Holy crap. I’m going home on Sunday. Mind. Blown.
It’s been awhile since I’ve had time to write, and honestly it feels like a lifetime and no time, all at the same time, has flown by. How does that happen?
After Oklahoma City we went up to Stillwater, OK for a game, then met up with the other tour in Dallas, went to Austin, then a game in Waco, then back to Dallas, then Thanksgiving in Arkansas and a game there, a game the next day in Norman, OK then off to St. Louis, Chicago and the Big Ten Championship in Indianapolis, back to St. Louis and now I’m in Louisville. Whew. Did you follow all of that? Seriously. I don’t even think I did and I lived it.
Let’s start with Texas, my home away from home. I’ve been in Texas more than any other state since August. That is just straight up cray. Benefits to this though, it’s still warm outside, it’s big and every city is different, and I got to catch up with my cousin and her adorable son when I was in Austin. And Austin is pretty awesome.
I really started embracing certain things about Texas, specifically the word y’all and all things Willie Nelson. I loved Willie already, I was lucky enough to see him live this summer and it was incredible.
And in lieu of being a total tourist, I stopped by Dealey Plaza where JFK was assassinated. I had been there in high school with my parents, but I didn’t get to be a tacky tourist. And I couldn’t bring myself to smile and pose, like a lot of tourists do, but this did happen…
I felt weird doing it. But I got points on my scavenger hunt and when in Rome?!?!?! I know, I’ll probably be struck down by lightning soon or something. But you have to believe me when I tell you that I was not smiling, and I felt weird about it.
Let’s just discuss my hotel in Dallas too, while we’re at it. The Omni at the Convention Center. Hands down the best hotel we’ve stayed in. The view was awesome, the hotel was awesome and there were 4 restaurants, plus a coffee shop. One of the restaurants was a sports bar with a full wall movie screen. Sunday and Monday were spent in that place. Football will never be the same.
Then it was off to Arkansas. We knew that Thanksgiving on the road would be tough, so to make the most of it the night before we went to the movie Lincoln. Loved it. Then we stocked up on liquor for the next day. Our only option for a meal was the Waffle House. I’d never eaten at one before and had hoped for more. It was pretty awful. And we both got sick. Most memorable Thanksgiving I think I will ever have.
In keeping with really getting into the spirit of the cities we were going to, I spent the entire next day at the tailgate shouting “WOOO PIG SOOIE!” I think that may be the greatest team chant/saying/slogan ever. Period.
Then it was back in the car to head to Oklahoma for the Bedlam game. The Sooners know how to throw a party. I loved the tailgating scene and really enjoyed shouting “BOOMER SOONER!” in between songs from the cover band playing next to our footprint.
After drinking way more than one ever should at the Sooner Legends Inn, it was on to St. Louis. With a few pitstops on the way so this chickadee could upchuck in the 7-11 bathrooms along the way. Note to self: don’t go out like you’re still in college when you have an 8 hour drive the next day.
But I made it to St. Louis to be greeted with a lovely view of the arch and downtown from my room at the Four Seasons. This hotel is definitely number two on my list. It’s pretty awesome, but it’s in St. Louis. So minus a few points for that one.
We continued north to Chicago, the greatest city (aside from Minneapolis/St. Paul) in the Midwest.
Chicago is such a fun city and so beautiful at the same time. It was great catching up with friends and working out of our office there. It was the first sense of normalcy in a long time, which was very refreshing. It was also the calm before the storm…
Big Ten Championship Fan Fest was the end of the regular season for our tour. It was tiring and fun and overwhelming and exciting all at the same time. We were reunited with other members of our team from our agency and others, which was a great time. We also got to go to what will probably go down as the worst/most boring game I have ever been to.
We worked long hours, but tried to have some fun with it as well. And the series of photos from which the following picture came, were a direct result of my goofy exhaustion.
I cannot believe the tour is ending. This weekend we’re in Louisville celebrating their selection into the Allstate Sugar Bowl. It will be a fun event and then we will hit the road and head to NOLA to store our vehicles and head home!
As cheesy as it is, sometimes I really feel like this all happened so fast and so much happened, that it doesn’t even seem real. How fortunate am I to have had this experience? And it’s not even over yet! After Christmas, we will hit the road and work at the Sugar Bowl and the AFCA Convention in Nashville.
Thank you all for following along on my journey. I’m sure I’ll have stuff to write about when I get home. I cannot wait to see friends and family.
A final picture from my room in St. Louis, just because I really like it.