To preface the entire event, I'm sad to report that head pirate coach Mike Leach was not gracing the sidelines due to some unfortunate events involving a shed. Or something like that. I would just like to get the whole story on that one, which I doubt will ever happen, but a girl can always dream. At any rate, the Raider Nation was extremely fired up for the game, and let me just say that the t-shirt production between the time of Leach's firing and kick-off of the bowl game was somewhat remarkable. Lots of witty signs, too. Certainly added another aspect to the game that we weren't expecting.
Road trip!! Let's just say that after the New Year's festivities that went down at the Vaughn home (to be shared later, of course - I've just decided to go against my nature and post things on the blog out of chronological order, which is a big step for an accountant), waking up on New Year's Day came a little earlier than I would have liked. However, it didn't stop us from throwing my approximately eleventy billion pounds of crap in the car and zooming to Whataburger in time to make the 11:00 breakfast cutoff. Taquitos are really the perfect way to start the day, and we definitely wanted to drive down the day before the game to make the most of our trip.
We took a break from our journey with a stop in Austin to visit a dear friend (hi Kristin!), who kindly directed our slightly hungover and hungry tummies to Torchy's Tacos of the South Austin Trailer Park and Eatery. One Trashy Trailer Park, one Democrat, and two Diet Cokes later, I was a new person. So good to see you, Kristin, and also so, so good to spend a little time with Torchy. I really do love Austin, even if it is the land of burnt orange.
The journey to San Antonio continued, fortunately with zero traffic disasters. You just never know what you might hit when you throw downtown Austin into the mix on a Friday afternoon. After checking in at our hotel, we met up with Diana's aunt, uncle, and cousins for some dinner and then headed out for a night on the Riverwalk. Nothing quite like bars blasting the Tech fight song in San Antonio - love it. Oh, and did we run into any college friends? No...but did we encounter some of Diana's Midland Lee crowd? Yes, yes we did! High school, it's always there! Oh, and if you'd like to get a picture outside the Alamo without any other people around, might I recommend the wee hours of the morning after the bars close down? It's really the best time.
After staying up entirely too late, we woke up on game day in time for...well, a late lunch. Which consisted of chili cheeseburgers and some Shiner (the official beer of the Alamo Bowl, I might add - go Texas beer!) on the Riverwalk while taking in some more Big XII football in the form of the Cotton Bowl back in Dallas. We spent the afternoon exploring the Riverwalk, doing some shopping, enjoying the general sea of red and black surrounding us, and admiring the more creative t-shirts the crowd was sporting:
We headed over to the stadium a couple hours before the game and enjoyed some quality time with the Goin' Band from Raiderland and fellow fans before seeking the comfort of the dome...in marked contrast to last year's bowl game where we were sweating and seeking shade, this year we resorted to hoodies and shivering before gratefully entered the enclosed space. Thank you, Alamodome, for keeping us from freezing our buns off.
Let me just say, thank goodness for the victory in the end - the Red Raiders didn't play as brilliantly as they could have, although given the coaching circumstances I think they pulled it together pretty well. I'm going to give props to the exteme amount of yelling Diana and I poured into the game - we could barely speak the next day. We did have to explain to the Michigan State couple seated next to us why the crowd was booing Adam James (and not their band) at halftime and why the crowd went crazy chanting "Sticks, Sticks!!" late in the game. Bit of a ridiculous week for the team. So great to be there, though, and hooray for the win!! It was pretty great to see an enormous crowd of red and black circling the stadium and supporting the team.
Courtesy of Picasa (love you, Picasa!) you can check out Diana's pictures from the weekend here, and my collection's over here. Here's wishing the Raiders the best of luck in a search for a new head coach (hard to imagine a football season without Mike Leach!), and wreck 'em, Tech! Here's to Diana for loving college football and our Red Raiders just as much, if not more, than I do - incredibly glad we got to spend so much quality time together last week, dear friend! And until next season, college football - I'll miss you.