Ever since I was a kid, Canada intrigued me. It was always the first place I wanted to travel to without a doubt – travel through the rocky mountains in winter or summer, the snow fields, Vancouver, Toronto and Montreal.
Unfortunately with being a fan of an American hockey team, my travel plans have always been around major American cities. My first trip to the USA was in October 2010 where I followed the New Jersey Devils on a 3-game road trip around California. It was my first taste of the USA, and I squeezed in some sightseeing as well – San Francisco, San Jose, Anaheim, Los Angeles, and San Diego.
I spent a few hours in San Francisco, exploring Fisherman’s Wharf and driving around, seeing the Golden Gate Bridge, then I drove south to San Jose. I didn’t see anything of San Jose – I was only there for hockey and watched the Devils lose 5-3. Then from there to Anaheim, drove past Disneyland, hiked up the Hollywood sign hill. Saw the Devils win in Anaheim 2-1, then lose to the Kings 3-1.
The final part of the trip was a 2 hour drive south to San Diego, watched the San Diego Chargers beat the Tennessee Titans, then drive straight to LAX and fly home.
I finally got back to the USA in 2012, again in October. I was originally planning on visiting in March 2012 however I had to delay due to struggles with finances at the time. I planned a 3-sport holiday, seeing the New York Yankees baseball team, and the San Diego Chargers and New Jersey Devils again. Unfortunately the NHL and Players Association caused a lockout and my plan to see hockey was stopped. I still however spent 2 weeks in New York, visiting the tourist spots of Rockefeller Plaza, Empire State Building, Statue of Liberty, the 9/11 Memorial, and a day trip to Washington D.C. I was also able to see Kevin Smith and the Comic Book Men speak in New York and a quick trip to Boston.
So as they say, third time lucky to visit the place I always wanted to visit first, and I have to thank some friends of mine for the opportunity. I met a family while tailgating in the San Diego Chargers parking lot, who were visiting from Canada, and who are also supporters of the San Diego Chargers. They extended an invitation to visit and stay in Calgary whenever I visited.
So with this, and the large tax refund I received, I decided to set the plans in motion for a third trip to the USA. I am going to the New Jersey Devils home arena for 2 home games, and the special Stadium Series outdoor game against the New York Rangers. Then head up to the great white north to Canada.
I will spend 2 days in Toronto, and visit the Hockey Hall of Fame, CN Tower, and Wayne Gretzky’s bar and restaurant. I will then fly to Calgary where I will spend 2 weeks sightseeing, with day trips to the Rocky Mountains, more hockey games, and surrounding areas. I will experience my first proper North American Super Bowl party, and great Canadian hospitality.
I am counting down the days.