Looking back on 2014, it seems like I was “playing” with the side hustle more than I was at the “real” job from June through August! I’m blessed to have a job where I get a good amount of time off, and the ability to put overtime away as time off as well – so I suffer through winter to have fun in the summer, not a bad trade-off.
Baseball – I made my annual trip to Toronto’s Rogers Centre for a Yankees game in April, then got to sit in some awesome suite seats (complete with AYCE food through the seventh inning!) at Cleveland’s Progressive Field for another Yankees game in July. At the end of July, I made my first trip to Cooperstown to witness the Baseball Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony and the installation of Joe Torre…what a celebration of America’s pastime.
Gardens – Whether it was the Botanical Gardens, the Japanese Garden at Delaware Park, the Plantasia home and garden show or the National Garden Festival, I got plenty of great ideas for my own gardens throughout the year.
Auto Racing – It was a pretty spectacular year as far as auto racing was concerned. I covered events at three tracks (Lancaster Speedway, Rolling Wheels Raceway Park and the Syracuse Nationals at the NYS Fairgrounds), caught the Race of Champions Asphalt Modified Tour at Lancaster, Holland and Oswego, and saw the stars of NASCAR at Pocono and Watkins Glen International.
Car Shows – Both ponies (Dad’s Mustangs) made it to two car shows this year, and each one made it to one other on their own. I also made my first trip to Olcott Beach for the annual Labor Day car show and a few others along the way.
Concerts – I fulfilled a guilty pleasure in May – I went to see the Osmonds (well, three of them anyway)! In July, Blue Rodeo FINALLY returned to Artpark on a beautiful Canada Day evening, and I HAD to see Lorrie Morgan’s Christmas concert in December (possible my favorite Christmas CD EVER!).
Around Buffalo – Besides numerous trips to the Botanical Gardens, I visited the Buffalo History Museum and the Japanese Garden for the first time in May, and Route 20 Ice Cream in Orchard Park in July. Also in July, I hopped on a bus for a Buffalo-based tour, which led me to explore the Fontana Boathouse, City Hall, Pearl Street Grill and Brewery and Silo City on the waterfront. In December, the teenage hockey fan in me came out when Barnes & Noble had an autograph signing with one of my favorite Sabres of all-time, Clint Malarchuk, who was promoting his new book, A Matter of Inches.