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Vikings Offseason Diaries: Andrew DePaola & Family Visit Phoenix for NFLPA Meetings

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Andrew DePaola found the balance between a business trip and family time in Phoenix, Arizona.

The Vikings long snapper most recently traveled there as a team rep for the NFL Players Association Meetings. Andrew's wife, Amy, and their three children also came along for the adventure that included pool time, exploratory walks and a scenic outdoor dinner.

DePaola was able to also connect with Vikings teammates Harrison Phillips and Blake Brandel, as well as a few other familiar faces.

This is our third installment of "Offseason Diaries" which gives a glimpse into players' adventures with loved ones before football starts back up. Earlier this month, we featured Josh Metellus and his family’s trip to Disneyland, as well as Camryn Bynum's international travels and work in the Philippines.

Note: The below diary entries were written by Andrew and Amy DePaola from their perspective.


Day 1

Travel day! We arrived in Arizona at 5:30 p.m. and went right to the NFLPA welcome dinner for players and their families. The kids got to make T-shirts and pet a donkey – so needless to say, they had a blast.

We also got to see Harrison and Blake and their families. Early to bed for a busy next day!

- Amy

DePaola Diaries Night One

Day 2

After Andrew attended meetings from 8:30 to 3:00, we went to the pool, and Drew and Grace went to the kids' center for some activities for an hour. Andrew, Blake and Harrison went golfing today before tonight's organized Top Golf event.

- Amy

DePaola Diaries Golf Collage

Day 3

I was in player meetings until 3:15 today. It rained most of the day, so Amy and the kids spent the day in the arcade, playing with Play Doh and coloring. We all went to dinner with the Brandels, Phillips and Kyle Hinton, who previously played with us, and his girlfriend Katie.

- Andrew

DePaola Diaries Group Dinner

Day 4

Another day of meetings for Andrew until 3:15! The kids and I did a cactus nature walk on the resort property with our friends, the O'Donnells, whom we met when Andrew played for the Bears, and their two kids. Andrew joined us for an afternoon at the resort pool, and then we had an amazing outdoor dinner that was hosted by the NFLPA. It was beautiful!

DePaola Diaries Cactus Collage

Camelback Mountain was in the background, there were cacti everywhere and string lights were hung up. They had a lot of activities for the young kids, too, which was great. There was a great spread of food that included steak, fish, a baked potato bar, corn chowder, mac 'n' cheese and corn bread. Afterward, we roasted marshmallows over a bonfire and made s'mores! The kids made Western scene magnets and colors, and Grace even got sparkle strands tied into her hair, which she loved.

- Amy

DePaola Diaries Camelback

Day 5

I was all done with meetings, so we enjoyed a long breakfast with Harrison and Shae, then did the cactus walk again as a family. We played tennis with the kids and went to the jungle gym. Then the kids rested, so we watched the final episode of Love is Blind – Amy's idea, of course!

We met the O'Donnells at the pool and all swam for a few hours before hitting the NFL happy hour for some snacks. Amy and I went to dinner with the O'Donnells, and the kids got to eat at a pizza place.

It was a great ending to the trip!

- Andrew

DePaola Diaries Kids Collage

Thanks for hanging out with us for our trip to Phoenix, Vikings fans! I always am so appreciative of your support and the opportunity to interact on social media.

It's been great spending extra quality time with the family, and I know we're all excited to be back in Minnesota later this spring.



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