Monday, November 3, 2008

Ride for the Roses - Friday Oct 24th Summary

I started my traveling at 4:15am EST with a ride up to Hasbrouck Heights to pick up my friend Tim and head over to the airport. Our timing was perfect as our flight was scheduled to leave at 7:30am EST and we got to our gate 15 minutes before boarding the plane.

The flight was quick and we landed in Austin, TX around 10:40am CT. After we got off the plane we walked down to the LAF Ride for the Roses pick up and got on the bus to the Hilton. We got checked in and then ran over for some lunch at Champions Sports Bar & Grill. We just relax for a a few hours had lunch, a few beers and played some Golden Tee 2008. Then we went back to the hotel to get some rest before the appreciation dinner.

We had our Friday night appreciation dinner at Salt Lick which is famous for their BBQ and locations to hold events. The dinner was a great Texas BBQ dinner which everyone I spoke with enjoyed.

Throughout the night there was a small silent auction with such items as; Jonas Brothers autographed guitar, several Lance Armstrong autographed items and other items. We also had an opportunity to rope mechanical cattle or take pictures with a real Longhorn. The Salt Lick venue was a nice place to hold the dinner.

After the dinner we briefly heard from Doug Ulman, CEO of the LAF. He thanked all of the fundraisers for our dedication to the cause and support of the LAF. After Doug we heard from Evan Handler. Evan is a leukemia cancer survivor, advocate, actor and author. You may remember Evan as Harry (Charlotte’s husband) on Sex in the City. Evan told a few funny stories and thanked everyone for their support of the LAF.

After the guest speakers we then made our way out side to sit on bails of hay and listen to country music legend WILLIE NELSON. All I can say is WOW! I can remember wanting to see him when I was 12 years old in Bayville, NJ when he performed at the old Cowboy om RT 9. Willie blew everyone away and I think converted a few people who were not into country music. Willie has a more “blues” sound to him so I think that helped. Willie played for near 80+ minutes.

During his performance the temperature dropped significantly and by the time it was over it was in the low 40s. I was in short-sleeves and I was freezing, but it was still an amazing night.

After Willie finished his set Lance came on stage to thank Willie and his band for performing and there was a funny moment. Lance said he could not go on Willie’s bus b/c he has a new job (i.e. back to cycling) which made everyone laugh. For those of you who are not aware Willie is famous for bringing folks on his tour bus to smoke some (you know what I mean.) That closed out a very long day of travel so I went back to the hotel to sleep before our 5k in the morning.

It was a long but great day!