Cross-country Super Bowl road trip the 'vacation of a lifetime'

Staff writerJanuary 28, 2014 

— He did not know it at the time, but Blair Gomsrud’s journey to New Jersey started Jan. 19.

The Tacoma resident celebrated the Seattle Seahawks’ NFC championship title in the Hawks Nest at CenturyLink Field, watching cornerback Richard Sherman tip the ball to linebacker Malcolm Smith for a game-clinching interception.

Fans cheered, hugged and some even cried. The Seahawks were going to Super Bowl XLVIII. Less than 24 hours later, thanks to his girlfriend, Gomsrud found out he was, too.

“It’s going to be a wild trip,” he said last week, as he cleaned up the R.V. that is currently en route to New Jersey. He is traveling with his girlfriend of seven years, Lori Patterson, and a pair of friends, Troy Peterson and wife Jenn Peterson.

The day after the 23-17 victory over San Francisco, Patterson started plotting her quest for tickets, and quickly found them. She had watched the NFC Championship game in the couple’s R.V. out in the parking lot with her dogs. Although she isn’t a rabid Seahawks fan, she said she “jumped out of the seat” with tears in her eyes after the win.

She knew that making the Super Bowl is a rare opportunity for any team, and she seized that opportunity to give Gomsrud the “vacation of a lifetime,” as he calls it.

The couple and their friends had joked all season about going to the game, but Gomsrud never seriously considered it.

Patterson didn’t take no for an answer.

“I was the one trying to be the voice of reason,” Gomsrud joked. “Realistically, I didn’t have any thought we’d do anything like that.”

Coordinating with Jenn Peterson, Patterson bought four tickets for the group – two face-value ones at $800 apiece and two secondary-market tickets for about $2,300 each.

Patterson acknowledges that the trip, even without airfare, is pricey. But since she plans to sell her 2006 convertible Ford Mustang when they return to Tacoma, she figures it is a justifiable splurge.

So far, the trip has lived up to Gomsrud’s expectations – long, cold days on the highway with detours around the snowy weather. The group has had battery and water problems on the way, but that hasn’t dampened their spirits.

They have driven non-stop, taking shifts and only stopping for gas and brief breaks. They were straddling the Indiana-Ohio border around 9:30 a.m. on Tuesday, and planned to arrive at their near-final destination of Stroudsburg, Pa., late that evening.

Between Wednesday and Friday, the trip is up in the air (they might hit up Atlantic City or Philadelphia, Gomsrud said) before heading to Liberty Harbor R.V. Park, which has a view of the New York City skyline and is located about 11 miles from MetLife Stadium.

Win or lose, Patterson said the memories and laughs have already made the long trip worth it.

“It’s been an adventure,” she said. “That’s what we’re after.”

Watching the Seahawks win their first title is still the ultimate goal for Gomsrud, as well as representing fans that aren’t fortunate enough to experience the game in person.

“We’re trying to bring the whole 12th Man thing to the stadium,” he said. “Keepin’ it rockin.’ ”

Kari Plog: 253-597-8682
Follow Kari on Twitter: @KariPlog

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