The year finished up pretty good at Aflac and I feel pretty grateful to have such a wonderful team, but I can already tell that 2010 is going to be so much more. Just like everyone else, we're going to be asked to do more and more, with a bit less and less. It's going to be a trying year indeed, but I wouldn't have it any other way ... I love a good challenge! I think I'll end the week with 12 meetings in two days if that's any indication of the amazingness to happen in 2010 at the duck:)
O yes, and the monthly slap-down, aka good times with ping-pong, also happened last week with a bunch of guys from work. It was my first opportunity to test my pong skillz outside of my own garage and I have to say I held my own, with the cast and all! Speaking of cast, I'm pretty sure that my leg is healed after getting that nice smelling cast off, phew. I have a big ol' boot now, fully functional with a pump, very similar to the Reebok Pumps of old:)
And then Jenny, Caden and I started the New Year off with a bang by traveling down to Miami for the FedEx Orange Bowl festivities. Thanks to my buddy Todd Dunford, Jenny and I had free tickets to the game, so we footed the bill for the hotel and activities for the weekend leading up to the game. New Year's Eve we arrived a bit after 6pm and made our way to pick up Todd and some friends at FontaineBleau, Fountain Blue for those of us that didn't want to pay $400/night:) After driving by the Mazerratis, Lambos and Ferrari's lined up in the valet I had to turn down a Lady GaGa performance at their hotel, the tickets weren't expensive enough at $300 a pop:) We celebrated on the beach with the Orange drop and brought in the New Year with amazing fireworks.
The next few days we hung out at the hotel and with our pals and played catch with Caden. Dan Wolfe and wife Jen took us down to South Beach for a bit of a walk about and some fine dining. Let's just say that the fine dining though, was a little dodgy with some shady characters at the healm of Miami's finest restaurants. After some grub, we went to walk around the shops of Miami Beach which were many.
Sunday we ventured to the Everglades for a boat tour of the great wild. We saw many a bird and swampy area, but no gators roaming about. We returned to the facility for a gator show though and saw a crazy redneck wranglin' some gators, one even named killer. After the show, Jenny and I both got to hold Snappy, the tiny gator. Gator time was followed by some good times with old friends Matt Schmidt and Stefan Doerrfeld. We ventured to the Sunrise Cafe, aka big hole in the wall bar filled with Hawk fans. Lots of pool was played and Jenny even beat Ricky Stanzi's dad and little brother, nothin' like beating the QBs fam:)
Monday was almost time for game day, so we all gathered at the convention center for the Hawk Huddle where thousands of fans got together for a pep rally. It was fun to hear the band, hear from Hawk announcers and meet some old pals. That night was capped off by some party action down on Ocean Ave. at the Clevelander where it seemed like every single person there was a Hawk fan. A late great night with friends and Hawk cheers ensued.
Then, it was game day so we started like we did every day ... with lots of extended sleep! An early start to the tailgate began about 2 that afternoon. We played some catch, ate some grub, did some cheers and obviously we had to go heckle the opposing team's ban and cheerleaders! A man pyramid was marveled by the cheerleaders and baton twirler, whilst the pose with the tuba was not so much appreciated:) We also hung out with other Hawk fans as well in addition to going to take pictures with the Iowa band.
I tried to sell Orange Bowl oranges to the fans at Landshark stadium, but I didn't have any takers. So, I decided to make some official Orange Bowl accessories. I created a orange peel chin strap as well as a necklace. Additionally, I made the Orange Bowl mascot, almost life size:) We also attempted a new world record with 28 beach balls at one time in a stadium, previous record was 23. O yes, and all of them had our buddy's name and contact info on them, great advertising for a realtor:) It was about that time that we headed to the stadium to pick up our tickets, thanks to my buddy Todd ... thanks! The seats couldn't be beat, second row on the 10 yard line by the Hawks' Nest. The fans from Iowa beat the Yellow Jackets off the field and the black hats on the field took it to Georgia Tech. Our defense dominated the triple option all night long and Stanzi orchestrated some great drives to give the Hawks a 24-14 victory pulling another big bowl win for the Big Ten!
Welp, it is past my bedtime and work is calling my name in the morning. Hope you all had a great start to the new year and I will see you all again on Sunday!