Royalty Tours USA

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Royalty 2011 Year in Review

Another year has come and gone. With that being said it's time to relive the good and bad of 2011.
Personally speaking, 2011 was a rough year for me. Some of you may know I was forced to move out of my parent's house. They decided they wanted to move to Lancaster, Pennsylvania on a full time basis. So on August 20th, I moved out and I moved in to live with the King.

My parents broke the news to me in late January. I had to clean up and throw out many personal memories I had saved over the years from the various places I had been to. As a result, I was forced to miss some sporting events along the way.

In the process, I still maintained my rigorous schedule and blog which I'm most proud of. That was my biggest concern. I have been blogging for almost two years now. I've developed a captive audience and fan club. I don't want to let my people down.

With no further ado, here's how things played out in 2011.

First and foremost, my total sporting events total took a dip to 307 compared to 338 in 2010. All things considered, I had a great year with the parameters I was given to work with.

The King on the other hand managed to get to 402 total sporting events in 2011. 233 of them were baseball games hence the name the King.

Here's a recap by month of the highlights:

January before I found out the news, the King and I started the year on New Year's Day at the Winter Classic in Pittsburgh. Since mother nature wasn't cooperating they moved the game from the afternoon to a night game. As a result, the King and I started the year with a surprise as we wound up going to Youngstown State to see a college basketball game. Ironically the team nickname is the Penguins so we got to see a unique Penguin doubleheader instead.

After that, we went to see NFL playoff games in Philadelphia and New England.

On January 18th, after work I secured tickets to see the Jets play the Steelers in the AFC Championship Game in Pittsburgh.

That same night I had the privilege and honor of being on internet TV in the FDHL Lounge with Rick Morris. It happened to be their fourth anniversary show that night. What a way to hit the airwaves.

After the King and I went to Pittsburgh to see the Jets fall to the Steelers, I was told by my parents that they're going to sell the house and I have to move out.

In February, I celebrated the first anniversary of my blog. Over President's Day weekend, the King and I went to Western Canada to see the Heritage Classic in Calgary. While we were there, we went to Edmonton and Red Deer as well. This trip was planned out in December so I wasn't going to miss it given my current situation.

When we returned we saw the home debuts of newly acquired players Carmelo Anthony and Deron Williams for their new teams, the Knicks and Nets respectively.

In March, we took a trip to Norfolk, Virginia where we met up with our friend Bob Kelly who lives in the area. On the way home we stopped off in Washington DC and we saw the Wizards play with our friends Peter & Carmen Agnew who live in Baltimore.

We also started the new baseball season at Yankee Stadium on Opening Day which was on March 31st.

In April, we made some weekend getaways to Philadelphia, Washington and Boston.

On April 23rd, I saw my 4,000th baseball game at Citi Field as the Mets played the Diamondbacks.

In May, the King and I made our annual trip to Chicago to see Wrigley Field. While we were there, we went to Milwaukee too. More importantly, we got to attend a birthday party.

Our friend Andrew Van Cleve and his wife Nicole were having a party for their son, Dylan aka the Ultimate Sports Baby who turned one.

We were thrilled to be part of his first birthday celebration.

At the end of May, we went to Baltimore and Lehigh Valley where we met up with Jason Grilli who got us tickets for the game.

The month of June was rather quiet except for a quick trip to Philadelphia. As a result, I was able to start seriously cleaning up for my move.

In addition, I entertained friends who visited from out of town. First, Don Steiger and his daughter Angie came to NYC from St. Louis. It was Angie's first time in the Big Apple. I arranged to get them tickets to see the new Yankee Stadium while they were here. After they left town, the Red Sox came to the Bronx and so did Steve Fekete aka the Padre Punk from Anaheim. He got another taste of royal treatment while he was here too.  

July was a historical month as I saw Derek Jeter get his 3,000th major league hit on July 9th. In addition, I saw Ervin Santana of the Angels no hit the Indians in Cleveland on July 27th.

Back in early January, I got in contact with an up and coming sports traveler, Paul Derrick from Houston, Texas. He referred to me as his sports travel idol. We stayed in contact via e-mail for months. He wanted to make a road trip he told me. Before I knew my situation was taking a turn for the worst, I told Paul I was going to make it happen for him. True to my word, I met him for the first time on July 22nd. We traveled together for the next nine days. I rented a car for that stretch and I showed him what we have to offer here in the Northeast.

He didn't want to go back home. He was amazed that everything I told him happened and then some. I had planned some surprises along the way as we wound up meeting some familiar faces as well as some new ones. It was a trip of a lifetime as Paul called it.

We got an added bonus when we saw Ervin Santana's no hitter together. The King and our friend Bryan Gilligan joined us for parts of this Stadium Journey. Speaking of Stadium Journey, Paul is one of their correspondents. We wound up meeting a few others along the way. We met Josh Guilher and Geoff Crawley too. We hooked up with Andrew Kulyk and Peter Farrell from Buffalo. We got to see Kurt Smith, the author of Ballpark E-Guides. Furthermore, we got to see Rick Morris in his mobile FDH Lounge which culminated their amazing excursion.

In August, we got a visit from Darren O'Donnell who was riding his bike all around the country for the whole baseball season to see every major league park. He got to visit family and friends who helped him out along the way. The King and I met him at Citi Field on August 10th. We were blow away by his method of transportation. He did reach the finish line in St. Louis on September 25th.

On August 20th, my moving day finally came. After months of stress, relief was finally in sight. Let it be known I haven't missed a beat since.

To further prove that, with Hurricane Irene bearing down on NYC the next weekend, the King told me to get him a car rental. We escaped the area. We wound up driving to Cleveland and Baltimore that weekend. By doing so, we avoided the storm and we got to see Rick Morris in the mobile FDH Lounge again. We also saw our friend BessAnne while we were in Cleveland which made for a nice touch to our getaway. In addition, we saw our friend Andrew Van Cleve who happened to be in the Baltimore area that weekend.

In September, I went to the Heartland over Labor Day weekend. I met Tige Hutcheson who also writes for Stadium Journey in Des Moines, Iowa. I also saw my friend Dorothy Straney, her Mom and her boyfriend Joel in Kansas as I finally got to see her Kansas State Wildcats play volleyball and football at home for the first time. I also met up with Chris Coats aka Superfan at the Royal game I saw before I headed back home. I went to Philadelphia on Labor Day upon return to NYC. Later in the month, I went to Baltimore and Philadelphia again.

In October, I spent time shuttling back and forth to Baltimore and Philadelphia. I saw a few NFL football doubleheaders plus postseason baseball and some college football games. In between, I had a lot of nights off too.

In November, I went to Annapolis, Maryland and Washington DC where I met up with a sports traveler named Charles Stephenson. He treated me to a Redskin game against the 49ers. Later in the month, the King and I and our friend Mike Carroll went to Syracuse, Buffalo and Cleveland. We met up with Andrew Kulyk and Peter Farrell again in Buffalo. We saw Rick Morris again in the mobile FDH Lounge this time I told him my preview for 2012. The King and I went to Foxboro that Monday night too. Thanksgiving night the King and I spent his birthday in Baltimore watching the Ravens.

In December, the first weekend the King took care of some unfinished business as we made a trip to Minnesota and Winnipeg. We revisited the Wild experience and the Vikings. Most importantly, we got to see the new "Jets" in Winnipeg to give us every current NHL venue again. A few weeks later, I had a short interview on CBC Radio in Winnipeg about the return of hockey. I saw Scott Niedermayer of the NJ Devils have his number 27 retired. I saw the Jets play in Philadelphia. I saw the Battle of NY on Christmas Eve. The King and I spent Christmas Day with Andrew Van Cleve and the Ultimate Sports Baby at the Garden as the NBA returned from their lockout. I closed out the year seeing the Pinstripe Bowl and we saw a surprise hockey doubleheader on New Year's Eve as we saw the Islanders play and we hitched a ride to Brooklyn to end the year like we started it with a surprise game.

Not a bad recap for an "off" year if you will.

Stay tuned as things unfold in 2012.

Thank you for reading and following along.

Yours truly,

Gary Herman

1 comment:

StadiumJourney said...


I'd love to see all of your final stats for the year- games by league or by sport. It's amazing how much you are able to see. Here's wishing you a very happy 2012!