49ers vs. Buccaneers, Tampa, Florida 12/15/2013

DECEMBER 15, 2013 (Sunday)

 

Busy day. We got up at 6:45 AM, and were out the door by 7:30 AM. We stopped at the local Starbucks and got some coffee and bagels to go, then we got gas ($3.39 a gallon). We hit the road en route to Tampa Bay, Florida to watch the Buccaneers play the 49ers!  Excited. Michael had never been to a live football game before.

Gas.

Gas.

None of these on the west coast.

None of these on the West coast.

This is an expensive fill up for the Prius.

This is an expensive fill up for the Prius.

 

Started out a little scary, rain and wind.  Also there was an active Silver Alert, similar to an Amber alert, but for a silver headed missing person.

Started out a little scary, rain and wind. Also there was an active Silver Alert, similar to an Amber alert, but for a silver headed missing person.

We took the same route down alligator alley, but kept going North. It’s about 250 miles, almost 4 hours. We drove past Sarasota, Naples, and a bunch of other towns I’ve heard about. They looked lovely and would love to explore them closer some time (hopefully soon).  We also went over two bridges, one of which was quite impressive and looked like sails on a sailboat.  We got to Tampa around noon. We found parking ($25.00 ouch) and walked about half a mile to the Raymond James Stadium. You’d think for that price there would be a shuttle or something.  Very, very crowded with lots of people playing football and tailgating.   The most surprising thing was how many 49er fans were everywhere. Was lots of fun.

Pretty bushes enroute to the game.  They were at least 20 feet high.

Pretty bushes enroute to the game. They were at least 20 feet high.

Bob Graham Sunshine Skyway Bridge is beautiful.  Sleek, high, modern, solid, neat.

Bob Graham Sunshine Skyway Bridge is beautiful. Sleek, high, modern, solid, neat.

Intake snorkel, I wonder if this fellow drives in water close to that deep.

Intake snorkel, I wonder if this fellow drives in water close to that deep.

This fool sang, "Rice Aroni, the Buccaneers favorite treat," as we walked past.  We ignored him, wish now I'd got his phone number.

This fool sang, “Rice a roni, the Buccaneer favorite treat,” as we walked past. We ignored him.  Wish now I’d gotten his phone number.

Pregame chatter and nerves.

Pregame chatter and nerves.

 

Buccaneer greeters.

Buccaneer greeters.

 

Our section was at the very top and of course, the escalators were not working.  Oh well, fun walk.

Our section was at the very top and, of course, the escalators were not working. Oh well, fun walk.

Tampa bay was handing out free Christmas Tree ornaments.  This guy was a niner fan.

Tampa Bay was handing out free Christmas tree ornaments. This guy was a niner fan.

Before we got to our seats, we stopped at one of the concessions to get lunch. A beer was $7.00 and hot dogs were almost $7.00. Our seats were almost as high up as you could get, but at least we got seats. Looked like most of the seats were filled. Lots of activity going on – fog, fireworks, fire, cannon fire, big screen teleprompters, noise – fun. We had 49er people in front of us, to each side of us, and in back of us. We felt safe and secure in our area.

National Anthem.

National anthem.

The Buccaneer Stadium (Raymond James Stadium) is fun in that it has an area at the end zone that is set up to look like a fishing type village, along with its own ship. When the Buccaneers got a touchdown, the cannons on the ship would fire. Also, at random times they would shoot out t-shirts, beads, and other trinkets to the crowd around it. 

Pirate ship in the stadium.

Ship in the stadium.

Defense.

Defense.

 

Tampa sayings....

Tampa sayings….

Tampa sayings....

Tampa sayings….

 

Tampa sayings....

Tampa sayings….

It was a really good game and we all enjoyed it. After the game we walked down to the bottom, near the field, and waited to see Mercy Me. They had sung the National anthem and invited everyone to the after game performance. We waited for quite awhile and decided to leave as we had such a long way to go. By that time it was around 4:45 PM.

Defense.

Defense.

Halftime was a show of select kids getting their Christmas gifts.

Halftime was a show of select kids getting their Christmas gifts.

 

Scoreboard nearest us.

Scoreboard nearest us.

Number 7 is one of our favorites.

Number 7 is one of our favorites.

 

Pretty enough okay but really looked like a bunch of skinny little girls to me.

Pretty enough okay but really looked like a bunch of skinny little girls to me.

Grumpy old man and pretty daughter.

Grumpy old man and pretty daughter.

 

Final score.

Final score.

Colin Kaepernick (7) at post game interview.

Colin Kaepernick (7) at post game interview.

View of the ship from the high dollar seats. (post game)

View of the ship from the high dollar seats. (post game)

 

Lots of limos.

Lots of limos.

 

Beautiful sunset sky, and only 3 1/2 hours to go.

Beautiful sunset sky, and only 3 1/2 hours to go.

We stopped for dinner at Taco Bell (drive thru) and kept on driving until we got to our “home” at around 9:00 PM. That was our day. Hope yours was great!

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