It’s official. As of tonight, I’m back in blogging action after two weeks away from home on vacation in Seattle and Vancouver and then a subsequent “business” trip to Austin, Texas for the SXSW interactive festival. I’ve literally been living out of a suitcase for the past two weeks. And that’s tough when you’re someone like me who doesn’t do well without the plethora of fashionable attire to peruse in your closet every morning. All kidding aside, I am home and happy to be back with Mikey and The Bear.
Being away from the blog for this long means there’s a bajillion things to catch up on. First things first: our Pacific Northwest vacation to Seattle and Vancouver (otherwise known as Vancattle — which takes on a whole different tone entirely and could lead one to believe that we drove a van to a cattle ranch… which we did not). On a scale of 1 to 1o, the trip was a big, fat 10! Definitely one of our favorite trips. We did so much sight-seeing, picture-taking, beer drinking, hockey watching, coffee sipping and of course, eating. All of which could not have been possible without our fabulous hosts, Doug and Katie.
Speaking of hockey watching, the trip we made from Seattle to Vancouver for the Blues vs. Canucks game was definitely the most exciting part of our trip. If you’re into any kind of sport — whatever sport that may be — I highly recommend traveling to another city to see your team play and cheer for them away from home. While we were certainly the minority (and by minority, I mean, like 10 Blues fans in an arena of oh, 18,000 Canucks fans), Vancouverites are pretty classy hockey fans (minus that whole rioting in the streets thing that went down after they lost the Stanley Cup to the Boston Bruins last year).
Yes, we got booed by our server when we walked into Yaletown Brewing Co. for pre-game dinner and drinks.
Yes, Doug got booed by the entire Yaletown Brewing Co. kitchen on the way to restroom.
Yes, we got death stares from an 8-year-old Canucks fan sitting caddy corner to our table.
Yes, we got “charged” $200 on our bill simply for wearing the wrong jerseys.
But aside from all the hoopla, there were a lot of Canucks fans who showed tremendous respect for the fact that we’d traveled all the way from St. Louis to support the boys we love. It sparked a lot of great conversation, and at the end of the day, when you can put your teams’ rivalry aside, enjoy another hockey fan’s company because of the simple fact that you’re both hockey fans and walk away saying, “may the best team win”, it’s a really good feeling.
What’s equally rewarding is meeting Blues fans in a big hockey city like Vancouver. We arrived at Rogers Arena in time to watch the Blues warm up on the ice and made friends with some fellow Blues-iers. It was interesting to hear their stories about how they became Blues fans even though they lived deep in the heart of Canuck country.
One guy told us how he’d been a huge Brett Hull fan his entire life and maintained his love for the Blues long after Hull left the team for the Dallas Stars in 1998.
Another guy we met told us he lived in the St. Louis area before moving out to Vancouver. And the “it’s a small world after all” part of it was that we both went to high schools in the same town of Belleville, Illinois. He was an Althoff Crusader, and I was a Belleville East Lancer.
But my favorite Blues fan was the T.J. Oshie-obsessed 20-something who held a sign that read, Oshie, you’re melting the ice. She squealed with delight and unknowingly grabbed my arm every time Oshie would skate by us during warm-ups. I thought it was really cute. Her boyfriend (probably a Canucks supporter) sat in the row behind her, embarrassed beyond belief. But at least he was being a good sport.
A great ending to this whole story would be for me to tell you that the Blues won that night. They didn’t. The game in Vancouver marked game three of their six-game road trip, and they had just played and won against Edmonton the night before. By the third period, our boys were tired, getting checked left and right and finally giving up a goal in the third period. It was then followed up with an empty-net goal in the last couple minutes of the game. The Canucks’ goalie skated away with a shut-out. The Blues were scoreless that night, and we were rather disappointed that we never saw a Blues goal at Rogers Arena.
Despite the unhappy ending, we have zero regrets. In fact, if we had to do it all over again, we wouldn’t change a thing. Okay, not really. Of course, we would demand a Blues victory. But the good part is, there’s bound to be a next time. It’s called the playoffs.
Let’s go Blues!