Our hosts, Mike and LuAnn Olson were marvelous. Mike drove us to downtown Minneapolis amidst some of the worst driving weather we’ve had so far. Black ice earlier in the morning left many cars in the ditches. I was told that there had been over 400 accidents in MN, more than 300 of those in the metro area. By the time we left church, the roads were wet, but fine. However, there were still the remains of many earlier accidents in the ditches along the way.
Mike definitely knows his way around downtown. He dropped us off just 1.5 blocks away from the Dome. It was nice to not have to walk too far. But I think being on potentially slippery surfaces stressed Tim out a bit. By the time we got into the Dome, he was already pretty tired. Then we were frisked at the door, and the guard at the handicapped entrance wasn’t too keen on Tim’s walking stick. Who knew you are supposed to bring written proof that you need a walking stick. He made us stand there for the longest time. Finally, he realized there was no way around it. He let us in. But by then, Tim was visibly shivering and of course his leg doesn’t work very well when he’s cold.
Then we had to wade through a sea of people. We were dropped off at the easiest gate for Mike to get to. However, that gate is on the exact opposite side of the stadium from where our seats were. So it was a long arduous walk through thousands of people to get to our seats. We finally got to our section, and realized we had a long flight of stairs to descend. That was probably the worst part of the whole day. It took Tim so long to get down all those stairs. He had already walked outside on slippery conditions, was cold from waiting at the gate so long, had already walked all the way around the stadium. His leg was tired, but we just went really slow. I didn’t hear anyone complain behind us, which was nice. Then of course, we figured out too late that we had gone in on the wrong side of our section, so we had to cross over 14 people to get to our seats. But from the other side, we were just four seats from the aisle. Too late.
We got there just in time to see the teams run onto the field from the locker rooms. It was awesome. Tim looked like he had just woken up on Christmas morning to discover that Santa had been to his house overnight. It was absolutely wonderful. There were Packer fans all around us, so he fit right in! (I admit I was cheering for the Packers yesterday, too!) The whole game was fabulous. Tim had been expecting a closer game, but as anyone who watched the game knows, it was anything but! Field goal, touchdown, touchdown, touchdown, touchdown. It was the perfect game to take Tim to.
Again, Mike and LuAnn served us. They had borrowed us a cell phone and a gizmo to watch replays. We texted throughout the game and then just before halftime, Mike came and found us bearing a big bowl of popcorn. He treated us to pop and water, too. They so spoiled us!
After the game, we decided to wait until the masses had thinned. Going out was so much easier for Tim than coming in. He had been able to rest his leg during the game and he was warm. Much better! Except when we got out of the stadium and into the corridor, the masses were all heading for Gate H and we were trying to get to Gate D. We were like salmon swimming upstream. I was trying to make a path for Tim and I was not finding much success. Somehow we got reversed so Tim was ahead of me. Wow! All the people saw Tim’s walking stick and the Red Sea parted! Tim was able to easily lead us along and, it turns out, there was a very long thin line of people walking right behind me, too!
On our way to the car, Mike stopped us to take pictures, making sure the Vikings made it into the picture too!
Mike and LuAnn were the best hosts I have ever seen. We felt lavished upon all day. Thank you, Mike and LuAnn, and thank you to all the people at Rockpoint Church that made yesterday possible, from those of you that scrambled to find tickets, to the one who got them for us, to all of you that blessed us with a bit of money for food and souvenirs. I was able to get a few things for the boys. They loved being remembered in all this.
No matter what happens in our future, this date will always be one of my all time highs. Not much can compare to being able to take Tim to the last game Favre plays against the Packers. And to see him get whumped was icing on the cake. What a beautiful day!