I arrived in Toronto on December 30th along with fellow teammate C-Butt and coach Bailey. Since we couldn’t move into the Farmhouse (our team’s accommodations for World Junior/U23 Trials) Pate’s family welcomed the TBay boys into their home. We stayed at Pate’s grandparents house for two nights and what a two nights they were. Let me paint a picture for you. Pate’s grandparents house is a large open-concept home situated in the countryside just outside of Toronto in a small town called Caledon. Conveniently, Pate’s home is directly beside his grandparent’s house and sits proudly on top of a hill. It reminds me of something from a fairytale story my mom would read to me when I was just a wee youngster. The big yet cozy, yellow farm-style home on top of a hill with plenty of open landscape around it and a forest visible off in the distance.
As Eric, Chris and I were carrying our bags into the house we spotted Pate zooming across the property on his quad. Eric looked at me, “Pate is definitely in his element”. I nodded and we both laughed while watching Pate do a donut in the distance. The country-side landscape brought me back to my days growing up on Government Road and Mapleward Road out in the country. The tree-filled landscape was completely refreshing.
That morning I awoke to the smell of bacon and Tom sniffing my bed. Tom is Pate’s grandparent’s friendly little wiener dog. The previous day Tom had also sniffed around my bed and discovered my recovery and sport drink in plastic bags. Let’s just say that when I found the drink mixes they were no longer bagged. That morning I got to the bottom of why Pate loves his Maple syrup so dearly. His grandparents love Maple syrup. We had hot cereal with maple syrup, pancakes and bacon with maple syrup and candies left over from the holidays with maple syrup. I think I had a sugar high the entire day after that breakfast! It was delicious!
Once we got back from skiing that day I got a chance to get the full tour of their property from Pate. Chris and Eric had each disappeared with their girlfriends which left me with Pate all to myself. After watching some Family Guy we hopped on the quad (because who walks when you have a quad?!?) and drove down to the shed to take out the snowmobile. We then ripped around the property in and out of seemingly secret trails surrounding the fairytale home. We climbed around on Pate’s old tree fort and raced down the massive tobogganing hill. After putting the snow mobile back in the shed we headed home on the quad, but not before doing some serious donuts on the ice-covered driveway.
And the day wasn’t over! Soon I found myself battling Pate’s little brother, Sam, on Guitar Heroes. I had never played before and he pretty much kicked my ass. Although Sam may never admit it, I did beat him once…out of about 10 matches. Seeing as it was New Years, Pate’s sister had a bunch of her friends over and we had a lovely supper. I felt like I was at a restaurant being waited on by Pate’s parents hand and foot. All in all, it was a busy fun-filled day. To finish it off we watched some Family Guy and went to bed at 10:30pm (real party animals, I know).
All in all it was a great way to spend the two days before moving into the Farmhouse. A big thanks to Pate’s family for welcoming us Thunder Bay hooligans into their home.
Over and Out,