|Prince is in the house tonight|
Once the matchups were set for the divisional playoffs, he booked a flight to come to NYC. We went back and forth during the week to coordinate his surprise visit.
Our friend Vincent Ascanio decided he wanted to make a royal road trip for the first time with me.
So with that being said, I had already booked a car rental from Avis anticipating going away for that weekend. Now the King and I had some additional company too.
Here's how it turned out. I woke up early Saturday morning and I went to Avis to pick up the car. I wound up getting a Crown Victoria which was perfect for this getaway.
After I got the car, I went near JFK airport to pick up Steve who flew in late Friday night. I went to his hotel and picked him up. I proceeded to go back home to Astoria to get the King. Then we drove to Queensbridge where we met Vincent.
With everybody in the car, we went on our way towards Foxboro. We arranged to have an appetizer if you will. We stopped off at the University of Rhode Island which is located in Kingston, Rhode Island. We went to the Thomas Ryan Center for the very first time to see the Rams of URI play the Dukes of Duquesne University.
What a beautiful arena it was. It was a perfect way to pass time on our way to see the New England Patriots play the Denver Broncos in prime time.
As for the game we saw, the Rams lost to the Dukes, 78-71.
After the game, we drove to Cranston, Rhode Island which was about 25 miles away going towards Foxboro. We went there because I arranged to meet a guy named Rick Forcino who I got in contact with on Craigslist earlier in the week. He had a pair of extra tickets so he was kind enough to sell them to me. It worked out perfectly as the King and I used them. They were located on the upper level halfway up at the 35 yard line.
Steve and Vincent were able to secure tickets through Ticketmaster so it worked out well for all of us.
We arrived in Foxboro shortly after 6PM. We parked the car in the $20 lot which is the cheapest you'll found in the area. We proceeded to walk towards Gillette Stadium.
We stopped off at Papa Gino's to have some pizza on the way before we braved the elements to watch the game.
We all indulged in a hearty meal. We then continued about a mile to get to the Stadium.
We all went in and picked a place to meet after the game.
As for the game we saw, it was over early for all intent and purposes, the Patriots scored a touchdown on the first drive of the game. It took them a mere 1:51 to drive down the field to take the early 7-0 lead. That drive set the tone for the rest of the evening as the Broncos couldn't get out of their own way.
The Patriots' defense stifled them the whole night. Tim Tebow wound up getting hurt in the second quarter but he showed heart and he continued to battle through it but his team proved to be no match for the Pats on this night. The Patriots cruised to an easy 45-10 victory as they will host the AFC Championship Game against the winner of the Ravens and Texans.
It should be noted that the King hinted that we could leave early but he knew that was going on deaf ears as I had no intention of checking out early despite the lopsided score.
As a result, we got to see Tom Brady even punt the ball late in the game.
We met up with Steve and Vincent after the game and we all walked back to the car together.
We pulled out of the parking lot at 12:14AM as we headed towards Baltimore which was 400 miles away where we were going to see the Baltimore Ravens play the Houston Texans at 1PM Sunday afternoon.
We arrived in Aberdeen, Maryland at a Super 8 at 6:14AM where we got some sleep. We checked out at 10:45AM and we continued the drive to Baltimore which was 30 miles away.
Everybody was amazed that I was able to stay awake overnight to drive us all safely to our destination.
I made sure I got enough sleep and rest during the week so I would be up to the task. Thankfully I was.
We parked the car on the street in the neighborhood upon arrival in Baltimore. We then walked over to M&T Bank Stadium which was nearby. We all went to the will call window where we picked up the tickets we ordered during the week from Ticketmaster.
In addition, we met up with our pal, Andrew Van Cleve who took the train down from Philadelphia. It was great to see him again.
After the game, we went out to eat with Andrew and we drove him home on our way back to NYC.
Before the game, I went upstairs to section 500 so I could say hello to my friend, Nib Pirrung who's been a Raven season ticket holder since day one when they moved to Baltimore. It was great to see him again as well.
As for the game we saw, the Ravens fell behind 3-0 as their defense clamped down after the Texans got a nice return on the opening kick off.
The Ravens proceeded to take the lead. The Texans battled back all day but they couldn't get over the hump as the Raven defense came up big when they needed to as the Ravens escaped with a 20-13 victory to advance to the AFC Championship Game in Foxboro.
After the game, we all ate in Baltimore then I dropped Andrew off in Philadelphia at 9PM. We drove back to Brooklyn where Vincent lives. I dropped him off at 11:15PM.
Then I took Steve, the King and I back to Astoria. We arrived there a few minutes before midnight. Steve spent the night with us.
Thank you for reading and following along.