Royalty Tours USA

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:

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.

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 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

Thursday, November 10, 2011

A Royal take on the Transformation of Madison Square Garden Phase One!

A View from behind the Goal
For those of you who don't know, Madison Square Garden aka the World's Most Famous Arena as it's known is in the process of undergoing a make over. In other words, they prefer to refer to it as a "transformation".

In today's ever changing world, everything is obsolete a lot faster than in the past. Technology has altered all of our lives in one way, shape or form.

With that being said, the people who run the Garden decided that building a whole new building was out of the question due to the ridiculous amount of money it would cost. Mind you, this transformation project isn't going to come cheap either but it makes more logically sense to me.

Instead they decided to "transform" the building to get it up to the modern standards of the 21st century.
It's a long term process that won't be completed until sometime in 2013. It will be done in three different phases.

During the summer, the Garden was shut down so they could start doing phase one of the project. By doing so, they have started to change the Garden as we used to see it.

For example, they have upgraded the locker rooms for the players so they can feel like their really playing at home literally and figuratively speaking.

As for the fans, they've redone different parts of the seating areas. On the lower level, they used to have seats separated by different sections of seats. Now they decided to make rows of seats that go back around 25 rows consecutively.

By doing so, they 're trying to make the sightlines better for the fans in the process. In addition, they've remodeled and widened the concourses and bathrooms downstairs as well.

For those of us who prefer or can only afford the upper bowl seats and/or the old "blue" seats, they've ripped out seats and redid the areas behind the goals on both sides where the old green seats used to be.
Furthermore, they've added an aerial view behind the net that hangs over the ice that's accessible for everybody who wants to stand and peak at the game while enjoying a beer at the newly created bar areas on this level. I personally think it's a cool addition. It reminded me of the old arena in Pittsburgh, the Civic Arena aka the Igloo where you were able to see the game from the top of the building behind the net. They also have a few rows of seats that are surrounded by big glass partitions so you can watch the game if you can afford the price of admission for these newly added perchs. They also have bar stool style seats in the row behind them with a ledge. They also come with a high price tag.

My overall take is incomplete just like the rest of the transformation. Needless to say, in order to enjoy and appreciate all of the new modern amenities, you're going to need a bundle of money to do so.

The bottom line is I'm glad I got to see the beginning of the new look Garden. Time will tell if I'll be able to see the finished version in a few years.

If you haven't had the privilege of going to the Garden then you won't know the difference. Right now, it's a work in progress and even regular visitors like myself will have a hard time navigating the ins and outs with all the different changes that are taking place in Midtown Manhattan high atop New York Penn Station.

With the NBA lockout ongoing and with no end in sight, the number of games played at the Garden are less than expected. With that being said, if you get a chance to go there I strongly suggest you do. That way you can witness firsthand what I'm talking about.

It's an old building and foundation so they can only do so much as far as fixing up the facility.

When it's all said and done, it should be an improvement for those people who are fortunate enough to experience it.

Thank you for reading and following along.

Yours truly,

Gary Herman

Royalty w/o 10/31 in review

View from Center Ice
After experiencing a winter preview over the weekend, Halloween officially arrived that Monday.
I went to work on Halloween tired and all. After work, I found a way to get up the energy to go to Madison Square Garden to see the Rangers play the San Jose Sharks. It was my first game there since they started the Transformation of the Garden.

Stay tuned for the special post I'll be doing to give you an idea of what to expect if and when you have a chance to go to the World's Most Famous Arena.

As for the game I saw on Halloween night, the hometown Rangers gave their fans a treat as they beat up the Sharks, 5-2 after the game started with a fight just seven seconds into the contest as the Sharks' Ryane Clowe and the Rangers' Brandon Prust dropped the gloves.

After the fight, the Rangers raced out to a 2-0 lead in the first period. The Sharks got on the board late in the period to cut the lead in half 2-1 after the first period. The Sharks got the equalizer almost midway through the second period. After that, the Rangers scored three unanswered goals including two from newly named team captain Ryan Callahan as the Rangers cruised to the victory.

It was nice to see many of the regulars that were in attendance. Over the years, I've seen my share of Ranger games at the Garden so familiar faces aren't hard to find. I recognize many different people even if I've never spoken to some of them. It's nice to see many of them are back for another season.

Tuesday night I went home after work to catch up on much needed rest.

Wednesday night after work, I went to Newark, NJ to see the Devils play the Toronto Maple Leafs at the Prudential Center. Ironically four years ago to the day on November 2, 2007, I saw my first Devil game at the "Rock" against the Maple Leafs no less.

The only difference between the games was the outcome. The Devils won, 3-2 back in 2007 but this time the Maple Leafs emerged victorious as Joffrey Lupul scored a hat trick that included goals to break a 2-2 and 3-3 tie as the Leafs turned back the Devils, 5-3.

Thursday night after work I went back to the Garden to see the Anaheim Ducks who were in town to play the Rangers on this night.

This time the Rangers lead 1-0 until late in the second period when the Ducks tied it up at one. The score remained that way through the third period and the overtime session.

This game was decided by a shootout and the Rangers managed to win the skills competition if you will. As a result, they won the game, 2-1 in a shootout.

Friday night I went home after work to rest up since there were no games in the local area. I got to rest up for another busy weekend that was ahead of me.

For all the details, please stay tuned for the special post that I'm going to write recapping my latest adventure. It may take some time but it will definitely be worth the wait. Please bear with me.

As always, I want to thank all my readers and followers for taking your precious time to read about me and my whereabouts.

Needless to say, if and when you need my assistance and/or advice please feel free to consult me. If you don't, I'll feel insulted.

Yours truly,

Gary Herman

Monday, November 7, 2011

Royalty schedule w/o 11/7

Here's the game plan:

Monday November 7th Bears at Eagles 8:30PM

Tuesday November 8th Hurricanes at Devils 7:30PM

Friday November 11th Capitals at Devils 7PM

Saturday November 12th Yale at Princeton 12 Noon

                                        Devils at Capitals 7PM

Sunday November 13th Cardinals at Eagles 1PM

                                      Patriots at Jets 8:20PM

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 10/31 in review. In addition, I plan to do a few other special posts as well. Please bear with me.

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, November 4, 2011

Royalty w/o 10/24 in review

This was another week that started slow as far as attending live sporting events, but it did end in royal fashion when the week was all said and done.

I wound up going home after work four straight nights Monday-Thursday because they're were no local games I could get to after work. As a result, I wound up watching the World Series on TV instead.
Friday night I didn't see a game either live or on TV. I went out to Avis after work instead to pick up a car for the weekend which turned out to be a surprise preview of winter that was coming our way.

I drove 175 miles to Lancaster, Pennsylvania where my parents now live on a full time basis. After struggling to get out of NYC thanks to traffic, I finally arrived there just after midnight.

I did get to listen to the radio as the St. Louis Cardinals became World Champions again for the 11th time in their history. The most by any National League team I might add. The Texas Rangers blew that memorable Game 6. They were a strike away from winning not once but twice. It turned out to be a hard fought not necessarily a well played World Series but it did create interest as it went seven games for the first time since 2002.

Now the "off season" if you will is officially upon us. That depends on how you look at it. I don't really have such a thing. For me, now it's football season until late January, early February.

In addition, I have hockey to follow too. I like basketball but since the NBA is locked out, my options in the local area are limited as far as college goes but I plan to see some along the way as well.

In the meantime, I went to visit my parents and I got to take in some football games too. Quite amazingly, the weather felt like it was sometime in January. When I checked the calendar I didn't remember Halloween coming and going. I was right it was still a few days away. It was strange but like royalty it was true.

With winter in the air, I still decided to take an adventurous ride to Towson, Maryland which was 75 miles from Lancaster. I saw an opportunity to see some lower level football since my options in the Northeast were limited on that Saturday. I passed up a chance to go to Reading, PA for other royal treatment in the form of ECHL hockey where the Reading Royals play. I preferred to brave the elements and see a new venue, Johnny Unitas Stadium where the Towson Tigers play. On this night, they hosted the Blue Hens of the University of Delaware.

As for the game I saw, it was a rather entertaining one. Despite the less than ideal playing conditions with the wind howling and some light snow falling during the game, I thoroughly enjoyed my time outside. It turned out to be a seesaw battle as the lead changed five different times during the game. The hometown Tigers roared out to a early 10-0 lead before the visiting Blue Hens came back to take the lead, 14-10. The Tigers went back ahead, 16-14. Then the Blue Hens took over for a while building a 29-16 advantage. The Tigers once again answered by scoring a few more touchdowns to go up, 30-29. Delaware took the lead for good, 36-30 as the Tigers blew a few chances late in the game by making critical and costly mistakes. The Blue Hens pulled off the upset of their neighboring rival which is only 58 miles away in nearby Newark, Delaware.

After the game, I drove back to Lancaster and I spent the night with my parents. After getting a good night sleep and having a hearty home cooked breakfast, I said goodbye to them and I went back to Baltimore, Maryland to see the Ravens play the Arizona Cardinals in game one of my NFL football doubleheader.

I lucked out big time at the Raven game. I wound up getting myself a nice upgrade. I ended up sitting right at the 50 yard line in section 500 in the last row. I met a gentleman named Harry who said everybody knows him as "Nib". We enjoyed each other's company throughout the game. He has season tickets there and he told me to stay since one of his seats was empty. He was with his daughter and her boyfriend and some other family members. He said he's seen every Raven home game since day one when they moved to Baltimore in 1996. He's been a season ticket holder for them for 16 years now. He said he liked the Redskins but he could never get tickets for them back in the day. So instead since he's a big football fan he decided to get Ravens tickets.

As I like to say "timing is everything". On this day, I was in the right place at the right time. Nib was impressed with my score keeping. For those of you who don't know, I do keep track of the play by play when I'm at a football game live. It's fun and educational. Nib took a liking to my style. I told him I saw the Ravens play the Jets at the beginning of October and I mentioned to him I'm planning to come back for Thanksgiving night to see the 49er game. He told me I can join him and his family and friends for their massive tailgate party which starts 4 or 5 hours before kickoff. We exchanged contact information and I plan to take him up on his generous offer.

Please check back for the recap of that special occasion.

In the meantime, the game we saw was shaping up to be another nightmare for the Ravens as they fell behind the visiting Arizona Cardinals 24-3 late in the second quarter. Needless to say, the natives were restless and they started booing at halftime as the Ravens were trailing, 24-6.

The Ravens went into the locker room and they came out playing like the Ravens team I thought they were as they came back to take a 27-24 lead on the first play from scrimmage in the fourth quarter as Ray Rice ran for a 3 yard touchdown, his third of the day as the Ravens took the lead. The Cardinals later tied the score at 27 but the Ravens failed to get the game into overtime as they won it at the end of regulation with no time left as their kicker Billy Cundiff kicked a 25 yard field goal to give the Ravens a 30-27 victory. It should be noted as a result of this huge comeback I witnessed history as the Ravens overcame their largest deficit to win a game. I got to celebrate the occasion with Nib who like Ray Lewis is an original Raven. I want to personally thank Nib for enhancing my latest Raven experience. I truly had a blast.

After the game, I drove back towards NYC but I made a pit stop in Philadelphia first to see the night cap of my NFL double dip as the Philadelphia Eagles destroyed their arch division rival Dallas Cowboys, 34-7.

I got to spend the evening with our good friend Frankie Centola who goes to all the Eagle games. In addition, he arranged to get me my ticket.

Afterwards, I drove back home to get a few hours sleep then I went to Avis and I returned the car and back to work I went.

Thank you for reading and following along.

Yours truly,

Gary Herman

Royalty is heading up to Western New York and Cleveland to visit some special people in a few weeks!

Here's the game plan:

I'm renting a car Friday morning from Avis for the week.

I'm going to pick up The King, our friend Frank Anichiarico and Mike Carroll aka Sabre Mike and we'll be heading up to Western New York and then we'll be continuing West through Erie, Pennsylvania en route to Cleveland, Ohio before returning home late Sunday night.

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

Saturday, November 19th Akron Zips at Buffalo Bulls 12 Noon

                                        Coyotes at Sabres 7PM

We'll be meeting up with our roadtrip buddies from Buffalo, Andrew Kulyk and Peter Farrell of the Ultimate Sports Road Trip aka USRT.

Sunday, November 20th Jaguars at Browns 1PM

I plan to meet up with Rick Morris of the FDH Lounge as well as some other special guests from his media alliance network for a memorable breakfast. What a way to start a day.  

In addition, I look forward to seeing our friend Bessanne who lives in Cleveland. She's planning to join us for the game as well.

If you're interested in going on this exclusive getaway royalty style just let me know so I can arrange to have you join us.

It's going to be a blast so why not come for a "royal" ride.

Thank you for reading and following along.

Yours truly,

Gary Herman