Saturday, April 16, 2011

Final Four - Part 1

A few days after the Aggies' exciting win over Baylor in the Elite 8 we scrambled around to see if there was any way we could get ourselves to the Aggies' first ever visit to the Final Four in Indianapolis in just a few days time.  I'm so thankful that Kenny was willing to watch the boys so that I could go on this once in a lifetime trip.  My parents had been following the team all over for years and I even got the opportunity to watch the team play in Seattle last year so it just seemed like if there was any way to get there we should go for it because you never know if something like this will happen again.  After looking online we realized pretty quickly that there was not much chance of getting commercial air tickets on such short notice without having to do some significant layovers and connections or drive 1,000 miles. 

Since I was already pushing my luck to leave the kids with Daddy for a few days, the travel had to be short or it wasn't going to work, so I was beginning to think it just wasn't going to work out. BUT then the university decided to arrange some flights direct from our small airport to Indianapolis in hopes that some fans would make it up there to support the team. I'm very grateful that my parents invited us to go with them, because what a special experience it was. 

We met up at the basketball arena at 6am and the university bussed us directly out on the runway to the plane. I really hate flying, especially on older planes but the convenience of this trip just couldn't be beat. 

I can't say that I'd ever been personally security screened & wanded by the actual pilot before. Yikes ;-)!

Indianapolis is a great town! It's laid out so well and once we got off the bus from the airport to the hotel we never needed any other transportation during our stay. We were able to walk to everything and so many places were connected by skybridge. There were so many wonderful restaurants, shopping, etc just steps away. Even though it's a big place it had a very nice small town feel.

Capitol Building

Team send off at the hotel prior to the Stanford Game

It was so great to see so many fans gathered to cheer on the team!

The Hullabaloo Band

Yell Leaders running through

Followed by the team

Team Captain Sydney Colson

The boys favorite player Danielle Adams

Conseco Fieldhouse

Can you spot Condoleezza in this photo?

"The Pinnacle Awaits"

Coming from behind and beating Stanford in the final seconds of this game was one of the most exhilarating moments EVER!

Singing the Fight Song after our victory

One cool thing about cheering on and following the Women's Team is that it's such an intimate group and we really got to interact with the players, their families, and the coaches.

We really felt like a part of it and being with the families was just so neat to witness firsthand their pride and excitement to see their children achieve something so big.

Danielle and her mom after the game

The team stayed to watch the outcome of the UConn - Notre Dame matchup

Afterwards we went to our new favorite place Scotty's Brewhouse, which was the Aggie fan headquarters for the tournament. They had the BEST appetizer platters ever. We visited Scotty's at least 4 times during our quick trip!

 I never imagined I'd be at a "bar" with my parents after midnight but it was such an amazing night that we couldn't just go to bed. We had to celebrate =-)!

The next day was an off day for the tournament so we went shopping and then saw the "Lincoln Lawyer" in the movie theater at the mall which was attached to the hotel. It was really good but I was just so excited to see a movie that didn't include talking rabbits or singing princesses ;-).

My boys were devastated that they didn't get to come on this trip. They've attended many of the home games and even went to the Dallas Regional but there was just no way they were coming to Indiana. The Women's team is so approachable and they participate in many Jr Aggie Club events so the boys have interacted with the players and in their minds think they are all friends ;-) so I was sad that they had to miss out on the fun. I knew I had to bring them back something special.

I got them a Final Four tournament ball and was able to get all 15 players and the 4 coaches to sign it for them.  I showed them the boys picture when they signed so they knew who it was for and all the girls just thought they were so cute and they all laughed when I told them what big fans the boys are.

My sis in law Rachel, Kelsey Assarian, Maryann Baker, Sydney Colson and me

The boys were especially jealous when I sent them this picture with Danielle, who is the most shy and sweet person off the court and an All American on the court. "But WE want to see Danielle, Mama!!" the boys said =-)

This picture cracks me up, someone from back home in Texas sent this to us. It's a screen shot from ESPN.  You can see I was very committed to yelling for my team. My voice is still recovering!

Beating Stanford and making it to the Championship Game was so amazing and I don't think any of the experts ever thought it would happen.  I'm so proud of our athletes and coaches, they have worked so hard and they never gave up. Gary Blair is such an ambassador for Texas A&M and for Women's Basketball. We are so blessed to have him. If you don't know much about the program, when he arrived 8 years ago, we were dead last in the Big 12 Conference and had been there for some time. He and his talented assistants took this program and completely rebuilt it.  To go from dead last to the National Title Game is pretty incredible, they definitely earned it!


lmworley416 said...

Thanks for sharing all of this! Oh what an amazing trip! Something you'll never forget!
Know that I'm praying so at this end!
Revelation 7:16-17 They shall hunger no more, neither thirst any more; neither shall the sun light on them, nor any heat. For the Lamb which is in the midst of the throne shall feed them, and shall lead them unto living fountains of waters: and God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes.
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lmworley416 said...

Hebrews 6:17-20 Wherein God, willing more abundantly to shew unto the heirs of promise the immutability of his counsel, confirmed it by an oath: That by two immutable things, in which it was impossible for God to lie, we might have a strong consolation, who have fled for refuge to lay hold upon the hope set before us: Which hope we have as an anchor of the soul, both sure and stedfast, and which entereth into that within the veil; Whither the forerunner is for us entered, even Jesus, made an high priest for ever after the order of Melchisedec.
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lmworley416 said...

Praying right now!
Psalms 29:11 The LORD will give strength unto his people; the LORD will bless his people with peace.
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DJones said...

So glad that you enjoyed your trip and a little Hoosier Hospitality! It's nice to see our city from a visitor's perspective. If you get the chance to come back, the zoo, the Children's Museum and the Canal are all fun stuff!