Another Gratitude Sunday has come and gone without a post.  This time because Phil and I went to New York this past weekend for a very important company boondoggle event.  The private equity firm that invests in his company also invests in the Professional Bull-Riders Association.  Yes, you read that correctly.  As in, cowboys who ride on bucking bulls professionally.  The firm treated the executives in my husband’s company, and their spouses, to a weekend in New York to see the PBR kick-off event in Madison Square Garden.  What a blast!

I am most definitely grateful for the chance to attend such a unique event, but even more to get some adult time with Phil and some friends.  Quite refreshing after all the holiday hoopla.  We had dinner with great friends who live in NYC on Friday night.  We got to SLEEP IN on Saturday and then headed to a boutique hotel in Hell’s Kitchen for a brunch so delicious it almost brought tears to my eyes.  We got to READ the New York Times in actual-physical paper form over tea and coffee afterward.

Tyler the tour guide

Don't Fence Me In!

Early evening, we went to a barbecue restaurant for dinner with Phil’s colleagues and spouses.  Because we live in Colorado and the company is based in Virginia, I seldom get to see any of these guys.  Food, beer, napkins and conversation flowed readily.  Then we licked our fingers and headed over to Madison Square Garden for our private tour of the arena.  Our tour guide, Tyler, took us through the holding pens for the bulls, explained the finer points of the scoring and the rules, and then showed us the chutes where the cowboys mount the bulls before entering the arena.  Tyler is a three-time PBR World Champion himself.  He retired three years ago.  It’s rumored that he’s gained a half-ounce of body fat in that time (Shhh!).  Tyler explained that in order for a ride to qualify, the cowboy must stay on the bull for 8 seconds, and he may not touch the bull with his non-rope hand.  That doesn’t seem like very much time, but fewer than half of them make it.  You’ll see why if you watch the video below.

After the tour and a drink in the VIP lounge, we headed to our seats, which were situated so close to the chutes and the arena that a few bulls actually kicked dirt into my lap.  Now, I’ve been to many sporting events and love them – especially college football.  This was something else entirely.  Simply put – it’s 100% pure adrenaline the whole time.  They should add bull-riding as an Olympic sport.  I’d bet it would be a top-selling event.  If you don’t believe me, check out this video.  It’s less than a minute long, and that’s how close we were.  Plus, the bull takes off afterward, not wanting to go back in the chute!

After the event, we huddled in the lobby with a family of seven while one of Phil’s colleagues continually refreshed his Android to get the score of the Jets-Colts game.  I’m not a Pro football gal myself, but the energy in New York that night was contagious.  There were five kids in this family, ranging from early teens to probably age four.  All were jumping up and down with nerves and excitement.  When the Jets kicked that last field goal to win the game, the entire mob of us fell into a giant group hug – high-fiving and hip-slamming.  And some people say technology keeps people from coming together…

The next morning, we had another stellar brunch in the East Village and then headed to the airport.  Short, sweet, and invigorating.

Categories: Friendship, Travel · Tags: , , , , ,



  1. This is amazing. I can’t imagine the bliss of a weekend like that! Pro Bull Riding, huh. See it on TV occasionally. My father was a fan. Sounds like it was a blast and you did it in style.

    Hope you make it to the Publication Party. It kicks off in a few hours!

  2. Sounds like you had a terrific weekend ~ friends, food, and fun!

    I’ll pass on the bull riding video though. 🙂

  3. What a wonderful weekend. Lay ins and delicious food did it for me. Not sure about bull riding, but I can imagine the atmosphere was brilliant. Have a great week.

  4. Oh, how funny. We were in the city this weekend too. Stayed at the Trump Soho. AMAZING!!!

  5. This looks like SO much fun– what an adventure!

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