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A perfect excuse

A perfect excuse A perfect excuse

Every once in a while, I see something I would like to do or get, but realize I need a better excuse to justify the cost.

Last year, about this time, I decided I wanted to go to a hockey game. Unfortunately, I didn’t have a great reason for wanting to catch a game. I don’t really watch hockey all that often. My understanding of the rules is fuzzy, but I enjoy watching it, anyway.

Then, I remembered my brother, Bill, also likes hockey. He is about as invested in the sport as I am, so not really. However, he thought it sounded like an acceptable Christmas and birthday gift. An excuse was located.

Bill likes the St. Louis Blues and the Nashville Predators. I’m not sure how he decided those are the teams to like.

I tend to cheer for the Minnesota Wild, because they are the closest team. The extent of my knowledge about the Wild, is that they never do super great, especially in the postseason. Oh well. I don’t actually know what’s happening on the ice half the time, anyway.

My brother thought a hockey game sounded fun, so I picked out a game where the Wild played the Predators, on a weekend night. Bill wanted to watch the Wild play the Blues, instead. Of course, that game was on a Sunday night, and would make the following Monday worse for both of us.

It was Bill’s present, so a late Sunday night it would be.

The day of the game is when the adventure truly began. I was incredibly thankful the weather was good for the drive, since late February can be kind of unpredictable for that.

On the way to the game, we went through McDonald’s to get supper. I ordered a chicken sandwich and a mint shake for myself. The young man working the register asked me if I wanted the deal with two chicken sandwiches. I said I only wanted one.

I seriously wondered what was up when I heard the cost of the meal, but I figured I’d know it once I got the receipt. I also started to wonder just how much that shake cost. When the meal came, I knew right away. Three chicken sandwiches were staring back at me. I got the two-sandwich deal and the single sandwich. Lucky me.

Driving into the city was hectic, but went as well as could be expected. I found parking pretty close to the stadium, too. There was a slight premium on the parking. I am sure my brother remembers the cost, solely because I screamed, “$25?!” as soon as I saw the signs in the parking garage. My words are likely still echoing in his ears, seven months later.

We followed the crowds into the stadium, since they seemed to know where they were going. Then, Bill and I got a tour of the whole upper floor, since our nosebleed section seats were clear across the stadium from the entrance we came in.

As we were walking around the arena, we were looking for our section. We totally blew by the steps to our section, in part, because they are were around an uninviting looking concrete wall. Luckily, we noticed and backtracked before we were too far past.

The stairs down to our seats felt steep. They actually weren’t, but they seemed that way. And we weren’t the only people who thought so. Others who came down the steps after us, were half-draped over the handrail, gripping their food and drinks. That was kind of entertaining.

Our seats also happened to be positioned below whoever played drums during the short breaks in the game. (Again, nosebleed section.) That was pretty cool.

Surprisingly enough, we had a really good view of the game. In between periods, they had entertainment and children playing a mini-game of hockey on the ice. Bill’s team won, so he had fun cheering on the Blues. The Wild lost, which I saw coming, but it was by enough, that most of the Wild fans left early. Getting out of the parking garage was much easier than expected, which was a silver lining for sure.

Overall, the trip was a success. I found my excuse to go to a hockey game (happy birthday, Bill). Those extra chicken sandwiches were appreciated on the drive home.

Also, the game I was originally planning to get tickets for was a little later in the season. If it wasn’t canceled because of COVID-19, it was one of the last games that went through as planned. Good call, Bill.