There is no other way to describe the Super Bowl Extravaganza Weekend – it was absolutely amazing, wonderful, fun, fun, fun and surreal! I’m probably never going to have another opportunity to experience all that we did.
The parties were amazing, happening in places I would normally not be, and with people I know not from real life, but from TV.
I will say that after being treated so special – remember we had VIP status for this event – I could see how one (me) could become accustomed to being served – all the time. We were given everything for free – we were delivered to and let in places where the “general public” was not. My sister received “room drops” at the hotel in the evenings – she received an iPod Nano and a workout watch (that the iPod fits into), Beats by Dre ($400 headphones!), and a Super Bowl hat and glove set. I could definitely see how there would be a battle to keep pride from squeezing humility out of the picture. (My sister relies on her faith to keep her grounded.)
It was so wonderfully fun, and maybe I could really soak into it because I knew it was for a very limited time – and what mom wouldn’t want someone else literally handing her drinks as she enters a place and magically producing all her meals for her?! Really, some days this is our fantasy.
As fantastically cool as it was meeting some of these athletes and going to some of the parties, some of my favorite moments of the whole weekend were:
- Standing in the middle of the street with thousands of people around us, and having a deep, deep conversation with my sister.
- Going to lunch at PF Changs and sitting there for a few hours talking and laughing. The manager, Lisa, and our waiter, Donny, were wonderful. We left such a large tip that when we returned the next day with my daughter and her friends, we got in quickly to a great table with Donny serving us again. (Thank you Lisa and Donny, sorry other people who may have been ahead of us – see what I mean about feeling special and maybe even prideful?!)
- Laughing so hard that we stopped in the middle of crossing the street – only to be told by the traffic officer to keep moving. (Do you have someone in your life that you laugh that hard with? We all should.)
- One evening we came back to our room between parties, crawled into bed to rest, began watching an episode of “30 Rock” on Jamie’s computer and promptly fell asleep. We woke up, laughed, and turned it on again – only to fall asleep again. That was funny…and sort of sweet. I love my sister.
- I loved meeting Becky and Lynda from California. We were seated with them at Zest for lunch and ended up going to a few events and parties together. We’re hopeful to meet up with them in Palm Desert for a Girl’s Weekend sometime. Every once in awhile you make a great connection and you hope you can maintain it some way.
- I loved that plans were disrupted and changed at the last minute and my sister ended up driving the 125 miles home with me so we could meet with someone who needed our help. This may have been the most important person we met with all weekend.
- Almost every time we got dressed – we would look at each other and see that we were practically wearing the same outfit. That cracked us up. (The photo to the right is from a sister weekend last year in Chicago – we got dressed, turned around, looked at each other and just laughed!!)
- Another favorite moment was after I got home. Tuesday I had finally gotten to the grocery store and made dinner – as Erin took her first bite, she said “Ohhhh…..a home cooked meal.” Zach pipes in with “I know, I was in my room when I heard the vegetables hit the pan, and I thought, Oh good, real food!” To which Kevin replied, “Hey! I fed you while she was gone. It was fast food and restaurants, but we ate!”
- Receiving text messages from my family all weekend that displayed their joy and excitement at this opportunity I had been given. Also the text message from my college daughter that read. “Why are you so cool?!!” Seriously, that one needs to be printed out and framed.
The weekend that ESPN treated us to was well beyond what I have ever could have imagined experiencing. And…although I felt happiness all weekend and enjoyed literally every minute of it, the best part, and what brought me JOY was simply being with my sister, and then being welcomed back into the real world of my wonderfully ordinary life.
(Unbelievable enough, next month I will have another “once in a lifetime experience” with my other sister, Tracey. She bid on and won a Chicago Bulls package in which our two seventeen year sons will be honorary team captains at the Bulls vs. the 76ers game. I am blessed by my sisters.)