There are definite advantages to living close to New York City. One such advantage happened recently when the NYC chapter of UCF Alumni had a party at a local sports bar, “The Storehouse.” Not ones to waste an opportunity, we all dressed in our requisite black and gold and trekked in for some fun.
We arrived just after kickoff. The bar was filled with alumni from the past decade or so. A mix of young and slightly older grads who were getting their drink on, wearing sweats and UCF shirts, and welcoming newcomers like us.
There was a fun and carefree atmosphere, which made me wistful for my college days. I was working at Disney during my college years and although I lived for one year at Simmons College in Boston, the remainder of my degree-seeking years was spent working full-time and attending UCF classes off campus. Even though I didn’t have the traditional college experience, I still miss it sometimes.
Anyway, it was a “day” game and we arrived around noontime so we weren’t too worried about bringing our girls to a bar.
We settled in at a table in the back – a high-top for four near one of the many television screens. Our food and drinks ordered, we started hooting and hollering for our team. As I was sipping on a beer, I glanced over and noticed my three-year old waving and smiling at the group of people at the table next to us. They were 20-somethings having a great time and they thought she was adorable. They started talking to her and also to my older daughter. They even took pictures of them and called them UCF’s youngest fans.
We cheered and we ate and we drank. And then my little one got bored and started climbing the chairs. So I took her out for a walk and we happened upon Madison Square Park. What a find! Although there are lots of parks in the city, most of the really good ones are in Central Park. Note: we were nowhere near Central Park.
Many of the parks in the city are run-down or not as fun. But this one was great. The skies were growing darker and you could just feel the impending rainstorm that was coming. But in that moment, we decided to give it a go. She rode the swings and slid down the slides and had a ball.
We stayed a bit longer than we had planned. As we walked back in to the bar, it started to rain. As soon as we entered the bar, we realized our team had fallen behind. But it didn’t really matter. The girls had fun and they made some new friends (with alumni I soon realized were closer in age to our girls than they were to my husband and me), and we found a new park.
Mostly, we just had a fun family day in the city cheering on our favorite college football team.