Super Bowl Sunday…We made the best of it!

Even though the Super Bowl did not end the way we wanted, I thought I would share a few pics from our Sunday evening, along with a great recipe I found on Pinterest!

We had a few friends come over, all Patriots fans of course.  My brother Ryan arrived early to help Tadd with the grilling.

We cooked Italian sausages (with peppers & onions) and Ryan brought over the ribs.

We still love you, Welker!

After we finished cooking, we got ourselves set up in the living room, and got ready to watch the game!

Terrible pic (taken with my phone), but we have our Patriots hats on!

We also served Patriots cupcakes!

 

And the big hit of the night were the jalapeno cream cheese pinwheels, that I made thanks to Pinterest!  It’s just 3/4 of a brick of cream cheese with some diced jalapenos and a little sugar (recipe calls for a tbsp, but I only added about 3/4 to a half a tbsp), spread onto rectangles of crescent roll dough, rolled up, sliced, and baked.  Yum!

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Under the weather.

Sorry for the lack of updates.  I have been sick with a cold the past few days and haven’t really felt like doing much of anything.

However, I am trying to gather up some energy for a very busy weekend ahead.  Who are you rooting for on Sunday?  Having been born in New England, I’m sure it’s not hard to guess who I will be rooting for!  Go Pats!

Source: google.com.br via Linda on Pinterest

Instagram Link Party: Sunset Over Brighthouse Stadium

My Instagram Link Party submission for the link party over at A Little Dash of Ash for this week did not need any filters at all.  It was too gorgeous to require any kind of funky enhancements to make it visually appealing.  Just Mother Nature at its finest.

Kickoff for Saturday Night’s football game was at 8pm, so after packing up our tailgating supplies, we turned toward the stadium, to be greeted by this beautiful sunset.  It had been overcast all day (but didn’t rain…which in September in Florida, is the best possible scenario, as the sun can be BRUTAL!), so the clouds were forming interesting patterns in the sky the whole afternoon, which only enhanced the view.

STAY TUNED!  The winner of the Eversave Giveaway will be announced tonight!

A Football Family Feud

Last night was the UCF vs Boston College game at Brighthouse Stadium.  Me, Tadd, my brother Ryan, my parents, and grandparents met up with my parents’ neighbors to tailgate.  Everyone had their red bandannas in honor of Welles Crowther.

We had a great time socializing, eating, and drinking…  My dad manned the grill and did a great job!  Note his Boston College attire with the UCF backdrop.  He was definitely in the minority!

Yum!

Everyone had a great time tailgating.

As the sun started to set, we headed into the stadium for the game.

Of course, since my dad bought the tickets, we sat on the visitor's side!

I wish I could say it was a close game (because I wanted SO badly for that to be the case!), but the UCF Knights steamrolled over the Boston College Eagles.  Final score: UCF 30, BC 3.  Sorry Dad!  Luckily he was still kind enough to give us a ride home!  Just kidding…Of course any other match up and my dad would happily be rooting for UCF.  I told him we should come back for another home game this season with the whole family rooting for UCF, and he thought that was a good idea.

It was just as weird as I imagined rooting against Boston College.  Crazy mixed feelings!  It really did suck some of the fun out of it for me.  Sports are always so much more fun when your feelings about the teams are more clearly defined (as in Red Sox vs. Yankees, or Red Sox vs Rays).  But it was still fun to have the family together for a fun sports event.

JUST A REMINDER!  My Eversave Giveaway is open until 6pm today!  So get those entries in!  I would love to see a few more people enter.  This is free money, people!  Take advantage of it!

Red Bandannas for Welles Crowther

My father and grandfather both graduated from Boston College…My late grandfather was class of 1939, and my father was class of 1978.  To say BC was a part of my childhood is an understatement.  As a matter of fact, one of my earliest memories is of my dad teaching me the word-for-word commentary from the historic hail mary pass during the 1984 BC vs. University of Miami game; “Doug Flutie goes back to pass, throws it to Phelan…TOUCHDOWN!!!”  Yes, I could recite that like a parrot much to the amusement of my dad and his friends back when I was a mere preschooler.

My brother and I, however, both graduated from the University of Central Florida here in Orlando.  So as soon as my dad found out that BC was going to play a game against UCF during the 2011 football season, he knew the whole family would HAVE to go.  So we are going, this coming Saturday, with my entire family and a few friends too.  I am looking forward to it, even though I am ultimately torn on who to root for.  Of course, in the end, I have to root for UCF because I actually attended and earned my degree from them, but rooting against BC just isn’t in my nature.  It’s just weird!  Luckily my dad is very understanding about our allegiances.  He knows if BC were playing any other team, we would be cheering them on.

What does this have to do with red bandanas?  Well, as I’m sure you are aware, the 10th anniversary of September 11th is nearly upon us.  It actually falls the day after this Saturday’s football game.  And although there are many, many stories of heroes and heroic acts that came out of that day, there is one hero in particular that both BC and UCF fans will be joining together to commemorate and honor.

Welles Crowther, a 1999 graduate of Boston College, worked for an investment banking firm on the 104th floor of the south tower of the World Trade Center.  After the plane hit, he ran back into the wreckage at least 3 times to rescue survivors from the upper floors of the tower and eventually lost his life saving others.  His parents were able to connect their son with stories of his bravery from witness accounts because they all saw him shielding his nose and mouth with his trademark red bandanna, something his father had given him as a boy that he had carried with him his whole life.

Welles Remy Crowther, 1977-2001

To honor him at the upcoming UCF vs. BC football game, a movement has started to encourage attendees of the game to wear a red bandanna.  The movement has gained popularity to the point where it has literally become front page news on the Orlando Sentinel.  There is even a Facebook event page where in only a few days, over 5500 fans have pledged to participate.  Tadd and I can’t wait to wear our bandannas to the game, along with our family and friends.  Crowther’s story has moved me, and the chance to show our support for the cause is an honor.  It may seem trite and of course, no amount of red-bandanna-wearing can bring back anyone who has been lost, but tributes like this give us all a chance to reflect, show support to friends and families of the victims, and join together to do something larger than life.  There is something heartwarming about fans across rival teams joining forces for something like this.

To learn more about Welles’ story, please check out the incredibly moving video segment that ESPN put together; Man In The Red Bandanna.

Weekend Update: Red Sox Edition

I am back from my fun-filled weekend in St. Petersburg!  We had a great time, and I am excited to say that the Red Sox beat the Rays at the game we attended on Saturday night!  I hope we inspired some of our friends to become baseball fans.  Jury is still out on that, but in the end it doesn’t really matter, because I love baseball!  And that’s what is important.  To me anyways.

The weekend started off early Friday afternoon when Tadd and I left work around noon and headed over to Downtown Disney on our way out of town.  We were able to get our weekend started a few hours earlier than the rest of our friends, so we decided to make this fun stop to kill some time.  I was excited because it meant I was crossing off another item on my Summer List!

It was SUPER hot and crowded at DTD, and all of the restaurants where we had intended to grab lunch had long lines and no indoor seating, so we decided to eat at Rainforest Cafe.  HOLY OVERPRICED, BATMAN!  But I have to admit that my turkey caesar wrap was really good, if messy.  I was annoyed that they charged me $15 for a wrap and chips, but were going to make me pay an additional $2 if I wanted fries.  Forget it!  I stuck with the chips, which I barely touched.  Regardless, we just rolled with the punches and had a nice lunch.

After that we window shopped around a bit, and then headed back on the road at about 3pm, just as it started to rain ever so slightly.

You always know you are on your way out of the Orlando area when you spot the Mickey power lines.

We got to the hotel around 5, and relaxed before running over to Publix for provisions (beer, snacks, water, soda, etc).  Pretty much everyone else was running a bit behind schedule, so we had some more time to kill.  Mostly everyone arrived a little after 8, so we headed out to Jimmy Guana’s for dinner, followed by Lana’s Friendly Tavern, which is a dive/kareoke bar that we visited last year during Red Sox Weekend too.  It’s one of those hole-in-the-wall all-locals kind of places.  Cheezy but fun.

Saturday morning, Tadd and I got up early and grabbed some freebie continental breakfast while everyone else slept.  We got back, showered, lounged for a couple hours, and then started getting everyone moving.  We had all of our Red Sox gear ready to go!

First we ate lunch at an interesting place called Quaker Steak & Lube.  Cue a string of about eighty million 8th grader jokes throughout lunch.  Those poor waiters and waitresses have to hear them ALL the time, I’m sure.  Stupid tourists!  Ha!  Oh well, we thoroughly enjoyed ourselves.  The joke was on us though, because even in all of our Red Sox gear, my brother’s beer was brought to him in a Rays glass!  Lame! Waitress’s revenge, I suppose.

After lunch, it was time to get ready to tailgate, then on to Tropicana Field (or “The Trop” as it is called by the locals)!

 

I won’t lie…We were freaking HOT while tailgating.  The parking attendants were discouraging people from parking willy nilly, so we had to take a spot in the middle of the open parking lot instead of strategically parking under a tree on the perimeter of the lot.  This is on blacktop, at 2pm, in Florida in July.  HOT!  Oh well.  Thank goodness the Trop is domed and climate-controlled!  Yay for air-conditioning!

On to the game (crossing off yet another Summer List item)!

Final score!

Celebrating our victory in style!

It was a magnificent game.  Lots of excitement, and, most importantly, the Sox won, 9 to 5!  Woo!  We decided to head to Five Bucks Drinkery in Downtown St. Pete to celebrate.  This might be my new favorite St. Pete spot.  Everything on the menu is under $5 and they have some really interesting (albeit high-calorie) pub fare.  Really, anyplace that has craft beer and tater tots is great in my mind.  But Tadd ordered chicken fried bacon!  Not something I would touch with a 10 foot pole, but he was in heaven.  I liked the fried pickles too.

"To the Sox!"

After our celebration at Five Bucks Drinkery, a few of us decided to drive out to Treasure Island and hang out on the beach for a bit.  Despite the humidity inland, the weather right at the ocean was beautiful.  We waded in the warm water of the Gulf of Mexico for a bit, and then plopped down on the sand to just enjoy the breeze and the sound of the waves.  I love the beach at night!

Sunday morning a few of us decided to do the Florida Aquarium Dolphin Eco-Tour before heading back to Orlando.  It’s a 90-minute boat ride around Tampa Bay.  We really enjoyed the tour and saw a bunch of dolphins!  Our guide was really informative and had some really interesting info on the Bay and its ecology.

See the dolphins? They are not easy to photograph!

The end.  Go Sox!!!

RED SOX! You are the only, only, only…

Source: Wikipedia

I don’t think I touched on this yet in this blog, but I am originally from Boston.  Love the town, love to visit, and still have tons of family in the area.  And yes, I am a Red Sox fan.  HUGE fan.  My love of the Red Sox runs several generations deep. My grandparents went to Fenway Park during their dating days in the 1940s.  Their parents went to games too.  My dad has been a fan literally his whole life.  My husband, born and raised in Florida, had married into a big Boston sports family and has embraced it with gusto.  He is now just as big of a fan as I am (if not more).  Our future children will no doubt be fans as well.

I still remember my first Red Sox game.  I was 7 and it was at Fenway Park.  I remember being more excited to ride the subway than to actually go to the game.  Back in those days, any chance to go into Boston (we lived in the North Shore suburbs) was a big deal for me.  I was fascinated by the idea of the Big City; the hustle and bustle, the different styles of architecture, and the overall feel of being somewhere where lots of important stuff happened.  My whole life, I have felt a strong personal connection to “my city”.  And even though I remember very little about the actual game itself, what sticks out in my mind was holding my Dad’s hand while crossing Yawkey Way, looking up at Fenway, and sensing the importance and history of it all.  Even though I wasn’t into sports at the time, it still felt exciting and it still left a huge impression on me.

The whole crew from Red Sox Weekend 2010!

We moved to Florida when I was 9.  I didn’t become a true baseball fan until I was much older.  As much fun as I find the games, I think that for me it is also a way to channel my connection to Boston, and my pride for “my city” into something tangible.

Every baseball season, the Red Sox always have one weekend series with the Tampa Bay Rays at Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg, FL.  Several years ago, we started a tradition of getting a group together and going over to the Tampa area for the Saturday game (and sometimes the Sunday game too) and making a weekend of it.  We have dubbed this Red Sox Weekend.  It’s really fun because Red Sox fans come from all over the state for these games.  You see Red Sox shirts and hats everywhere for that weekend, and there have been many times that Red Sox fans have outnumbered Rays fans at the games.   Such a good time!

So guess what this upcoming weekend is????  RED SOX WEEKEND 2011!  Tadd and I are leaving right after work and I am so excited!  We are meeting a bunch of friends over there too.  I can’t wait!

GO SOX!

And don’t worry…Keith will be staying home to take care of the kitties.  That’s at least one perk of having him around!