Monday, May 28, 2012

Homecomings, Happy Times & Hurricanes

Those of you who follow this blog probably read my last post about the impending family fracture that was going to take place during the USA vs Scotland soccer match that went of over the weekend in Jacksonville. I am happy to report that the family is still intact despite the 5-1 thumping that my Scottish lads had to endure. It was hard to feel any sort of ill will when the weekend was just so much fun.
Me and the kids at Jacksonville Landing

Friday night and Saturday afternoon was spent at Jacksonville Landing, a location that had pretty much been taken over by the invading Scots. It was my people doing what they do best; drinking like fish and mingling with the locals in good-natured fun. I almost forgot where I was on Saturday afternoon, exclaiming loudly to Penny, "Look, that boat has a US flag on it."
Penny sporting her colors with the kids

There were too many highlights over the course of the 3 days to pick just one, so here are a few. My daughter being given a pheasant feather for her cap after asking about the feathers in the Scotsmen's hats. Penny and my son's excitement at being in the midst of 45,000 people and watching their first live soccer game. And for me, it was meeting a few American fans at half time after they had been giving it to me pretty hard during the game. It was all fun stuff and some great banter back and forth. We took the time to talk for a few minutes, sharing our love of the game and the atmosphere. As we stood to leave at the end, with me feeling very humbled at the scoreline, all the lads in that section stood and applauded us as we left. A class act indeed, and one that made a horrible result seem somehow okay.

We left on Sunday, sad to be on the road, yet happy to have had the experience. What we didn't realize was that we missed Tropical Storm Beryl by a mere few hours. It pounded Jacksonville on Sunday, closing bridges and grounding the flights of the Scottish fans who had come to visit.
It was a little surreal to watch the news last night and see where we were a few hours earlier get pummeled. Most would blame Mother Nature, but I like to think of it as the Scottish soccer god's exacting a wee slice of revenge for the pummeling we took the day before.


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