Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Trip to Mecca

That's what Rob called it, at least.

On Sunday night Rob and I went to Giants Stadium for Rob's first home NY Giants game. I'm sure it's shocking to some of you that Rob -- the world's biggest Giants fan -- had never before made it to a Giants game in East Rutherford. But it's true.

Earlier this fall, I bought a pair of tickets for Rob for his birthday. I picked a late season game against the division rival Redskins. If I'd been a bit more selfish, I probably would have picked a game earlier in the season because I'm not a big fan of sitting out in the cold.

After some logistical snafus (the Giants' website asks fans to please take public transportation because of their limited parking, but the public transportation options are even more limited), Rob's sister Gena swooped in to rescue us from our Newark "airport hotel" ($18 cab fare from the airport to the hotel... yet it's still "at the airport." Hmmm.). Anyway, Gena picked us up and drove us to the stadium with a little help from a GPS system.

We arrived a few minutes before kickoff. Rob grabbed a beer, I grabbed a hot chocolate, and we settled into our seats -- row 18, right behind one of the endzones. The temperature was a bit brutal. The wind was worse. But I've never seen so much Giants' blue in my life.

The first half was anything but pretty as Eli threw a few shaky incompletes and then his receivers started dropping great pass after great pass. I think the Giants managed a field goal, but I don't think they managed 100 yards of offense. They had a frustrating string of 4th and inches through the half.

Rob and I circled the stadium during halftime to get warm. We got back to our section as the second half got underway, but took seats back in row 36. Closer to the back wall and further from the wind's reach. Turns out that 36 is luckier than 18 -- the Giants scored a touchdown on their first serious drive of the game.

We were freezing, but the game was finally close. The Giants marched down the field again in the fourth, but failed to score from about 20 yards out. Then the wind carried their field goal attempt into no good territory. There was a fair amount of time left in the game, but the Giants needed two touchdowns. We knew it was not meant to be... so we walked out of the stadium in search of a way back to our hotel.

We'd been told that cabs lined up at a certain location outside the stadium. Not exactly. There were no cabs. There were small traffic jams of limos and buses. And the cab company whose number we had was not answering its phone. I thought we might die of exposure. Okay, maybe not, but I was insanely cold.

Miraculously, a few minutes later Rob spotted a cab in the distance. I told him to run for it and he took off -- snagging the cab and my undying affection just seconds before another pair of freezing fans. I was quite relieved.

We made it back to the hotel and packed our stuff. Our flight was Monday morning at 7:30am. Fortunately for us, our hotel made making the flight super easy. They didn't call us for our wake up call. The hotel alarm clock didn't work. They wouldn't call a cab for us until we got downstairs. When they finally did call a cab it never came. And when we gave up and took the hotel shuttle 20 minutes later, the shuttle dropped us off at the international terminal.

We made it to security, only to wait 20 minutes past our flight's boarding time while a mere 20 people sloooooooowwwwwly inched their way into one of those new security screening machines and then sloooooooooowwwwwwwwwwly inched their way out. After I got through, I grabbed my shoes and ran for the gate to make sure our flight didn't leave without us, leaving Rob to pick up all the rest of our things.

We made it to the plane, but of course the overhead baggage compartments were full. So we checked two bags -- as the flight attendant lectured us for having a large carry-on bag.

We made it home though. Thank goodness. Who knew I'd have another Newark adventure so soon.

I know it's been a while, so I'll post pictures tonight, along with everything else that's been going on in our lives. My trial work still isn't quite over, even though the trial itself is, so I've fallen behind on everything. I can't believe it's almost Christmas and I have virtually nothing for anyone!!

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