New Years Eve Day we slept in! It was glorious! We then headed across the street to a place called "The Waffle House." it was an actual real diner, it was tiny, and you sat at one of the few tables, or up at the counter and had conversations with the people cooking and serving your food. "Regulars" would come in and get the "usual" and it just had a really homey feel, kind of like Hal's diner in the movie A Cinderella Story, at least that's what I thought of. It was really cool, but I was reminded of how different everything tastes in the States. Their milk tastes weird, their water tastes weird and even the waffles tasted different. (I bring this up because I noticed it the whole trip and when we got back to Canada, I couldn't drink milk for a week because it then tasted weird haha).
One thing I did notice about Florida was everybody was so nice to us (as long as they weren't in a car, on the road). Random strangers would tell me I was pretty or that my hair looked nice...I would joke with Garth and ask him if we could move there.
We called a cab to take us to the Citrus Bowl Stadium. (Garth Taking Over Here) - Mary Lou was our driver and she came and picked us up at the hotel and drove right down to the stadium. She had an entertaining Spanish accent and told us about the rough neighbourhoods near by, or how she would embarrass her son as she dropped him off for school etc. She was quite entertaining. We arrived at the stadium and it was raining pretty decently, which didn't work too well with our "If we are going on vacation to Florida/Caribbean we don't need jackets or sweater" mentality. Luckily we had one hoodie between the two of us, so Amanda donned The Cup hoodie and I scrounged up a black garbage bag and we were ready to go.
As soon as we got to our seat the rain subsided and the only thing that would be wet, from then on, would be our bottoms on the wet seat. I took my long sleeve and Amanda sat on that so she could stay dry, and I was so cozy and stylish in my couture sleek black Basura Bag. We arrived with only a little bit of pre-game left, enjoyed an acapella group's rendition of the Star Spangled Banner, a fighter jet flew by the stadium and we were ready for kickoff.
A little backstory on this game. When I originally bought tickets for the Capital One Bowl, they hadn't announced who would be in it, I just wanted to go and watch a cool game no matter who played in it. As I bought tickets I just happened to buy a pair on the SEC side of the stadium which ended up working out nicely.
So we arrive at our seat and we are smack dab in the middle of the University of South Carolina crowd. So wisely, we began to cheer for the Gamecocks. As the game started it was clear that this was going to be a good game as Wisconsin touted one of the best Run-based offenses in all of college football and as South Carolina's Connor Shaw looked sharp from the get go. Nearing the end of the first Quarter, the game was still tied 0-0, but following a Wisconsin turnover, Connor Shaw connected with Bruce Ellington on a 39 yard shot to paydirt.
The first half ended with Wisconsin up 14-13 on the Gamecocks, but I must mention the 9 yard touchdown which featured Connor Shaw now on the receiving end of a Touchdown thrown by the receiver Bruce Ellington. Absolutely beautiful.
In the 3rd quarter, down 17-13, facing a 4th down and 7 yards to go, Shaw connected with Ellington on a 22yard circus catch which is a must see conversion. At the end of this drive Shaw throws yet another Touchdown to who else? Bruce Ellington 20-17 Gamecocks. " U - S - C - Gooooo Cocks! "
Passing: 22-of-25 for 312 yards, 3 TD
Rushing: 16 carries, 47 yards, 1 TD
Receiving: 1 reception, 9 yards, 1 TD
The game ended with South Carolina winning 34-24, thanks to the 5 touchdown effort of Connor Shaw. We were so ecstatic to have the chance to go and watch such an exciting game. " U - S - C - Gooooo Cocks! "
Mary Lou was waiting for us outside and as we left the stadium, the rain started up again. We were glad to have a chauffeur to drive us back to the hotel so that we didn't have to fight for a taxi or find a bus. Upon arrival at the hotel we relaxed for a bit and finished off the night stopping by the Florida Mall, which was right down the road from our hotel. We grabbed some dinner at Ruby Tuesdays and shopped around a bit, but ultimately headed back to the hotel to relax and watch some extreme cheapskates, wedding edition. Yikes!
So that was our New Years Day, a wet, yet warm day jam packed with cheering and excitement that set the bar high for our next few days in Orlando. There was no way the rest of the week could ever live up to the fun we had on New Years. Could it???