I am on the train with Rockytoad and Cheesewad, my two tennis miniatures. In fact, I am on a train that is on the border, right on the border, of Canada and the United States. Now, this is year four of my yearly sojourn to the Canada Open. I like the Canada Open because it is a Masters, so all the big guys are here, but it is only a week long , unlike the big two weeker Slams, and so the early round matches ROCK. It's cheaper - a lot cheaper- than the US Open. I stay at a hotel, which means-- Room Service, my Man!
So, here is the beginning of my trip: First the US Customs people came on the train. They consisted of three really broad shouldered HOT dudes in uniforms. Big guys. Intimidating. A good thing for their job. I was prepared. That is because once, I was not prepared. Once, I came to Canada spontaneously, with my minis, on an overnight Greyhound bus. At the border, I was harassed endlessly. They thought I was trying to illegally steal my children from my husband. It was humiliating and stressful and THEN- it was funny!!!! We laugh now. At the time, it sucked ass.
So now I have a signed fancy letter from the husband stating I may travel over the border with my sons. Anyway, every time since that awful first time, the trip has been different and better. I show them my tickets to the event -- they like that. That way, they don't think you are going there to sell stuff illegally or do something else bad.
After the big hot dudes left -bye bye guys! (this was, of course, after they pulled me aside and said, "Hey, you, we need to strip search you," and I said, "No! NO! I'm just going to the tennis event!" And they said, "What tennis event? Come here. NOW." And I, weak-kneed, followed them into this tiny little dark room at the back of the train....)
Then the Canadian Customs came on. They had a dog that sniffed around. He took something out of my handbag! I thought, maybe I had a candy bar? NOOO! It was my wallet!!! The lady said, "He smelled currency, Good doggy!" That's right, people carry large bags of cash over the border occasionally and - it's illegal!! So dogs smell for cash. I learned something new today and it's always good to learn something new.
Now, they took some poor family off of the train. I heard the man saying something about, " a mistake with the knives." Now, I'm telling you all this, but really, Amtrak is perfectly respectable. Yes, the bathrooms smell insanely badly. But it's respectable, people, it is. That bus ride where they thought I was stealing my kids from my husband? The overnight "milk run" that stopped every forty minutes, in every town? That lands on the border at 5am? That, people, was a bit direputable. But hey, I planned that one last minute- it was the only way to go.
Anyway, I'm still here, forty minutes later. I think it's the knives people that are holding everyone up. Oh man! I think we are leaving soon! Woo hoo! Toronto, here we come.
I'm staying at the player hotel. We don't "stalk" them. We just are near them. See them up close, overhear conversations. It's all good fun.
Tomorrow, I'll be at the event ALL DAY. And then, I'll hopefully let you know how things went.
Oh, we almost missed the train this morning, too. I had cleaned out my handbag- nice clean handbag for the trip- and one thing I did was shake the handbag over the garbage to get rid of all the crumbs. (Ah, I keep snacks in my purse. That's really quite normal, really!) Now, this morning, I couldn't find my car keys. And I looked. And looked. And started to freak out. And twenty minutes later I was screaming and cursing. Then I called a car service. I was gonna pay him 300 bucks to take me to Syracuse, where I was catching the train. Then, I decided to look through the garbage. I was digging my hands through wet, stinky coffee grinds and cereal goo and God knows what else, waiting for the cab, and I see my car key cuddled up next to the garbage can. IT all came flooding back, the purse shaking (I hadn't thought about that whilst searching). I ran out and we got in the car and I drove 75 miles an hour the whole way. The train was running late. We were fine. Except, I feel badly for the cab driver. I left some cash in an envelope. I did that cause I felt badly. But what I didn't do, is lock my front door. Which, uh, sucks. I plan on calling a neighbor.
In fact, in some ways, the beginning of this trip sucked ass as badly as the beginning of the trip where the border Customs people harassed me for over half an hour thinking I was trying to steal my children. It just sucked in a slightly different way- like it was all my fault sort of way. But, here we are, just about to be in Toronto....
We are checked in. Food has been delivered. Tipsarevic lost and that makes me very angry. Also, they are not showing the Lopez/Stepanak match anywhere on the Telly. ALSO- tehy put me in a smoking room and say they can move me tomorrow. Now, well, I know this is because of a tennis player. So. Hmm. Anyway, it's a nice room and doesn't stink, but I hate moving rooms. Perhaps I'll stay. Also, I was thinking of the peeps who could be on this floor. Rafa and Feli's coach, whose name escapes me (not Uncle Tony, but the guy who comes when Uncle Tony can't make every event) -- he smokes. So does Ivan Luby's coach. So does Novak Dkokovic's mother!! Maybe this will be a fun floor to be on!!! That said, I may do the room change tomorrow.
I'd love to hear about any other players and their peeps who smoke! For instance, I remember about Olivier Mutis smoking right before his match before he beat Roddick at the French years ago. But Mutis is not here. He doesn't fly.