During the trip, I often left a city wondering if I had truly expressed my gratitude to the many people who had helped me on a daily (and sometimes hourly) basis. I figured I can’t say ‘thank you’ enough, so even if I thanked you once or more in person, here is your web thanks. My apologies if I never caught/have since forgotten your name.
The very first ‘thank you’. Even though she got her own blog, Anita at Capital One for being the first stranger impressed with my idea and my approach. I hope, by now, you’ve taken your Caribbean cruise.
The bellhop at the Marriott in Pittsburgh for helping me out with luggage, rides, advice and generally being a good dude.
Chuck, my town-car driver in the ‘Steel City’ for giving me an idea of what his home town stands for and believes in.
Matthew and Patty Babin in Washington DC, for taking me into their lovely home, taking me out for drinks and empenadas, grilling up some burgers and home-style fries, and giving me a ride to the airport as the sun was rising. P.S. – I’m still feel horrible about the table cloth.
The Toronto Maple Leafs, specifically Caroline Wright, the “Director of Fan Loyalty”, for helping me get down from the standing room section up in the rafters and into a comfy seat for the game.
Susan Franchuk, the Queen’s University med-student who I had the pleasure of sharing a bus ride with from Toronto to Buffalo. Good conversation and more importantly, Susan later expressed her encouragement and understanding of doing something meaningful to you in your youth and not putting it off. I hope you find what makes you the happiest, even if it is practicing medicine!
The miscreant who pulled the fire alarm at the Adam’s Mark Hotel in Buffalo.
The lovely Nora Delsol and versatile Jay Lobins. Thanks for showing me Arizona, The Great Outdoors (remember the needy turtle?), and Jobing.com Arena. Then we did it all again a few days later in Dallas. Thanks for taking me to Freebirds! On a more serious note though, thank you guys so much for being the blog’s second and third biggest fans. Your support was huge and I really hope I can make it up to you sometime soon. Jay, you can take that HOTF shirt off now.
All the surprisingly less than helpful Southwest Airlines reps and TSA officers at the Buffalo airport. You provided me with the ultimate test in patience, as well as making me realize that I wouldn’t always have help along the way to cover up my miscalculations. You made me five times more cautious from that point on.
“Steamboat”, for setting me up in Atlanta and driving me back to my hotel after a St. Patty’s day drink. Sorry they couldn’t make your beer green.
To the guy with the Martin Brodeur jersey at Penn Station in New York, who has no idea that I literally followed him all the way to Newark because I had no idea where to buy my train ticket or how to get to Prudential Center.
Daniel and Jana Delsol for putting me up for the night in Ft. Lauderdale. Loved seeing you guys + little Seb, even if it was brief.
Tori Holt for hanging out with his lady friend instead of picking me up at the airport! Joking aside, you’re a good man and I appreciated the rides, company and Outback Steakhouse with you. Keep up the good work and maybe we can hit up that VIP buffet at Coors Field sometime.
Charlie Davidson! The man who needlessly gave up his own bed for three nights! Oh, and the man who joined me on the Amtrak down to Philly for the double-header. You got me tickets, you bought me drinks, you kept me company, you even ventured into the belly of the beast and endured the sea-of-orange. You sir, will be rewarded this summer. Camryn Green!
That crazy cat, Mike Schneider, for letting me sit in on the biggest game of the year for the New York Rangers.
Sophie in Los Angeles, for the endless support and multiple rides to and from the airport, including one long before sunrise. Clutch.
Mike Kalinowski and Jeff Moeller of the Los Angeles Kings for helping out with tickets and passes. Bob Miller, Patrick O’Neal and Steve Dorfman for throwing me in front of the camera and making it so easy for me.
The countless cab drivers across the continent. Some of you were far better than others, but you all got the job done. Notable award for worst cab driver goes to the guy who picked me up outside the Nashville airport. Thanks for staying so calm while scaring the daylights out of me. Best driver goes to the dude in Chicago who set up his laptop for me to watch a movie on the way to United Center. And while I’m on the topic, here’s to the six cab drivers in Manhattan who refused to drive me to Penn Station when I needed it most. Important lesson learned about who you can count on in New York.
Thanks to Buddy Oakes and Ryan Porth for taking the time to chat with me during the Predators game. You guys were great and I really hope you make it on your own arena tour one day. Check them out at predsontheglass.com and rldhockey.net.
The St. Pete Times Forum for charging full price for my mother to sit in a folding chair wedged in between two regular seats.
The young lady working for United Airlines at gate 26 in Montreal who single-handedly saved my trip from disaster by rerouting me to Cincinnati. You dealt with a lot of crap that day from a lot of people. You might not have pleased everyone as much as me, but you absolutely made my day month year. Keep up the good work.
Ginny and Matt DePetro for housing me in Denver. Ginny thought of absolutely everything she could to try to make me comfortable during my stay, including regularly offering me glasses of milk! Haha, I tease her, but she was great during the stay and has been great to me for the last 15 years of my life.
Ginny’s son Nick, who I only just recently met, but he seems like a nice guy. Thanks for coming back home and keeping me company at the game with Michelle and Sam. Thanks to Michelle and Sam too. You guy’s are cool.
John and Cheryl in Vancouver. Thanks for letting me crash for a few hours in your lovely houseboat. They have the most comfortable kitchen table in town! Thank you John for the driving tour of your stunningly beautiful city as well as the pre-dawn trip to the airport. See you both again soon, hopefully!
The Anaheim Ducks and Honda Center (you know who you are), but also Kent French, Tiffany Frish and Aaron Teats for giving me a little face time in the OC. You guys are all awesome.
Dockers and the “Wear the Pants Project” along with Rich Tubman, who I met up with in San Jose. Great guy, great program. He bought me a pizza at the game, but somehow, still owes me…
The Dallas Stars. Great to see all the old office buddies after that big win. Sorry it didn’t work out for you in the long run. Next year!
Adam Bry, Adam Cragg and Chris Stone for coming to the Garden with me. Bry, thanks for letting me crash in your room. Bry will either design the greatest new aircraft in aviation history or he’ll be on the Tour de France in the next 5-10 years. He hasn’t decided yet.
EVERYONE who warned me about how much of a pain in the ass it is to get out to Scotiabank Place in Ottawa. You were all correct and you all helped me from ruining the whole thing in the final three days.
Ron Orpher for sharing his enthusiasm for the trip with me. Ron also provided the final rides to and from the Philly train station. It was a pleasure meeting you, Eric and your daughter. Check him out at phillyphanatics.com.
My roommates Paul Kitchen and Jenni Davis for your support and rides. Paul and Jenni were my first ride to LAX on March 11th and my last ride home on April 10th.
A HUGE thanks to the PR departments of the 30 NHL teams. I know first-hand what work is like late in the season, and the vast majority of you found time to help me out.
Thank you to all the ushers I spoke with along the way. Most of you were happy to help and sell the uniqueness of your city and building.
Anyone who provided me with their ticket stubs after a game. As you probably know, I have to send my stubs into Guinness as evidence and I will not be getting them back. So thank you all for helping me preserve a nice memory of my time in each venue.
Everyone who chipped in financially, including Sid Dines, John and Jeanne Potarf and Tyler Walborn.
And finally, my parents who insisted on watching (almost) every game I attended to feel like they were there with me. You guys listened to me ramble on about my travel, blog, Guinness and personal issues for pretty much seven straight months now. I’ll try to give you a break now. Thanks for letting me bounce ideas off of you. Thanks for being there in Tampa, Ft. Lauderdale and Detroit. Thanks for helping me out of that jam in Montreal/Cincinnati. Thanks for the t-shirts. Thanks for telling your friends about me. But most importantly, thanks for understanding the real significance behind the trip and showing me that you cared about it as much as I did. No disrespect to anyone else mentioned above, but a mother and father’s support can push you so much further. Thank you for respecting me and what I want to do!
Well, I think that’s about it. I had meant to add these on to the end of another article, but they clearly got out of hand, and now have their own page.
I trust that if you were looking for your name here and did not see it, you’ll understand that your kindness and generosity did not go unnoticed. For my memory’s sake, I should have gotten around to this long ago as opposed to one month after the trip.
Ouu, one more…
Thanks to everyone for your interest, support and even for your criticism. This has been a great rollercoaster ride for me and something I surely won’t be forgetting anytime soon. Without people out there to read the words on this blog, I might not have felt forced to share my thoughts along the way. Selfishly, these articles you helped me write will guide me as I try to stroll down memory lane in 40-50 years.
My final thoughts and recap article is coming soon! I swear!