10 January 2020

Hockey Road Trip: Minnesota Nice! (Part 1)

2018 was an incredible year in my life: After marrying my fiancee Charlene in April, I had now come to the final season of "The Quest", with only three more hockey arenas to visit.  To kick things off, we chose the wintry setting of Minnesota - on the advice of both friends and family that live in the area, we were told to go as early as possible in the hockey season to avoid the worst of the inclement weather.  October seemed like the perfect time!

As mentioned, I have some family who live in Minnesota - specifically, my Uncle Chris and Aunt Susan, who live in the Minneapolis suburb of Plymouth.  They always invited me to stay with them any time after I started these hockey trips, so it was nice to finally be able to take them up on their offer.  They'd also met Charlene and were excited to show her how beautiful their state was, considering that my wife was born and raised in sunny California.

My "travel companion" Chad would actually skip on this trip, as he had already seen a Minnesota Wild game by himself while visiting family in the state previously.  But we would get the opportunity to meet up with a new friend that I had made in 2018, who called Duluth home.  As I have done in the past, I packed the trip with as many sporting events as possible, to include both football and basketball games with our standard hockey nights - I also made sure to schedule some college hockey (which Minnesota is known for), as well as my first USHL game.

We flew into Minneapolis on a Friday night, meeting up with Susan and Chris and joining them for dinner, before retiring for the night to get as much rest as possible.  The weeklong trip would start in earnest the following morning...


Our California bodies took very little time to adapt to the frigid weather, as we hopped in the rental car and headed south.  Our first stop along the way would be Minnesota's Largest Candy Store, a wonderful place situated about 40 miles from Minneapolis near the small town of Jordan.  We spent more than an hour walking through numerous aisles filled with every kind of sweet confection imaginable, from sodas and fruit drinks to assorted pretzels and popcorns - your dentist would not be too happy to learn of this store's existence.  Pop culture enthusiasts would also enjoy the store, as various statues and props from comic books and movies were on display to entertain the guests.  I would certainly recommend a visit to anyone who might be in the area!

Popular Posts