Sunday, February 28, 2010
Phoenix Part 8: From St. Louis to the Cotton Bowl to the Super Bowl to a sad/unbelieveable 24 hour period in February.
So I have finally woken up and realized I was with the woman I was supposed to be with for the rest of my life. So some planning had to start! However, before that could start, it was time for a bowl game!
Stephanie flew back to Phoenix as my brother Andrew and I flew to Dallas, TX to watch the University of Missouri play against the University of Arkansas. I had gone to the Independence Bowl a few years ago and watched the same two teams play and was hoping for a much better outcome!
We got there and took a taxi to as close to the hotel as we could get. The hotel we were staying at was right along the Cotton Bowl Parade route. So the taxi could only go so far before we just paid him and hauled our luggage 8 blocks to the hotel. We had to cut across the street too so it was already getting interesting for the two of us.
We finally arrived at the hotel and dropped our bags off. We took a look at a map and started walking. We wanted to see one main thing while we were down there: Dealey Plaza, where JFK was assassinated back in 1963. I have always been fascinated with the incident and all that surrounded it. We arrived and there were about four different people telling stories of that day and selling merchandise. Personally, I thought it was kind of tacky but people were buying. We saw the grassy knoll and the Texas School Book Depository. We saw a Mizzou fan getting his picture on the grassy knoll facing the street with a finger pistol. Proud moment for this Mizzou Alum.
We went back and had dinner and just relaxed. We were both not feeling 100% and we needed medicine fast! We got dropped off at a CVS when we arrived in Dallas so I started to head that way. I arrived at about 8:05pm and they closed 5 minutes before. So I started to walk. I ended up finding a CVS at 8:55pm 2 miles away and that was closing at 9pm. I ran into a few people I would prefer not to see again for awhile but I got the meds for my brother and myself!!
The game was not very close. Mizzou blew them out of the water. Mizzou had some anger with getting turned away from the BCS that year and they definitely showed that in the game. I remember freezing because I wore two short sleeve shirts to the game and it was FREEZING! Another proud moment for the Mizzou Alumni!
Andrew left for St. Louis and I left for Phoenix. That was my last moment of relaxation for a little bit. I had to get back and get ready for a little event called the Super Bowl.
After over years of planning by our franchise company, the Super Bowl was here. What a four day weekend that was. My AGM and myself were shuttle drivers going all over the city of Phoenix. My Front Desk Supervisor was the dispatcher for us as well as running the desk. I will say this: Even though it was the most hectic five days I have ever had with any job (Sorry Rascals, but it was), it was one of the most fun times too. It really showed how a staff could pull together and everyone help out for better of everyone! We did not have one complaint about the hotel room rates because the guests saw us bust our tail. We actually received letters saying we had done it better than previous super bowls attended.
During this five day stretch, I did not see Stephanie during that time at all. I had realized a few weeks prior that we were meant to be; however, if she could put up with me during that stretch, she could handle me at any point! So I had the ring purchased and the M+M's purchased that would ask the question for her hand in marriage. Then February 7, 2008 happened.
I was sitting in living room watching television when Stephanie called me and told me to go to a computer and check out something about a shooting in Kirkwood, MO. I went to a computer and checked it out and my hear just sank in sorrow. A man who had many disputes with the City of Kirkwood had gone and shot two officers and several council members, including the mayor. (Click this link for a more detailed account.) Kirkwood was my hometown and my parents continue to live there to this day. It is a town of about 30,000 in one of the many suburbs of St. Louis. My parents went a vigil that night and there were a lot of tears shed. I cried in Phoenix watching live online updates. I did not know anyone specifically in the shooting; however, if that happens in your hometown, it tugs at you just a little more.
After going to work the next day, I was still in shock but instead of waiting until Valentine's Day to ask Stephanie the BIG question, I decided that night to do it. After all the sorrow that happened the night before, it was time for some much needed happiness. This was going to make me the happiest man on the planet after I would ask the question... FINALLY!
About 10 people knew it was going to happen and they were made aware of the situation and were more than happy for us. I decided to have her cook dinner at my apartment so she would not suspect anything. After dinner I asked her, "How about some dessert?" And she told me, "How about we wait for a bit and then we can dessert." OH COME ON!!! I had planned for weeks that this was how I was going to do it with M+M's and her favorite ice cream, mint chocolate chip, double churned. I told her she needed to have some and we would just eat it slowly. She was fine with that. I got the ice cream and then added the secret ingredient, the M+M's. I brought it over to her and sat down on the couch with her. She looked at the M+M's and saw that they were different but not sure why. I asked her what did they say and got the ring from a cabinet next to the couch. I turned around and opened the box and before I could even start the question, Stephanie said yes and tackled me. Then she was on the phone for a few hours while I played Tiger Woods Golf on the Nintendo Wii while on the bluetooth with a few friends and family.
Phoenix Part 9: Heartache and how God taught us to respond.