Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Blue and White Weekend Recap: Part 1

"From open heart surgery to half marathons, with a dash of life mixed in." Here is where the dash of life mixed in comes into play. As you know (if you've been following my blog or Instagram for that matter), I was in State College, PA over the weekend. It is my happy place, and I'd move back in a heart beat, no questions asked. Any way, It was Penn State's spring football weekend, also known as Blue and White weekend. I went down to visit with friends, and also to run the Paterno Family Beaver Stadium 5K (which I'll recap in my next post). I had such a great time, but since I packed so much into less than 48 hours, I am now sick. I think I'm getting a cold, but if you asked me if it was worth it - Absolutely.

I arrived in State College on Friday night, and my friend Danielle and I decided to lay low, so we ordered D.P. Dough and decided to enjoy a few glasses of wine. Well, let me just tell you what party animals we are! I didn't even finish an entire glass of wine before passing out at 10:30. Hahaha!

The next morning we were in no rush to get around because for the first time ever, we were not planning to tailgate. Another first, I was going to be attending the Blue and White game for the first time. Is it weird that I never attended one as a student? Nevertheless, I was excited to go. Now that Coach Franklin has taken over, I have been very interested in seeing what he has in store for the upcoming football season. Just from the articles I've read (and instagram selfies I've seen), he seems like a very personable individual.

Danielle and I decided to make a Sheetz run for coffees before getting around. I love Sheetz, and wish we had them in NYS - I know some people think it's weird to order food from a gas station, but they have EVERYTHING, it's made to order, and it's so good. I always order a Toasted Marshmallow Latte, they're delicious. Dani's sister made chocolate chip pancakes which were also amazing (or else I would have ordered a breakfast sandwich on a pretzel roll at Sheetz).

Danielle and I got around and we decided to park downtown and walk up to the stadium, by this time the sun was out and it was HOT. I didn't realize how warm it actually was going to be, but I wasn't complaining, just a few weeks earlier I was shoveling my driveway. It was so great to walk College Ave again with so many people in town for the weekend! Danielle and ventured up through campus, talking about all the changes since we were students. We made it to the Bryce Jordan Center and saw this cute ATT picture spot, so of course we could not resist!

We made our way across the street to a tent sale right outside the stadium. There I found a REALLY cute Nike Dri-FIT windbreaker for running (I swear it was sitting on a sale rack waiting for me to buy it, haha). I also bought a Nike Penn State Hockey sweatshirt. I couldn't resist, they were both on sale! We stopped in the suite entrance to see Dani's sister briefly, then made our way into the stadium to find a seat. We decided to sit on the 50 yard line (who wouldn't?), and of course had to take a selfie.

(I had a long sleeve PSU shirt on, but it was too warm)

The game was set for a 1:30 kick off with a few changes to the rules from past years. Since I had never been to one of the Blue and White games, it didn't make much difference to me as this was a new experience. The stadium was filling up though, so right before kick off I decided to take a panoramic shot with my phone. It actually turned out quite nice.

(Please ignore the scoreboards, they're being remodeled. Can't wait to see them when they're done!)

I read the next day that there were roughly 72,000 in attendance, which is great! Before we knew it the first quarter was over and they were getting ready to start the second when coach Franklin wanted to make an announcement to the fans. He was pleased with the turnout, and also stated that he wants 107,000 strong at each home game this year. He expressed how excited he was to be in Happy Valley, and then he started a "We Are..." chant which was amazing (Even his "Thank You...")! The entire crowd just roared and it totally made the game. He's going to fit in perfectly. Danielle and I decided to leave at the half and head back downtown, at this point Blue was up 17-0.

We went into a few stores downtown, I wanted to look around, but I could not handle the crowds inside. We decided to head back to Danielle's to get ready to go out for the evening. We were planning on going to the Shandygaff (better known as the Gaff), since I had not been there in over a year, and it is my favorite bar in State College. Knowing it was Blue and White weekend, we knew the crowds were going to be ridiculous, so we decided to head to the bar around 8:30. The line wasn't outrageous yet, and we were able to get in, get a drink, and get a table by the wall. We ran into Dani's cousin and friends, and a friend of Dani's met us out as well, and I have to say, I had the best time! We danced and sang the night away and ended up being out until about 3-3:30, and of course we had to get up and run a 5K in the morning (believe me, I do not advise that).

I will post part 2 of my weekend/race recap tomorrow. I hope everyone had a great weekend!

QOTD: Is there something you just have to have when you visit somewhere? (Like I have to have Sheetz) Or is there something you have to do every time you visit a certain place?

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