For the fourth year in a row I found myself making the trip to Kingston to shoot some rocks with Craiger, Lester, and Paul. This year marked Kingston's 76th Whig Standard Bonspiel (that's curling eh) and win or lose (most likely the latter) we were bound to have a good time.
This year we had to start off the Bonspiel down a player for our Thursday night's games as our 3rd was off coaching his daughter's ringette team. And as luck would have it, our draw saw us with two back-to-back matches on the Thursday night. That's a lotta sweepin' for a 3 man curling crew. The good part was that after Thursday it was a much easier pace as we had only one match Friday afternoon and then our fourth at noon on Saturday.
Our first game was at the Royal Kingston Curling Club and the ice was perfect. The game was tight as we traded single points through the first 5 or 6 ends but then we crumbled and gave up a few too many rocks and decided to shake hands and call it a match. The second game was at the Cataraqui Golf and Country Club and was pretty much a repeat of the first with our excuse this time being our inability to adapt to a much poorer ice surface. Personally I was leaning more towards our once a year curling schedule.
By Friday we were ready to go with a full team as Mike drove through an Ottawa snowstorm to join us in sunshine Kingston. But again we lost. This time the game was tied going into the last end and then BLAMMO! we lost as the hammer came up short on the draw. Ouch.
After some more free beer and a supper of steak, potatoes, salad, and pie and ice cream for dessert we headed off to the Kingston Brewing Co. pub. This is a great little meeting place that serves a whack of micro brewed beer.
Saturday's match always brings a mix of emotions as by now we're eager to start the trip back home. However Saturday is do or die - if you win, you play another, and possibly even another. Depending on which group you fall into you could end up leaving Kingston by 10 or 11 pm. Well our worries were soon over as we lost our last game of the tourney and shut the door on our "one win a Whig" streak. Our reward was chicken wings, and free Budweiser delivered by a couple of (not so naturally) blond Bud Girls while The Emily Fennell Band rocked out in the background.
Always a good time. Now the broom is jammed back up in the rafters for another year. Cheers mates.