After many months worth of planning and waiting the PenaltyBoxRadio crew finally set to the open roads to head north for their road trip to Southeast Michigan and Southern Ontario. The plan? Well that was to visit four different Ontario Hockey League (OHL) arenas in four nights for some Junior Hockey.
The trip got underway early on Thursday December 6th as the crew headed north, but even before we could get out of Nashville the first problem arose. It seems that Glynne’s neighbor has a rather large dog, and they do not pick up after said dog when he takes care of business. And at 4 o’clock in the morning it is hard to spot such issues, which is what I found out, as did the rest of the crew when I stepped back into the vehicle and the aroma of dog excrement passed through the vehicle.
After a few stops to attempt to wash off the poop we finally got the trip underway. The first stop we made after along the way was to get breakfast at Cracker Barrel where we had a nice breakfast and picked up a Mad Lib book. That Mad Lib book was probably the best purchase of the trip for the entire group as it provided some great stories (none that can be posted here for protection of the “innocent”).
Day One of the trip concluded with the crew arriving at The Dow Event Center where we took in a Saginaw Spirit game where they took on the Sarnia Sting. It was a tough game for the home team who outshot Sarnia 42 to 28 but was unable to get a single shot in for a goal losing 0-3.
Day Two brought the first border crossing of the trip. After making a stop at the hotel to drop off all of the bags for an easier trip across the crew headed over to Sarnia Ontario. With some time before the game we all headed to Canadian Tire for some shopping. With the car packed to the brim it was determined to purchase a rooftop carrier to move some provide some extra space. This allowed Justin and myself a chance to purchase a pair of hockey skates and the others found some items to take back as memories of the trip.
Once leaving Canadian Tire we all ventured over to the nearby mall where we found a shop to purchase Poutine. We all did a bit more shopping before we headed over to the RBC Centre to catch the Sarnia Sting play the Windsor Spitfires. This game was a bit closer as they had to go to a shootout to determine a winner. Eventually it was Windsor taking the win ending Sarnia’s three-game win streak.
Day Three brought a busy day for the crew as we headed into Detroit to take in the
crime sights. Parking in Greektown we headed over to the People Mover to ride around town without having to deal with the rain. We made a stop at Joe Louis Arena to snap a quick picture before heading over to the GM Renaissance Center where we ran into Santa and he attempt to grab Glynne’s butt a couple of times, bad Santa.
When we finished with the
muggings sightseeing we headed over to New Parthenon for some Greek food. After partaking in some flaming cheese and sausage we went next door to the Astoria Pastry Shop where we got our Diabetes on. With a sugar coma we headed back to the car to drive to Ann Arbor to visit the United States Hockey Development Center.
We got a great tour through the facility along with some history on the program thanks to Ryan Breen. They allowed us to take shots in the workout room; which was rather comical for a few of us, including myself who whiffed on a couple slap shots. Upon leaving there we headed down the road for a quick photo in front of Michigan Stadium, or The Big House as most would know it by.
The day ended with a Plymouth Whalers game as they took on the Oshawa Generals. The game was a chippy one from the beginning with many kerfuffles but no fights breaking out. Once again we were unable to bring a win for the home team as the Whalers fell to the Generals 3-4.
Having ventured over the border the night before after the game we headed to an afternoon game in Windsor. The Windsor Spitfires took on Oshawa in another heated contest. Oshawa jumped out to a two-goal lead before the Spitfires got on the board. They went on to score two more goals, with the final one coming late in the third period to give them the win, which meant that the PBR home curse was over.
After the game we headed over to the lake so that Big Ben could do the promised plunge for getting the @PenaltyBoxRadio Twitter account above the 500 followers point. It was dark, rainy, windy, and rather cold but Ben pushed through it to take the dip and it was all caught on video along with some pictures. The video is up already and the pictures will be posted later this week.
With the trip coming to an end we ventured out for our final dinner of the trip where we enjoyed some dim sum. There was a ton of food and some chicken balls (Chinese chicken nuggets) laid out and everyone left with a major food coma. To close out the night some of us hit the casino, took a nice long bath, or enjoyed a Cuban cigar.
The final day of the trip also brought a final trip to Tim Horton’s. With some friends back at home wanting some TimBits we purchased 90 of them to either enjoy ourselves or share with fiends back at home. With our breakfast down we headed back across the border to begin our 10 hour trip back to Nashville, customs was once again easy on us and we started the journey back. Overall the trip back was rather uneventful minus the spitting snow and sleet that we ran into in Kentucky, the first of such weather we saw the entire trip.
Overall the trip was a great experience for the entire crew and me. We were able to enjoy some quality hockey and meet some great people along the way. We would like to take a chance to thank our sponsors who helped make this trip a possibility and also our listeners/readers who keep driving us to bring you all the action from the ice, no matter where we have to go. If you want to go back and review some of the shenanigans that happened during the trip then head over to Twitter and read up on the #PBRoad hashtag.