THE ROYAL HALF GOES TO EDMONTON

Well, as we’ve been talking about for the past week or soPumperNicholl and I were invited by the great blog, Oilers Nation, and the even better destination marketing organization, Edmonton Tourism, to come up to Edmonton for the weekend and take in all the sites and sounds they have to offer. Plus… a Kings-Oilers game!

Umm… this is awkward.

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We arrived in Edmonton Friday morning… and as soon as we stepped off the plane… we saw the most amazing thing ever.

The greatest airport baggage carrousel in the world.

Never Stop Trollin’ the Calgary Flames, Edmonton.

But wait… there’s more!

The Edmonton Oil Kings is my favorite Discovery reality show.

And just to show that Edmonton isn’t solely about the sport of hockey…

Sadly, this is the closest a shiny bowl trophy is going to be to Edmonton for a long while.

They even had a tribute to Mark Messier!

I thought this joke was really funny until PumperNicholl told me it wasn’t a moose.

I guess whenever you are in a foreign land… you are looking for a sign… something that will tell you that you’ve made the right decision and are going to really enjoy yourself during your time in this new place.

And for me… that time came when the cab driver had a hockey skate air freshener.

We met up with the boys from Oilers Nation and the initial impressions were as expected.

Wanye Gretz, The Squire YegBaggedMilk and Eugene Der took us out for some food and beer and then we were shuffled off to On The Rocks, a bar in Edmonton where I was to do an interview with Edmonton’s Sports Radio Authority, Jason Gregor. Listen below!

After the interview, the Oilers Nation boys took us to the one place in Edmonton that they thought two guys from Los Angeles would feel comfortable at…

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A Mexican Restaurant!!!

But seriously… as a native Los Angelean… the food at Tres Carnales was some of the best Mexican food I’ve ever had. After eating tacos in Edmonton… we partook in another Alberta tradition…

SEEING TAYLOR HALL OUT AT A LOCAL BAR!!!

The zoom on my iPhone turned this into a classic work of Monet.

Taylor Hall was at the Pint in Downtown Edmonton having a beer with Luke Gazdic after seeing Lady Antebellum in concert… so PumperNicholl and I immediately felt better about ourselves. But look… we didn’t fly all this way to have a complete and total blast drinking beers with some Blogger Buddies™… WE CAME TO EXPLORE EDMONTON!!!

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We had so much fun riding around on Segways with the River Valley Adventure Company. We learned that at 7,400 hectares (no idea what that is in American), Edmonton’s North Saskatchewan River Valley is the largest stretch of urban parkland in North America. And it was really pretty, even in the snow.

Please… I beg you to remember that I took these photos while riding on a Segway in the snow.

We finished the tour and parked our Segways the only way that Canadians know how…

On top of hockey pucks.

After our Segway Tour… PumperNicholl and I explored downtown Edmonton some more.

Rue Hull is Bobby Hull’s illegitimate child.

Wait… do you hear that?!?

THAT’S MIKE RICHARDS’ MUSIC!!!

After a long day of sightseeing through the beautiful downtown of Edmonton (and a nap)… PumperNicholl and I met up again with the Oilers Nation gang to check out something called…

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Canada’s National Sport!
No, really.. it is.

This would be our first trip to Rexall Place and our tour guides introduced us to something completely foreign to residents of Los Angeles…

Public Transportation!

I’m not saying that Oilers Nation is a big deal in Edmonton…
… but Oilers Nation is a big deal in Edmonton.

“It’s a lot like hockey, but played with balls.”

I heard they are going to start putting this curtain up at Oilers games
so fans don’t have to watch.

I finally found a goalie mask that could fit Marty Brodeur’s ego.

Again, our hosts made us feel very comfortable in our foreign surroundings…

… by bringing in the Dallas Cowboy Cheerleaders! For real.

After the game, I asked Oilers Nation to take us to the hot club that Dustin Penner always went to when he was in Edmonton.

Ok, Edmonton… I didn’t come to your city just to eat some amazing food, visit some great bars and watch some great sports…

I came to shop!!!

The West Edmonton Mall is the largest shopping mall in North America (whatever, Dubai) and when PumperNicholl and I walked in, we couldn’t wait to check out the indoor skating rink where some of the greatest sports talents got their start.

Forget the Brick Invitational
I’m talking about the Alberta Cheerleading Association Championships!!!

The West Edmonton Mall is amazing. There is a replica of the Santa María, one of the ships sailed by Christopher Columbus…

There is a gigantic waterpark…

And there is easily the nicest Lululemon store that I’ve ever shopped at!!!

Of course, PumperNicholl and I were there to do some very specific kind of shopping.

That’s right, the folks at Jersey City know what’s gonna sell.

You can’t even find Kansas City Scouts jerseys on the racks in Kansas City.

You don’t know how hard it was to not buy these two things above.

The perfect way to hide the fact you are a Canucks fan!

Kevin Lowe should have been looking at the mall for the one thing his team needs!

After some quality shopping at Jersey City… it was time to get down to serious business.

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Sports Collectables!

I’m pretty sure this is how Bruce McNall made all his money…
coins, stamps and Edmonton.

Literally the first thing you see when you walk into the store.

Is there anything more Canadian than a Team Canada Soup Thermos?

Have you ever seen anything more offensive than Grant Fuhr in a Blues jersey?

Oh… I guess you have.

I mean… we were in an Edmonton sports collectables store… so the connection to the LA Kings’ star players of the past was extremely prevalent.


And I finally discovered the one set of numbers that Randy Carlyle pays attention to:

In all seriousness… I had to pull PumperNicholl out of this store… he was a little obsessed. Just like I was obsessed with this custom outdoor decoration kiosk.

Man… why can’t the LA Kings have cool things like this!

And then we headed to our final stop on our tour of Edmonton.

There’s something different about the Wayne Gretzky statue in front of Rexall
versus the one at Staples. Can’t quite place it.

Sure, Rexall Place is a relic and a new arena is on its way. But it has a certain charm and intimacy that you can’t find in the modern sports arena.

 

 

I know people make fun of the whole #HereComeTheOilers thing…
but I think the font and graphic design is really cool.

I know the Oilers are young but this is ridiculous.

How are these not in every single NHL arena across North America?

We had an amazing time at the LA Kings-Oilers game… and you can read PumperNicholl’s Edmonton Trip Recap to see more about that. I came up to Edmonton to see a hockey game… but in the process I saw so much more than that. I just wish there was some way to sum up my experience in Edmonton.

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While true…. not exactly what I meant.

 

Thanks to OilersNation and Edmonton Tourism for bringing PumperNicholl and I to Edmonton. We feel as though the Oilers can win a Cup within 2 yearHEY WAIT A SECOND HERE…. IT WASN’T PART OF THE DEAL FOR US TO SAY THAT!!!

The Royal Half has been a Los Angeles Kings fan since 1988 and a Half-Season Ticket Holder since 2002. He has seen the following goaltenders play in person for the Los Angeles Kings… Kelly Hrudey, Grant Fuhr, Byron Dafoe, Jamie Storr, Stephane Fiset, Felix Potvin, Cristobal Huet, Roman Cechmanek, Mathieu Garon, Adam Hauser, Jason LaBarbera, Barry Brust, Sean Burke, Dan Cloutier, Yutaka Fukufuji, Jean-Sebastien Aubin, Erik Ersberg, Jonathan Bernier, Jonathan Quick, Ben Scrivens and Martin Jones.You can follow The Royal Half on Twitter @TheRoyalHalf.
  • Bill N.

    Only thing more offensive than seeing Grant Fuhr in a Blues jersey … seeing him in a Kings jersey — acquired for Alexei Zhitnik…

  • Grant

    This was awesome, as a long time Calgarian and Flames fan who’s been to the city plenty of times, I can’t believe I’ve never been to Rexall

    • http://TheRoyalHalf.com/ PumperNicholl

      You’re running out of time, bud. Better make a pilgrimage before they tear it down!

  • Andrew White

    Glad you guys got the Royal tour from The Nation! Thanks for coming!

  • Westgarth

    I’d easily pay 10x that price for the Scouts jersey… *drools*

  • Sherloq

    Hey there! Oil fan/ex Edmontonian living in Vancouver here. Just wanted to ssay thanks for the entertaining and hilarious reports from E-Town this week. The city gets a continuous bad rap and you guys managed to accentuate the positives. I started following The Royal Half after hearing the interview on TSN 1260. Great work! You made a fan with me. Go Oil/Kings! Cheers!