Once upon a time in Union City, three little kids sitting on the steps of 17th Street Park decided that when we grew up, we were going to go to that sacred football mosque known as Lambeau Field and see our beloved New York Giants play the Green Bay Packers. One of one of us were a huge fan (what does he know?).

Thankfully, 40 years later, before that dream became a bucket list item, it became a reality as myself, Robbo Pisani, now a North Hudson fire captain, and Joe Llaneza, the aforementioned Packers fan, made the sacred pilgrimage along with Joe's son, A.J. , a Pittsburg Steelers fan living in Detroit of all places!

In the words of my friend Franke Previte, "I had the time of my life!"

We flew in on Saturday, drank lots of beer, ate lots of cheese curds, told the old stories and created some new ones. But what was really great about this trip is that it continued to tighten the bond of our friendship that gets stronger and stronger through all these years.

Where once we saw each other every day, we now talk about two or three times a month. We've been through it all together, and my kids know them as uncles and when they talk to me about the friends that they have now at the age of 10, I tell them that they could have them much longer than that.

I'm hoping despite the different paths life takes them and the lack of personal interaction due to social media, they are able to do that. At the end of the day, no one knows you better than the kids you grew up with. Like it or not. ;)

Our next road trip is planned for Dec 11. Joe will drive in from Pittsburg and meet Rob and me in Union City, where we will take my sons Lennon and Albert on the walking tour of where we grew up. That will culminate in a trip to the 16th Street fire house, where their grandfather worked for 30 years — his picture fighting a fire remains on the wall.

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