Friday, February 4, 2011

Some Faith and Lot of Determination

Yes, that's what it took on our trip to Arizona: Some Faith and a TON of determination. I guess you could say that sums up the entire Auburn Football Family experience this past season but what I'm really talking about is our amazing story of how we got our game tickets. So, let me make my disclaimer now for those of you who may not like nor appreciate the next several posts from me. I will try to get my obnoxiousness out early so here goes: (and you may think it's been a month and we should be over it by now but----we're not!!!!)


I could go on but I'll digress back to the story at hand......

As many of you know, less than a week before we were to leave for Arizona our ticket broker came up empty. As in he had no tickets for us. He did however refund our money, which was an ordeal in itself but not worth the time so I'll move on. Who would have thought it would have ended up being the most sought after ticket ever?! That's some AU family loyalty right there!! Never for a second did I consider not going to Glendale. Whether we had tickets or not the trip was planned and paid for. Our plan was to try to find tickets once we got there and if worse came to worse watch it somewhere close by. SO, I'll start from the beginning of the trip......(there's lots to tell and I want this documented so hang on to your seats folks b/c it's gonna be a long ride)

So we got up EARLY on Sunday, January 9th to head to the airport to leave B'ham. We were headed to Minneapolis, MN in route to Phoenix, AZ. Crazy right?! Well I can't tell you all the crazy routes to AZ we've heard of. Anyway, that was where we headed out to. And let me say, Alex did great. He has an anxiety of flying that has progressed over the years and he made this "deal" of sorts with the BIG GUY that if Auburn went to the Nat'l Championship, he would get on a plane and the rest is history as they say....
So here we are right before take off in Birmingham. Alex was all set with his music and I had some books and such to keep us occupied. I had not flown in over 12 years so it was quite an experience. However we were surrounded by orange and blue and just that made it more relaxing. Our flight attendants were great too. Once we landed in MN she played "Win, Win, Win" over the PA system and you know we all loved it!!!

Just a beautiful shot above the clouds. Flying is truly amazing if you don't do it all the time! It will surely make you rethink your life and I can assure you I said a prayer or two making sure me and God were all good! ;)

Here is about all I got to see of Minneapolis, MN. The temp that day was -2 degrees. The airport itself was huge and looked like a mall on the inside.

Our flight from MN to AZ was breathtakingly beautiful once the clouds cleared up. This is just one of the pictures I got of the scenery below us. I'm going to assume this is part of the Rocky Mountains. Again it made me appreciate the beauty of our country and the handiwork of our God. But this is nothing compared to some shots I'll show you later from our adventures after the game.

And once we landed in Phoenix, we met up with our buddies, Keith and Donna Strickland. They took the B'ham-Atlanta-Phoenix route. We were all staying in a hotel together and sharing our rental van. This is a pic of Grandpa Alex and Grandpa Keith reading maps and trying to find our way to the hotel from the airport. We took several wrong turns on our trip but hey, we were in a strange land on strange roads. Over all we did pretty good getting around!!

And since we aren't frequent flyers, we were all quite impressed with seeing actual road signs that had Los Angeles on them. (I know we are easily amused but what can I say, the farthest west I had ever been was Louisiana)

This is not a very good picture but this was one of the first things we saw once off the interstate. This my friends is some local "culture" I'll call it. There really is a house somewhere behind all that "yard art." Plus notice there is no grass. You have to look high and low to find any grass out there in the desert lands.

Later that night we met up with several of our fellow tiger family to eat dinner. It was our "Pre-Game Party" I guess you could say. Let's just say the PF Chang's in Peoria, AZ had never seen such southern charm!! haha...

In attendance were the Wes Self and his brother, us, the Stricklands, and the Clicks.

Oh wait, you thought I was going to get to the ball game today.... hahaaa... well I wish I could have but gots things to do so be on the lookout b/c you don't want to miss installment two of the best trip of my life!!!!

BTW- you will notice me referring to my AU family frequently in these posts. I would apologize should it get on your nerves but truth is truth and the AU family is not one to be duplicated. There's honestly nothing like it. So, I will refer to my fellow tigers as my family b/c they are. Period...end of story!