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December 2009
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Miami Trek 2009

Meeting Bama at the airport

After just a couple hours of sleep, the Cardoza’s departed for the airport for the 7th annual Miami trek.  We departed from Providence on Friday, December 4th  and enjoyed a bumpy but uneventful flight. When we arrived, we hooked up with Bama, secured the car and stopped off for provisions at the local Publix. After enjoying a delicious and much needed lunch buffet, Big Al assisted Louie and MJ with obtaining their car.

Much of the afternoon was spent in the lounge and outside enjoying the balmy South Florida air while waiting for our room to be ready. The boys smoked many a cigar and shared more than a few laughs. Once check in was complete, I set my sights on securing tickets for Louie, MJ and their kids for Sunday’s game. Thankfully, I grabbed four on Ticketmaster thus removing the stress of having to worry about getting tickets  and freeing them up to enjoy the rest of the weekend.

Louies Muffler-sized Calzone!

Louie's Muffler-sized Calzone!

After getting our full of Italian take out and killing a couple of bottles of wine, Steve and I plugged in the laptops and surfed a bit, looking for the latest Patriots info. We all goofed on Louie’s muffler sized calzone and the stranger in the lobby that offered to take a few pieces off his hands to help him eat it! We shared some laughs, some stories of old and looked forward to this year’s edition of Pats/Dolphins.

We rose early and got our workout in,  then had a nice buffet breakfast. Later, Big Al, Steve, and I went for our pedicures. The two boys loved the experience and Steve was so enamored he proposed! Looks like it may be an annual experience from here on out!  We headed back to the hotel for a quiet afternoon while Louie and MJ and crew headed down to Aruba for lunch. We awaited the team’s arrival in the lobby and took in the sights. And man, there certainly were some!  I held my breath and couldn’t look

Vacation Couple!

Vacation Couple!

when one woman was so tipsy she almost knocked over the Christmas tree and a couple of girls with very short dresses caused more whiplash than I’ve seen in a long time.

Once again, we hung in the lobby while the team came in then sent for takeout while sipping some wine.  As always, we chatted with B-Lowe and David Silverman then Stacey James came by to say hi. Various players headed out to meet with family and friends and even BB headed out in his Hawaiian shirt and flip flops. A few guys came and went and Jarvis Green spotted us and came by to say hi.  MJ and Louie were psyched to take a picture with him and we all wished him well. Steve’s earlier proposal was soon forgotten when he met his dream girl, Lindsay

Game day dawned overcast like the rest of the weekend then started to clear a bit. We ran the path once again, showered then headed down for the breakfast buffet while the team and staff headed out to the buses. Once the boys

MJ and Louie with Jarvis Green

MJ and Louie with Jarvis Green

pulled away we got ready to go and the whole crew headed out.  We had to take the turnpike due to 95 being closed for a Bike Run and Big Al was glued to a tailgate bus in front of us. The thing was so big that he couldn’t read the signs at the tolls and followed it into the Sunpass lane.  Unfortunately, we didn’t have a Sunpass and couldn’t back up because of the cars behind us so he went through. Hopefully his 75 cent toll doesn’t end up rolling into a  $100 ticket!

The weather was decent during the game, partly cloudy and comfortable.. The Pats started off strong but unfortunately didn’t play a full 60 minutes and ended up losing by a single point. 22-21.  :-(   What a bummer!   After sitting in traffic for awhile, we got on the road, headed home and then went out for a nice dinner at the Bonefish Grill. Afterwards, MJ and I finished the bottle of wine and relaxed in the lobby while the boys smoked,  then we sat around rehashing the game and talking about the weekend. We said our goodbyes to MJ and Louie and called it an early night.

Monday dawned bright and sunny and looked to be a beach day but alas, we had an early flight to catch. We said goodbye to Steve, headed to the airport with Bama and parted ways. During our first flight, we sat next to a real bizarre character who was frantically writing down everything the stewardesses and captain said and was taking pictures of the seatback pocket literature  throughout the flight. He practically filled up a notebook by the time we landed in Baltimore and I was quite relieved when he deplaned and didn’t continue on to Providence!  We got home and was hit with the winter cold, but there’s no place like home.  Despite the not so great weather and the Pats loss, it was still great to get away and spend a nice weekend with friends. Go Pats!!

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