As is usually the case towards the end of winter, Darren and I haven’t gotten out for “date night” lately. At this time of year, it’s usually because it’s just too darned cold. This year, the bigger reason for our hibernation has been more of a survival necessity. 

Major surgery had me grounded me for five weeks just prior to this night. Under ‘normal’ circumstances, that would start to grate on the nerves of any person who is normally quite active. Any attempts I’d made to overcome the ensuing cabin fever evidently had been, in turn, wearing away on my husband’s nerves.  

Side note: Whether we’re ready to appreciate it or not, I think we’ve all acquired a skill for being grounded with loved ones for an extended period of time without driving each other to the point of madness. Haha We’ve got this!

Now, on with our story…

date night, game night

To make sure that the energy of Darren’s annoyance didn’t circle it’s way back to me, he thought “I need to get this woman out of the house”. With this night being ‘bobblehead night’ at the Winnipeg Jets home game against the L.A. Kings, it was the perfect opportunity to reboot our date night tradition. Despite my trepidation, what with going out into the big, bad world still recovering from my ordeal, I got all dolled-up and we headed out.

Walking down Portage Avenue on the arm of my date, I was reminded that Spring in The Peg doesn’t exactly equate to crocus’ in bloom and blue jays in the trees just yet. But the slushy ice beneath my feet and the mounds of muddy snow along the curbs, while bleak looking, do harken the promise of fields of color and warmer days just around the bend. It also means….that it’s still hockey season!

Downtown Winnipeg on a cold, rainy afternoon

Once inside The Bell MTS Centre and thawed out, we treated ourselves to a game-night feast! This slice of pizza was almost bigger than I am, but there’s nothing better than being wined and dined “Jets style” by the one you love.

A large slice of pizza from the MTS Center in Winnipeg during a Jets game

Once inside The Bell MTS Centre and thawed out, we treated ourselves to a game-night feast! This slice of pizza was almost bigger than I am, but there’s nothing better than being wined and dined “Jets style” by the one you love.

With full bellies, we went to say hey to Darren’s buddy, Chris, up in the organist’s booth. Chris is quite a talented keyboardist outside that booth too. The Jets are lucky to have him.

Darren and Chris Eccles at a Winnipeg Jets game
A Jacob Trouba bobble-head received at a Winnipeg Jets game

Arriving at our season seats, we grabbed our collector bobbleheads (this year it was Jacob Trouba) and game programs and prepared ourselves for the highlight of the evening…

A Jacob Trouba bobble-head received at a Winnipeg Jets game

Game time! Let’s get L-O-O-U-U-D-D!!!! The Winnipeg Jets vs. The Los Angeles Kings. Sigh.. My new home vs. my old home. Oh! The confusion. Oh! The guilt……….Go Jets Go!! Heehee! Ooooooh, this is gonna be a good date night.

Naturally, excitement built up around this rock star, “Patriiiiiikk Laineeeeee!!!” This kid put the fear of the hockey gods in a lot of people this night when he got injured. And so close to the playoffs!! Luckily, he was alright after a few days of rest. Whew!  

The young Mr. Laine is already such a valuable player and so early in his career. What will the rest of it look like? Holy Smokes! I have a feeling we are watching history in the making, folks!

And of course, my personal fav, “Dustiiiiiin Byfuglieeeeeeenn!” When Darren first introduced me to The Jets and hockey in general, this player was the first to catch my eye. Initially, because it took me a while to figure out how to pronounce his name correctly. Not exactly a common name. But, he’s not a common player either. The man is like a human freight train! Hehe He’s a really strong part of this team and so fun to watch.

And then there’s this big guy. The beloved Moose-Man!

The Manitoba "Moose Man" at a Winnipeg Jets game

Zamboneh!  Zamboneh! Zambo-nah-noh-noh-nah-noh neh!!……..

A zamboni cleaning the ice at a Winnipeg Jets game

Zamboneh!  Zamboneh!
Zambo-nah-noh-noh-nah-noh neh!!……..

Sorry.

Where was I? Oh, right!

The energy in the stadium was just electric! Total strangers, sitting side by side in the stands, celebrating every goal and every goal-tender block as if they were life-long friends. I don’t know if that’s a part of a normal hockey game but its certainly a great perk of a Winnipeg Jets game. Darren and I had a great time together on our first date after the long, winter hibernation. 

One day soon, perhaps we can return to enjoying being among an energetic crowd. Precautions will still be necessary for a while, but little by little, if we all work together, we can. I remain ever hopeful. 

What do you all do for date night?

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OUT and ABOUT

Whether it’s abroad or just to the local burger joint, Darren and I love to go out into the world and seek adventure together. Life gets busy sometimes and traveling is a fantastic way to reconnect. See more of how we maintain the magic.


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