On Friday, we dropped the dogs off for boarding, loaded up the Wagon Queen Family Truckster, checked the kids out of school a little early, and headed for Auburn, Alabama. It was a combo mini-cation, visit with extended family, cousin birthday party, race, cheer the home team, and support the local boys trip (although the supporting of the local boys didn’t actually end up happening – their baseball games were canceled).
We met my sister, her husband, their three kids, my mom, and my stepdad up there. My sister threw a little pizza party for my niece, whose birthday was that day, in the lobby of the Hampton Inn, then we all headed to bed early – my sister and I were running the “Finish on the 50” half marathon on Saturday morning.
The weather before the start was atrocious, and even though they delayed the start by a half hour, it was still raining when they gave us the five minute warning to line up. But barely a block past the start, the rain mercifully stopped. The family set up a little cheering section in a few spots for Meredith’s second half marathon and what I think was my 20th. I’m not sure.
(I’m also not sure how I became the kind of person who can’t remember how many times she’s run a race with a distance of 13.1 miles.)
We did, indeed, finish on the 50 yard line of Jordan-Hare Stadium (sort of, it was more like the sideline around where the 50 yard line should be – hard to know exactly because it’s the off season so it’s not like the field was painted for a game!) I was terribly proud of my little sis who beat her estimated finish time by ten minutes despite coming into the race a little undertrained on a hilly course in stifling humidity.
But the highlight of the trip came that night.
We went to see the Lady Tigers softball team play Arkansas. Our friend Hannah came out to the park and visited with us for awhile (as she always does when we come to town – we’ll miss her when she graduates!) The Tigers won 9-1 and Sarah Kate’s favorite player, Jade Rhodes, hit a home run. The only downside (if you could call it that) was that they won by run-rule (Yay!) so we didn’t get to watch a full seven innings (Boo!)
But the Highlight of the Highlight was when the kids got to have their photos taken with the entire team, down on the field, after the game.
And after that, it got even better when Sarah Kate got to meet Coach Clint Myers. Can you say Over-the-Moon Excited? (Um, seriously, how cool is that championship ring? And I’m not sure what Nathan is doing – possibly signing “ball”?)
Speaking of Nathan, he was less impressed by the softball coaching legend than he was by the view out of the window of our hotel room…of I-85 with the trucks passing by. I think it may have been his favorite part of the trip…
…although he did seem to enjoy the smiley face pancake Mr. Andi fixed him at the free breakfast buffet.
War Eagle, Y’all!
They may have my watermark, but the team photos are courtesy of Anthony Hall/Auburn Athletics