Previously on MomJovi … I had returned to my alma mater of Syracuse University. You can catch up here.
On Saturday morning, Missy and I took advantage of our first kid-free night in ages and got our sleep on. I can’t speak for her but I slept hard. When I’m home, I feel I never really get a full night’s sleep between DadJovi stealing the blankets, the cat attacking my feet or just sleeping with one ear open — always — for E.
But given the chance to spend the night in a hotel room away from all of those distractions, I slept like the dead and it was glorious.
After hanging out in the room for a bit and enjoying not having to take care of little ones first thing in the morning (in other words, we caught up on our Real Housewives), we braved the cold to find breakfast. That’s when we found the Gardenview Diner and our new BFF Kathy** (Note: that’s not her real name. We forgot to get it but she just seemed like a Kathy to us).
She was so sweet and made the biggest fuss over the fact that we’d come so far to watch SU, as all the locals call it. And I had one of the greatest omelets of my life — it was a Greek omelet with spinach, tomatoes, mushroom and the creamiest (eww, I hate the word creamy, too. Sorry about that), most meltiest feta I’d ever had. Well done, Gardenview.
After breakfast, we decided to hit up the huge thrift store we’d passed the night before. Missy is one of the world’s greatest bargain shoppers. Remember, she’s the girl that somehow found a Missoni top at a yard sale when she visited me a couple years ago. I left empty-handed but she found a couple treasures.
We then resumed our important tasks of catching up on Bravo and E! reality programming until 1:30 when we took a cab to campus to get the game festivities going!
Most of our guy friends were staying at the Sheraton on campus and they even had a suite for everyone to hang out in. So we did what one does before the last-ever (at least for now) Syracuse-Georgetown in the Carrier Dome … we started on our path toward getting day drunk.
It’s been a looong time since I’ve started drinking before 2. I mean, at least 2 months. They also taught me how to play dice. It took me an embarrassingly long time to figure it out (math and I are old enemies) but once I did, it was awesome. We played it all day and night, and Missy and I won a ton of rounds. I’m hooked. For some reason, DadJovi is annoyed with me asking him to play it every night now. Killjoy.
The game started at 4, so around 3, we knew we needed to start the walk toward the Dome since we would be joining more than 35,000 other people on the path there. Thankfully the slush/rain/snow held during our walk across campus.
It was so awesome to be with these friends again, back on The Hill and taking in the spectacle of the ‘Cuse-Georgetown game.
As soon as we got into the Dome, we all split up to head to our seats. On our way to the tippy top of the Dome, Missy and I had to make a side trip to pay our respects to the 2003 NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP trophy. So rad. You’ll hear more about why that trophy is so special to me later this month.
We hit a beer stand (amen for Syracuse being one of the few campuses you can drink on during games) and started the looooong climb to the top. Seriously. This is our actual view.
As you can see, the wall at the top of the Dome was right behind us. Yup, you couldn’t get much higher. That’s what you get for going to the game that set the NCAA record for the biggest on-campus crowd in basketball history. For this historic game, 35,012 of us snapped up tickets as soon as we could when they went on sale months ago, and this were the seats the TicketMaster gods served up.
The seats were so far from our glory day seats — a few rows behind the basket — but for a little bit, at least, we were just happy to be there, chanting “LET’S GO ORANGE” as loud as we could.
Sadly, that joy didn’t last. The game was frustrating, to say the least.
There was one shining moment (sing it with me, “In one shining moment, it’s all on the line …”). At halftime, the school retired Carmelo Anthony’s No. 15 jersey. It was a great ceremony.
Missy and I both got verklempt during his speech. And of course, we craned our necks as best as we could to see what LaLa was wearing.
The second half of the game, though, killed whatever joy we had. For starters, our anemic team made us stand and clap for more than four minutes and a timeout. At Syracuse games, the fans stand, cheer and clap at the start of each half until Syracuse scores. They made us work way too hard for that basket.
Things quickly went from bad to worse. It was a disaster. The only thing that kept Missy and me amused was watching the chick in front of us getting increasingly drunker by the minute. Girlfriend loved to stand up and dance … and for some reason, cheer when Georgetown, not Syracuse, scored.
She also kept making out with her husband and took about 1,000 selfies. I’m pretty proud of two particularly spectacular photo bombs I pulled off. They were so legendary that I almost asked her to send them to me because clearly she wasn’t going to remember the conversation.
The final score of the game was 57-46. Pathetic.
After the game, there was only one thing to do to ease the pain — drink some more!
But first, Missy and I enjoyed a nighttime stroll through the Quad.
On our way to meet our friends at Chuck’s, we had one more pit stop to make — our beloved Acropolis pizza place. And just like the tomato mozzarella pasta at Wegman’s the day before, with just one bite of that perfectly greasy and cheesy $1 slice of pizza, I was taken back to hundreds of nights.
Eventually, Missy and I — and about 3,000 other people — made our way to Chuck’s.
I suppose I had that photobomb coming.
From here, the night doesn’t get blurry exactly. Just not quite clear. There was a lot of beer. A lot. There was a lot of roaming around M Street looking for another set of dice (we were obsessed). There was a random side trip to a smoke shop on our quest for dice. Since it was so cold outside, we ended up hanging out there for about 20 minutes looking at how far bongs and pipes have come in 20 years. Man, you potheads sure are fancy these days. We also spent an abnormal amount of time going through the shop’s poster collection. Remember when posters on your dorm wall were high art? Oh wait, I still have concert posters hanging all over my house. But they’re in frames. So they’re ironically hip. Duh.
Then, there was a trip to Chipotle, where the burrito bowl just would not go down thanks to about 100 beers sloshing around in my gut.
And then, 20 minutes later, I saw my burrito bowl again in a snow bank.
Have no fear though, it led to the Syracuse miracle — I pulled my first boot and rally in more than a decade. After that, I was ready to drink again.
Back to the bar!
This time, we headed into Lucy’s and my temporary sidelining was nothing a few Captain and gingers couldn’t cure.
Yup, totally sober.
The cheek-to-cheek pose was necessary to keep me on my feet.
I kid. I kid. To be honest, I never even got *that* drunk. Eventually, as the undergrads started showing up to begin their night, we were ready to end ours. My cell phone battery had already died, so I wasn’t really sure what time it was. But I was convinced that it was super late. When we got into a cab to head back to our hotel, we asked what time it was.
It was 11.
PARTY ANIMALS, I tell you. That’s what you get when you start drinking in the afternoon.
To be honest, it was amazing though to get back to bed at a reasonable hour and to get a solid night’s sleep. I woke up feeling awesome.
We hit the GardenView one last time before Missy took me to the airport. I was feeling about 70 percent. Not exactly hungover but certainly not 100 percent. My biggest issue was that it was nearly impossible to get coffee at the Syracuse airport. My only option was from a cafe that sold coffee made from those same packets they have in hotel rooms. True story.
I did run into a friend though who I hadn’t gotten the chance to talk to enough over the weekend and had a good time catching up.
Finally, it was time for my first leg of the trip home. As I sat waiting for the plane, it started to snow. And then they started deicing all the planes. I kept waiting and waiting for our plane to come to the gate and then I finally noticed that there was a small plane out on the tarmac. Cue my freakout. I really don’t mind flying, and I’ve even flown in my share of teeny tiny planes in places like Costa Rica and New Mexico.
But I also know that I get really sick on small planes, even without any booze in my system.
This was not going to go well. Have I ever told you about the time I puked on our flight home from London? As my college boyfriend’s parents waited at the airport to pick us up after months and months away. Yeah, it wasn’t one of my finer moments.
I was so screwed.
Eventually, they called us to our flight and I had to schlep my bags down two sets of stairs and out onto the freezing cold tarmac. As I got onto the plane, I was horrified to realize that I was stuck in the very last seat on the plane. I was in the back corner of the back row and the plane was full.
After we got seated, they pulled the plane forward a bit and warned us that during the deicing, our plane would be shaking a lot and making a lot of noises. “This is normal,” they tried to assure us.
We sat through about 15 minutes of this before they started to head toward the runway. To comfort us, they thought it would be nice to blast the hot air. I’m not kidding — it was at least 85 degrees on that plane with hot air blowing into my face.
I was getting sicker and sicker by the minute, before we even took off.
Eventually, we made it into the air for our 50-minute flight to Newark. I kept telling myself, “You can do this. You can do this.”
The well-seasoned Canadian traveler next to me was not helping. He was too dang friendly and it was taking all my concentration to not puke. Sorry, buddy, but small chat is not happening. I kept casually trying to find a barf bag but for some reason, there wasn’t one in my seatback. So I was quickly taking stock of the items in my purse to see if any of them would work. I’d already decided to sacrifice the Doubletree cookies since they were still in the tin.
Yeah, shit got real.
Just when I was starting to think that I might make it there OK, we hit bad weather. Suddenly, my flight turned into this scene:
As the plane tossed from side to side, I had no other choice but to try my best to breathe through it. I had my head between my knees, much to my seatmate’s horror, and just tried to breathe it out.
Thankfully, it worked. I somehow made it to the ground, puke-free.
It was the Syracuse miracle, part II.
I had about 55 minutes at the Newark airport to pull myself together before my next flight. I knew I HAD to eat something so I remembered Katy’s go-to anti-nausea meal during pregnancy — a bagel with cream cheese. I found a Dunkin’ Donuts pretty quickly and downed the bagel and a giant fountain soda.
Ahhh, that’s better.
By the time I got aboard the luxuriously big plane for the trip back to Orlando, I was even feeling human again. Since I was still too nauseous to read, I treated myself to the $8 DirectTV option for the flight home and let Ryan keep me company.
I had no idea how great
Ryan’s abs “Crazy Stupid Love” was. I was laughing hysterically the whole flight home. Thank you Ryan for doing what you do best — making sad, sick girls everywhere feel better.
So, I made it back, intact. It was dodgy there a few times, but I did it. And I have a whole bunch of fun new memories (the game notwithstanding) to show.
My guy friends go back every year. If I could arrange for a 737 to fly me direct from Orlando to Syracuse, I just might be up for it. But if I ever have to fly in one of those tiny deathtraps again, it might be a different story. Those things should be outlawed.
Have you ever gotten sick on a plane? In a snowbank? Oh, the places I have puked. Where’s that Dr. Seuss book? And what’s the biggest sporting event you’ve ever attended?