June 28, 2011

Utah Summer Games

Last weekend, we headed down to Cedar City/Saint George to play in the Utah Summer Games Adult 3v3 Tournament. We had such a blast! We ended up taking the bronze medal on PK's, and we only lost once the whole tournament. We also won our group, which I don't think has happened on any of the tournament teams I've played with. Jared was nice enough to let us stay in his parent's house in Saint George, and we had a great time. After winning the bronze medal, we all headed to Rio Tinto Stadium to watch Real Salt Lake beat Toronto, 3-1. The game was super hot (which is how I like the weather to be!) and there was a player on the Toronto team that provided some great entertainment. He committed a bad retaliation foul on one of the RSL players, and the crowd spent the next 60 minutes booing and jeering at him. He also made the mistake of reacting to the crowd, which made the whole thing even funnier. I'm sure he was glad when the final whistle blew. Here are some pictures!

June 24, 2011

Setting Apart

On Tuesday, Fred and Mary Ann were set apart to be mission presidents. We were (almost) all able to go to Elder L. Tom Perry's office in Salt Lake and be there to be a part of this special experience. It was very spiritual for both Neil and I personally, and we felt so lucky to be able to be there. It is kind of profound how God can see what you need at certain times in your life, and deliver it to you in a way that you can understand. Fred and Mary Ann are learning a lot in the MTC right now and we've been excited to get a couple emails from Mary Ann already, telling us of their experience so far. Here are some pictures we took after the setting apart!

June 22, 2011

RSL Game Etiquette

So Neil and I have season tickets for the RSL games. We were going to be out of town for one of the games this month, so we donated our tickets to Neil's sister Joann. Joann and her husband aren't huge fans of soccer like we are, so Neil sent them the following email with tips on how to enjoy the RSL game. I'm glad I have a husband who frequently makes me laugh! His email is long, but there are some clever things in here.

Here are a few things that will make your RSL game more fun.

What To Wear

There are lots of things you can wear! Shirts, long sleeve shirts, tank tops. I'm sure you have clothes.

Ok I'll be serious. Sandy is not part of the ice box that is Logan, so you can dress accordingly. If the temperature during the game is above 60, a short sleeve shirt and pants or shorts should be fine. If its between 45 and 60, bring a hoodie. If its under 45, bring your winter coat. If its above 60 but raining, bring a rain jacket! If its below 60 and raining, bring your winter coat!

We recommend you wear red. RSL is red so you should be too.

Also, if it's cold, don't forget beanies, gloves, scarves, etc!

Going To Dinner

Dave, Carly, Kami and I could give you dozens of restaurants to go to and they'd all be delicious. Here are three great places to eat in Salt Lake, depending on your budget and time constraints.
Sweet Tomatoes - This is a salad buffet that costs around $9 per person. Kami loves it and I love it, too. It has a huge salad bar, along with a pasta bar, a bread bar, soups and free soft serve ice cream. It's a winner for time and budget. It takes about 30 minutes to get your food, eat, get more food, eat again, get dessert, eat it, and leave. 10060 South State, Sandy, Utah. About 1 mile south of Rio Tinto Stadium. We recommend you arrive no later than 5:45 PM to ensure you have enough time to not miss any RSL action.

The Red Iguana - This is possibly the best Mexican restaurant in Utah. Its located in West Salt Lake on North Temple. It's a sit-down mexican restaurant and will run you $10 to $12 per plate, plus drink, tip, etc. Sometimes there is a huge wait because it's small and delicious. 736 W North Temple, Salt Lake City. We recommend you arrive no later than 5:00 PM to ensure you have enough time to not miss any RSL action. If you get there at 5PM and there's more than a 15 minute wait, I'd revert to a Plan B of some kind.

The Old Spaghetti Factory - I hate pasta, but I liked this place. There are two locations, one at Trolley Square, one in Kearns. I would recommend Kearns for the sake of time. They have a great menu, running about $12 to $15 per plate. I wouldn't expect a huge wait here, especially if you go early. 5718 S 1900 W, Kearns. We would recommend arriving no later than 5:15 PM. If there's more than a 15 minute wait, go Plan B.

Other Places - Crown Burger (Sandy), In-N-Out (Centerville, West Valley, Draper), DB Cheesesteak (Salt Lake)

Game Parking

You can park for free, or you can pay to park. There are dozens of paid parking places around the stadium. If you're cool with a 1/2 mile walk, here is where Kami and I always park. There's a secret way out, too, so you're not stuck in 90th South Traffic. Oh, that reminds me AVOID 90TH SOUTH EXIT ON GAME DAY! ITS A TRAIN WRECK OF HORRIBLENESS. Take the 106th South Exit and backtrack.

Try to be at the parking spot at least 30 minutes before the game begins. That will give you enough time to walk to the stadium get in, buy some concessions and get to your seat with a few minutes to spare.

The place we park is about 1/2 mile east of the stadium. There are two school buildings and church here you can park at and then walk to the stadium. To walk, you would walk down 9400 South and then turn north on State.

Watch out for scalpers and crazy RSL fans on your walk! Ok just kidding. The scalpers don't bother you and the RSL fans are just fun.

Getting Your Tickets

Joann, I'm disappointed you tried to read this section because I'm pretty sure I already sent you an email covering this topic.

Buying Merchandise

Buy stuff! Ok, you don't have to. If you do buy stuff, get something cool! They have a few good t-shirts there, and if you really wanted to go all out, buy a jersey! They're only like $70 to $100!

Buying Concessions

I'll be disappointed if you go to an RSL game and don't buy a churro. Kami and Carly will be, too. It's just part of the experience. They're not necessarily any better than any other churro, but it adds to the experience! The concession stations take cards, although some of the little carts only take cash. Plan accordingly. They have beer, too. I know you're into that sort of thing.

Know The Players

Hey now! You need to learn about our players! You can see the roster here: http://www.realsaltlake.com/players There are five you NEED to know (I think you should know all 22, but I'll let you start with 5):

Kyle Beckerman - He's the white fella with the dreadlocks. He's our center mid and our team captain. He is also number 5.

Javier Morales - He's our best player. He also plays center mid. He is number 11 and has serious ball skills. (Too bad he's injured now!)

Nat Borchers - Nat is one of our two center defenders. He's the tall white guy with the super-red skin. He's really tall and any time we have a corner, there's a good chance he'll go forward into the box and score with his noggin. He's number 2. If Dave were at the game, he'd be yelling in a heavy scottish accent, "Borcher! Put yer' noggin' on it!".

Jamison Olave - He's our other center back. His name is now considered a verb and he frequently "Olave's" attacking players (that means he cleans them out with a serious hit, usually getting the ball, but sometimes not). He's number 4.

Nick Rimando - The man between the sticks. Nick Rimando will have 2-3 INCREDIBLE saves during the game, guaranteed. He's an athlete, that's for sure.

Cheering & Chanting

I wouldn't call it a "requirement", but the other Season Ticket Holders around you may be disappointed if you're not cheering and chanting. I'm not saying you have to do it all game long, but sometimes the crowd really gets into it, so you can join in! Also, sometimes they pass around giant flags that cover the entire section. Don't worry, it keeps moving. You'll be able to see soon enough.

Heckling Opponents

Standard practice. You can yell at them and laugh at them anytime they do something stupid, make a bad touch, blow a shot or get a card. If people around you are doing it, you can, too!

Heckling The Referee

Referees in MLS are easy targets because they make a lot of bad calls. Booing is standard practice. I wouldn't recommend throwing anything at them, because they might arrest you, but if you feel the urge, just try to be inconspicuous.

Booing the referee is standard anytime the ball goes out of bounds and it should have been ours, or anytime they call offside against us (right or wrong), or anytime a player on our team receives a card. You can boo when the other team scores, too.

Never Leave Early!

Leaving an RSL game before the game is over is a HUGE mistake. Just ask Mom and Tom, who sat through a 0-0 game for 85 minutes in the freezing cold rain, leaving at minute 84, only to find out that RSL scored the gamewinner in the 92nd minute.

RSL has a habit (good or bad) or scoring late goals. Just don't leave, even if you're tempted because the game isn't super interesting. If you leave, they WILL score. If you stay, they PROBABLY will score.

RSL is red hot right now and I'd be shocked if the game against Houston was anything less than 2-0. If should be a good game. Even if the coach puts our "reserve" team in, they will still win. Our reserve team is better than most normal teams. In fact, our reserve team beat New England 2-0 at New England. Our reserve team!

Leaving The Stadium

Now that the game is over and your voice is shot from too much yelling and screaming, it's time to go home. Best case scenario, have your things in your hand, ready to go as soon as 90 minutes is reached. The referee will usually add 3-4 minutes of stoppage time, but get ready to leave anyway. Once he blows that whistle, BOLT! Get out of there! Otherwise, you may fall victim to the ridiculously slow pace of old people, fat people and people who are just too happy to leave.

Take the walk back to the car. If you parked in the secret (it's really not secret) spot, here's how to get out:

Drive North on 300 East. Go past 9000 South and keep going. Turn left on 8720 South (AKA Main Street in Sandy). At the light, turn right onto State Street. Continue on for about 4-5 miles. Turn right onto 6400 South, and then turn right onto the I-215 on ramp. Then, keep right and turn right onto the I-15 on ramp, then you're all set. AVOID 9000 SOUTH LIKE THE PLAGUE. You'll waste a good 30 minutes trying to get onto I-15 there, especially if you got stuck behind an old person trying to get out of the stadium.

The Post Game Show

There's a radio post game show on 700 AM. If you're interested.

I hope that's enough information for you! Enjoy that game! If not, enjoy everything else you did!

Neil Essig

June 21, 2011

Essig Farewell Party

This weekend, we had a huge bash for Neil's parents as they prepare to leave for Chile! They go to the MTC tomorrow and fly out to Santiago on Monday. We are so excited for the amazing experience we are sure they are going to have, and it was so great to get together with family and friends, so we could send them off the right way! Mike slaved away all day creating a wonderful Dutch Oven dinner for us, and many people contributed salads. We had more Texas Roadhouse rolls than we knew what to do with, and the food was amazing! We also had a photo booth where everyone participated, and the props were provided from Aunt Sue's awesome costumes. We had a blast! Here a just some of pictures... if you read this and want a copy of your picture, please email me and let me know your email so I can send it to you!

Fun at Lagoon

Last Friday, we were able to go to Lagoon with Neil's family. The weather was absolutely perfect and we had a blast! There were only a couple kid meltdowns, so all in all, it was a successful Lagoon trip. I love the summer!

 Nathan on the swings
 Nathan, being a good big brother to David
 Daniel & Ian
 Nick... Oh, a child's anticipation!
 Neil with Andi & Daniel on the Tilt-A-Whirl

 Waiting in line for bumper cars



 Andi & Nick... Post-Meltdown. :)