Thursday, February 4, 2010

Shannon Goes to Anaheim, Part 4

Sadly, folks, all good things must end, so herewith I present Shannon's report of the last two days of the Anaheim event. I, for one, have my hat pressed over my heart as a sign of mourning at its passing. Here we go.

The final two days:

Well, my friends, as I sit here, over a week later, trying to remember enough to write another decent report, I’m finding that the words aren’t coming to me as they did in my first three installments. In the past week, I’ve had two wisdom teeth out, have been refereeing the ongoing sibling rivalry in the house, and have been shepherding a preteen who hates to read and write through a black history month project. So, needless to say, these haven’t been the best circumstances to write a lucid paper.

However, I do have a few things I’d like to pass on about the final two days of the event, so, if you don’t mind, I’m going to put the memories in bullet points:

• At the event, Sonja and I decided to skip the mixer and just look around at the different booths. She was particularly interested in the Ariat booth because she used to sell them and swears that they are the best. She was trying to talk me into buying a pair when Adriano walked up and sat down for autograph signing. What luck! I was admiring some boots near him and he asked if I was going to buy something. I said that I couldn’t right then because of my budget, but I was definitely going to write down a style number of one pair to look at later in the year. He asked which ones and when I pointed them out, he said I had great taste because his wife had the same pair. Funny how it can be the smallest, most insignificant things that make you happy. Anyway, I introduced him to Sonja and gave her a rundown of his accomplishments and she was duly impressed. He was very nice and humble and definitely a good representative of the PBR. I’m so glad that he’s still a strong presence there. [Ariat's are the best. If you run across an 8 1/2s, just remember that they were made for me!--SQ]

• After meeting Adriano, buying some food, and waiting for Justin McBride to stop talking to an older couple so I could say something to him (I was on a roll! Too bad the conversation went on so long that we began to feel awkward after a few minutes and ended up leaving), we went to our seats to watch the show.

• Right after Brian got stomped by Pick a Spot, the man behind me said, “That’s why we wear helmets, %$#@.” In spite of my oddly protectively attitude toward with Brian, I had to say a silent “amen” to that.

• When I went out to grab a drink, I saw Justin McBride, Beau, Ross, and Brandon standing around talking. I may have been on a roll, but there was no way I was going to walk up to that crowd. Putting aside what I may feel about each of the rider’s attitudes, I must say that on a purely physical (and yes, shallow) level, that was one good-looking group of guys.

• After the event was over, we went down for autographs, where we met a woman who admitted to having had too much to drink. It was her first-ever experience with bull riding. She loved it! She also loved the riders and proved it by calling each of them “cutie” and then telling them how cute they were in case they missed that fact when she said the word “cutie.” At one point, she even asked Brian Herman to turn around so she could check out . . . well, you know. We didn’t do a great job of avoiding her and since there were only a few guys I was waiting for anyway, I didn’t see a real need to—until Kody Lostroh came out. I chatted with him for a minute and was left feeling concerned about whether or not I’d offended him somehow. Sonja gave me many reasons why he might have been stand-offish and that helped me with my angst. It wasn’t until a few days ago that it occurred to me that if he thought I was with the rather . . . outgoing . . . woman, so perhaps that’s why he was not very comfortable with the situation. Oh well, live and learn. I did, however, exchange some nice words with Shane Proctor, who I really started watching and pulling for last season.

Kody was the last rider of the night and our day came to an end with Sonja emphatically saying that she’s in for next year. I’m already looking forward to it.

The final day of the event came and I was back in parental mode. There was no leaving early that day or hanging out somewhere to meet riders. We had a leisurely morning at the house, then headed out to Anaheim, where we ate at Denny’s so as to avoid the high cost of the stadium food. The highlights of our event there were:

• Noticing the plastic bull money bank at the PBR credit card booth. I had to have one. They were too cute to pass up. So, I may have another credit card sitting in my wallet soon.

• Chad Berger signing the kids’ items, then answering one of Amelia’s questions. Apparently, he has 175 bulls. This came as such a shock to Amelia, it rendered her so speechless that she never did get to her next question. Now, if you knew my daughter, you’d know that there is very little that makes this kid speechless! Her eyes bugged, her jaw dropped, and all I could do was grin and guide her out of there. Chad is certainly getting better with the fan adoration.

• Running into Robson’s lovely wife and beautiful little girl. I’d seen them around the hotel on Friday, but it didn’t feel like the time or place to say anything. This time, I figured I’d say something. She was very sweet and all smiles as we admired the little one.

• During the event, my kids were thrilled that Julio not only stood his horse right in front of them, but allowed them to pet it as well. I’ve always admired the beauty of that horse and now I admire Julio for giving the kids a little extra something special.

• Finally, it was down to the floor for more autographs. This time, there were fewer riders, but that made it seem a bit more intimate. Amelia, who apparently doesn’t fall far from the tree, had to be told every time to look at the camera and not the rider when Rick was trying to get their pictures. Later, as we were walking to the car, we noticed a small crowd around one of the cars. Travis Briscoe. Rick and the kids headed over for an autograph and picture and he was accommodating to everyone.

Thus ends the story of my weekend. In the end, there was a small inkling of disappointment knowing that Guilherme got hurt, JB didn’t ride, and Kasey got cut. Also, while I don’t begrudge Kody a win, he’s won the last three times I was at a live event—I’m ready to see a new person up there on my weekends, just to change it up a little.

Thank you, SQ, for once again letting me go on and on (and on-—I get wordy) about my experiences, and thank you all for taking the time to read it.

1 comment:

shelia said...

A great big, THANKS! Shannon. I'm writing from the hotel in Winston-Salem. Hope my experience can only begin to measure up to yours! Thanks for sharing all the details!