My apologies for the lack of posts in the past few weeks, as you’ll see below, it’s been a very busy time. It’s been a week and a half since my last post, and what a busy week and a half it has been. I’ll begin where I left off, with the FSU trip.

We arrived at the band hall around 6 am on Friday morning, most of us exhausted. There were, of course, some band members who were not tired, as they hadn’t slept all night and were still feeling the effects of lots of coffee and energy drinks. There were also, of course, some members feeling the effects of other liquids from the night before… but we won’t get into that. I was up late, but it was playing with my new copy of Sibelius music notation software. (You know you’re a music major when…)

Half a day later, we pulled into Disney’s Magic Kingdom-The Happiest Place on Earth! We pulled into the “backstage” area to prepare for our parade, where we were met by a Disney Representative who was our “guide” for the day. Of course, the number one rule of being a performer in Disney was that we must always have on our Disney smiles. The first thing I thought of was how difficult it would be to play the trumpet while giving a big, toothy grin… (You know you’re a music major when…)

Anwyay, the parade went off without a hitch, and we proceeded to the Disney All-Star Music Resort to check into our rooms. After a quick shower, it was off to Downtown Disney for dinner and some shopping with friends. Dinner was at Planet Hollywood, where the menu included chicken strips coated in Cap’n Crunch cereal and then breaded, and deep-fried Lasagna. Yum! It was one of the best meals I’ve had in a long time. After dinner we enjoyed shopping in Downtown Disney, and headed off to the park.

Our time at the Magic Kingdom ended up being quite short, as we were all exhausted by this point in the day, but we still managed to go on a few rides. Highlights included the Pirates of the Carribean ride, and the obligatory ride on It’s a Small World. We shopped some more, took one last look at Cinderella’s castle, and headed home for some well-needed sleep.

Of course, it wasn’t enough sleep, as we found ourselves waking at 5:30 am to prepare to get on the bus and head the rest of the way up to Tallahassee. The trip was for the most part uneventful, until we reached about 3 miles outside of the city limits, where we picked up a state trooper as our escort. That’s right, lights going and everything, we followed the state trooper through the heart of Tallahassee and past thousands of ‘Nole fans giving us the tomahawk chop. It wouldn’t be the last time we saw it that day…

We made it to the Civic Center safely, and ate a quick lunch before warming up and playing at the UM Pep Rally. After the rally, we got back on the bus and headed towards the stadium. We disembarked the bus and lined up to walk to the stadium. This was the tough part, as it was a 10-minute walk from our busses to the stadium, through crowds of bloodthirsty and *cough* not sober *cough* ‘Nole fans. While we waited for the drumline and tubas to get their instruments, we stood in our block and listened to some FSU fan give us a hard time using a megaphone from where he was standing. After 5 minutes of that, we were off and into the stadium without much conflict. Just lots of chopping and war-chanting.

The game, of course, was the best part. I’ll leave out the details or I’ll be here all night. End of story is ‘Canes win, 37-29, and take down FSU in their home stadium. Needless to say, the march back to the bus was a lot more fun. After dinner at a local buffet, we drove an hour outside of Tally to the hotel, and headed home the next day.

It was a helluva trip, that’s all I can say. Can’t wait to do it again next year, when the ‘Canes go to Gainesville to take on the Florida Gators in “the swamp.”

Go Canes!

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