Florida: Part 2

Hi! I am sharing part two of our Florida fun today.  My mom and I took the boys to visit my sister for a little 3 day trip.  I shared Thursday/part 1 here, including a little beach time and our tour of TPC Sawgrass.

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On Friday morning we got up and headed over to TIAA stadium, home of the Jacksonville Jaguars.  None of the group tours fit our time schedule so I arranged for a private tour.  It was so easy and the Jaguars’ staff was so friendly and accommodating.  I highly recommend going this route.  Our guide, Ken, tailored everything to our interests and kept the boys interested.  We met him at Touchdown, the huge jaguar statue.

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There are signs that say do not touch Touchdown because a few years ago a 9 year old got his head stuck in Touchdown’s mouth. The fire and ambulance crews could not get his head out! They eventually had to cut one of Touchdown’s teeth out so the kid’s head could slide out of the mouth.  That story was enough to keep the Parsons brothers off of Touchdown!

We headed inside and took the elevator all the way to the top.  We went into the national broadcast booth where the NBC or ESPN crews call the game.  It was neat to see but not very big.  Then we saw the coaches’ booths for both teams and headed into the press box.  It was a beautiful sunny day, but that made press box pictures tough to take.  The view of the field was amazing.  Our guide, Ken, was telling us how unbelievably quiet it is in the press box during the game. I am guessing that is because all the reporters are focusing on the game and don’t want to miss a thing.

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Then he showed us all the pay phones in the press box.  Ken said they are there in case their is a major power outage or cellular disturbance in the stadium.  Pay phones allow the reporters to get their story in no matter what. I was pretty impressed that Jack and Luke knew what pay phones were and how to use them.

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After the press box, we headed to the owner’s suite.  It was impressive! Ken kept telling us all the things that Mr. Khan has done to stay in touch with the Jacksonville fans and to help the city.  He really seems like an amazing man who came to America as a 16 year old immigrant to go to college.  He had very little to his name and has used his engineering knowledge and experience to create and grow a company that allowed him to purchase the Jacksonville Jaguars.  The suite holds 75 people and was beautiful. There was a sushi bar, large serving island, tons of seats, and lots of Jaguar decorations.

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Sad Jack because Jacksonville got this nickname after sacking the Steelers a ton.

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Then we headed around the stadium to see the practice facility. I am pretty sure Jacksonville is the only NFL team to have their practice facility connected to the stadium.  They have 3 fields right there next to the parking lot.

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We visited one of the three swimming pools in the stadium.  This is most definitely a sign of a party stadium.  In order to get access to the swimming pool, complete with a game day lifeguard, you need to have a ticket in one of the nearby cabanas.

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Then we headed down to the ground floor of the stadium.  Jacksonville is the largest military NFL city and they do so much to support the military members.  Each game, Mr. Khan and the team give away 100s of tickets to military members. They also team up with companies owned by current and former military members. This was a photo opportunity for select guests of the Jaguars on game day, but it was included in our tour.

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When we went behind the scenes under the seats, Ken reminded us that it is a working stadium and we needed to stay aware of all the vehicles and employees moving around.  We saw one of the Fanatics warehouses full of Jaguars jerseys and other gear.

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Then we toured the attached amphitheater but I forgot to take any pictures.  It was a lovely facility and would be a total blast to see a concert.

We then finished our tour in the Bud Light Fri-end zone.  We were right under the field goal/extra point net and had a fabulous view of the field and the stadium.

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Then we headed over to the practice field.  The field is surrounded so you can’t see in but we looked through the cracks (totally allowed to) and saw a little practice. Jalen Ramsey even waved to Jack and we was SO EXCITED!!!

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Happy boy after Jalen Ramsey waved to him from the practice field!

If you have a football fan and are near a stadium, I would look into a tour.  We learned a ton and all of us had a great time!

After our tour, we headed over to Amelia Island. It took about 45 minutes and was a beautiful drive.  We checked into our hotel and the boys hopped into the pool immediately.  They swam for a bit while I headed out to do my first run of the Zooma weekend. I’ll be recapping my Zooma fun tomorrow.

After my run we went to a restaurant called The Loop, It is a local chain and was a great choice.  We all had something different – pizza, salads, burgers, pasta – and everything was super good.  Our main topic of conversation was “What would you do with a billion dollars” because we were heading to get our Mega Millions ticket after dinner.  Unfortunately, we didn’t win.  On the bright side, no one did so we have another chance today!

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We headed to bed after dinner because I needed to be up to run again in the morning. After my run, we checked out and went back to Annie’s .  The timing didn’t work out to go back to the beach so we headed to the pool in my sister’s neighborhood. It was perfect weather for swimming and sunshine ☀️!!

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Then we showered, packed up, got a few more Mega Millions tickets, and headed to the airport.  Jack and Luke were amazing travelers, as usual, even though our flight was delayed.  We had some pretty good turbulence on the flight and they didn’t even flinch!

I hope you enjoyed the recap of our trip and all those pictures! I’ll be back tomorrow to finish up with my Zooma Amelia Island running experience.

If you’re still reading Karma Wilson was AMAZING at school yesterday!!!

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I hope you have a great day full of sunshine and books!

☀️ 📚 😎

 

 

2 thoughts on “Florida: Part 2

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