Game Day

Superbowl Sunday on a Beautiful Weekend

Matt and I spent the weekend rather lazily, because we were blessed with such beautiful weather! I can’t even express how nice it is at the beginning of February to be able to open our windows and doors, watch the kitten play in the garden and just relax. I even sat out in the sun on Sunday for most of the day reading a book! We also cooked some really good food in anticipation for the Superbowl – this is a yearly tradition, even if we find it difficult to stay up to actually watch the game (thanks to the time change). Below I’ll share some photos from our relaxed, but refreshing weekend. The only things missing are dinner at El Estribo (a steak place recently introduced to us by friends) on Friday evening and lunch at the port in Sotogrande on Saturday. All in all, we certainly took advantage of this lovely weekend.

Superbowl Sunday

This little guy had a grand time exploring our garden on Saturday! He’s really been loving his new freedom.

DSC_0700

We started our Superbowl Sunday off with a most delicious brunch – dim sum and mimosas! And yes, because brunch basically served as lunch too, there are chips on my plate. 😉

Superbowl Sunday

I then took my mimosa from brunch out to our lounge chairs to read…and I didn’t move for hours! I’m totally into this Stephen King book, 11.22.63, where the main character is given the opportunity to travel back in time to prevent the Kennedy assassination. Seriously, I’m devouring it.

Superbowl Sunday

I haven’t shared a beautiful photo of Gibraltar from our house in quite some time. While I was preparing our “Superbowl Sunday” dinner, I just happened to look out the window to this site. Breathtaking, isn’t it? You can really see the lights and mountains of Morocco behind the Rock of Gibraltar.

Cincinnati Skyline Chili Dogs

We decided to break-out the Skyline Chili mix that we brought back from Cincinnati for our Superbowl Sunday evening feast! And yes, more champagne, don’t judge us. You can see my Chili dogs on the left, untainted and made just like the folks in Cincinnati do. On the right, you can see that Matt has ruined his with ketchup… 😉

Superbowl Sunday

And one more of The General. He makes staying home on the weekends our #1 option and just so enjoyable.

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Superbowl Monday

You don't like my sheep pajamas? Well too bad...because I've got matching pants and slippers.

Even though I’m a day late on my Superbowl post, I think it’s worth using this year’s big game as an example of how much things have changed in a year. As if moving to another country wasn’t enough, this year’s Superbowl was the final nail in the coffin of change, for lack of a better phrase.

Let’s start with this year. I know I keep mentioning it, and it’s certainly not because I’m looking for sympathy, but last weekend I was coming off of a week of the flu. Therefore, our Superbowl plans were pretty simple. We grilled hot dogs outside in the warm sun, munched on chips and queso, and ultimately lounged around all day watching saved American television shows. I Skyped with my family for a bit, Matt enjoyed a cigar outside, and I had my first taste of alcohol since my trip to Dublin. While the Superbowl is known for it’s beer, we cannot get Bud Light or Miller Lite, so we chose the next best thing – champagne. And when kickoff finally happened around midnight our time, I was fast asleep in my sheep pajamas. I’ll give it to Matt – he stayed up and watched most of the game.

American Embassy Ireland, Indianapolis, Rooney

In my black and gold getting ready to head over the Embassy a year ago.

Cut to last year. The Steelers were playing the Packers. It just so happened that the owners of the Steelers, the Rooneys, are the American Ambassadors in Ireland. It also just so happened that Mrs. Rooney is the honorary president of the American Women’s Club of Dublin, an organization with which I spent most of my time. I received an invitation to the Superbowl viewing party at the American Embassy, to which Matt and I did not hesitate to attend. While there, we were given Superbowl Special Edition Terrible Towels and the Marines hosted. It was pretty awesome.

Last year’s experience was such an amazing opportunity that I’ll remember for a long time to come. I couldn’t believe I was among the group chosen to attend a Superbowl viewing party at the American Embassy, where the owners of one of the teams works every single day. Yet, this year I was perfectly content to sit at home. Chips and queso are a family tradition in our household for the Superbowl, so reenacting that certainly made me feel like I was at home. And as always, video chatting with my parents makes my day. I look at last year as a once in a lifetime opportunity; now I take the chips as they fall, and I’m happy to say that with Matt by my side, it was a pretty good day.

Oh, and can I get a heck yeah for the Giants?! When your hometown team (the Colts) loathe the Patriots, and the quarterback for the Giants is Peyton Manning’s brother, it’s an easy decision regarding the preferred Superbowl winner.

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It’s That Time of Year Again

College Football, College Football Season, Oklahoma, USC

College football officially started yesterday, which makes me a really happy camper. College sports are the epitome of competition; there is so much pride and will to win that it makes the games so exciting to watch. You never know what can happen, especially during football season. And with a little rivalry between you and the one you love (*cough* Oklahoma & USC *cough*), it’s makes it all the more better.

Though we will not be with our respective teams in person on Saturday, the college football spirit will be alive in our home. I plan on trying to make those pizza bites included in my blog a couple days ago and a recipe for queso blanco I found here. Both are such fun finger foods that go great with a televised showing of padded men hitting the snot out of each other. Those recipes and few beers will bring the college football season in with style.

So, to all my fellow Sooners out there, put on your best crimson and cream, shout “Boomer Sooner” as loud as you can from the rooftops, and cheer every second for our #1 ranked boys. And for Matt and his fellow Trojans – and this is the hardest thing I’ve ever written on this blog – “fight on.”

College Football, College Football Season, Oklahoma, USC

Yum, the queso blanco I plan to make. If this doesn’t scream, “let’s watch some football,” then I don’t know what does. 😉

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2011 Women’s World Cup

Women’s World Cup soccer – if you are not watching it, you’re not just missing out, you’re un-American. Yeah, I said it. I am not a huge soccer fan, but this tournament has been one of the most exciting and unpredictable sporting events I’ve tuned into. For those of you who don’t follow and don’t know, the US women will be playing for the World Cup Final tomorrow, Sunday the 17th. They overcame a brutal, and slightly mannish-looking, Brazil team in the best display of a comeback and a few days later, they beat the French. Never down, never out, these women have been exciting to watch from the start.

And it’s not just the US women that have drawn my attention to this sport, it’s all the teams in the tournament. I’m sorry to the guys, but women’s soccer is much more entertaining. These women are aggressive and hardcore, actually playing the game rather than putting on a show. You know what I’m talking about here: doesn’t anyone else get tired of watching the men fall from a little push and act like they are dying, only to get up after they’ve successfully drawn the foul and continue playing like nothing happened? These women fight it out, push and shove each other, fall down and get back up, all with type of determination that professional players should exhibit.

Plus, their games have been exciting. The US women played a man down for almost half the game against Brazil, scored an incredible last minute goal in overtime to tie it up, and then won the game in the shootout. Japan crushed a predicted superior German team…in Germany. Right now I’m watching the French play Sweden in the consolation game, both having lost to the US and Japan, respectively. In this tournament, though, if you’ve really wanted to see spectacular athleticism, it’s been with the US women. Which is why I call you un-American if you’ve missed it! 😉

So, tune in tomorrow at 1:00 Central to see our ladies play for a chance to bring home the World Cup. If the game is anything like the others I’ve seen, it won’t be a disappointing show. Plus, in this North American heat wave, I know I’d rather spend Sunday in the cool comfort of my home, enjoying a beer, and cheering on my home country!

Abby Wambach's last minute goal against Brazil.

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Black and Gold

My special edition Superbowl Terrible Towel!

The Superbowl has come and gone, and the Packers get to claim the title. I really had no preference, as I’m a die-hard Colts fan, yet that didn’t make the game any less exciting. Everything about watching the Superbowl made me feel so American in this foreign land, and that’s a nice thing to feel! I loved the commercials in between, because advertising over here just does not compare to advertisements back home. Of course, the Superbowl doesn’t happen without a blunder or two, so I found it highly amusing that Christina Aguilera messed up the words to the National Anthem (hey, it’s a hard song). Most of all, I loved sitting in a large room with a ton of Americans, cheering, groaning, and reacting to the great sport of American football!

Matt and I went to the American Embassy for the game this year, which was a huge treat. I secured the invite through connections with the American Women’s Club, so we had a group of friends to watch the game with. 🙂 The American Ambassadors here in Dublin are the Rooneys, the owners of the Steelers, which made the showing even more special. Even though they were at the game in Arlington, we were given special edition Superbowl Terrible Towels. I wore gold and black, because I had to show my loyalty to the great hosts for the evening. The Marines set up a cash bar, with the proceeds going to their charity, and hot dogs, Doritos, and pizza were set out. The Superbowl wouldn’t have been complete without American junk food and beer!

Decked out in my black and gold - black jeans, black blazer, gold shirt, tan shoes, and golden hair! 😉

Seeing the Embassy is definitely something I’m glad I got to do. On the outside, one wonders what it must look like. The entire building is round in shape, with beautiful courtyards surrounding. Getting in is hard, but that is to be expected. Once in, you enter an atrium called the “rotunda.” Balconies are provided for the offices on the 3 floors, and they face the center of the structure where there is a huge projector screen and couches. The building was built in the 60s and the style is really reminiscent of that decade. To get a glimpse of the outside of the Embassy and read more information about the structure itself, check out their website.

Our friends ended up leaving towards the end of the 3rd, so Matt and I finished the game down at the Rockfield with a bunch of his work buddies. We were up until the wee hours of the morning, but the sacrifice was well worth it. We were lucky enough to be special guests at the American Embassy for an evening, we managed to catch the full game and it’s commercials, and we were surrounded by Americans all night!

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End of an Era

Boomer Sooner! Let’s send those traitorous Cornhuskers off to the Big 10 with one last loss in the mighty Big 12! The history of the match-up between the Oklahoma Sooners and the Nebraska Cornhuskers goes back for decades. It is only fitting that the last Big 12 Championship game happen between these two teams. In honor of this momentous and historic occasion, I leave you with a few fond memories of my Big 12 Game Days spent at Oklahoma.

 

An oldie, but goodie! OU/tx my Senior year! Oklahoma won 🙂

Game Day with my two best girlfriends - my sister and Christine!

Love you Slim! Game Day at the tailgates on Lindsey St.!

Bringing Matt into the OU fold at the unveiling of the new Texas Stadium - OU vs. BYU

BOOMER SOONER!

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Snow Won’t Stop This Sooner

The snow on our balcony railing and mountains beyond.

Ah, what a charming start to a glorious game day. I awoke this morning to our first snowfall of the year! That’s right, it’s snowing here in Dublin. I can fully appreciate the beauty of the white fields and mountains from the comfort of my toasty apartment. Of all weekends to be surprised by this beautiful, wintery sight, it magically occurs on Bedlam weekend – my second favorite football rivalry of the year!

For the past seven years, Bedlam has been a highly anticipated shut-out for the Sooners. I’ve eagerly awaited the glorious weekend in which the Cowboys would again retreat to their humble abodes with their tails between their legs. After my Freshman year of college, when we narrowly squeaked by with a three point win, I’ve been secure in my confidence that Oklahoma would crush the Cowboys. Until this year.

Now, don’t get me wrong. My confidence does not waver in the abilities of my Sooners when they play solid football. They are certainly more than capable to beat any opponent when they are on their game – and Kevin Wilson isn’t making stupid play-calls. However, with Oklahoma State playing so well this year and the fact that we haven’t been so successful on the road, I worry that we’ll see a weekend like that of A&M.

In short, thanks to the time change, I’ll be up until the wee hours of the morning in my Sooners jersey, cheering hard for my alma mater. I’m looking forward to seeing an Oklahoma win for yet another year. And, being a strong Notre Dame supporter thanks to family ties, you may even hear me give a few hearty yells for the Fighting Irish; followed, of course, by angry retorts from my USC counterpart, because what’s good college football without a little rivalry? 😉

I think the sheep are hiding, because I don't see them out there in the snow.

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BOOMER SOONER

It is officially my favorite weekend of the college football season! The Red River Rivalry will ensue in about an hour and even though I’m in Paris, we’ve found a bar to watch the game and I will be there in my Oklahoma jersey. Unfortunately, the Longhorn’s loss last week doesn’t help our standings as much as an undefeated team would, but the luster of the game is still the same for me.

Along with this game, some other important spectacles to watch will be: #1 Alabama vs. #7 Florida, and #4 Oregon vs. #9 Stanford. In my perfect world, Florida will win, but then lose to someone else at a later date. Also, I’m hoping Stanford will win and then lose to USC next week, since a USC win doesn’t affect the rest of us at all. Sorry Matt.

A short pre-game post, but I had to pop in to express my anticipation for today’s game, and of course to throw out a BOOMER SOONER!

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It’s the Most Wonderful Time of the Year

It is 5 o’clock in the evening here in Dublin, and kickoff of the first Saturday college football game just commenced. Matt is sitting in his recliner chair, USC football in his lap, and a Stella in his hand. We’ve just finished a bowl of chips and queso, the windows are open with crisp, fall-like air blowing through, and for a content moment while watching College GameDay I forgot where I was.

College football season has started, and even though it is not a European favorite, I have a feeling it will make its way into my blog every single weekend. Who’s to say that watching college football is not part of my European adventures? For one, Matt purchased ESPN America so we wouldn’t miss a single moment of this glorious time of year. Secondly, our viewing schedule will be much different than those watching back in the states. The six hour time difference puts a small cramp in our style, but it doesn’t kill the experience entirely. Tonight, at midnight to be precise, I will be watching kickoff of none other than my favorite team: the Oklahoma Sooners! This past Thursday, Matt and I went to bed especially early so that we could wake up at 4 in the morning to see kickoff of Matt’s alma mater: the USC Trojans. Needless to say, we won’t be missing a single touchdown, fumble, interception, or on-side kick.

Now, I’m no expert, but I’d like to take a moment to give a few of my picks for this first weekend:

  • Notre Dame to beat Purdue. Born into a family heavy with Fighting Irish tradition, I can only cheer for the blue, green, and gold.
  • TCU to beat Oregon State. Huge home field advantage here, however I was heartbroken at this stadium, same time last year…
  • On that note, Washington to beat BYU. Jake Locker, potential Heisman candidate.
  • Virginia Tech to beat Boise State. I hate Boise State, can you guess why? Yes, sometimes even I hold grudges.

And last but CERTAINLY NOT least:

  • OKLAHOMA to beat Utah State. BOOMER SOONER!

Now, it’s back to the Florida/Miami (OH) game. Urban Meyer, please don’t have a heart attack now that Tebow is gone. I know I won’t miss him.

Boomer Sooner!

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