Tuesday, January 26, 2010

The sun has the power to heal all wounds

Roundtrip we spent 43 hours on planes and in airports to see our Texas Longhorns play Alabama in the BCS National Championship game. You all know the result. Colt McCoy ended his glorious career by playing just 5 plays before being forced to leave with a devastating injury. Garrett Gilbert, his well-hyped, freshman backup, played valiantly, nearly bringing the Horns back for a victory. It just wasn't enough. His lack-of-experience got to him and the Horns just couldn't pull out the victory. For the first time in a very long time for Texas football, there's no one to blame. Everyone played their heart out to the best of their ability. Colt's injury and Garrett's near comeback was the stuff written for nearby Hollywood, without the trademark ending.

So the question is, are we glad we went? My answer is in two parts. One, I'm very glad I got to spend 5 days in lovely sunny California with it's beautiful highs in the 70s. Ireland has been having the worst winters since 1963 filled with seldom seen snow and ice. So for the weather alone, I loved being in California. Two, the combination of football and friends made this trip like our other Rose Bowl trips, worth it, win or lose. Of course the wins were a little better. But I would have regreted missing out on the Shotgun30 bus ride, the reunion of Texas fans from across the state, nation and globe, and most certainly seeing Colt's last moments. Though it wasn't how the Longhorn nation hoped for, I'm glad I was there to witness the end of Colt's reign.

There's always next year. That's the beauty of college football.  Next year will bring a new set of recruits that looks to be the best yet. Garrett Gilbert showed incredible promise. And we'll be there once again to see the start of a new era at Texas.

And in the mean time, Texas Hoops is on their way to March Madness!

Good to see everyone in California! Enjoy the pics.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

A White Christmas in London

Well, folks, we moved 5000 miles away this year and still couldn't escape a Christmas season filled with family craziness...thank goodness. We were lucky enough to have the entire Windlinger clan, even Rachel -and, yes Rachel you are a Windlinger-come visit for Christmas. Mom and Dad put us all up in a fab hotel in Belgravia (5 minute walk to Harrod's and Knightsbridge tube stop). It was great seeing everyone and there were only a few moments of cringing with our large and loud American crowd.

Some highlights: Jack the Ripper walking tour, Harrod's 50-75% of post-Christmas sale, Indian food at Moti Mahal, another stop at the Texas Embassy to celebrate Texas' brief nationhood, Platform 9 and 3/4 from Harry Potter, British Museum, Charlie's first trip overseas, champagne flight on the London Eye, Oliver!, Christmas Eve tasting menu at Foliage, getting to be in Star Wars at the Movie Museum and Chelsea in Chelsea.

I mean if that doesn't sound like a Windlinger adventure that you wish you were apart of, then I don't like you.

First up pictures-wise will be Chelsea in Chelsea. The game: count how many Chelsea's in the photo montage below. The prize: Getting to see a lot of Chelsea.

That's a lot of Chelseas!

Next up, family time. Who looks the most jet-lagged? I think it's Rachel, but that might just be me.



And, the London Eye:

The peace and quiet of London on Christmas Day

The UK has been hit with one of the worst winters in 50 years. And we decided to spend Christmas there at the beginning of the weeks long snow storm. The airports were shut down, taxi cabs were sparse and the ice was extremely trecherous. I think the photos show we had fun despite it all. Still, next year Christmas will be in Spain.