Baby

Cute Boy tells me that I cannot call my neice a baby now that she’s 2 years old (almost 3 if you ask her). I refuse. She’s my baby. I had the pleasure of spending a couple weekends in Manhattan with my sister and her adorable family. If I had one complaint it would be that Baby Tava does NOT like having her picture taken. In fact she does things like this:

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#nopicturesplease #varsitydonuts

After two weekends of trying to take photos of Tava I have a few tips. Try catching her when she’s eating:

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Or playing doctor:

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Or maybe when she’s at the salon:

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She still got that hand up to block her face.

Or, try to catch her when she’s got her back turned.

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She ran into her room, put on her pjs, and sat in my lap to watch cartoons. This was my favorite moment of the weekend.

If you do by chance get a photo of her face, it’s probably going to be blurry.

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But still pretty. Not only does she not like photos of herself but she’s hard to catch because she’s constantly inbetween costume changes. The above photo was taken at 9am and she was already on her 5th outfit. She’s also in love with music and I tried hard to get video of her singing OUR favorite song, wrecking ball. I finally got one but you can’t really hear her voice. And instagram cut off her head. Jerks.

We did go to the game after I got as many hugs as she’d give. When I saw the new stadium facade it took my breath away.

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West stadium center

Cute Boy told me not to cry so I kept it together. We found our brick. It’s in a bad ass spot right up front, to the right of the Bill Snyder statue. I think it’s because what I wrote is so cool.

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Then we headed in to check out the addition. I also decided to use the new bathrooms as I helped pay for those! A $3o0 bathroom trip is quite expensive in Cute Boy’s opinion.

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Cute Boy noticed both our Heisman finalists were #7

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My heart ached again thinking about the previous year as we were there almost to the day of the 2012 Baylor game. Still hurts. Still a special year.

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My two favorite Hall of Famers

It always feels like home when the stadium fills up with Purple.

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This time there was double the usual amount of purple as we were playing TCU. It was such an exciting game, down the wire. When TCU’s kicker drilled a 56 yard field goal late in the game Cute Boy and I both thought it was over. Amazingly the Cats pulled out a huge victory! #EMAW

Ask me to tell you the story of the TCU fan sitting behind us sometime in person. It’s a good one.

Chris and DeAnna at game

Not that lady. A different one. Also ask me to tell you about my cell phone sometime. As you can see, it takes awesome selfies

A photo of Cute Boy and I in Aggieville? Ok.

Chris and DeAnna Aggieville

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Baby is not amused.

How about one more of my Baby? Her dad tried to snag a photo of me reading a book to her.

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Windy City

It’s been nearly a month now but I’m sure you all still want to hear about our trip to Chicago. My bff has lived in Chicago for several years now. I’m embarrassed to say that I think it’s been 5 years or more and we’ve yet to visit him. Compounding this ridiculousness is the fact that Cute Boy’s bff also lives in Chicago. We did visit him once…6 years ago. That was a great trip for us. We saw almost everything Chicago has to see and we left…betrothed!

So Young. So Naive. So Skinny.

Sadly, each year we attempt to plan a trip and something always gets in the way. Last year when we couldn’t get our schedules together I promised Harvard that 2013 would be the year. We flew in on a Thursday and after doing very well on the plane (the wine may have helped) and a short train ride we made it to our hotel. I’d booked a supa cheap room at the JW and I warned Cute Boy that this would be the nicest hotel we’d ever stayed at. It didn’t disappoint.

And I took a photo of the bed. Weird.

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Harvard was working (at 10pm) so Cute Boy and I grabbed a quick drink and dinner in the hotel bar.

The next morning we woke up early, had breakfast and headed out the door for our only tourist activity of the trip: a tour of Wrigley Field.

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When we were in DC one of our favorite activities was a tour of the baseball stadium. After that experience we started researching other tours. Turns out Nationals Ballpark has one of the best tours around. Tons of access you won’t see in other towns. Still, we wanted to see what Wrigley had to offer. Growing up I watched alot of Cubs baseball. I’m still not sure why but my Dad has always had a thing for Chicago. My entire childhood I remember asking him, as he put on his shoes, “Where are you going?” his answer was always, “Chicago.” You just can’t get a straight answer out of the guy! I sent him the above photo as we waited for our tour to begin. I knew he’d be excited for me.

The tour wasn’t as good as it could have been simply because it was a gameday. That meant there was less access to places like the clubhouse and bullpen. Still, we learned a lot and saw most of what there was to see at Wrigley.

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The only MLB Stadiums I’ve ever been to are: Kansas City, St. Louis, and Washington DC. What do those 3 stadiums have in common? They are all relatively new. Wrigley is old. Like built in 1914 old. The bleachers and scoreboard were built in 1937. Little has been changed about the ballpark since it was built. Needless to say, it was small. And older than I’m used to. Not sure what I expected of this historic ballpark but it just seemed so…small.

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Nice sock bun

Due to the fact that the stadium was built in 1914 there wasn’t a lot to see:

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Visitor team entrance

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View from the Press Box

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Historic Scoreboard, unchanged since 1937

Our guide told this crazy story about how still to this day only men work in the scoreboard during games to update the scores of different ballgames. It’s partly because there is no ac or heat in the scoreboard and partly because the “bathroom” is a hole.

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Left Field Foul Pole and rooftop seats

He also told us that until recently the Cubs did not receive any revenue made by the folks that owned the rooftop seats. It wasn’t until the team officials decided to build a 90 foot backdrop to cut down on that famous Chicago wind (riiiight) that the owners of the rooftops started giving a SMALL portion of their sales to the team.

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Seating in the outfield provided a very upclose view of the field. If you wanted to you could cause some problems from those seats.

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Our guide also told us about the “Bleacher Bums” and he alluded to the idea that he might have been one. Due to their antics in the 70s the net above was added. It is said that it was added to catch items that fans might drop but it’s quite obvious it’s to catch actual fans. The wall was also pitched the way it is now due to their antics. Apparently once every game, 2 fans would stand at opposite ends of the wall. They’d start running towards each other and whomever reached the other side first, won. I’m sure you can imagine, as I did, that there were a lot of fans who didn’t complete the run.

As I mentioned, the Cubs had a game a few hours after our tour. They played the Cardinals that day and while we didn’t attend the game there were already numerous people on the field affiliated with the teams. I took photos of everyone I saw, convinced they were someone famous.

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Definitely Famous

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For sure famous

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Obvs famous

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Look! It’s famous people!

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OMG! That’s def…not Albert Pujols, cause he doesn’t play for St. Louis anymore.

Even though we didn’t get to go in the bullpen or clubhouse we did get to step onto the field and take some photos.

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Dugout
That guy MUST be famous!

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Totally reppin’ the Cats in Chi-town

After the tour we headed to a bar where some people were pregaming. I got some Chicago-style pizza. And a beer.

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Deep dish

After lunch we went to the Chicago Federal Reserve Bank to check out the money museum. Seriously. Cute Boy literally RAN to the Bureau of Engraving and Printing in DC so when he found out we could visit the Federal Reserve Bank he was very excited. For the record I was going to take him to KC Federal Reserve Bank for his birthday but it’s only open on weekdays and it’s seeding season. The guard at the entrance had a total power complex and when we walked in the door asked, “What are you doing here?” Dude, chill. I just want to see the money! We made it through the medal detector and got to see very important stuff. Like this floor of change:

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And these bills:

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Bonus points for whomever can tell me why Cute Boy took a photo of this $10

Oh, and this happened:

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You can’t afford me

Later that evening we met up with Harvard, his brother, Cute Boy’s BFF and his wife for dinner. While I failed to take a SINGLE photo of any of us I did take a photo of my champagne at dinner. Priorities. It reminded me of “An affair to remember” because it was pink and in a tulip glass.

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Harvard and his brother said they frequent the restaurant we went to because they serve Boulevard beer. You can see on the menu, “Kansas City, MO”. I didn’t even plan that.

We had the most fun night ever and stayed out much later than our old bodies are used to. Perhaps we drank more than we’re used to as well. Cute Boy also took this photo of the view from Harvard’s apartment. I barely remember that we were at his apartment.

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Nice view

The next day Cute Boy and I spent a good deal of time napping and watching Netflix on the iPad. Later that evening we headed out to Cute Boy’s BFF and his wive’s new condo. They had just moved in that very day. We had a great time and headed out to dinner at a restaurant near by. It was my kind of place. Lots of local ingredients and wine. I again failed to take any photos of people but did photograph my meal:

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BBQ Salmon with Polenta and Corn Succatash

The next day we checked out of our awesome hotel and flew back to Kansas City. It was a short but much needed vacation. We’ll have to do it more often. And perhaps take some photos!

Baseball

This weekend Ball Boy and I headed down to the greatest city on Earth. Manhattan, KS. We arrived around 8pm on Saturday and headed straight for dinner. The entire drive up I was trying to figure out where we should eat. There are so many great options that I was overwhelmed. Suddenly it hit me, the restaurant my parents always took me to in college: Little Apple Brewery. I hadn’t been there in years.
I decided to try out their beer flight:
They were all awesome! I was partial to the Wildcat Wheat but even the stout was good and I’m not a stout girl.
Anytime there is a paper tablecloth and crayons this is what I write.
We stayed with my sister and brother in law and I awoke to the squeals of my niece, Tava. She’s amazing. Don’t worry, there are plenty of photos of her coming. The boys had planned on golfing but after I read them my Dirty Thirty list (that’s what I’m calling it now), my brother in law decided we should all go out to the driving range. So we did:
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Hi pretty girl!

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Oh, we bought a new camera so I was trying it out. She was more into walking than playing golf. Me too, Tava, me too.

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Just so you know someone was actually swinging, here’s Ball Boy warming up.

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And my sister teaching Tava what to do.

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She didn’t get it. The boys were wearing matching outfits, basically.

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I think she learned this from Easter!

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And just so you know I did hit two balls:

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Well, let’s be honest, I swung and totally missed twice, then I hit two balls. And I will say again, per Jessica Simpson, boobs DO get in the way of golfing.

We went back home for a snack. Someone likes to feed herself so she got semi nude to eat her yogurt.

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Tava likes boys. Last weekend at my parents house she kept climbing into my brother’s lap. This time it was Ball Boy.

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Doesn’t this totally make you want him to be a father?! Yeah, not me.

How about this one?

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After she got dressed she wanted to read the book again. Ball Boy was happy to help.

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Then she tried on his hat:

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Seriously, I LOVE HER! And I LOVE her sitting in his lap. I mean, I’d rather she sit in my lap but what are ya gonna do?

We stopped by Varney’s to buy more KSU gear cause ya know, my wardrobe is lacking in that department. Then we met my folks for lunch in Aggieville, then we headed out to the Baseball Stadium.

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And I played with my new camera.

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There were very few people there and the Cats were looking to sweep Nebraska Omaha. Before the game even started the opposing coach was SCREAMING at the umps. My dad (a former baseball player, coach, and umpire) determined he must have still been mad about something from the game the night before.

The Wildcats are having a rough season but it’s a rebuilding year. They made the post season 3 straight years, 2009, 2010, and 2011.

On Sunday’s the Wildcats wear camo. Ball Boy calls it digital camo. I guess that’s different than regular camo?

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I saw someone I know and realized this is my chance to complete the trifecta:

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Boom! I now have pictures with Basketball Willie, Football Willie and Baseball Willie. Jackpot! Oh, and I’m wearing my Cotton Bowl Bag so people would know I was one of those big time fans who travels to bowl games and stuff. What?

The game went our way, we won 10-2. We actually left a little early because it started to really rain. One last series of the year, against that other school in the State next weekend. Go STATE!

Ball Boy was determined to get a baseball. He asked me if I’d try flirting with some of the college boys to see what I could come up with. I’m gonna need a much lower cut shirt and maybe a couple beers before I’m at my finest in that department. He walked around for awhile and chatted up one of the security guys. He told him that there is a kid who comes to every game and snags foul balls. He’s been doing it since he was 5. At some point Ball Boy kinda gave up. And then his security guard friend brought a ball over for him. Pays to be nice! And I forgot to take a photo of it!

If you are like me and kinda feel a void about what head coach to crush on now that FM is gone, might I suggest Brad Hill?

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Obv that is not a good photo, but click here if you wanna see more. I mean Bill Snyder is a pimp (and if you aren’t following Pimp Bill Snyder on Twitter please do yourself a favor) and I consider new Bball coach Bruce Weber attractive, but I think Brad’s the cutest.
It was a great weekend, I got to cross two (well one and a half) things off myDirty Thirty list and I got to hug on that cute Baby! I desperately miss that town.

Gameday Gameday Cotton Bowl Gameday

“If you follow me on twitter you know I had diarrhea today. Am I using that website properly?” – Daniel Tosh

But really, if you follow me on twitter you know that I like to come up with clever (I think) things to say on Gameday. Wed it was Gameday Gameday Sunflower Showdown Gameday. Saturday it was Gameday Gameday Cat Fight Gameday. Friday, of course, was the title of this post. Although Jimmy Dean beat me to it. Not happy.

We slept in Friday morning, grabbed a quick breakfast and then got ready for the game.

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Yes, the game was at 7pm. Yes, we left the hotel at 12:30pm. Yes, I thought that was going to be annoying. No, it totally wasn’t. As we boarded the buses there was an air of excitement and anticipation. I was anx. The police escort, YES I AM SO SUPER AWESOME THAT I REQUIRE A POLICE ESCORT! led our buses to the Arlington Convention Center.

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There was a pregame event full of about 2000 Wildcats, a buffet (BBQ – Thanks Texas), beer and wine (INCLUDED! Yay package!) and all the pregame fun you can handle. We ate. (I pretended the beans weren’t made with meat) We drank. And then The Pride came out. I take The Pride for granted. Later at the game, I realized this. They are amazing. They came in, playing the Alma Mater and I sang along loudly. Then they played the Wabash and it was in that moment, cheerleaders surrounding tables, Classy Cats in another section, Swagger Polo and I wabashing our hearts out that I leaned over and said: “This is my favorite”. This week made me more proud to be a Wildcat than I’ve ever been. And this moment I knew I’d remember forever. The Nation is unlike any other.

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Some big names spoke again at this event, hyping everyone up for the game. We continued to get our money’s worth from the bar and then we did this:

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Boom!

That’s why you do the package.

We took lots of pictures outside of the two stadiums, it was a gorgeous day in Dallas:

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Once the event came to a conclusion, we headed for the stadium. This is when reality started to hit. Somehow we were on the Arkansas side of the parking lots. Until this moment I had probably seen 1 or 2 Arkansas fans all week. It was a KSU love-fest and I kinda forgot we were playing the #6 team in the nation. A school much closer to Dallas than Manhattan, KS. It became clear very quickly that the Razorbacks were in town.

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We took tons of photos of the stadium on our walk in and then stopped to try to take a photo of ourselves with the stadium in the background. This is when it happened. An Arkansas fan came up and said, “No no no, let me do that for you.”

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Must be the Southern hospitality. Arkansas is in the South, right? Kentucky? No? He was SOOO nice. He chatted with Swagger Polo the entire walk up to the stadium, asking us where we were from and how long we’d be in town. Then we stood in line with a gaggle of Razorbacks (I know gaggle is for geese, what’s a group of pigs called? Jana, you know this one, right?) and this nice older woman chatted me up as we entered security. She told me a hilarious (to her) story about how she thought our colors were green (way to do ANY research) and how she’d shown up to Dallas in a purple sweater. I smiled politely. These people were too nice to hate. Then I saw this:

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Dangit!! Too cute and too nice to hate!

We entered the world famous stadium and began clicking away, me on our camera, Swagger Polo on his phone. It. Was. Huge. And confusing. We tried to walk all the way around the stadium but after walking down and then up some stairs and around to one dead end after another we realized you couldn’t walk all the way around. Lame sauce. We headed up a spiral concourse to our section. 441. I had to take off my long sleeved shirt and put up my hair before we made it to the top. I was sweating. Disgusto. And out of breath. WTF?

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Then we got to our section and started ascending the stairs. I was getting light headed. You guys! It was far. And our seats were legit 3 rows from the very top of the stadium. In the middle of the row. Yowza!

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A few Arkansas fans sat in our row, with two empty seats between them and I. I hoped for some Wildcats, fearing a repeat of the Alabama Bball game if not. Finally, this older couple showed up. Dressed in Red. Awesome. EXCEPT THEY WERE SUPER NICE! Who knew Arkansas was full of so many friendly people? And while I’m going there, let’s talk about the SEC and what they wear to football games. Keep in mind I was down to a tank top and chaffing jeans due to the walk up to our seats. These college girls were dressed in mini skirts and cute tops. Dude. For a football game? I get it, it’s the South. There were also tons of guys dressed in slacks and ties. Bow ties!

As the older gentleman next to me sat down he said, “How do you know if you’re on the right side?” and I said, “Oh, you’re on the wrong side.” He laughed and said, “I know that but isn’t there a section 441 on the other side too?” I pulled out my ticket to show him the stadium map on the back. I’m super helpful.

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Then the Pride came out. And I was reminded why they are the best in the nation. Our pregame is awesome and I expect that all football schools have a similar entrance. Especially the SE – we think we’re better than the rest of you– C. I was completely underwhelmed by their intro. But a little overwhelmed by how loud their fans were. We quickly realized it seemed so loud because we were facing a wall of Red. They were hearing us, just as loud. For the record, there were more Arkansas fans than Cat fans. That is indisputable.

 

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After the pregame festivities The Band Perry took the field to sing the National Anthem. I totally forgot they were singing. Love. Them.

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Then the game started. And not well. CK didn’t look like his normal self and I was anxious. If he doesn’t carry that offense we don’t get off to a good start.

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Then he fumbled. Then they returned a punt for a touchdown. F.

It wasn’t looking good. And I was tired of “woooooo!!!” Can we please talk about this? Swagger Polo, skip this section. He got really tired of me bitching about this but I need to share it with you. KSU is full of traditions, especially when a touchdown is scored. After the extra point is kicked Willie takes the field to crank out as many push ups as we have points while The Nation counts them aloud. Then he does the K-S-U Chant. Then we do the Wabash. THAT IS HOW YOU CELEBRATE A TOUCHDOWN. I expected that all football schools have a similar celebration. Especially the SEC. Arkansas simply did their ONE AND ONLY CHANT. What I’m referring to as the most backwoods, country representation of a school in all of college sports. AND I WENT TO AN AG COLLEGE! Someone yells, “Come on, Let’s! CALL! THOSE! HOGS!” and then grown men yell in an incredibly high pitched voice, “Wooooo” while they all waive their fingers in the air. Then they chant, “Piiiigg Sooooo-ie!” Seriously? I don’t even know why their mascot is a razorback. They never refer to them as that, it’s always Hogs. (I’m not stupid, I know razorback, hog, and pig are interchangeable, they just never use the word razorback) This is the only negative thing I’ll say (no, there’s one more coming at the end of the game) about Arkansas because truly, their fans were off the charts nice.

As the first half wore on (longest half ever, I thought) we blocked an extra point and I lost my frickin’ mind. Seriously, I dropped my phone because I got so damn excited and was SCA-REAMING so loud. When I saw that we only got 2 points from that I looked at Swagger Polo, puzzled. “Yeah, that’s a safety,” he confirmed, WTF?! I said, “That was waaaaay too much work for 2 points”. The offense finally got going a little at the end of the half and due to our stellar D we were still hanging with the Hogs but I was worried. This wasn’t the team I’d watched all season. I was confident that the genius, Bill Snyder, would make some adjustments at half time and we’d play better in the second half.

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The seats had Dallas Cowboy Stars on them

DSCF0108As I descended 7 million stairs to use the bathroom I heard my name. Then I saw LAB (Lauren Allen Webb). We chatted about our trips to Dallas and the first half and then we took a photo. Or rather her friend took a photo because my photog skills weren’t working.

The Pride continued to represent KSU well during their halftime show. It was really bad ass with lots of movement and marching.
I’ll wax over the second half because those of you that care probably watched it. I will say, when we pulled within 3 I started to feel confident. Eight of our 10 wins this season came by 7 or less points and I knew Arkansas was good so I was expecting a fight and knew if we were going to win it would be close. I could feel the U of A fans near me getting nervous. Then Arkansas’ quarterback started throwing bombs in the second half and I started cringing.

Can we talk about Meshak Williams, the player who got hurt and was put on a stretcher? As they loaded him onto the cart he was giving a thumbs up. As they wheeled him off I expected to see him do that again. When he didn’t I got a really big pit in my stomach. I knew he wasn’t paralyzed, because we could see him moving, but I was afraid he was upset or scared. As they neared the exit he gave the W C hand sign and I swelled with pride. Those of you who don’t like the W C, take notice, the team does it ALL THE TIME. IT IS COOL, GET ON BOARD! And Meshak tweeted the following day that he was doing ok.

When the game ended and the confetti cannons went off I shook my neighbors hand, congratulated him, and tried to get out as fast as possible. Not fast enough to miss their head coach go on and on about how awesome his team is and not mention us once. Not fast enough to miss some guy behind me say, “We’re Kansas State Champs!” This was in reference to several KStaters wearing shirts that say “Texas State Champs” because we beat all 4 Texas teams in our Conference this year. I refrained from asking if they’d beat KU, which you’d have to do to make that statement and instead yelled loudly, “AT LEAST WE HAVE CLASS!” Dude, what do you want from me? He was being a dick and I was taking this loss MUCH harder than anticipated. The walk DOWN was as long (longer) as the walk up and I was depressed. Someone started the K-S-U chant and I yelled as loud as I could. Then I heard, “Woooooo!” GROAN. Shut up. Go back to your seat and watch the trophy presentation.

We boarded a bus and after the worlds longest wait, headed back to the hotel. Final perk of the Alumni Package? Beer and snacks on the ride home. I needed something to try to take the sting off the loss.

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It didn’t help.

When we got back I wanted to see the team. I wanted to stand outside their bus and cheer them on as they came back. Swagger Polo told me they probably beat us back because they had a police escort and this time, we did not. I was sure he was right until twitter confirmed that they were still at the stadium. Around 2am, after some room service, we walked around the hotel. Many of the players were walking around with their families and some were peeling up their numbers/names from the floor and putting them onto the back of posters. Here’s where I wish they wore their jerseys 24-7 cause I don’t know who they are! Dangit! A real fan would recognize them all. Swagger Polo did recognize Nigel Malone. Good work. We saw some with bags and thought they might be leaving that night to head back to Manhattan. Private plane and all.

We went to bed and awoke still a little sad. During our stroll to find some breakfast we saw several more players and then some of them were tweeting about being in Dallas several hours later. So honestly, I have no idea when the team left and no, I never did see Mr. Snyder.

We left Dallas uneventfully again, except for this exchange, as we sat waiting to board our plane.

Guy: “Did you guys have a basketball game or something?
TW: Looking really confused. “Uh…no. We. played. in…the…Cotton Bowl…last night.”

Yeah, I said it that slow because I thought for sure, this was some kind of joke. Who was this guy?

Guy: Giving a look that said something like, WTF? How did I miss that? In fact, he turned to his coworker and asked what the hell they were doing the night before. Dinner. I refrained from saying that the game lasted until after 11pm.“Oh…uh. Sorry, I’ve been out of town.”
TW: Yeah, me too, AT THE FUCKING COTTON BOWL.

Guy: “Did you win?”
TW: Ugh. “No. We lost.”
Guy: “Who did you play?”

Swagger Polo walks up about this time and is as confused as EVERYONE ELSE SITTING NEAR US WONDERING HOW THIS GUY HAS NO CLUE WHAT HAPPENED. 

TW: “Arkansas.”
Guy: Looking EVEN MORE confused. “Really? Huh. They were ranked, right?”
TW: “Yeah. Yeah. Number 6. We were ranked Number 8.”
Guy: “Really? I’m sorry, I have no idea how I missed this.”
THE REST OF THE WORLD: Yeah, we don’t know either!!

This went on, for awhile. He asked what the score was and several other questions until Swagger Polo leaned over to me and said, “I just want to go home, I don’t want to answer any more questions”. To be fair, this was probably the 10th conversation we’d had with a non K-Stater that morning asking either, “Did you win?”* or offering some kind of condolences/wanting to discuss the game. I said that I was happy to continue to do this because I’ll spread the word to anyone who will listen. This guy walked away thinking, KSU finished #8 in the nation, has a TON of fans in Dallas, and also had nice, informed fans. Go State.

As we boarded the flight there were two Arkansas fans behind us on the plane. The flight attendant said, “You know this is a flight going back to Kansas City, right” because it was packed with Wildcats. Everyone laughed. One of the guys said, “Yeah, you can upgrade us if you want” and the other replied, “Yeah, to the winner’s section.” Ooooooh. Dagger. Sad face. It hurt.

When we landed a girl across from me said, “We’re up 44-25 at half?” almost as a question. We all looked at one another wondering how we were beating Mizzou so bad in basketball. They were undefeated and we were coming off that beating by KU. It was a bright spot that I needed after two rough losses.

To recap:

  • The Cats are the best.
  • The Wildcat Nation is unbelievable in its support and representation of our school.
  • DO THE ALUMNI PACKAGE!! You and the old people will have fun and the convenience is TOTALLY worth the up charge.
  • I’m only going to another bowl game if we win. 🙂
  • Go State!

*That guy apologized and said, “I really didn’t know”.

And then I cried

Wildcat and I retell a couple stories from college football games. Both of which make fun of me. Huh…

Anyway, one of them involves my final game as a student. It was senior day and as Darren Sproles was announced onto the field and The Nation cheered, I cried. And not just tears in my eyes, I bawled like a little girl (kinda like the Britney concert but not for 45 minutes). At first I tried really hard to hide it from Wildcat and stop myself from crying. But it was obvious that this wasn’t the kind of cry you could stifle. At some point Wildcat caught on to me, shook his head, and hugged me. I think he thinks it’s kind of presh (precious) when I get overwhelmed by the Cats. I later learned that Sproles kept his helmet on during these intros because he was also crying. I’m pretty sure that means we have some kind of special connection. Yeah…anyway, this will come back into play in the most unexpected of moments for me.

Thursday afternoon we waited to board a bus to the Texas Rangers Ballpark in Arlington Texas. It was then that I realized just how many people were on our tour. There were 10 buses that sat 45 people each. I would say they were all full meaning roughly 450 people were staying at the team hotel on our Alumni Association Tour. Whoa. That was WAY more than I anticipated because I knew several people who were going to the Cotton Bowl and NOT doing the package. There was a second hotel that also had lots of Wildcats staying there as part of this package. Crazy!

Here’s where I really saw the perks of the tour package. When we arrived at the ballpark it was insane.

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There were thousands of Wildcats as far as the eye could see. The event was free and so was parking. Parking was also a total mess. We were dropped off right by an entrance and then escorted right inside instead of waiting in a line that was several blocks long.

We took our seats and waited for the event to begin. We took some photos of what was later estimated as 15,000 – 25,000 Wildcat Fans. FOR A PEP RALLY! Dude. That is crazy. Who does that? The Wildcat Nation, that’s who.

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We also took some photos of the stadium:

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Lot’s of fun people got up to speak including but not limited to: the Alumni Association President, who reminded us that KSU ranks #1 in the Nation for Alumni Members and has been #1 in the Big 12 for 15 straight years; KSU’s President Schulz (I wish we were related) who told a great KU joke;* Athletic Director John Currie

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who made me cry; the football team Captains

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Coach of the Year Bill Snyder, and TERRENCE NEWMAN!

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When AD, John Currie took the podium, all of the Wildcat fans were on the edge of their seats. We’d heard there was to be a big announcement made and we were sure our leader, Mr. Currie, would be the one to deliver it. On the bus ride in we speculated about what it could be. Some wondered if Bill would name his successor. None of us knew what was coming. A video played on the screen showing highlights from KSU football throughout the years. Then it spoke about competing on a national level and showed images of several football stadiums from colleges around the country. Then we were told that there was a stadium expansion project in the works. Then we were shown the images. When a picture of our current stadium transitioned into this:

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I felt tears coming that I couldn’t stop. This is the kind of future I’ve always dreamed of for KSU. This is the kind of future that puts the Cotton Bowl and competing nationally on our horizon regularly. Wildcat looked over to see tears streaming down my face. He shook his head and then hugged me.

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This pep rally was like the greatest KSU love fest ever.

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Everything that was said was met with cheers and loud applause. It truly felt like there was no greater place in the world. There was an overwhelming theme of family throughout the entire event. Most of the players referred to their team and the fans as their family. They also spoke about being ready for what was to come the following day.

I’d like to note that they had spent the morning at a children’s hospital in Dallas. Bill Snyder wouldn’t have it any other way.

Speaking of, I took a video of his speech. Disregard the assholes talking in the background. They did that the WHOLE TIME! You’ll hear what Wildcat likes to refer to as my “piercing voice” around the 2:15 mark.

When the players came out I noticed a couple things.

First, almost every single one of them was taking video on their phones/camera/iPads of the fans as they entered. I would love to see some of that footage. And secondly, walking beside Coach Snyder was KSU and Dallas Cowboy Cornerback Terrence Newman. I’m pretty sure I shrieked, “Is that Terrence?!!” After Bill spoke, Terrence took the mic. He told us that we should turn Jerry’s World into Wildcat World the following day and the crowd went crazy.

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Just like that it was over and we walked outside, boarded a bus, and rode back to the hotel. While everyone else searched for their car and waited in traffic. Wildcat and I ate room service that night, watched Grey’s Anatomy in bed, and then met The Freshman and his girlfriend in the bar for a drink or two.

This trip was shaping up to be the best one I’ve ever taken. And there was still a very big day left.

*At the KSU/KU football game this year I overheard a KSU and a KU student talking. As we really started to pull away on the scoreboard (we hung 59 on them, remember?) the KU student said, “Wait until January!” and the KSU student responded, “We’ll still be playing football”. Needless to say, despite our bball loss the night before, this was very popular with the crowd.

Going through the Big D and don’t mean Dallas

I seriously had this song stuck in my head ALL week! I only know a few lines. It got annoying fast. Just ask The Farmer. After an uneventful flight from KC to Dallas on Wednesday and a very short shuttle ride to the hotel we arrived here:

 

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You should click on that link, just to look at their photo. It’s even better than mine. Whoa.

Listen, I work at a hotel. I’ve been to many very nice hotels. This one was HUGE. And Awesome.

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And Full of Wildcats! Upon arrival we ran into some friends. Kind of a fun story. The Farmer and I met in Spanish Class at K-State. Also in our class was a guy we’ll call The Freshman. Only because The Farmer called him that all throughout the class. Anyway, The Freshmen and his father work with The Farmer’s brother. Small world. We ran into their whole family at check in. Yay! Instant friends for the week. We made plans to tweet each other later for the Bball watch party. I love Twitter.

Then the Farmer and I took a long walk to our room. I’m not kidding. Here’s a photo of the hallway.

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See the end there (no)? After you get there, turn right. Then walk about the same distance and turn right again. Then you’re at our room. I’m not kidding. It was almost comical how long the hallway was. She said she upgraded us. Right…

After we settled into our room, I took some photos and we checked in with the KSU folks.

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This hotel was GORGEOUS.

Here’s the first time I will tell you that if you ever want to travel with the Wildcats you should ABSOLUTELY, 100% do the Alumni Travel Package. It is expensive. And we wavered back and forth several times. I could have booked a very cheap hotel but in the end we decided to do it right. And I’m not sure I could ever do it differently again. Seriously, it was totally worth it. You’ll hear this repeatedly during these recaps.

We checked in with The Cats, got our tickets to the pregame event, drink coupons for breakfast the following morning (holla!) and our gifts.

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These bags are nice. But kind of funny because after they hand you the bag they hand you a piece of paper telling you not to bring it to the game. Apparently Jerry is very particular about what size bags you can bring in to Cowboy Stadium. Still an awesome gift (we both go one) and I totally carried it onto the plane when we left as my “personal item” instead of my purse.

That evening there was to be a watch party at the hotel sports bar for the KSU/KU basketball game. We arrived an hour and a half early to find the place totally packed. Miraculously, the Farmer saw some people leaving and grabbed a booth. We ate a small dinner and waited for the game to start. I decided that when in Texas:

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Wanna know where it’s hard to be a Vegan? KC. Wanna know where it’s really hard to be a Vegan? Texas. Yeah. I had a lot of salad. And cheese. In unrelated news, Texas ranked as the 12th fattest state for adults in 2011. Also noteworthy: Arkansas #9. Anything I can trash them on is good right now, trust me.

After awhile, The Freshman and his family arrived. They sat with us and we decided to order a beer tower. 100 ounces. $25.

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That is a deal. A great deal. The game was not so good. I must have been distracted by drinking because I was not nearly as cranky as I should have been. We ordered a second:

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After the game and as the place began to clear out the Farmer suggested we order a 3rd beer tower. I said no. The Freshman said “If you want to go to your room, go ahead.” Touche, my friend. A 3rd it will be.

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We actually went to bed pretty early and rolled out the next morning around 9am to head to breakfast. There was a nice buffet (with a few veg options) and a bar. The Farmer doesn’t drink bloody marys and wasn’t feeling a beer at 9am so that means I got two drinks. Yay! I thought they’d have mimosas. Instead they poured Chamboard and Champagne.

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Swoon. One of my fav drinks. The bartender was pretty heavy handed with the Chamboard, I think to make the drinks as purple as possible. They were strong. Buzzed at 10am? Sounds like a good vacay to me. I hope you’re seeing the perks of the Alumni Package.

I will tell you this tidbit about the group we traveled with: they are, overall, an older crowd. When standing in line at the bar I heard a gentleman (70ish) behind me say, “I don’t usually drink with breakfast, but if they’re gonna give us drink tickets!” and his friend said, “Yeah, what else are you supposed to do?” They might be older, but these are my people. It was actually kind of nice because they went to bed early so that meant the bars weren’t busy at night! 🙂

The Farmer wore this shirt to breakfast:

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On the back it says, “Keepin’ in Rural”. My bff, Jimmy Dean has this shirt as well. When the Farmer bought it I was a little surprised. Mostly because he grew up in JoCo. I think I asked him if he’s ever been on a tractor. This shirt was a HUGE hit with the older crowd. He probably got asked 4 times where he got it from Old Farmers. It was super cute.

We spent most of that morning berating me for choosing not to go on the tour of the Dallas Cowboys Stadium. And walking around the hotel. I considered buying cowboy boots:

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I’ve been a Cowboy’s fan all my life and once Terrence Newman got drafted by them I have an even greater reason to love them. When the opportunity came up we were already spending a lot of money so I opted not to attend the tour. That is my one regret from this trip. It sounds like it was amazing. Although there’s some question about whether or not the locker room they toured was the actual team locker room or not. I’m going to tell myself no so that I don’t feel like I missed out on much.

We also saw these while walking around:

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They had every player…except we couldn’t find Collin Klein’s. WTF?

Later that afternoon we boarded a bus (the best perk of the Alumni Package) and headed to the Texas Ranger’s Ballpark for a Pep Rally. But that will have to wait…

St. Lucia Friday/Saturday

Well, we’re down to our last day and a half in paradise and I’m as sad now as I was last week living it! But seriously, we knew Friday was our last real day so we had planned a day worth of laying by the pool and of course, there was that relentless pursuit of the mini, beaded, leather sandals. I hope I’ve built this up properly because Banana Boy would not stop talking about the sandals and how he wanted them.
We met up with our friends, drank some Cool Runnings and Dirty Bananas and just hung out. Around 11am there was a pool volleyball game. This time it was just the 4 of us vs. three boys and a girl. I was a little concerned about our chances, especially because we would only play one game this time, winner takes all. Also, I had on a strapless top this day so every time I jumped or dove (remember, I’m not nearly as agile in the water as I am on land) there was danger of it falling off. Banana Boy wondered if we might get extra points for that and we all decided I should just take one for the team and find out. Luckily, it stayed put, or at least I was under water adjusting it each time it fell scandalously low. We did end up winning (no thanks to my terrible efforts) so we got our bonus points.
Points Update: There was a constant debate about how many points you actually needed and if you could combine points with the wife so Banana Boy finally asked someone. The verdict: 120 points individually to get your sandals. At this point we had somewhere around 40 each. Ouch. Brian, our friend, and I tried to convince BB that it was impossible at this point to get the sandals. He was relentless.
As the pursuit of sandals continued we entered a scavenger hunt. We ran around the resort looking for obscure items and taking photos of them. Luckily I had brought many of the items with us so one stop to our room knocked out about 1/4 of the list. I got annoyed somewhere around this point and went back to my lounge chair. There was plenty of skin that was not yet sunburned! Speaking of, I wore a hat most of Friday because I had burned my scalp and it HURT. I was also doing some serious damage to my forearms and wrists. I’ve never burned my wrists before and it was brutal. They got burned Wed, they were basically the only thing exposed all day Thursday, and on Friday I could literally feel them frying. It was the last day people, I had to make a sacrifice. Let’s just say, I paid the price on that one. My wrists are peeling as we speak. (As is my scalp, which is a beautiful thing, I look like I have the worst case of dandruff you’ve ever seen.) BB came back after getting our points and said we had about 20 photos while the winner had 60something. Awesome.
It was about this time that he and Brian went to inquire about the Banana Eating Contest, yet another point opportunity. They came back oh so proud of themselves telling us they had been told that everyone who enters will get sandals! BB could see the finish line and he was pumped. I tried to argue that the announcement over the loud speaker made it sound like only the winner got sandals but they assured me they had been told by the guy in charge. We continued drinking and damaging our skin until it threatened rain and we decided it was time for lunch. Lunch was slow (as was all the food service) and we were a little intoxicated so we lost track of time. Suddenly BB was concerned, “what time is it?” It was 2:30pm, the contest began at 2:30pm! We RAN back to the main pool in time to see the end of the contest. We were crushed. But not BB. He’s a master at talking people into things. Need to turn a paper in late? Forgot to pay that bill? No problem, BB will call and somehow convince them to give you an extension. And they’ll be happy about it. It’s amazing. He talked the guys into letting us play our own game, but he let us know that only the winner gets the sandals. The boys tried to explain that they had been told everyone would get one but the “playmakers” were hearing none of it, they reminded them that they were already giving us the chance at one after we’d missed the actual competition. Brian decided to let me compete against BB because that way he was assured the sandals. This is how obsessed he was, our friends were more concerned about him getting a pair than themselves. They had almost run out of bananas at this point so it would be a contest of who could eat the banana faster, not who could eat the most. This was good since we’d just eaten lunch.
We were blind folded because they said in the past someone had chocked when they saw how fast the other guy ate. Gross. I wasn’t sure I could even peel it blindfolded but I was sure I could beat him. Here’s about the time Brian yelled, “that’s not a banana!” I’m sure it was a distraction technique and obviously it worked cause I’m laughing while BB is focused. (ps – that’s my swimsuit cover up, from Target. I saw 4 other women with the same on just on the resort but none of them were white, I guess that’s not a smart color for swimsuit cover ups?)
I’m chomping away at this banana when I hear BB say, “DONE!” And I’m like, “Ah crap. Seriously?” I took off my blind fold to see that I’d only eaten about 1/2 a banana and BB was, honestly, done. Boo. I may have booed. While still swallowing. (That’s what she said! Hey-oh!) Anyway, BB got his sandals:
And I got my days worth of potassium. The mini, beaded, leather sandals were…disappointing. But he was proud. And I was no longer forced to participate in every activity Sandals could come up with.
It was about this time BB’s fascination moved onto one of the playmaker shirts. (Those guys in blue behind Chris are the playmakers and their shirts say “playmaker” on the back) I know what I’m getting BB for his birthday.
Our friends had signed up for a sunset booze cruise so they left around 4pm to get ready for that. We headed down to the beach for a little last minute beach time.

That’s the swimsuit top I bought from Target right before we left. The bottoms go to a VS suit I bought last year. The top has ruffles which you can’t see but it’s super cute.

We headed back to our room for a little rest (and lots of aloe). When our friends got back we headed to Armondos, an Italian restaurant, for dinner. It was super yummy. And really pretty. And….drum roll please…dessert. was. awesome! Yes! Sandals and good dessert all in one day? This really is paradise.
BB wanted a picture of all 4 of us and I’m glad he did cause it was one of the best photos we took all week.

Yeah, sunburn! Look at those arms and my wrist. Oh, and my chest. And my face. And BBs face. Ouch!

Saturday we were scheduled to leave at 12pm. Our friends were on the same flight as us and were also scheduled to leave at 12pm. We sat around the lobby for awhile and awaited our fun ride to the airport. They loaded van after van until BB and I and one other couple were the only ones left. Somehow we both got missed. Annoying. They got another van and found a couple other couples to come with us. We were told we had to be at the airport 3 hours before our flight (which was scheduled at 4pm). We left the resort at 12:30pm for an hour van ride. I was a little anxious but I was sure we didn’t REALLY need 3 hours at the airport. I mean it’s a tiny airport but from talking with other people I knew there were only 3 planes leaving that afternoon. How long could it take?

We started our annoying journey to the airport. BB took several videos on our camera trying to show the craptasticness (it’s a word) of the ride. If you’re interested I’ll try to post one. Don’t blame me if you get carsick watching it. We were armed with Dramamine this time so we both did much better than the ride in. Our driver was really strange this time and this girl in front of us kept trying to talk to him which was super annoying to him and me. She asked if he could turn on the radio and he said that it was broken. And then he turned it on. What? Then, out of nowhere he pulls over to the side of the road (but totally still on the road) and without a word jumps out of the van. We’re all looking at each other like this is some kind of scary movie and we’re wondering which couple is going to slaughter first.

(Ok, perhaps only I thought that) He had stopped to pick up some yams. On the side of the road. Now, I’m an impatient person by design, and when I’m already a little “late” and in a situation where you are at the mercy of other people I get really impatient. I was pissed. And it showed all over my face. BB and the rest of the van thought it was hilarious and they all snapped photos (like this one BB took) and made jokes about dinner.

When the driver finally got back in the car, his “friend” asked if those were yams he’d gotten. He told her they were wild yams and really good. He also told her that woman wouldn’t have been there if he’d waited to stop until his return trip because they were that good. Right.

We made it to the airport just after our friends, who had left 1/2 an hour earlier. They told us their driver kept getting passed by other vans and we relayed our yam story. We checked in, went through customs, went through security, got something to eat and were sitting in front of our “gate” by 2pm. So yes, we totally need to be there 3 hours early, uh huh. I decided they tell you that so you’ll buy the over priced crap they have at the stores because everyone was buying something. We bought a small gift for my mom (we got his mom something small earlier in the week) and a shot glass for ourselves (we collect them). I decided it was really sad that we hadn’t gotten ourselves anything but a shot glass to remember our honeymoon. So we bought some rum. We decided we needed white rum to make dirty bananas, cool runnings, and kiss kiss’s at home.

Once it was finally time to board we walked through the “gate”, a door and out to the tarmac to walk up those steps again onto our plane. Once everyone was on we realized that both us and our friends had empty seats on the aisle which was huge. We had so much more room to spread out that the ride was almost comfortable. I was deep into a romance novel (which I NEVER read) that I had bought accidentally so I read that the entire trip to ATL. The only downside was the young child behind us. And his dad who kept hanging his coat over the back of my seat. Dude, it’s my seat, not yours, what the f? BB kept telling me to push it off but I was too scared. The kid kept kicking his seat and I was about to turn around and tell that mother to make him stop or I would but I kept it together and just cursed them under my breath. I get it, people. I don’t have kids, I don’t know what it’s like, blah, blah, blah! Don’t take your 6 year old on a 4 hour plane flight unless they can handle it!

When we arrived, the fun began. We had to get off the plane (we were in row 35), go through customs, wait for our bags (ours and our friends were some of the last bags off the plane of course), put the rum in our checked bags (cause we had to go through security AGAIN), take our bags to another conveyor, go through security, and get to our gate for our connecting flight. In an hour and 15 minutes. In the busiest airport in the country. I was anxious. As we were standing in the security line, the airport personnel were trying to keep the line moving. They understood that EVERYONE had a flight to catch so they were asking people to keep moving and fill in the gaps and they weren’t exactly rude about it but they weren’t exactly coddling anyone either. This family in front of me, mom, dad, 4 kids were bothered by this. (it’s like God puts me in these situations on purpose, either for hilarity on my blog, or to test my patience, or to remind me why BB and I don’t want kids) The dad said, “Welcome back to America! No more laid back Mexican people”. It was hilarious to me how differently we responded to this situation. I appreciated the fact that they understood I had a plane to catch and was happy that they were hurrying people instead of stopping to say, buy some yams, while the family in front of me were put off by their tone. It was about this time that the mom dropped every one’s passports. And by everyone I mean all 6 or 7 of them. Nice. I almost asked if she’d like me to hold them. Anything to move it along people. I’m always fascinated by these experiences and the behavior of others.

We finally got through security and walked towards the departure board to make sure our gate hadn’t been changed. At this point we had about 15 minutes until our plane took off and I knew we had to get from Terminal E to Terminal B but we could make it. If we hustled. I saw that our gate hadn’t changed and also that next to our flight it was listed as “boarding” so I turned to head down the escalators to get on the train. It’s at this time that I’m met with 4 high school girls. My biggest pet peeve in life is people who stop in the middle of an aisle or right in front of a doorway without regard to who is behind them. And I’m already in a hurry. Not a good position for them to be in. I said politely (seriously, I was polite and patient) “excuse me”. They didn’t move. So I said, “Excuse me. EXCUSE me. EXCUSE ME!!!!” It was not until the 4th time that it actually registered with them that, oh, hey, that chick wants to get through our wall of immaturity and onto those escalators. Weird. We just thought she wanted to hang out right here in the middle with us for awhile. I’m pretty sure BB rolled his eyes or at the very least shook his head and wondered what kind of life he’d gotten himself into but I like to think he appreciated my assertiveness in this situation as it was crucial. We boarded the train and rode to Terminal B. As we were fast walking (not quite a run) to our gate, he called his brother to let him know we were going to make our plane and should be in KC on time. Our gate was the second to last one. Of course. As we approached I saw that NO one was left at the gate, this concerned me, were we the last ones, had we missed it? We got on with little problems, other than some guy who was sitting in our seats cause he thought no one was coming. A few other stragglers came in after us and then we were off. I was kind of anxious on this flight because everything else had gone so smoothly but once again, we were just fine. Our bags took forever so it was after 11pm by the time we got into the car. (We gained two hours though so it felt like 1am) We, again, basically hadn’t eaten for 14 hours because we didn’t have time so we were starving and I was craving Taco Bell, don’t ask me why. It was amazing. And walking into our house was amazing. Except for the snow. I wore shorts and flip flops because it was so hot there and on the planes that I figured a short walk outside in the KC cold would be ok. I didn’t realize I’d be walking through snow on our driveway in flip flops. Oops. And welcome back to reality.

This thing got way too long and I have a couple random other things to mention so I’ll probably be back this afternoon (big MMA fight tomorrow people!) Thanks for taking a trip to the Caribbean with us, hope you enjoyed it and at least laughed a couple times at my husbands sandal obsession or my impatience!

St. Lucia Thursday

**I let someone borrow my Britney CD a couple weeks ago. And I haven’t had a chance to make another copy from iTunes. This means I haven’t listened to Brit in a long time. I’m going through serious withdrawal. Until I opened Pandora today and found out they had added Circus to their library which means I’ve hear 3 songs from it already. The first song that came up was Shattered Glass, which is my favorite. It’s going to be a good day.

We woke up Thursday, early, headed down to breakfast and got ready to leave on our excursion. I gotta be honest, we almost bailed. I was feeling sick still, and I was sick to my stomach because, well, that’s what I do and Sleeping Boy wasn’t feeling great either. I thought we’d have to forfeit the entire amount we’d paid for this thing (over $100 each) but he said it would only be 50%. That was still too much and we both knew we’d have a good time so we got over ourselves and got onto the van headed to the boat.
There were several excursion options that we could do and we decided on one that we felt gave us the most for our money. We would ride a catamaran (love that!) out to Soufriere which is a small city with a lot of attractions. After seeing the sights we would have lunch at a local restaurant, then head back onto the boat for the trip home. On the way home we’d stop to snorkel and swim.
We boarded the boat and I immediately headed towards the front of the boat. I love boats. I love being on water, I was pumped.
Sleeping Boy slept the entire trip out. I was super tired as well and we thought it was from the Dramamine we had taken (just in case) until we later found out it was “non drowsy”, ha! Although the waves are very rough at our resort, the water was extremely calm all the way to Soufriere.
When we got there we boarded several buses and headed to the first spot: the Volcano. It’s known as the Sulfur Springs because, well, there are springs, that smell like sulfur. Pretty ingenious if you ask me. Yes, it smelled bad.
I, like Jana’s mom, hate pictures without people in them and I took a TON this day. I refuse to use them though. (except for that last few, of course)
The volcano is the only “drive in” volcano in the Caribbean. There is no cone like you are used to seeing with a volcano. Sometime, years ago, it collapsed. This photo is of us literally standing on a volcano. It’s still active, the bubbling rivers of sulfur water (see the steam behind us? It’s 212 degrees in that grey water so you don’t wanna jump in or anything) tell you that it’s still active. They believe if it ever erupts again it will cause a tsunami the likes of which we’ve never seen. I don’t remember it all but much of the east coast of the US would be under water. Not cool.
We continued through the Sulfur Springs (it was the only time the entire trip my sinus’s (those plural s’s get me every time!) were clear. But only for about an hour. Boo.
After this we headed to the Botanical Gardens. It is privately owned and funded and was really beautiful. I took tons of photos there but again, who wants to see pictures of flowers when you could see my smiling face? Here is a photo in the Botanical Gardens at the Diamond Waterfall. Pretty cool. And of course, I’m representing: Go cats! Because we were out so long the day before I kept my shirt on for most of the boat ride and all of our time on land. My chest and arms were super red and I was trying to be a responsible adult. Whatever, it hurt! And no, those are not jeans, just walking shorts. The chick we asked to take our picture here was a photographer so she took like 6 photos, some up close, some horizontal, some vertical. She was good. Nice work Sleeping Boy for asking the photog!
We were all getting pretty hungry so luckily our next stop was lunch. It was an interesting restaurant, to say the least and I was a little scared of the food (when Sleeping Boy saw the entrees (it was a buffet) he loaded up on rice just in case) it ended up being pretty good. There was some really horrific cake for dessert though (seriously, see the theme?).
Here’s a photo outside the restaurant. The peak in the back is one of the Pitons, which means twin peaks. You can’t really see the other one, as it is behind this one but I promise it’s there. These are pretty famous, there is even a local beer called Pitons.
No points this day towards our sandals and we only saw our friends for a minute (they had dinner reservations 1/2 and hour before us). We were exhausted so we went to bed pretty early that day. Only one day left in paradise!
Did I mention, Go cats! How about that win over the tigers last night? Woohoo!
After lunch we headed back to the boat. They were really pushing the booze on the way back but I figured that wasn’t a good mix with the sinus meds and Dramamine. They even played drinking games on the way home on the boat. You know the competitor in me was begging to play, especially once I saw the females lame attempts to chug beer. But alas, not today. Sleeping Boy slept part of the way home too. Seriously, he could sleep anywhere, anytime.
We stopped in a small harbor to snorkel and swim. This is something Sleeping Boy had never done before. He had some trouble with the whole breathing out of a snorkel thing but once he got that adjusted correctly I think he really enjoyed it. I took photos with our underwater camera but don’t have them with me now. They weren’t great anyway! I went snorkeling in Hawaii years ago. And loved it. Half our family got sick on the boat but i was totally in my element and enjoyed the whole thing. This time…different. I jumped in and was enjoying myself until I looked down. There were a BUNCH of fish right below us and something about that freaked me out. Maybe it was because we had just watched Planet Earth, the Deep Ocean episode right before we came or maybe because I’m a huge pansy in my old age but it freaked me out and I wanted out of there NOW! I hung out for a while cause leaving Sleeping Boy in there alone freaked me out too (seriously, what is my problem?). We weren’t in long but it was long enough. The rest of the trip back was really nice, I really could spend all day every day on a boat in the ocean, or lake for that matter.
We were exhausted when we got home and super hungry. I had two granola bars left that I’d packed for the airport so I gave those to Sleeping Boy but that really wasn’t filling. I finally called down and was like, where can I get some food?? They informed us that our favorite lunch spot, Arizona’s served food until 6pm. Sweet. We headed down there where Sleeping Boy had a burger and I had a jerk chicken club. We had dinner reservations again that night, at 9:15pm. We would NOT have made it otherwise! We went back, took and a nap, watched some tv, and then got ready for dinner.
Dinner was at a French Restaurant called La Toc (that is the name of the bay/cove/whatever that our resort was on). It was supposed to be one of the best restaurants on the resort. And it was. I had mushroom bisque that was really good and we both had Steak Au Pouivre.
Sleeping Boy’s was good, mine was fatty. But still pretty good. Then we had dessert. They had creme brulee. I was pumped. I love creme brulee. This is a French restaurant with good food, they should have good creme brulee. My hopes were up. It, was….horrible. Seriously. It was warm all the way through which is disgusting and it was lumpy. This is not what creme brulee is supposed to be like. Such a disappointment. Sleeping Boy had double chocolate mousse which was the consistency of gelatin. Gross. This is when he started calling me a food critic cause I was voicing my disappointment. I mean he’s known me long enough to know I like food and I consider myself knowledgeable. I at least know that creme brulee should be cold!! (smiley omitted)
Here we are after dinner: again no make up. And lots of sun burn. Sleeping Boy is wearing linen pants and a silk shirt. I say again: sleeping boy is wearing linen pants and a silk shirt. I don’t know if I mentioned this before but he borrowed several silk shirts (tommy bahama, of course) from his brother for the trip. Yes, I understand this is totally appropriate for a Caribbean island. And they look really good on him. But my husband is not the silk shirt, linen pants kinda guy. Seriously. It’s worth mentioning. Twice. He loved the pants though and wore them repeatedly. He wanted to wear them when we got home but I informed him that they might not be so comfy with KS freezing winds whipping through them. Please comment on the shoes. I love them. Sleeping Boy bought them for me years ago for Christmas and I almost never wear them because they are so high.

St. Lucia Wednesday

Wednesday was a very fun day, we saw our friends at breakfast (the first time all week they got up in time for breakfast, which is served until 11am) and then they saved us a spot at the pool. Having friends on a resort is hilarious. Those of you who are fans of the TV show Friends, might remember Monica and Chandler’s honeymoon and the friends they met who then pretended to be too busy to be their friends once they’d gotten back home. Luckily, Brian and Chelsea are also fans of the show so we brought up tidbits of that episode all week. It’s really a hilarious dynamic. You want to be their friend but you don’t want to be pushy or appear needy. Pretty much you are trying desperately to act cool when you know you aren’t. When we saw they’d saved us chairs AND gotten towels for us I knew we were in!

They are from Raleigh and Brian went to N. C. State so we chatted about that a lot. They had just gotten married the Saturday before so she and I talked about the wedding a lot as well. I told them they were crazy for getting up the next morning to board a flight, but what can ya do? We spent the entire day at the pool, eating lunch, and then back to the pool. I knew I was getting sunburned but we were just having too much fun! This is the day Sandals Boy (I’ll explain in a minute) and Brian became pretty much addicted to the drink, Cool Runnings. They had multiple. As did I. Chelsea stuck with the “Dirty Banana” which they introduced me to. It’s basically a banana milkshake. With Rum. We were sure it was like 1000 calories each but we were also sure we didn’t care. Basically the day went like this: The girls hang out at the side of the pool with feet over the side (the water in the pool was FREEZING but the sun was super hot so it was a constant battle to get comfortable) while the boys stand around in the water and make frequent trips to the bar. So frequent that the bartender started calling Brian by name (and by name I mean he called him “Billy”) and gave them a hard time about several things: the two of them perhaps being “together” and he asked “Billy” to give the blender a break from all those Dirty Bananas. He, of course, threw Chelsea under the bus but James (the bartender, duh!) asked why, if they were all for her, Billy kept drinking from them. Pretty hilarious.
Here we are earlier in the day, not sunburned yet, not too intoxicated either. But cute, if you ask me. Oh, you didn’t? Darn!
Now to explain Sandals Boy. We attended orientation the first morning we were there to try to get a lay of the land. (Our friends were there too. We actually met them on the “fun” van ride into the resort as they were on our flight as well.) At this time it was explained that if you engage in the activities on the resort you receive points. Once you receive a certain number of points you get a pair of “beaded mini sandals”. We heard this often. On Wednesday Sandals Boy decided that he wanted those sandals. I cannot over emphasize how much he wanted these sandals. It was all he talked about for basically three days. I told him it was going to be tough because we had signed up for an all day excursion on Thursday so we wouldn’t get ANY points Thursday and at this point we only had 10 each from Orientation. He was determined. And our friends joined in on the obsession which just fueled his fire. At 4:30pm there was a pool volleyball game that would be our first points activity. By this time we’d spent at least 5 hours in the sun drinking. So you can imagine how pumped we were for this volleyball game. You’d think our lives depended on it or something. We headed over and got warmed up. I was…nervous to say the least. I hate volleyball, I’m terrible at volleyball and in the water I’m much less agile than on land. (HAHAHAHA, god that was funny). Our team was us, our friends, and a random older (50ish?) woman. The other team was 3 guys (one of which was married to our teammate) and 2 girls, most of them a bit older than us. Pretty simple rules: 3 games, rally scoring, girls can serve twice if they don’t get the ball over the first time, no spiking on the girls unless it’s your wife.
The first game we won and we quickly realized our “ace” was the older woman, she could really serve! I also got better as the game went on and even made a couple nice plays. Let’s be honest though, the boys really carried this team. We were at a disadvantage, as the other team had 3 boys and we only had two, but I’m not one to make excuses. Especially when it comes to competition. The game was intense and all out hilarious. Any time a girl needed a second serve everyone yelled “booby rule!” (you try keeping a straight face after 5 hours of drinking rum) and at one point we scored a point and a guy on the other team yelled out, “I didn’t hear the whistle!” Our “playmaker” (the guys in charge of these activities) looked at him and said, “I don’t have a whistle”. Hilarious. We won all 3 games, if memory serves me correctly (and I’m sure it does) so we received extra points for winning. Sandals Boy is doing the math and checking out the activity board to see if it’s possible to get his sandals! At that point our friends went upstairs to take a nap before dinner. We both had reservations at Kimono, the Japanese Steakhouse, that night, them at 8:30pm, us at 9pm (“We’re you, but 5 minutes later!” – Friends episode I mentioned earlier).
After the game (which made us all a little hyper) I went to collect our things from our pool chairs. When I turned back around I’d lost Sandals Boy. I found him, chatting it up with some other “friends” of ours we’d met at dinner Monday night. This older (50 or 60ish) couple from Toronto (Vancouver? Does it matter?) and Sandals Boy were having an intense convo about something, I think it might have been football? The woman (I can’t remember their names to save my life) asked if I wanted to sit down but I was trying to move my husband along so I could get a nap! Finally he got up and I convinced him to come down to the beach to take some pictures. We’d planned on visiting one of the other Sandals resorts that day to see if their beach was better but our volleyball game got in the way of that trip! Here’s a photo we took with the underwater camera. Quality: not so good, hair and drunken smiles: awesome!

As we were standing there I lost a flip flop in the waves (I’m telling you, these waves were HUGE). I started to search for it but immediately realized, it was gone. The tide was too strong, give it up. What’s a $3 Old Navy flip flop worth anyway? (3 dollars, duh!) But no, not my husband. He was determined! He saw my flip flop a couple yards down the beach and he went after it like I’ve never seen him before. He dove into the water and snatched it! Here he is in hot pursuit:

I was about to pee my pants I was laughing so hard and he turned around, flip flop in hand with the proudest smile on his face. Hilarious!
We went back to the room, took a shower, took a nap, loaded up on aloe and watched some tv. Seriously, dinner at 9pm? That’s brutal. Finally it was time to go so we got dressed up and headed out. This time it was acceptable to take a shuttle (although still very walkable) so we did. We arrived and found out we were the last couple of the night. Everyone else was in groups of ten but we had our own private room. Cute. Dinner went quick. But awkward. I didn’t take any photos of the chef because it was so awkward with only the three of us in the room. Sandals Boy even tried the Mahi-Mahi which is a huge deal. I was very proud. It was a great dinner, horrible dessert (do you see a theme?) and then off we went. Here we are at dinner:
You can obviously see my husband’s sunburned face but I don’t look too bad. Until you check out my shoulder. Ouch! Because we were facing the boys, my chest, shoulders, and arms were in constant contact with the sun, while the boys got most of the abuse to their backs.
We walked back to the Piano Bar to meet up with our friends. We had a couple drinks with them, one in which the bartender literally poured Sandals Boy’s Bourbon into the drink and splashed it with coke. It was supposed to be funny…which it was, but then he just handed it over and that was his drink. We left after a short time because we were exhausted by such a long day and knew we had to get up at 7:30am (ouch) to make our bus for the excursion the next day. I basically didn’t sleep that night because I couldn’t breathe. I finally bought some sinus medicine that morning but it wasn’t helping much.
Here’s one last photo of the restaurant.
I was trying to show that it is located on a cliff over the ocean which is really cool. You can also see that it’s raining…shocker.

St. Lucia Tuesday

First of all, have I ever mentioned I hate snow? Oh, yeah, often. Well, I hate snow. I hate that we got a dusting of snow but that caused every driver on my route to work to decide they no longer knew how to drive. Ugh. Is it March yet? Or maybe April 2nd? Anyway, back to the Caribbean we go for the Tuesday recap of our honeymoon:

After feeling like crap Monday I woke up and realized I still felt like crap. Knowing how my sinus infections usually work if I had just rested for one day I probably would have been golden…but this is a vacay people, no time for staying in bed all day!

We headed out to the pool again

And this is me about 2 minutes later.

It rains. A lot. Every single day. Usually it was from about 11am-12pm and then again in the evening. Sometimes at like 2pm also. That’s pretty much your cue to go eat lunch because once you’re done the rain is probably over. However, when it rained while we were laying out there was always an internal battle: Do I go in? Do I wait it out? As you can see, we (and that girl behind me covered in her towel) are waiting it out. It got really cold when it rained so I had to cover up. Near the end of the trip the boys kept saying that if you were in the pool you didn’t even notice the rain! Whatever. It was annoying to say the least. The locals call it, Liquid Sunshine. Lame.

I said I was going to take a picture of every drink I had but I didn’t which was probably a good idea. Here’s the first one from the pool bar:

They have this huge board (which I’ll post on a later date) with all the drinks and I decided I would try one of each. That really didn’t happen at all. I stuck to about 3 that were too yummy to stop. This one is called “Kiss-Kiss” and it was good: Rum (of course), coconut rum, pineapple juice, some other juice, probably Blue Curacao cause that was in almost every drink. It was good but it did make me feel like a tool to go up to the bar and say: “I’d like a kiss kiss please.” (PS. No cute glasses or umbrellas. If you’d seen the quantity of drinks they served from that bar each day you’d understand why. But still a little disappointing.

While we’re on the subject here is The Best Husband Ever (He never once complained about my sinus infection putting a damper on the vacay. He even sat inside with me Monday afternoon when I thought I might die) with a couple more.

He’s got “The Blues” which he said was too sweet and didn’t finish and the other is “Cool Runnings”. I know it looks like the Kiss-Kiss but trust me, I know the difference. Cool Runnings became the drink of the week for the boys and it was a good one. Again, rum, Blue Curacao, some kind of juices and sugar. He was my own personal cabana boy as he went back and forth from the pool bar to our lounge chairs often. Just another reason he’s the Best Husband Ever.

Don’t you love those sunglasses? It was quite the ordeal to find the “right” pair and we disagreed about what looked good on him but I think we were both very happy with his choice. Well done Best Husband Ever!

Not too much else exciting this day, just some beach time and lots of pool time. I’m sure there was a nap in there somewhere as well.

We went to a different restaurant that evening, the Arizona Restaurant which served Tex-Mex food and was pretty good. We attended an orientation Monday and they mentioned something about taking a shuttle to this restaurant so we did. Once we got there I looked down the beach and realized it was about 50 feet from the main lobby. The rest of the trip our friends made fun of us for taking the shuttle. Pretty funny. It also became our new spot for lunch once our friends let us know that they serve pizza and have a self serve chips and salsa/queso station. Here’s a photo after dinner:

I didn’t do my hair much cause that didn’t seem like an appropriate vacay activity. Nor did I wear make up, EVER. Yeah, maybe not the best ideas?