|The Hawk in Kabul, Christmas morning 2008|
15 minutes later when we drove into our garage, we had decided to try and go to the game instead of watching it. Yes, go to the game. . . the game against Real Salt Lake, in Salt Lake City. My stipulations were that he had to organize everything (childcare, tickets, flight, hotel, etc.) and that the only thing we'd have to pay for were the tickets to the game and food. His stipulations were that I wouldn't cry or have a mommy meltdown about leaving Aurelia overnight for the first time. So, if we could work out a hundred little details in the next hour or two, why not take a last minute trip to a place we'd never been for a soccer game?
Less than 48 hours, Aurelia was safely sleeping at Nono and Yaya's (my parents) and we were boarding our 7:00 AM flight in Seattle.
Here are our soccer weekend highlights:
-The Red Iguana
We googled places to eat in SLC, and The Red Iguana was highly recommended several times. And despite walking over a mile and getting lost on the way, this place was absolutely worth it and absolutely legit. If you ever find yourself in the area, go there.
- Getting Lost. Every guidebook and website I read said that navigating Salt Lake City is confusing. Every guidebook and website was right. We got lost multiple times and thoroughly enjoyed simply wondering around the city, seeing the sights when we bumped into them. Since we had no must see places, we were able to just take in whatever crossed our paths.
- The ECS. We sat with the Emerald City Supporters at the game. The Sounders have the biggest and best fan base in the MLS. We're talking 36.000 fans per game versus 20,000 or less for other teams. And the ECS are not fans, they are supporters. Of course, a win is always a welcome thing, but the ECS view it as their mission to support the Sounders regardless of what is even happening in the game. They stand and sing and wave their tifo the entire time. In fact, it's a requirement to stand and sing if you're sitting with the ECS. We met up with the ECS at a bar in downtown for the prefunk. At about 5:30 the singing began as the ECS marched to the light rail and sang the whole way to the stadium. And then we stood and sang for the rest of the game. Despite a pretty miserable 0-3 loss, we supported our Sounders loudly and proudly. There were 135 ECSers at the game, and I'm pretty sure that our section was heard throughout the entire stadium. It's definitely the way to go at away games. They run a pretty slick operation. Everything is well planned down to security and working with the opposing team's venue to ensure a safe and rowdy environment. So, if you are a Sounders fan/supporter, or just like to try new and fun things, I highly recommend sitting with the ECS at least once. Disclaimer: I don't recommend sitting with the ECS if you're taking your kids to the game. As they state on their website if you insist on bringing your kids, they would have to be able to handle "colorful language and folks jovially singing and drinking." We don't sit with the ECS at home games for this very reason, although Joey is technically a member of the club.
-Friends. I love traveling to places I've never been and being able to see friends that I hardly ever get to see. In this case it was one of my old roommates and favorite people, Natalie Sanchez (eat your hearts out, Forest Fire women). Since our trip was so last minute, I didn't know if it would work to see my dear friend. But we made it work. I love seeing friends you haven't seen in years and years, but when you sit down for a cup of coffee it feels like just yesterday you were trying on her Tae Kwon Do uniform from 7th grade. And even though it was brief visit, it was absolutely worth it!
|Nat and Evangeline|
- Joey. Can I just say that I love my husband? I mean, of course I love my husband. I love him everyday and every moment. But getting those times away from the day to day reminds me of why I fell for this guy in the first place. We have so much fun together. Even when we're absolutely lost in a city we've never been to with no idea where we're going. And we can talk about anything and everything, for hours and hours. This weekend was such a refresher for us, even though it was a whirlwind.
*Big shout out to my parents who took Aurelia for the night at the last minute. She loved being with her grandparents and I don't even think she noticed we were gone.