I hadn’t been there since January 2010. I hadn’t been to a football game since September 2007. And I’d never experiences homecoming as an alumnae. Well 2 weekends ago, I got to cross all three of those things off my list.
Several months ago, Kim, Doug, and I were talking about wanting to go up for a Purdue football game this fall. We looked at schedules and flights and the only one that worked for all three of us ended up being the Homecoming game. Hey, I’ll take that! After finding a cheaper flight to Chicago than to Indianapolis (which I think was the first time THAT’s ever happened!) I booked it. I flew in Friday night. After collecting me from the airport, grabbing a quick bite at this delicious Mediterranean place, we headed back to Casa Kim and got ready for the next day. We were getting up at 4am so that we would be out the door at 4:45 and on campus around 8sh and have plenty of time to tailgate!
I had warned Kim ahead of time, if she didn’t want me sleeping in the car then we’d have to stop for coffee on the way there. Which we did, at this McDonald’s oasis. This was right around 5:00am. She looked WAY more awake than I did, I too was glad she was the one doing the driving!
Pulling into good old West Lafayette brought back such memories! It was grey, overcast, and windy. Just like 99.9% of fall and winter days when I was there it was one of those things that I hated and loved all at the same time! We set up camp on the intramural fields and Doug got to work on breakfast.
You know you’re moving up in the world when your tailgate foods have multiple syllables. This was fantastic! Doug made breakfast tacos with chorizo, fresh guacamole and pica de gallo. And I brought the tortillas in my bag all the way from Texas!
The fire from the grill kept us warm, as did our bottles adult beverages. Can you spot the Texan in these photos?? The one all bundled up like it’s the middle of winter? (In all fairness, to me, it was!
My old advisor even came up for the game! Look at this, advisor and advisees all back together again!! We all caught up on where we were and what we were doing these days. We reminisced about some of the characters we used to be in class with and wondered where they ended up.
We even got to catch up with Brett for a bit!
And before we knew it, it was game time! Kim got us amazing seats.
We were about 5 rows up in the endzone, near the band. About halfway through the second quarter it started to rain a little bit. Good old Indiana rain with the giant ran drops that come down at a slow but steady pace. We pulled out the ponchos that Kim had brought, and were being kept fairly dry. But still, no reason to sit in 50 degree weather and get soaked. We tried to head to Harry’s (one of the big campus bars) to finish up watching the game. But by the time we walked all the way over there the line was around the corner and down the road. So we headed back to the car. Which of course was clear across campus from where we were. A solid 15 minutes later we were back at the car, but absolutely soaked to the bone.
Side note: Best decision I made before going up there was to spend the money on a good pair of water-proof boots. They weren’t the cheapest things in the world, but kept my toes dry and warm. Now by the time we got back to the car after around around-campus-trek, my toes were were wet. But we’d been outside in the rain for several hours at that point.
After grabbing a quick dinner in Lafayette, we said our goodbyes and Kim and I headed back to Chicago and Doug went back to Ft. Wayne, Indiana. By the time we were back in Chicago, it was still raining, still cold, but at least we didn’t have to be outside anymore. We grabbed authentic Chicago pizza at a little restaurant down the street from Kim’s apartment and called it a night. I didn’t make it more than a few minutes into trying to watch Ghostbusters!
Sunday was a lazy day spent on a tour of Naperville (the Chicago suburb where Kim lives). We went to lunch with her Dad and then they dropped me off at the airport. My flight was scheduled for a 6:00 departure and they were dropping me off at about 3:45. As we pull up to the gate, my flight gets delayed until 7:00. But not big deal… just another hour and I had books and DVDs to entertain me. Slowly but surely my flight continues to get pushed further and further back. I didn’t end up leaving Chicago until 9:30pm. By the time I got back to my house in Dallas it was 12:30am. Needless to say, I crashed hard.
These were the types of trips I really need to make more of an effort to save for and go on. (guess what’s going on my New Year’s resolution list next year… yep! It’s happening!)