Thanks and See you soon

Thanks for checking out my blog...I figured this would be a good way to keep track of where I am, what I am doing and who I'm checking out! Hope to see you soon!

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

My fish

Sunday, July 4, 2010

Coming Home

Well the trip is over and now it is time to go home. :(. When I attened the World Cup in Germany, after two weeks I wanted to come home. That is not the case this trip! I want to stay but with Argentina losing yesterday, I have to go. It is actually a good ending of my journey.

We went to the Argentina v Germany game yesterday afternoon and again, had great seats. We were behind the goal this game and actually loved it. You can see the entire field, the formations, the runs and close to goals. I had a great view of table mountain that was peeking through the opening of the top of the stadium, quite stunning!

It was a beautiful day, about 65 degrees and not a cloud in the sky. We walked down the beach to Greenpoint stadium. Up until the first German goal, things were going perfectly. Darryl and I went to our seats and I had the priveledge of sitting next to mostly Germans. The guy next to me was a bit older than me but very obnoxious. Just before kickoff he was talking trash and so was I. I was decked out with my Messi jersey, Arg flag, etc. So I kinda stuck out in the group of white shirts. About the 2nd minute Shweinsteiger was hit and gave them a free kick. It did not look like a foul to me so I stood up and told Shweinsteiger to "get up you little b*tch" in Spanish and the guy did not like that. It is normal for Argentina fans to cuss out the ref and the opponents. I was not the only one that stood up so it was normal.

We had an exchange of words and be told me to shut up. I told him, No..You shut up you damn kraut. Let's just say that he moved over a seat. lol. 5 minutes later, I realized that I may of been in the wrong and we both overreacted. I appologized to him and offered to buy him a beer but he declined it. He did accept my apology and we both watched the disaster unfold pretty tensely.

The game sucked and Argentina was absolute rubbish! We were outplayed, outclassed and outcoached. We had several problems starting with Otamendi's first mistake whiched to the first goal. 2nd our defense was not marking correctly and were jabbing at the ball. The Germans gameplan was great and again, just like England had deadly "text book" counter attacks. They deserved the win and now we'll se if they can past Spain. Should be a great ending to a crazy good world cup!

I am about to board the SAA flight 236 to London, first class of course. lol

Oh, for you TMZ junkies, Paris Hilton got arrested last night in Port Elizabeth for smoking dope on the streets. Can you say dumb ass!



- Posted using my iPhone, live from the World Cup.

Location:Essex St,Germiston,South Africa

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Chillin on the beach

We have a few days before the Arg v Ger game so we decoded to drive the garden route. Considered to be one of the most beautiful coastal drives in the world. They are not joking. This place is amazing. Unlike any other landscapes that I have ever seen. Some say it resembles New Zealand cause of the rugged terain, green lush forests and cliffs overlooking the fierce Indian ocean. There are ten foot waves crashing at all times making the sound of the ocean so loud that you have to talk over it.

We found this place called the Bakke Lodge that has private challetes with thatched roofs which overlook the cliffs of the Indian ocean. We paid $20 a person to stay in our own lilttle lodge.

We went into town to have dinner and I had grilled Hakke fish with a salad for $12. My captain and coke was $1.25. It was a great time chillin havin a nice dinner overlooking the ocean with my mates.

After dinner we walked down the beach and to the point where the Mossel Bay lighthouse is. It reminded me of red rocks in CO. We climbed up to the tip lookout point and the stars and the moon lit up the skies as we peered down towards the crashing waves on the rock formations.

Simply breathtaking. We are headed to Wilderness tomorrow for some sightseeing and then in the afternoon we are going to go to the game reserve to see giraffes, elephants, rhinos and lions. Should be fun.

- Posted using my iPhone, live from the World Cup.

Location:R328,Mossel Bay,South Africa

World Cup is off to a great start.....

Well, we went to Polokwane to see the Argentina vs Greece match. We arrived in the mid afternoon with plenty of time to see the Bafana Bafana (South African team) beat France. When we arrived we dropped off our stuff at the private B&B that we had arranged a month prior. The accommodations were great. It is a private residence in the nice part of Polokwane. The lady that owned the house was very nice and gracious to us. We stayed at the residence with a couple of guys from Cali who worked for Pixar. It was warm, comfortable beds and a nice breakfast. What more can we ask for.

On the way from London to Johannesburg, I met this wonderful man in First Class. Him and his son were headed back home to SA after a brief vacation. We talked football, drank some champagne and became friends instantly. Ironically enough, he lives in Polokwane and is a Director of a construction company that built Peter Mokaba stadium. He gave me his card and I promised him that I would call him upon arrival of his home town.

When we arrived I phoned him and he came immediately to pick us up at our B&B. He came in his brand new Mercedes E63 sedan. I knew at that point that this guy is loaded and a leader of the community. We were so lucky, our B&B was only 2 blocks away from his multi-million dollar home in this secured neighborhood in center of Polokwane. He told us that we would go to his house to watch the SA/France game. That was cool enough for us as we liked the idea of going to his nice home. In his garage was an Mercedes ML63 and a Mercedes CLK 63 convertible. All of them silver in color. Pretty impressive considering he has over $300k in cars at his house. The house was all custom marble, amazing chandeliers, leather couches, entertainment room, etc. He sent his butler to get us some Heinekens for the match so we could celebrate the Bafana Bafana win. Unfortunately, the S fricans did not win the match.

During the match, he took my two tickets to the match and gave us 3 20th row, 50 yd line seats, so we could all sit together. This guy is nice. He treated us like we were all of his own sons. I guess he won some huge contracts from the World Cup and made a name for himself in the town by helping to build the very impressive Peter Mokaba stadium.

We drove to the game in the ML63 and parked at a very nice hotel which he is part owner. We had a pre-game drink and then proceeded to the stadium. The game was great, even though some of the Argentina players were not playing. They wanted to sit the stars that had been threatened by yellow cards. The Greeks were in full attendance and as passionate as my buddy Tony in Tarpon Springs, FL. They were all nice and were asking to take it easy on them. We sat meters from Maradona as he paced the sidelines, throwing out a smile to the ARG fans that sat near the bench. The ARG fans chanted Diego.....Diego.....Diego....for most parts of the game so it was hard not to throw us some appreciation. It was a surreal moment being so close to your childhood idol and most of my current heros.

Argentina finished the Greeks off with a goal from Martin Palermo "tronco". We celebrated like crazy when he scored. I was snapping pics like crazy as he ran to the sidelines to embrace Diego. The bench and stands were in complete chaos as that goal secured ARG 9 pts and a place in the second round.

After the game, Paul (our new friend) dropped us back off at our B&B and we said our goodbyes. He had promised to see us again during this trip so we are looking forward to seeing him again.

The next morning, we jumped in the car and headed straight to Pretoria to catch the US game. We were running a bit late after a brief scare of running out of gas in the middle of northern Africa. yeah...pretty scary considering there were random fires burning on the side of the highways. I guess random brush fires are pretty common here. We have seen about 2 dozen of them already with people really not paying much attention. If this was Florida, there would be firemen everywhere but I guess not here in SA.

We watched the match in Hatfield square in the middle of Pretoria so we could watch the England game that was going on at the same time. We tried to scalp some tickets but there none to be had due to the overwhelming amount of Americans that flooded Pretoria. We had some pizza, drank some beer and chatted with a few Americans that were there to watch the game.

Cape Town

We are over two weeks into the trip and have made it down to Cape Town. It is truly one of the most beautiful places on this earth. We went to the Spain vs Potugal game last night. I scored great tickets and was 2nd row, 50 yd line tix. The seat belonged to FIFA tv so I was sitting amongst the dignitaries. The game was great and Spain deserved to win. I really never realized how tall Cristiano Ronaldo is. That guy is one big boy but he could not do anything by himself up front. Today we are headed to Mossel Bay and are taking the garden route to get there. The views are amazing and some of the best countryside that I have ever seen.

We are headed to Mossel Bay which is on the Indian Ocean. We are going to a private game reserve tomorrow and will be staying the night in the bush. It should be a great night. We have had no problems and have had a great time here. I give props to the people of SA for being so welcoming.

- Posted using my iPhone, live from the World Cup.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

A week in...

We are on our way to Polokwane to go see Argentina vs. Greece. The trip is about 3 hrs north of Joburg in the Limpopo province. The Greeks and Argentine's are flooding the highways. We are looking forward to a great game on this beautiful day. Temps are in the 60's and not a cloud in the sky. Reminds me of a beautiful winter day in Naples.

We spent the last two nights in Johannesburg and actually found a great little place to stay. We have a private little apt in the Melville area of Johannesburg. The area is alive with restaurants bars, clubs, etc. The universities are all situated in and around Melville so the place is hopping with young people and fans from all over.

Couple days ago we went and saw Ghana v Australia in Rustenburg. It was a bell of a TME and the Aussies really showed their will to win. We stayed that evening at a beautiful little farm in Rustenburg. The next day we made our way back to Johannesburg to try and see if we could score some tickets to Brazil Ivory Coast in Soccer City. On the way we decided to stop at a private game reserve. It was about 50 sq miles of barren land with roaming antelopes and gazelles everywhere. We were able to see 3 VERY large hippos eating their lunch. I was amazed on bow large they are. The rhinos could have squashed our little "roller skate" rental car with one foot.

As we drove through the dusty dirt roads we had our eyes peeled through the cracks of the windows looking for the king of the jungle. Just about that time we made our way around the corner and there we saw a pride of male and female lions having their way on a dead buffalo. What an impressive sight! The king ate first and no others ate until be was done. The females waited patiently watching the master chow down. We were about a pitching wedge away from them and could actually hear the lions breaking and crushing the dead buffalos bones. It was amazing!! When the king lion was done he got up and went over to the female lion for some "sexy time" lol. It was classic! After he was done with her, he decided to take a stroll and was headed straight for us. Darryl was driving, Marcel on the front seat and I was in the backseat snapping postcard like photos. The lion was not deterred by us and continued straight for our car. He was about 50 yds from us when I told D to start the car just in case we had to move and most importantly to close my window. He was so close to me that I could smell the impressive beast. He walked right by us brushing his mane on the side of our car. I am grateful I didn't soil my pants. lol. He strolled right past us and dissapeared into the bush. One of the coolest things I have ever seen! After Mufasa left, the females and other males dug into the raw meat tearing the thing apart. I took some great shots and can not wait to upload the pics.

After that we went to the visitors center where we saw, Bengal tigers, white lions, crocs, hyenas, baby rhinos and baby lion cubs. The babies were so cute. People were able to go and play with them...brilliant. We also saw some of the deadliest snakes in the world like the black and green mamba, cobras, cottonmouths, pythons and some others. We took off from there and saw some zebras, which looked really cool.

After that we headed into Joburg, settled into our new place of stay and bought a twelve pack and watched the matches.

Yesterday we went into Soweto to see the Mandela house and experience the culture of it all. It was a pretty humbling experience to see how he lived and how the government harrassed their family. I had no idea that the CIA was responsible for his capture. It was th cold war and communism was taking shape in several parts of the world. We got to see how he lived and a bit of history of Soweto. Learned how inspirational his first wife was and how she is still part of the SA parliament.

Almost in Polokwane, so will write again later.



- Posted using my iPhone, live from the World Cup.

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Bafana Bafana

Just leaving Ellis Park after watching the best game of the tournament and possibly the best goal of the tourney so far. Landon Donovan's run and shot was unreal. We had great seats, first row of the upper deck on the 30 yard line. The entire stadium was pulling for the US. I was so proud of how many Americans made the trek. The vibe is unreal here. The people are extremely helpful and friendly and love that we made the trip to their country.

I have to say that the flights over were pleasant, comfortable and definetly worth using all my miles. I ate beef tenderloin on both flights and had my share of wine, cheeses and desserts. It was great. When I arrived into Joburg, I took the new Gautrain into town where a rep from the hostel picked me up. When we arrived at the hostel Darryl and Marcel just walked in behind me. It was perfect timing! The hostel itself was ok....lots of friendly people all over so we all chilled and had nice conversation over a Castle (local beer).

I have to say that the first night at the hostel was like torture. We froze our ass off. I guess Joburg is at 6000 ft elevation and this week was the coldest ever. It was below freezing and nobody has heat here. The private room that we got was all windows on one side so the crisp freezing air came right through. Instead of the three of us sleeping in our own bunks, we all crawled into the 1 full size bed to keep ourselves warm with our body heat. We looked like kittens next to mama. We pulled the mattresses off the bunks and layer them on top of us to keep warm. I think I slept 3 hrs and that was because of the Jager's we drank to get warm. It was brutal and by far one of the most unconfortable nights of my life. When I woke up I took a cold shower and we got the hell out of there.

Game 1: Argentina vs. South Korea

We were late...arrived an hour late on the plane, 9:00 am. It took me over an hr to get my bags and get to the hostel. Then we had to go to the FIFA ticket center to get our game tix. We were on our way to Soccer City stadium and the traffic was unreal. Complete gridlock! Marcel was driving and we heard sirens coming from behind us on the M1 freeway. About that time we realized it was the Argentina team busses getting escorted to the stadium. I look behind through the window and I se Diego Maradona sitting in the front seat. Marcel pulled a brilliant move and put his hazards on and followed the busses. The cops an all other traffic thought we were with the team so we had cops escort us all the way to the stadium. We could have followed the busses inside the stadium but we decided not to push our luck. Parking was a pain too because I guess you have to buy a sticker to park in the "make shift" parking lots. We did not have one so a cop sold us one illegally so we could get in. We were late.... The parking lots are 2 km away due to security reasons. We ran the entire way hoping that we would not miss Messi's first goal of the tournament. We arrived and were in our 6th row, 30 yd line seats with only 10 minutes in. Marcel was able to sit next to us because there was an open seat next to us. Worked out perfectly. The game was unbelievable. We were sitting right in the middle of the Argentina fans singing cheer after cheer! It was an awesome experience. After seeing Higuain's hattrick we stayed and sang with the Argentina fans for an hour.

Game 2: USA vs. Slovenia - Ellis Park, Johannesburg

We were ready for this game! We got to the stadium early. Parking was about 2 km away and we had to walk through a neighborhood where the locals were selling food, vuvuzelas, hats, shirts, etc. It was a pretty cool scene. Every house we walked by had barbed wire and walls protecting their house. Ellis park is an old school venue and actually an awesome place to watch football. The stands go straight up and there is actually not a bad seat in the house. Our tickets were in the first row of the upper deck on the 30 yd. line. Great seats to watch the game. It was good to see that the locals were supporting the US. The Americans never gave up and the 2nd half was sooo exciting! We were completely robbed of 3 pts. That was the worst display of refereeing I have ever seen. The guy is from Mali where none of us knew where that is. It is also weird to drink Budweiser beer in Africa. The only two beverages they sell in the stadium are Budweiser and Coca-Cola. THe FIFA mafia controlling is totally controlling this World Cup! They would not allow us to trade or sell our unused tickets. It is a shame because we have tickets to Portugal vs. North Korea and have to eat them.

Another funny thing that I have experienced is that I have seen the same American in an Elvis costume 4 times already. I rode the train with him from the airport, saw him in a car riding to the Arg game, saw him in the game and saw him the next day at the US game. Weird....

Game 3: Australia vs. Ghana - Rustenburg

We traveled to Rustenburg via car to meet with our Aussie friends. We are staying at a guest house where the Aussie's are staying. The couple that own it gave the three of us their own room for us to sleep. They went to stay at their kids house down on the same property. It is awesome! We slept for 9 hrs! It was warm and comfortable!! They are treating us like family, exactly what we needed. Now we are on our way to the stadium.....

- Posted using my iPhone, live from the World Cup.

Location:3rd St,Johannesburg,South Africa

Monday, June 14, 2010

Heading out...

Wanted to post a quick note...don't have much time because as you can imagine today is complete chaos. The day before leaving on a big trip is always crazy. I did get to watch the matches today so I am happy.....but now I am finishing up some work stuff and then going to complete my packing.

It is interesting what has been going through my head today. I am trying to go through my mental checklist over and over hoping to not leave something behind. I am so excited to go experience the vibe and cultures abroad. I'll have more time to write tomorrow while at the airport....wish me luck.

Location:Navigation Dr,Riverview,United States

Friday, May 28, 2010


Merrian Webster defines luck as : a force that brings good fortune or adversity b : the events or circumstances that operate for or against an individual.

Most of the people that really really know me, consider me lucky. They tell me daily that I need to play the lottery because this kind of luck does not usually happen to people.

I agree...the things that happen to me is uncommon. I just now am starting to digest the good fortunes that me and my family have been given. I do think that luck is all about Karma...if you give good vibes and do good things....good times will eventually come back to you in one way or another.

I had to head to Seattle to meet with a client and to help mentor a new colleague. I had a few things to do out there for work so my mind was not about what was happening in Seattle that week.

It just so happens that my favorite soccer team from Buenos Aires, Argentina, Boca Juniors were on a 3 legged US tour through the West coast. I was ecastcic knowing that they were going to be playing against the Seattle Sounders at Qwest Field on that Wednesday. I packed my jersey along with my business suit and I was off to Seattle for the week.

I had to make a change in Denver to split up the 7 hr journey and eventually landed in Seattle. As I walk off the plane I look to my left and I see a bunch of BOCA fans arriving for the match. At that point of time I knew that the next couple of days were going to be something special that I was not expecting.

I called my Dad immediately and asked him to research where the team was staying so I could possiblly meet the team and maybe even my idol, Juan Roman Riquelme. I got my rent a car and started to head to my hotel, downtown, the Westin Towers. As I was checking in at the front desk, I look to my right and some of the team members were standing there.

So it ends up that the team was staying at my hotel..

To make a long story short...I ended up making friends with a gentleman that is the player coordinator and handles all the logistics for the team. He was able to get my BOCA shirt signed by the enrtire team, gave me a team only issues BOCA polo shirt as well as Juan Roman Riquelme's official jersey that he was supposed to wear that night. This new friend of mine appreciated my loyatly to the club as well as our passion. He gave me two club level tickets to the game and invited me back to Buenos Aires, where he will show me the red carpet at the club. We are going next year. :)

As we were chatting in the lobby, I was showing him a picture of my office, where I have soccer jerseys hanging everywhere. He noticed an old school Boca jersey that my father bought for me back in the early eighties. He noticed the shirt and started to tell me that this is one of the only shirts that they do not have in the museum at La Bonbonera, in Buenos Aires. He asked me if I would donate the shirt to the museum and that he would contact the museum curator that evening.

The following morning I saw him in the lobby and he told me that he spoke to the curator and that he would put the shirt up in the museum and put my name under it as "Donated by Michael Bocwinski". How cool is that? In return, he is going to send me the full track suit that the team wears.

Hopefully the luck will continue as I wander off towards my next journey to the World Cup.

Monday, May 17, 2010


28 days until my departure and 24 days until South Africa and Mexico kick things off in Soccer City for the start to the 2010 Copa de Monde....and I am finally booked!! You are probably thinking..."yeah big deal, you're booked" but it is actually a big deal. Wanting to use miles, while traveling on all Star Alliance partners is a tough task. Especially during peak travel season knowing that people will purchase the seats to S. Africa through London, etc. I have tried for the past 6 months with no luck. I was able to solidify a seat to and from London/Johannesburg about a month ago but getting to London was the tough part. Nothing was open to Europe at all. I wanted to make sure that I booked my flights all with miles so I can ensure a comfortable trip taking full advantage of my GOLD star alliance status. I had to buy up for a few more but the money was well worth it. After 6 months of deliberation, I am flying on Air Canada through Toronto to London and then South African Airways from London to Johannesburg. I will be traveling for almost 2 days but when I arrive I will be ready to see some footy. I arrive the morning of the 17th and have tickets to see Argentina vs South Korea that evening at Soccer City. Soccer City is the site of the opening and final matches of the cup and holds approximately 94,000 people. I hope the jet lag factor doesn't hinder my I will be traveling about the country for the next 21 days. I will be having fun until the 4th of July, where I fly from Johannesburg back to London and then take another Air Canada flight to Ottawa. From Ottawa I go to Washington Dulles then Dulles back home to Tampa. I arrive at midnight in Tampa a whole day and half later. Oh yeah, did I mention that I am flying business class the entire way? I will have to post some pics of the business class seats on Air Canada...pretty nice!!

Below is my exact itinerary:

TAMPA to TORONTO departing Tuesday, June 15

Seat(s): NONSTOP
Equip: 320
MP miles: ***** CONNOISSEUR
In-Flight services:

TORONTO to LON / HEATHROW departing Tuesday, June 15

Seat(s): NONSTOP
Equip: 767
MP miles: ***** CONNOISSEUR
In-Flight services:

LON / HEATHROW to JOHANNESBURG departing Wednesday, June 16

Seat(s): NONSTOP
Equip: 342
MP miles: ***** CONNOISSEUR
In-Flight services:

*****RETURN LEG**********

JOHANNESBURG to LON / HEATHROW departing Sunday, July 4

Seat(s): NONSTOP
Equip: 342
MP miles: ***** CONNOISSEUR
In-Flight services:

LON / HEATHROW to OTTAWA departing Monday, July 5

Seat(s): NONSTOP
Equip: 333
MP miles: ***** CONNOISSEUR
In-Flight services:

OTTAWA to WASH/DULLES departing Monday, July 5

Seat(s): NONSTOP
Equip: CRJ
MP miles: ***** ECONOMY
In-Flight services:

WASH/DULLES to TAMPA departing Monday, July 5

Seat(s): 2A NONSTOP
Equip: 320
MP miles: 810 UNITED FIRST
In-Flight services:

Friday, May 14, 2010


Freshly out of a meeting, I think of my cousin Daniel as I drink this fine Pinot...I had a great time seeing my Texas cousins this past week as I traveled through Dallas and Austin. Now I have to prioritize my efforts towards the Worlds largest sporting event. In exactly 30 days I will be traveling to the African continent to witness some of the best football, people and festivals that this world has to offer. I am ecstatic but frenzied......Where do I start? Tickets? done...Flight? done...accomodations? ahhhnope.....oh well, there are options. I am optimistic and open to the suggestions and thoughts that will empower Darryl and I over a few pints next week. Holding tickets to 5 games makes things a bit easier. I guess I am just a bit anxious to get there. I need to feel the vibe and join in on the festivities. Everything will fall into place as they always do...keep the faith, bring the good karma and let the people guide me to goodness. If it wasn't for Dennis Ruyer, I wouldn't get anything done around here! Love, Peace & Beats..Mikey B.