May 9th, 2009 – a day that I will never forget. How in the world did we pack so much happiness into one single day?
05:15 - I woke up super-duper early… because I always do. Plus, I was half way through the *NEW* Book 9 of the Sookie Stackhouse series (ah yes, you remember my guilty pleasure!) and I just could. not. stop. reading. (Yeah, now I am finished and wondering how long I have to wait before book 10 in the series…) Finished the book with a bit of disappointment – I was hoping for more, but there were some good things in the book too. If you care to discuss, there is a thread going on the Ravelry boards about the new book!
08:30 – Finished book. Ate soy yogurt & blueberries with agave nectar. Kris wakes up. Off to the nursery for planting time!
We have had so much rain here and not enough sunlight. Everyone must have had the same thoughts as us about this, because the nursery was PACKED at that early hour in the day. We got lots of veggies and herbs – 3 kinds of tomatoes, 2 kinds of peppers, eggplants, parsley, lemon grass, fennel, 2 kinds of squash, strawberries… yeah, a lot.
All jazzed up for spring gardening, we made our way home and unloaded the car. We had a little bit of time to plan placement of the plants, but we didn’t have enough time to actually start the process… because we went to…
11:30 – Parikha and Hemal came up from DC to try the yummy vegetarian/vegan restaurant that I have mentioned several times on my blog: Great Sage in Clarksville. YUMMY food and even better company. It was so nice to see them all – and Parikha has a wonderful surprise to share! Great conversations and speculation why we had never done the double date before… thank you for the fun time!
13:30 Phone call from Michelle. On her way to my house to drop off the TICKETS! (Penguins v. Capitals Game 5 Conference Semi-finals at Verizon Center!) Met Mike and Michelle, who were fresh from their trip to Pittsburgh the night before to see the Penguins win on home ice! Tickets IN HAND! My own personal pep rally begins!
(foreshadowing: little did I know that this night would be so different than any other night…)
17:00 Stepped off the Metro and head to get a quick dinner before heading into the arena…
17:30 Breezed right into the arena with a super secret entrance and headed up to our super special seats – box seats scored on Craig’s List by Mike and Michelle! Settled in and start knitting before the pre-game skate!
Michelle’s making socks, and I am starting a hat – simple stockinette was all I could manage at this point – way too much excitement going on!!
18:25 Pre-game skate and a great view of the guys on the ice. A huge rivalry has formed between DC and Pittsburgh teams, and luckily we were removed from it a bit since we had a box. No harassing or loogies.
18:30 – WAIT A SECOND. That kid looks familiar. That woman looks familiar. (When you watch 82+ games a season, you begin to recognize people!) Oh my gosh – it can’t be! Someone is in the box next to us who is famous and amazing. (Okay, hockey famous, but *amazing*)
19:00 Game starts and my head is on a swivel… keep. looking. left. Mario is only a few feet away!
19:05 An adorable couple walks in. One that any Pittsburgh fan would recognize! The Malkins, parents of the Penguins amazing superstar (and my favorite players, hands down), Evgeni Malkin!
20:15(ish) Giddy, ecstatic and *jazzed* (must have the asterisks there for emphasis, you see) are the words I would use to best describe my demeanor. My head is still on a swivel, and I am trying to figure out how in the world to start a conversation. Especially when the Malkins don’t speak English, and I don’t speak Russian.
Hand gestures and ridiculously huge smiles – that got them over for a photo opp!! (and their son – “spitting image” of his mother – see?) The Malkins have a bit of a cult following for Pittsburgh fans, so that explains my absolute freaky smile. sort of.
…but there is MORE!
21:30 – Game is tied 3-3. Hard fought and very tense. Buzzer rings and we are going into sudden-death overtime!
21:40 PENS WIN!! MALKIN SCORES THE GAME WINNER!!
...and this happened on NATIONAL TELEVISION:
Absolute ecstatic celebration! Vladimir runs up and down, jumps around, hugs, high fives – and then comes over to ME and kisses ME. Right on the lips. ON TV. (They always show his parents after he scores!) It was hilarious and awesome and amazing. There is Kris in the Penguins shirt right above us – he had just high-fived Mr. Malkin Megan joked that Kris should have kissed Mrs. Malkin - but hey, that didn’t happen… I have the “extended version” – me shaking hands with Mrs. Malkin and some high fives on my TV, but I am figuring out how to get it out of there and on to YouTube so you can see it too… but the screenshots are the next best thing – many thanks to Kate for finding them on the internetz.
…found this on YouTube: you can see wonderful Evgeni’s interview (his English is improving rapidly!) here -and at 1:21, you can see me briefly and my hands clapping
It was pretty much the most amazing thing ever. Vladimir had tears in his eyes, and he was so incredibly happy – we all were! – for his son and for the whole team.
And just when you think it is the best night ever – it gets better.
21:45 Some Penguins fans start hopping the gate into the suite, but I was a little reluctant because it seemed rude, but then, I saw Lemieux’s kids give me a smile, and I jumped over the glass. They welcomed us and we were all so happy – and Mario Lemieux started taking photos and signing autographs! Kris has followed Mario since he was a boy – and I came a little later to the party in 1998 and got to see his amazing comeback in 2000. Oh my goodness.
Mario has a playoff beard! and he was so kind, as was his whole family. We were truly touched – and yeah, he totally touched my back in this photo (ha! fangirl moment!)
23:00 Cannot come down off of cloud fifteen – way higher than cloud nine! I couldn’t wait to share my photos and my story with my friends over in Puck This! the hockey group on Ravelry . I knew they would understand what a thrill this was. And I think, by these photos, you can tell how amazing it was for us. Even if you don’t follow hockey, you know the thrill of happenstance and joy!
…I could not go to sleep for hours! …and at that time, I didn’t even know that we had been filmed during the goal celebration and the kiss!
Totally the best day. GARDENING – BRUNCH WITH FRIENDS – KNITTING – HOCKEY! (if I had just found a way to fit yoga in there, it would have been the perfect Lolly day).
One that I will never forget!!!