Editor's Note: Due to the fact that the author is a huge wuss, unforeseen computer issues, and getting really drunk...this recount of the Super Bowl weekend is appearing much later than intended.
You know you're excited when you requested a wake up call for 7am, and when the phone rings, you're already packed and headed out the door. It was like Christmas morning when you're a kid...there is just so much excitement you can't sleep any longer...and so you jump out of bed and start the day early.
We're out of the hotel room and the car is loaded by 7:30am...we've got just short of 4 hours worth of driving ahead of us, and we can't wait to get to Miami. But first thing's first, the Hotel has a breakfast bar, and we hit that for a good start to the day. Let me tell you, there is nothing better than cold biscuits and gravy to start the day! Um, yeah, turns out the power is out on the kitchen area of the Hotel...so everything is cold. I can be heard uttering the phrase, "who cares, it's free"...hence the cold biscuits and gravy. I did become "Master of the Cranberry Juice" as I seemed to be the only one in the hotel that figured out you had to push really hard to get the dispenser to work...so I'm adding that to my resume.
On our way out, Krish asked for directions to the Florida Turnpike...we had a set, but he wanted to see if there was a "local version". Instead what he got was his first "Hable Espanol?" of the trip. People seemed to assume Krish spoke Spanish...which was a great source of fun.
One of the best things about our rental car...it was brand new...had the new car smell and everything...of course, that was until Krish compromised the new car smell by spilling coffee all over...let's just say, that was just the first time the new car smell would be compromised this trip.
After spending all day Friday lost in Orlando, we finally figured it all out, on our way out of town. Have no trouble getting on the road to Miami...but boy, Orlando is a really wacky town in terms of layout. None of the roads make sense, and it's really easy to miss a turn and then have no idea how to get back to where you were...even the airport is confusing. Plus, no matter where you go....and this goes for all of central Florida...Disney world is always the next exit. Seriously, for the first 100 miles of the trip, every other exit we passed said, "Disney World Next exit". Just nuts...it's like we couldn't get away from ever looming Disney monster...
Around 9am we got a call from Krish's college buddy Tom, who's in town for the game with his brother. They had flown into Orlando at 1:30am...and decided that since it was so late, instead of trying to find a hotel, they would hit a strip club...not finding a suitable one in Orlando, despite repeated attempts, they decided to drive to Miami that night...and then slept in their car. The good news for us? They started calling hotels in the area seeing if anyone had any openings...and found a Days Inn near the airport that had several rooms, and was only charging $89 a night...needless to say, we were excited. They were only accepting walkins, so Tom and Jon booked over and got 2 rooms...very nice.
For those that haven't paid attention to the Super Bowl saga...this is the 3rd hotel room that Krish and I have reserved for the trip. We had one in Ft. Lauderdale, but cancelled that when we read several reports that they had a terrible bed bug problem. At the time we cancelled, the closest thing we could find was a Comfort Inn in Jupiter...not close to Miami at all. And now we have a Miami hotel...not a bad turn of events...one problem...
We find that the hotel in Jupiter only accepts cancellations 48 hours in advance, after an initial call, the normal process for a late cancellation like this? Get charged for the whole stay. Fantastic! Krish finds out that the Manager gets in at 11am, and he's the one that would need to help us.
Krish cracks a road beer in celebration for the new hotel...and no, he's not driving...hell, we weren't driving. Using his superior cloak and dagger techniques, he pours the beer into his empty Starbucks cup. Added bonus? A nice coffee after taste to the beer...mmmmm....of course during the process of pouring the beer, he spills some, compromising the new car smell once again!
See a sign that says, "Miami 101 miles, Jupiter 17" Yeah, we really need to cancel that hotel room. What were we thinking?
Krish gets on the horn with the Comfort Inn manager...and after a little sweet talking, the manager agrees to let us cancel the room with no charge at all!! But he does warn us, "The next time this happens, you'll be charged". Um, dude, why even bother? That might work with a 10 year old at the library, but making that threat to a person who is cancelling a hotel room? The chances I will ever need to stay in Jupiter Florida at the Comfort Inn again...slim and none. But at least now I know, that if I do, I can't cancel that room.
After the easily finding our way into Miami, and to our destination (The Radisson Downtown) I'm more convinced then ever that Orlando is just a confusing city. Some things we learned from the road trip?
- The Florida Turnpike, in fact all the roads in Florida suck. They are in really bad shape. Having driven on the Ohio Turnpike and Penn Turnpike...when I'm paying this much for roads, I expect them to be in great shape...the Florida Turnpike? Looks like any 4 lane highway in the US...just in really bad shape...and everywhere construction...but no sign of anything really being done...just signs that say "Construction Ahead"...but then no signs of progress.
- One good thing about the Turnpike...speed limit is 70...and everyone seems to do at least 85...made the trip just fly.
- The road trip will never be the same now that you can connect to the internet from anywhere. Krish spent half the ride on his laptop doing work...yes he's boring...but that wouldn't of been possible just 2 years ago.
- Johnny Cash is always the right music for a road trip.
After parking at the Radisson...we have to walk through a maze to get into the hotel...all the while Krish has to pee so bad that he's whining like a 5 year old girl. Every step we take, he's scared it will be his lsat with dry pants. Of course, I'm not offering any help...instead just making fun of him, and talking about running water, and how good it feels to finally pee when you have to go really bad. We get into the hotel, and Krish makes a bee line to the ****...and my hopes of having him pee his pants in the Radisson are dashed...you can never underestimate the power of a good "pissed my pants" story.
We walk into the area where you can pick up your tickets. We walk up to the table, and Krish mentions the name of our contact...the guy behind the table looks surprised, and directs us into a different room. After our contact tells us that the NFL got a really great allotment of tickets this year, she hands over our tickets. We try hard to play everything cool...but the "really great tickets" is hanging in the air. It takes all our energy not to tear right into the envelope and see what we have...but we make it out of the room, and head into the bar. We open it up, and find that we have CLUB LEVEL SEATS!!!! After looking at a map, the seats are just awesome...we have a beer in celebration...and spend the next 45 minutes calling people to brag. Yep, we're jerks.
We head out for our $89 a night hotel, with huge smiles on our faces. Everything seems to be going right...club seats, a Miami hotel, a quick road trip...and then we reach the hotel. Well, what would you expect for $89 a night Super Bowl Weekend? Yeah, it wasn't quite a ****-hole, but it was far from the Ritz. Thoughts of bed bugs race through our mind, and we tear the room apart inspecting it for any and all signs of trouble. Besides a less than cleanly look, everything seems fine...nothing really wrong, just a dump. But Krish would spend the weekend freaking our over every little piece of lint and every itch he had...ah, fun times.
We get showered and dressed, and meet up with Tom and Jon to head out for dinner at South Beach. We meet in the hotel bar, and end up chatting a bit with the Bartender. Tom wants to know where the best strip clubs are in the area...and is told that the Bartender loves Porky's. This will come back to haunt Tom...
After a $35 cab ride, we arrive at South Beach...what a place. Gorgeous scenery, gorgeous people, great bars, great restaurants...what more do you need in life? Well, I will say, it would be a lot more fun if I was single...but standing around and staring is fine too. We head to the Pelican for dinner...great food. Everything we ate was just awesome. I will say, I can't get over the fact that once I travel out of Seattle, no matter the restaurant the beer selections always seem to be limited to Bud light, Miller Lite, and Coors lite...guess I'm just spoiled by all the great beer up here...sorry, I'll stop being a beer snob.
Everywhere we looked around on South Beach...Bears fans. They are just infesting Miami. You can hear shouts of "Bears" everywhere you go. And there is always big blobs of Orange and Blue roaming around. The Colts are definitely under represented out here.
After what seemed like forever, we finally finished dinner at the Pelican. Let me just say this, great food, great atmosphere....terrible service. I know it was busy, but damn we sat there for like 45 minutes without even getting a beer. Ah well, the scenery made up for it...plus, we go the line of the night from Tom...
"Who needs porn when you're got monkeys?" I'm not going to give any context, cause this line doesn't need it.
Krish and I leave Tom and Jon behind, and head out for the SI party...
The night starts with a brief conversation with Hannah Storm. Never would of known it was her if she hadn't said her name to the guy with the "list". We just chat for a bit with her about the whole scene here...she seems really nice, and has a good sense of humor.
Copious amounts of free alcohol, which we are only too happy to help them dispose of. Man, when describing a party, is there a better phrase then "Open Bar"? I can't think of one. Add on top of this free food that just looks delicious...I say looks, because after the Pelican, we're stuffed, and won't be eating anything for a few hours.
Lots of hot women everywhere...both paid to be there and guests. The Colts Cheerleading squad is there...representing the best "talent" in Indy...very nice. Plus, lot's of dancer in the proverbial "Hot Ref" outfits. Very nice.
First planned Celeb moment...Introduction of Jimmy Buffet's new video. Jimmy himself is there to introduce it, along with 2 of the SI Swimsuit cover girls. The video is okay, song is okay...it sounds just like all of his other songs. The most amazing thing? Jimmy Buffet looks EXACTLY like Larry David.
After Jimmy leaves the stage, and then some more Dancing girls...we get the main act of the night Wyclef Jean...or as Krish likes to call him Elf. Yeah, I don't get it either, but he seemed hung up on calling him that. Anyway, Wyclef was great. Good music, great feel for the room, great interaction with the audience...just a great show. A concert for a small, select group of people is always a real treat...just a much different feel then seeing a group at a huge stadium. This was definitely my highlight of the night.
You haven't lived until you've had a Kobe Beef Slider. Yeah, you heard me right. Just a fantastic treat...have them at your next cocktail party...as I know the nation is big on throwing cocktail parties.
Biggest bummer of the party? Any celebs that were there spent all night in the VIP section, so the celeb sighting were extremely low. Ah well, it was still a great time.
Trying to get a cab in South Beach the night before the Super Bowl...near impossible. We spent 45 minutes and walked 10 blocks trying to flag one down. It didn't help that we were both pretty lit...but it was a total pain. Krish was whining and complaining the whole way...threatening to just sleep in the bushes or on the beach. Me? I had hit my dead silent stage of drunkenness. Basically, right after the super talkative, very loud stage, I just fall dead silent if I keep drinking. Mostly cause I'm concentrating all my energy on not puking and not falling. After finally tracking down a cab...I promptly fall asleep in the back seat.
Fun night out, but it's jus the beginning...Sunday is the main event!