Friday, July 18, 2014

The All-Star Experience - Day 2

For the previous post about my first day in Minneapolis, click here.


My training plan called for four slow and easy miles Monday. After all the walking Sunday, I was excited to put on comfortable shoes and explore the city a bit. David, the Marlins teacher, had told me about the Minneapolis Statue Gardens, so I decided to run there and check out the park. After I finished there, I looped back and finished the run on Nicollet Mall.
I knew I'd reached the Statue Gardens when I saw this giant spoon!
The morning was perfectly cool and sunny. The second coming of the Polar Vortex had promised cold weather, and I was happy to take advantage of it. My legs were tired and heavy from Sunday's travel and activities, but I still finished with a faster pace than designated on the plan.
I loved this installation...the mirrors make you look like a ghost!
After my run, Matt and I walked to the Hilton for the All Star Brunch. I was wearing my "business casual" clothes for the day, but since my run a strong wind had paired itself with the low 60s I had been enjoying earlier. I was freezing! Still, sometimes we have to sacrifice comfort for fashion, especially when we might be on TV.
The yogurt bar was seriously amazing!
Look closely and you may spot Jim Kaat over my shoulder!
After brunch, I abandoned Matt and met the other All Stars. We were ushered into the conference room and led to the very front two rows of seats for the All Star Game press conference! We immediately began taking photos of the podium. No shame here - when's the next time I'll have priority over reporters at this kind of event?!
Me, Gina, Liz, and Brenda.
A little perspective...yes, we were literally in the front row!
Who said the Rays and Red Sox have to hate each other all the time?!
When the conference began, we were on our best behavior...which was good, because we were about three feet from some very important people in sports.
Felix Hernandez and his adorable son; John Farrell; Jackie Autry; Brian Kenny; Bill Giles; and Mike Wainwright.
After the conference, we had a bit of a photo shoot and then went over the logistics of the game and our time on the field. Then we had a short break, during which I found Matt and we had lunch.
Willy, Rolland, Paul, me, and Tom: the AL East!
Some friendly rivalry: the AL on the left, the NL on the right.
As an original Clevelander, I immediately liked Jacqui for her taste in teams!
That afternoon, we headed over to Target Center for a service event. We helped fill backpacks for students in need; Target provided 10,000 and we helped with the last batch! It was really meaningful to have a hand in that, especially seeing all these other volunteers who were giving their time to ensure that children don't have to start the school year unprepared.
Filling backpacks with the Royal's mascot Sluggerrrr.
 From the service event we went straight to Target Field for the Home Run Derby. This was the first we had seen of the suite we would be in...and it was spectacular. Not only was the view great, but more importantly there were heaters overhead. It rained and got into the 50s that night, so those heaters were greatly appreciated!
Arriving at the field in our personal bus!
Our view.
Not only we were served amazing food, but there was a dessert cart that must have been beamed from heaven.
I indulged in a little frosting before the real desserts showed up.
Holy deliciousness.
The derby was a lot of fun to watch, and afterward we trooped over to the gala to watch Aloe Blacc preform while eating more delicious food and walking around the Mill City Ruins.
Aloe Blacc himself!
By the time we got to bed, it was after 1am, and my day was set to start at 7:30. Stay tuned for the last segment, in which I discover what it's like to look directly into Derek Jeter's baby blues.

Obviously I'm not an even bigger Target fan than ever before. Why do you love Target?
Did you watch the Home Run Derby?
Have you ever attended a press conference?



  1. I heart Target. :) I always leave with 10x the amount of money I intended to spend there AND they have a Starbucks inside so I could just hang out there all day. I don't know what I'm more jealous of: The sights/sounds/people you were with, or the amazing food!!!!

    1. Oh, isn't it just so true that it's impossible to walk out of Target with ONLY the things on your list?

  2. Holy WOW!!!! What a truly amazing experience this was!!! I hope you soaked it all in and really were able to enjoy yourself. You are just so awesome - what an incredible opportunity you afforded yourself - very, very cool!!!
    Cannot wait to hear about you and Derek Jeter's eyes :-)

    1. I definitely made sure to be IN the moment, but you know how it is...everything felt like a dream! It almost feels like I wasn't even there!

  3. Target sponsors one of the performances of The Nutcracker Ballet that I take my 2nd grade students to see. Because Target sponsors it, my kids have to pay next to nothing to see an awesome performance. Many of them would not get to go to the ballet if it weren't for this trip, so I do love Target! The food you got to eat looks so good, and I love your blue skirt. You are the second person I saw in a skirt like that and I am now inspired to find one for myself!

    1. See, I love that! It's so cool how involved in education in ALL aspects Target is.

      That skirt is like 5 years old. I bought it and never wore it until recently, and now it's a favorite!

  4. This all looks really amazing! I'm so proud of you and it's really cool that you got to meet Derek Jeeter :)

    1. Ha, thanks! I actually didn't get to MEET Jeter...we just made eye contact while I was on the field!

  5. What an amazing time!!!!!! :)
    That is awesome that you were able to volunteer!!!!!