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Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Warrr Eagle!

I still want to blog about Christmas and our first trip to the McWane Center, but first I want to write about the fabulous weekend we just had!!
My mom and dad graciously (well, almost :)) kept my monkeys so Heath and I could go with his family to Arizona for the Auburn game. When we won the SEC championship, his parents gave us the good news that they would be taking us on the once-in-a-lifetime trip - without the kids!!
We left Saturday morning at 9. We got to the airport a little before 7. I thought we were too early, but it turns out it took us over an hour to check in and get through security. Birmingham was OVERTAKEN by Auburn fans!! Thousands in the airport. Not an exaggeration. Luckily we went through Total Sports Travel, so we had a charter flight and a super-organized trip the whole time!
At the airport. Mabry and I were twins!
Jay and Kate flew with us out of Birmingham, and Kelly and Jonathan flew with Frank and Melissa out of Montgomery. The flights were hilarious. 100 percent full of Auburn fanatics. We did the fight song and cheers and played Auburn music and did Auburn trivia the whole way there. No kidding. I haven't cheered so much for Auburn since my Camp War Eagle days! (Oh, and Super Cam was the seat right in front of us. Luckily, he mentioned "Super Cam needed some down time to rest up" on the flight. Thank God.)
One of my dear friends' parents were on our trip!
We stayed at the Doubletree in Scottsdale. It was about a mile from downtown Scottsdale - a nice walk for sure! We were able to eat at several restaurants down there, walk the biggest mall in the southwest and even watch the pep rally in Old Town Scottsdale.
The view as we walked out of our hotel
The overflow from the pep rally. Estimated 30,000 people there!
Heath and Wes walking back from downtown Scottsdale. They were earning their Scout merit badges and walking old ladies across the street. Seriously - they walked them!
The first night, we went to dinner with some of our favorite people - the Harlesses. Evan found us a fabulous restaurant that specialized in steak. So delicious. We laughed the whole time, and really enjoyed not cutting up food or giving anyone sippy cups or bottles!
Our hotel was so pretty - and so was the weather out there. I took it for granted, and was reminded the second we walked back into Birmingham. (Nasty ice storms here!) It was in the 60s and gorgeous and sunny every day. You didn't even need a jacket during the day. Ahhh - I wish I was still there! (Side note - the only thing I don't wish to recreate was a brief run-in with a moving vehicle while I was on foot. It was my fault. I was chasing my over-excited husband to tell him we couldn't walk because the light was green and I made it across 3 lanes of traffic. Too bad that 4th one got me! The car skidded to a halt, and I tried to push myself away?! on the front of the car. The impact sent me flying. I jumped up and screamed "I'm Okay!" and praise the Lord I was!! I was a little angry, though...just ask the Harlesses. I found them mad and crying, and eventually we laughed about it. UGHHHH! I meant to take a picture of my new white jacket covered in black pavement marks!! Heath is glad he got it cleaned at the hotel before I could do that:))
The second night we went to the Auburn "All In" party. It was in a hotel by the stadium in Glendale, about a 45 minute bus ride from Scottsdale. It was nice to see so many Auburn friends and family, but it was lame when we had to pay $35 a person to get in, and that included no food or beverages! And, they tried to sell us the last 7 tickets- there were 8 in our party and they wanted one of us to sit out. Did I mention we rode a bus there? Pretty sure we were all getting in!
There was an entertainment district next to the hotel, so we escaped and walked around there when we got bored at the "party."
Then it was the day of the big game!! We had a great breakfast (we did that every day!! Did I mention the trip was nice and relaxing??). Then, enough Auburn fans convinced our tour group to leave an hour and a half earlier than planned to get over to the game and tailgate.
We got there 4 or so hours before the game, and we were able to tailgate with thousands of Auburn fans (and some Ducks - we just didn't know them). It was fun running into people!! We ate at a field outside the game, and then walked around and even waited on a Tiger Walk that they ended up not having?! Hmm.
We headed towards the stadium about 2 hours before and had to stand in line for 45 minutes to an hour just to get in the gate. But, I was able to have 2 best friends standing with us, so it wasn't so bad! We did get a little claustrophobic, though!
Then, we were in the big stadium!! We were on the lower level in some FANTASTIC seats near the endzone. And, I was only 4 sections away from my sister. How crazy is that?? We were 2 sections away from Sportscenter. And we were able to watch Saban and Meyer watch the game. Crazy! Also, thanks to the drunk guy in front of us who pointed him out, we were able to see Donovan McNabb sitting behind us!
The stadium looked like a home Auburn game! Surrounded by Auburn fans, with only about 30 percent or so of the stadium for Oregon. It was amazing!! And, the end was out of control!! People were going crazy - and we were all relieved it didn't go into overtime!!

After the game, we watched the awards ceremony (awesome), and then made it back to our bus to get out of that extremely crazy parking lot. We celebrated the win by a sleepy bus ride back to Scottsdale. It was all worth it!!
Thank you to the Hendersons for this fabulous trip with lifelong memories, and to GiGi and Pop for taking care of these 2 monkeys. My mom said she enjoyed them, but they were exhausting. Well put, GiGi! Welcome to my life!! War Eagle again!!! National Champs!!

Don't worry - some of our intoxicated neighbors made sure there was some rolling going on, even if it couldn't be Toomer's. Hilarious.


  1. Oh, Kelly. I love reading your blog! I feel just like we're having a conversation. When I read, I hear your voice...crazy. Only you could get hit by a car and jump up and be fine. :) You crack me up. So does the rolling of the cacti. What a great trip. I am so glad you got to go!!!

  2. I'm pretty jealous of your trip, except for the part about getting hit by a car!! :) War Eagle!!