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Hockey Night In Texas

Welcome back to #TravelThursday. As I revealed in last week’s edition I recently spent 10 days with my family over in the Dallas Texas area. It was our annual #ThanksChristmasGiving – where we combine Thanksgiving and Christmas into one fun week (or longer). It’s been a family tradition for many years now, but this was likely the last one of its kind.

The highlight of this recent trip occurred at the American Airlines Center – a large sports and entertainment arena in downtown Dallas. It was built between 1999 and 2001, and I think I had been there before, but I can’t remember. Before returning to the Dallas Texas area in 2019 my family previously lived there from 2006 to 2013, so it would’ve been back then, and it would’ve been either a WWE event or an NHL game. Maybe I hadn’t been there before. The arena and the surrounding area looked new to me on this visit.

So me and my brother went there on Monday November 21ST 2022 to watch our Dallas Stars take-on the visiting Colorado Avalanche. It was a fun game. Texans know how to put on a hockey game. The pregame intro (audio, video, visuals) was unlike anything that I’d ever seen at a hockey game. It was quite the show before the show. I’ve been to quite a few NHL games over the past 30 years – far more than any other sports league. It’s my favorite sport to watch LIVE in person at the arena. (I think it’s actually quite boring to watch hockey on TV.)

The action on the rink was a lot of fun with the audience interaction (for both teams playing). Colorado had its fair share of fans in the stands. I also enjoyed the loud techno and rock and even country music (it’s Texas) in-between the action on the ice. I remarked to my brother that the deejay has to be really good and paying close attention to start a snippet of a new song at the precise second that the action stops, and then end the song at the precise second that the action restarts. His playlist has to be well over 100 songs – with no repeats !

The game ended in a 2-2 tie, so there was a 5-minute “sudden death” overtime with less players on the ice. Neither team scored. So a shootout occurred. Colorado won the shootout. End-of-game. Avalanche 3 Stars 2 (SO).

The announced attendance of the game was 18,532, and that’s also the capacity of the arena.

Next #TravelThursday I’ll count my steps. Let’s keep traveling together.

All rights reserved (c) 2022 Christopher M. Day, CountUp

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My Wild Wrestling Weekend Vacation 2022

And I am back from yet another vacation – this one a 6-day trip out west. I flew in to the Dallas Texas area early last Thursday morning (March 31ST). First stop after my brother picked me up at the airport (DFW) was a restaurant nearby that the locals love – Old West Cafe. I enjoyed a hearty breakfast during my first hour within the Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex, and it continued a new tradition for me and my brother. This was our first stop the last time I flew in to DFW (in November 2020), and it worked out so well that we’ve decided to do it every time I fly in to DFW.

Here’s me a few seconds before diving in to this culinary masterpiece:

We saw a movie that afternoon – The Lost City (starring Sandra Bullock, Channing Tatum, and Daniel Radcliffe – among others). I enjoyed it. A solid ‘B’. 3.5 out of 4 stars from me. It was my 3RD movie seen at the theatres so far in 2022, and that ties both 2020 and 2021. (By comparison my 2000 to 2009 average was 20 movies per year, and my 2010 to 2019 average was 30 movies per year.)

That night we went to WrestleCon in downtown Dallas at a large hotel with a convention center. You may have heard of ComicCon held in various cities each year around the U.S. (and probably the world.) Well this is the professional wrestling version of that. Picture a lot of vendor booths with well-known wrestlers behind many of them selling photographs, autographs, and selfies or pictures of you and the wrestler. These are real-life TV stars of the wrestling realm – past and present – of rival companies – sitting or standing right in front of you in living color. Just you and them meeting and greeting each other. It was quite the experience. I was a bit starstruck. My brother talked to a few of his favorites, and he bought their photo and signature, and I took a picture of them with my brother’s smart phone.

Also part of the convention was a show at the wrestling ring with a full card of matches. We had front row seats ringside for that first night’s show. These are mostly independent wrestlers. I’m a huge WWE fan (more on that later), but beyond that I’m not really in to the independent wrestling scene (or other promotions stateside and worldwide). I know of some of them because they used to work for the WWE. I was very impressed with this first night’s experience.

Night 2 (Friday), and we were in Garland Texas (a Dallas suburb) at the Curtis Culwell Center – a nearly 7,000-seat arena. We were there for the reboot of Ring Of Honor and their annual Supercard Of Honor pay-per-view event. It was a stacked card with a dozen matches that thrilled the more than 2,000 in attendance. (We had ringside seats again.)

Nights 3 and 4, and we were at WrestleMania 38 at AT&T Stadium (where the Dallas Cowboys play). This was my 21ST WrestleMania (since WrestleMania X8 in 2002), but it was my very first LIVE and in-person. It was a bucket list event for me and my brother, and we finally did it. We were there for 8 hours on Saturday night and 6 hours on Sunday night. (The show itself was 4 hours on each night.)

If you have followed me online for a while then you know that I am a huge WWE fan. (I even preached a sermon about it here on my blog.) My brother got me hooked in June 2001 at a Raw and Smackdown in Tampa and Orlando respectively. Before those two LIVE events I had never seen an episode of either show. Since then I don’t think that I’ve missed one. I became a sudden and instant fan at those two shows at the atypical age of 34. (I never watched it as a kid either.)

Me and my brother watched the post-WrestleMania edition of Monday Night Raw at his house, and then I flew back home the next morning. My wild wrestling weekend vacation was complete.

A couple hundred million dollars were pumped-in to the Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex economy last weekend due to professional wrestling and its loyal fanbase worldwide, and I was part of all of that.

All rights reserved (c) 2022 Christopher M. Day, CountUp

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My Spring Break Vacation 2022

And now – Week 4 of my 4-week series on my 6-day / 626-mile road-trip adventure here in South Florida and also up in Central Florida.

Last #TravelThursday I wrote all about my fun family day at Legoland near Winter Haven in Central Florida. From there I proceeded over to U.S. 27 (my favorite highway in Florida – affectionately known as the Chris M. Day Retirement Highway – or the #CMDRH). My family did the same in two other vehicles. We said our “good-byes” in the parking lot of Legoland. I’ll see my brother, sister-in-law, and two nieces again – today. (More on that later.)

I stopped for Dinner at a place that I’ll probably be spending a lot of time at in the future (during retirement life) – Bob Evans in Sebring. Hopefully service greatly improves with future visits. I’ve eaten there a handful of times in the past, but this time service was the worst I’ve ever experienced.

I spent the night at a hotel in Lake Placid. That’s the other town that I’m eyeing for my future retirement / forever home. It’s very likely that I’ll purchase my forever home before I retire (maybe even later this year – but more likely next year). I’d begin to move things into my new home with each visit over a period of time.

My 6-day / 626-mile road-trip adventure ended the way it began 5 days earlier. I drove 3 hours to my workplace on the morning of Tuesday March 08TH 2022, and I worked much of the day. Then I went home and unpacked. That was the official end of another fun and successful vacation.

Next #TravelThursday I’ll write about my next vacation (which actually started yesterday). I’ll be spending 5 fun days hanging out with my family in the Dallas Texas area. Me and my brother – well we’re going to Wrestlemania !

I’m going to try to recap this vacation in a single blog post, but if I can’t fit it in 700 words or less (basically a 3-minute read) – then I’ll do a 2-part series.

I really want to get back to the original format of #TravelThursday where I write about a fun place I’ve visited (not necessarily while on vacation), or even a place somewhere in this world that I want to visit but haven’t done so yet. I think that’s the plan going forth after I write about this trip to and from Dallas Texas.

I thank you all for checking-out my blog and making #TravelThursday consistently my most-read blog post of the week (by far). Let’s keep traveling together.

All rights reserved (c) 2022 Christopher M. Day, CountUp

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My Top 5 Hits RETRO – 1992

Every Friday I post the Top 5 of one of my classic hit music charts based on personal preference and influenced by radio airplay from either 15, 25, 30, or 35 years ago this weekend (rotating each week).

It’s the 3RD Friday of the month, so I go back 30 years ago. Here it is – for the week ending Sunday January 19TH 1992:

  1. “Black Or White” – Michael Jackson
  2. “Can’t Let Go” – Mariah Carey
  3. “He Don’t Know” – Huey Lewis And The News
  4. “Kiss Them For Me” – Siouxsie And The Banshees
  5. “Don’t Let The Sun Go Down On Me” – George Michael & Elton John

“Kiss Them For Me” – What a great song that is. I consider it to be one of the greatest songs of all-time. It’s definitely the song that I’ve performed (sang) on “Rock Band” more than any other. It’s my signature song. It was quirky 30 years ago, and it’s just as quirky today. It was produced by Stephen Hague who is the man behind some of my other greatest songs of all-time from Erasure, New Order, Orchestral Manoeuvres In The Dark, and Pet Shop Boys.

At the box office later in January 1992 I saw “Kuffs” starring Christian Slater. Anyone remember that ? No ? I didn’t think so.

I do remember this though – my Washington Redskins won Super Bowl XXVI 37-24 over the Buffalo Bills 30 years ago this month.

Next #RetroFriday I’ll go back 35 years ago to January 1987.

It’s halftime my friends. I’ll be back on Sunday and Monday with 2 more blog posts for this weekend. Enjoy your Saturday. Thanks for going retro with me !

All rights reserved (c) 2022 Christopher M. Day, CountUp