Thursday, February 28, 2013

Marty Lyons Foundation

The Marty Lyons Foundation was established in 1982 to fulfill the special wishes of children (age 3-17) that have been diagnosed as having a terminal or life threatening illness.

I heard about this foundation a few years ago when Marty was the guest speaker at an event I was attending.  I was moved by his story about how he decided to start the foundation.  I made contact with the foundation President at the end of the event.  On and off over the past few years, I have been able to help out here and there with this foundation.  This month was one of those times.

Here is Marty's story and vision as it appears on the foundation website:

Marty Lyons was a professional football player in the National Football League, where he served for twelve years as a premiere defensive lineman for the New York Jets.  Early in his career, Marty befriended and became a surrogate father to a three-year-old boy suffereing from an advanced illness.  Three years later, in the spring of 1982, the youngster's death coincided with the sudden death of Marty's father and the birth of his first child, a healthy son.  These experiences profoundly affected Marty's attitude toward life, fame, and his fellow human beings.  With the encouragement and assistance of family and friends, Marty Lyons became determined to establish a foundation dedicated to granting wishes of seriously ill children.

The Marty Lyons Foundation has kept hope alive in the hearts of children with a terminal or life threatening illness by making their special wish come true!  A fulfilled special wish has the ability to sweep the children and their family away from the daily heartache of illness.  It is a joyous time that creates a wonderful memory and a better quality of life.  Every child has a dream, and although we can't promise a lifetime of happiness to these seriously ill children, we can make one dream a reality!

We have granted wishes for a special trip to Disney, meet a celebrity, a computer system, a swimming pool filled with spring water, a shopping spree, special renovations to allow a child to live at home with family, a swin with dolphins, a Cinderella-like "Sweet 16" birthday party and so many more.

Do any charity groups pull at your heart strings?

Andrea :)

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Birthday Fun with My Love


Chris and I celebrated his birthday this weekend, but today is actually his big day!

We had an awesome time celebrating on Sunday.  We started off with a Newcastle game at his favorite soccer bar in the city.  Things didn't look too good in the beginning when the other team scored early, but Newcastle rallied to win in the end.  It was a lot of fun because there were a ton of Newcastle fans making up their own little Toon Army.

We grabbed some breakfast after the soccer match ended.  Yes, the game ended at 10:30am.  I usually don't even get up until then on the weekends!!  Totally worth it though!  After breakfast, we headed over to Madison Square Garden for our second game of the day - Pitt vs St. John's.  There was some pretty terrible officiating, but Pitt was able to hold on for the victory!  

We were pretty tired at this point so we took a little nap before we headed over to Clyde Frazier's Wine and Dine for dinner.  We had planned to go to a steakhouse originally, but the ones we wanted to go to were closed on Sunday so Chris mentioned he was interested in trying this restaurant.  It was perfect!!  We had a lot of fun there and even got to see the first half of the Knicks game, too!

The drinks were named after Frazier's common phrases.  We got Hustling & Bustling and Bounding & Astounding.  He actually said one of those phrases during the broadcast of the Knicks game while we were there.  Too funny!

Chris ordered a pizza.  I tried the pasta with chicken and zucchini in vodka sauce.  Yum!
We spent the rest of the evening watching the Oscars and just relaxing.  We each had a few of our favorites to win so that was cool...even if the broadcast/host wasn't really that great this year! 

Chris was pumped about his Datevitation coupon book.
We both had a lot of fun!  Too bad birthdays only come once a year...

Andrea :)

Flower Power....

Linking up with Lauren and Tiffany for Tuesday Topics....
The Austin Family Diary
Since I'm not a huge fan of flowers, I thought this one would be easy.  Then, I started to think about which two types of flowers were my favorite...and it was harder than I thought to pick just two!

Pretty roses Chris sent me for Valentine's day this year!  Love the orange one!

After much thought, I finally decided on just two - sunflowers and carnations.  

My room growing up was decorated in sunflowers so they hold a special meaning for me.  Plus they are just really cool flowers.

Carnations have held a special place in my heart since college because that flower was used at our pref night party for Phi Mu.  I won't go into too much detail, but since then it has been a favorite of mine.

And since we are talking about favorite flowers, I'll throw in a couple pictures of some flowers Chris sent me last year because they were my favorite of all the flower arrangements I have ever recieved.  I loved them!  The colors and the combo of flowers were perfect!

What is your favorite flower?

Andrea :)

Sunday, February 24, 2013

30 before 30 - Month Seven Recap

write letter to family or friend

This month, I sent a letter to one of my former college roomies, Maggie.  She lives down in Florida now so we haven't seen one another in quite some time, but we talk fairly often.  We are actually sorority sisters.  Yay for Phi Mu!  She is one of my closest pals from college, and I am so blessed to have her as a friend.

3 monthly goals

1) Finish 10 pages in Year Two scrapbook.
Done plus a few extras.  I am just over halfway done now.  Thank you, Winter Storm Nemo!

2) Go to a Broadway/Off-Broadway Show.
Chris and I had planned to see Luck of the Irish at Lincoln Center, but sadly we waited far too late to get tickets and it sold out.  Guess this little thing called the Super Bowl distracted us!  Maybe I'll get to a show next month!

3) Make sure Christopher has a great birthday!
I'll post a recap of the fun on his actual birthday (Tuesday).  We are celebrating today!  I think I can safely say this one was a success though!

facetimes with Brinley

While I was away working Super Bowl (check out my recaps here if you missed them - Part 1, Part 2, and Part 3), I had a fun facetime with Brinley where she revealed to me the gender of her sibling. 

She was so cute.  She had a block that Jordan was trying to get her to show me, but she was having too much fun playing with it trying to eat it for me to see it.  I finally saw a side of it that said "bear" so I guessed it was a boy.  I am super excited to get to spoil a niece AND a nephew now!!

The day after Valentine's Day, we facetimed, and I got to see Brinley crawl around for the first time.  It was super cool.  She is SUCH a big girl now!!  Jordan would put the phone at one end of the room and she would crawl over to get me. He said she likes to play with the boxes on the phone so she'd do that for a second before he'd take the phone and move it to the other side of the room.  Then, she'd crawl over there to get me again.  We had fun doing that for awhile.  She is definitely moving all over the place now.  Very cool to see it all for myself.  Technology is a blessing!

Date Night

Outside of Super Bowl, Chris and I didn't get to see each other much this month (stupid Nemo!) But we did spend President's Day Weekend together.  We celebrated Valentine's Day then.  Such is the life of long distance lovers!  He planned everything, and I loved every second! You can read more about it here.

Girls' Night

Girls' night fell late in the month this time. We tried out a South African wine bar - Kaia.  Amanda and I tried a dessert wine (Stoney Brook Vineyards, V on A, Franschhoek, South Africa - 2010) that was very tasty while Reba picked a white wine that she liked.  It was good to have a chance to catch up with these two since I've been out of town for most of this past month.

I marked 1 item off the list!!
  23 - watch all the Best Picture nominees prior to the Oscars
 You can check out my reviews here - Part 1 and Part 2.  My picks for the winners are here.

I am working on several other items on the list, but nothing else is quite ready to be checked off yet!

Andrea :)

And the Oscar goes to...

Chris and I are excited to see who wins the Oscars tonight.

Fortunately, I was able to see all of the Best Picture nominees this year.  You can find my recaps of each movie here - Part 1 and Part 2.  Now, I've made my picks.  And so have Chris and my parents.  Chris saw a majority of the films and my parents have only Amour left on their list to see. Please keep in mind we are picking based on who we WANT to win not who we think the Academy will choose to win.  These are votes we would cast IF we were a part of the Academy!

Best Picture
Life of Pi
Beasts of the Southern Wild
Django Unchained
Zero Dark Thirty
Les Miserables
Silver Linings Playbook

Our Picks:
Andrea - Lincoln
Chris - Argo
Dad - Life of Pi
Mom - Lincoln

Best Actor in a Leading Role
Bradley Cooper, Silver Linings Playbook
Joaquin Phoenix, The Master
Daniel Day-Lewis, Lincoln
Denzel Washington, Flight
Hugh Jackman, Les Miserables

Our Picks:
Andrea - Daniel Day-Lewis
Chris - Daniel Day-Lewis
Dad - Daniel Day-Lewis
Mom - Daniel Day-Lewis
*Our only unanimous decision!  Sure hope he wins!*

Best Actress in a Leading Role
Jessica Chastain, Zero Dark Thirty
Quvenzhane Wallis, Beasts of the Southern Wild
Jennifer Lawrence, Silver Linings Playbook
Naomi Watts, The Impossible
Emmanuelle Riva, Amour

Our Picks
Andrea - Emmanuelle Riva
Chris - Jennifer Lawrence
Dad - Jennifer Lawrence
Mom - Jennifer Lawrence

Best Actor in a Supporting Role
Alan Arkin, Argo
Robert DeNiro, Silver Linings Playbook
Philip Seymour Hoffman, The Master
Tommy Lee Jones, Lincoln
Christoph Waltz, Django Unchained

Our Picks:
Andrea - Christoph Waltz
Chris - Tommy Lee Jones
Dad - Christoph Waltz
Mom - Robert DeNiro

Best Actress in a Supporting Role
Amy Adams, The Master
Sally Field, Lincoln
Anne Hathaway, Les Miserables
Helen Hunt, The Sessions
Jacki Weaver, Silver Linings Playbook

Our Picks:
Andrea - Jacki Weaver
Chris - Jacki Weaver
Dad - Anne Hathaway
Mom - Sally Field

Best Directing
Amour, Michael Haneke
Beasts of the Southern Wild, Benh Zeitlin
Life of Pi, Ang Lee
Lincoln, Steven Spielberg
Silver Linings Playbook, David O. Russell

Our Picks:
Andrea - Ang Lee (Life of Pi)
Chris - David O. Russell (Silver Linings Playbook)
Dad -Ang Lee (Life of Pi)
Mom - Steven Spielberg (Lincoln)

What are your picks??

Andrea :)

Saturday, February 23, 2013

Weekly Recap!

Today I am linking up with the fabulous Allie, Jenn, and Ricci for Weekly What?


Hopefully, you caught everything, but just in case here's a recap from my week in blogging! You can find all the links to my posts by clicking on the day of the week above each recap!

I recapped the Oscar nominated Best Pictures for you.  I've officially seen them all now.  And can't wait until tomorrow to see who wins!!  I'm posting all my picks tomorrow morning.  Be sure to stop by to check them out as well!

Monday, I was off work for President's Day and spent the day with Chris so no blogging for me!

I have been linking up with Lauren and Tiffany on Tuesdays for Tuesday Topics.  We all talked about where we like to shop this week.  Target was a general top pick, but I chose three different stores where I love to spend time browsing the shelves - Barnes & Noble, Papyrus, and Michael's.

Since Chris and I waited until Sunday to celebrate Valentine's Day together, I hadn't had a chance to share all the fun we had with you until Wednesday.  So this day I shared my Tale of Two Valentine's Days with you. I had SO much fun!

I met Chandler Bing...a few years ago after a fun girls night in Greenwich Village, but I shared the story with everyone this week.  It was definitely something I will never forget.  And you'll always find me tuning into a Matthew Perry sitcom as a result!

I linked up with Katie and Heather for Book Club Friday.  I reviewed Eat, Pray, Love by Elizabeth Gilbert which I really enjoyed reading.  This review (#5 for me) has me that much closer to completing all 12 that I planned as a part of my 30 before 30 goals.  I actually just finished up #6 today.  Find me next Friday for a review of The Time Keeper by Mitch Albom.  For now, I'll just say it is a MUST read for everyone!

That brings us to SATURDAY!!  And here I am...recapping my week for you lovely folks! 

Hope you all have a great weekend!!

Andrea :)

Friday, February 22, 2013

Book #5: Eat, Pray, Love

Happy Friday!!  So glad it is the weekend!!

 I'm sure that most of you have seen Eat, Pray, Love at the theater or on DVD at this point, but I never did.  When I saw the previews before it was released, I thought it looked interesting, but I never made a point to go see it.  I am SO glad that I read the book before I saw the movie though.  After finishing the book, I watched the movie to see how it compared and I didn't like the movie very much at all!!  So much of her personal journey was left out of the movie...only to be replaced with romance....which was never her objective or goal in the book.  It was very disappointing.

Anyway, back to the was great!  I really enjoyed going on an personal journey with the author.  It was a very honest and insightful account of a really rough time in her life.  It sounds like a lot of fun and very exciting to spend a year traveling and exploring various parts of the world - namely Italy, India, and Indonesia - but it was a true time of growth and learning for her.  I really admired her ability to go on this search.  Realistically most people would never be able to afford to have this type of luxurious ability to leave everything behind and travel for a year, but she was able to do so and I think that is great.  I felt particularly drawn to her questioning of herself and why at age 30 she didn't feel ready to have children in the beginning of the book.  It is true that society puts a lot of pressure on people to be married by a certain age and have children by another certain age and if you don't fit that mold then something is wrong with you or you are selfish.  I can identify with her in some ways and I know many of my friends who feel similarly trapped and anxious because of that pressure.  It was very interesting to see how she dealt with it and how it affected her marriage in the beginning of the book.  Once she started her adventure, things were much more upbeat and pleasant, but she did continue to deal with a lot of internal turmoil.  She also met a lot of really fabulous people.  I think that is one thing I've learned from my travels, too.  People everywhere are all the same.  They (generally) want to help and want you to enjoy their part of the world.  That's one of the best parts about traveling.  Getting in there with the locals and really experiencing everything.

Overall, I would highly recommend this book...particularly to women.  It was a very easy read and definitely made me start to itch for a vacation of my own.  

Have you read the book or seen the movie?  What did you think?

Andrea :)

Thursday, February 21, 2013

I Met Chandler....yes, THAT Chandler!!

Who doesn't love Friends?  It was a staple during my high school years.  Every Thursday, we couldn't wait for it to come on and every Friday we talked about what happened on the episode the night before.  We LOVED Friends! 

Everyone had their favorite character on the show.  Mine was Chandler...hands down!!  He was so funny...sarcastic funny.  My favorite kind!

You can imagine my extreme excitement to the point of chasing him down the street and almost getting hit by a car delight when my friend Reba noticed him walking by after a girls night down in Greenwich Village.  We had met up for some BINGO fun at Tortilla Flats.  You can tell by the smiles on our faces that we had a blast that night!  And that was even before Chandler made his appearance :)

After we headed out of the restaurant, we were walking toward the subway to venture back to our respective apartments.  We were all chatting when Reba non-chalantly states that Matthew Perry just passed us.  At first it didn't register, but when it did, I sorta freaked out.  I told Tarra she had to come with me cause I was chasing him down and someone had to take the picture.  I simply could NOT pass up the opportunity.  I couldn't.  And lucky me for having such a great friend because she came along with me on the wild goose chase to catch him before the light changed and he crossed the street!  And we got my picture!

He was with friends...maybe 2 or 3 other guys.  He was smoking a cigarette...which I can't stand.  He was friendly (even though he probably should have been annoyed)...and I was happy!  I simply tapped him on the shoulder and asked if he minded to take a picture with me.  Cause "I love Chandler!  And you're SO funny!".  Seriously, I said that probably at least a half dozen times.  And he still smiled in the picture...sort of. 

Moral of the story (for all you celebs out there reading this), be nice to's easy...and I still watch every single Matthew Perry sitcom on TV to this day...even if there have been a few not so great ones!  I like to call that loyalty :)

And now you know to story behind the day that I met Chandler...yes, THAT Chandler!

Andrea :)

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

A Tale of Two Valentine's Days

Chris and I officially celebrated Valentine's Day on Sunday, but I did a little celebrating of my own last Thursday as well.  So here's my tale of two Valentine's Days...

1 - Met Life Building 2 - Joe's Pizza 3 - yummy macaroons 4 - Molly's carrot cake cupcake

If you've been following along, you know that I've seen all of the Oscar nominated Best Pictures (feel free to check out Part 1 and Part 2 of my reviews now if you haven't done so already) so I thought I'd treat myself to a showing of the Oscar nominated shorts on Valentine's Day.  I was SO glad that I did!  They were all very fun to watch.  My pick to win is Head Over Heels, but it barely edged out Paperman and Fresh Guacamole.  I wasn't too crazy about the other two - Maggie Simpson in "The Longest Daycare" or Adam and Dog.  All were quick - roughly 20 minutes or less - and very creative.  It was a great experience!

Now...on to my real Valentine's Day fun :)


Chris planned a full day of fun adventures and delicious food.  We began the day by exchanging a few small gifts.  He got me some chocolates and a lovely card.  I made him a fun frame and gave him a little piggy bank to save up for future adventures together :)  I found some cute penguin stickers to put on the card so I had to snap a picture of that as well.   After we exchanged gifts, we headed to lunch at Cracker Barrel.  This is my absolute favorite chain restaurant.  I love the little shop.  I love the tasty food.  I love the quick service.  I love the affordable prices.  And there isn't one near me in the city, so thankfully there is one not too far from Albany.  Love!

1 - Cracker Barrel 2 - Canele' from Berkshire Bakery 3 - Pump Station Mac and Cheese

After lunch, we headed off to the Berkshires for a lovely day of fun together.  We drove through lots of winding and mountainous roads with gorgeous views before we ended at the Country Store.  I love these kind of little shops.  You can always find something unique.  Chris did a great job of picking out a place where I would really enjoy browsing around. 

Once we'd gathered up a handful of fun purchases, we headed off to our next stop - Furnace Brook Winery.  This place was great!  Just $5 got you six samples.  And they have some award winning wines, too!  We picked our wines and had fun tasting and comparing them.  I really liked the Johnny Mash Original American Cider and the Apple Ice Wine, a dessert wine that was SO good!  I enjoyed the "Bee My Honey" Mead and Sparkling Muscato, too.  The only one I tried that I didn't really like was my red selection - Shiraz Special Reserve.  Wine has to have some sweetness for me to enjoy it.  So far, I haven't found any reds meet that requirement.  Chris really liked the Riesling he tried and of course, the Apple Ice Wine. 

1 - wine tasting 2 - freezing outside winery 3 - Apple Ice Wine 4 - gorgeous sunset

After the wine tasting, we headed over to the Berkshire Bakery before making the trip back to Albany.  The bakery had sold out of most everything by the time we arrived, but we both really liked the canele' we tried there.  I'd never had a canele' before, but the sign indicated it was a French confection with a custardy interior.  It was delicious!  On the way back to Albany for dinner, we saw the most gorgeous sunset which was a perfect way to end our fabulous day!   We had dinner at one of my favorite Albany restaurants - the Albany Pump Station.  I tried a new dish, the Lobster and Shrimp Mac and Cheese - SO good!! 

I honestly couldn't have asked for a better day.  We had such a wonderful time together.  Being in a long distance relationship is very difficult, but I know Chris worked really hard to make sure our Valentine's Day was great.  And he did a fabulous job because I enjoyed every minute!!
Andrea :)

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Shop til you drop...

Linking up with Lauren and Tiffany for Tuesday Topics....
The Austin Family Diary
I am not a huge shopper, but there are some stores I visit where time seems to escape me.  Mostly at Target, but here are three others where I could spend endless hours browsing and looking for just the perfect item.

1 - Barnes & Noble is one of my favorite place to just browse.  I can go in there looking for one specific type of book and end up (hours later) in an entirely different section...and still walk out not purchasing a thing.  That is one of the things I love about this store.  It's fun to look around at the books even if you aren't planning to buy something.  I don't know too many other stores where I can browse around for a bit, walk out with no purchases, and not feel bad at all.

2 - Papyrus is a (somewhat) novelty and card shop.  I hadn't ever seen it until I moved to the northeast, but it is similar (sort of) to Hallmark.  I have always been a big fan of cards so this is the main reason I love this store.  The cards are so nice from this store as well...totally top quality!

3 - Michael's is AMAZING!  Totally saved the best for last.  Michael's is one of my favorite places to visit.  I thought there wasn't one in NYC, but then I found one way uptown.  So glad I did.  I love making small crafty things for gifts or decoration around the apartment so this place is a dream.  Of course, my scrapbooking habit serves as my main reason for addiction to this store.  That and their $1 shelves that are always stocked full of awesome goodies!!

Where do you LOVE to shop?

Andrea :)

Sunday, February 17, 2013

Best Picture Reviews - Part 2

To recap, I'm reviewing all of the Best Picture nominees.  The nominees are:

Beasts of the Southern Wild
Django Unchained
Les Miserables
Life of Pi
Silver Linings Playbook
Zero Dark Thirty

If you missed the first half of the reviews in Part 1 last week, you can check those out here.

Viewing Details: Dad and I watched on Christmas afternoon in Lexington.
Thoughts: This movie was good, but very sad. And even though I was well aware that it was a musical, I hated that they sung every single word. I liked a lot of the songs, but I would have preferred a little dialogue occasionally! My favorite characters were the "evil" guardians of Little Lisette. They were hilarious and exactly the amount of comic relief one needed in such a sad story. I also really enjoyed the cat and mouse theme between the two main characters. That really kept me on my toes. I don't think it deserves to win Best Picture, but it was a good movie.

Viewing Details: Dad and I watched on the day after Christmas in Lexington.
Thoughts: I loved this movie! I didn't go into it thinking that I would, but I did. I loved it so much that I decided to read the book after I'd seen the movie. I'll let you know how it compares when I finish it. The story and young boy were both simply compelling. I was cheering for him to "make it" at every turn. I highly recommend this movie to anyone - young or old!

Viewing Details: Chris and I watched on a December afternoon at the Spectrum in Albany.
Thoughts: Wow, what a phenomenal performance of Lincoln by Daniel Day Lewis! Simply stunning! Not only was the acting fabulous, but the story sucked me in the entire time even though I knew what was going to happen in the end. Intriguing look at Lincoln's last few months as well as the political process of that day (and probably not too far off from today). Thoroughly enjoyed watching it all unfold. Best Picture quality without a doubt!

Viewing Details: Chris and I watched on New Year's Day at the Spectrum in Albany.
Thoughts: Very interesting movie. It is essentially a romantic comedy, but it has much more substance than most. Bradley Cooper and Jennifer Lawrence are a great duo. They were both spot on in their roles as psychologically disturbed individuals. Lots of laughs. At the end, you are sort of left to ponder lots of questions about the story, but you somehow feel good about it all anyway. Definitely a movie I'd like to see again.

Viewing Details: Chris and I watched the weekend before the Oscars in Albany.
Thoughts: I wasn't too excited to see this movie when I heard it was nominated, but surprisingly I kind of liked it. It was an interesting look into the operations of the CIA. Working in operations myself led me to be more engaged in the movie than I would have been otherwise. I thought there was a lot of down time in the movie that could have been removed to make a much more comfortable viewing time, but overall I did like the movie.

My pick for Best Picture is Lincoln.  
Although,  I would love for Argo or Life of Pi to win.

Who do you think will win next Sunday?  Will you be watching?

Andrea :)

Saturday, February 16, 2013

SB XLVII - Part 3

It's FINALLY game day!!  If you missed Part 1 and Part 2, you'll definitely want to check them out to see all the fun we had in NOLA prior to the highly anticipated match-up at the Superdome!

Game Day began around 10am for me.  I headed off to the stadium with my fellow accreditation buddy to pick up our radios and man our posts at the tunnels on the ground level of the stadium.  Oh, thought I'd be watching the game?  Sorry to disappoint you, but more likely than not, you saw more of the game than I did!  But back to the story...

Quick photo op on the way into the stadium...
Once we made it to through security and into the restricted perimeter, we stopped to take a few pictures around Fan Plaza before we entered the stadium.  Chris and McKinley had tickets to the Tailgate Party, but they wouldn't be showing up there until it opened roughly three hours later around 2pm.  Unfortunately, I don't have any pictures to show you from that party, but from what I hear it is pretty awesome!

My co-worker and I entered the stadium on the 100 level.  Our guests' tickets were on that level so we took a quick minute to find their sections before we headed to the Field Office on the ground level.  Chris and McKinley would be in section 124, the corner of the 49ers endzone, roughly 20 rows from the field.  I would be working in the tunnel where the 49ers entered the field on the same end of the stadium, but opposite corner!

From the very tip top of the Superdome!

We picked up our radios and headed to our respective tunnels at around 11am or so.  At that point, traffic to the field was beginning to pick up so our job of monitoring proper access began.  As I mentioned, I was working the 49er tunnel so the pace was a little slower than most there because media and other working personnel were being directed to other tunnels for field access.  Around 2pm or so, the action picked up as team personnel began to arrive.  It was pretty interesting to watch them arrive.  Everyone had their own routine.  Some players immediately changed and headed out to the field in sweats while some waited until much later to make their entrance to the field.  Each position group did something different just before they took the field...which was pretty neat to witness.

Finally, the game began.  I took a quick peak out onto the field pre-game, but watched the anthem on a small TV screen near the top of the tunnel.  I saw a few drives here and there on that same TV throughout the first half as well.  It looked like it was going to be a blow out at the half.  I was a little anxious knowing the losing team at the time would be headed through our tunnel, but for the most part the just seemed focused and determined...and very sweaty with a smear of blood here or there.

I wasn't about to miss Beyonce and the halftime show so as soon as our tunnel was set, I went out to the end of the tunnel to catch the action.  She is SUCH a rockstar!!

Beyonce's appearance to the stage...

Destiny's Child...Reunited!!

Performing All the Single Ladies...loved it!!

After halftime, the players headed back to the field with no problems.  We had been rotating around to give everyone a break at various times in the game so I had arranged for my break to be during the 3rd quarter...and I quote myself, "Nothing ever really happens during the 3rd quarter."  Not this year!!  I had plans to visit Chris and McKinley at their seats and was headed there when I got a little influx of text messages asking me if I was ok and if the lights just went out.  I thought it was strange, but just responded that everything was perfectly fine.  Then, right before my very eyes, I saw two CBS employee go completely crazy and run in different directions screaming.  Seriously, I thought that ONLY happened in the movies.  I was still confused until I saw the TV with that terrible black and white dot/line insanity.  NOT GOOD!!  I realized then that something had gone wrong...somewhere...somehow....but still wasn't entirely clear on the proceedings until I made it to Section 124 where Chris filled me in.  The best I understood, we weren't affected in the tunnels because we were on generator power.  All I know is the lights were on in my area...and it proved a perfect time for some great photo ops in Section 124 :)

Back in Action!!  And the only live play I saw with my own eyes!
We all know what happened next.  The 49ers ALMOST came back to win.  Too bad almost doesn't count.  I was surprisingly overcome with sadness as the players exited the field in our tunnel.  You could see the heartbreak and disappointment in their faces.  It was really hard to watch actually.  Once they cleared the tunnel, I headed out to the perimeter of the field to check out the Ravens celebration.  And my sadness quickly turned to sheer joy and excitement for those players.  It was an odd feeling altogether.  In all the commotion going on, I somehow ended up about two feet away from Ray Lewis as he began his signature dance at the urging of fans.  Scared for my life, I quickly scurried away and back up to Section 124 to meet Chris and McKinley and head back to the hotel.  After all, I had been on my feet for nearly 12 hours straight...and needless to say, it had been a very long day!!

I was pretty exhausted, but Chris and I had tickets to the NFL Post-Game Party. We definitely didn't want to let those go to waste so I quickly changed and we headed to the party.  There was some really great food there so I'm really glad we didn't pass up the opportunity.  I was also able to introduce Chris to a lot of my co-workers, too!  He even got to meet the Commissioner (again)!

We didn't crash until around 2am, but luckily neither of us had to be up very early!  McKinley and Alex left pretty early since they had the long drive back to Kentucky, but we got to sleep in a little.  I dropped Chris off at the bus station around 11am.  He took a wild and crazy route back to NY, but it saved him hundreds of dollars so I'm sure it was worth it!  I was scheduled for my first ever chartered flight headed out of New Orleans around 4pm.  Long story short, we got majorly delayed, and I didn't end up back at my apartment in midtown until around midnight.  I was completely exhausted, but thankful to have one more Super Bowl in the books!

Hope you've enjoyed my Super Bowl XLVII recaps.  It was definitely an experience to remember!

Andrea :)