This is our sum of all fears as Penguins fans who fell in love with the Blue Jackets in their halcyon days, when they made the playoffs for the first time in franchise history, captained by Rick Nash and (wait for it) Steve Mason in his Calder year. Sounds like a fucking fever dream these days but…

Hey the playoffs start tomorrow I wrote a series preview for Pens/Jackets bye

two new cities, too many new airports

  1. Denver is a very hip town that is simultaneously sprawling and walkable.  It’s a very easy city to get inebriated in.  I visited Good Chemistry and went to a bottomless mimosa brunch at Root Down where “bottomless” was taken very, very seriously.  The edibles from Good Chemistry will fuck you up so hard.  I think I know how to dose edible marijuana goods of that potency now, but I was seriously unprepared for how strong it was going to be (I’ve had edibles before, homemade peanut butter stuff and also muffins in the Netherlands—which were weak as hell by comparison).  Also the ability to go purchase a joint just felt so unimaginably civilized.  It’s a shame that you still have to go smoke it while hiding in a public park like a college kid if you’re from out of town.  On the whole, good stuff, but scary.  The brunch scene in Denver is thriving (we also went to Steuben’s and the Delectable Egg [the latter almost as a joke or some kind of wish fulfillment]).  But nothing seems to open on the weekends anywhere before 10AM—i.e. NOTHING.  We walked around downtown Denver for hours just trying to find a god damn coffee shop and it was simply not possible.  The east coast would never stand for being made to wait for coffee like that.  But Pens-Avs was great, the Pepsi Center is great, the 11th Avenue Hotel was a perfect place to crash downtown and was just as safe-and-clean-but-only-just as any Euro hostel.  Sinks in the room are key. 
    Denver was also beautiful.  Every apartment building in Denver is classy as hell and looks either pre-war and stately or midcentury and consciously kitschy.  Everything was well-maintained and modern.  I don’t know much about the rental scene overall but you’d be hard pressed to find an ugly building in downtown Denver to live in if you tried.  This portion of the trip was my BFF-cation and it was lovely.
  2. Calgary, Alberta was my first foray into Canada and it was lovely.  My friend who lives there/is from there showed me so many tiny capsules of the city in just three days.  It was interesting and it reminded me a tiny bit of Pittsburgh, or maybe what Pittsburgh would be if it were experiencing its natural resources boom in the modern era.  It had a lot of things I liked: provincial shouting, an older hockey arena with uncomfortably intimate concourses (Scotiabank Saddledome was great), fantastic restaurants with vegetarian options that were so goddamn good I didn’t even want to eat meat, rivers, trees, and friendly people.  Also extremely walkable, even if you’re in a hell of a hurry.  I rode the buses a few times, we walked to the Saddledome on game day from 17th Street which was a really unique arena entry experience through a hallway of Stampede memorabilia.  Flames fans might be my new favorites, they don’t have the neuroses of Leafs fans (yet?) and are just having a good time as best they can.  Drank some beer, watched them beat the Kings in a shootout, felt like I was in the graces of the hockey gods.  It was also warm while I was there, got windy and rainy as soon as my plane was taking off (seriously).  And I loved seeing my friend and felt like this was One Of Those Special Trips That Don’t Come Around Too Often In Your Lifetime.  Heart emoji etc.
  • since my flight left 2 hours late from Calgary I missed my direct connection to Boston in Salt Lake City and ended up spending eight and a half hours in SLC
  • 12:45AM connection to Atlanta which arrived at like 6AM
  • 6:55AM connection to Boston which arrived at like 10:30AM or something
  • I’m still not sure how I spent all of that time or what I was doing or how much sleep I got or whether I ate enough
  • but it’s okay because I’m back at the office today
  • getting out of bed was a Struggle
  • seeing my cats when I got back was also amazing by which I mean my cat and my roommate’s cat
  • cat party
  • office party
  • I don’t even have that much work email

altogether a good time oh my god I loved this trip so much

RIP the pasta bake I made last night.

Bacon Bloody Mary selfie because Instagram is vacation now

Ready to go. Omg. Hashtag vacation.