Monday, December 5, 2011

I love Christmas - Day 6

The holiday season means family to me.  I love my family, all branches.  Growing up we didn't have any extended family member living in the same state.  My mom's side of the family lived in Texas and Louisiana.  My dad's side of the family lived in Chicago, New York/Connecticut, Alabama, and Minnesota.  So, we have always had to travel to be around extended family.  The weekend before Thanksgiving this year was no different. 
We traveled up to Ann Arbor to celebrate with my dad's side of the family.  The reason for the gathering was to honor my amazing grandfather.  He went to the University of Michigan and played basketball and golf for the Wolverines.  From what I remember, he played on the golf team the last time that Michigan won the Big Ten.  So yeah, he's kind of a big deal.  :)  Such a big deal that there is now a Richard E. Evans Player Development Center in the brand-spanking new practice facility (I apologize that I cannot remember the name of the building for the life of me!!!)

The big unveiling was November 18th up in Ann Arbor.  So my uncle and aunt organized the whole weekend with 33 Evans family members to attend the opening and also a football game.  Such a great time, dubbed "Evans-palooza 2011."  It was the perfect weekend!
We arrived Friday afternoon to the hotel.  The ceremony started at 4:30, so we all loaded in our cars and made our way over.  Rush hour traffic in Ann Arbor is just as bad as anywhere else.  Luckily, we made it in time.  There was a cocktail hour and everyone had the opportunity to look around and check it all out.  Gorgeous and state-of-the-art are the 2 things that come to mind right away when you walk in.  The facility is amazing.  It's hard to believe that a large school like Michigan didn't already have something like this. 
My grandpa's portion of the building was perfect.  I wish I could explain the technology that the room is equipped with, but I cannot.  Because I am not smart enough to even explain.  But let me try... the area opens up to the driving range on one side.  There are several cameras aimed at the golfer while they swing and they record the swing so that you can go back and review.  I am sure it is much, much more intricate than that, but that is my explanation. 
Here are some of the pics from Friday night.

Here's the man of the hour!

Accepting the plaque from the AD.

James posing in front of his Great-Grandpa's sign.

With his grandkids (minus the ones who were not able to get to the ceremony). 

With his kids... do you think they look at all alike?!?!?  :)

And with all the family members who were able to make it Friday night.

The next day with all the Evans' family members present, we loaded on the bus and went back to the golf facility.  We all got to take a swing in the new facility!  So awesome!  Here I am.  I hit it without missing, that was a success! 

And here's the hubs giving it a go.

Here are all the 33 peeps!  It had been 15+ years since we had all been together.  Back then we were less 4 cousins, no spouses, and no great-grandkids.  We have certainly grown!

My little family photo!

Then we all made it over to the game to watch the Wolverines take on the Nebraska Cornhuskers!  GO BLUE!  Michigan ended up winning!  Welcome to the Big Ten, Nebraska! 
One huge benefit of having a baby was that we got to sit in the club suites for the game!  It was sooo great!  Yes, that's a carving station behind us in the picture!  James is spoiled rotten!  We have ruined sporting events for him forever.  I am sure he will not be able to settle for less now.

Here is a video of our view.  This is after the game.  Both of the bands stick around after the game and play for each other.  Pretty cool. 

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