PDay - London - What I Remember (No joke, probably best to restart your computer first)
October 5 2012 at 3:59 AM
Eddie Sanchez (Login ERSanchez) Paneristi from IP address 188.8.131.52
Wow, PDay was incredible! Sure, it has come and gone, but the memories will definitely last a lifetime!
There is absolutely no way I will not fall short in posting what an incredible time it was. And everyone has already done such a spectacular job in recapping the events of the last week (I still have to go back and read most of them!). But nevertheless, here is my version, in my true "holy crap, that is one long post" style!
Just a quick disclaimer..I've posted way too many photos. Some might say even repetitive photos. But the way I look at it, what harm does an extra photo do here or there? Now, if I do crash our computerI am truly sorry. But what good is a photo if you don't share it, right?
As usual, my PDay weekend started with a trip to the airport. If there is one thing I was not looking forward to is the 10+ hour flight to London. But fortunately my flight left at 9pm, so my goal was to sleep for most of the flight.
Unfortunately, my "my space" view wasn't as nice or roomy as Nad's usual flying space! But then again, I'm not a very tall person. If there is one time being short pays off, this must be it?
After a quick trip (or so it felt like after sleeping for 7 hours of the long flight) across the pond, I was in London. And this is exactly what I had expected to see..rain.
I didn't mind. After all..I had officially started my PDay week in London! And the first thing on my to-do list was now in progress..meet up with Bernie and Jose at the airport. And after a few text-tag messages, my first PDay accomplices were located!
And soonwe were off! Gotta get our home base location in order so we can lighten the load.
A quick shout out to my main man, Jose.I have to admit, he was my compass. I didn't realize how heavily I was leaning on him until he left on Sunday...and Bernie too! All I can say, thank God Bernie stayed behind for a couple days longer, or I would have really felt lost.
Soon we arrived at the hotel, The Grovesnor, which was very nice. But, it had to have been one of the most confusing hotels to navigate your way around. We stayed on the 5th floor, which was found on the 4th floor, and you had to take the elevator on the left, and whatever you do, don't take the staircase to nowhere.because you will end up nowhere. LOL! Oh well, after a few days I was able to find our room within 15 minutes.
And just my luck, I found this in the safe in the room!
Ok, just kidding. It was one of the gems that Bernie brought with her. And it's a real looker!
Wednesday night quickly came and we were off to meet GUSH and the gang to have some dinner. This was my first example of eating one's weight in food at PDay. Geez, the food kept rolling in! It was easy to see GUSH wasn't going to let anyone leave hungry. And if anyone did, it was probably because they had passed out from the booze and had slid under the table.
Finally got to meet some Risti's face to face for the first time and some in a long time!
Yeu Huan and Ned in Da House!
Definitely a night full of food, drink, friends and grails!
Compared to all the nights that were soon to follow, Wednesday night was rather calm (before the storm). But it was clear to see the quality of attendee's the week was going to offer. Every where I looked was someone that I either wanted to meet for a long time, or someone I had not seen for a long time, or a new face that was a pleasure meeting. And this was only my Day 1.
Thursday morning had arrived at it was time to head to meet the gang and tour bus to take us to the DBA (Dirty Duck). Although the trip was a couple hours long, with a crowd like this, time flew by!
Things that kept you busy while the bus rolled on....
It was easy to see that some of the guys were mising their mid-afternoon nap. Geez, look at that trio!
Soon we arrived to what seemed a small little town. Hard to believe this calm looking place was home to someone like Covac and a few other Risti's. I'm sure the entire town locked their doors at night in fear of their lives.
The crowd was impressive. Such a great collection of great faces, all in one spot. And the first thing on the agenda...The Warwich Castle. But first....coffee!
These guys are everywhere!
The Warwich Castle has waited patiently all these centuries for this moment....the day a bus load of Risti's showed up to trash the place. Although I'm sure it has seen much worse.
I was however, pretty bothered by the clock hanging over the entrance. Seriously, does anyone really need to know the time that bad?
A few photos of what one would find inside the castle's walls.
As some of you may already know about the Queen attending PDay, well, here she is getting ready for the festivities.
Views from the castle....
Wait....what is that I see?
Terry....watch out!! The Godfather is behind you!!!!!
We made our way through the castle, but the real excitement was outside....
You don't need to be in focus to see what Asi is rocking!
Hey, I got an idea...how about we climb that tower? Now, this wouldn't have been a bad idea had I not made one simple mistake while packing. Forgetting to pack another pair of boots, the only shoes I had other than sandles were my new Dr Martin steel toe boots. Not exatly what you want to be "breaking in" while standing in front of this sign....
And by no means does it mean on regular sized steps or stair case!
But the view was worth it.
Hot tar, anyone?
I dared jose to take a bite of the ancient moss....he didn't go for it.
I'm still waiting for my custom castle strap. But I have a feeling he hasn't gotten much done since I left.
Once we came out on the other end we attended a dungeon tour. All I can say (since no photos were allowed) is I'm glad Jimmy made it out alive!
One thing is for sure....the arrival of Risti's never stopped pouring in!
Soon it was time to get back on the bus so we can get to our hotels to freshen up.
Soon night came and we were off to the Dirty Duck for food and drinks...or was it drinks and food? I'm not sure, but either way, it was a blast!
A little music with one line that says it all....take me back to the London town, were it felt good just to be around....
It was like an invasion for the locals. I don't think they ever knew what hit them!
Has anyone seen Bo?
Seriously.....or maybe I should rephrase that.....has anyone seen the rest of Bo?
WOW...congrats Wild Man, quite the accomplishment!
Marco Melandri in Da House! Oh wait...that's Kostas!
The night rolled on until the wee hours of the morning. Soon our carriage was there to take us back to our dwelling place for the night. But it seems some people were still roaring to go, even that late at night.
Morning came so I took a moment to get an idea where I was.
All I could think was....Covac lives here? Huh...go figure.
Time to hit the road....Friday night awaits, and so does more Risti's, more food, more drinks....more more more more!
Lunch...not sure where, or what day it was, but I remember being there.
Friday night came and it was time to head over to see Panerai's 2012 Collection. It was a nice place that housed us all. But I'll be honest...I never looked at one watch on display. LOL! But I'm sure there were some really nice pieces there.
JRock (you lucky dog, you) and ARock in Da House!
Emily celebrating her birthday in what I'm sure was a very unique way.
Jassies....you're scaring her....and everyone else to. Time to get down from the chair, mate.
Time to roll out....The Union has shut it's doors just for us.
Hmmm, how is it that I don't have any photos from The Union? Oh yea, I remember...even though they had closed the doors to the public, and even though the building was three stories tall, we still were jammed pack! I have never seen so many Risti's in one place (not just this place, but every where we went) than this past week in London. And an emptied out, three story building would prove no different. But I do have one pic.
Ok....I need to recalibrate. Let's see....now it's Saturday. GUSH had set up a nice lunch, but we decided to see if we could get some shopping done beforehand.
You know you are going to run into some Risti's in the hotel lobby
Time to hit the streets of London!
Mind The Gap!!!!
At the other end....
Now when Jose get's that look on his face I get scared! I'm not even sure how I got here....you gotta know where we are!
After some strolling around London, we found our way to where lunch was to be served.
Oh look at that sexy dial!!! DAMN, that is one nice 201/A!
Back inside for some coffee before we start to walk off all this food.
Time to hit the streets of London!
We were not alone, that's for sure!!
The man that never lost his cool.....GUSH
Ok...now for Saturday night...the Main Event. I'll do you guys a favor and back off on the typing (if you've bothered to read any of it so far. ) and let the photos do the talking. Don't get too excited...some things will probably need explaining.
Usually around here I have a photo of the building. But things happened a little bit different when we got there. Looking back everything seemed to happen in a flash, and finding myself inside the venue was no different.
So here we go....PDay London 2012 has now officially reached it's climax!
The Venue - The Crypt
Within seconds of walking in......
Within minutes of walking in.....
You know it's special when Eng has that look on his face!
GUSH, Tony and Covac
Lord, what is THAT!!!
Dang it, guys...isn't it too early to be kicking me out!
Taking a moment to recognize Guy Verbist
Oh yes, that's Nacho! Finally got to meet this man and his beautiful wife!
You guys Rock!
By now you know that the Queen couldn't pass this up.
So much going on I even passed up stopping to see a table full of vintage pieces. Ahh, what else did you expect to see at PDay? This stuff is the norm!
Ok, so I stopped for a minute.
Now shortly after this photo was taken something happened that took my breathe away. My number was called for the killer RobNY box you see Jo carrying! It took me a second to register that they were calling my number. I'll have much more on this later on, but needless to say, it's an incredible prize!
Up to no good....
Ok...I gotta take a moment and introduce to you a new Risti. He reminds me of someone else I use to know but this guy is half the man he use to be. I know...not the most flattering of pics. But trust me, they don't get much better than this anyway. Ladies and germs.......John Slimmy!
Oh Paddy, I've been looking for you all night! We have some catching up to do!
Now I can't tell you how excited I was to finally meet this man...Ron Welldon!
Some 360's anyone?
The bidding for Hammer's watch started hot and heavy! A real nail biter!
Bernie was relentless!!!
She was not going away!
GUSH takes the prize! An amazing auction with an incredible result!!
The passing of the torch...or just another reason for Jassies to talk? We'll never know?
Angelo and Nad are going to knock it out of the park, I'm sure! Can't wait!
Jassies trying to be inconspicuous....and failing miserably.
A few shots from the walls of The Crypt. These tombstones, along with the bodies that were buried with them, use to be the flooring of the building. All the bodies have been removed, and most of the tombstones placed on the wall. Pretty cool and creepy at the same time.
The organizing committee of PDay London 2012
I snagged Ron's name tag, but couldn't get my hands on his 001! Gotta admit, had a blast catching up with Ron. It's moments like this that remind me what Paneristi is all about. Meeting friends from around the world that you might have know for years, but never met them face to face. To think all this started over a few mates and big chunks of steel we call Panerai. The tables were packed up, the seats taken away. The only ones left are the ones me and this guy were sitting on....that's Paneristi. That's PDay. That's your local GTG happening down the street from you.
Saturday night's events were spectacular! No doubt a good time was had by all. I can't thank the organizers of PDay enough, for not only Saturday night, but what seemed to be every night of the week that came before and after. I can only imagine all the work that went into organizing the shuffle of 200 people. But for not one second of the entire trip was I bored. I was constantly getting e-mails and texts from GUSH and the guys about things that were happening all the time. I've been to many GTG's over the years, and one other PDay. But this had to be one of the Top Two on my list of grestest of all time! Tip of the hat, mates! A huge task very well done!!
Sunday morning came and I woke up with only Bernie. My boy Jose had woken up early and headed out to Germany. Thank God Bernie was still here....my coffee drinking buddy! With no real destination in mind except a couple of staps and some more caffiene...we decided to head out.
Leaving the hotel...ran into Thomas and his killer Bronzo....
The oldest bar in London! But for some mysterious reason Jassies was their first customer?
And we walked....
And we walked....
Sunday night came and we met up with Gary and Tracy at Pizza Express. I don't even want to go into what it took finding this place. At least the pizza was good.
Sharing a jacket-joke and a photo with Guillermo at Gary's expense.
I'm not even sure I'm on the right day, but I believe this was Monday? Oh well, no way I was going to pass up swinging by the BMW Store of London. Driving by a few days earlier I saw some interesting Beemers on the showroom.
You can't tell anything from this pic but this is the coolest little bike/car I've ever seen. Hey Bernie...do you remember what it was called?
Amazing hospitality you get when handing over your business card.
I think this one had made Bernie a future BMW owner!
Chrome M3, any one?
But this was by far the highlight of my BMW visit. One of the very first 507's ever built. To the untrained eye this may look like a regular 507, but it was very special indeed.
And with one cool piece of art in between, we go from one extreme to another....
Monday night we had dinner with GUSH and co, and I soon realized my trip was coming to an end. A few night shots and and a walk back to the hotel, the day of departure was steadily headed our way.
In the wee hours of Tuesday morning, I remember Bernie telling me good bye. Just enough strength to get out of bed and give her a hug and a wish farewell, I fell back to sleep. Soon I woke up to a lonely London, and gloomy one at that.
A couple last shots before headed out to the airport....
...I couldn't help but to think of the incredible time I had had. not only for seeing the great city of London, but most importantly, getting to spend some time with a bunch of good people.
With all our differences, from all our differnt backgrounds and cultures, it's a real treat to know we have at least one thing in common. The appreciation of the friendships this thing called Paneristi has helped create. I've said it before, and I'll say it again...I'm not sure who I would be if I had never discovered Panerai, Paneristi, and the great mates I have met along the way. But I gotta say, I'm pretty happy with all the opportunities it's offered along the way. And I am a different person because of it.
Thanks again to all that helped make this past week such a great success! It left me feeling like I got hit by a MAC truck from all the walking and festivities....but left me craving to do it all again next year in Montreal!
And to all those that couldn't make it this year...you were missed! But i know I will see you guys there next year!
And for anyone that managed to make it through my entire post....Thank You!!
More posts to follow!!
Eddie "Sharkman" Sanchez
"It's all about the patina, Baby!"
P U R A V I D A !
The pleasure of what we enjoy is lost by wanting more ~ fortune cookie