3:40 a.m. - About six hours after last night’s 3-2 win in Philadelphia wrapped up, the alarm goes off. Three-hours-before-dawn wake-up calls are not normally my thing, but when it’s been below freezing for two weeks and you’re headed to Tampa Bay, you hop right out of bed. Ok, not hop but you don’t groan too bad either.
I’m joining up with the Wild Fan Trip to bring you great photos and insights of these yearly ventures to a couple of road cities. The Wild partners with AAA Minneapolis on these trips - this one has almost 100 fans who’ve fled the Polar Vortex.
5:20 a.m. - 16 minutes from parking to gate (thanks MSP Terminal 2), andI decide to check out the brand-new, open-for-a-week Wild Restaurant inside the security checkpoint at Terminal 2. I suggest you do the same next time you’re there.
I had a long look around — love the memorabilia, photos, goalie helmets, puck wall and get a side order of bacon to sustain myself on this long day.
Other breakfast offerings include omelets, a Philly steak breakfast sandwich and brioche French toast.
Going later in the day? Check out the Lobster Mac N’ Cheese or the Hat Trick Burger. Lighter fares include Short Rib Baked Potato and Dirty Chicken Chips (chicken tenders, kettle chips and bleu cheese fondue!)
6:10 a.m. - A good number of Wild fans on this flight — many with smaller children. Lots of fans flew into Tampa last night for a watch party. I will unfortunately get in too late this morning for the boat trip that includes some dolphin watching. I’ll be sure to catch up with some fans and staff members on that experience later.
12:15 p.m. (Eastern) - After a layover in Atlanta, we’re bound for Tampa International Airport.
Do you know what grinds my gears? People who rush off a plane that is 20 minutes early to the gate. Also, people who sit and have a leisurely lunch at places clearly marked for people to charge their electronic devices (my MacBook Air is now at 11%).
Sounds like the boat trip was a blast this morning. Some people wore coats out on the water. Me, I can’t wait to ditch this sportcoat and catch some rays in T-minus 30 minutes.
Fans are on their own the rest of the day. Some Wild staff members are visiting Amalie Arena this afternoon. Of course, a couple very high ranking Lightning front office officials were with the Wild from the start.
Tomorrow, the fan group has the option to attend the Wild’s morning skate. I’m excited to get the opportunity to tell them all about it. The morning skate is such a unique event. (Baseball players don’t get up at 9 a.m. to go stretch their legs.) Should be a fun time.
Remember to follow @mnwild and @mnwildSTH on Twitter (although the trip isn’t JUST for season ticket holders) and Instagram for some great shots of this trip. The next one is to one of my favorite towns, Nashville, in February.