Summer with Stanley has begun (presented by our good friends at McDonalds!). By the time the preseason begins, the Stanley Cup will have traveled to five countries, three continents, eight Canadian provinces and seven states in the USA.
That’s a lot of miles (over 28,000 they say). That’s also a lot of hoisting.
It will spend one day with each Blues player, coach, exec, trainer and equipment manager. As of today, Big Stan (as I would like to call him) has already started working his way through Canada, spending time with Coach Berube, Colton Parayko, Brayden Schenn, Tyler Bozak, Jaden Schwartz and Joel Edmundson.
I’m loving seeing how each player is spending time with Big Stan. Currently, Grandpa Tom Parayko and his peach schnapps toast to Grandma Parayko has the top spot in my heart. That’s hard to top – but I’m sure someone will.
It got me to thinking, what would I do if I were so amazingly talented as to have an opportunity for a day with Big Stan? This was a fun wormhole to go down – so let’s talk about it!
How would I start my day with Big Stan?
I really think that the best way to start your day is with a good cup of coffee and a quiet, naturally beautiful environment. I would start my day with Stan sitting on my patio, taking in the sounds of the neighborhood, drinking coffee and contemplating how awesome life is with Big Stan. I would give him his own patio chair. It’s not the most beautiful setting, but to make all my other wishes come true, I can’t exactly drive to the mountains. So my patio will have to do. It’s not bad – it’s where I am right now as I type this.
What would I drink out of Big Stan?
I am not a beer drinker – and while I’m totally STL loyal – there will be no passing of AB products pouring from Big Stan to my lips. It just won’t happen. However, I would totally take Big Stan around the corner to my favorite neighborhood Mexican place for a margarita – on the rocks with salt. And you can bet I would snapchat pictures of my favorite bartender, Chris, trying to rim Big Stan with salt*.
* I started this plan before the video of Bozak actually doing this came out. So it’s still original. Also, I’m wondering if he might be my spirit animal.
What would I eat out of Big Stan?
I had to give this one a lot of thought. I like a lot of food. Much of it has to do with pasta (I grew up Hill-adjacent after all). But nothing gives me vibes quite like my grandma’s mac and cheese. It was the good kind that you make in the oven* and it sat on the table at every holiday. It’s made with velveeta and has bread crumbs and isn’t at all healthy in any way except for feeding my soul. It brings back so many memories and tastes good too. Lucky for me, Grandma taught me to make it when I was little because I inevitably wanted it every time I was there and not just at Christmas.
* Rest assured, Big Stan would not be harmed in this process. I would make the mac and cheese and transfer it to Big Stan.
Where would I go with Big Stan?
About 90 miles southwest-ish from St. Louis is a very small winery in Bland, Missouri called Wenwood Farms. It’s an amazing little farm with a wonderful view at sunset. There’s very little cellular service so for at least one afternoon, you feel like you are off the grid. The wine is amazing. The staff is super personable. And if you buy a bottle of the limited edition Sweet Corky icewine, a portion of each bottle will support Unchained Melodies Dog Rescue. (Corky was an adorable dog who used to meet visitors at their car and guide them to the tasting room.)
In this dream scenario, I am awesome enough to have a day with the cup, so I am awesome enough to make whatever else I want happen on my dream day. Last fall, my husband and I encountered a musician named Steve Leslie at a winery in Augusta. He is a little one man cover band with an amazingly chill vibe that speaks to my soul much like Mac and cheese. So in my dream day with the cup, Steve would take a day off from Augusta to play in Bland. Wineries are most awesome when there is good wine and good music.
I feel like the country air and going off the grid for a few hours would do Big Stan some good. He’s been busy lately and could use some downtime.
Who would I take Big Stan to visit?
It seems to me that all days with Big Stan involve some sort of awesome inspirational hour or two. I love to inspire people. Everyone needs feel-good moments in their day. I’m a pretty big supporter of St. Louis Children’s Hospital, but I think the players have the hospital angle covered.
So I thought harder. And I decided, that those who need the services of Annie’s Hope could use some smiles and laughter. So I think what I would do is drop in on one of Annie’s Hope’s programs. Annie’s Hope provides support to children, teens and their families who are grieving death. They have family support groups, teen retreats, camps and so many other services that are so valuable and important for kids and families who are dealing with death.
The power of a smile is immeasurable. So think of how far a Big Stan smile could go?
I guess my day with Big Stan sounds a little low key. But that is kinda how I roll. And it’s only 24 hours – maybe less when you take into account that I have to sleep at some point. If I had a bit more time, I would take him camping, make him some chicken and dumplings and see how he enjoys summer Muny Nights – but alas, I have to pick the things that I MOST want to share with Big Stan.
How would you spend your day with Big Stan?
Karen Meyer is a guest writer for Blues Rants. When no one is looking, you can find her blogging at Making My Own Magic, talking about positivity, good vibes, self-love, pandas, and kittens. We Went Blues.