Royalty Tours USA

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Royalty enjoys the return of the NBA at MSG on Christmas Day!

Andrew and Dylan Van Cleve with the King and I
Like the NFL, the NBA decided to finally return to business as usual. The only difference is the NBA season didn't start on time.

With that being said, the NBA season started on Christmas Day with five games on tap.

The first one being at Madison Square Garden at Noon as the Knicks were hosting the Boston Celtics.
The last time I saw the Knicks play the Celtics on Christmas Day was back in 1985 when the Knicks trailed the Celtics by 25 points in the third quarter before they miraculously came back to win the game in double overtime. I remember it being called the "Miracle on 34th Street."

On this day, the King and I were joined by the Ultimate Sports fan Andrew Van Cleve and his son Dylan aka the Ultimate Sports Baby.

It was great to see them again as the Knicks wound up winning a thriller as Kevin Garnett missed the last shot as the Knicks won the game, 106-104.

The Knicks were lead by Carmelo Anthony who led the way with 37 points.

The Garden is once again the place to be to see NBA basketball.

These days tickets are hard to come by. Hopefully royalty can work some magic so you can experience it for yourself when the time comes.

If so, please let me know and I'll see what I can do for you.

Thank you for reading and following along.

Yours truly,

Gary Herman

Royalty sees the latest Battle of New York on Christmas Eve!

Jets and Giants in Battle of NY
The one and only time I saw the Jets play the Giants in a regular season game was way back on November 1, 1981. On that day, the Jets tossed the Giants a beating as they sacked Phil Simms nine times as they won the game, 26-7.

This time things were different in more ways than one.

First and foremost, this time the game was played in a different stadium that being MetLife Stadium which is shared by both teams. This game was a designated "home" game for the Jets.

In 1981, the Giants were the home team. The game was played at old Giants Stadium that day. The Jets were still playing their home games at Shea Stadium then.

This time the result was different as well. The Jets with their coach Rex Ryan opening his big mouth early in the week got beat on the field as the Giants showed Rex who owns this town and it's not his Jets. The Giants whipped the Jets, 29-14 as they made life miserable for Jet quarterback Mark Sanchez who wound up throwing 59 passes in the defeat. Thanks to the Giant defense that was led by Jason Pierre Paul and Justin Tuck who made Sanchez feel very uncomfortable most of the afternoon.

The win set the Giants up to possibly win their division if they beat the Dallas Cowboys in their season finale Sunday night in prime time.

The Jets on the other hand, have to beat the Miami Dolphins and they'll need three other teams to lose just to get in the playoffs as a wild card team.

On the bright side, the King and I did get a special visit from Steve Cirvello who's from the FDH Lounge. Steve is Rick Morris' business partner. It was great to see him again.

It was frustrating to watch the Jets lose a game they really needed to win but being able to see Steve softened the blow.

In reality, both teams don't deserve to make the playoffs but the bottom line is the Giants have the bragging rights in the area for the time being.

Thank you for reading and following along.

Yours truly,

Gary Herman

Royalty w/o 12/19 in review

After work Monday night I went to Brooklyn to see some local college basketball. I saw the Terriers of St. Francis take on the Great Danes of the University of Albany. I wasn't alone. I was joined by the King and our court. On this night, the royal court consisted of our friends Phil Butleman, Doc Lombardi and Michael Longo who was with his parents. Michael was rooting on the Great Danes since he just started going to school at Albany in September.

As for the game we saw, the Great Danes raced out to a big lead in the first half. In the second half, the Terriers came roaring back as they took a brief lead with five minutes left in the game. They apparently ran out of gas as the Great Danes turned it back on as they beat the Terriers, 76-64 in front of a packed house on Opening Night.

Tuesday night after work I wound up going bowling with my co-workers as our boss took us out for our Christmas party at Lucky Strike. I hadn't bowled in a very long time. Quite amazingly, the first two balls I threw were strikes then the rust finally showed as I struggled to maintain a consistency the rest of the night. My co-workers were impressed with my form however. Regardless of the results, I had a nice time.

After work I went home Wednesday and Thursday night. I was able to rest up and recharge the batteries.
Friday after work I met up with my friend Peter Agnew from Baltimore who was in NYC visiting. We went to the Prudential Center out in Newark, NJ to see the Devils play the Washington Capitals, who happen to be Peter's team. He has season tickets for the them. It was Peter's first visit to the "Rock". It worked out well that the Capitals were playing that night. I arranged to get Peter a ticket for the game. It was nice to return the favor since Peter also gives the King and I and our friends the royal treatment whenever we go to visit him.

As for the game we saw, the Devils dominated the first two periods of the game as they took a 3-0 lead. The Capitals looked awful. But in the third period they finally woke up. They came back to tie the game at three. The game went into overtime but neither team scored in the extra session. The game was decided by a shootout as the Devils outlasted the Capitals in the skills competition as they emerged victorious, 4-3.

Stay tuned for the special posts I'm going to do about the Battle of NY on Christmas Eve and the return of NBA basketball on Christmas Day.

Thank you for reading and following along.

Yours truly,

Gary Herman

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Official review of MetLife Stadium - Home of the Jets and Giants


Here's my official review of MetLife Stadium,  home of the Jets and Giants. If you happen to be going to see the Giants play the Cowboys Sunday night, I strongly suggest you read what I wrote. It will be beneficial for you to do so.

http://www.stadiumjourney.com/stadiums/metlife-stadium-s63/

I officially joined forces with my buddy Paul Swaney as a Special Correspondent by doing reviews for him when time allows me to do so. I also plan to contribute to great team of writers who cover different sports venues in the United States and other parts of the World.

His website, Stadium Journey is on my blog list. Here's the link: www.stadiumjourney.com/

Please feel free to check out his amazing site which will educate you greatly if and when you decide to take a road trip to see a new venue or if you're just curious how life is in other parts of the country and/or the world.

When it comes to sports travel knowledge, I have plenty but I don't have the time to go in depth like his site does. Regardless you can always feel free to e-mail me and pick my brain.

I'm a team player so whenever I can help somebody else, I indirectly help myself too. I think if you follow my blog, you should do the same.

Life is short. Play hard. I do, I believe you should too.

I hope you enjoy my evaluation.

Yours truly,

Gary Herman

Sunday, December 25, 2011

Royalty schedule w/o 12/26

Here's the game plan:

Monday December 26th Connecticut Whale at Bridgeport Sound Tigers 7PM

Tuesday December 27th Hawks at Nets 7:30PM Home Opener

Wednesday December 28th Sabres at Devils 7PM

Friday December 30th Rutgers vs. Iowa State at Yankee Stadium 3:20PM Pinstripe Bowl

Saturday December 31st Oilers at Islanders 1PM

Sunday January 1st Redskins at Eagles 1PM

Check back to see how it turned out.

Hope all my readers and followers have a great week.

Happy & Healthy New Year to all!

As always, if you need assistance don't hesitate to ask.

Stay tuned for my w/o 12/19 in review as well as a few special posts about the Battle of New York and Christmas Day at MSG.

If you like to tweet you can follow me on Twitter too. @royaltytoursusa

Furthermore, we can hook up on Facebook and/or Four Square as well.

With all the ways to communicate these days, we should always be in touch.

Remember team work makes the dream work.

Yours truly,

Gary Herman

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Gio Gonzalez has a new home in our Nation's Capitol, the Washington Nationals capitalized on the opportunity to get him!

Gio Gonzalez is heading to Washington DC which means I have a chance to see him pitch more often. For all the details, click below.

http://mlb.mlb.com/news/article.jsp?ymd=20111222&content_id=26227592&vkey=news_mlb&c_id=mlb 

The A's loss is the Nationals' gain.

Thank you for reading and following along.

Yours truly,

Gary Herman

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Royalty meets up with fellow roadtrippers Andrew Van Cleve and Kurt Smith in the City of Brotherly Love!

Andrew Van Cleve, Kurt Smith, The King and I
The King and I arrived in Philadelphia around 1PM on Sunday as we planned to meet up with some special people.

I'm talking about Andrew Van Cleve aka the Ultimate Sports fan who just moved to the City of Brotherly Love after spending the last 17 years of his life in Chicagoland. He spent the last ten years up the block from Wrigley Field.

He was forced to move because his lovely wife Nicole aka the Ultimate Sports wife got a job as a professor at Temple University.

Andrew is also the proud father of Dylan Salvatore aka the Ultimate Sports baby who has the unique distinction of seeing his first sporting event at Wrigley Field at a mere three days old. He's been to over a hundred live games since.

We were also joined by Kurt Smith, the author of ballpark e-guides. Kurt felt like he was out of his league because he doesn't have the time to attend nearly as many live sporting events as the rest of us. He was privileged and honored to be sitting at a table at Jon's Bar & Grille which is located a few blocks from Andrew's new home with us sports travel legends. He deemed it a Kodak moment.

Kurt has a baby on the way who's due to arrive in February so that will further prevent him from going to games live.

Regardless Kurt is a great guy who has to continue to find a way to support his latest family addition. With that being said, he has his side business of writing and selling ballpark e-guides which are tremendous sources of information for sports travelers as well as people in general. He has put lots of time and effort into producing these which he sells for a mere $5. I strongly suggest that if you haven't gotten one for your local team that you do so. He has done a number of them. Believe me, you can't go wrong and you'll be supporting a good cause in the process.

It was great to see Kurt again. He came in special from his home in South Jersey to meet up with us. Even though he couldn't make the football game, we still got to spend some quality time together. I want to thank him for giving us some of his precious time.

As for the football game, the King and I drove Andrew there with us.

We wound up working some royal magic as we met up with our good friend Frankie Centola who lives in Philadelphia. We all got to see the game from the club level, royal treatment indeed. We showed Andrew some of our own Brotherly Love.

With Andrew relocating to the Northeast, I fully expect to see him more often.

As for the game we saw, the Eagles raced out to a 28-0 lead over the Jets with 9:57 still left in the second quarter. The Jets cut into the lead as they trailed, 28-13 at halftime. They got the ball first in the second half but they continued to make costly mistakes which prevented them from pulling off another miraculous comeback on the road. They wound up losing to Eagles, 45-19.

Andrew decided to depart a little early since the game was over for all intent and purposes. By doing so, he was able to get back home to see Nicole and Dylan.

I want to thank Andrew for spending the rest of the afternoon with the King and I. As always it was an absolute pleasure to see him again.

Thank you for reading and following along.

Yours truly,

Gary Herman

Royalty w/o 12/12 in review

Ceremony for Scott Niedermayer #27
This week was rather slow compared to the week before but occasionally it's nice to have a few nights off so I can catch up on things and recharge the batteries.

With that being said, Monday, Wednesday and Thursday were my nights off after work.

Tuesday night I went to Madison Square Garden to see the Rangers play the Dallas Stars. It was a scoreless game until defenseman Trevor Daley broke through with 5:01 left in the third period to give the Stars' the 1-0 victory. Rookie goaltender Richard Bachman stopped 34 shots as he earned his first NHL shutout in his second career start.

Friday night I went out to the Prudential Center in Newark, NJ where the Devils were hosting the Dallas Stars who were in the midst of a massive coast to coast road trip.

More importantly, the Devils honored former defenseman Scott Niedermayer by raising his number 27 to the rafters. His number was the third to be retired by the Devils. The others were Scott Stevens number 4 and Ken Daneyko number 3. All three of them were part of their three Stanley Cup winning teams in 1995, 2000 and 2003.

In addition, Scott Niedermayer won a fourth Stanley Cup as a member of the Anaheim Ducks in 2007. He also won the Conn Smythe Trophy which is given to the playoff MVP.

Mike "Doc" Emrick, a hockey broadcasting legend was the Master of Ceremonies which made the night even more memorable. Doc is a true professional in every sense of the word.

As a hockey fan, I was thrilled to be part of this special occasion.

As for the game that followed, the Devils capped off the night with a 6-3 win to send the sellout crowd home very happy.

Saturday morning I woke up early so I could go to Avis to pick up a car for the weekend.

The King and I took a ride to Lancaster, Pennsylvania where my parents live. We went to Hershey which is nearby to see a minor league hockey game while we were there.

The Hershey Bears, the Washington Capitals affiliate were hosting the Bridgeport Sound Tigers, the NY Islanders farm team on this night at the Giant Center. We were joined by our friend Michael Abrams who was spending the weekend in the area with his lady friend Angelina. It was nice to see them again. Michael happens to be a Bear fan for over 30 years even though ironically he's an Islander fan.

As for the game, the Bears didn't let Michael down as they cruised to a 5-0 decision. Long time minor league goaltender Dany Sabourin got credit for the shutout.

After the game, the King and I spent the night at my parents' condo. Late in the morning, we said goodbye to them and we headed to Philadelphia to see the Jets play the Eagles at Lincoln Financial Field.

Stay tuned for the special post regarding the pre game festivities as we caught up with some very special people while we were there.

Thank you for reading and following along.

Yours truly,

Gary Herman

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Official review of Johnny Unitas Stadium in Towson, Maryland


Here's my official review of Johnny Unitas Stadium in Towson, Maryland, home of the Towson Tigers.

http://www.stadiumjourney.com/stadiums/johnny-unitas-stadium-s1025/

I officially joined forces with my buddy Paul Swaney as a Special Correspondent by doing reviews for him when time allows me to do so. I also plan to contribute to great team of writers who cover different sports venues in the United States and other parts of the World.

His website, Stadium Journey is on my blog list. Here's the link: www.stadiumjourney.com/

Please feel free to check out his amazing site which will educate you greatly if and when you decide to take a road trip to see a new venue or if you're just curious how life is in other parts of the country and/or the world.

When it comes to sports travel knowledge, I have plenty but I don't have the time to go in depth like his site does. Regardless you can always feel free to e-mail me and pick my brain.

I'm a team player so whenever I can help somebody else, I indirectly help myself too. I think if you follow my blog, you should do the same.

Life is short. Play hard. I do, I believe you should too.

I hope you enjoy my evaluation.

Yours truly,

Gary Herman

Monday, December 19, 2011

Royalty schedule w/o 12/19

Here's the game plan:

Monday December 19th Albany at St. Francis (NY) 7PM

Friday December 23rd Capitals at Devils 7PM

Saturday December 24th Giants at Jets 1PM

Sunday December 25th Celtics at Knicks 12 Noon Opening Day

Check back to see how it played out.

Hope all my readers and followers have a great week.

Happy Holidays to all!

As always, if you need assistance don't hesitate to ask.

Stay tuned for my w/o 12/12 in review and a special post about sports travelers we met up with.

If you like to tweet you can follow me on Twitter too. @royaltytoursusa

Furthermore, we can hook up on Facebook and/or Four Square as well.

With all the ways to communicate these days, we should always be in touch.

Remember team work makes the dream work.

Yours truly,

Gary Herman

Friday, December 16, 2011

Royalty is proud of Jason Grilli - he's living proof that hard work pays off!

Please see the link below.

Jason's is a hometown hero in his own way.

He's an inspiration to hard workers like myself.

http://mobile.syracuse.com/advsyra/pm_103258/contentdetail.htm?contentguid=theoVSou

Thank you for reading and following along.

Yours truly,

Gary Herman

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Royalty w/o 12/5 in review

Monday morning the King and I flew back from the Twin Cities on American Airlines. We arrived at NY-LaGuardia airport at 12:20PM which was 10 minutes early. As a result, we had a little more time to recuperate from our incredible weekend getaway.

The final numbers were as follows:

1,095 miles driven over the three days. It cost a mere $37.83 for the car we rented for the weekend from Alamo. Needless to say, we got our money's worth.

Three games, three days, two sports, two states and one province in two different countries.

We replenished our energy as we went to Madison Square Garden to see the Rangers play the Toronto Maple Leafs.

With our pal Sean MacDonald, who currently lives in Japan was there in royal spirit as we saw his favourite hockey team hold on to beat the Rangers by a score of 4-2. They added an empty net goal with just five seconds left after they held a 3-0 lead midway through the game.

Tuesday I went back to work. Afterwards I went back to the Garden. This time for the Jimmy V Classic. I saw a college basketball doubleheader with my friends Phil Butleman and Frank Anichiarico while the King went out to the Nassau Coliseum to see the Islanders play the Tampa Bay Lightning.

We saw the tenth ranked Missouri Tigers of the Big 12 play the Villanova Wildcats of the Big East. The Tigers maintained a comfortable cushion throughout the game as they cruised to a 81-71 victory. They were led by guard Marcus Denmon who finished with 28 points to lead all scorers. Teammate Ricardo Ratliffe added 17 points and he grabbed 11 rebounds to pace the Tigers.

In the second game, we saw the eleventh ranked Golden Eagles of Marquette of the Big East defeat the Washington Huskies of the PAC 12, 79-77. Jae Crowder hit a game winning three pointer with just 6.3 seconds to give the Golden Eagles the win. This was a tightly contested and entertaining game.

Wednesday night I met the King and we went up to Riverdale, NY where we saw the 104th "Battle of the Bronx" as the Jaspers of Manhattan College hosted the Rams of Fordham.

As for the game, it didn't turn out to be much of a battle as the Jaspers blew away the Rams, 81-47 in front of a packed house at the Draddy Gymnasium. Our friend Bryan Gilligan was very happy to hear the good news because he graduated from Manhattan College.

Thursday night after work I went out to Newark, NJ to see the Devils play the Ottawa Senators. The Devils fell behind 3-0 in this one then they rallied to take a 4-3 lead midway through the third period. The Senators forced an overtime session by scoring to tie the game at four with a shorthanded goal no less with just five seconds to go in regulation time. Neither team scored in the extra session.

The Devils wound up outlasting the Senators in a four round shootout to win the game, 5-4.

After work Friday night, I had a much needed night off as I prepared for a busy weekend in the local area. It didn't stop the King and I and our friends Bryan Gilligan and Frank Anichiarico as we went to Donovan's Pub for dinner and drinks.

Saturday morning after I did my wash, I trekked back out to Newark, NJ to see the Devils take on another team from Canada, this time they hosted the Montreal Canadiens. A number of buses came down from north of the border to see their team play on the road. They picked the right game to attend as the Canadiens held off the Devils as they beat them by a score of 2-1.

After the game, our friend Dennis Barbera gave the King and I some royal treatment as he drove us out to the Nassau Coliseum where we all saw the Islanders play the Pittsburgh Penguins. We met up with our buddy Eddie Pelle who was also present and accounted for at the game.

As for the game we saw, it turned out to be a wild one. The Islanders took an early 2-0 lead but the Penguins tied it up at two. The Islanders went back up by a goal at 3-2 but the Penguins came back again to tie it at three then they pulled away by scoring three more unanswered goals to escape Long Island with a 6-3 decision.

Sunday was another local double dose of sporting events as the King and I went out to MetLife Stadium to see the Jets battle the Kansas City Chiefs with our pal Richie Wolber aka Staten Island Rich. It turned out to be scalping as the Jets whipped up on the depleted Chiefs. They beat them, 37-10.

After the game, the King and I headed back to the Garden where we saw the Rangers play the red hot Florida Panthers. The Rangers cooled them off as they blew them away, 6-1.

With that, another busy week is in the books. I hope you enjoyed reading about it as much as I enjoyed writing about it.

Remember if you want to take part in the royal experience in the future please get in contact with me so I can arrange to make it happen for you.

Thank you for reading and following along.

Yours truly,

Gary Herman

Royalty returns to Minneapolis to see the Vikings play after a brief stay in Winnipeg!

Opening Kickoff
The King and I enjoyed our return visit to Winnipeg. It wound up being a short stay but a sweet one just the same.

We took care of "business" if you will by visiting the MTS Centre which brought us back up to date with all the current NHL rinks.

We left Winnipeg around 10PM Saturday night. We dodged the local traffic from the game and the downtown area as we made our way back to the States. We were only a mere 460 miles from our next destination of Minneapolis, Minnesota.

We got to the border around 11:30PM. In a matter of minutes, we were back in our country. The lady at customs asked us some easy questions and we responded accordingly so another visit to Canada was a success for us.

We proceeded to drive back to Super 8 in West Fargo, North Dakota to get some sleep. I was originally counting on a real good night sleep but once I found out the game time of the Viking game was changed to Noon central time, I was forced to adjust my game plan to account for the late change. I did know in the back of my mind it was a possibility so it didn't catch me by surprise. I made the necessary adjustments and thanks to help from mother nature we achieved our goal.

As a result, the King and I settled for three less hours of sleep. We ate a quick breakfast at the hotel and on the road we went back to the Twin Cities.

We arrived in Minneapolis just before 11AM Sunday morning. We drove around the somewhat slippery downtown area to see what parking options we had. After driving for a short period of time, we finally found a free spot within a mile and a half of Mall of America Field as it's known these days. It used to be called the Metrodome for those who still refer to it that way.

The King and I rounded up a few tickets and inside the building we went. It was officially Tebow Time as the Vikings were hosting Tim Tebow and the red hot Denver Broncos. We barely got in on time but in royal fashion, we saw the opening kickoff and the final play of the game.

As for the game we saw, it was very entertaining from start to finish.

From an early safety to the game winning field goal. This was a great game to be at. It gave the Packers and Giants a run for the money as it turned out to be an amazing prelude to that game on Fox thanks to flex scheduling. This game was originally supposed to be on CBS but NBC changed the Sunday night game they were showing. As a result, Fox became the benefactor. As for the King and I, the exciting game keep us awake despite the fact we lacked some additional sleep that we really could have used.

The Vikings looked good despite their horrible record. In particular, their rookie quarterback Christian Ponder, who was a surprise early first round pick in the April draft out of Florida State. He threw for a Viking rookie record 381 yards passing but instead of padding his record he threw his second interception of the game which led to the game winning field goal by Matt Prater who made a 23 yard field goal at the final gun to give the Broncos another improbable victory, 35-32. As for Tim Tebow, he did what he's does best. He started slow but as the game wore on, he made one big play after another to put his team in position to win. Like him or hate him, he's been very intriguing to watch. One moment he looks awful, the next moment he looks a force to be reckoned with. Keep the faith, Bronco fans I think you've found your quarterback of the future.

After we saw the Tebow show, the King and I went back to the car and we took Natalie Kaess' advice as we took a ride out to Woodbury, Minnesota where the Machine Shed she told us about was located. It was slightly out of the way but it was well worth making the trip there.

After we had a hearty dinner in salute to the American farmers, we took another joy ride this time to Welch, Minnesota where we killed some time at the Treasure Island Casino since we weren't going home until Monday morning.

Stay turned for the w/o 12/5 in review for the final details of this classic weekend getaway and the rest of the week as it unfolded.

Thank you for reading and following along.

Yours truly,

Gary Herman

Monday, December 12, 2011

Royalty returns to Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada to see the "new" Jets play hockey!

Winnipeg Jet Hockey is Back 
The King and I continued our memorable weekend getaway in the upper Midwest as we departed St. Paul, Minnesota after the Wild game against the Devils Friday night.

We proceeded to drive 470 miles to Winnipeg to see the return of the Jets. After a 15 year absence, one of the smallest markets in Canada finally got its beloved hockey team back. They were welcomed with open arms to say the least.

I'll elaborate more in a moment.

On our way up north of the border, we decided to drive halfway there. We spent the night in West Fargo, North Dakota at Super 8 where got some sleep before we continued on to Winnipeg.
When we got up in the morning, we had a hearty royal style breakfast at a local diner called Kroll's, where they say and I quote "sit down and eat." We were more then happy to do so. We stumbled across another great eatery by accident. I'm very glad we did. The food and service was excellent. If you know my style, you know I'm not lying.

If you happen to be out in that part of the country sometime, stop in and see for yourself.

While you're there you make want to visit the Roger Maris Museum which is located right nearby in Fargo, North Dakota. More importantly, the price is right. Admission is free. Due to time constraints, the King and I couldn't go there and see for ourselves. We'll keep it in mind if and when we get to go back there some day down the road.

We got back on the highway and we drove up towards Winnipeg. We did make a quick stop at a "Hockey Palace." I'm referring to the University of North Dakota where the Fighting Sioux play. Our pals from Buffalo, Andrew Kulyk and Peter Farrell have seen a game in this unique venue. I hope we get back some time so we can too.

We got back on the road and off to Canada we went. We got across the border thankfully with minimal hassle and delays.

The next stop was the MTS Centre, home of the new Jets, in downtown Winnipeg. We arrived there at 4:30PM. We paid a dollar to park by a meter a few blocks from the arena. We had plenty of time to grab dinner outside before we headed over to the arena for the 6PM local time start.

We saw the Devils again as their road trip continued in Winnipeg. For our purposes, it worked well that the Devils were out there. We secured single tickets from Ticketmaster the week before.

Tickets for a Jet game aren't cheap at the box office. Since they're in such high demand, the secondary market prices are outrageous to say the least. That's if you can find any. Stub Hub only has a very limited number for sale each game. In other words, it's a very tough ticket. Please feel free to consult me for advice.

This was a must see for us because we needed to maintain our royal status of having seen a hockey game in all the current NHL rinks. This one notwithstanding.

Unless another team decides to relocate somewhere we're safe for the time being for hockey.

As for the game we saw, it was a seesaw battle but when it was all said and done, the Devils dropped another game on their dreadful road trip as they fell to the Jets, 4-2.

After the game, the King and I drove back to West Fargo, North Dakota to get some sleep which was cut short thanks to the NFL flex scheduling. We planned to go back to Minneapolis to see the Vikings play the Denver Broncos at 3:05PM but the time was changed to 12 Noon central time instead.

Did that prevent us from getting there on time? Check back and see as I recap the rest of the weekend that we spent out in the Twin Cities.

Thank you for reading and following along.

Yours truly,

Gary Herman

Royalty schedule w/o 12/12

Here's the game plan:

Tuesday December 13th Stars at Rangers 7PM

Friday December 16th Stars at Devils 8PM

Scott Niedermayer Night

Saturday December 17th Bridgeport Sound Tigers at Hershey Bears 7PM

Sunday December 18th Jets at Eagles 4:15PM

Check back to see how it turned out.

Hope all my readers and followers have a great week.

As always, if you need assistance don't hesitate to ask.

Stay tuned for my w/o 12/5 in review and the rest of the special posts from the epic Minnie and Winnie getaway.

If you like to tweet you can follow me on Twitter too. @royaltytoursusa

Furthermore, we can hook up on Facebook and/or Four Square as well.

With all the ways to communicate these days, we should always be in touch.

Remember team work makes the dream work.

Yours truly,

Gary Herman

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Royalty enjoys long awaited return to St. Paul for Wild hockey!

Opening Face Off at Xcel Energy Center 
Late Friday morning the King and I departed NYC from LaGuardia airport on American Airlines. We arrived in the Twin Cities early in the afternoon as we gained an hour since their in the central time zone.
We proceeded to rent a car from Alamo for the weekend. We got an upgrade since they didn't have any more mid size cars available so they gave us a full size car instead. We got a Chevy Impala. I've rented a number of those in the past so I was used to the controls.

After we left the car rental, we proceeded to the St. Paul area since we were going to see the Minnesota Wild play the NJ Devils that night.

Since we were hungry and we had some extra spare time, we decided to go to a familiar place to see to eat. I'm talking about Shamrock's. We were introduced to this place the last time when we went to Target Field in July 2010.

Shamrock's is a local bar and grill. For more details, see the special post under my restaurant reviews section.

After we had another great meal, we headed to the Xcel Energy Center which was only a few miles away. I wouldn't recommend walking there from Shamrock's though. I was told that by Natalie Kaess, who works for the Minnesota Wild and was kind enough to arrange to get the King and I tickets for the game. I spoke to her during the week and I gave her my credit card number and she charged up the tickets for us. An assist goes to Josh Morozowski, my Devils ticket representative who helped by getting one of his co-workers named Chris involved who had meet her in Nashville at a conference recently.

Upon arriving at the arena, I went to will call and I picked up the tickets. When I went inside I went over to the guest services booth located at section 105 where Natalie said she would be working that night. I had the privilege of meeting her and we chatted for a little while. I thanked again for arranging to get us the tickets without a hassle. In addition, she told me about a restaurant in Woodbury, Minnesota which was about 15-20 minutes East of St. Paul heading towards Wisconsin.

I'm referring to the Machine Shed. I ate there on my way to Des Moines, Iowa back in September. I'll be talking about this restaurant again in another post. Please stay tuned.

As for Natalie, she was very helpful and if indeed you decide to go to Minnesota to see the Wild play, I'll make sure that I get you in contact with her so she can treat you royally.

As for the game we saw, the Devils struck first early to make it 1-0 but the Wild answered back fast and furiously as they chased future Hall of Famer Martin Brodeur after they scored three quick goals just 8:17 into the first period.

The Devils got within one at 3-2 but they blew numerous scoring chances throughout the game as the Wild added an empty net goal late to win the game, 4-2.

Stay tuned for the next installment from this memorable journey.

Thank you for reading and following along.

Yours truly,

Gary Herman

Royalty returns to the Twin Cities and Winnipeg over the first weekend in December!

Prince outside Target Field upon arrival
The last time the King and I went to the Minneapolis-St. Paul area was in the summer of 2010. That time we visited Target Field, the new home of the Minnesota Twins. We met up with other sports travel legends, Andrew Kulyk and Peter Farrell from Buffalo as well as Sean MacDonald who came in from Japan to join us along with his good friend, Peter Sharp aka Sharpie who still lives in Ottawa where Sean is originally from. The King and I were joined by our friends Bryan Gilligan and Lloyd Ramsland.

This time around, it was just the King and I as we returned to see hockey and football in the Twin Cities.
After almost an eleven year absence, we got to see the Xcel Energy Center in St. Paul again. That's the home of the Minnesota Wild.

Back in 1989, when the State of Hockey as it's called, had a team called the North Stars who played at the Met Center. I was fortunate to have the opportunity to see a game there against the Pittsburgh Penguins who had Mario Lemieux at the time. Now that team is long gone as they moved to Dallas hence the Dallas Stars back in 1994.

In 2000, the NHL came to their senses and they decided to bring hockey back where it belonged in the State of Minnesota.

As a result, the King and I saw a Wild home game for the first time in February 2001.

This past summer the NHL decided that the team that was located in Atlanta needed to be relocated. They decided to bring back hockey north of the border this time. That's how the new Winnipeg Jets returned to the NHL to begin play in October.

With that being said, the King and I had to figure out a way to return to Winnipeg to see the new Jets play a home game. The first and last time we went to Winnipeg was back in March 1996 when we saw the old Jets play a few games in their old barn in the suburbs near the airport.

This time we went to downtown Winnipeg where the MTS Centre, home of the new Jets and former home of the Manitoba Moose of the AHL is located.

In addition, we returned to the Metrodome aka Mall of America Field as it's now known in Minneapolis which is the home of the Minnesota Vikings and former home of the Twins to see football.

Stay tuned for all the details of this amazing revisiting getaway to the Upper Midwest.

I'll be writing separate posts highlighting this epic excursion for your reading pleasure and educational needs.

Thank you for reading and following along.

Yours truly,

Gary Herman

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Royalty w/o 11/28 in review

LIU Basketball
After the busy Thanksgiving weekend, I got some much needed rest.

I went home after work Monday night, Tuesday night and Wednesday night.

Thursday night after work I went to see some college basketball in downtown Brooklyn at Long Island University (LIU). They played a local rival from Staten Island, the Wagner Seahawks.

Wagner came into the game with a record of 6-1. After they left Brooklyn, they were 6-2. The Seahawks lost to the Blackbirds of LIU, 78-73. The score didn't indicate the domination. The Blackbirds played really well from start to finish in beating up the Seahawks.

It was a nice night out thanks to the company of our friends Eddie Pelle, Phil Butleman and Frank Anichiarico who were also there with the King and I.

Friday morning the King and I left for our big trip to Minneapolis-St. Paul and Winnipeg.

Stay tuned as I'm going to be doing some special posts recapping that memorable weekend getaway.

Thank you for reading and following along.

Yours truly,

Gary Herman

Monday, December 5, 2011

Royalty schedule w/o 12/5

 Here's the game plan:

Monday December 5th Maple Leafs at Rangers 7PM

Tuesday December 6th Missouri vs. Villanova 7PM

                                    Marquette vs. Washington 9PM

                                    Jimmy Valvano Classic at MSG

Wednesday December 7th Fordham at Manhattan 7PM

Thursday December 8th Senators at Devils 7PM

Saturday December 10th Canadiens at Devils 1PM

                                       Penguins at Islanders 7PM

Sunday December 11th Chiefs at Jets 1PM

                                     Panthers at Rangers 7:30PM

Check back to see how it played out.

Hope all my readers and followers have a great week.

As always, if you need assistance don't hesitate to ask.

Stay tuned for my w/o 11/28 in review and the special posts from the epic Minnie and Winnie getaway.

If you like to tweet you can follow me on Twitter too. @royaltytoursusa

Furthermore, we can hook up on Facebook and/or Four Square as well.

With all the ways to communicate these days, we should always be in touch.

Remember team work makes the dream work.

Yours truly,

Gary Herman

Friday, December 2, 2011

Royalty makes the most of the long Thanksgiving weekend!

Me on the Zamboni 
After I returned the car I rented at Avis, I took a few buses out to the Nassau Coliseum where I met up with the King and our friend Bryan Gilligan who drove out there.

We saw the Islanders take on their cross river rival the NJ Devils in a mid afternoon tilt on Black Friday.
Apparently the game started too early for the players because goals were few and far between. In matter of fact, there was only one goal scored in this game. The Devils were the team that found the net as they beat the Islanders, 1-0.

After the game, we all went back to Donovan's Pub and we had a nice post game dinner.

Saturday afternoon the King and I went to Newark, NJ to see the rematch of the Islanders and Devils in the back end of their home and home series.

We were joined by my Cousin Andy who wanted to get another sample of royal treatment. He always enjoys our company and this day was no different.

This time he got to see me ride the Zamboni before the game as they resurfaced the ice. I got to do so because I renewed my Devil season tickets early so I was given this special perk. It was really cool being able to take a joy ride around the ice. I would like to personally thank Josh Morozowski who is my ticket representative for arranging to make this happen.

As for the game we saw, this time more goals were scored but the Devils came up short as they lost, 3-2. With 2.1 seconds left, a goal was disallowed because it was directed in by Zach Parise's skate in front of the net.

After the game, the King and I said goodbye to my Cousin Andy who went home and we took a NJ Transit train down to Trenton, NJ to see a minor league hockey game in the ECHL. We saw the Trenton Titans play the Chicago Express.

We saw a good battle as the Titans built a 2-0 lead which they held going into the third period. The Express managed to comeback and they forced an overtime session. Just past the midway point of the overtime, the Titans lit the lamp as they came away with a 3-2 victory.

After the game, we took a NJ Transit train back to NYC.

Sunday the King and I wrapped our busy sports weekend by going to MetLife Stadium where we saw the Jets take on division rival, the Buffalo Bills.

As for the game, it wasn't a pretty one but I was satisfied with the end result as the Jets squeaked by the Bills, 28-24. Luck once again was on their side. As a result, they kept their playoff hopes alive.

After the game, we went home and rested up after running around all weekend.

We had a great time but it did take its toll on our bodies so the needed rest came in handy.

Thank you for reading and following along.

Yours truly,

Gary Herman

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Royalty celebrates Thanksgiving and the King's Birthday in Baltimore!

Prince at M & T Bank on Thanksgiving Night
This Thanksgiving was more special than usual because this year it came out on the King's birthday.
With that being said, the most appropriate way to celebrate would be by attending a game live. After all, it's just another day on the calendar.

Four of the last five years on Thanksgiving, we've seen NFL football live on Turkey Day including this one.
Back in 2007, we saw our Jets play in Dallas at old Texas Stadium. The Jets got destroyed but the tradition of being in Big D on Thanksgiving Day made it all worth it.

In 2008, we went to Philadelphia to see the Eagles play the Arizona Cardinals.

In 2010, we were in our backyard if you will as the Jets hosted the Cincinnati Bengals at the New Meadowlands Stadium as it was called then.

This time we got to see history as the Harbaugh Bowl was scheduled in prime time in Baltimore as the Ravens coached by John Harbaugh were taking on his younger brother Jim's San Francisco 49ers. This was the first time two brothers have coached against one another in NFL history.

It wasn't easy to get a ticket for the big game but royalty found a way to make it happen.

We arrived in Baltimore early with intentions of attending a tailgate party courtesy of a guy who's known as "Nib". I met him at the Raven/Cardinal game back on October 30th. He invited me to join in his tailgate party in Lot H.

Unfortunately the King and I needed to find tickets so we could see the game first.

With that being said, we went over to the box office to see if they had anything available. There were 15 people in front of us we were also waiting for a chance to purchase tickets.

While I was on line, the King went to see if he could find something around the stadium.

With my Blackberry in hand, I was able to multi task as I checked Craigslist to see if anybody was heading to the stadium with any extra tickets.

I called and texted a handful of people. Luckily a guy named Julian Toliver who was from Laurel, Maryland contacted me. He said he still had an extra ticket. I told him I'll take it. We worked out a deal and I arranged to meet him in the parking lot at the stadium. True to my word, we eventually met up and did the exchange.
As for getting another ticket, the King had no luck outside. I stayed on the line and my patience paid off as they slowly started selling tickets. I finally got up to the window and I was able to buy another ticket. I got the ticket and gave it to the King so he could go inside.

I waited outside and I met Julian and then I went inside.

Unfortunately we couldn't sit together since it was very crowded.

Before I went to my seat, I went to see Nib to say hello. He told me I missed out on a great tailgate party. He said they had Turkey and Ham. He told me I can come the next time I'm there.

As for the seat I got, I really lucked out because I got to sit next to a young lady named Ally who was a huge Raven fan. I was very impressed with her knowledge of her team. We enjoyed the game and each other's company throughout the night.

As for the game we saw, the Ravens beat the 49ers, 16-6 in the Battle of the Harbaughs, John outcoached his brother Jim.

The Raven defense was ferocious even without their leader Ray Lewis who missed his second straight game as they were in 49ers' quarterback Alex Smith's face all night long. He barely had time to breathe. Terrell Suggs lead the way with three sacks. Cory Redding had a big night as well.

After the game, I met the King and drove back home. This time I got him to work at 3:24AM.

I proceeded to go home to get some sleep before I had to return the car I rented from Avis just before midday.

Stay tuned for the special post that will recap the rest of the long weekend we had.

Thank you for reading and following along.

Yours truly,

Gary Herman

Royalty w/o 11/21 in review

Prince at Gillette Stadium 
After enjoying another amazing weekend on the road, I found a way to start the new week off right thanks to the makers of this year's NFL schedule.

Once the lockout ended, I set my plans in emotion. With that being said, the King and I drove up to Foxboro, Massachusetts which is about 30 miles south of Boston and 25 miles north of Providence, Rhode Island off I-95. It's also the home of the New England Patriots who play at Gillette Stadium on Route 1 which runs parallel to I-95 but the Stadium is located in between which can make for a driving nightmare to get there and back.

As for Royalty, since we have many years of experience of going there for a game and/or an off season visit, we know how to make the nightmare a dream come true.

With that being said, we experienced minimal delays going to and from the game. Just another reason why when it comes to sports travel, when you want the best you deal with me. My secret formula to and from Foxboro is very difficult to describe though. The remedy is to take me along for the ride so I can guide you along the beaten path. It's an adventurous ride to say the least but it works wonders for those like me you know how to do it.

As for parking when get there, I've yet to figure out a way to park for free. With that being said, you're forced to cough it up if you will. Some people have to cough very hard to the tune of paying $30, $40 or even $50 just to park the car. As for royalty, we only pay a mere $20 to park which is a bargain in comparison.

Regardless of where you park you have to take a nice walk to the Stadium which is good exercise.
On the way, the King and I stopped off at Papa Gino's, which is a local franchise in the New England area for pizza and chicken tenders.

After we ate, we continued our walk over to the Stadium. We got inside with plenty of time to spare before the kickoff as the Patriots were hosting the Kansas City Chiefs on Monday Night Football.

As for the game we saw, both teams started slow. The Chiefs were banged up. They were missing their starting quarterback and former Patriot Matt Cassel who filled in when Tom Brady got hurt a few years ago and missed the season. Now Cassel wound up getting injured a few weeks ago and he's out for the rest of the season. As a result, the Chiefs have struggled lately. Tonight turned out to be no different as the Patriots finally get their motor running in the second quarter as they raced off leaving the depleted Chiefs in the dust after the Chiefs scored first to take an early 3-0 lead. The Patriots cruised to a 34-3 victory.

Speaking of cruising, the King and I got out of Foxboro with minimal delay as I managed to get the King back to the Post Office at Grand Central Station at 3:12AM.

I then took myself home and I lucked out into a parking spot on the right side of the street so I was good until Friday. That worked out beautifully since I was keeping the car I rented until then.

Tuesday I worked a half a day as I came in at 1PM. I went home to finish resting up since there were no local games in the area to attend.

Wednesday night after work the King and I met our friend Bryan Gilligan who drove us out to Newark where we all went to see the Devils play the Columbus Blue Jackets.

As for the game we saw, the Devils scored first but the Blue Jackets tied it up at one. It stayed that way through the overtime session so the game was decided by a shootout. The Devils scored twice and the Blue Jackets didn't score at all so it was a quick two skills competition as the Devils were awarded the extra point. The Devils won, 2-1.

After the game, we all went to Donovan's Pub to celebrate everybody's birthday except mine. Our friend Frank Anichiarico also joined us there for the celebration since his birthday was on the 16th. The King's birthday fell on Thanksgiving this year and Bryan's was on the 27th. We got a surprise visit from the King's half brother Charlie Casiano who showed up for the festive occasion.

Stay tuned as I write a special post detailing how the King and I spent his birthday and Thanksgiving as well the rest of the long weekend.

Thank you for reading and following along.

Yours truly,

Gary Herman

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Royalty schedule w/o 11/28

Here's the game plan:

Thursday December 1st Wagner at LIU 7PM

Friday December 2nd Devils at Wild 7PM Central Time

Saturday December 3rd Devils at Jets 6PM Central Time

Sunday December 4th Broncos at Vikings 12 Noon Central Time

Check back to see how it turned out.

Hope all my readers and followers have a great week.

As always, if you need assistance don't hesitate to ask.

Stay tuned for my w/o 11/21 in review.

If you like to tweet you can follow me on Twitter too. @royaltytoursusa

Furthermore, we can hook up on Facebook and/or Four Square as well.

With all the ways to communicate these days, we should always be in touch.

Remember team work makes the dream work.

Yours truly,

Gary Herman

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Royalty returns to Cleveland to meet up with Rick Morris of the FDH Lounge and to see the Browns!

Who let the Dawgs out?
Almost a year to the day when we last saw the Browns play the Jets in Cleveland back on November 14, 2011, we returned to scene of the crime if you will. Mind you that's not meant in a bad way. Please don't get me wrong. Please read for further explanation.

That was a historic day for Royalty because the King and I had the privilege and honor of being introduced to a guy named Rick Morris for the very first time thanks to our pal Ira from Staten Island who calls into sports radio talk shows in different parts of the country. It should be noted he's a regular caller on New York sports radio especially during football season.

Ira told Rick about the King and I numerous times in the past. Finally we all got to meet and greet each other in person once and for all.

As a result, the King and I instantly boggled Rick's mind with our sports travel knowledge and stories. In matter of fact, the King told Rick about his unique road trip that he took back on February 14 & 15, 1997 when he went to Washington DC really Landover, Maryland at the time when the Capitals played at the old USAir Arena aka the Capital Centre where he saw the Tampa Bay Lightning play the Capitals that Friday night. Saturday morning he came back to meet me as we were flying down to Tampa via Baltimore to see his Red Wings play in Florida and Tampa Bay. In addition, we saw the back end of the Lightning and Capitals home and home series as it turned out. That trip alone really got Rick's attention. He still to this day tells me how many people that he's told that story to. Needless to say, everybody was blown away.

With all that being said, the King and I and some special company in the form of Frank Anichiarico as well Mike Carroll aka Sabre Mike were also with us as we arranged to meet Rick at a Cracker Barrel in Willoughby, Ohio on our way to downtown Cleveland to see the Browns play again. This time they were playing the Jacksonville Jaguars.

Rick couldn't join us for the Brown game due to a family commitment. After all, even family comes ahead of Royalty.
 
With that being said, I told Rick we'll all get the best of both worlds instead. As usual, I lived up to my reputation, I promised Rick we'll find a way to see him while we were going to be in his neck of the woods.
Rick being a rare breed like myself was very willing to make it work out. We decided to go to Cracker Barrel to have breakfast together. Afterwards, I made some special time for him per his request to do a podcast so he could hear our tentative plans for the remainder of 2011 and the game plan that lies ahead for 2012.

For your listening pleasure, please see the special post that I did previously which has our conversation linked up.

After we said our goodbyes, we all went on with our day. Rick went his way and the rest of us went to see the Browns play.

We arrived in downtown Cleveland with plenty of time to spare before the game started. Another game plan was perfectly executed.

As for the game we saw, it was a battle of two teams that were evenly matched record wise. The Browns and the Jaguars both came in with gaudy 3-6 records.

As the game wore on, the statistics were almost identical. Unlike the Jet game we saw here last year, the score didn't end in a tie like should have.

Despite missing a late field goal in the fourth quarter that would extended the Browns' lead to a touchdown, the Browns were forced to hold on for dear life as they survived a last second scare to defeat the Jaguars as time ran out, 14-10.

With that, it was time to say goodbye to Cleveland as we had to drive back home 480 miles in order to get our friend Mike Carroll back to Grand Central Station so he could make the last train at 1:50AM so he could go home.

In addition, the King had to go to work at 2AM. I managed to stop for a quick dinner break as well as other needed rest stops in order to finish the mission. I got back to NYC with plenty of time to spare as I dropped off Mike Carroll at 1:10AM. He made his train and he arrived home safely. Then I took the King to the Post Office which was a few blocks away.

I proceeded to drop off Frank in Queens where he lives then I took myself home.

Another amazing and memorable weekend was put in the unwritten book.

Thank you for reading and following along.

Yours truly,

Gary Herman

Royalty welcomes back NBA Basketball - Lockout's over!

For those of us who have been suffering from NBA basketball withdrawl, there's relief in sight.

For all the details, click on this link:

http://m.espn.go.com/nba/story?storyId=7281052&i=TWT&topslot=1&y=1b8i4

When you're ready to "See It Live" let me know so I can do my best to accomodate your needs and wants.

Thank you for reading and following along.

Yours truly,

Gary Herman

Friday, November 25, 2011

Royalty and company visit Western NY and Cleveland over the weekend Part Two!

National Anthem at Sabre Game
Saturday morning after spending the night sleeping at Super 8 in the Buffalo area, we started our day in typical royal fashion.

We ate a hearty breakfast at the Royal Restaurant which was conveniently located up the block from the hotel we stayed at.

What a perfect way to start another day. It got better as the day wore on as we got to meet up with part of the Ultimate Sports Road Trip aka USRT as our pal Andrew Kulyk joined us for the college football game we were attending as the University of Buffalo Bulls hosted the Akron Zips in a MAC conference game. Mind you both of these teams had horrible records.

As for the game we saw, the Bulls whipped up on the Zips by a score of 51-10. The Bulls took the opening kickoff back 93 yards to the Akron one yard line. Moments later, they scored a touchdown to make it 7-0 which set the tone for the remainder of the afternoon. The Zips almost got zipped as the Bulls tossed them a beatdown.

After the game, Andrew arranged to have us go to a place called Vizzi's Bar and Restaurant which is located in Kenmore, NY which wasn't far from the hotel we stayed at.

As for Vizzi's, they have been labeled as having the best burgers in Western New York. Needless to say, we decided to try it out to see if it lived up to its reputation. It sure did. They refer to them as monster burgers which come with fries for a mere $6.95. The burger was a massive chunk of meat that was served on a bun.

In addition, we had some "naked" wings if you will. That's the only way the King can handle them since he's such a picky eater. With that being said, Andrew and his partner Peter Farrell who was working showed up to join us, cringed at the plate of wings that was on the table. After all, Buffalo is notorious for their wings that are decorated in all kinds of sauce.

After we finished our great meal and drinks, we all headed over to Downtown Buffalo to see the Buffalo Sabres take on the Phoenix Coyotes at the newly named First Niagara Center formerly the HSBC Arena.
This was a big thrill for our friends Mike Carroll aka Sabre Mike and Frank Anichiarico who were seeing this building for the very first time.

It was especially a real big deal for Sabre Mike because the Sabres are his favorite hockey team. The King and I told him in the past we were going to take him there some day. Well that day finally came.

Unfortunately for him the final result wasn't what he hoped for as the Coyotes beat the Sabres, 4-2. He now has a good reason to come back some time in the future. If he does, hopefully the Sabres will win for him.

After the game, we said goodbye to the Buffalo Boys who as usual rolled out the red carpet and they treated us royally. They arranged to buy us our tickets to the game so we could all enjoy the game together. It's always a pleasure to see their guys and catch up on our travels past, present and future.

Speaking of that, please stay tuned for the final installment from this amazing weekend as I will write another post that will go into further detail regarding that and then some.

Trust me it will be worth the wait.

Thank you for reading and following along.

Yours truly,

Gary Herman

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Royalty w/o 11/14 in review

Opening Tip off
This week started off slow for me as I went home after work Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday night.

After work Thursday night, I decided instead of staying home and watching the Jets play on TV that I would go to Madison Square Garden to see a few college basketball games thanks to the 2K Coaches vs. Cancer Sports Classic. With the NBA still locked out with no end in sight, I figured here's my chance to see the transformed Garden for basketball.

It was well worth it because for $10 I got to see a doubleheader. More importantly, I got to meet up with a guy named Eddie who I met last December thanks to my blog. We got to catch up and enjoy each other's company throughout the night.

As for the games we saw, in game one we saw the Bull Dogs of Mississippi State upset the Aggies from Texas A & M, 69-60. The Bull Dogs got off to a fast start as they were blowing out the Aggies. In the end, they held them off to emerge victorious.

In game two, we got to see local favorite, the Red Storm of St. John's University who play a majority of their home games at the Garden. They were taking on the Wildcats of Arizona aka U of A as a good number of people who support them were yelling. As a result, St. John's didn't have a distinct home court advantage as you might have expected.

The Wildcats used the crowd feed to knock off the Red Storm by a score of 81-72.

Friday I took off from work as I got ready for another memorable and adventurous weekend.

I went to Avis and I rented a car for a week. Stay tuned as I go into detail in a special post recapping this epic excursion.

As always it will be something you'll want to read. Hopefully in the future you'll get the bug to want to take a royal ride somewhere either with me or on your own. Either way I'll gladly guide you along so you can experience what royal treatment is all about.

Thank you for reading and following.

Yours truly,

Gary Herman

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Royalty visits the Mobile FDH Lounge while in Cleveland on Sunday morning!

Royalty was headed to the Cleveland Browns game against the Jacksonville Jaguars on Sunday morning.

On the way we made a pit stop at Cracker Barrel where we met up with Rick Morris of the FDH Lounge in his mobile office.

Rick who's a huge fan of the King and I wanted to catch up in person on our whereabouts past, present and future.

For all the details, please take a moment to listen to what the Prince had to say.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CPhbdc9QX7E

As always, I want to personally thank Rick Morris for going out of his way to meet up with us.

It's always a privilege and a honor to speak to someone who truly cares and takes an interest in our unique accomplishments like Rick does.

I look forward to keeping Rick abreast of how the royal game plan continues to play out as we fast approach 2012.

Thank you for reading and following along.

Yours truly,

Gary Herman

Monday, November 21, 2011

Royalty Schedule w/o 11/21

Here's the game plan:

Monday November 21st Chiefs at Patriots 8:30PM

Wednesday November 23rd Blue Jackets at Devils 7PM

Thursday November 24th King's Birthday

                                       49ers at Ravens 8:20PM

Friday November 25th Devils at Islanders 3PM

Saturday November 26th Islanders at Devils 1PM

                                      Chicago Express at Trenton Devils 7PM

Sunday November 27th Bills at Jets 1PM

Check back to see how it played out.

Hope all my readers and followers have a great week.

As always, if you need assistance don't hesitate to ask.

Stay tuned for my w/o 11/14 in review.

In addition, I'll be recapping another incredible weekend getaway which included a visit to the mobile FDH Lounge with my pal Rick Morris as well as a get together with the Buffalo Boys aka USRT.

With that being said, I have plenty to be grateful and thankful for. Speaking of that, I want to wish all my readers and followers a very Happy Thanksgiving. Without you, this blog is nothing. You provide me with a captive audience. I work very hard to maintain and update my blog and I know I have a fan club that can't wait to see what's going on in the Life of Royalty. You're are the best. For that, I give "Thanks" each and every day.

If you like to tweet you can follow me on Twitter too. @royaltytoursusa

Furthermore, we can hook up on Facebook and/or Four Square as well.

With all the ways to communicate these days, we should always be in touch.

Remember team work makes the dream work.

Yours truly,

Gary Herman

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Royalty w/o 11/7 in review

After enjoying a memorable weekend in Annapolis and Washington DC, I went back to work Monday. I left early so I could go back to the car I rented. I met the King and we drove down to Philadelphia to see the Eagles play the Chicago Bears on Monday Night Football.

We met up with our friend Frankie Centola in Philly who arranged to get us tickets for the game.

As for the game we saw, it was a good one. The Eagles and Bears battled it out but when it was all said and done, the Bears escaped the City of Brotherly Love with a big win, 30-24.

As a result, our friends from Chicago, the Van Cleves were thrilled and relieved that their Bears' rose to the occasion on enemy territory. Nicole, Andrew and Dylan aka the Ultimate Sports Wife, Fan and Baby were there with us in spirit.

After the game, I drove the King to the Post Office at Grand Central Station here in NYC where he started work at 2AM. I then took myself home. I got some sleep then I had to go to Avis and return the car before it was my turn to go back to work.

Tuesday night after work tired and all I went to the Prudential Center in Newark to see the Devils play the Carolina Hurricanes. We wound up seeing a decent game as the Devils came out on top as rookie Adam Henrique scored the game winning goal with 3:19 left in third period to give the Devils the 3-2 decision in regulation time.

Wednesday and Thursday after work, I got to catch up on rest which was much needed after the busy weekend and start to the week I had.

Friday night after work I arranged to meet my Cousin Andy who joined me, the King and our friend Bryan Gilligan for the Devil game against the Washington Capitals. It was great to see him again. He always enjoys our company and the royal treatment we provide.

As for the game we saw, the Devils broke through first as they scored the first goal of the game when rookie Adam Larsson scored his first NHL goal to give them the early lead. The Devils were shut out the rest of the night as the Capitals turned it up a notch. They scored the equalizer late in the second period when their superstar Alex Ovechkin put the biscuit in the basket to tie the game at one.

In the third period, the Capitals' got a shorthanded goal early from Jason Chimera to take the lead for good. They added an insurance goal as they won the first game of the home and home weekend series, 3-1.

Saturday morning I woke up early and I went back to Avis to rent another car for the weekend.

I drove back and I picked up the King and we drove to Princeton, NJ for a college football game as the Yale Bulldogs were visiting the Princeton Tigers.

The King and I had company as we got to see some of the many sports fans we know. I'm talking about Steve Tepperman aka Princeton Steve as we call him. In addition, we also had our pal Pat Gorman there as well as Richie Iannotta who happened to be present too. Last but not least we got to see a guy from Philadelphia we know as Sleepy Bob, who we haven't seen in a very long time. We all enjoyed each other's company.

As for the game we saw, the Yale Bulldogs held on this time as they beat the Princeton Tigers, 33-24 unlike when we saw them lose to Penn last month. The one bright spot for the Tigers was that we got to see history as their true freshman running back Chuck Dibilio ran for 178 yards on the ground and he scored three touchdowns. By doing so, he got himself into the history book as he became the first true freshman player in the history of the Ivy League to rush for over 1,000 yards.

After the game, the King and I drove down to Washington DC so we could the back end of the Devils and Capitals home and home series at the Verizon Center where tickets these days are hard to come by.

Thankfully our good friend Peter Agnew who has Capital season tickets was able to accomodate us. Since he was going to see Notre Dame play Maryland in a college football game at FedEx Field that night, his club seats were available. With that being said, the King and I decided to buy them from him.

It was our first time seeing a game there on the club level. It was a treat as we had a great view of the action. This time the Devils fell behind early 2-0 in the first period. They came back and tied the game at two after two periods. They played a scoreless third period and overtime.
The game was decided by a shootout which lasted four rounds before the Devils outlasted the Capitals, 3-2 to split the weekend series.

After the game, we drove to Aberdeen, Maryland where we spent the night.

Sunday morning we stopped off at the Waffle House for breakfast before we went to Philadelphia to see the Eagles try to keep their season alive. After losing to the Bears Monday night, the Eagles couldn't afford to lose again. This time they were hosting the Arizona Cardinals who I saw a few weeks prior in Baltimore where they blew a 21 point lead as they lost to the Baltimore Ravens.

This time the Cardinals fell behind by a touchdown early. They fought hard all game long despite their place kicker Jay Feely missing a few field goals. They persevered and when it was all said and done, the Cardinals delivered the knockout punch as they beat the Eagles, 21-17.

After the game, the King and I drove back up to MetLife Stadium in the Meadowlands to see the Sunday night game between the Jets and their division rival, the New England Patriots.

The Jets' place kicker Nick Folk followed former Jet Jay Feely's lead as he missed a field goal on the Jets' first drive of the game after they went down the field like it was nothing. That miss set the tone for the evening as it turned out. The Patriots came into the game looking like they were beatable but the Jets couldn't find a way to beat them.

The Jets' hung tough in the first half. The second half proved to be a different story as the Patriots' made the necessary adjustments as they exploited the Jets on their way to a 37-16 triumph over their nemesis who knocked them out of the playoffs back in the middle of January. As a result, it appears the Jets hopes of winning the AFC East are a long shot now at best.

With that another royal week is in the books for the King and I.

Thank you for reading and following along.

Yours truly,

Gary Herman

Royalty is heading back to Minnesota and Winnipeg to see hockey and football!


It's going to be December in a few weeks, Royalty will be spending the first weekend of the month in the Upper Midwest.

The game plan is as follows:

The King and I are going to the Twin Cities and North of the Border.The main purpose is to see MTS Centre, home of the new Winnipeg Jets who in the off season relocated there from Atlanta. The King and I were there once before in March 1996 when we saw the original Winnipeg  Jets play at the old Winnipeg Arena. This time we're going there so we can say we've been to every NHL arena again.

Friday, December 2nd we have a flight booked on American Airlines that departs NY LaGuardia Airport at 11:50AM Eastern Time and it's scheduled to land in Minneapolis, Minnesota at 1:45PM Central Time.

Upon arrival, I'll be renting a car and we're going to drive to St. Paul to see the Minnesota Wild play the New Jersey Devils in a hockey game that starts at 7PM local time.

After the game, we'll be driving halfway to Fargo, North Dakota to get some sleep before we continue North to Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada Saturday morning.

Saturday, December 3rd Devils at Jets 6PM Local Time

After the game we're driving back to Fargo to spend the night.

Sunday, December 5th, we'll be at Mall of America Field formerly the Metrodome in downtown Minneapolis to see the Minnesota Vikings take on the Denver Broncos. Kickoff is now scheduled for 12 Noon local time thanks to the flex scheduling. Less sleep for the weary.

After the game, I'll be spending the night in the Twin Cities before we head back East to go home.

We'll be flying back home on Monday, December 5th. Our flight on American Airlines departs Minneapolis at 8:50AM Central Time and lands at LaGuardia at 12:30PM Eastern Time.

Please feel free to check back for all the details of how this adventure played out. As long as mother cooperates, this will be an instant classic roadie royalty style.

If you want to join us, please let me know so I can arrange to make it happen.

Thank you for reading and following along.

Yours truly,

Gary Herman

Monday, November 14, 2011

Royalty meets up with a fellow roadtripper and family man in Washington DC!

Charles Stephenson and I
During the football season last year I was checking out one of my favorite football websites called www.NFLStadiums.com which is run by a guy named Hans Steiniger who I've met briefly on a few occasions as he was in the midst of finishing up his quest to see a football game in every current NFL Stadium. In other words, he was on his "Quest for 31" as he refers to it. Since then he has completed his quest for the time being until a new one goes up.

In the meantime, he has started pilgrimages as he classifies them to see every hockey and basketball arena in the NHL and NBA.

Hans also arranges themed NFL weddings on the side. He's a perfect example because he and his lovely wife Krystal got married at Ford Field since they live in the Michigan area. He happens to be a Buffalo Bills fan.

Furthermore, he has a special links section on his football website where he lists his favorite websites that he likes to visit. He has my blog on that exclusive list. In addition, he has Andrew Kulyk and Peter Farrell from Buffalo aka USRT.

Moreover, I noticed he had a site called Field Goal which is run by a guy named Charles Stephenson on his list. I clicked on the site and I got familiar with who and what Charles was all about. Once I finished searching his site thoroughly, I decided to get in contact with him since he had a guest list.

I liked the desire and determination he possessed in his goal to see all the different football gridirons on the professional as well as the college level. It was intriguing to say the least given his background. This man was a few years older than me but he's married and he has three young children too.

With that being said, I told him when I wrote and introduced myself to him, I'm here to help speed up the process.

After a short period of time, he responded to my e-mail and we've been in touch every so often since.
He was originally from Houston, Texas where he grew up. After that, he moved to Louisiana for nine years. He did go to college at Tulane. He has since moved on again and he now resides in Northern Virginia which is located right outside our Nation's Capitol, Washington DC. He's lived there with his family since the mid to late '90's he said. In 1999, he became a Washington Redskin season ticket holder. Despite their disappointing play year after year he still has remained loyal to the 'Skins, his favorite team. He will continue to "Hail to the Redskins" despite these tough times. That's what a true fan does. I commend him for that. He takes a licking but he keeps on ticking.

Charles and I did try to meet up during baseball season at a Nationals game but due to family commitments he was unable to join the King and I.

Once the doors were unlocked and we knew there was finally going to be a football season, I made sure I contacted Charles since I always try my best to go to FedEx Field, which happens to be one of my favorite NFL Stadiums, at least once a year. Originally I was targeting the December 4th game against the Jets but once I found out the Atlanta Thrashers hockey team was moving to Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada I needed to find a way to go back there to see the new arena, the MTS Centre, they were going to call home. The King and I did get there in 1996 when the old "Jets" called Winnipeg their home before they relocated to Phoenix, Arizona and became the Coyotes.

With that being said, I thoroughly analyzed the NHL schedule and I saw the most logical and worthwhile time to go to Winnipeg was ironically when another team called the Jets were playing the Washington Redskins. So I decided to figure out a way to alter my game plan so I could have my cake and eat it too.
On November 6th, the Jets and Giants were playing on the road. So that meant I had to travel elsewhere if I wanted to see a live NFL game that day. The Jets were playing in Buffalo and the San Francisco 49ers were going to be in Washington.

Once Charles contacted me and asked me if I would like to come to Washington so we could finally meet up, without hesitating I told him you got a deal. I asked him how much the ticket cost, he replied for you it's free. Needless to say, I was left speechless. As the game day was approaching, Charles followed up a few times to make sure I was still coming. I said absolutely. He doesn't know me from a hole in the wall so it's understandable that he was somewhat concerned that I might bail out on him. The King decided to pass up the opportunity. Once I told him I was coming, my word is as good as gold.

As promised Charles not only gave me a ticket to the game, he also invited me to his tailgate party beforehand. He told me he would cook up some brats for me. Upon hearing that, I was in heaven.
I planned accordingly as I skipped breakfast so I could indulge in his generous hospitality. He gave me directions as to where he would be parked so I could come over and join the party. He had some company. Since he has five season tickets for the Redskins, he decided to bring his son Charlie, his daughter Grace and her friend Katie to the game.

As for the tailgate party, he had a few other people there. They were his friend Tom Goodman and his son John who ironically is going to college at Columbia University here in NYC. It was truly a pleasure to meet and greet all of these wonderful people. Tom brought some ribs so I was able to enjoy them as well.

I was having a blast and that was just the beginning. We still had to head into the stadium for the main event, the game itself as the Redskins were hosting the surprising San Francisco 49ers who were off to a flying start at 6-1 in the first half of the season. The Redskins who got off to a fast start at 3-1 had dropped three in a row mainly because they have been hit by injuries. Their players are dropping like flies.

The downward spiral continued for the hometown Redskins as they lost to the 49ers on this day, 19-11.

Regardless of the outcome, I had a memorable day thanks to Charles and company.

I want to personally thank Charles for giving me a taste of my own medicine in the form of royal treatment. He treated me like a King and he made me feel like I was really something special. In my eyes, I'm just a fellow human being who works hard to achieve my goals.

We plan to stay in touch and hook up again down the road.

Thank you for reading and following along.

Yours truly,

Gary Herman

Royalty schedule w/o 11/14

Here's the game plan:

Thursday November 17th Texas A&M vs. Mississippi State 7PM

                                        St. John's vs. Arizona 9:30PM

                                        College Basketball at MSG

Friday November 18th Hershey Bears at Syracuse Crunch 7:30PM

Saturday November 19th Akron at Buffalo 12 Noon

Coyotes at Sabres 7PM

Sunday November 20th Jaguars at Browns 1PM

Check back to see how it turned out.

Hope all my readers and followers have a great week.

As always, if you need assistance don't hesitate to ask.

Stay tuned for my w/o 11/7 in review.

If you like to tweet you can follow me on Twitter too. @royaltytoursusa
Furthermore, we can hook up on Facebook and/or Four Square as well.

With all the ways to communicate these days, we should always be in touch.

Remember team work makes the dream work.

Yours truly,

Gary Herman

Saturday, November 12, 2011

A Royal visit to Annapolis, Maryland to see Navy Football!

Navy Football
After a few years of trying, the opportunity finally presented itself. I was able to go to see the Naval Academy play football in person in Annapolis, Maryland which is located outside of the Baltimore-Washington area near the water in the surburbs once and for all.

I rented a car from Avis early Saturday morning for the weekend and off I went. The only detour I took was a ride to the dentist on Long Island to get a small cavity filled and another one that was cracked, I had replaced.

I planned to get to the dentist early and I did. The only problem was I still had to wait 45 minutes to be seen. As a result, I left there a lot later than I wanted to.

With that being said, I didn't get to the Navy game on time as I planned to. It was out of my control. I did my very best to make up some of the lost time. I parked the car at 3:40PM for a 3:30PM start in the neighborhood nearby. I want to personally thank my pals from Buffalo, Andrew Kulyk and Peter Farrell for the tip. They were there last year for a game. This was my first time near the stadium so I had no clue. Without their advice, I would have wasted more precious time. That's why I also like to know before I go. By doing so, I can save time and money.

I proceeded to walk over to the stadium which wasn't terribly far away. As I walked through the parking lot I noticed a number of people of tailgating. I assumed that they weren't planning to see the game. They wanted to be part of the atmosphere instead. I continued towards the gate area and I saw only a hand full of late arrivals heading inside. Luckily I came across a young man who had a few extra tickets. I told him I just needed one. I asked him what he wanted. He said $10. Naturally I gladly coughed up the $10 and I literally ran into the stadium.

As I ran through the run way, Kriss Proctor, the quarterback of Navy was running into the end zone from a yard out to give Navy an early 7-0 lead over the visiting Troy Trojans with 6:04 left in the first quarter. The Trojans were playing Navy for the very first time in their history.

Both teams came into the game with losing records so I thought I may see a somewhat competitive game. That didn't happen as Navy built a 35-0 lead as they cruised to an easy 42-14 whipping of the Trojans.
Regardless of the outcome, its the experience of being there that really matters. With Veteran's Day fast approaching, it was fitting that I got to take in an American military setting. I savored my time there.

After the game, I went back to my car and I since I was starved, I went out to feed my empty stomach.

On my way to the car rental, I surfed the internet to line up a potential place to eat dinner after the game. I looked up a place that I like to visit on the road when I'm very hungry and I since I didn't have a fortune of money to burn, I decided to see if I could find a Golden Corral in the area.

After looking at their website, I found one that wasn't too far out of my way so I said to myself, I'm going to help myself to happiness which is their slogan.

I checked into the Golden Corral near Arundel Mills at 8PM and I checked out at 9:30PM. In between, I was a very happy person. My empty stomach not only left happy but filled to the rim and then some.

For a very reasonable amount of money, I ate like a King. Nothing beats a royal meal at a royal deal.
If you happen to see a Golden Corral in your travels, I strongly suggest that you stop in especially if you have a family to feed. Let the kids run amuck and everybody can stuff themselves and you'll still have some money left for a rainy day.

As you know from reading and following my whereabouts, I practice what I preach so I wisely think you should take my sound advice.

Stay tuned for another special post that I'm going to do as my weekend wrapped up as I met a special guest in Washington DC at FedEx Field for the Redskin game on Sunday.

Thank you for your time and consideration.

Yours truly,

Gary Herman