Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Our Jet-Setter Weekend


That's right; Tiff and I made it to a Vikings game. We flew up to Minnesota the Saturday morning after Thanksgiving and flew back Monday afternoon. Our hotel was next to the Mall of America, where we spent most of our time. I was worried that the crowds were going to be bad being the shopping weekend after Thanksgiving but it probably wasn't any worse than any other weekend.

The kids stayed at Grandma and Grandpa's new house for the weekend. They had a lot of fun as well. Grandma said that Asher would take laps all over the house. She obviously enjoyed the room to run. Aidan got to be spoiled and watch more TV then he would at home. Unfortunately they were both a little sick during the weekend. Usually TV is the best medicine for Aidan when he doesn't feel well. After we got home Aidan asked for a certain cartoon to watch that we don't have, and he said "you just punch the buttons on the remote." We had to explain to him that we don't have Tivo like Grandma and Grandpa. We got into Minneapolis on Saturday around lunch time (as you are doing the math - yes our flight did leave Austin at 7:30 AM). The hotel shuttle picked us up and brought us to the hotel. Luckily we were able to check in early so we didn't have to carry our bags or leave them at the front desk. After we checked in we headed to the mall. The hotel runs shuttles (even though it is 2 blocks) to and from the mall on the hour. I had been to the mall years ago but Tiff had never been. We didn't show up with an agenda for the weekend (other than the football game on Sunday Night) so the crowds at the mall weren't stressful. Surprisingly we actually got a lot of shopping done which was never our intent for the weekend. Tiff and I had a lot of fun hanging out together. We even made it to a movie Saturday night. It was very weird for me to walk around in public and see people wearing Viking's jerseys. If Minnesota didn't vote so heavily democrat I would have almost thought I was with my people. Here are a few pictures from the mall.

Here we are at Nickelodeon Universe (the amusement park in the center of the mall). We took this picture for Aidan who is a big Dora fan.

Here is another picture for Aidan; Tiff with Uniqua from the Backyardigans. Aidan asked if Uniqua talked. We e-mailed him the 2 pictures and Grandpa printed them up for him. He slept with them under his pillow.

We took this picture of ourselves in front of the north entrance to the mall. This was the third and final try (and best result) because it was too cold to stand there and keep taking pictures.

Speaking of the weather... when we got in the temperature at the airport was 27 degrees. I had been looking at the forcast before the trip so I knew it was going to be cold (as all of you north of Texas laugh - '27 cold? That's when we break out the swim trunks' - yes you said 'trunks'). We got to the mall and we were thinking "if this is 27 we are going to do just fine." Well by the time we were standing in front of the mall in the sun it was probably in the upper 30's. There was no snow yet. Sunday morning there was a beautiful sheet of fluffy white snow on everything, and it was freezing outside. On one of our trips back to the hotel we decided to walk the to 2 blocks. Of course we went as far as we could inside the building before stepping outside. It was a little chilly.

Sunday evening we took the hotel shuttle over to the light rail station to get up to the Metrodome. We caught the train just as it was leaving, which was good since I left my jacket at the hotel and the trains were running every 15 minutes. The trip took about 20 minutes or so and we were dropped off right across the street from the Metrodome.

The place was packed, as it should have been considering the game was against the (tubby) Bears for the division lead (Aidan says 'tubby' instead of 'teddy'). We walked around as long as I could without a jacket and then headed inside. The gate we entered had to be the furthest one from our seats. We walked around the stadium with wall to wall people.

Here we are outside the dome. Look at those unsuspecting Bears fans. Completely oblivious to the thrashing they would soon receive. You almost feel sorry for them. Even if Minnesota doesn't make the playoffs I will relish this win.

Finally we got to our seats. We were sitting on the 34 yard line row 22 on the Vikings side. We had great seats. We figured with everything we were doing this weekend it wouldn't be worth it if we didn't have great seats. The game was great. There were a couple of (tubby) Bears fans several rows infront of us that kept standing up and giving sarcastic looks to the Vikings fans around them. One 99 yard pass for a touchdown later and they didn't get up the rest of the game.
When we left the game, with the other thousands of people, I was hurting for my jacket. I had left it at the hotel because I didn't want to have to carry it or sit on it at the game. The trains were running about every 5 minutes, but we had to wait for 3 trains before we could actually get on one. We were stand on the platform and when the train pulled up Tiff turned and dropped her shoulders like Adrian Peterson running through the (tubby) Bears defense. The train was packed but we had seats for the ride back.

The view from our seats.

The players coming out during the pre-game.

Us at the game (obviously).

Kickoff. Even from this distance you can see the glimmer of hope in the eyes of the Bears players.

So you say, "geez Matt, what pig zooms in and takes pictures of the cheerleaders with his wife sitting next to him?" And I would say that your assumption that I took this picture would be wrong. Tiff did enjoy the game, however she enjoyed the cheerleader routines during timeouts and between the quarters as much or more. One time she came back from the concession stand or bathroom and asked me "did I miss the cheerleaders?" So yes, Tiffany did take this picture.

Finally I leave you with this video for little Tommy Gustafson in Belvidere, IL, where he sits at the window watching the snowflakes fall and dreams of a time when he can watch the Bears lose the Superbowl again. This ones for you little Tommy, keep your head up.

And yes I am fully aware of the fact that the Vikings have to win the next three games to stay in the lead of the division. And that they have to play 3 tough opponents where the Bears have 3 powder puff games to play to finish their season. Only beating the Lions 20 to 16 isn't going to get the Vikings very far in the NFL. I just have to enjoy the lead while I can.


Lauren said...

It sounds like you guys got a nice break away from the kids. Did the cowboys beat the vikings this year?...:)

T Buss said...

They didn't play this year.