Hockeyfest 2K10, or the mass-travel stress test of the year

Discussion in 'Trip Reports' started by VT_hawkeye, Feb 8, 2011.  |  Print Topic

  1. Since 2002-03, I've conducted a small personal project: each year, I visit at least one new NHL rink and one new Major League Baseball stadium. At first, this wasn't too hard; I was a young single renter with cheap tastes in day-to-day living expenses, jobs that didn't set up too many obstacles to using vacation time (or even working flex time to cover a Friday afternoon flight), plenty of open checkboxes on the stadium/arena checklists within short range, and, at one point, an apartment 10 minutes from IAD and an office 15 minutes by Metro from DCA.

    Much of that has changed over the past few years, including clearing most of the low-hanging fruit. Occasionally, though, I get to relive past glories. And so, when the NHL schedule came out and put the San Jose Sharks in Edmonton and Calgary back-to-back one October weekend, I secured permission and scraped together the last of my significant FF balances to defray the cost of a grand solo adventure*:

    Friday: CHO-YYC
    Saturday: drive YYC-YEG; Sharks at Oilers
    Sunday: drive YEG-YYC; Sharks at Flames
    Monday: YYC-CHO

    How would this go? Tune in and find out.

    [*]: My wife wants no part of this craziness.
     
    violist, timboy219, kwai and 3 others like this.
  2. 0: Preplanning, or What good is 13K UA miles?

    CHO is an unusual market. We have four larger and two smaller/similar-sized airports within an easy two-hour drive, and a significant part of the local customer base is price-insensitive. For the rest of us, this usually adds up to driving to RIC or IAD.

    But what if the other end of the routing is (a) an unlikely pairing (b) in oil country with the CAD on a high? Answer: a painful fare no matter which outbound airport you choose. Therefore, (a) I'll take the 10-minute drive and go CHO; (b) it, quite unusually, actually made financial sense to spend 12,500 UA miles on half of the routing. Those miles secured me YYC-DEN-IAD-CHO on UA; money got me DL CHO-ATL-SLC-YYC, with a scheduled 3.5-hour layover in SLC and a $25 Hertz rental waiting to take me to the West Valley City In-N-Out if DL and the weather cooperated. Another Hertz reservation set me up with transport up and down Alberta Highway 2, which left only Ticketmaster and hotels. Those we'll talk about in the course of events.
     
    JALPak, Gargoyle and cockpitvisit like this.
  3. Rich
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    Rich Silver Member

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    I've been to all the MLB parks. I'd like to do all the NHL arenas -- maybe that's next. I've probably been to about 10 of them as of now, anyway.
     
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  4. Playbbg
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    Playbbg Active Member

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    This is great! My brother, Dad, and I have been doing the same every summer since around 2003; it's one thing that we will always have every year. We are trying to decide if we should go to Target Field or new Busch. any suggestions?
     
  5. Cosmos Human
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    Cosmos Human Silver Member

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    Have you been to the new Penguins rink, Consul Center in PIT? It is beautiful inside and out.
     
  6. kiwi
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    kiwi Gold Member

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    Looking forward to the next instalment.
     
  7. Petrus
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    Petrus Silver Member

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    Nice work! And by the way; Lets Go Rangers! There is only arena and it is the worlds most famous arena [​IMG]
     

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