#BPGiveaway Trip

Due to multiple requests, I have combined the #BPGiveaway trip posts for those interested in reading about our experience with @DatDudeBP. We hope you enjoy reading...

September 10th, 2011

Hello all. We write to you this morning from a Starbucks in Downtown Denver. Our hotel we're staying at doesn't have free Wi-Fi internet access, believe it or not, so we've improvised and taken advantage of the best amenity Starbucks has to offer -- they're access to the worldwide web.

After taking in all of the festivities, events and happenings of yesterday, we've finally had a chance to sit down and chronicle it all. So without further a due, here's how the first day of the @DatDudeBP #BPGiveaway went down:

4:30 AM ET - Wake up in Louisville, KY.

6:55 AM ET - Depart from Louisville International Airport for a flight to Dallas/Ft. Worth. (1 hour 51 minutes)

8:01 AM CT - Arrive in Dallas/Ft. Worth & make like hell to catch our connecting flight to Denver.

9:00 AM CT - Depart from Dallas/Ft. Worth for a flight Denver International Airport. (1 hour 37 minutes)

10:38 AM MT - Touchdown in Denver.

11:03 AM MT - Take shuttle from airport into city. (30 minutes)

11:33 AM MT - We arrive at the hotel, but soon learn that our room isn't ready yet. We take the time to acquaint ourselves with the Mile High City. We have an interesting conversation with a Greenpeace supporter talking about everything from deforestation, to plastic bottle consumption, to what we were doing in Denver. We eventually part ways and continue our quest to conquer the city.

1:33 PM MT - During our meandering around the town BP calls us and tells us to get ready to head to the field. We have just enough time to check-in to our room and change before we finally meet the man himself in the lobby around 2:00.


2:00 PM MT - The three of us take a few pictures before heading to the stadium. On our way there we chat it up with BP about Coors Field and us recently graduating, among other things.

2:30 PM MT - BP hooks us up with VIP access passes and takes us down into the clubhouse to meet some of the guys. Since it's still pretty early, not everyone is there yet, but BP takes us around the locker room to meet everyone who had arrived already. Clubhouse manager Rick Stowe chats with us briefly before hooking us up with some sweet Reds hats! So a big thank you to Rick Stowe for that. At that time we make our way to the Reds dugout to take in the awesome views of the stadium.

3:00 PM MT - It's still roughly four hours until game time so the only ones on the field are the Rockies groundskeeping crew. We hang around snapping photos and such before Colorado takes the field for batting practice shortly thereafter. An hour goes by before most of the Reds players start trickling out of the clubhouse to take batting practice themselves. During that time we get to meet and chat with several members of the media including Marty Brennaman, Chris Welsh, The Cowboy and the Rockies beat writer for the Denver Post, Troy Renck.

Pic courtesy of Jamie Ramsey's Better off Red blog
5:30 PM MT - It's time to go pick-up our tickets for the game. By the time we get our tix and some grub (we had been binging off some Chex Mix and granola bars for the past 24 hours), it's about 25 minutes until first pitch.

6:40 PM MT - Much to our chagrin, both of our phones die during the first inning, thus taking away our ability to tweet during the game. Nonetheless, we enjoy our seats right behind homeplate and soak in the incredible experience -- Twitterless or not.

10:00 PM MT - The Reds pull out a 4-1 victory before a massive crowd of 40,000+. We wait awhile in our seats before finally deciding to head back to the hotel in hopes of charging our phones -- even if it's just for a little bit.

11:15 PM MT - Will gets the call from BP for an invite to dinner at the Denver Chophouse. We take the first available cab and meet him there about 15 minutes later. We chow down on a spread that consists of crabcake, bbq shrimp, steak and mashed potatoes and more while shooting the breeze about anything imaginable. We snap a few pics and talk about what lies ahead for Saturday. We eat until our hearts are content and roll out of the restaurant nearly two hours later. On the way back Brandon stops at a Seven/Eleven for his beloved milk and some juice. We get back to the hotel lobby around 1:00 AM.


1:15 AM MT - Will and I crash after having gone a stretch of 48 hours with about 3 hours of sleep. We talk a little bit about our day before succumbing to sleep deprivation around 2:00 AM -- concluding a long, awesome day put on by our host @DatDudeBP.

We plan on chronicling Saturday's experience here on the blog as well, so be looking for that in the coming days. If you're not already I encourage you to follow the blog (@Redlegs_Review), Will (@willpower36) and myself (@jimmiadair) on Twitter. Also, for tons of pics from the trip and regular blog updates check out our Facebook fan page. Go Redlegs!



As promised, here is a recap of the events and happenings from our #BPGiveaway trip on Saturday & Sunday. Enjoy:

Saturday:

8:00 AM MT - We awake with the promising outlook of another eventful day. After having no access to the internet whatsoever on our laptops for a couple of days, it was time to seek out a Starbucks for free Wi-Fi. I was personally eager not only to put our trip experience (up onto that point) in writing, but also to receive a little caffeine and sugar boost from one of their menu items -- a double chocolate chip frappuccino. Once there, I believe Will settled for a muffin or pastry of some sort in addition to a bottle of water.

We got down to business organizing and chronicling our thoughts and experience from Friday. You can view the finished products of those posts here ("Quick Hitters from Friday") and here ("The #BPGiveaway Experience: Friday"), if you haven't already.

We also took the time responding to as many Twitter and Facebook replies as we could. Our brief time with a celebrity athlete had lifted our own statuses to temporary mini-celebrities, and to be honest, we were loving every moment of it.

After we had uploaded some pics we had of the trip already, we decided to pack up our operations and make a stop to the local 7-Eleven for some drinks and snacks, before heading back to the hotel. By the time we get back to our room it's around 12:30 MT.

1:10 PM MT - After snacking on some Combos and Nutter Butter's, we start our 10-15 minute trek to the stadium. We both agreed before the trip that we had to make our way up into the "Mile High Seats" -- which are a row of seats at Coors Field that are exactly one mile above sea level (read more about them here). The combination of all the stairs to get there - plus the increasing altitude - had us sea-level dwellers huffing and puffing once we finally reached them. However, the journey was all worthwhile once we got a glimpse of the fantastic view the seats held. After a few pics we began our descent back down to the lower level to our seats.

A view from the "Mile High" seats
1:54 PM MT - We nestle into our seats just in time to watch the longest introductory video in the history of intro videos on the jumbotron. For some unknown reason the Rockies decided that the usual 2 1/2 minute highlight reel to excite the home crowd wasn't enough -- only an 8-minute, drawn-out clip of nearly every play of the season would do. *snickers*

Besides the freakishly, low humidity that neither of us were accustomed to, we couldn't have asked for better weather to take in a game. It was a comfortable 73 degrees with a light breeze and not a cloud in the sky above us.

The game goes on as usual, except the game is anything but ordinary. In perhaps the greatest offensive showing either Will or I had ever witnessed in-person, the two teams combine for nine home runs in the first five innings. The MLB record for most in a single game was 12 and this game was on pace for a staggering 18. Unfortunately, neither club hit a longball the rest of the way and our beloved Reds fell 12-7 to the home team.

Since we were to meet Brandon outside the stadium afterward, we wait around in our seats awhile to kill some time. When we do finally make our way to the exits we come across a Denver Post newsstand. We had chatted with the Rockies beat writer Troy Renck on Friday about the whole trip and couldn't help but wonder if he had written a little blurb about it. After flipping through a couple pages in the sports section, our suspicions were confirmed. Here's the excerpt from that piece:

6:00 PM MT - We meet up with BP outside the gates around 6:00 local time and make our way to Lucky Strikes for some bowling. Originally, he had told us at dinner on Friday that he had planned on taking us white-water rafting, but that the place had closed just a week before. Still unsure whether or not that was a serious possibility, but I guess I'll believe him.

@DatDudeBP easily wins the first game despite relatively, unimpressive games by all three of us. The second game sees an increase in scoring all-the-way around, but I pull out a close victory over Will & BP -- although Brandon clowns around in the last four frames. But hey, as the old Gatorade saying goes, "A win is a win..." and I'll take it.

Will-Power & I at Lucky Strikes
7:40 PM MT - Dinner isn't until 9:00 so we have plenty of time to burn. We walk across town and eventually arrive at the Capitol building. We snap several photos including a couple of BP "owling" on some cannons...if you have no idea what owling is you can acquaint yourself here. By now it's time to start making our way back into the city to catch a cab to dinner.

8:25 PM MT - To describe our cab ride to Benihana in one word? Interesting. I hadn't been on many cab rides in my life up until then, but I knew enough that it was strange for a cab driver to need a GPS to get you to your destination. He takes us through dark streets, suburban roads, and just generally the "long way" until we get to the restaurant a few minutes before our reservation slot.

We're seated teppanyaki-style and shortly thereafter, began chowing down on three different kinds of sushi (which Will and I had never eaten before), soup, salad, shrimp, fried rice, chicken, steak & more. Brandon tells one of the employees that it's Will's birthday, which immediately has us in "can't-wait" mode for them to sing and whatnot to him. All three of us come to the conclusion that the chef is in the wrong business, as his constant use of one-liners and hilarious antics make him more fitted for stand-up comedy.

Towards the end of the meal the restaurant workers finally get around to treating Will to a great "fake" happy birthday. For your viewing pleasure we have video, and you can view that here.

Now that we've stuffed our faces with more food than our bodies can possibly handle, it's time to head back into the city. On the way back BP finds a way to upload the video and then links it in a tweet on Twitter. The immediate feedback on the video? Priceless. We pretty much joke and laugh non-stop on the whole trip back.

Us three at dinner on Saturday
It's around 11:00 PM local time at this point and we decide to head back to 7-Eleven for the third time in less than 24 hours so BP can get him some milk. Will and I grab a Gatorade to-go just for the heck of it and we all start walking back towards the hotel.

We stop and chat with some people in the hotel lobby, take some pictures and then head to our rooms real quick. Will and I quickly put the pen to the pad on a "Thank You" card and grab a t-shirt we had brought along to give to BP on the trip.

We meet back up with Brandon in his room before deciding to go back out into the city one last time. With no place in particular we're heading for, the three of us are drawn to a tall, white structure that looks like the front of a ship (no joke). After walking a lot further than we thought we'd have to, we arrive at the unknown object. Once there we come to the conclusion that the tall structure serves no purpose whatsoever, but admit that he has to be there for some reason (a Twitter follower would later tweet to us that it's used to keep birds away from the nearby buildings...verdict still pending).

We turn around and begin the long walk back to our hotel. The conversations turn from anything and everything imaginable until the three of us get back to BP's room. He opens his card and sizes up his t-shirt and then signs a hat for a 3rd-grader that Will had brought along for him to sign for one of his mom's students.

BP's t-shirt we gave him
@DatDudeBP offers for us to watch a movie while he finishes packing, but it was around 1:20 AM at this juncture -- and the two of us still had to pack ourselves for our flight in the morning. Will and I thank him one last time for the incredible hospitality and the great weekend and then head back to our room on the 6th floor.

Will and I do more talking about the trip than actual packing for the first hour back in the room until we finally do pack our bags around 2:30. Needless to say we were exhausted from the whirlwind experience, but had no ambitions of sleeping. Naturally, we go down swinging as soon as our heads hit the pillows and thus, end another successful day in Denver.

Sunday:

7:30 AM MT - We awake and begin right where we left off the night before...which was breaking down the happenings of the trip. Our convo carries over into the lobby when we check-out and on the cab ride to the airport as well. Once we get through security it's about an hour before our scheduled flight so we take advantage of the free internet and again browse through our messages.

After having gone so long without my favorite food - ice cream - I set out on a mission to find some. Consider it mission accomplished once I did. It was two scoops of the most delicious, mint-choco chip ice-cream I had seen in months -- I was on cloud nine.

2 scoops of heaven #OnDeck

We try to upload some more pics from the trip while waiting for our flight, but do so in vain. The Wi-Fi just wasn't having it. Meanwhile, the scheduled departing time continues to get pushed back every 10-15 minutes or so before we finally got off the ground in Denver...over an hour later than expected.

Once again Will and I discuss the trip while everyone else on the plane seems to sit in silence. We both agree on the fact that Brandon Phillips was even cooler and more genuine in person than we thought he'd be...if that's even possible?

4:30 PM ET - Nearly two and half hours passed before we touch down in Louisville. We were home now and were left with the memories and experiences of one great weekend put on for us by our host, @DatDudeBP. The only thing better than being back in a noticeably, higher-humidity climate, was the time we had in Colorado.