Living the Suite Life with the Carolina Railhawks

As many of you know we entered one of Mikaela’s pictures in the Carolina Railhawks picture contest. We were one of the top five vote getters so we won 2 suite tickets for a game and a scarf. We of course had already bought our tickets to the game so the girls once again got to bring friends.  At the last minute they had a friend cancel so they ended up with an extra ticket.

Let me say that the suite life is another side of the Railhawks game that I have not experienced but wish I could experience more often. But sadly, I don’t think that it will be in the cards anytime soon. As I have said in all the articles that I have written about the Railhawks the staff there is awesome. And I still stand by those words. Everyone that works for the Railhawks are extremely friendly and have to be the best in the league. Of course I am bias because we love our Railhawks. Who knew that attending a game a year ago would become the norm for us to the point that I am trying my best to buy season tickets for the whole season next year,

I was so impressed with the suite.  We were one of the first ones there and the attendant, Carolyn, was so sweet. At one point she even sat down beside Gracie and me to have a conversation with us.  She told me about how working for the Railhawks was a family affair in her family, her son also works there. How cool is that? She was very friendly and answered all the questions I had for her. I already knew what awesome people they had working for them but this just made it clearer. Here is picture of Raul in the suite with our lovely attendant Carolyn.

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My favorite part about the suite was the fact that some of the players who were not available to play because they were injured or the coach decided they were not going to suit up for the game were sitting one row back and over from where Gracie and I were sitting. Gracie and Raul switched off during the game. Gracie had gotten one of her headaches on the way up to the game so I had her take her medicine and I made her sit with me so that I could watch her. She was miserable the first part of the game and we would have left if her medicine had not taken effect but by halftime she had perked up. Her favorite player, Justin Willis was sitting near us so that made her feel a little better. 🙂 I asked her if she wanted me to call him over there but she said no. What a party pooper. Justin was not the only player that was sitting near us. Jordan Graye, Nick Millington, Brian Shriver, Nick Zimmerman, Jake Beckford and Austin DaLuz were also there.

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DaLuz is one of my favorite players and I almost went up to him and asked him to help me prove a point to my girls that he wasn’t such a bad guy but he had a girl sitting next to him so I didn’t want to interrupt his  game.

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This is a little blurry but you can see how close we were sitting to the players. I had wanted to get a picture of Millington who had the soccer ball under his feet but about the time I took the picture Justin got up.


Like I said Raul would switch off with Gracie because he wanted to drink the beer that was provided free with our tickets. He said if the beer was free he was going to drink it. I will have to admit that the view from where we were sitting was awesome but I still think I prefer our regular seats in Section 304. Even though I got to hear the players that were not playing reactions to the game. At halftime the score was 0-0 after the half the Railhawks exploded. Oh by the way did I mention that Cesar Elizondo started so maybe there is some truth to Mikaela’s statement that if Elizondo starts they play awesome. Ortiz scored the first goal. The next goal was a penalty kick. Elizondo was fouled in the box so they were allowed a penalty kick with just the goalie to defend.  This was the first time that instead of watching the kick fully, I watched out of the corner of my eye. Because I was focused on what Akira Fitzgerald, our goalie was doing. He was on his knees  facing the goal he was defending. He did not move until the crowd erupted with cheers when Ackley scored the penalty kick, Akira jumped up and cheered when that happened. The Railhawks ended up winning the game 2-0. After the game I made my way down to the regular stands, Raul was still all about the beer.

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As you can see the girls were already in position for grabbing autographs and to talk the players.  On my way down, I ran into Justin Willis. Earlier in the week I had tweeted him and told him that Gracie had been a little disappointed that she had not gotten a picture with him. Because she had decided that he was her favorite player. He had tweeted me back saying that he would make sure to get a picture with her this time. So when I ran into him, I told him how Gracie wasn’t feeling good, he asked me was she still upstairs and I told him no she was down in autograph alley. He said he was about to go down to the field to look for her. When he got to the field he did look for her and when he found her, we got this picture.

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But before this picture, I once again saw DaLuz and was about to talk to him but then some girls walked up to him and I didn’t want to interrupt his game.  So I never got to ask him to help me prove my point to the girls.  The girls had an awesome time at the game and we were able to grab some awesome autographs as well. Just look.

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MAria and her fellow Colombian Breiner Ortiz. He was the one who scored the first goal. He remembered her from the last game.

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Maddie got her picture with Akira. She had worked all day at the pumpkin patch. It was their opening day that day she literally jumped in the car after she got home from getting off of work to make the hour ride to the game. Mom bragging moment here. She was made manager this year so proud mom here. This will be her third season working in the office there.

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Mikaela decided she wanted a picture with Akira as well. The girls both think that blue is the best color on him .

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Of course MAria had to get a picture as well. You should have seen the looks that Maddie was given them when they were taking pictures with Akira.

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This player has become a FAVORITE of ours. Even though we didn’t make a poster for him. Nick Zimmerman is such a cool guy. He plays around with the girls. He looked at all the signs the girls had made and was like wow where’s mine??? He then said nope don’t try to explain it. He then told Elizondo that his girls were down here waiting for him.  We had posters for Akira, Elizondo, Julius and Jordan Graye but next time we will have one for Zimmerman and it will be the biggest one.

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Mikaela and her player Cesar Elizondo. As he was walking away he said good bye Mikaela. I didn’t hear him, MAria, Maddie’s friend heard him. I then yelled out at him what did you call her? He said Mikaela, that’s her name right??  Even Julius who we talk to all the time still get my girls confused. He calls them by the name of the players they like. So that was awesome that he remembered her name.

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Maddie and MAria with Elizondo as well. Maddie was trying to get Mikaela back from taking a picture with Akira.

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The girls with Paul Hamilton. Maddie plays the same position that he plays so she can identify with him as a player. She thinks he is pretty awesome. They did ask him how could he play with his hair down because they can’t play with theirs down? He told them a headband.

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Of course no Railhawks story would be complete without our absolute favorite for all of us. I told Julius earlier in the day that we had made him a poster and he said that he wanted a picture with his poster.  He reminded me of a little kid that could barely see over the counter at the candy store. He is a big kid and I think that is why we love him so much.

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This was the only other picture that Gracie wanted to be in. LOL Look at all those smiles.  Even Raul had to get a picture with some of the guys. Of course he had a few drinks.

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I told at least he could have smiled in this picture.

The boys have the next three games on the road but will be back in town on October 26 and we have our tickets already.

So now you know what our family does for fun? What does your family do?


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  1. What a fun day! I know your girls were super excited! I’m hoping to get out and enjoy the fall days on a new hiking trail over Fall Break!

  2. ow it looks like you and your girls had a blast. It’s amazing what great things you can experience just by entering contests.

  3. That must have been a great experience. I do that with my teen all the time and I personally love doing it! Big Kid at heart

  4. This looks very fun! I remember when I used to go to the games in high school!

  5. Oh my gosh that looks like such a fun time! So glad your family had the chance to go!

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