Sunday, February 15, 2015

Mississippi State goes to the ORANGE BOWL!!!

If you follow college football at all, then you know this was a banner year for our Mississippi State Bulldogs.  Each week was so exciting as we watched them battle to retain their #1 ranking.  We hoped it would take us to the end but it just wasn't meant to be.  This was the year that Jonah became a true football fan.  He knew the players.  He knew their numbers.  He watched the games.  He listened to the banter on SportsCenter.  So, when we found out that our Bulldogs would be playing in the Orange Bowl in Miami, we had to make it happen for him.  Our friend Louise offered to keep Micah for us.  We dropped him to her and made a quick stop at the library for some reading material for the 4 hour drive.  
We checked into our hotel, said "Hail State" to a lot of the other fans who made the trip from MS then headed to the party in Downtown Miami.  

I would tell you that the entire trip was wonderful but that would mean we had no traffic.  But, we did.  We had a LOT of traffic.  It added an hour to almost everything we did.  It was miserable.  
We stopped by the mall that night to pick up a couple of things before settling in for the night.  Jonah wanted us to send Micah a picture of the HUGE Hello Kitty store.  
Jonah's good grades earned him some money from Jimmy and Cathy so he chose to use it the huge arcade there.  He had a blast!

We had a late dinner at Cracker Barrel then headed back to our hotel to rest up for Game Day.  
Unfortunately, in my quick packing, I neglected to grab Lammy.  Jonah has slept with Lammy every night of his life since he became attached at an early age.  I'd love to tell you that at 8 years old, he adjusted just fine, but he did not.  It was one of the worst mommy fails I have ever had.  He sobbed.  His heart was broken.  Ours was too.  It was awful.  
It took him forever to fall asleep but he finally did.  Honestly, he cried himself to sleep.  He kept saying "I just can't believe you forgot him!"  Me either buddy, me either!  When he woke up the next morning, he wasn't over it but he managed to find a wide variety of things to eat.  
We drove over to Miami Beach to look around and to have a yummy Cuban lunch!  Even with the crazy traffic, that was worth the drive!

We got to the stadium and headed in for Fan Fest!  We bought 3 Fan Fest tickets off of Stubhub for $10.  Nice!
I was so happy to immediately run into our mutual friend, Bonnie.  Dan & I both know Bonnie but from different stages of our life.  They went to State together and were in BSU and knew each other from there.  I knew her from serving on the state BSU committee together.  She was the President of the BSU for all of Mississippi and I was the Chairman of the State Missions committee for the state.  We got to spend a good deal of time together that year.  It was so fun to see her again!

Jonah got to take part in his first ever Dawg Walk.  He was amazed with the noise, the cowbells, the team.  It was all so magical for him.  And, for us to watch him experience it all.  
We ended up with 3 sets of tickets.  It's all so crazy how it happened.  We bought tickets off of Stubhub for $4.75 each.  Yes, $4.75.  I took this picture from those seats.  We tried those out first and discovered it would be hard for the other seats to beat these $4.75 tickets.  (We ended sitting here!)

We went down to the lower level to try out our other seats.  We got those for free.  A guy in Miami won them from a radio station and put them on Craigslist.  He gave them to us so we drove to the station to get pick them up.  They couldn't find his so they gave us two other sets of tickets use.  

This was the seats we had from one of those sets of tickets.  Had we never sat in the other ones, we would have loved these.  A lot of the Bulldog Club members were here.  A lot of our friends were here.  But, we knew Jonah would have a better overall view from the other seats.  

We even got to FaceTime with Micah before the game started.  

Pretty soon into the game, this is how Dan looked.  It didn't go so well for our bulldogs.  But, Jonah had a BLAST!  Seriously, the time of his life.  

We were walking to our car when the clock struck midnight and 2015 rolled in.  
I got to see my MOST favorite high school teacher, Mrs. Dedeaux.  I love this woman.  She doesn't miss a State game so I knew we would get to see each other again.  
And, because Blogger messed up all the pics, I'm just going ahead with them out of order because I'm too lazy to rearrange them.  That's the beauty of blogging as a hobby rather than as a business!  :-)

This was Jonah the next night when he was sad about Lammy all over again.  The struggle was real!
He discovered he liked the close quarters and used it for his reading nook!

This was such an amazing experience for 3/4 of our family.  I'm sad we lost.  But, the memories of the day are so special.  Jonah is still talking about it almost 2 months later!  That's a win!

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