Exactly one month ago I returned from one of the best weekends of my life.
2 hockey games, 4 days, 5 states, 32 hours in a car, no sleep.
It truly was a trip for the ages.
Allow me to recount the story of 30 clinically insane college students who from the moment they received the hockey schedule last spring began planning a road trip to Ann Arbor, Michigan for a weekend full of hockey and ridiculousness.
We left Boston on a Thursday afternoon and it was all wide open roads, jokes about how awful Upstate New York is, blinding hail storms, ridiculous construction patterns through Ohio, plenty of Tim Horton stops, and lots and lots of chanting/singing hockey-related nonsense from there on out.
I actually really liked Ann Arbor and the University of Michigan’s campus. It was beautiful!
I often find myself wondering how different my life would be if I had decided to go to a different college. Especially one like Michigan that is all campus and no city. This was one that I could really picture myself going to. Everyone was wearing Michigan sweatshirts and apparel and you could tell school pride and sports were huge.
One major thing that definitely would have been different if I had gone here was that I would have not gotten that into hockey because come on…Michigan Football!
We were fortunate enough to be able to stop by the Big House on a day when there was a little kids scrimmage going on so we could go in and see that monstrosity from the inside.
Honestly, it didn’t seem as big as I thought it would from the inside, but it is still a really cool stadium!
And boy do these people like football! They were cheering for these little kids like it was a Bowl Game! Such a great atmosphere!
Honestly, I could tell you about the hockey games, but they were a month ago and we lost both of them 2-1 in two nearly identical games against two teams we definitely should have beaten. So yes, we drove all that way and spent all that money to watch two crappy losses. So we’re not going to talk about hockey.
I will say, however, that the folks at the University of Michigan were a million times better than at State. They kept thanking us for coming all the way out there and were super concerned that we were going to drive all that way back to Boston. We had barely sat down before an usher came running over saying, “Oh my goodness, look at you guys! I’ll take a picture for you!”
We were also super impressed with their student section! And that is not something that I’m easily willing to admit. They were so coordinated, with several full-on choreographed songs with the band and everything, including Can’t Turn You Loose for almost the entire second intermission! It was pretty impressive.
We did not.
And people in East Lansing are no bueno!
We took the early lead (again) and the arena was silent except for our nonsense (namely, singing Silent Night at them) until they started coming back. And then all hell broke loose. People were barking at us. Telling us to go dump tea in the harbor. (And gain our country’s freedom? Don’t mind if we do. You’re welcome.) And all other sorts of ridicule.
Obviously we could take it. But it definitely sucked having to drive the hour back to our hotel in Ann Arbor after that game.
One pretty cool thing about State though was that they have a bowling alley in the basement of their student union! It was perfect for us to kill time before the game started. And I won…naturally.
And we played on lane 13 to bring Captain Noonan some good luck. But we all know how that worked.
With a projected departure time of 7am (for our car at least) we planned on returning to the hotel and immediately going to sleep. That was until we lost. Again. We finally returned to Ann Arbor and after running around a grocery store for about an hour returned to the Red Roof Inn. And then the Red Sox lost Game 3 on a ridiculous obstruction call and we were all riled up all over again and decided that midnight football was a great idea. So midnight football it was! In the Sheraton parking lot across the street (where our team was playing, ironically enough). We played
mostly tackle touch football until probably 4 in the morning. It was some of the most fun I’ve had in a long time.
(Dark selfies in the Sheraton parking lot in the middle of a game.)
We then returned to the good old RRI and stayed up for at least another couple of hours eating everything we had bought at the store and being ridiculous. So come 7am (an hour of sleep later) the two who elected to be responsible in our car had to drag us kicking and screaming out of our beds, force us to pack and throw us into the already-hard-to-get-into backseat of her SUV and I was out. Until the end of Ohio.
I made sure that my friend Maddie was willing to drive the first leg before I decided to stay up until 6am, for the record. So yeah, that was the trip home. Being passed out in the backseat for the first half. Putting my contacts in and washing my face in a Starbucks bathroom in Buffalo. Getting food and stretching our legs in Syracuse. And then driving the remaining 8 hours home. Like a champ.
At least we got to listen to the World Series for the end of the trip. And I have never been happier to come around that corner of the Pike and see the StuVi tower in the distance. However, ever since we’ve wanted nothing more than to go back. But that’s okay, there’s our weekend trip to Notre Dame coming up next semester! Although we’ll be flying at least part of that trip. But hey, that just means that zero sleep will be an even better idea!
The beautiful people I got to spend 32 hours in a car with.
And our other friends costumes for superhero night the next weekend at Agganis: Michigan State and Michigan. So perfect.