It has been a crazy first two weeks of the tour! I cannot believe how fast it has gone. Our first week on the tour brought us to Texas. We arrived in Houston for our first event, where our boss met us with tickets to the Cowboys preseason game against the Dolphins. We drove the 4 hours to Dallas to watch the game, and then the 4 hours back to Houston for our event the next day! The entire drive to the game, our boss was joking about a former coworker of his who used to say “everything’s bigger in Texas,” “girls are hotter in Texas,” “the food is better is Texas,” so on and so forth. Everything is bigger in Texas. Cowboys Stadium is no exception.
If you’ve never been to Cowboys Stadium, it is a must-see in the Dallas/Ft. Worth area. I am in no way, shape or form a Cowboys fan and I will never be one – BUT – this is the most beautiful/awe-inspiring/jaw-dropping and largest stadium I have ever been to. After the hour walk from our car to our seats, that is not an exaggeration, we couldn’t stop finding things to look at inside the stadium. From the dancers and drummers on one side of the concourse, to the fountains on the other side, I feel like I never even saw the game! When I did take moment to watch the game, I didn’t even look at the field!
The screen is so crystal clear and so big (everything’s bigger in Texas, remember?) that you find yourself watching the game on the screen rather than the field. Jerry Jones has a real obsession with size…
We got back to our hotel in Houston at 2:30am. At 9:30am we started shipping the 50 boxes of premiums that didn’t fit in our vehicle and headed for Rice University for the first event of the tour. It was 100 degrees, sunny and windy. And I had food poisoning. For the first 3 hours of the event I was throwing up in a port-a-potty. In 100 degree heat. Sober. In a biff (sorry, port-a-potty for those of you not from Minnesota). I actually wanted to die. But the event went on. We found that students at Rice are bigger fans of baseball than football, but nonetheless we had a good event.
After closing up shop at Rice Stadium, we headed back up to Dallas for the weekend’s events. We arrived at our hotel in Irving, the Omni Mandalay, at 12:30am. At 6:30am, we met our bosses in the lobby to head to Cowboys Stadium for our walk-thru of the halftime promotion we were going to execute at the Cowboys Kickoff Classic the next day.
After our walk-thru, we were given a tour of the stadium (including the Cowboys Cheerleader locker room, settle down boys, and the Cowboys locker room). I wish I could have been more awake for the experience, but I took a ton of pictures and tried to take in as much as my sleep deprived brain could allow. After the walk-thru, we had about 2 hours before our next event.
Our second event took place at the Ft. Worth Stockyards. I’d been there before, but my travel partner had not. I think he was in a little bit of shock. You feel like you’ve gone back in time when you walk the streets of the Stockyards. I had Rage Against the Machine stuck in my head after the daily cattle parade. We got back to our rooms around 10:30pm, with a 7:30am meeting time for the big event!
It was our third straight day of events in 100+ degree heat, and the event at Cowboys Classic was 7 hours (plus set-up and tear down). Not to mention, it was the first day in 4 days that I was able to eat. By the time we got down to the field for our halftime promotion, I felt like a zombie. I tried to take in what it was like to stand and watch a game from the end zone tunnel at Cowboys Stadium, with 100,000 college football fans getting loud. It was what I like to call a “goosebump moment.”
After breakfast in bed the next morning, we headed north for Kansas City. We discovered the Irish Fest was going on across the street from our hotel, got tickets to go and never left the hotel bar. Kansas City has some interesting people. Some with no teeth. Some telling tall tales of being millionaires. Nonetheless, we had a great time
We left Kansas City and headed north for a home cooked meal with my family and a few days in Minneapolis. I had a great time being a tour guide and loved seeing friends and family, especially after the week I had in Texas.
Now, I’m writing to you from Iowa City, where I was convinced I was going to die in a taxi more than once this weekend! The weather was a MUCH needed break from the heat and we were fortunate to have tickets to the Iowa State @ Iowa game (where the Cyclones won!!!!). Kinnick Stadium is a great place to watch some football, though the fans can be a little hostile.
After the game, we met up with some friends of mine and went out downtown. It’s the first time I’ve been out in Iowa City without having to use a fake ID. It was exactly how I remembered it from my college days.
Today we head to Omaha for the night, then Denver for a few days. Our next event is BYU @ Utah in Salt Lake City. I’m looking forward to some sightseeing this week, including a Rockies game against the Giants! I will write again when I have some time after some sightseeing.