Sunday, 17 January 2010

HBIC Road Trip!

With my 901st post on this blog, I decided that I should make it known that HBIC is heading out on the road at the end of the week. I plan on seeing some great outdoor hockey action, and I also want to squeeze some NHL action in. However, the highlight of my weekend will be getting together with some mighty fine folks that I have come to respect greatly since I first began talking with them. As I've always said with this blog, it's the people that make the difference, and it's no difference to me in real-life. The people are what makes life great.

As it stands, my mini-itinerary will be fairly straight-forward. Thursday is a travel day where I'll be stopping in locales such as Grand Forks and Fargo, North Dakota. I will try and get into the Ralph Englestad Arena at some point to take some pictures because it literally is an ice hockey palace. From there, it's due east to Minneapolis.

Once in Minneapolis, I'll be setting up shop in my chosen hotel, preparing for a fun weekend of blogging and photography. Once I am ready to go in my makeshift base of operations, I'll be meeting up with some of the great people I plan on visiting with, and we'll go for a late dinner.

Friday will be spent doing some tourist-esque stuff. I'm not sure about hitting the Mall of America all day, but I'm sure I'll get there at some point on Friday. Friday evening will be spent visiting with more friends, and really having a night out on the town. If you're in the Minneapolis-St. Paul area, head down to Grumpy's Downtown on 1111 Washington Avenue South. The jersey-clad and sports-themed people will be the group that I'm with, and it's always nice to have a few more party-goers!

Saturday is Hockey Day In Minnesota! I'm spending most of my day on lakes as I cover the US Pond Hockey Championship on Lake Nokomis and the North America Pond Hockey Championship on Lake Minnetonka. Both tournament look like excellent venues, and I'm hoping to have the opportunity to take pictures, interview players, officials, and staff, and possibly sample some of the fine Minnesotan cuisine they are offering. All in all, Saturday starts off with hockey, and I don't mind the outdoor kind whatsoever!

Saturday night has me at the Xcel Energy Center for an NHL game. The hometown Minnesota Wild will be squaring off against the Columbus Blue Jackets. The Minnesota Wild have already confirmed that they will take the ice in their alternate jerseys, so I'll get an intimate look at how they appear on the ice. There is also a patch giveaway that night in honour of Hockey Day In Minnesota, so I'll have a little piece of hockey history to bring back to the Great White North.

Sunday morning had all the makings of a Vikings tailgate party until the Saints went ahead and destroyed the Arizona Cardinals this past weekend. Because of Minnesota having to play in New Orleans, I decided this would open up my time for the Minnesota Wild Skills Competition. The last time that the Wild held a skills competition was way back in 2003, so this is another opportunity to be a part of something that doesn't happen often. Again, more pictures will be taken, and all fun will be posted here.

After that, I make my way home, being back in Canada by mid-afternoon on Monday at the latest. All in all, though, I'm pumped for a great time with a lot of hockey on my schedule. Of course, I'm never going to complain about the amount of hockey I'm seeing, so this is going to be an excellent trip!

Hockey Day In Minnesota - does it get any better?

Until next time, keep your sticks on the ice!

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