UW Health Sports Medicine 

Champs Sports Bowl Travelog - Arrival

The Badgers' trip to Orlando is underway after buses began pulling out of Camp Randall Stadium around 2 p.m. I'll be back with updates throughout the day of travel, so check back often.

2:40 p.m. -- After leaving on the second bus to depart Camp Randall, the Athletic Communications staff encountered little trouble in getting through security at the Dane County Regional Airport. Karl Anderson and I made it through the TSA station without so much as a moment spent standing in line. Let's hope this sort of thing continues.

Director Brian Lucas and his family followed several minutes later.

The team departed Camp Randall after the buses containing staff and their families, so no sight of players yet. Most of the senior staff and a number of support staff members -- and plenty of excited small children -- are waiting at the gate.

No reason to get on the plane too early. We're still 1:20 away from our scheduled departure.

Champs Sports Bowl - Travel_SM.jpg
3:07 p.m. -- On the plane and there are still plenty of good seats available, although they are filling up fast. Out my window, I can see the players' gear being unloaded off the truck that was parked at Camp Randall and onto a conveyor belt that empties into the belly of the plane.

Drew Scharenbroch of Video Services is braving the snow and is out on the tarmac getting some footage of the plane being loaded.

3:23 p.m. -- It's Savory Snacks Part II: There are bags of snacks waiting for each passenger on their seat when they get on the plane.  If you remember Brian Lucas' blog from our travels to Hawaii, the excitement over the "savory snacks" was hard to contain. Similar feelings this time around.

Pretzels, honey-roasted peanuts, Ritz Bits and Cheez-Its are the order of the day. Fear not, I'll keep you updated on the food offerings throughout the flight.

Leaning toward the beef tenderloin for the in-flight meal. It was a winner on the flight to Hawaii.

3:31 p.m. -- Looks like most of the travel party has made its way onto the plane now, about 30 minutes away from takeoff.

The little screen in front of me says the flight to Orlando is 1,107 miles, or 1,782 kilometers for those of you that speak Metric.

The savory snacks are delicious, by the way.

3:45 p.m. -- Getting set to pull away from the gate, so the Travelog will go on a bit of a hiatus between now and our touchdown in Orlando (with the required turning off of portable electronic devices and all that). I'll fill you in on the travel details once we hit the ground.

(Here's what you missed while the plane was en route...)

4:01 p.m. -- Our scheduled departure time has come and gone as the cargo is still being unloaded off the moving vans and into the plane. It is starting to snow somewhat heavily now.

4:03 p.m. -- We're treated to "Walking in a Winter Wonderland" over the plane's speaker system. A reminder of what we're about to leave behind, I guess.

4:07 p.m.
-- The captain just came on to let the passengers know that the plane will have to be de-iced because of the snow that has been falling for the past 40 minutes or so. The cargo hatch has been closed now, though.

4:13 p.m. -- Finished with the pretzels. On to the Cheez-Its.

4:18 p.m. -- Still haven't figured out how to operate the remote control for the video screen in the seatback in front of me, but a lot of the kids on board have. Now I know how my parents feel.

4:23 p.m. -- The screen in front of me -- which is still not showing "Up" or "G.I. Joe" like all the ones in front of all those kids -- still says 1,107 miles to Orlando.

4:26 p.m. -- Success! The video screen is now under my control and I'm ready to watch "Public Enemies," although a 237th lifetime viewing of "Top Gun" also drew some consideration. I just didn't have that lovin' feeling this time around.

4:34 p.m.
-- The safety instructions video has hijacked my viewing of "Public Enemies." Although, it's probably a good sign that we'll be getting underway soon.

4:41 p.m. -- We're moving. And now we've stopped.

4:45 p.m.
-- If my video screen were working, it would say that we still have 1,107 miles to go.

4:55 p.m. -- The de-icing process is underway. Pretty sure I heard a flight attendant say it will be another 30-35 minutes. Hoping I heard that wrong.

5:03 p.m. -- Still de-icing. The captain has just explained to us that the truck must make a first pass to apply a solution that de-ices the plane and then make a second pass to apply an anti-icing solution that will keep the plane ice-free.

5:06 p.m.
-- My neighbor in 35H, Kristin Eichorst (wife of Executive Associate Athletic Director Shawn Eichorst) has come to the rescue once again and fixed my video screen. Back to "Public Enemies."

5:20 p.m. -- The de-icing is complete.

5:34 p.m. -- We are off the ground and on the way to Orlando. It's a Festivus miracle.

(Happy Festivus, by the way. Maybe Karl and I can stage the traditional Airing of Grievances or Feats of Strength once we reach Orlando.)

6:39 p.m.
-- A long break between blog entries that you can chalk up to "Public Enemies" and the savory snacks. The screen at the front of our section says we are 1:28 out of Orlando, and the map makes it look as though the lights I see out the right-hand side of the plane is Nashville.

7:44 p.m.
(ET) -- I'm arbitrarily making the switch to Eastern time now, as I'm not sure when we actually changed time zones. Either way, dinner is served. I'm going with the beef tenderloin, mashed potatoes and California vegetable mix.

8:46 p.m.
-- We are well into our descent into Orlando. It's a nice, gradual descent and we're getting to see a lot of the city and surrounding area from the air. Some turbulence on the way down, but nothing too bad.

8:52 p.m
. -- Touchdown in Orlando (Hopefully the first of many touchdowns during our time here). It was a pretty smooth ride and a nice, easy landing.

9:01 p.m. -- I've made my way with the rest of the travel party down the stairs off our Airbus A330 and onto one of the seven charter buses waiting to transport us to the hotel.

9:23 p.m. -- With the help of a very effective police escort, we made good time and have arrived at the Rosen Shingle Creek. The team has broken off and headed to a meeting with officials from the Champs Sports Bowl and Orlando Police Department, while Coach Bielema is conducting some short interviews in the lobby of the hotel.

As for the rest of us, it's to the elevators and the rooms we'll call home for the next week. Time to get some rest before heading to Universal Studios tomorrow. A difficult assignment if there ever was one...

Be sure to follow the blog tomorrow and check back to UWBadgers.com frequently for updates throughout the final days leading up to the Champs Sports Bowl.
ON WISCONSIN