In the past week I have gone from Denver to Miami to Casper, Wyoming. I think I'm suffering from jet lag...and culture shock! Don't get me wrong. I love the contrast. The diversity of geography and culture in our country is immense. God Bless America.
Last week's trip to Miami for the Orange Bowl was a once-in-a-lifetime adventure with my two bros, Jon and Evan, cousins Wiley and Ryan, and my oldest nephew, Alex (on his first big-time trip with "the boys").
[Above (from left): Me, Jon, Evan, Wiley, Alex and Ryan]
The purpose of the trip was to celebrate Ryan's 50th by watching the Jayhawks beat Virginia Tech in the Orange Bowl with down low tickets on the 50-yard-line (Kansas Gov. Sebelius was about 10 pp down on the 45!).
[Above: Me, Ryan and Evan celebrating the Jayhawks win at the Orange Bowl]
The adventure began when I met Jon at DIA Wednesday morning, January 2. He arrived on a flight from Sacramento a few minutes before I arrived (from Castle Rock). Sitting in the airport lounge we watched the sunrise before boarding our flight to Miami. The four-hour flight flew by...literally and figuratively. Upon arriving in Miami we met up with Ev and Alex, who arrived via Atlanta on a separate flight from Sacto (long story). Wiley and Ryan arrived an hour and a beer or two later from St. Louis.
After a seemingly short ride to the Fountainbleau, we checked in, got dressed up, and headed out to dinner at The Forge.
It's hard for me to describe Ryan's 50th birthday dinner at The Forge because all I can remember is the BEEF! We all ordered the bone-in ribeyes with a variety of "family-style" sides and a magnum of Far Niente (compliments of Joweyums). Ryan's birthday "candle" was more like a fireworks show. Call the Fire Marshall!
Now, I've had a few bone-in ribeyes in my life...but these were the best-tasting, biggest-boned, ribeyes I have ever seen! Seriously. I work for the beef industry. But I have never seen a bone-in ribeye on the WHOLE rib bone. Check out the picture (above). Ignore my balding head (and my Prada shades). Look at that bone! Crazy. Yummy.
Dinner that night was a story in-and-of-itself. Ev disappeared... Joweyums went in search...Alex and Ryan closed their eyes to it all...Wigman arranged fireworks..and I immersed myself in dinner...figuratively and literally!
Alex, Ryan and Ev retired after dinner while Joweyums, Wiggy and I headed to South Beach. It was that night, when we left Fountainbleau, that we found the windiest spot in Miami. Apparently, the circular drive in front of the Fountainbleau experiences hurricane-force winds on a daily basis. Seriously. Check out the picture of me attempting to take off in human flight (forever dubbed the "David Blaine" pic by Evo the next day).
From there, DB magically transported us to Mangoes, the Mansion and back to the Fountainebleu safe and sound, ready for game day. The Orange Bowl trip had only just begun...stay tuned to DDublog for "the rest of the story."