Saturday, September 8, 2018

penn steak

Last weekend, we packed up the car and drove to Penn State for a weekend with friends, fun, and football! We arrived Friday evening at the Airbnb house we shared with Dan's college friends Kevin and CJ plus CJ's wife Catherine, and their daughters Abby and Maren. After a quick dinner downtown (it still amuses me that this idyllic little college town is referred to as "downtown"), we did some last-minute shopping to find Mae a Penn State shirt. I kind of love this oversized jersey-style one we found (it would be even better if it were Notre Dame instead).

Saturday morning, we gathered our snacks and rain coats, and drove to campus for a day of tailgating. We were prepared for dreary, drizzly weather but the football gods blessed us with a very temperate, overcast day... perfect tailgating weather. Mae had tons of fun "playing" cornhole, watching a giant Jenga game, and running around with CJ and Catherine's daughter Abby who is about 6 months older. They raced each other around the padded base of a nearby set of practice goalposts which became an obstacle course, a balance beam, and everything else their 2-year-old minds could dream up.

We worked all week preparing Mae for the tailgate, teaching her Penn State's favorite cheer: one group yells "We Are!" while another responds "Penn State!" Mae had a hard time getting the hang of it, and every time I yelled, "We Are!" she yelled back "We Are!" Then I would correct her, saying, "No! Penn State!" She finally got the jist of it and now when I yell, "We Are!" she responds "No! Penn Steak!" Sigh. We'll get it right eventually. (In related news, CJ and Kevin are now planning to open a cheesesteak shop in State College called "Penn Steak.")

After lunch, we walked to the Creamery, the famous University-run ice cream shop. Mae fell asleep in the stroller almost immediately and missed the entire 45-minute wait time. She woke up just as I was finishing my bowl (Butter Pecan) and helped me eat the last few bites plus some of Abby's leftovers.

Catherine and I took the kids back to the house while the guys went to the game. We had a relaxing afternoon watching movies and eating pizza. Abby introduced Mae to her dinosaur obsession, and we watched "The Land Before Time XIV." (Yes, there really are 14 of those movies.) The guys witnessed a long, tense game ending with a Penn State win in overtime.

Sunday morning, we went to church before our long drive back home. We stopped once for lunch, and drove the last 5.5 hours straight through!

Such a fun weekend! (Don't worry, Notre Dame fans. Mae will get her ND experience in a couple weeks.)

P.S. Happy 6th anniversary to us!

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