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posted 03.07.2012 at 12.52 p.m. by Stephen Berger

Bankin' On Berger: Planes, Trains, Boats and Automobiles…

So this year has been a crazy one for me so far, and the title of this week's blog tells it all...

I kicked off the year on the right foot by enjoying two nights of PHISH at Madison Square Garden on December 30th and 31st with my girlfriend Colleen. I scored two tickets for each night in the lottery and it was truly one of the best times I have had during New Years! Phish is one of my favorite bands and it was truly an experience. I will do it again this year without a doubt. If you are not a Phish fan, trust me, the energy and excitement that goes with a Phish show is unlike any other during a NYE run. Overall, my recommendation is to find some live music no matter who it is on NYE! It is a lot more fun than burying yourself in a bar or someone's basement for hours. Get out -- dance, laugh, and more importantly share all of this with the people that matter most in your life. Who is coming with me next NYE? I wonder where the band will be heading?? Anyone have any other good NYE ideas?

The other great start to my year that was a blast was my adventure on my first Carnival Cruise for a week in the Caribbean. I had so many different images and thoughts about what I was going to experience: Were all the stories true about food and ice cream 24/7? Does the gym really over look the front of the ship? Could you really play ping pong, putt-putt and go down the slide as much as you want? I was so pumped to find out. Of course, I was looking forward to the islands that we were stopping at along the way -- Cozumel, Mahogany Bay, Grand Caymen, and Costa Maya -- what were they going to be like? After all was said and done the trip not only met my expectations but exceeded them. It was so much fun and I will definitely be organizing another one soon. Baggattaway Cruise Line??

A week later, I was off to South Beach with my cousin Smitty Lax (Justin Smith, professional bebopper and Mr. Chrome) for my cousin's bachelor party. We had to pick up another member of our wolfpack before heading up north to West Palm Beach. Brian Silcott is his name and he was enjoying a great weekend of lacrosse at the Weston Classic, taking home the SHIP of course in the Masters Division. It was not long until we were cheering on the Ravens and G-Men in the AFC and NFC Championship Games. We all know what happened next. (Still proud of you BILLY!)

While in Florida we decided to meet up with the one and only Casey Powell (aka CP, Playground Hoops Ninja), who is the director of lacrosse at the St. Andrew's School in Boca Raton. The facilities are great there and more importantly those players should be so excited to have CP as a mentor and coach, #unreal opportunity!

To wrap up the week in Florida, it was time to head to Orlando where I would suit up for Team USA at Champion Challenge, the annual US Lacrosse event. I was fortunate enough to be selected to participate in the event and it was truly an honor to be able to rock a USA Jersey. It was also a special event because my sister was also rocking the red, white and blue that weekend. The women's national team was in their final evaluations where 40 players were competing for a spot on the tour team that is heading to Canada this summer. Growing up, the saying "Hard work pays off," was commonly used by my mom and dad, both on and off the field. My sister and I have applied this to each and every aspect of our lives and it has absolutely helped us become the players and people we are today. In the end, Kelly made the 2012 US Women's National Touring Team and I am so excited to see her dominate this summer. As for me, I am going to stay focused and DO WORK!

Stay true to your goals, always have fun and make sure to say thank you!!

Whhhheeeewwwww--that was only January, I can't wait for the rest of the year!!

Stephen Berger Kelly Berger ©John Strohsacker(both)