The second, and unfortunately last day of my Orlando trip began by missing the hotel breakfast by about ten minutes, which was less than ideal. But then I found The World’s End playing on HBO, and got distracted by that for a couple hours. Let’s boo-boo!
And then it was time for lunch and to get ready for the game. Pre-game was at the Harp & Celt, which was already slammed at 2pm, six hours (and many, many miles) before kick-off. I remember getting a crowd like this at the Mad Dog in San Francisco for the 2012 Champions League final. To see this sort of turnout and passion for the Chels for just a preseason game would’ve been unthinkable not that long ago. (Also great to see my good friends at the London is Blue Podcast getting the absolute rockstar treatment.)
Chelsea fans have taken over Orlando. pic.twitter.com/CNk77CZ6KH— London Is Blue Podcast ⭐️⭐️ (@LondonBluePod) July 23, 2022
Left the pre-game party to join back up with the trivago group, and we headed over to the official fan fest just outside the stadium. The weather was oppressive as usual for Florida, but the drinks were plenty and the mood was great and the trophies were gleaming.
The VIP experience was certainly nothing to complain about, a lovely buffet with some tasty food — though desert was disappointing, he said with a sniff and his nose up in the air. It wasn’t quite the suites and private boxes, but the vibe was great and the seats were excellent as well.
Unfortunately, the entertainment on offer was a bit crap, so let’s not worry about that.
Despite that sour ending note to a most excellent weekend, it was, well, a most excellent weekend.
Let’s do it again real soon, yeah?
And of course a huge thanks to trivago for hooking yours truly up with this experience. I’m immensely grateful and surprised and delighted.
And thanks all of you for reading as well, since it wouldn’t have happened without that.
Here’s to a great season!