Saturday, November 17, 2012

Arrrrgoooos

I'm certain that I've written about my wonderful neighbours in the past. Good friends who also happen to live on our street.

Mark
Mark is one of those really nice guys, and he is relatively new to the area. Jen has lived next door to me for about a dozen years now. She met Mark a few years back and he's become part of the gang since he decided to share Jen's home a few years ago.

Typically, on a Friday summer evening, Frank and I will be outside on my front deck. I might have a glass of wine or a cooler and Frank will be enjoying a shot of tequila along with an ice cold beer. Mark will pull up from a long day of driving his limousine, peek over the fence and know that within seconds, Frank will be waving him over to join us. Like all good neighbours, he rarely even hesitates.

I mentioned that he drives a limousine but actually, it's his own business and he has a fleet of cars which see some pretty famous passengers seated within. One of the perks of his work, is that he has seasons tickets to the Canadian Football League Toronto Argonauts' home games. On several occasions, Mark has kindly offered us tickets whenever we'd like and we finally took him up on that when we had plans to meet some friends for the very first time.



laura stephen
Enter Laura and Stephen.



A bit of back story: Frank and I initially met when I wandered into an Internet Relay Chat (IRC) trivia room. I'd played in other rooms before but as characters come and go, the mood of the room and ensuing chat changes. I had grown disenchanted with the last room I'd joined and was looking for something new. That something new happened to be where both Frank and Stephen played trivia - and very well, I might add. Of course the best part of the trivia chat room is the people (much like the best part of blogging) and that particular group was an intelligent, funny and interesting bunch. I stayed for few years and got to know the people pretty well. Once Frank and I crossed the line into real life, we spent less time playing trivia, as did others. The room evolved into less of a draw for all of us and eventually it just faded away. But through the years, Frank and I have kept in occasional touch with a fair number of the regular gang, and among those is Stephen - a bloke from England.


argos ticket
When Stephen and Laura traveled to Toronto early in September, Frank and I had been generously gifted with four tickets to the Hamilton/Toronto game and our guests were eager sports fans.



cntower
The Rogers Centre is located close to the world famous C.N. Tower.



argos outside band
We connected with the pair while we were walking, and were soon greeted by a band upon our arrival. Of course they weren't really playing just for us but you already knew that.



rogers centre
The Rogers Centre is also home to baseball's Toronto Blue Jays, as these banners along the building will attest. Evidently, they read better from the other direction.



argos game
We had a great view of the field from our seats.



argos booth view
But we had more fun in one of the booths where we could order snacks and drinks while watching the game.



argos bar
A glance to my right revealed the bar and some of the many cocktails we could have (but didn't) order.



argos crowd
And to my left, was a small section of the crowd.



argos cheerleaders
Of course, some of you would probably be more interested in the game or even the cheerleaders than in the various other surroundings. Go figure.



argos fireworks
The crowd and pyrotechnics went wild any time the Argos scored (Arrrrgoooooos), which was often. They beat the rivaling Hamilton Tiger Cats that day.

After the game, we parted ways with our lovely visitors but I know they'll be back some day, and I look forward to spending more time with the two of them.


union station time check
Frank and I headed back to Union Station to catch the train home. Public transit is great but if you ever want to ride through Toronto and the surrounding areas in style, you couldn't go wrong with Mark and his amazing fleet of limos at Cameron Limousine.

In a few days I'll post some photos taken on the train ride and subsequent drive home from the station.

45 Perspectives:

Daniel LaFrance said...

IRC chat rooms... they bring back memories. Anyhow, I agree that you can meet some really nice people through the Internet. It's even nicer when those relationship evolve into lasting friendships.

That was really nice of Mark to share his bonanza of Argo tickets.

All in all it sounds like y'all had a swell time. Nice pics too!

Linda said...

You amaze me with the sharpness of your low-light photos, even when action is occurring in them. I know skill is a huge part of that, but I suspect equipment plays a part, too. :) Anyway, these are wonderful photos. Mark looks like he has the personality to be successful in his business.

Frank Baron said...

Well, that was a nice recap of a fine day with some nice people, courtesy of some other nice people. :)

SueAnn Lommler said...

How fun and I too am enjoying your photos!! Fabulous!
Hugs
SueAnn

Jedidja said...

I've read with interesting your posting. Great pics and I love the way you write about people. Respect.

Kerri said...

How Fun!

June said...

All these people, including you and Frank, seem like such nice folks!
I have to tell you . . . I had to look for a few moments at the sax player in "your" band. He resembles a friend of ours, or the friend's brother. Neither of them plays a sax, though, so it couldn't be either.

Brian Miller said...

pretty cool to hear how you met...i love hearing peoples stories....and then how ours entwine with that of others as well...fun stuff hilary

Hilary said...

Love that you and Frank met in a chat room.
Bill and I met on Snap.com, which is no longer in operation.
I told him we broke it.

ellen abbott said...

looks like a good time was had by all. interesting that you met Frank in an online chat/game room.

TexWisGirl said...

really sweet coming together of folks from all over. :)

Nadezda said...

Hilary, you enjoyed the game, had a nice trip and the company of good neighbors.
Have a nice weekend!

sage said...

Sounds like a fun meeting and now I'm waiting (salivating?) for your train photos!

Buttons said...

Oh I love this post what a great friend/friends that is why I blog I am sure it has so much to do with the friends we meet. I have not met to many through chat.
I love Toronto I have spent many an hour sitting in Union Station waiting for either The Via the Go train or even a Go Bus.A limo would be nice:)
Great shots.
My Daughter was at the Guelph and Hamilton game last weekend she said it was exciting. She is heading for the Ti Cats Game again tonight at Mc master. I have no idea not a big football person. B

Barbara Shallue said...

I love getting that back story on how you and Frank met, and how cool that you've stayed in touch with friends. Even better that y'all met up again. P.S. As you probably already know, I would be more interested in the surroundings than the game myself! So thanks for sharing those pics!!!

ladyfi said...

I love the lighting in that last shot! You have some good neighbours!

LindyLouMac in Italy said...

It is is so very important to have good neighbours.

Meri said...

What a delightful look into your life and friendship network!

Red said...

Sounds like you had a fun day. Interesting how you tied the whole thing together with your story.

Stephen Hayes said...

What a fun day, and by documenting it with pictures we all get to shall it. Thanks.

Maggie May said...

Lovely the way you told the story of the day with pictures and words.
That tower made me giddy just looking at tit.
Maggie X

Nuts in May

Gail Dixon (Louisiana Belle) said...

Enjoyed reading the bit of "trivia" of how you and Frank met! So cool. I don't think I've ever been in a chat room. Hard to believe since I love the computer so much. Your pics are great, as always. You are also a master storyteller. :)

Mimi said...

Lovely pictures of a fun time. I agree with you that the people make it, whether it's blogging, chat rooms or neighbours. Good neighbourhood relations are a blessing!
Glad you all had fun!

Suldog said...

Great stuff.

I love the CFL. Ever since they gave Doug Flutie a home (after the NFL, the stupid dolts, didn't know what a great QB they had) I've followed the league as best as I'm able. It was easier when Flutie was playing because a local cable station picked up all of his games, knowing there was a rabid fan base for him in the Boston area. Now it's hit and miss.

Someday, I'll get up there to see a game live. The one time MY WIFE and I were visiting Toronto, it was the off-season.

Kerry said...

Dynamite portrait of Mark; how fun to have a friend who runs a limo service. I bet he has tons of stories to tell!

SandyCarlson said...

I have a friend whose family's successful marriages are those begun online. Something to be said for those cerebral first encounters. Thanks for this post and these great imagse, Hilary. It's always great to be here.

Anvilcloud said...

Good stuff. How did the Brits take to CFL style football?

Dave said...

I enjoyed this nice long personal story Hilary. Its nice learning about bloger friends - Dave

Zuzana said...

Dear Hilary, the house is empty for a few hours with husband and the kids at various sporting events, so finally I manage to squeeze in a bit of blogging.;)
IRC - now that brings back some memories of my very own.;) I used to frequent those channels too.;)
And even though not through IRC, I met my husband online as well.;) I guess today that is quiet common.
Glad you still keep in touch with some of your old online friends.;)
Have a great week ahead,
xoxo

CiCi said...

Sounds like fun getting to meet online friends in person as well as being at the game. Glad you had your camera with you so we can "picture" it.

Are you still house hunting?

photowannabe said...

I truly love the connections that can be made by blogging and the chat rooms.
Two of my very special friends were developed that way.
We have vacationed together and have become friends for life.
Your neighbor Mark is very generous and I think its great to have neighbors like that.

Bob Bushell said...

A nice present for you all, that's what friendship is. Love your photos.

Tammie Lee said...

sounds like you have some wonderful people in your life. your photos support the story quite nicely ~

yaya said...

I think that chat room was set up just so you and Frank could meet! How romantic...sort of anyway! Looks like a fun day and a great way to meet old internet buddies. Have a nice week...it's Thanksgiving week in the States, but I'll send a Happy Thanksgiving to you anyway!

Rita said...

It is always nice to hear about cyberspace romance that actually works out. What a great neighbor and how wonderful to meet old chat room friends. Wow! The internet is just the most amazing thing!! I am so thrilled that I have lived long enough to be a part of it. :)

lime said...

that's a wonderful shot of mark. i just love the colors and the easy smile on his face. that's a picture to be framed, for sure.

so funny, trivia rooms in yahoo were what got me into online life and then blogging when the rooms died. how lovely that mark could make your visit with lauren and stpehen so fun.

Gary's third pottery blog said...

I was a Yanks vs jays game there a couple of years ago and looooved your stadium indeed :)

Daryl said...

chat rooms .. and message boards .. i cut my iTeeth on soap opera chat/message boards ...

Crabby McSlacker said...

Loved taking this virtual trip with you and meeting your friends! Can't wait for the train pictures.

And hey, looks like we MIGHT be doing a 2-3 week house swap this summer in Toronto, so I may be hitting you up for advice or even trying to swing some sort of rendezvous. Will keep you posted!

Mental P Mama said...

I am blown away by the story of your meeting! I love the intricacies of our Universe....

Sharon Wagner said...

Online friends do something that my real life friends don't. Read and comment on my blog. I guess everyone has a place in the friendship circle of life.

Michael Manning said...

Morning, Hilary: You make such a nice point about accepting an offer of kindness from a friend. Too often, we feel hesitant. You definitely seem to have very nice neighbors. That is a gift!

Dianne said...

Mark has the most delightful smile!!

game day sounds fantastic

She Writes said...

Isn't it amazing how paths cross in life :)? I love this post and this about life.

Jinksy said...

Who'd have thought a station would have made such a great picture when seen through the eye of an artist!?!