Free Hockey Tickets, Anyone?

Estimated reading time: 6 minute(s)

Two nights ago we decided at the last moment to spend our evening celebrating Ian’s birthday (yes, he’s the Christmas boy…) at Chuck. E. Cheese. We have made a tradition of celebrating birthdays there (even mine!) and so though not actually on his birthday, we wanted to do the same for Ian. (As did he!) We planned a day in January, and invited our friends, the Vs. Problem was the day we picked was a super windy day… that knocked power out in some places, including the block where you find Chuck E. Cheese.

SO, about a month later, we packed up the van and headed out! Had a nice little dinner at Wendy’s first. Always a good time. (My favorite fast food place, I’d say…) and then we were ready for the real fun! We got to CEC and were grateful that they had power this time. A bit less grateful that there was a vacation week crowd (forgot about that…) but we figured out a good game plan (Dad took the girls, Mom went with the boys) and we headed out to have some fun!

After a little while of singing with Chuck E. in the other room, I decided to reunite with Mom and the boys. We made our way back and when we did, Jen had a surprise! An employee had approached her earlier and offered her FREE tickets to the Amerks game the next night! FREE??? Free. And not only that, they had a TON of them. So we could have as many as we wanted, and give them out to friends! We’re in!

We’d never actually gotten to go to an Amerks game. They are the local AHL team, affiliated with the Buffalo Sabres (at least for now they are) and for many years have been quite good. Most of the current Buffalo Sabres have come through Rochester. For whatever reason, we’ve tried, but never been successful at getting to a game. But now it looked like we were going to finally make it!

We left CEC with 18 tickets. There are only 6 of us that fill seats. And one of those doesn’t need a ticket. That means there were 13 available tickets!! We phoned a couple families we thought of first thing when we got home. (Yes… it was late.) The first were our friends, the Vs. It was Scott’s birthday that next day, so it seemed like a fun birthday thing to do! BUT, he was sick. As were a couple more in the V house. So, no go there. And in fact, no go with the other family I called that night. More sickness.

So the next morning we tried to think of some more people who might like to go. One friend was able to go. Steph was going to come with her three girls – not big time hockey fans, but Steph remembered going to games at her college. Next, we invited some friends from the other side of town who weren’t available, but they knew some people who were big Rochester sports fans… and perhaps we could give the tickets to them? Why not?! πŸ™‚

Surprisingly, we have another friend whose birthday is February 20th, so I called him to see if he and his family would like to go. But, alas… they already had some family plans for the night… so no go there. Still had a few tickets to hand out… but running out of ideas for who could go.

Finally, I thought of my friend with whom I play basketball once a week. We haven’t gotten to spend a lot of time with their family, but I knew they sorta were into sports, and just might be able to go. They were! With our friend Steph bringing their 8-year-old neighbor, the tickets were now fully accounted for! πŸ™‚

The adventure had only just begun however.

Just before we were to leave, Steph calls and says, “My van won’t start!” She said she’d keep trying and call us back. Well, she called back, but to tell us it just wouldn’t work. I said, “OK… no problem. But, just in case, I’ll bring the tickets with us, if you can get it started, and you’d still like to come!” She agreed, but it didn’t sound promising. So, that was too bad.

Add that to our lateness, and the night was not starting as I had hoped.

We got to my basketball friend’s house to begin our van caravan with them. They were just sitting in their driveway waiting for us… who were now at least 15 minutes late! Oh boy. They have been to the Blue Cross Arena before, so they led the way.

On our way, Steph calls and says, “I’m on my way! We got it started!” Ha! Perfect! Things were shaping up!

Just as we were getting to downtown Rochester, I remember that we were meeting our friends’ friends at the arena at 6:45 to get them their tickets. It’s well past seven at this point, so I checked our phone and sure enough there were two missed calls!

I called them back to reassure them that we were almost there. Left a message. I hoped they had stuck around.

We got to the parking garage and parked for four dollars! Great deal! Wasn’t expecting that cheap! Bonus! We quickly got out of our vehicles (the game had already started!) and briskly walked through the cold streets (around probably one big city block) to the place we were to meet our friends’ friends.

(Are you with me still?) πŸ™‚

Finally got there and I recognized Shane from a previous meeting at Cross Creek a few months back. (That was a funny encounter. Not sure we had met before that. He saw our oldest son Ian wearing an Apple shirt, and some other distinguishing clothing that made him realize that Ian must be the son of Greg Campbell, whose blog he regularly reads.)

Yes, I’m famous. πŸ™‚

So we all meet up there, and have a good laugh (at least I did!) at how little we all know each other. In fact, none of the others we invited had even heard the name of each other. They all had a connection with us, but to varying degrees. Pretty funny!

After hearing of this assortment of people who were joining us at the game, my basketball friend’s wife (who is not the most socially outgoing person you’ll ever meet) said of me, “They don’t come much friendlier than you, do they?” Guess she thought it was odd that I was giving tickets to a hockey game to people that I really didn’t know (Shane and his fam…) But I thought… why not? πŸ™‚ Seemed like a fun plan to me!

And it was. We all finally got there, and watched a decent hockey game. There were plenty of snacks. Plenty of children! A little bit of hanging out with friends, meeting new friends, and watching some live hockey! Nothing like it! Love watching hockey in person. My boys were instant Amerks fans. Cheering and – as much as possible with many friends there – watching the game intently.

Sure hope we can go again!

The night ended with a pretty cool view of the lunar eclipse while we crossed over the rushing Genessee river which flows right by the side of the arena! Beautiful. Fun! Superb evening.

And all cause we went to Chuck E. Cheese at the last minute, on a whim!

Next whim that comes along will be taken more seriously… πŸ™‚