Tuesday, February 15, 2011

All Star Fun

So, how does a weekend begin with a late brunch, and end with free tickets to the NHL All-Star Game in Raleigh? (pictured above?)  Lemme tell you.

One Saturday morning, we woke up..late..ish, and decided that we would head into downtown Raleigh to get some brunch. Normally, we just head up the road, but, we were feeling adventurous. The weather was gorgeous, so we figured we'd walk around downtown for a bit. While driving around searching for a parking spot, we saw some sort of street fair and made mental notes to head back after we ate. After some food at Tir Na Nog, we grabbed some coffee and headed into the street fair. We soon learned it was the NHL All-Star Fan Weekend. Cool enough, so we started wondering around, with the promise of a Beer Garden and Mike teaching me various Hockey Teams and their respective mascots and names.

 Dont we look happy at hot coffee and beer?

 Around 3:50, we walked up towards the top of the fair to see what as there. There was a raffle at 4:00 for tickets to the All Star game. Why not, Mike asked, and so we did. Well, five minutes later, the universe aligns and we have tickets to the all star game. Well, that somewhat sealed the rest of the afternoon. We then scurried into the beer garden, (constantly checking to make sure the envelope with the tickets were still firmly in my purse.) They give you little cards with a certain amount of punches, and its up to the different vendors to punch out the holes. It took quite a while to finish up both our cards, and we continued the see-and-say game with Hockey mascots. Then, we decided to grab a small bite to eat at Raleigh Times, (pickle chips, YES) and afterwards went down the street to the coffee shop to finish up our night with some delicious (and pretty) coffees. 
Celebratory Food. 
Downtown Raleigh, FTW. 

Early, well..not that early, the next morning. Mike and I donned our Jerseys (New York Islanders and Colorado Avalanche, if you must know) and headed down to the RBC center to get a little pre-gaming in. After a little while, we went inside. I've been to a few events at the RBC center, I've even been to Hurricanes games, but this was an entirely different atomosphere. Mike wanted a 'Canes hat, so we stopped into one of the stores (shot glass!) and I snapped this pic. 

Play the "Identify the Hockey Team" game..its fun. 
We settled into our seats, and the game started. This was the first time that they laid out the All Star game with 2 "team captains" who each got to pick their team, like in school. It was really cool because Staal was one of the captains so there was definitely a "hometown" team, which made it great to pick sides to cheer for. The beginning of the game was adorable, with some little kids playing pick up and then they grew into the Hockey greats that came to play. 

Mike calls this "The Greatest Hockey Players in the world..and some kids"

The game was interesting, at the very least entertaining, and I dont think either one of us will make it to another All Star Game again. (maybe?) It was actually a really good experience and I was excited that a town like Raleigh, thats just recently become a "hockey town" got one of the coolest parts of professional sports in it's backyard. I read a bunch of reports afterwards and everyone seemed to have great things to say about 
Raleigh, the people in Raleigh and North Carolina itself. Made me happy. :) 

I love this pic. Thanks random lady!

Bonus Section!:

 After the game, we came home. I was cold, so I grabbed the closest blanket I could find, then plopped a hat on my head...don't ask why, but I did. Mike quickly snapped a picture as proof that he is slowly overtaking my mind, and my sports preferences. the Jets wasn't hard (I love me some football, and it is not hard to stray from the Panthers) and Hockey just seems awesome (so I have officially adopted the avalanche, because of the Jersey (til I can find a better reason) and of course the 'Canes (Raleigh pride, yo ) However, BASEBALL, I still have yet to learn. I know next to nothing about it, and have no team preference. I see Bulls games in my future, until I learn what exactly is happening. Maybe the Mets will come shortly?

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