Monday, December 29, 2008

December 29th

At 7 in the morning on December 29th Danny and I climbing into the equipment truck and started the 6-hour journey to Jacksonville, FL for the Gator Bowl. The ride wasn’t too bad, but then again I wasn’t the one driving. I tried my best to stay awake the whole time and keep Danny company, but I wasn’t always so successful.

We arrived at the hotel around 1 o’clock and got the keys to our room. Did I mention that our hotel was on the beach? It was sooo pretty. I had dressed in sweats for the ride in the truck and wasn’t expecting the weather to be a beautiful 70 degrees when we arrived. As soon as we sat down in the room Danny had to go take the truck to the band’s first practice of the trip. I decided to stay behind and get ready for the staff dinner later that night.

The staff dinner was amazing. There are no words to describe how wonderful the food was, or the company. It was held at Matthew’s Restaurant in a beautiful private room. Everyone really enjoyed themselves. I know I did. Dr. Spede gave everyone a framed picture of the football players running down the hill. Ours is sitting proudly on the shelf in the game room.

On Tuesday, Tiger Band performed at Universal Studios and in return we all got free tickets to go into the parks. We spent the day in lines for the major roller coasters in Islands of Adventure and Universal. It was quite entertaining to hear Jeff Norman yell out, “Hey! Turn the lights back on!” during the Mummy ride. Danny and I rode in the front of both of the dueling dragons roller coasters. What a rush! We left the park early and started the 2 and a half hour drive back to the hotel. Again, I was supposed to be the one keeping Danny awake, but instead he spent more time trying to keep me awake. It had been a long day.

A pep rally and the Gator Bowl Parade were scheduled for Wednesday. The pep rally consisted of the entire band being squished into a spot way too small for them and all of the auxiliaries complaining about it. It happens at every pep rally and yet they always expect one year there will be enough room for them all to perform comfortably.

Danny told me the parade had been shortened since he marched it back in the day, but we found out it was still 2 miles long. That’s about 1 and a half miles too long for me. We hung around where the busses parked while Tiger Band went off to parade. We did get to see the Budweiser horse team. They really are beautiful creatures. Danny got a little carried away with the pictures, but who can blame him?

New Year’s Eve was pretty disappointing for us. No one was up for partying on the beach, so after a quick walk in the cold Danny and I went back to the room. We had stopped at a grocery store and bought cheap (and really awful tasting) champagne. I had about one glass and was done for. I fell asleep at 11 and Danny didn’t even wake me up at midnight for a kiss. I felt so bad for doing that to him. Hopefully this won’t affect how our year pans out.

Game day started off with a bang, but unfortunately ended in a loss. I have to say it was a very exciting game though. I actually paid attention nearly the entire time. The Tigers did give it a very good try. At the end of the game I went to the bathroom hoping to change the mojo, but sadly it didn’t help. Oh well, here’s to hoping for a better season next year.

After the game we loaded the truck and headed back to South Carolina. We arrived around midnight and happily crashed in our own bed.

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