Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Jacksonville Weekend...

I told you how I was contacted by Colts TE Jacob Tamme and offered a wonderful weekend in Jacksonville, FL, plus Colts tickets to thank me the hubs for his military service. So I bet you want to know how the weekend went, right?    First, I have to thank Jacob, and Tammy (@TammyLuvsColts on twitter) for the incredible gift. Second, it was AMAZING!

The only downside to the trip was the 5 a.m. wake up in order to get to the airport in time. But hey, I've done much worse! Our flights were smooth and actually landed early. Easy travels! We got to the hotel, in an adorable, new development area of Jacksonville. It was situated right on a lake, and done in adorable blues and greens. If you get a chance to stay at a Hotel Indigo, do it! We had a suite, which was wonderful when it was time to get ready for dinner!

We checked in, then headed out for lunch, and then drove to the Jacksonville Beach area. The water was chilly, but we walked in the waves and just enjoyed the fresh ocean air. And we saw 4 dolphins playing and hunting in the surf!

After the beach, we headed back to watch the first half of the IU-OSU game (go IU!) and get ready for dinner. We had a wonderful dinner at III Forks; you can never go wrong with steak, seafood and a bottle of wine!

I won't lie, we barely made it to midnight...  but we made it! Happy 2012!!!

We started the year off right! As we sat to have breakfast, I got a message from Jacob inviting us to meet him after the game! So we finished up and headed to EverBank Field. Jaguars fans were pretty friendly. People teased us a bit before the game, but it was all in good fun. We even ran into one security member who told us he was secretly cheering for the Colts!  The stadium has a great Bud Light Party Zone above the south end zone.  

We grabbed a sandwich for the hubs and then headed to our seats to watch warm ups. The only downside is we were on the wrong side of the field... the Jaguars were warming up closest to us!  But I still love being there.  I will say it's more fun at Lucas Oil Stadium, at least there they play "In The Air Tonight"!  

I was a little bummed that they use the tiny flags. Their mascot, Jackson-de-ville did fast rope in from a light tower above the field, which was cool.... and also a sign of things to come. One downside to Jacksonville? It's a bit like a circus side show! The mascot is doing so much random stuff, driving on the opposite end of the field with a tiny motorcycle, streaking, etc. that it distracts you from the game. At one point, he was bouncing around, and our whole row missed an entire down because he had distracted us!

We enjoyed the game, and got some serious sun. Sadly, as you know, the Colts lost. Forget that 'suck for Luck' stuff, I'm a true fan, I wanted the W as much as the players!

After the game, we headed down to the buses. I asked several security guards where we should go, until I was sure I was in the right area. I was still nervous, because we were outside the fence, and I just didn't know if it would work out.   I shouldn't have worried!  Jacob was about the fourth player out. He immediately pulled 4 people in (who I later learned were his family), then I saw him reach into his pocket to check his phone. I yelled out "Jacob!" He immediately looked up.. "Stacey?"  I grabbed the husband's hand, and security parted the fence and let us through.  Ok, mind blown.

Jacob Tamme is the nicest guy. Period. He immediately greeted us with a hug for me, handshake for the husband and asked us if everything went OK for our weekend. He introduced us to his aunt and uncle, cousin and cousin-in-law, and we hung out chatting.  

I do not want to take away from this moment at all, because we were Jacob's guests, and he is an awesome, awesome person. But of course, I realize I'm hanging out within a few feet of Robert Mathis, Dwight Freeney, etc..  and then who should walk right next to me?  Reggie Wayne!  I asked Jacob if it's rude to ask for autographs or pictures. He said no, but because it's the family area, the guys might not.  Then he called over and asked Reggie if he'd take a picture with us! I got a quick autograph, and told Reggie "You know you're my favorite." (In hindsight, I almost felt like a dork, but Reggie smiled and laughed).

At about the same time, Dallas Clark had come over, and Jacob asked him to jump in the picture.

Dallas is also incredibly nice. When Jacob explained that the husband had served two tours of Afghanistan, Dallas stopped to chat with us for a while and thank him for his service. Then he came straight over and hugged me and thanked me too! He chatted for a while, and left quite the impression. Great guy!

And then? Icing on the cake. Peyton Manning was around. I snagged a quick auto on my ticket, then Jacob got his attention. "Hey Peyton, would you take a picture with this guy? He's spent two years in Afghanistan." Peyton thanked him and posed with us!  And teased Jacob about his camera skills...

Overall, a dream weekend!   Of course the game experience was the icing on the cake, but just the chance to get away, have a nice dinner, enjoy a warmer climate was so amazing for us. We had a great time relaxing and reconnecting.

Despite my rants here, in our house, we believe we're just doing our job. We don't demand special attention, and half the time the husband won't even take a military discount. To get thank yous like this from Tammy and Jacob just blows us away. I truly can't thank them enough.  And to hear a thank you from guys often called heroes, directed to my hero, and even to me, is really, really cool.  So to Tammy and to Jacob Tamme and to Reggie, Dallas and Peyton, thank you.


  1. Such a cool, cool thing for you guys. Incredible. Big kudos to Jacob & Tammy for making it all happen! <3, TaxMegan

  2. Great story, I wish it could have been a win for you, but I am sure in the big picture, that doesn't even matter. A big thank you to the sweetest lady on the planet-Tammy and the other Tamme, for making it happen.
    ps- this same sweet lady sent a struggling friend 2 tickets to that same game, included "other" gifts, he was not able to attend, but his 2 sons who are also Colts fans, got to see their very first Colts game,THANK YOU TAMMY <3

  3. Stacey, you got a weekend of a lifetime for us Colts fans....I am so glad you and your husband got this chance...and I do agree, Tammy is a fantastic friend!!!

  4. Stacey, Tammy is one of my best friends. She's a genuine, generous person, and one of the biggest Colts fans I know, besides myself of course. :) My name is also Tammy, and Jacob Tamme is an amazing person as you have discovered. As we like to say here in Indy...It's a Tam thing, you wouldn't understand. I'm so glad you got to see the game...continue to Believe in Blue...

  5. Tammy has been my best friend for 21 years now. She is an angel straight from heaven right here on earth! I have never in my life known a more giving person than her and I can only hope I am HALF the person she is. She is truly a remarkable human being. My life wouldn't be the same without her and this world would be a much scarier place without her in it! Stacey, I'm so glad you and your husband were able to take the getaway weekend and it turned out so well.

  6. This is so awesome! I'm glad you had a great time, you both deserve it. Consider this your mini-moon. :)

  7. As all of you know, Tammy is awesome!! I'm so glad I've gotten to 'meet' her through this! And our Colts (especially Jacob Tamme) are such classy, amazing guys. It was a dream weekend... really was our mini-moon!

  8. I know the feeling Stacie. I consider it a blessing that Tammy and other Colt's fans like her are my friends. Glad you guys had a great time and please thank your husband for his service to our country for us....

    btw: Grant and Tammy just had an anniversary,

  9. Sorry *Stacey