We were feeling a little spontanious this weekend and we decided to hop a plane to Dallas. That's right. Dallas. OK, well spontaneous isn't necessarily the right word. We had thought about going to Dallas off and on for weeks. And weeks! Off and on. And Off. And On. (My husband holding down a job can be sooo annoying when I want to make travel plans...) Our flakiness was driving me absolutely mad so I threw my hands up and told my husband that he would have to plan the trip if he wanted to go. And so on Sat night he bought the tickets leaving Sunday, returning Monday. To Dallas.
Grandma Kristine graciously took Elise, Jackson, and Jebb while John and I loaded Gabe and Seth in the car with us. We got up early Sunday morning and drove to Albuquerque to catch a plane. When we arrived in Dallas, we hooked up with the Hannays or as I like to call them, 'they for whom we traveled to Dallas to see.' What were the Hannays doing in Dallas? Well, we'll got to that. But first, we were hungry. So we went to an authentic Texas Steak House. They had yummy food, giant drinks, and this really long slide the kids were allowed to play on. Our kids were a little old, but when in Texas...
Eric shows us how it's done...
John took this picture of all of us at dinner. Somehow he managed to miss Kim completely, and my mouth was open so wide that I blocked Seth out of the picture too. Oops.
But wait, Ty (the oldest Hannay son) is not in the picture either. Why? You may wonder. Or maybe not. But I will tell you anyway. Ty was eating dinner with his team-his football team. That is the reason we went to Dallas-not just for the steaks and fine company-but for some football.
Ty plays on the Bingham Miner's football team. He is the starting QB in fact, and their team was invited to Texas to play against a local powerhouse, the Trinity Trojans. They were the top ranked football team in the country last year, so Bingham was pretty pumped to be invited to play them. I wondered how Bingham scored the invite. Yes, they are one of the best teams in Utah, but there are lots of great teams. Apparently, there is a Polynesian connection. Lots of Utah's Polynesian population makes their home in the Bingham school district. Out in Texas, the Poly's like to live in Trinity's boundaries. They say there were even some cousins facing off in this match-up. Pretty cool.
We enjoyed our meal then hurried home for a good night's rest. Monday morning came soon. This is my little nephew Ty with his mom (AKA my sister Kim). Kim is as tall as I am, so as you can see, Ty is not really little, but I am still in denial that he has grown so big. And I like it that way.
We stayed at the Econo Lodge where the team was. John kept saying Ecccccconoooo in a weird low gravely voice because it was kind of a dive-but it afforded us the opportunity to spend Monday morning preparing ourselves for the big game. The nearby Walmart had this great body paint and blue hairspray. We painted Gabe as the "B," Nate as the "H," and Seth as the "S." We tried to convince Eric to be the "!," but he opted out. I painted a "#17" and "B" on my cheeks to show solidarity with the other face painters as well as the team.
Yes we have incredible team spirit, but we were also hoping to stand out for the TV cameras with our blue faces. :) That's right-it was broadcast on Fox Sports Channel! Too cool! We headed out to the stadium so we could be there right when it opened. And no, it was not the Trinity Trojan's stadium, it was the brand-spanking-new-super-cool-humongo-awesomeness-swwweet Dallas Cowboy Stadium !!
We were awed and amazed by the enormity and beauty of the stadium, and we hadn't even gone inside yet. When we finally made it in, we were very impressed! The stadium was huge and cool and even had that new carpet smell still. Unbelievable! Kim had hurried in when the doors opened and managed to score us the. best. seats. ever!! 50 yard line front row in the padded seats, baby! We were in the lower left of this pic.The Bingham fans were sorely outnumbered. We only filled 3 or 4 bottom sections-but we had team spirit (see blue faces)! Aren't we such a spirited looking group?! Look how close we are to the field! It was soooo cool!
One of the most amazing features of the stadium is the jumbo-tron. It is mega-ultra-jumbo as far as jumbo-trons go. That is another reason for the face painting-we wanted to see ourselves with 50-foot-wide smiles up in lights. Sadly, it never happened. Good thing I layed on the ground and took this pic of the boys with the screen behind them....it's almost the same, right?
I took this next picture to illustrate the home-team-factor that was in play. Trinity fans fill the bottom and middle sections all around the stadium. I am thinking there were 8 or 9 fans for each of ours. They had a band, cheerleaders, and guys that carried flags that spelled T-r-i-n-i-t-y. They even had an inflatable tunnel for the players to run through when they came onto the field. A tunnel for crying our loud! They were serious!
Bingham has this super cool tradition of doing what is called the Haka before every game. It is a Maori warrior chant that gets them fired up. Here are the Miners doing the Haka. Of course Trinity is so huge, they do the Haka too. Big copy-cats. So the players were all Haka'd up and the game began.
I didn't get a lot of photos of the action because I was too busy screaming my guts out. Here's one where everyone is all clustered up and I have no idea what is happening-but aren't our seats fabulous?!
And here's a picture of Ty on the jumbo-jumbo-tron. He looks even huger than usual.
I guess I stopped cheering long enough to get this picture of myself and John.
It was a terrific game. The Miners played their darndest, but alas, it was Trinity's game. They won 21-42. It was an fantastic game in an venue that we will never get to see a family member play in again. I LOVED IT! I wasn't even really sad that Bingham lost. They played so well, but this is Texas. Home of Texas Football. I was really proud of Ty and enjoyed cheering for him SO, SO much. After the game we went back to the Econo to say goodbye.
Ty stayed to eat with the team, but Steve took us all out to lunch before we had to go back to the airport. We bid the Hannays and their large selves farewell.
Overall it was an amazing experience that we will never have again. To cheer for and with our family in a pro stadium was oober fun! Although it was a little quicker turn around that I like in a getaway, it was worth it. Thanks, John for giving the green light on the trip! Thank you Hannays for letting us crash your party! Congratulations Ty-you played like a champ!