2008 U.S. Nationals: SP Beary blog by Casey

The Adventures of S.P. Beary with the assistance of Casey McManus – Part 1

Hey everyone. My name is SP Beary and this is my first trip to Nationals. I’m so excited and I can’t wait to show you some of the sights here in Saint Paul.

This is me checking in at the Crowne Plaza Hotel. I was a bit nervous when I saw all the hunters.

Here I am checking out the pool area. I think I may be spending a lot of time down here relaxing. I hope I remembered to pack my bathing suit.

We followed the maze from the Crowne Plaza to the rink. I had to stop and rest a few times.

Finally, I made it to the entrance of the Xcel Center . Now I’m worried that they won’t let me in.

Security let me through when they saw my credentials. Wow, even though the rink is empty and they’re still setting up, you can already feel the excitement. Look mom, I made it! Now where should I sit?

Skywalk, maze or hamster habitrail???? You decide……


The Adventures of S.P. Beary with the assistance of Casey McManus
#2 – My Day at the Mall of America

With everyone busy at the Team 2014 seminar today, I thought I’d pay a visit to the Mall of America. I know I’m a bear, but I’m not a polar bear, so I bundled up and headed two blocks from the Crowne Plaza to catch the #54 bus. I know a taxi would have warmer, but where’s the adventure in that?

For only $1.50, I made it to the MoA in about 20 minutes. I carefully note the pick up location for the bus back and then head into the mall. Boy am I surprised when the first thing I see in the mall, is an aquarium. I thought sure, why not. Good thing, because look who I bumped into…. my cousin Earl.

The aquarium was so cool. It has one of those glass walkways and I saw sharks, turtles and all kinds of fish. I couldn’t resist taking this picture,

This mall is the biggest thing that I’ve seen in my life. Here I am at the entrance to the amusement park. Yes, you heard me right, an amusement park is setup in the middle of the mall.

That’s my travel buddy Casey holding me up. She braved the Timberland Twister twice, while I sat on the bench and watched. We checked out the Coach store, bought her a little something in Limited Too and found a friend for me in the Webkinz store. Now we’re back at the hotel catching up on some homework and waiting for Junior OD to start.


The Adventures of S.P. Beary with the assistance of Casey McManus
#3 – Day 2 at the Mall of America & More

Everyone told me that you couldn’t see the whole Mall of America in just one day. Looking at the schedule for the rest of the week, Casey and I thought that going back Wednesday morning was our only choice. I thought we had seen most of the mall, but I was wrong. There were whole sections that we completely missed the day before. We found a MoA store and did some souvenir shopping for friends back home. Casey and her dad went on a few of the rides, while I sat chatting with Casey’s mom on a bench. I don’t think you’ve met Casey yet, this is us overlooking the amusement park.

After the mall, we made it back to the Xcel center in time to watch the Junior men. What a difference in the whole look of the rink from when we arrived on Friday. There are a lot more cameras set up and it looks like the TV table is ready to go. Casey and I have fallen in love with the mini donuts and smoothie stand. Today, we tried the mocha and it was excellent.

We decided to stay and watch the Senior pairs competition. Casey’s favorite team of Amanda & Mark were competing. This is us hanging out at the grill, waiting for the rink to be cleaned and re-opened. We had a nice conversation with a couple from Michigan. Casey’s dad is wearing his Patriots hat and it’s drawn a lot of attention.

On the way home, we braved the cold night air and walked through Rice Park. Thanks to the very knowledgeable staff, they gave us directions to keep us inside the skywalk for as long as possible. It was great, we had to ourselves and it was so pretty. Here we are by the figure skating sculpture and in front of the holiday lights.


The Adventures of S.P. Beary with the assistance of Casey McManus
#4 – Out & About in Saint Paul

The weather has finally warmed up and we decided to explore the area around the Xcel Center. Our first stop was the Landmark Center, which was showcasing some figure skating memorabilia. Here I am taking a look at a costume worn by Mary Louise Wright. Her husband Ben is a good friend.

There were a few other costumes on display,

I found this guy sitting outside the famous Hot Dish tent. We didn’t have any potato puff casserole, but I heard it was pretty good.

This is the outdoor skating rink. With the temperature around 20 degrees, this is the first time we’ve seen people able to skate on it. If you do get cold, you can warm up by the bonfire. Anyone have any marshmallows?


And finally, I couldn’t leave St. Paul without getting a picture with some of the characters that Charles Schultz made famous.

I had a lot of fun showing you around St. Paul . Maybe I’ll see you all next year in Cleveland.