The way to travel...

It's 10:25 pm (well, it was when I started this post - I got a little sidetracked between then and now though...) and we've been home from Georgia Tech for two hours already.  Team travel is the way to go.  Seriously.  If I could travel everywhere like we traveled this weekend, it'd be amazing and I'd be fat.

We had planned to drive to Atlanta for the Georgia Tech game, but when I mentioned our plans to Stan, one of the guys I work for, he made arrangements for us to be a part of the travel party and travel with the team to Georgia Tech.  Talk about the way to travel - it's like VIP treatment!  Stan hooked us up since he knew it would be way more convenient for us than driving, but also as a fun last hoorah before I leave. 

Apparently guys are a little less detail oriented than us girls because none of them...not Ryan, not Matt, not TJ...has ever mentioned the treatment they get on away trips before. 

It all started before we even departed from the airport.  We parked at general aviation, never even stepped foot in a terminal, just went through a single line of security set up specifically for our travel party.  Then we walked straight up to the airplane and boarded via the stairs.  It reminded me of the President boarding Air Force One...on a smaller, less important scale of course. :)   Before boarding the plane, we grabbed a food bag and chose between the sandwich, philly cheese steak and chicken fingers.  When I opened my bag of food on the plane, it was never-ending!

Then, when we arrived at Hartsfield-Jackson in ATL, one of the busiest airports in the world, we got off at a separate area - not a gate- where the charter buses had pulled right up next to the plane.  We had a police escort to the hotel and this may have been the craziest part of the whole thing.  We got on 285 during the middle of 6 lanes of stand-still traffic and the police just stopped the cars in all lanes and we made a beeline for the HOV.  Once there, I was like well that was cool, but what one in front of us can go anywhere and it might as well be a parking lot.  Cars weren't moving.  Well, with that police escort, cars pulled over out of the HOV lane and we went right on ahead.  When we reached our exit, the police blocked off the lanes again so all four buses could just dart over to the exit.  It was like the parting of the sea lol.  The cars in all lanes just stopped on the middle of the highway for us to cross. 

When we got to the Westin Peachtree Plaza, we got our room key and to the horror of my elevator phobia, our room was on the 36th floor. Juuust wonderful! Actually, these elevators weren't too bad and the view wasn't at all bad, so it was fun.  Seriously though, my second thought after Stan made arrangements for us to travel was "oh crap, the Westin is one TALL building - I sure hope we're not on a high floor".  And I was legitimately concerned about it until we got there.  Crazy and stupid, I know. :)

view from our room to the left - downtown Atlanta

...and view to the right - my beloved Georgia Dome, where the Falcons play! :) ...and CNN Center, Centennial Olympic Park, etc.
  Several of the parents greeted the team (my parents and Wes' parents who were staying at my parents' house included), so Matt and Wes came down and we all hung out for a couple hours before dinner time.  For dinner, Ryan and I went with a large group of athletics and campus administrators to Ray's in the City - delicious!  Then we hung out in the Sun Dial room afterwards until we headed to bed.

At Ray's in the City with Stan and Ramona

After a Starbucks breakfast in the hotel, we once again loaded the charter buses and headed to the stadium with our police escort.  We hit a couple of tailgates - one with some football alum guys and one with the player's families.  Then Ryan and I headed up to the AD's box for the first half of the game, which included...of course...more food!  We moved down to the stands for the second half to sit with my parents, Jamie and a couple of her friends.

Ryan and I in the visiting AD's suite

Duke Athletics ladies I'm going to MISS!!!  Cindy, Nina, and Ramona! ...and "Bubba King" in Nina's belly! :)

Matt and Banks' high five ritual before kickoff

and Egboh making a play!

After visiting with the players after the game, we loaded up and headed back to the airport. 

Mom, Dad, me, Ryan, Matt and Jamie + Summer and Jamie's friends Alysha and Elizabeth

Banks and Matt showing off their 'staches for no shave November.  Wes really has the best mustache going on, but he was already on the bus. 

This picture is majorly lacking TJ!!
 Again, we walked straight onto the plane after grabbing yet another heaping bag of food, which was followed by Dove ice cream bars that the flight attendants handed out once we were in the air.  And by 8:15 pm, we were back in our car, headed home! And with our days in Durham dwindling, we gained a much-needed free full day by being in Durham all day tomorrow instead of spending our day driving back. 

It was so fun to experience traveling with the team - to see what it's like from the player's perspective.  With Ryan, Matt, and TJ doing this on a regular basis, it's fun to see what game weekends are like to them!

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Very Cool! Nice things happen to nice people! So glad you had such a nice treat for the game! I know they will be sad to see you go. But we are happy to see you come back! Love you bunches! Ash