Friday, October 1, 2010

Packer Pilgrimage Day 1

Today was the big day – the start of our Packer Pilgrimage.  We almost didn’t make it.  Our journey began with an hour delay on our Delta flight from SFO to Minneapolis.  When we arrived, the departures board informed us that our flight to Appleton had been cancelled.  Problem.  Serves us right for flying through Viking territory.

The fact I was flying solo with two young kids wasn’t getting us much sympathy – particularly since they were dressed head to toe in Packer garb.  I think the gate agent in our first attempt to get re-booked bumped us to the bottom of the standby list.  We didn't make the flight.  Delta’s answer was to give us a stack of vouchers – including meal tickets ($6 for dinner – woo hoo!!), a hotel reservation (hello, Ramada Inn!) and a confirmation on the 10:10 flight (that would be 10:10 AM the next day!)

Stranded at a TGI Fridays in the heart of Viking territory
Fortunately, having lived in California the last 14 years, I’m conditioned not to take “no” for an answer.  So we redeemed our meal vouchers at a TGI Fridays, endured some heckling from a drunk, jackass Vikings fan, and waited until the already over-booked last flight of the day to the Fox River Valley: a 9:30 into Green Bay.  The boys tossed our Packer pigskin while I nervously watched passengers board.  Finally, with the waiting area completely empty, the gate agent called us up.  After 15 minutes of typing, she got us on the flight – the last passengers on the last flight of the day.  Through the miracle of cell phones, grandpa was re-routed from Outagamie Airport to Austin Straubel and picked us up.  The boys were thrilled to see grandpa and impressed by the Packers banners adorning the airport hallways.

We hadn’t been in Wisconsin for 7 minutes when the boys procured a stash of firearms in the form of two Nerf guns.  They took to them like first-generation Wisconsinites – quite the little marksmen.  After I threatened confiscation if anyone else got shot, they went in the back yard and set up the Nerf Deer Blind they found with it.  So far only a few squirrels have been seriously injured.  We’re thinking of taking these with us when the Lions disembark at the Paper Valley Hotel tomorrow.  Maybe pop a Nerf cap in Ndamukong Suh's ass.  That'll slow down his pass rush.  If you see him limping Sunday with a suction-cup-shaped bruise on his butt cheek, you'll know one of my guys got to him.

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