Friday, November 21, 2008

Planes, Trains and Automobiles, Day 1 & 2

My vacation had a bad start. I left work late and had not packed. The house was a wreck, and I was feeling absolutely terrible. I managed to finish packing, but it took me quite a while. I awoke a few hours later to head south to the airport, late. Already feeling a little sick and stressed about leaving the house and the cat, wondering if I was going to make my flight did not make me feel any better. It was not as bad as I thought, but I did miss checking my bag. Other than being woozy and a hard landing, it went fairly well; the Biscoff Cookies definitely helped.

I took the shuttle and the Blue Line to Government Center, but then I suddenly drew a blank. I could not remember the name of the hotel, and Ina was not answering her phone. Well, I knew it was only a few blocks away so I started walking around. I even helped a lady find State St despite being lost. Ina eventually saved me and so I headed over to the Omni Parker House and checked in. She met me shortly thereafter and we went to have lunch at The Purple Shamrock. Everything was good except the fish, Scrod. Maybe it is the natural flavor, but it resembled cleaning fluid. I received a discount and had plenty to eat, so all was good.

We headed north to do a little sight seeing and found Paul Revere's House. We did not have too much time, so we just took a couple pictures and we split ways; Ina had more convention to see. I checked out Boston's Holocaust Memorial which was very touching; it really is amazingly tragic what people went through.

We met back up and headed north to meet Jill at The Spirit, where some other Tech fans were supposed to watch the game. Well, we didn't notice any, but that did not stop us from enjoying the game. We were impressed with the White Out or as I read somewhere else, "White Wash." More impressive was the game. It was a lot of fun to watch. We went to Jill's house and watched the second half. It was great to catch up with her and her husband and see the Jackets beat the 'canes.

Today was less eventful, but we began the next portion of our trip. After Ina left for a final session, I walked around and took some pictures; Boston Common, the capitol building, and a cemetary where Samuel Adams, John Hancock, and Paul Revere are buried. My mom called and we talked a little football victory then I grabbed a cup a joe before checking out. We boarded the Amtrak train and rode it to Springfield. I think I would like to try another train ride if we can get a good deal. Lena picked us up and then went to pickup their parents. It was good to see everyone. We're all pretty tired, but we have a great week ahead of us.

Monday, November 3, 2008

My 3-0 Tech Weekend!

Oh sweet victory! As much as I love Tech Volleyball, the football game over F$U was just glorious. Nerve-wracking, no doubt, but finally - a win! Ina and I joined our friends' tailgate and hung around until near game time. We didn't have tickets and thought we might pick up a pair near Bobby Dodd Stadium; otherwise, ... well, we weren't sure what we'd do. I played a little hardball, but Ina was the real tough sell even though I don't think she intended it. Heck, I felt like the good cop. Well, we took two home side seats on the north 30 and with a couple beeps at the gate, we were in for a fateful afternoon.

Our seats were great, a little higher might've been nice, but we were sitting near some nice Tech fans and a few pleasant 'noles as well. After the usual pagentry, the game had started, and boy did it feel good. The 'noles scored first, but I wasn't detered and neither was the team. Up and down for both teams; it was a fun and exciting first half, but Tech took the lead. My expectations were lifted, but I was not comfortable.

- and with good reason. The second half was slower and with an injury to our quarterback, things turned sour very quickly. But I'll tell you what. With dread of another loss in my heart, I still shouted and chanted and didn't let up. It came down to a play with less than a minute to go; if F$U scored, it was over. Run up the middle. The ball is loose! Into the Endzone. Don't pick it up! FALL ON IT! We've got the BALL! We did it! 31-28! Paul Johnson and the Jackets have finally beat the Seminoles!

There was true elation as the students and other fans swarmed the field. I cannot imagine why event staff and police gave any grief to them at first, but I suppose they at least have to appear like they are disapproving from fear of some lawsuit. The band played what seemed like a straight 15 minutes. Fanfare. White and Gold. Ramblin Wreck. Bud. Finally, the students wandered away, the band played The Horse, and on we went. Life was good.

Bookending a nerve-wracking yet fantastic football game over F$U were two sweet games in O'Keefe. In a three-way tie for second in the ACC and only one game out of first, Georgia Tech Volleyball is on fire after winning two excellent matches this weekend. On Volleyballoween, the Volley-Jackets fended off the Hokies who earlier put a notch in our loss column. It was nice to get a hug from VT assistant coach and former Tech player (and one of my favorites) Jayme Gergen before the game. Saturday, elated after witnessing such an amazing game on Grant Field, I joined the percussion section to cheer on the the Volley-Jackets as they dealt swift vengeance upon the Cavaliers. *The battery (strictly the marching percussion) was off at BoA so I played cymbals for most of the game and snare for Bud.

What a weekend! Oh, and I heard a big monkey was running down the streets of Atlanta away from Tech. Guard your backs.