One of our team members recently took a trip to Super Bowl LVII. Today, she is sharing her experiences with you.
My husband and I had the opportunity to take a trip to Super Bowl LVII this year. Our teams ended up not being in the Super Bowl. However, that didn’t dampen our enthusiasm for this once in a lifetime trip. I mean, who knows how many more Super Bowl trips we will be able to take in the future!
We flew out to Phoenix the Thursday before the big game. We went out of a larger airport three hours from our home. That meant we had a journey before the actual journey. We decided to hire a driver for the drive to make it easier. And yes, we could have left from our small airport. But that would’ve meant layovers and possible delays.
We arrived at the airport in plenty of time for our flight. The actual flight was excellent. It didn’t seem too long before we were touching down at Sky Harbor International Airport.
Imagine the two of us, giddy like two kids, because we left the actual kids behind for this trip. See, we are usually a family that travels together for everything. We go on vacation and the kids go with us. And we know when the kids have kids, our grandkids will be added to the mix. We normally wouldn’t have it any other way.
But this was the Super Bowl. And we decided to do this trip solo.
We stayed at the DoubleTree Resort by Hilton Hotel Paradise Valley in Scottsdale. It was a very nice resort and close to the NFL action in Scottsdale. The on-site restaurant offered delicious food. Which we took advantage of our first night there.
Early Friday morning, we headed out to breakfast at The Breakfast Club. The food was phenomenal and spoiler alert, we ate their again before we left for the airport on Monday morning.
After our filling breakfast, we headed further into Old Town Scottsdale. ESPN was filming live on location there and we wanted to see the set up. It wasn’t crowded at that hour. There was a cowboy on a horse though. Later that afternoon was another story. You could barely move as the day went on! It seemed to be the place to be for celebrating all things Super Bowl related.
Once the sun finished coming up, we headed out to the McDowell Sonoran Land Conservancy. This natural area is part of the Sonoran Desert. There are a few different hiking trails. We chose the looped trail that came in at four and a half miles.
It is very different hiking in the desert compared to the northeast. There were no trees, only a few cacti. And it was quite dusty. The wind was whipping at times too.
However, we were so happy to be outside enjoying the warm weather and stunning views of the city in the distance.
The hike was incredible and afterwards, we head back into Old Town Scottsdale. As I mentioned before, the entire area was packed with people. We weren’t starving yet, but we knew we couldn’t make it until dinner without eating.
So, we grabbed a cheesesteak to share at Capriotti’s Sandwich Shop. They have a sign saying they are the best sandwich shop in the world. I don’t know about that, but they do make a fabulous cheesesteak sandwich! And the staff is very friendly too.
A little nap at the hotel was necessary before we headed to dinner at Paul Martin’s American Grill. Due to the crowds of the weekend, they were only offering a limited menu. However, there were plenty of options on the menu.
We indulged in filet mignon with garlic mashed potatoes, and green beans. And then came dessert. I said I wasn’t hungry but would share.
We ordered the warm butter cake, which is served with a scoop of ice cream. I could’ve easily eaten my own, because it was so yummy! I probably could’ve eaten two.
So, if you happen to dine here while on vacation in Scottsdale, order the dessert. Do not share.
They had a few NFL Experiences going on in Phoenix on Saturday, so we headed into the city. First stop was Hance Park. It was a free event that had games, food, and a massive Vince Lombardi trophy.
We spent a couple hours there before heading down to the convention center a mile away. There were thousands of people at the convention center. It was difficult to do everything with so many people.
We did wander around and took a few pictures. There was a spot where we could stand to watch as they made official game day footballs.
We did not get a picture of us with the actual Vince Lombardi trophy. We also did not stand in line for hours to get an autograph or see the Super Bowl rings.
At the end, we did go into the NFL Store to do a little shopping. Guess you can say we have our limits, but shopping in a crowd wasn’t one of them.
Dinner was Door Dashed in, because we were tired. So, we hopped in the hot tub after and called it an early night. After all, the big game was the next day!
We had arranged for a car to take us to State Farm Stadium on Sunday. This was the best thing we could’ve done to avoid being stuck in traffic both before and after the game.
We arrived at the stadium right after twelve and went right to the party zone. FOX Sports was filming live, and we were in the audience. We didn’t hang out for more than a couple hours though, because we wanted to find our seats and get ready for the game.
Our seats were up high, but that’s how I like them. I love seeing the entire field and where everyone is for each play.
It is so different being at a live football game compared to watching one on television. You get to see all the warmups. And listen to, and watch, the broadcasters shooting live from the field.
Downside to where we were sitting were the few people that decided to stand in front of us for the entire game. Ahem… You know who you were!
I don’t mind people standing for certain parts, but the entire game?? It makes no sense. You can’t see more standing than you can sitting. Unless of course, the people in front of you are standing.
Anyway, that basically ruined the game for me, because I have a difficult time standing for long periods of time. I’ve had a couple, well, okay, six hip surgeries. While I am doing better, standing for a long time is still hard. Add in all the miles I walked since Friday and it was near impossible.
Anyway, let’s focus on the better parts of the game. The halftime show was incredible to watch live. We are not Rhianna music fans, but a lot goes into prepping for this show. Including setting everything up and taking it all down. Basically, the stuff you never see on television.
We loved every minute of the game, because we weren’t stressed over who was winning. Remember, I said our teams didn’t make it. We did know who we wanted to win, but we didn’t care who actually came out on top.
We didn’t stay for the trophy presentation. We would have if our team had been there and won. Instead, we chose to miss some of the standstill traffic and head back to the resort.
We met our driver in our pre-arranged spot. Before we reached our car though, we spoke with a group of people who realized their driver was way behind schedule. They had scheduled their transportation through their hotel.
The group had been told they would be picked up an hour after the trophy presentation. That doesn’t sound too bad, right? Yes, they were at their spot early, but an hour wait isn’t too bad.
However, they called their driver to tell them they were ready now and discovered their driver had another group of people to pick up and take back to the hotel first. Basically, the hotel double-booked their shuttle.
This poor group was looking at a three or four hour wait before the shuttle got to them. The reason for this was the shuttle driver still hadn’t arrived at the stadium to pick up his first group. There was an accident on the highway, and he was basically sitting there stuck. They then had to fight through all the traffic with the first group and drive to the hotel, which was forty minutes away with no traffic. Then the driver had to return to the stadium in traffic to pick up the second group.
Before we left the group, they were talking to an Uber driver. Since they needed two vehicles to fit everyone, it was going to cost them fifteen hundred dollars to get back to the hotel.
And no, we weren’t at the same hotel, and we didn’t have room for everyone in our small car. So, we couldn’t have helped if we wanted to. It still felt terrible leaving them to pay such a high fee to get to their hotel.
If you have never realized the importance of using an excellent travel advisor to plan your trips, this is a good reason why you should. A travel advisor would never let this happen. And if some emergency situation did arise, a travel advisor would have a backup plan ready to go. There wouldn’t be any waiting for hours. Plus, the best travel advisors will have you traveling like a VIP. Which is how it should be!
Anyway, I am sure we arrived back at our resort long before the group was back at their hotel.
Early Monday morning, we got up and packed our suitcases to go home. Our exciting trip to Super Bowl LVII was over. We were both sad to leave Arizona but happy to get home to the kids.
All we needed to do was deal with extra planes on the tarmac at Sky Harbor International Airport. Yes, that meant we took off later than planned. Then a quick three-hour ride in a car, while we napped peacefully in the backseat had us home.
Our time at the Super Bowl is something we will never forget. We enjoyed every minute and maybe, just maybe, we will go back when at least one of our teams is playing. Until then, we will keep traveling the world as we make memories with our kids.
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