Monday, January 20, 2014

Everything is Coming Up Roses

As I have told you before C is a huge Michigan State fan, because he played football.  So obviously, when we heard that the Spartans were going to be playing in the Rose Bowl Game , which only a 5 hour drive from Phoenix, we were so excited.

Getting tickets to this game is no small feat, so that’s what we tackled first.  Because C is an alumni, he could actually purchase them.  Whoop whoop! Those puppies aren’t cheap though.  At $200 bucks a pop (that’s face value with fees) we were looking at a big chunk of change.  Eek.  He also contacted a friend in the football office to see if she could help us out.  We went ahead and purchased the tickets and prayed his friend could help us out so we could sell ours later.  She did and we did. Phew. 

Because the game was an unexpected expense just days after Christmas, we were really trying to do this cheap.  I used my free hotel on and that really helped.  Do you guys ever book through  It’s amazing!  If you book and complete 10 reservations, your next stay is free (up to the average cost you spent on your 10 rooms).  How could you not love that? 

If you aren’t aware, the Rose Bowl is on New Year’s Day in Pasadena, CA.  This meant we would be spending New Year’s Eve in Los Angeles.  So….of course hotels were more expensive. Even with my free hotel, we still had to pay $40 over the average cost of my 10 rooms.  But hey, $40 is way better than $160!
Leaving Phoenix!
We hit the road on New Year’s Eve around 3pm (thankfully I got off of work early) and made it into LA around 8:30pm. We grabbed some dinner at one of my favorite places in Cali, Pick Up Stix. Then we decided to head up to Pasadena to see if we could spot any of the Rose Parade floats.

The parade is at 8am on New Year’s Day and over a million (A MILLION) people come out to see it in person.  Um?  Heck no.  I had heard that if you go late the night before the parade, they are getting the floats lined up on the street at the starting line of the parade. 
Still in our traveling pjs
You guys? This was the BEST idea ever!  We went up around 9pm and strolled the streets until about 11pm.  We got to see about 10 floats up close, I mean within maybe a foot of them.  You don’t even get that when you are at the parade!  Also, the people that want to see the parade from a good seat? They get there at NOON the day BEFORE the parade!  There were people all over the sidewalks in their sleeping bags and huddled up in blankets. No thanks! I would never do that.  I am clearly not hard core enough. 

The floats are just incredible up close. The creators must cover every inch of the float with living things. Majority of the floats are flowers (hence the name of Rose parade) but they also use fruit, beans, seeds, veggies, ect. So, so, so cool! 

Cold and tired after looking at floats
After seeing the floats we headed to downtown LA quickly to meet up with a friend of mine last minute. We had planned on just chilling in our hotel room with some beers for the countdown, but she convinced us to come out.  We made it into a bar 15 minutes before midnight! We counted down to 2014, sat and chatted for a bit, then headed off to our hotel.  Since California is an hour earlier than Arizona, I was soooo tired.  3am is a long night for me!
Our only pic from NYE....and I hate it! Terrible angle.
The next morning we got up around 8am (ew) and headed back up to Pasadena.  We tailgated for a few hours which was so much fun. I got to meet a lot of people that C went to college with, even some that he played with who are still in the NFL.  I love getting to meet people from his past.  He still has great relationships with everyone. It was like it was just yesterday, not 10+ years ago!

There were people walking around just handing out roses, so of course I made sure to collect a few. They smelled so good.  I wonder how many dozens of roses they gave out that day?  I actually kept mine and took them home where I dried them out. 

When we walked into the Rose Bowl itself, I was so incredibly excited. This game was the 100th anniversary, so it was extra special. The atmosphere was electric! When we actually got to our seats….I was shocked. We were in the front row!  I mean, does that happen to real people?!? We were right on the 25 yard line and the cheerleaders were in front and just to the left of us. Also, the place was 70% MSU fans, which was crazy. Soooo much green!

Now I do have to say, even though being in the front was sooooo cool (and I’m sure we made it on TV once or twice), I couldn’t see a darn thing!  Everyone standing on the field in front of us (cheerleaders, coaches, players, personnel, etc) blocked our view completely.  I am not sure I saw a single play looking at the actual field. I had to watch the game from the big screen. That was also tough because there was only one screen at one end of the field! 

Ok, I’ll stop complaining now :) 

Just bein a football player at halftime, the normal stuff
The game was truly amazing.  I am so lucky that I got the once in a lifetime chance to go! What made it even better was that the Michigan State Spartans won!!!!  Champion’s baby!

There was a confetti machine right in front of us at the end of the game. A girl would load it full of paper and it would spit it out into the air directly above our heads.  So much fun!  I tried to get some action pics….but they are all pretty weird….see for yourself:
Roses before...
Roses after...

After the watching all the ceremonies and singing of the fight song in the stands, C and I made our way to the car. We decided that to save money, it would just be best if we drove home that night.  I have to say….that was really tough! We didn’t arrive in Phoenix until about 2am. I am so glad C was driving, I definitely wouldn’t have made it. I couldn’t keep my eyes open!

Even though it was a quick turn around, I am so happy we got to make this trip. In my mind, going to the Rose Bowl is probably a once in a lifetime experience!  I know there are a ton of Bowl games at the end of each college season, but the Rose Bowl is definitely one of the biggest ones. Now I can say that I got to go to one!
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  1. This is awesome!! How cool you got to go to the Rose Bowl?! Love it!! And you guys are troopers for making the turn-around trip!

  2. I'm not even a football fan and this looks like an awesome time to me!!!!

  3. I know you had an absolute blast...what a great time for you two!

  4. Yay, looks so much fun! I'm also from Michigan, and I live in LA :)



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