Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Game Day

Chief Osceola and Renegade before the game started.
(photo by Alan)
Saturday morning found Alan and me making the 2.5 - 3 hour drive to Tallahassee after getting a total of  7 hours sleep since we left Scotland early Thursday morning!  This is not really the way to do a relaxed Florida holiday, but we had made the decision the last time we were in Florida to come back at a time my own high school and my university had home games.  This timing was critical to our plans.  However, Florida State's schedule put this particular home game at an 11:30am start which was very unfortunate for us!

All our trips usually centre on precision timing since we cram so much in.  But we were dependent upon my nephew to find us a parking place.  This is not totally true, one of my dear friends and sorority sisters had graciously offered her parking permit in the Civic Centre and sent directions to get to her house to collect it and then we would have had to locate the Civic Centre, park and take the Spirit Bus to the game.  Sounded ok in principle, but I was dreading the heat and knew we would not last the whole game, so what would happen if the bus didn't run until the game was over?  Not to mention, our time was too tight and I believe we would have missed the tail gate party and meeting up with my nephew, Bobby, if we had followed our original plans.  Meeting him was critical since he had our tickets!

So far we have not had time to shop so we didn't have a little throw away phone to use in the US and were not contactable unless we stopped at somewhere with WiFi to get on the internet.  Halfway to Tallahassee, stopping at McDonalds for breakfast and to check messages, I discovered one from Bobby asking me to call him, which was impossible!  We also could not use FaceTime or Skype since he was already at the tail gate party and didn't have the right technology with him there.  He did have a more convenient place for us, but I had to finally use my work phone, which I carry with me since I can access the internet with it and that is the ONLY thing I do with it when out of the country.....no idea how much that call will cost, but it was an emergency and it save our bacon!  And when I needed to follow up with another call to let Bobby know where we were in relation to meeting him for his parking ticket, it didn't work and we had to find another WiFi location.

I felt bad not being able to let my friend's husband know we would not be needing the information and permit he was waiting for us to collect.  It was not til after the game and at least 6 hours after he expected us that I was able to send Carmen a message - using Chik Fil A's WiFi.

 But the chaos and confusion surrounding the simple idea of parking was totally forgotten once we arrived.  This was my first tail gate party!  I had not been to an FSU game since 1977 and this just was not done then.

So far this trip, the weather has been atrocious and game day was no exception.  It was absolutely pouring and could have been totally miserable, except this was warm rain and felt good.  And it kept the temperature down so Alan and I did not really suffer, we were just wet. Not as wet as we could have been since Bobby met us at our car with fabulous FSU rain ponchos!

Walking to where his tail gate party was located, we stopped along the way to meet people and drink beer.  Yes it was 9:30 am!  But this is what you do!  The rain had kept the crowds down so Alan and I didn't see the numbers of parties and people that were normally there, but we were extremely impressed with the dedication, hard work and organisation involved with setting up these amazing party stations (usually 5 hours before the game), complete with full bar and an amazing selection of food.  Some tail gates had televisions and comfortable seating arrangements.  It must be really impressive to see this all set up on a normal, sunny day!

All to be dismantled before the game starts though.

Alan and I were given wonderful seats close to the 50 yard line by one of Bobby's friends.  We are so grateful for the wonderful location of these seats, and these had seat cushions with backs on them, ok they were wet, but you could swipe the water off!  There was water everywhere!  But like I said, not miserable at all.

The FSU Marching Chiefs take up quite a bit of room!
There was an amazing pre-game show by the FSU Marching Chiefs. This band has over 400 members and they just consume the playing field and then they entertain like nothing I have ever seen before.  I was involved with my high school marching band on the flag corp, so I know how difficult it is to learn a new routine every week for each game.

How on earth can they do this so well with so many members?  Wow, wow, wow!  And then, of course, they came on for half time.

 (I also heard they do a post game show, but we could not stay that long.)

The whole package of FSU football is amazing and I am so grateful to Bobby for organising this. Alan was thoroughly impressed with all of it, there is just nothing like this in Scotland.

Since FSU camera is so restrictive, we only had one small camera to use. The following game pictures are all Alan's:

Alan and I did leave the game a bit early to beat the traffic because -
1. we were looking forward to seeing Morgan
2.  We had plans to see my sister and brother-in-law and wanted to spend some quality time with them before the big family dinner later and
3.  we were very tired!

We drove out to meet Morgan, as planned at her place of work.  It was so funny because she looked as shocked as if she did not know we were in town at all.  Turns out she thought we were staying for the whole game.  We had not seen her since April and it was great to be back together. Then we were introduced to Chick fil A's food and it was delicious!  However, eating was a mistake because those 7 hours we had slept in the past 3 days caught up with us big time and we had to go to Morgan's for a serious one hour nap.

Now we had a driver!  Morgan has a beautiful new car and was delighted to take on the role of chauffeur and we were delighted to let her! After too short of a time with my sister and brother in law,  it was time to go to my niece's house where all the family had gathered for a fabulous dinner.   I loved being there and spending time with each and everyone.

There is nothing like a family get together and I am so grateful to Nancy Anne for going to such trouble to make delicious food and maintain such a relaxed atmosphere.  This is one of the things I really miss about not living in the US, or is it just not living close to family?  Not sure.

And the night ended with dancing in the street!

There is more refreshment and stimulation in a nap, even of the briefest, than in all the alcohol ever distilled. ~Edward Lucas

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