Let me preface this entire story by telling you that my plans rarely work out. It’s actually quite amusing how often my plans don’t work out. But this weekend was not one of those times. This weekend was perfect. In every sense of the word, this weekend was perfect.
For those that don’t know, my homegirl, Whitney, and I went to Austin to the Austin Grand Prix swim meet. The main appeal of this trip being the opportunity to see Olympians compete. I knew Whitney was my soulsister when I found out she shared my deep, infallible appreciation and respect for the Olympics (and swimmers).
How could we pass up this opportunity? WE COULD NOT. So, we didn’t.
I knew it was going to be a GOOD weekend when we got to Austin and the weather was BEAUTIFUL. Side note: I hate the cold. I want only sunny, warm days – not hot, just warm. But I had no idea or expectations for the GREAT things to come.
Great thing #1: Matt Grevers
Ok, I kind of lost my cool. He was the first Olympian we saw, and I got unexpectedly nervous. Also, I really didn’t want to bother him. So, I did my best to run away and take Whitney, Jade and Matt (Elliott, not Grevers) with me. Thank God for Jade because that fiesty, little woman stopped me dead in my tracks and turned me around and told him I wanted a picture. And you know what? He was the nicest guy. THE NICEST. He shook our hands and walked over and introduced himself to Matt after we told him that Matt was a high school swim coach. We all walked away HUGE Matt Grevers fans that night.
Great thing #2: Missy Franklin
All the way to Austin, Whitney and I talked about how much we wanted to meet Missy Franklin. And who doesn’t honestly? Let me tell you that everything she appears to be on television is exactly how she is in real life. She was absolutely lovely and had such a kind soul. You could tell she was exhausted and starving, but she still stopped to take a picture with us and chat. As a teacher, I’m really thankful for young people like Missy. She is an excellent example of what hard work and passion can do for a person. And that girl rocks a top-knot like a champ. Which, of course, is something I appreciate.
Great thing #3: NATHAN ADRIAN
This should just be titled THE GREATEST THING but Matt Grevers and Missy Franklin were just so sweet and kind that I can’t belittle those experiences even a tiny bit. But this was pretty fantastic, and I completely understand why I broke up with Ryan Gosling for this guy now. I won’t go into an in-depth description of how all this transpired, but let me assure you that I was 100 percent Samantha Jo Berry. I gave him permission to propose to me, bear hugged his without his permission, and told him he was pretty. And in the rush of all the emotion, I completely ignored the fact that another Olympian, Ricky Berens, was taking this photo and didn’t even ask to take one with him. I felt pretty crappy about that because it was incredibly rude of me. But, in my defense, he was wearing a Longhorn sweatshirt and I probably would’ve insisted on throwing my guns up like any true Red Raider would. So there’s that. Also, this picture turned out terribly, but I don’t even care.
Pretty perfect weekend, no? Even without the swimmers and abundance of perfect abs, the weekend was spectacular. I spent time with two of my very best friends – the kind of girls that I consider my sisters and not just friends – in my most favorite city. I love Austin so much. I love the people, the weather, the food, the culture, the music, but not the traffic. You win some, you lose some. If a city can be your soulmate, Austin is mine.