Monday, September 1, 2014

Meet-Up With Spartan Nation

August 29, 2014

Happy 43rd Anniversary to us! We are off on our annual RV adventure, and have had a lot of fun already. We left Highland Park a little before noon yesterday with our first destination East Lansing, MI, and the Spartans’ football season opening game against Jacksonville (Alabama) State tonight. The weather was just glorious and we made great time on I-80 through Pennsylvania. We didn’t stop too much, but we did make one stop in the late afternoon and spent a little bit of time enjoying the fresh air and thick lawn.  Cassie was so happy, she was rolling in the grass, and Joe decided to join her. 

We stopped at about 8:00 at a Flying J to fill up our gas tank and make a quick dinner of hot dogs and broccoli, before continuing on. As usual when heading west, we like to get to Ohio before stopping for the night, and we made it to the first rest stop on the Ohio Turnpike at about 11:15 pm. We hooked up in their special RV parking area and went right to sleep—we’d been on the road for 12 hours.

This morning we woke up and didn’t rush, because we were only 4 hours from East Lansing. The parking lots for game parking did not open until 3:30, so we figured if we were early, we’d go browsing for MSU “stuff” in town. But as it happened, we made one quick stop soon after crossing into Michigan—we saw a sign for the Beef Jerkey Warehouse, and we could not resist THAT (Joe has a special love for beef jerky.) The place was wonderful, with several dozen kinds of beef jerky, plus pork, venison, and a few other types I don’t even remember. They gave us a taste of anything we were interested in, and we walked out with over a pound of beef jerky at about ½ the price it usually costs in those small packages you find in gas station convenience stores (they sell it by the pound.)

We got to East Lansing at 2:30. Sure enough, they would not let us into the parking lot, so we used the hour to fill up the gas tank (the gas was $.30/gallon more in Michigan than in Pennsylvania—ouch!) and have some late lunch. Then we came back to the parking lot. It is a wonderful tailgating experience, I have to say, except we feel very “left out” because we don’t have any MSU decals, flags, lawn chairs, blow-up Sparty figures, tablecloths, or bean-bag gameswith green and white Spartan insignia on them. One guy across from us has a huge flat-screen TV set up under his canopy; I wonder if he’s going to the game at all! Anyway, now that we can expect to tailgate at an MSU game at least once/year (vs. Maryland or vs. Rutgers), we have got some serious shopping to do, LOL!  Seriously, there is an old RV at least 25 years old near us; the lady who owns it says it is basically a “rolling potty” and they only use it for tailgating—it is white with green stripes, decals everywhere, and “SpartyMobile” painted on the front overhang. I don’t think we want to go THAT far, but I appreciate the sentiment.

 The football game starts at 7:30, so we still have more than 2 hours to hang out. Joe is napping while I blog; then we’ll through a steak on our grill and have some dinner. There is a shuttle bus which stops right outside our parking lot to take us to the stadium, which is a good thing, because we are at least a mile away. The campus has gotten even larger since we left here 41 (!) years ago. The amount of suburban spread makes us remember how the area all around us used to be countryside with farm houses; now it’s filled with super-ugly apartments and the usual fast food restaurants. Joey points out that the population of the world has more than doubled in the time since we graduated. Really, it’s a little bit scary.

I am happy to discover that there is a campus-wide wifi system. I told them I am an “affiliated” guest—I figured that for a $40 parking lot, I have just affiliated! I hope it works for my blog upload. Meanwhile—GO SPARTANS!!!!!! 

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