Saturday, October 19, 2013


Last weekend Matt and I joined my family in State College for Penn State's homecoming game. I don't think I have been more excited for a weekend away for a long time. It's no secret how much I love Penn State, but I was extra excited since we were all going for the same weekend and we were all going to the game. Matt and I also took Friday off so that we could go to the homecoming parade. That turned out to be a big flop, but I did get to do a little afternoon bar tour with my brother-in-law and his parents, eventually to be joined by my parents and sister, while Matt studied in the library. Worth the vacation day.

My aunt, uncle, and cousins also joined us for tailgating!
Saturday we spent all day tailgating. We had so much great food. This year our tailgate had the addition of a tailgate pizza oven. Tailgating is so interesting. I feel like the stakes get higher every year. I would love to be independently wealthy (for a lot of reasons) to be able to travel around and tailgate at different colleges to see what they do.

Tailgate pizza oven
This year for homecoming we played Michigan. After losing by 20 points to Indiana the week before I don't think people had a whole lot of hope. Naturally, being the Penn State football optimist, I knew they were going to win. What I didn't know is that it was going to be one of the best games I have ever attended. I would also like to note that during this game we were completely surrounded by Michigan frat boys. It was one of the most annoying situations I have ever found myself in. Things started looking up when we took an early lead and the frat boys quickly lost their luster. The massive amounts of alcohol they were drinking all day also started catching up with them and they were fighting falling asleep and/or vomiting for the entire second quarter. After we got through that, the game was awesome. It started looking bad at the start of the second half when Michigan caused some turnovers and took the lead, but Penn State never gave up. At the end of regulation they drove the length of the field to send the game to overtime (four overtimes really). Let me add that Christian Hackenberg is no joke. That kid is going to be ridiculous over the next few years. 

Blue Band at halftime
I was ecstatic they won! I am also so happy we took the weekend to go away for this game. I actually went back to work happy on Monday. I am currently ranking this as my third best game experience in Happy Valley. I will never forget one my first ever Penn State games in 2002 (my freshman year!) when we played Nebraska. It was by far the sickest football game I have ever attended. Beaver Stadium was so loud, and it was such a huge game to win, and I was in the student section which is the best place to sit in the stadium to get the full effect of Happy Valley if you ask me. A close second would be the PSU vs. OSU game in 2005 (my senior year!). Both teams were ranked. PSU had 2 rough seasons my sophomore and junior years...there was big hope in Happy Valley that we might get to BCS bowl. Again, Beaver Stadium was continuously loud. When they played zombie nation that year there was a constant feeling the stadium might collapse. I can remember each of those two games so well. 

While this weekend was so good, it was also nice to come home to a grown up house and lifestyle. I did find myself laughing a lot this weekend about the way life use to be. When we were out and about in town it was just so funny to look at and observe some of the things that you forget are so "normal" when you a college student. My favorite was seeing 3 girls come out of a single bathroom stall. At first I thought to myself "what the hell." Then I remembered I use to do that. When you are 21 that's where all of your most philosophical and profound conversations use to the stall of a bathroom, in a dive bar, at 1 a.m. I think I can happily say I'm enjoying my new higher standard of living, but having my biggest responsibility be getting to the football game on time, or making it to class would be nice. 

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