By Daisy Barringer

May 2012: My best friend and I are celebrating my birthday with an indulgent dinner at Absinthe complete with caviar and cocktails. Lots of cocktails. At one point she looks at me, cocks her head to the side and says, "We should go to Green Bay for the first game of the season!"

"Totally," I reply before swigging more of my drink and completing forgetting what she just said.

Two hours later, I';m climbing into bed with a glass of water and several Advil when my phone buzzes. "GOT THE TICKETS!" And just like that, we were headed to Wisconsin, land of the cheese heads and home of my sworn mortal enemies: The Green Bay Packers.

But here's the thing about Green Bay: The people? They're nice. Like, really, really nice. Like, bend over backwards to make sure you';re having the time of your life nice. In fact, they're so nice, that I realized we could probably accomplish world peace if only everyone spent a few days in Green Bay. It's hard not to leave there and wonder what the planet would be like if only everyone were that kind. (Of course, within minutes of arriving back in San Francisco, I decided it would be totally boring because I'm nothing without sarcasm, but it was a really good feeling while it lasted, this idea of taking care of others and being friendly to everyone, something I plan on attempting to practice at Candlestick this year; wish me luck.)

Regardless: No one was so nice that I was able to forget the 49ers recent history with the Packers. I appreciated the free drinks, yes, but they didn't quell the pain of the 49ers 1-4 postseason record against the Packers. Or the fact that the Packers won our last nine meetings. Or that the 49ers hadn't won at Lambeau Field since 1990.

No, I went into Green Bay wearing head-to-toe red and gold, representing my team, and confident (okay, hopeful) that my boys would show up to dominate.

And, as you well know by now: they did just that.

Offense: 377 yards, 2 touchdowns, and no turnovers.

Defense: 3 sacks and 5 hits on Aaron Rodgers (oh, how they kind people of Green Bay hated how loud I got for those), a fourth-quarter INT by NaVorro Bowman (I basically lost my voice at this point), and managed to shut down the run almost completely.

Special Teams: Akers 63 yard record-tying field goal was magical. Literally. Watching that ball hit the crossbar and then bounce over. I basically died.

Coaching: Matt Barrows said, "This may be the most well-coached game I've ever covered." All I know is I love Jim Harbaugh and I wish he were my dad. Even though I'd be totally terrified of him because holy cow, that's just not a dude you want to mess with.

I'll be honest: Lambeau Field is an intimidating place. Even though everyone was incredibly amicable—e.g., taking pictures with us, buying us beer, asking us if we were having fun, inviting us to tailgate after tailgate after tailgate—I got the sense that perhaps a part of that friendliness was because they assumed that the Niners stood on the precipice of getting demolished. (Sorry, but like my very dear friend from the South Bay, whom I met at the bar the night before, said to me: There's just something suspicious about anyone who's that nice.)

But then, when I walked into the stadium and took my seat, shoulder-to-shoulder with these fans who live and breathe this team (because, and I mean this is a really nicest way possible, it's the only show in town), it was instantly clear to me that I was in a special place. The oldest NFL stadium. A stadium where the fans happily crowd next to each other on bleacher-style seats. A stadium where someone had carefully laid out folded green and gold Packers' t-shirts for every single attendee on each seat number. "They could never do this in San Francisco,"I explained to the woman next to me. "People would steal them."

And she just looked at me and sadly said "Really?" as though she were both genuinely perplexed, but also disappointed by the idea of a world where the free t-shirts would not make it into the hands of the intended recipients.

In fact, the only incident I had with a fan during the entire duration of the weekend (during which, as I said, I was proudly sporting my team colors), was right after kickoff. I complained about a call and a woman in front of me said that I should shut up if I didn't know anything about football.

She then said, "You're probably only here because you're quarterback is cute" which was really weird because who the hell thinks Alex Smith is attractive? [Ed note: Ahem.] But then I remembered that upon landing in the town of Green Bay, I went from a six or a seven to a solid nine, so to be fair, they're operating on a different scale of beauty.

But then, and this is the best part, she apologized within seconds, saying, "I'm sorry," she said. "I shouldn't have said that. You have every right to root for whomever you want."

And oh, how I did.

(Speaking of bad calls, yes, there were many. Tons. But the worst call of all was the illegal block in the back flag that the officials picked up giving Green Bay a touchdown. Pretty sure you can't complain about bad calls (which many, many fans were doing), when only one of them resulted in points. Points for YOUR team. Regardless though, I, like everyone else, cannot wait for the regular refs to return. The replacement refs are painful.)

Sunday was one of the best days of my life. The 49ers won their first game of the season. A road game. Against the Packers. 30-22, although the score doesn't accurately reflect how much we dominated. I met countless people who were genuinely sincere in their congratulations. I danced to a cheesy cover band. I watched my best friend ride a mechanical bull. I ate cheese curds. Drank more beer. And I danced some more. I haven't been that happy in a long, long time.

Niners' football is back. Our defense looks just as formidable as last year and our offense looks better. Our special teams has some true talent and our coaching staff, well, I would not trade nary a one.

I truly thought that last year was our year and that we wouldn't be able to repeat a performance like that, but watching my boys take control of that game on Sunday, I remembered what it was like to believe. And god, does it feel good.

The 49ers have a tough road ahead of them as they attempt to make their way to Super Bowl XLVII. I'll be here for all of it. Hope you'll join me along the ride.