I'm sure you all know that Indianapolis is hosting the Super Bowl this year, and the city is a frenzy of activity leading up to the big game.
Yesterday, Darci and Andrew invited us to go along to check out the downtown area and visit the NFL Experience. Darci's sister Betsy just started working at the JW Marriott downtown, so she knows her way around. What an exciting time to be starting a new job in downtown Indy. She'll be bumping into celebrities around every corner this week.
The hotel is beautiful, and all decked out with a giant decal of the Lombardi Trophy. Wow!
Indianapolis apparently even ordered special weather, as it was mild and sunny yesterday. It is supposed to be in the mid 50s this week. Not at all typical for Indiana in January/February. Trust me.
There are Super Bowl touches all around in the lobby of the hotel.
We walked through the skybridge to the Convention Center for the NFL Experience. Looking around for familiar faces, I immediately spotted this guy. I asked Betsy to see if she might be able to save him for me after it's all over. It would look great in the basement, don't you think?
Matthew and Haleigh were excited to see all the areas and play some games. Haleigh is good at saying "football."
Andrew and Matthew waited in line to try the quarterback challenge. Haleigh watched everyone get a chance to show off their throwing arms.
She looked quite cute in her Saints tutu from Blissy Couture, and got lots and lots of compliments, despite the fact that our team isn't actually playing on Sunday. :(
Ella was wearing hers, too, and even the man walking past thought she was cute.
Aunt Betsy, Darci, and sweet Ella Kate.
Grandpa and Haleigh were getting along fine until he put her down and she decided to run under the queue line barriers, making him zig and zag trying to catch up with her. Oh Grandpa!
Matthew tried out his quarterback skills.
Andrew took a turn too, completing one throw to the farthest net.
They had these replica 'players' all along the hallways throughout the area. It took us a while, but we finally found the Saints player and each took a turn pretending to be a football star. Every player from every team was number 12 (Darci figured because it's 2012. So smart.), so on the Saints, that would be Marques Colston. Not a bad choice.
going deep for the long pass from Drew Brees.
Andrew. Concentrating on his route.
We found the Steelers player, so Andrew decided to show the despair of the Steeler fans in honor of his friend Matt.
Matthew looking sad as well.
Haleigh was waving at the folks who thought she was the cutest thing ever. I have to agree.
Matthew got to suit up and try some hitting in the NFL Rush Zone, which was an area for kids 10 and under.
He kicked three extra points, sending one ball over the wall. The Boilers always need a good kicker.
Bryan and Jennifer came downtown to check things out, too, and met up with us in the Rush Zone.
Some kind of Saints guy hanging from the ceiling.
There was a quarterback challenge for kids, too, and Matthew was three for three hitting the basket.
Time to try a long snap.
Haleigh was trying to figure out just how it's done.
She thought she should try it out too.
She found her favorite team on the tile floor. Smart girl.
With the first pick of the draft, the New Orleans Saints select....
Of course, the Saints don't have the first pick this year. That honor will go to the Colts.
Andrew posed with the Bears jersey in honor of Shylah. Da Bears!
There was a long line to get close to, and take your picture with, the Lombardi Trophy.
I just used my zoom, and got a picture with no waiting.
Outside, on Georgia Street, is the Super Bowl Village, complete with ziplines overhead. I have heard that all the pre-sale tickets have been sold, and some folks are waiting in line up to 6 hours for additional tickets, and to take their turn on the zipline. I will keep my feet on the ground, thank you very much.
Slowing down at the finish.
We walked a few blocks to the Circle, thankful for the mild weather. The city looks amazing, and it seems that the host committee has thought of every detail. Everything is clean and shiny, people are extra friendly, and the lights and sounds of Super Bowl are amazing. There is a light show on the huge XLVI that includes highlights from Super Bowls past.
Matthew and his daddy on the Circle.
Matthew, Darci, Andrew, Haleigh, and Ella enjoying the excitement.
Well, almost all of them are enjoying the excitement.
Ella is plum tuckered out from all that football.
Walking back to our car, we took in all the lights welcoming guests to the city.
Super night. Super city. Super Bowl!