Monday, January 22, 2007

Dueling Dachshunds

Approximately 2 weeks after Christmas, Sophie, a black & tan, short-haired dachshund puppy, joined the Atlanta-outlet of the Wallace family (i.e. my parents). We broke the news to my Annabelle during the days surrounding Christmas and she's ready to share the spotlight... as long as that doesn't mean any less time playing fetch.

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

Badgers in the Windy City

Thanks to great rates on Southwest, I took off for Chicago to celebrate the long MLK Jr. weekend with Amy, my friend and old roommate.

When I arrived Friday night, we headed straight for my one request... a BYOB. Andalous was my first adventure with Moroccan food and it was absolutely delicious! We shared the Andalous combo as an appetizer and then moved into the beautiful chicken Pastilla - all complemented perfectly by our Pinot Noir.

NOTE: I rode in more cabs during this visit than I probably have during the rest of my 27 years.

Saturday morning, Amy made her friend, Melissa, and me a delicious Mexican brunch... eggs with bits of chorizo throughout on a crispy tostada, topped with black beans, fresh avocado, cilantro, sour cream and spicy salsa; and perfectly browned home fries. Then we were off for the Big Ten showdown in Evanston - Amy's alma mater University of Wisconsin versus the Northwestern Wildcats. The Badgers barely pulled out the win, but they did prevail - though I must admit... while I did wear the big red, I was not a great fan (how can I not cheer for the little guy??).
After we toured downtown Evanston, we jumped on the subway and headed back to get ready for a fun dinner with a bunch of Amy and Mark's friends.

Sunday was one of my favorite kinds of days... a leisurely morning took us next door to the grocery store to grab a few ingredients for football-watching snacks; we settled in to watch the Bears take on the Seahawks with "puppy chow", tomato and fresh mozzarella pizza, and carrots and dip.

Thanks, Amy for planning such a fun weekend... it was just what the doctor ordered!

Wednesday, January 03, 2007

O Here's To Wake Forest...

After quickly ringing in the new year followed by a packed but memorable 48 hours down in Miami, it's official... the Wake Forest Demon Deacons have made their first Orange Bowl appearance in the history of the school. [insert here all sorts of stats about how we are the first school in ACC history to go 6-0 on the road, the smallest school in Div I-A to appear in a BCS bowl, and so on... not to mention how we gave the 'Ville a run for their money that they never saw coming]

A quick plug - having never been to a bowl game, I was quite enamored by the whole thing... but if you have a chance to go to your team's bowl game, BCS or not, GO! You won't regret it. (and the NCAA Bowls Committee didn't even pay me to say that)

Since Wake hadn't been to a BCS bowl before - this was very special. Wake sold out its allotment of tickets right away - bringing together the largest group of Deacon alumni ever in one place (keep in mind that even if every single living alum had attended, Dolphin Stadium still would have had over 20,000 empty seats).

Not wanting to miss a moment, after arriving and a quick lunch, we headed to Hollywood to see the official team hotel. Thanks to the Wake Orange Bowl blog, we already had an idea of what this would be like - and it did not disappoint. Who know that the "WF" logo looked so good with a tropical background?!
Monday night we hit the Wake alumni party up in Ft. Lauderdale. From the size of the crowd there, it was obvious that the Deacs had turned out en masse. Tuesday, we did lunch in South Beach and then headed to the stadium to partake in all of the pre-game festivities.

This included being treated to the FedEx pre-game party where we were lucky enough to be up close and personal with both Arnold Palmer and the great Muhammad Ali.
The Deacs played their hearts out from the very first moment they took the field. Taylor Hicks (who I am proud to say I voted for in last season's American Idol) took the stage at halftime along with Gladys Knight. Then, at the end of the 3rd quarter, as has become customary, but this time with over 17,000 of us, every single Deacon fan stood holding up a 5 in honor of Jon Abbate's late brother.
The only downside to the entire trip were the rain showers Tuesday afternoon - but even those had subsided by gametime!

Win or lose - up to the very last moment and even heading out of the Dolphin Stadium parking lot, I proudly waved my black and gold. I think this Sun-Sentinel writer put it best when he said that the "Demon Deacons charmed the Orange Bowl".

I know I speak for all Deacon fans when I say - thanks for one heck of a season!!

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