Monday, January 07, 2008

Orange you glad for birthday wishes!?

Get ready for the longest blog entry EVER!

We just returned from the Orange Bowl where my Jayhawks came away with a victory. It was well worth the trip to finally see a big KU game, where we actually win. I've gone to several NCAA basketball tournaments and I've only seen one win in the second round, but never has anything meant so much. Tears were actually shed at the end of this one.

We arrived on the evening of the 2nd and joined the others that had decided to make the trek to Miami. The early group had already enjoyed the hotel's free happy hour, but our $95 cab ride got us there a little too late. We headed to Kung Fu Chu's, in the hotel for sushi and saki. Then we headed out to some crazy club. Definitely not my scene. There was a crazy man pimped out in a plush red coat and fancy red hat. He was actually smoking a joint. Caitlin tried to sit next to him, so I could take his picture, but he scrambled out of there quickly.

The 3rd was not only game day, but it was also my birthday. We got up and headed to the Big Pink. If you are in Miami, it's a great diner with massive breakfasts.

When we returned to our room, Chris had arranged for a birthday cake, balloons, wine and hotel souvenirs to be delivered o the room. It was so sweet and quite a surprise.

What was an even better surprise was that the cake didn't have "Happy Birthday Cassie", but rather "Happy Birthday Chris". Can you believe that? At least it was tasted like a cake made of Twinkies.

Some of you recall the birthday where my mom asked me to pick up my cake since she was running late. The Dairy Queen ice cream cake had icing scrawled across it "Happy Birthday Caffie". At least I can laugh about it now.

We bunked with Moe and Eric. Apparently, Chris and Eric thought that those to stay together, dress together. I've dubbed Chris' winter look "the uniform". It's popular in Chicago apparently, too.

Our hotel was pretty cool, but the rooms were tiny, dark and red and white. It was in South Beach, so we were close to all of the action. Everybody seemed to be from Europe and looked like David Beckham, although not quite as good looking. Everyone wore aviators, leather coats and just had that European vibe to them.

Palm trees a plenty...
We headed to Dolphin Stadium via cab mid-afternoon. The parking lot was full of Virgina Tech fans. Our option was to party in the Budweiser tailgate, which had live music, food, interactive displays and songs by the KU Marching Band.

It was COLD that day! 50's and wind. I wore four shirts and a fleece and I was still a it chilly.

Outside of Dolphin Stadium with the girls...

The giant Kansas equipment trailer and Chris as a silhouette.

Do you all remember when I blogged about that guy at the Cubs game that claimed we would go to the Orange or Fiesta Bowl? Chris and I had talked for a few weeks about how we would love to see him again and tell him that he was right and we thought he was crazy. Right before he walked into the game he walked right by us! I literally started screaming for Chris. He is our new BFF in Chicago.

The boys in RED!? I was a little disappointed that we didn't wear blue, but it turned out to be lucky anyway.

Victorious...The Jayhawks celebrate in the stadium following the win.

A tearjerker for sure.
The game got over so late that by the time we got back to the hotel it was 1:30 in the morning. We didn't make it over to the team hotel, but Chris managed to celebrate at our hotel bar with his buddies.

Moe and I headed out for a walk on Friday morning, stopping for a Cuban coffee while spying on the pools in the fancy hotels that line Ocean Drive.

The boys joined us for lunch at Prime Time, a sidewalk cafe on Ocean Drive. I had the best sandwich, bloody Mary's and sweet potato fries while the sun shined on my face. I'm not sure why eating lunch outside in the sun while drinking an adult beverage always solidifies vacation to me.
We walked to the beach, so we could at least say that we did. It was still a little chilly, but the sun was out.

The bird obsession continues...

Eric and Moe tip toe on the beach.

Eight of us went to Joe's Stone Crab on Friday night before our return trip on Saturday. I'm so excited that we went at the last minute. It was so much fun and we got to wear paper bibs! Joe's serves more than 1,500 pounds of stone crab alone on a daily basis. The crabs are endangered, so they just take one claw and send them back for another claw to grow. Worthless info, I know.

The bibs...why do these simple things make me so happy? Give me a paper bib and I'm one happy girl.
One last stop at the hotel bar...

..and it wouldn't be a trip with Moe and Eric without a car bomb contest.

So...Orange Bowl birthday wishes do come true.

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