If you are ever presented with the opportunity to attend a College Football Game at a major US College, DO IT! 

Last weekend my Grandson, Maverick, high school football player at Mount Douglas Secondary in Victoria,  and I flew to Columbus, Ohio to watch the Ohio State Buckeyes destroy the University of Wisconsin Badgers. 

Son Jackson and daughter in law Josee joined us from TORONTO For the weekend as well. It was a once in a lifetime trip made possible because of the generosity of my Niece Sheila and her husband Gene Smith, the Athletic Director of The Ohio State University. As a result we had seats in row 8 on the 50 yard line behind the Ohio bench. The game was great made all the better by the crowd of 106,000 in Ohio Stadium,  aka the Horseshoe.  The crowd noise was unbelievable. It was a ‘black out’ pub night so virtually every fan was wearing black, with Buckeye logos, of course, as was the team. And then there is the Ohio State Marching Band, ‘THE BEST DAMN BAND IN THE LAND’. It’s more than a band, it’s a drill team. Before the game they play and March on the field culminating on spelling Ohio and ‘Dotting the I’.  If you have never seen this enormous band search on YouTube. 

Our VIP passes included access to the famous ‘SKULL SESSION, held in a basketball/hockey arena. The band is introduced and play a medley of numbers. Finally the football team march in in street clothes much to the delight of perhaps 20,000 fans. 

Our passes also included the opportunity to go on the sidelines for the warm up which was a thrill for the Canadian Running Back. Great seats, great game, great crowd. 

However, the experience is much more than the game. The atmosphere in Columbus for a home game weekend is Mardi Gras, July 4th and Super Bowl wrapped into one. Outside the stadium is the famous tailgate area where there are tents set up in the parking lot for fans. All manner of BBQ’s, coolers, flat screens etc. it’s is like a carnival. It’s difficult to describe the atmosphere. You really have to be there. Near our hotel was a commercial area with food trucks, outdoor wine gardens and including TWO Jack Daniel‘s trucks, a Corona Beer truck. Live  music was all over the place. Shops selling all manner of Buckeye gear were packed with shoppers.  One can purchase everything from a T Shirt to a front door mat to a Buckeye Bedspread. it is amazing. And everyone is is wearing Ohio State clothing. 

It’s not just a football game. It is a grand SPECTACLE. We loved it all. And you would too. 

We took part, enjoyed and survived a truly Great American Experience.  

oJust saying…

Bistro/Pub in Mill Bay

Met some great old friends, Mike & Alice, for lunch at Bridgeman’s Bistro at the Mill Bay Marina yesterday and had a wonderful time. 

Bridgman’s is located right over the marina and has a great view of Saanich Inlet. They serve up typical Bistro/Pub fare and do it really well. 


A very charming server arrived at our table and we chose a bottle of Chardonnay to share. It was cold, crisp and very good. We don’t often drink Chardonnay so it was a nice change. Choices were made including a Burger with Blue Cheese, Fish Tacos, Clam Chowder with fresh clams and a Spanish Carbarnara. Everyone was pleased with their choice although I found the Taco Shells too soft causing me to resort to  the fork. Still delicious. 

The Bistro has an attractive open bar, a patio and also does takeout. If you are in the Mill Bay Area, Bridgeman’s Bistro would make a good stop. 

After lunch we dropped our friends off at the Mill Bay Ferry so they could return home to North Saanich. 

Then, Sheila and I decided to take the slow road home and, no surprise, stopped at some wineries. We Checked out CHERRY POINT Winery just to see if the had a restaurant. They do, a nice Bistro on the patio. ENRICO WINERY was next. It’s just down the road from Arbutus Ridge Golf Course and looks delightful with an indoor/outdoor tasting room. A must stop. Being short of time we didn’t stop. Another day for sure. 

However we did stop at DAMALI VINEYARDS (http://www.damali.ca):where they grow both Grapes and Lavender. We must return in July when the Lavender is in bloom. A nice tasting room has wine and various presentations of Lavender for sale. We tasted the Pinot Grigio and then their award Winning RHUBE LAVANDRE, a PINOT GRIGIO blend with Rhubarb and Lavender. We loved it and left with 4 bottles.

These folks encourage picnics on their patio.  DAMALI is just a few yards from Arbutus Ridge Golf. 

The wineries in and around the Cowichan Valley are well worth visiting.  If you have not done so consider taking a day and visit two or three. Have lunch at Cherry Point or Unsworth. Or take a picnic to Damali or Averill Creek Wineries.  You will love it! 

Just saying…


Every once is a while an unexpected good thing happens and this week was one of those times. I had an amazingly good experience with a service provider.

A few weeks ago my right front wheel came into violent contact with a bike lane curb in Vancouver. My beautiful Alloy Wheel was torn asunder. I thought it was possibly un fixable. After getting a quote on a new wheel from the local Acura dealership. Yes they are available at $685 installed. Yikes. Repair must be an option. 

Here is the damaged rim.

On line I found ALLOY WHEEL REPAIR a Vancouver based company. They advised that they had a mobile guy on the island and gave me his contact number. I called and made an appointment. He said they will come to your home but not to a townhome. Too many noise complaints. So I met the truck beside the Toyota store in Nanaimo. 

What a great experience! A very pleasant young man, Hayden Barnes met me at the truck. In seconds the car was jacked up and the wheel was off. It’ll take about an hour said Hayden. While I went for a walk while Hayden ground the rim, primed it, painted it (He had the matching paint) dried the paint and reinstalled the wheel. 65 minutes! $150!  PERFECT JOB.! 

Finished product

Need a wheel fixed? I sure do recommend ALLOY WHEEL REPAIR. What a great service! 

Just saying…