When it came in the mail I was beyond excited, an invitation to the Super Bowl with Gatorade!! If anyone does anything right, Gatorade does the Super Bowl RIGHT.
Last time I got to go to the Super Bowl I told my sister I would take her “next time”, but I decided to tell her that I didn’t actually get a plus one this time, and then I surprised her with the ticket on Christmas! She said yes 😉 So I picked her up at 5am on Friday and we flew out to Atlanta. The plane was hyped up with Rams decorations and the flight attendants handed out Rams towels to the passengers, little did we know that’s where the Rams fanship would pretty much end. Once we landed in ATL we were greeted by Gatorade logistics people and escorted to our personal car we would have for the weekend.
Our home base in the ATL was to be the Ritz-Carlton in downtown, a fifteen minute walk from the stadium. Thankfully, Gatorade was also able to secure and build up a space for a legit gym so their guests could get in workouts around the festivities. They also created a huge hospitality suite with an open bar, gifting booth, and full buffet for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. And the food was goooooood. Super creative dessert bar, southern flair on traditional classics, lots of biscuits and waffles, and even a poke bowl bar for lunch one day, makes me hungry just writing about it.
After we settled in, and indulged in a few local treats left for us in the room, my sister and I got ready for the big dinner Gatorade hosts every year. The attendees include a number of their athletes, strength and conditioning coaches, trainers, and a variety of others who have won awards from Gatorade for their work in the industry. Held at the Foundry, it had a super bluesy feel, complete with four grand, beautifully set tables that spanned from one wall to the other, a live band, and wall of human arms handing out flutes of champagne (you read that right, just arms sticking out of a wall).
After the lovely dinner, we enjoyed the band for a a little while and then took off to The Tabernacle to catch Imagine Dragons in concert! They are one of my favorite bands; they write their own music, are ridiculously talented musicians, champion important causes, and bring so much fire when they perform. I thought we were seeing them in some huge venue, but we got there and it turned out to be a really intimate setting and I was in heaven, probably my favorite music experience to date. (Thanks to my agent for hooking us up with that ticket!)
Luckily, nothing was scheduled for the mornings, and being that we were out late and on pacific time, it was really nice to sleep in. Also lucky that Waffle House serves breakfast all day! I make it a point to visit Waffle House at least once whenever I’m in the south, and my sister had never been so it worked out perfectly. I have NEVER had better customer service than we received at this Waffle House, never with anything ever.
After we stuffed ourselves with eggs, hash browns, and waffles, it was off to the SPA! Gatorade arranged for TWO spa treatments at the St. Regis Hotel for everyone! I mean, best gift ever! My sis and I both opted for massages and facials, and they were beyond blissful, but just as great was the quiet space to wait in beforehand and hang out in afterwards stocked with healthy snacks, and of course champagne! We felt very spoiled.
After being at the spa for over four hours we reluctantly left, but only because I still needed to get a workout in before getting ready for the Bruno Mars and Cardi B concert that night! I ended up in the gym with Adam Levine (lead singer of Maroon 5) and I didn’t bother him for a photo or anything, but I am going to go ahead and say we worked out together 😉
That night we decided to walk to the concert at the State Farm Arena, also a fifteen minute walk, because the traffic was so insane, but WOW I don’t know if I’ve ever seen a city so crazy. People performing in the street, protesting, selling stuff, smoking stuff, preaching, lots and lots of preaching, motorcades, ticket scalping, and a good amount of police watching the madness, all shoulder to shoulder jam packed. But we made it and it was definitely worth the hassle.
Cardi B was Cardi B: funny, badass, unapologetic. Her performance was short, as she was the openner, but it was entertaining. I think a Cardi B headline tour would be spectacular and I would love to see her perform the full version of all her songs plus featured artists, but I was stoked to see her live in any capacity. Bruno killed it, like he always does. This was my second time seeing him and you just can’t go wrong with one of his concerts. He and his band are so talented. It was a BLAST dancing to his set late into the night and singing along to all of his songs. We decided to drive back.
Super Bowl Sunday! First things first though, we went down to the hospitality suite, got a healthy breakfast in and then headed to the gym. I was able to get a great workout in, which always gives me energy and helps me feel prepped for the day. Then we hit up the incredible late brunch that was now laid out in the suite and visited the gifting booth to pick up some super bowl goodies, made personalized pressed t-shirts, and most importantly, picked up our tickets to the tailgate and the game! After we got ready we jumped in the car (big mistake) and headed to the tailgate. The stadium is less than a mile away and it took us an hour to get there, talk about frustration. But it was literally the only slightly negative part about the weekend. We made it to the tailgate party just in time to see Tim McGraw (we missed Aloe Blacc), and I’m not a country music lover, but how can you not enjoy a close up Tim McGraw concert?!
After the concert, we snaked through the crowds of Brady jerseys in our nbrhd RAMILY hats and found our way to the pimped out Gatorade suite with open bar, TVs in the bathroom (and out), and of course a full spread of delicious food; I could have been watching snails race and had a good time up there. The game obviously wasn’t high scoring, or what people were expecting, but I found it very inspiring to be there and watch what these players had worked so hard for. To see how each team handled it, how individual players performed, and also how the coaches approached it strategically. You just know you’re in the presence of greatness and high stakes and that alone is thrilling and motivating.
After the Patriots won, we stuck around for a while because you HAVE to find out what color the Gatorade is! (Blue) And to watch the celebration and because our seats were just so comfy and, mainly, we just didn’t want the weekend to end. Eventually, we decided to head out, we walked back to the hotel this time, in the midst of thousands of celebratory Patriot fans, it was a fun atmosphere. Once back to the hotel we jumped into bed and got a few hours sleep before our 4am wake up call for our flight home and away from the best weekend ever.
I can’t explain how grateful I am to Gatorade for giving me the opportunity to experience stuff like this, the weekend was perfect, and we felt so spoiled the whole time. It wasn’t lost on me this past weekend, nor will it ever be, how cool experiences like this are.