Sunday, November 10, 2013

Parent's Weekend 2013

I need to go ahead and blog about parent's weekend at the University of South Carolina before I forget everything we did since it happened over a month ago. Time flies. Gets swallowed up. Disappears in the blink of an eye when you're working full-time again. And thus I'm back to wishing my life away to some extent, looking forward to the next big school holiday.

On Friday, we all played hooky from work and school in order to fly to Charlotte at the crack of dawn. I don't know where everyone else and their dog was flying that morning, but Terminal B at the airport was swarming with people. The security line twisted and turned and backed practically up into Terminal A. The straight shot flight to Charlotte was uneventful. We got our rental car and hit the road for a pleasant drive to Columbia. We checked into our hotel, let the coed know we had arrived and toodled over to campus to meet up with her. She has an afternoon Spanish class on Fridays, so after we got checked in for parent's weekend at the student center, we found a shady bench on the historic horseshoe to wait for the coed to arrive.

As we were walking in between two buildings, with the 7th grader about a yard in front of us, all of a sudden something fell out of the tree and landed on the sidewalk right in front of the younger daughter's feet. It's a bird. It's a plane. It's a poor squirrel with crappy balance and worse luck that obviously feel from a branch way up high. After landing with a really loud thud (OUCH!), it hopped up and scrambled into the bushes. I swear the daughter and I almost had a heart attack. 

The four of us went out to dinner that evening to locally owned Lizard's Thicket with their down home country cooking. You know you're in the south when you see fried bologna on the menu. We grew up eating fried spam and potatoes, which seems kinda high falootin' compared to bologna.

We also made a run through the bookstore to get a t-shirt in order to represent at the game the next day. Aggies get shortened to Ags. Longhorns get shortened to Horns. And Gamecocks get shortened to Cocks… which makes me want to giggle even though I'm middle-aged. I did NOT purchase the shirt below, but rather a vintage design. 

After we returned to our suite that evening, we all piled up like lazy dogs to watch TV or check email. The girls had fun surfing shopping websites, with the younger daughter giving her opinion on potential clothing purchases to the older daughter. Awww!

The next day, we took the coed shopping at the mall in Columbia. It's miles from campus and since the coed has no driver's license or car, it has greatly curtailed the amount of retail therapy she has been able to do since she headed off to college.

After a late lunch at Cracker Barrel - more home cooking - we headed back to campus so both girls could get manis and pedis. Rotten, much? Then we went back to the hotel to spruce up and head to the football game. Here are the husband and girls in front of the famous USC Cockabooses. Some guy towed a bunch of run down cabooses onto the stadium site back in the '90s and now they're the ultimate tailgating venue. You can snap one up for a cool $300K!

The sun was setting while the football players wrapped up their warm up and were getting ready to take the field.

The picture above was taken by the coed at an earlier game in the season. This is the students only section. For parent's weekend, we were sitting in the end zone directly across from the students on the second to last row of the third deck. Talk about bird's eye view. And not even a whiff of wind in the humid still-warm-as-summer night on bleachers that had us all crammed together like sardines. I didn't mind the lady seated in front of me who kept madly swinging her USC towel so that I was forced to duck multiple times to avoid a slap in the face because at least it provided a bit of much-needed breeze.

Since it was the start of breast cancer awareness month, they shot off pink fireworks whenever the team scored. Plus the players were wearing pink gloves and socks - really cool since the coed's sorority's philanthropy is Think Pink, breast cancer awareness and education. What a worthwhile cause.

And, finally, I couldn't help but include the crowing rooster sound they play in the stadium. This is just a smidge of it, but you get the drift. HILARIOUS!

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