This year we celebrated New Years in California cheering on our beloved Dawgs in the Rose Bowl. The last Rose Bowl our Huskies went to was 17 years ago but we were deep in the trenches with babies and just couldn’t fathom going. We also couldn’t fathom that it would take so long to get back there!
Allen and I both have fond memories of going down to Rose Bowls during college. In those days the Rose Bowl was ‘The Grand Daddy of them all’. That was back in the days when, if we were the best in our conference we went to the Rose Bowl and we played the best team in the Big 10 conference. In recent times we have won our conference but, because of the BCS playoff system we did not go to the Rose Bowl.
That’s why, when the Huskies won the conference playoff and found themselves in the Rose Bowl, we knew we had to go. And we weren’t alone! There was a group of 40 of us college friends heading down to Pasadena with our kids. I’m not sure all of our girls were as excited for the game as Allen and I were but they were patient with our obsession and they humored us.
To keep our creative brains happy we decided to us Harry to document our adventures. For Christmas this year we had the best advent calendar ever. It was Harry Potter by Funko and every day we got a new character from the books. The last figurine was Harry wearing the sweater Mrs Weasly made him. Coincidentally it is a purple sweater with a yellow H. We all decided that Harry is really a Husky fan and that he would be a good representative for us. So we decided to document HIS adventures on our trip.
On the first day we hopped off the plane and headed off to grab a quick lunch and stop at Ellie’s favorite store. How could we resist this stop when our hotel was 20 minutes away from the one and only location of Unique Vintage? As Kate said ‘It was so much fun to see Ellie so happy in this store!’
Our next stop was at the Rosemund Pavilion where they were decorating floats for the famous Rose Parade. All of the floats are covered in plant material. Not just flowers either! It was fascinating to see the charts that showed what the different parts of the floats were made out of. Crushed almonds, or statice flowers or wood shavings, etc. It was kind of like a big paint by numbers.
We spent the 31st at Universal Studios. A lot of our group ended up here but we were not alone. The place was PACKED! That means we only saw each other in passing but it was fun to hear where everybody was. We loved seeing all of the Harry Potter stuff again and our favorite was the studio tour. Fun day!
On New Year’s Day we met up with half of our group early. We all met at a grocery store not far from the Rose Bowl stadium so we could stock up and all drive on to the golf course (where they park most of the cars) together. That way we would have a nice big tailgating spot. A big thank you to Jeff Anderson for spending part of his day on the 31st at Costco getting the bulk of our tailgating needs!
Once we were parked we sent out the word (and a pin drop on Google Maps) to all our friends. What fun to have everybody come. It was a great time to catch up with long lost friends and hang out. I’m not much of a tailgater but all of us enjoyed our morning!
Mr Fun was in his happy place. He loves a good tailgate and he loves his Huskies. Just like seeing Ellie enjoy her time at Unique Vintage, we all enjoyed watching Allen take on the ‘mayor’ roll inviting all passers by (even Ohio State fans) to join the tailgate. He was really in his element. As you can see, the wigs made the trip. We had to dig Allen’s out of the dress up box and unbraid it from the many times it was worn to ‘Crazy Hair Day’ at school. I think they stand the test of time though…I think.
We had fantastic seats. (Thanks Greg and Stacey!) Our regular seats are way up high. We love them but it was neat to get a different perspective. I loved watching Myles Gaskin standing on the bench and waiving a rally towel whenever he wasn’t on the field. I also loved catching a quiet little fist bump between Gaskin and Browning after a great touchdown. What I DIDN’T love was being covered in Ohio State confetti at the end of the game but…whatever! Next time it will be purple and gold.
We are so thankful that the Dawgs finally showed up in the fourth quarter! The only thing better would have been a win but we all agree that even with the loss the experience is what counts and we sure did have a great time.
We are so thankful that we got to have this experience as a family before our kids all go off to college and become something other than a Husky. (Jill is already there but Western doesn’t have a football team so we can still claim her allegiance.) Of course…Huskies are in their blood so once a Husky always a Husky. Go Dawgs!