and the only people on the street are the ones you usually roll up your windows and lock the doors for. Eventually I figure out that we're on NorthEAST 6th St. instead of NorthWEST 6th St. and try to head in the right direction. We overcome, construction, one way streets and crack dealers and finally arrive at the arena. We've wasted 45 minutes and its getting close to face-off time.
The Verizon Center has to be the only building in the world that has no parking lots or garages in the vicinity. I'm cursing like a sailor and finally find a garage and search three levels for a space, my tires squealing like Nicolas Cage in "Gone In 60 Seconds". I get out of the car and my iPhone slides off my lap and onto the ground, where I accidentally step on it, hearing a loud crunching sound as my foot grinds the glass against the concrete floor! Heather hears a string of swear words that have never been used together in a single sentence and off we dash to the arena, where we arrive with scant minutes to spare.
My rule is I have to be in my seat when the ref drops the puck, but I cut this one way too close for comfort. The ref was antsy as Al Pacino was still on the Jumbotron urging on the Capitals when the game started. The first period was perhaps the most boring period of hockey I've seen on my whole trip, which gave me time to relax, figure out that somehow my iPhone was still working despite the gravel embedded in the glass, and I got my mojo back!
The game? I'll let you know who won later, as I have a plane to catch!