Day -23 – Who Dat?

saintsLive sporting events have always been my favorite, I never really cared what the event was, as long as there was passion on the field and in the stands, I was happy.  I’ve seen pro baseball, college soccer, pro soccer, college football, but I’ve never been to an NFL game, until now.  Sunday morning in New Orleans is kind of a trip any way, add Halloween weekend to the day and you will see things you wished you hadn’t,  but the fun was just beginning at Champions Square.

Champions Square is the party scene before the Saints game, there is a band, free flowing beer and sodas, food galore and the fans, or should I say FANS!  You can certainly tell how the term fan derived from fanatic at a Saints game.  There were two people in the whole stadium not wearing Saints gear…me and Rich.  Everyone had something on that was labeled.  We sat in a section of true fans, people who knew each other because they had been sitting together for eons.  We had to admit that we were really 49r fans, but we were here for a reason.

Josh Hill is a rookie for the Saints, he’s a hometown boy, a boy we have seen play high school ball and lead the Blackfoot Broncos to the state championship.  We watched him catch the winning pass at districts to propel the team forward.  We have seen Josh play college ball at Idaho State University, and well, while winning wasn’t really their thing, we were proud to know someone on the field.  Now we have seen Josh play pro ball, in fact, he earned his first stats at the game we saw, with two passes caught for 17 yards.  We couldn’t be more proud.

We told everyone around us, and everyone we saw in New Orleans and Houston that appeared to be Saints fans to watch him, he was going to do great things in his football career.  We are proud that of him for the hard work he’s put in, for the effort and talent, for the good name he brings to the field.  To Josh and Courtney…congratulations; to Shawn and Jane…job well done; to Jordan…proud of you too!  Congrats to a family for the sacrifices made to reap the benefits deserved.  Who dat think they gonna beat them Saints??

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Day 101 – Please? Rudy? Go Irish?!!

notre dameToday is the sixth month anniversary of my marriage to Rich – known as Big Rich to many, my husband is an incredible man.  Not only does he indulge my need to sightsee all over the damn country, he does it with a smile.  We started out today at the Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore, by the time we had explored the Swedish Festival at Chellberg Farm, the homestead of Bailly Farm and the Succession Trail at West Beach, not to mention two trips to the Visitor Center so I could get my Junior Ranger badge, it was pretty late in the day.

Here we were, only an hour from South Bend, home of the University of Notre Dame, his fan favorite.  He asked what I wanted to do next…I was game for anything, so off to see the Fighting Irish we went.  The man was thrilled, a smile a mile wide as we drove on to the beautiful campus.  We drove Holy Cross Drive around the perimeter, saw the Dome, the golf course, both lakes and then parked at the stadium.

Big is a professed PAC 10 fan, but the Fighting Irish hold a special place in his heart.  We walked around the football stadium with high reverence for the coaches who have built such a legendary program.  Each gate is named for a different coach, Rockney, Leahy, Devine, Parseghian, Holtz – as we approached the Rockney gate, it was open…heaven for my man as we got to enter the stadium and stand on the field of the great football team, looking North we could see Touchdown Jesus! The gate guard had asked us for the password before allowing us to enter…my first response was “please?”  Big chanted, “Rudy! Rudy!” – the guard almost gave in on that one, my last suggestion, “Go Irish!” met with approval.  Thank goodness for that.

A dinner at the Legends completed the tour, with a little gift for our grandsons.  Football shirts declaring them to be “Future Legends” of the University of Notre Dame….dreams are always worth dreaming!  Happy ½ year anniversary honey, I couldn’t have planned better if I had tried.

Day 265 – Carnival Splendor Day Seven

thriller-dance22It’s a beautiful day at sea, a little choppy out there and the temperature has dropped as we started heading north, but it’s still at least 60 outside.  We played a little bingo this morning and then found our way to the sports bar for the football game.  Rich is a huge San Francisco fan.  It doesn’t matter whether it’s the Giants or the 49r’s, he is a tried and true fan.  We had to squeeze in to the bar during the Denver game to be sure we could find a seat.  Turns out the ship figured out how many football fans were onboard and put the game up on the giant screen at the Lido deck pool, but by then, we were ensconsed in the bar.  We met some great football fans and watched San Franscisco win, then I was off to the Spectacular to learn how to dance Thriller.

My daughter, Haley, is a dancer and singer.  Well, she was never a dancer before college, but she is now.  She can pick up moves super fast and one of those was the Thriller dance back in November.  She and her crew were the hosts at a party for the Canadian Railway and they did a flash mob of Thriller for the guests.  When she told me about it, she said the liaison had taught it to them and it took minutes, so I was feeling pretty confident about learning the dance.  I mean, really, if a bunch of dancers could learn it in minutes I should be able to learn it in a half hour or so.  Yep, no.

Samuel was teaching again, we learned a little salsa from him earlier in the week.  The moves aren’t terribly hard, but there are a bunch of them and they come on fast.  I think if they slow the music way down for me, I might get it after another hour of trying.  The only good thing, my kids were there laughing with me.

After that we played our last game of bingo and then we were in the house for the Free Cruise raffle and the free bar tab raffle.  At one time in my life, I won every raffle I entered, my luck was phenomenal.  There was one Relay for Life event I went to that I won 9 of the 12 raffles I entered.  Last year, at Jeepers Jamboree, I had the numbers on either side of the giveaway for the Jeep.  So, of course, I was right in there for the free cruise.  The numbers I held were 485426 through 485430.  The winner was 485425.  One number.  I told Rich that I used up all my luck when I got him, so I don’t win anything anymore. Bummer, although I wouldn’t trade him in for anything.

Today was supposed to be our last day on the cruise, I’m so glad we get one more.

Day 257 – People do the nicest things

crushIt’s Sunday, we are hunting for a place to watch the NFC championship game in Temecula.  Everything suggested to us is a chain, and I’m just not in to chains.  Driving around, we notice a brewery in old town.  The Crush and Brew, now that’s a clever little place.  They have a wine side and a beer side and only serve cold foods, it sounds interesting and for a Sunday at noon, it’s perfect for us.  We opt for the beer side, there is a TV and Jenn is our server.  Over 22 beers on tap, some as high as 12%.  Rich is an IPA drinker, so he chooses a sample platter of those, I go for a wheat beer, like usual.

At halftime, we are lamenting the slow start of the forty-niner’s, but have placed our order for the Big Block, it’s a cutting board full of meats and cheese, bread and various condiments.  Perfect for two.  The meal and the beer combined with a winning football game transform a mundane Sunday afternoon in to a great day.  But that’s not all.

During the first quarter, we met Carol and Ernie and their daughter and son-in-law.  They are out touring the area, from Riverside, they like to spend their weekends looking for breweries and good food.  Temecula was their stop today with the help of Yelp.  I overheard a conversation about brew festivals coming up and asked them what they found.  This translated in to thirty minutes of animated conversation with some terrific people.  On top of that, they paid for our first round before they moved on to their next stop and came by for hugs to thank us for the conversation.  Wow, some people are just so nice.  So raise your glasses everyone to Carol and Ernie and all the kind people out in the world like them.  Perfect strangers can become perfect friends.