Sunday, January 4, 2015

Florida Trip

On December 29th, I flew out of Minneapolis-St. Paul airport with 300 other crazy band kids and headed to the warm, muggy land of Orlando, Florida. When we landed, all you could hear were the shouts of joy as people who had gotten used to below-freezing temperatures felt 70 degrees against their skin again. As the Minnesota Golden Gophers were playing in the Citrus Bowl on the first of the new year, we were all there to cheer them on and provide the general pepping up any college sporting event needs.

Over the course of our three days there, we marched two parades, played at several pep rallies, spent an evening at Downtown Disney or Universal CityWalk, spend New Year's Eve at Seaworld, rehearsed several times, and, of course, marched at the football game. The end of the trip brought new meaning to the phrase we use a during our pregame show: "And down. Stop. Breathe." While we got drizzled on a few times, it didn't all-out rain much and the weather stayed pleasantly mild, albeit a bit muggy.

Shamu stadium at SeaWorld

We also did a lot of sitting on a buses as we shuttled from place to place. I enjoyed looking out the window and taking in the greenery and wildlife that was persistently abundant, despite all the development and human mayhem going on around it. There was a ditch with a small pond just outside the hotel and I saw five species while simply sitting on a bus, waiting to leave for a parade. Pretty cool stuff. We also ended up parking by a lake near the Citrus Bowl stadium and I saw six species there just walking around it to the stadium. The plant life was also incredibly diverse. There was such diversity in every garden I saw and, while many things were going through their dormancy period, there were still some things flowering. I can't imagine what it's like in spring and summer. The air must be full of the smell of tropical flowers. Not sure I could handle the summer temperatures though. I'm too much of a northerner that it might do me in. 

White Ibises

We also got to spend New Years in Florida and spending it with a group of people I've come to cherish so much made me incredibly thankful for the opportunities being a member of the marching band has given me. This trip was the last time I performed with that group and it was incredibly bittersweet. But what a great way to end it. Only thing that could've made it better would have been if our football team had won the game. Ah well. 

Citrus Bowl Stadium

All the amazing Gopher fans who came out to cheer on the team.

But now it's back to reality and, thankfully, I still have until the 20th off of school, meaning I'm back home in the Upper Peninsula for a while to enjoy my last winter break ever. It may be cold here, but spending time at home is worth it regardless of weather. 

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