By no means am I a football fan. I’m not even a sports fan. I grew up with the fishing kind of dad, not the kind that lives for Sundays in the fall. It was just my luck that I married into quite the sports fanatic family. I guess God felt like I had to make up for all of those years not spent at games. (Boy, am I paying for it).
Super Bowl LI was in Houston at the NRG Stadium this year. What better weekend for Josh’s family to visit? Time with Josh and I and Super Bowl festivities? Talk about two birds with one stone. Josh’s dad Robert and little brothers, Jacob and Joseph, flew in from El Paso the Wednesday before the game. We were all disappointed Josh’s mom, Lisa, couldn’t make it. She hadn’t been feeling well in the days leading up to the trip. Fortunately she is feeling better now. A separate disappointment surrounding this trip was that the Dallas Cowboys were not playing. The Monarez family bleeds silver and blue. I am almost certain Robert would not have allowed Josh to marry me if I said I did not support their team.
We had a late dinner at Torchy’s Tacos the night the guys got into town. I worked the next day but Josh took it off to be with the family on their first full day in Houston. They spent all day downtown at Super Bowl LIVE at Discovery Green. The park was completely fenced off and decked out in all things Super Bowl. Again, I’m not a big football fan, but even I have to admit it was cool. The guys were there so long that I met them there a few hours after I got off of work. There was a good amount of celebrity sightings between the four of us by the end of the night. The guys got into the NFL Experience. Josh described it as “Disneyland for NFL fans” so my feeble non-sports mind could understand. It was full of NFL memorabilia and, even cooler, lots of NFL players that you could line up to meet. I won’t pretend to know who they met, but it was quite a few people. Josh met Jesse Watters, one of our favorite journalists, and I saw Floyd Mayweather getting out of his Money Team cars.
Friday was the most eventful day of our long weekend. I took off of work and the five of us headed north to Huntsville in the morning. My parents, Wes and Tessy, and my brother Seth live out there on a big piece of land. They moved very recently from El Paso so it’s nice that they are only a little over an hour drive from Josh and I now. Cranston and Posy came with us too. They love “the farm,” as we call it. We ate steaks, drove my dad’s ATV and fished. I believe about seven fish were caught in total between eight guys and five of those were Joseph’s! We stayed with my family till the evening before heading back to town. Our day was nowhere near over.
A couple of weeks before the Super Bowl we bought tickets to see Bruno Mars at Club Nomadic. The venue was put up specifically for three concerts during Super Bowl. The concert started late and no one under 21 years of age was allowed so we had to drop Jacob, Joseph, Cranston and Posy back at our apartment before heading out again. We Ubered because Club Nomadic was put up in a residential area. Thousands of people plus no parking equals a long and winding line. Nearly an hour and a half passed by the time we got through security and inside. Thankfully Bruno waited for everyone to get in before starting the concert.
We had just enough time to get our drinks and get in place before the music started. We were standing toward the back and the whole crowd was pushing toward the stage, including the people behind us. Josh and I are no strangers to rowdy crowds. The type of music Josh is into usually has us avoiding mosh pits so the pushing was no big deal to us or even Robert. However, you would think the people in front of us had never been to a concert in their lives! Since we were moving forward because of the people behind us, we were pushing into them. A few people in front of us seemed to think we were pushing them because we wanted to be in front. It was bad for the first couple of songs. Josh, Robert and I were singled out by a lot of drunk and angry Bruno fans. One woman old enough to be my mom was threatening to fight Josh until she shifted her focus to me. I guess she figured I would be easier to take down than my husband. Ha! Probably. Thankfully no fights were had and the inexperienced concert-goers were pushed out by people behind us.
My favorite moment of the night was when “Marry You” came on. Josh was super sweet and sang it with me because I had been shaken up by all of the yelling. That was a special moment because it is so difficult to get him to sing! DJ Khalid came out on a balcony right above us when the concert was over so we stayed and danced for an hour or so. We realized at that point that we had been dancing next to the guy that played McLovin in Superbad. Josh and I screamed “McMuffin!” which may or may not have upset him because he left shortly after. Catching an Uber home was a challenge but the night was a definite success.
We slept the night before off on Saturday morning and didn’t get out of the apartment till the afternoon. We headed to Karbach Brewery to meet Josh’s cousin Aaron and his girlfriend, Ale. Aaron moved to Houston recently and Ale, who lives in El Paso, is planning on doing the same soon. We had lunch at the brewery and it was so good! Josh and I shared brussel sprouts and kimchi fried chicken. Okay, we would have shared the brussel sprouts if I had not eaten most of them before he was able to, hehe. I’m not a big fan of beer (unlike Josh) but I did find that Karbach’s Love Street is super yummy. I added it to the short list of beers that I enjoy.
We went to the Topgolf in Katy after Karbach. Getting there, I really began to notice the crowds of people in Houston for the game. We had to wait over an hour for a bay to open up. That wasn’t too bad because was enjoyed some wings, a magic show and I finally got the fishbowl shaped like a little golf bag! I was disappointed though that Topgolf no longer uses golf club shaped straws in their drinks. Boo! I wish I were better at hitting the ball. I was on the golf team in high school (with Josh actually) though I have gotten very rusty since then. I am already bugging Josh to take me to the range now that it’s warming up #privatecoach. The guys hit the ball beautifully so it was fun to watch them between golf bag sips.
We left the boys with some friends at Topgolf in a failed attempt to see Taylor Swift back at Club Nomadic. Robert made a friend (like he does) the night before who swore he could get us in as his guests but it seemed too shady once we got there so we left. We intended on meeting Aaron at one of our favorite spots on Washington Street but both Kung Fu Saloon and Concrete Cowboy were packed to the rafters with people. We decided to lay low until the boys got back from Topgolf.
Super Bowl Sunday was finally here and the five of us at home (seven if we are counting Cran and Po) were feeling lazy as ever. Watching the game from home was a unanimous decision. We ordered food from a barbecue joint in Uptown that Josh and his coworkers frequent on lunch breaks. We went to HEB for some drinks and sides after picking the main course up. We had chips and dips, loaded mac and cheese, cold cuts and crackers, crawfish and red beers with our brisket and sausage. Our friend Lauren came over to watch the game with the guys and keep me sane throughout the blessed event. I am so happy we decided to be homebodies. The crowds from the night before had me feeling like we had to take cover.
The Monarez guys left for home very early on Monday morning. To say it was a busy weekend would be an understatement. Luckily Josh and I had the foresight to take Monday off of work to recover. We needed it. I’m not sure I can ever go back to work on a Super Bowl Monday again after seeing how relaxing it is. I had a great time with family despite the hiccups in our plans. I may not be counting down the days till the next Super Bowl but I already cant wait till the next time the whole family is together again.
Lots of love,