My last-minute Rose Bowl trip

After finding out that Illinois has been selected to play in the Rose Bowl, I’ve been wanting to attend the game as I’m a big sports fan, familiar with the exquisite history that Rose Bowl is known for—being the oldest college bowl game, big rivalry between PAC-10 and Big Ten conferences, my home state is in it this year and I haven’t visited SoCal yet except for one time when I attended an award banquet hosted by Nestle Co.

I asked around to see who wanted to go and two of my friends expressed interests but as the date approached closer, they couldn’t make it. Frankly, I was disappointed and wondered if I should just go there by myself.

It wasn’t till my mom told me that one of her friends had mentioned to her that the last time Illinois played in the Rose Bowl, it was in 1984, which they lost to UCLA. That’s 23 years ago, the same year I came to the United States when I got adopted. So, that pretty much does it for me. I knew I had to go. Luckily, I have a friend who lives in North Hollywood and asked him if I could crash at his place. He said sure. The game’s on.

Dec. 31st, Monday

12:57 pm: lying on a new couch bought from IKEA, staring at the ceiling.

1:00 pm: made up my mind to go to the Rose Bowl, sent a page to my friend.

1:05 pm: got a reply! he said sure, I can crash at his place.

1:10 pm: logged onto ichat to start video conferencing with my friend to make plans.

1:20 pm: plans made, logged into, purchased with my new credit card from Southwest, double reward points!

1:25 pm: sent a page to my other friend to see if he can drop me off at the SJC airport. he said sure.

1:30 pm: pack my clothes last minute, couldn’t find my black gym bag (must have left at the Google gym), used a christmas shopping bag instead.

2:00 pm: my friend picks me up

2:30 pm: dropped off at the airport

3:15 pm: plane takes off

4:30 pm: my friend picks me up

5:00 pm: got to his place. nice place. met his bro who’s deaf too.

6:30 pm: went to eat at a taco shop. great tacos.

8:30 pm: driving to riverside for a NYE party. damn, LA traffic!

9:30 pm: met my friend’s friend and his wife. cool dude who’s a writer (has written scripts for cable shows like the Discovery channel) and his wife works in DA office. nice couple.

10:00 pm: got to the NYE party, introduced myself to the host and thank him for welcoming me.

11:59 pm: last minute of 2007 before 2008 begins! hugs time and celebration. great party.

Jan. 1st, Tuesday.

3:00 am: time to leave, helped my friend’s friend’s wife with directions back to the house, using Google Maps on my blackberry and hers too.

4:30 am: had a good chat with my friend, catching up old times, then went to sleep.

10:00 am: my friend’s friend made breakfast. met his parents who are deaf too. chatted.

12:00 pm: left house *note to myself, write a note to them for letting me stay at their place. they have a beautiful, gorgeous Italian-style house. nice family.

1:30 pm: friend dropped me off at the Rose Bowl stadium

1:45 pm: got to the front gate, searched for Illinois fans with extra tickets

1:50 pm: found a ticket! $50 dollars. face value was $150. 10 rows from the field in the corner!

2:00 pm: jet fighters flown by.

2:10 pm: game kicks off!