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Thursday, March 01, 2012

a vacation for the record books...

**WARNING: This post may end up very long and wordy!

Let me do ALOT of prefacing. Justin has fished ALL of his life. Once we got together, I started going with him. We have traveled several times to fish and watch other Bassmaster tournaments. When I DO go fish, I prefer it to be 90+ degrees and in the middle of the day so I can get some sun. That getting up and leaving at 5AM is NOT for me... I refuse!! I have always supported Justin and his passion for fishing... just like he has always supported me and my love for shopping... he wins or places in a tournament, he buys me something! I think that relationship works VERY well! Ha!

If there is one thing you need to know about my husband when meeting him for the first time, it is that he is VERY shy. He doesn't talk alot... will barely crack a smile. And I can embarrass him at the drop of a hat! If I am going to have to 'attend' these fishing events, you can bet that I will at some point embarrass him. So after the weigh-ins at these tournaments, the pros will line up to sign autographs. I make him line up with me and take my picture with some of the guys... and no lie, this guy turns 500 shades of red! He would rather go to the store and buy me tampons {which he does} than take my picture with a professional angler!

We attended a Bassmaster tournament in 2007 {first two pics} and 2009. It was in 2009 that we met Fred for the first time {3rd picture}. I tracked him down behind a trailer and made Justin follow me. And yes, he about killed me after I yelled out Fred's name and asked for a picture. I seriously thought he was going to fall over dead! But no worries.. that is nothing compared to the 4th picture... Meet Ike. Or Michael Iaconelli. He is like the bad boy of fishing. Always yelling, cursing and breaking stuff. However, when he does do good, he break dances on his boat! Hey... I need some type of entertainment while watching this stuff!  I ended up with this picture of Ike after I walked up to his truck, knocked on the window and asked him to get out and take a picture with me... and that is NOT a lie! Want to know why I do not have pictures since 2009?! Because my husband officially banned me from taking any... But all of those stories give me REALLY good laughs!
Not only do I have to travel and watch these tournaments, but I also get to watch fishing shows on tv. Justin is OBSESSED. And I am usually sitting here blogging, so I am really not paying attention, but every once in a while something will catch my attention, and I will ask questions. And my husband will beam with pride! :-) And who knows, with some other things Justin is getting involved in around fishing, it may end up paying our bills someday... I guess I better learn the basics as I go!

Justin went to the Bassmaster Classic {superbowl of fishing} last year with Fred since he didn't make it! And after talking to them nightly and hearing how much fun they were having, I promised Fred I would go this year... not even knowing he would make it! And when he did qualify... we started making our plans!

We left out Thursday morning... but not before a photoshoot the night before of my babies...
We arrived in Shreveport, LA in time for lunch... and everywhere we went, we seen Fred on the billboards! ...and even on the papertowl holders in the bathrooms...
There was a meet and greet for some of the guys that made the tournament so of course we went and stood in line! :-) I guess Justin is now okay with taking my pictures! Ha!
Friday morning, we were up at 5AM {this will never happen again} to watch blastoff. I do have to say this was an awesome experience... Fred definitely has the brightest boat! :-)

Here is an areal view of the blastoff... They estimated about 10,000 people to watch them take off... {they estimate over 137,000 people attending for the weekend. Craziness!]

You normally do not get to talk to the anglers before they take off, but we did actually get to see Fred and get in our last minute hugs and words of encouragement! We were so proud to be there to support him!
If Justin ever happened to make it to fish the Professional series, I would NOT be able to handle it! I am WAY to competitive! During the National Anthem and fly over, I was crying and sweating like crazy! I spent ALL day checking for their weights and praying constantly! It was nuts! No idea how those wives do it all year! Once a year is all I can handle like that!

After blastoff, it was a short nap before getting ready, lunch and then to the Hilton to take the bus to the weigh-in. The Anglers get so many family passes for the weekend. These passes get you everywhere, including the bus that takes you to the weigh-in through the back gates where you do not have to go through the public lines/doors... this was AMAZING! Fred and Julie were sweet enough to give Justin and I passes, which allowed us to travel with their family. It was such a great experience... I told Fred that I was NEVER doing anything 'with the public' again regarding fishing... I could just come and go as I wanted and never have to deal with the crowd... and when the crowd had to stand in line for over 2 HOURS to get in the building, it is kind of a big deal! Ha!
Our awesome cheering squad! "Go Boom Boom" and "We Love Fred"
Weigh-in time!

Fred didn't end up making it to the final day, but he did awesome! And again, we were just so proud of him for making it to begin with! I have no doubts that he will win one in the future!

Our days were pretty much the same each day:
  • Day 1: Head to LA, lunch and meet and greet
  • Day 2: 5AM-Blastoff, Lunch, 2PM-leave for weigh-in, 8PM-get back to motel, dinner, go out
  • Day 3: Sleep in because we stayed out too late! :-), lunch, 2PM-leave for weigh-in, 8-PM back to motel, dinner, go out
  • Day 4: Sleep in because we stayed out too late! :-), lunch, 2PM-leave for weigh-in, 8-PM back to motel, dinner, go out
  • Day 5: head home! {...and wishing we would have got a little more sleep! ha!}
Justin and I took our friends Alissa and Dustin with us because we wouldn't have really known anyone else there. We had such a great time checking out Shreveport... or with what little time we had to do so in between. We hit a couple of the casinos (Horseshoe and Sam's Town). We also went to Buttercups Cupcakes and Superiors Mexican Restaurant that Katie wrote me about! {Katie... those two things did NOT disappoint! Thanks so much for the suggestions!} 

I would say the best thing about the trip would be meeting some awesome new friends! Most of that time was spent in bars... ummm.... I think someone should have told us that bars there do not close until 6AM... AND it is VERY possible to get kicked out of a bar for dancing alone during a 'couples' song... And NO, that wasn't me! Well... it wasn't me dancing alone.... we all got kicked out! Such a stupid rule... and believe me... our guys made it known! :-)

Fun times!

The Boom Boom Girls!

And of course, we ran into none other than Ed Bassmaster. Haven't heard of him?! Go HERE! He is a YouTube comedian. He travels around shooting HILARIOUS videos. Just anything and everything random. This guy is CRAZY! He came to Tulsa and shot this and this. Justin was able to go with them. He plans to come back here to shoot more in a couple of months... should be interesting!
Even though Fred didn't win the classic, one of his friends did... Chris Lane. Him and his wife have given up so much to make his dream come true. They have FOUR kids... and his wife was just the sweetest thing! Always love to hear a great winning story! And because we had our family passes, we were able to go to the winners dinner. We didn't eat, but we did enjoy the free bar! Go figure! Ha! Just another experience that may never happen again!

I think I told Julie several times, but  this trip was SO surreal... Two years ago I was standing in line in 100 degree weather asking some random fisherman for his autograph just to embarrass my husband! And one Sunday evening in February, I was then sitting in a room with all of those guys that my husband has idolized his entire life! Ones I watch on TV almost daily. It is just so crazy to wrap my head around! These guys are just so down to earth. They truly are genuine people. On Saturday night, we were all getting ready to head to dinner when one of the guys ordered pizza and then asked us to eat... so we ate pizza with a bunch of the professionals... crazy. just crazy!

So many funny things happened on this trip. Stories that I would LOVE to share, but pretty sure they are 'had to be there moments'. We met great people... some we will be seeing for years to come. But no matter how much fun we were having... there is nothing better than coming back to the other half of my heart...
And she was SO proud of her balloons and banner! I don't think we will be taking another trip for quite some time. I just cannot imagine leaving her for that long again... it will happen, but hopefully not anytime soon! Thankfully, the 2013 Bassmaster Classic is here in Oklahoma! We can celebrate by night and be parents by day... not ever having to go without seeing my baby girl! Now... I think that sounds like a great trip! So who is coming?!


katie@tulsadetails said...

Looks like such a fun trip!! So glad that you liked Superior and Buttercups!! I always get nervous when I give recommendations that everyone else will hate them :)!

Anonymous said...

not to be a creeper, but i'm stealing a pic from this. don't worry, it's one i'm in :) i'm becoming a twitter nerd so i wanted one i thought i saw on here long ago.

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