Ok so now that the boring stuff is over, I can talk about the actual trip!
The flight to Tampa sucked. Seriously it did. Our flight left at 1:13am, which is a terrible time to fly, but it’s what we had to do to get even a remotely cheaper flight. I brought all the essentials to help me sleep on the plane: a hoodie, sweat pants and socks to keep me warm, a neck pillow, my eye mask, and some ear plugs. What I did not bring was something to shut up the United Flight attendants who spent the entire 4 hour flight talking loudly right behind us (we were in the second to last row). Even with my ear plugs in I could hear exactly what they were saying and cackling about the ENTIRE flight. I was livid. Also something I forgot? A heating blanket. The plane was so dang cold that I even tried tying my hood around my face so only my nose and mouth were exposed….for breathing purposes only. It was pretty miserable.
After a 4 hour layover in the freezing cold Charlotte airport and a quick flight from Charlotte to Tampa (which we spent in the front row of the business cabin….extra space yay!) we learned that the flight the entire Rattlers team was taking to Orlando that afternoon had been cancelled. Not a good thing. They were able to get on another flight (no small feat for 40+ people flying together) but it left at 11pm. The boys were going to have to do the same thing we did and fly through the night. Not a good scenario when they had a big game to play in a few days!
After picking up our bags and our rental car we did what any four girls on a vacation in Florida would do….we headed straight to the beach! Indian Rocks Beach in Clearwater is seriously gorgeous. The water was warm and the sun was out. It was a perfect beach day.
After spending a few hours on the beach (where we all fell asleep…whoops) we packed up and headed toward Orlando. Nothing like an hour and a half drive covered in crusty dry saltwater and sand! It went quickly though and we were quite happy to arrive at our hotel.
The Rosen Shingle Creek hotel, which hosted both teams, was awesome. It had 1500 rooms, 9 restaurants, and 3 pools. Pretty much anything you needed for a great vacation. As soon as we checked in we ran downstairs and grabbed some dinner. After dinner and showers we went to bed, where we all slept for 13 hours! Woah.
The next morning the boys had arrived at 6am (we were still sleeping) and had to immediately go to breakfast at 8am after they got to the hotel (we were still sleeping). Then they sent them straight to practice (we were still sleeping). After practice, the boys got an hour to shower and take a nap (we were finally awake) before they headed to media day. Media day is where they interview several players and talk about the game with a bunch of media crews. It’s also where they announced a new AFL team had been purchased by the band KISS and they were calling the team the LA Kiss. Manly right? Totally screams football.
After Media day the boys had just enough time to change again and we all went to the AFL Celebrity Gala being held at a nearby hotel. The boys didn’t know if we would be able to join them until about 45 minutes before we needed to leave, so us girls we rushing around like madmen trying to get ready!
It was really a lot of fun to get dressed up and go to this event. I have never seen C in a suit so it was extra special for me. For buying the suit the day before he left and getting it hemmed last minute, it looked fantastic. We got to walk down a red carpet and had 15+ photographers fighting to take our picture. Talk about fun!
Our paparazzi shot :)
The next day (after 10 hours of sleep) us girls spent the morning at the pool while the boys had practice and team lunch. It was a little hot out but the pool felt nice, especially with a pina colada in hand.
C had the rest of the afternoon and evening off after the team lunch so we went out for mini date, which consisted of a late lunch (for me) and a little bit of shopping. We got stuck in a torrential downpour on the way back so we stopped at Starbucks and watched it pour with our coffee in hand. You don’t see that very much in AZ! After that I dropped him back off for a nap and then we met up again with my mom in tow for dinner.
On our way back from dinner C all the sudden realized he was past curfew. Oh geez. I didn’t even think about him having curfew (although I know they do have them on road trips). We dropped him off at the front of the hotel and he tried to sneak up the stairs to his room so he wouldn’t get caught. Too bad coach was standing right by his door when he got there! Thankfully they didn’t fine him, considering coach joked that it would be $100 a minute and he was 11 minutes late. Phew.
Meanwhile back in the room us girls were getting stressed out. The big game was the next day! I think us girls get more nervous than the guys do for these games. Yes, we obviously want them to win, but we also worry about injuries! Thankfully, we had some wine on hand to calm our nerves and put us to sleep :)
Alright….I’ll stop now. Sorry this post was so long haha. Next time I’ll tell you about the big game!!