You know that moment that people are sometimes lucky enough to have that you don’t really plan for but it just happens? We had one yesterday!
My son Gabriel had a chance to compete in the state Science Olympiad competition at the University of Tennessee yesterday. So Kas, Gabriel, and I took the three hour drive East to Knoxville for the competition. The event started really early and Gabriel was in four events this time….three of which were Back to back to back. Now I don’t know if you’ve ever been to The University of Tennessee Campus…BUT….I now have and it is full of hills and stairs! You are right by The Great Smokey Mountains…so one event would be up the hill and the next would be down the hill…get it? So when we got there at 7:15, he needed to impound one of the items for his Egg drop event so we went to that building first….after trying to find the building for 30 mins…anyway it ended up being right next to Neyland Stadium. The instructors were like 3 hours late but that is another story for another time. Gabriel had his first event at 8:00 AM so we had to leave mom there to check the item in and Gabriel and I were off to his first event….where was that event? You guessed it….at the TOP of the hill and 15 flights of stairs….so we get to the building and room just to find out that the room and event have been changed to another building…..so we ran….AFTER the long walk up the hill….notice my blog name…Southern Bella’s BIG Daddy….anyway we got to the class in time and I had an hour before he was going to come out…..SO…..back to the bottom of the hill to get my wife who we left behind to check in the item for a later event. When I get there, she is still standing in line outside of the locked building…still no one there and no one has any ideas. I get a little nosey and walk over to the stadium gate to see if I can get into Neyland Stadium to sneak a peek….but….all locked up can’t get in. Anyway, I go back over and wait with Kas in the line at the locked door only to realize that time is flying by and I have to go get Gabriel and get him to his next event which starts at 9:15.
I leave my wife in the line at the Locked building and you guessed it….climb back up the side of the hill and the 15 flights of stairs to the building where he is and wait for about 5 minutes when he comes out……we ask for directions to his next even which is now about 12 minutes from starting and it turns out that it is only about four blocks away from where we are….Remember we haven’t been on the campus before so you can make the event in time….as long as you know where to go……We start walking in the general direction that they pointed and it is down hill so far. At the bottom of the hill we ran into our teacher and asked for directions and he gave perfect directions of the location that we were looking for and then said…..”if I had a car, I would drive you there”…..this is going to be a hike and the roads were being repaired around where we parked so the car was not an options. Gabriel and I took off following directions with now less than 10 minutes to get four blocks…….down a hill…..up a long stretch that was a hill….over the other side finally reaching our destination right on time!
After this event it was time to get back to where Kas was waiting for the next event….so back over the long hill….down the other side crossing four blocks. We then climbed back up another huge hill and went down to the bottom of another to the building she was at. This event only took like 5 seconds….Kas has been waiting there for 3 hours now….anyway it is over and we now have a break for lunch and whatever until his last event at 1 PM.
We come out of the building and hear music coming from Neyland Stadium and now I notice that the gate that I tried to look through earlier is open. Now, I am a life long Tennessee fan which has now rubbed off on Gabriel and it was exciting to think that I could show him the field really quick and that he would never forget that experience. Gabriel and I started walking over there expecting to get turned away at any time……BUT…..no one ever stopped us until we got to a table where they were handing out guest badges for press. This gentleman asked me if he could help us….Halfway expecting a big no…..I said that I was kind of hoping to give my son a quick peek at the field…..the man came over and took my son by the hand and led him out to the turf to look around. The team was having spring practice and there were a lot of press and coaches out there….he asked if we had a camera and he would take our picture….we gave him Gabriel’s phone and posed and then I thanked him so much for letting my son look and that it meant a lot as I shook his hand…..he then asked me my name and I told him and he introduced himself……Condredge Holloway……and he also introduced his son to us but I smiled and said my friend I know that Name!! I thanked him again and explained to Gabriel about who that was and…..AT THAT POINT…..nothing else that we did that day would make him forget that moment…Well he did win a medal so that was great too….but he talked about it the rest of the day and on the 3 hour drive back home…..Pretty cool Daddy son moment!
WHAT A DAY!!!