|Home||PSU tailgate||Newsletters||Visit PSU||Ford||Boats|
|§ Planning § Newsletter § Know your Tailgaters § Awards|
Go to 2015 tailgates
2014 Tailgates: MSU Temple Maryland Ohio State at Michigan Homecoming Umass Akron Ireland BWW
Dirty Alumni Tailgating Newsletter Volume XI Issue 11
"Let's go sled riding"
This post-Thanksgiving tailgate was the 10th anniversary of our meeting with Mad and Suz. We first met them at DDT3, which was also a season-ending match with Michigan State. The weekend was already off to a unique start when the University announced on Wednesday that the overnight RV lot would be closed on Friday due to snow.
This put us in a unique spot, because we were already planning to bring the RV. Chad and I adjusted our plan slightly to park at Jeremy's house for the weekend, rather than pay more to move on Saturday morning. Due to the Thanksgiving holiday, I met Chad in Brookville.
We arrived at Madeline's mom's house to drop off tailgating supplies, they let us know that the University had also announced that all grass tailgating lots would be closed too.
This didn't make too much of a dent in our plans, but it had us a little worried. We were either going to catch a cab or ride the bus to the tailgate in the morning.
After parking and socializing with Jeremy and Heather, we headed into town for dinner. We spot at 409 win(g)s for some lackluster wings and fries. There were some people downtown, but overall, it was pretty sparse. Once back at Jeremy's place, we watched Planes, Trains and Automobiles before heading to bed for the evening.
Overnight, another inch of snow fell in State College. Mad and Suz were able to get into their parking spot. While waiting for a cab, I borrowed a sled and went sled riding in Jeremy's front yard. We caught a cab up to BJC. As we were walking in, we caught up with Larry and Carol. The Greene's also had a unique experience walking across an almost empty campus.
When we arrived, the tailgate was set up but the remainder of the lot was nearly empty. I turned on the fireplace. Mad and suz heated up sausage pancake bites and sausage pastry puffs for breakfast. Carol's singing PSU Christmas hat keep us entertained during the morning.
This tailgate's theme was Beer, Chocolate, Steak (BCS). We had a cool full of porters, stouts and labics to enjoy. I passed out samples to people, so we could all enjoy the selection.
Due to the parking policy changes, the snow covered grass lot was empty. Mad, Michelle, Elizabeth, Todd and I walked the sled over to the far side of the lot near University Drive and took turns sledding down the hill. Everyone had a good time and Maddy went the furthest.
Cari's friends Gary and Zakiya joined us with a special chair with coolers in both arms. For lunch, we had corn and kielbasa soup, and Steak kabobs, with onions, peppers and pineapple.
Our group photo was taken with the sled in the photo. Dena, Mark and their boys Sean and Matt joined us before game time.
MSU returned the opening kickoff for a touchdown, which marked the beginning of the end for us. Only 99,902 fans were in attendance for this cold and dark game. Penn State was making yardage, but seemed to hit a brick wall at field goal range. The Spartan took advantage and put us out of our misery with a final score of 34-10.
This was also Dr. O. Richard Bundy's last game at the helm of the Blue Band before he retires. The band played his favorite tunes and spelled out "BUNDY" in formation.
After the game, Chad headed over to volley ball and the rest of us enjoyed more steak. We played Party pigs, which is a multi-player version of pass the pigs. We also reminisced about the last 10 years of tailgating together and how many things had happened in those years.
After watching a winning volley ball match, Chad returned with the truck. It was oddly warmer outside. Someone else decided to dump their extra fry oil just uphill from our tailgating tarp. The oil that had run down onto the pavement made it seem like ice, even though the temperature had steadily increased as the evening went on. After some clean up, we finally left the lot after 12:30 AM.
For the Glory,
Dirty Alumni Tailgating Newsletter Volume XI Issue 10
FridayRob and Chad left Chad's house around noon. I picked up a new fry cutter and new heater for the tailgate. It was 32 degrees with light snow during the drive in.
We dropped stuff off stuff at Mad's Mom's house and got parked in the RV lot around 6. Stopped at the creamery for a snack before Band-o-rama.
Band-o-rama was a combined concert for the concert and marching bands at Eisenhower auditorium. The overall show lasted about 2.75 hours, including praise for Director Richard Bundy, who is retiring this season. We headed to Corner Room for dinner with Chad's friends Tammy, Rachel and Sara. After dinner, we headed to Saloon for some Velveeta. The line was long and only Tammy was brave enough to weather the cold. We got inside for the start of set 2. The band remembered seeing Chad and I during the previous week at Jergels.
After the band finished, we headed to Canyon pizza, which had a massive line. I hopped over to College Pizza, which was much faster, but I missed the cab home. It was a long walk in the bitter cold.
SaturdayIt was a little warmer and less windy. Mad and Suz had the tailgate well set up by the time Chad and I arrived. The morning started out with flatbread. One had Canadian bacon, egg with cheese and other was artichoke and pesto. Both were great. There were also sausage pastry puffs. The morning was quickly over with a noon game. Since the wind was light, we packed everything under the canopy, put the sides up and headed into the game.
The first half of the game was a little worrisome. We didn't seem able to do much against the owls and turned over the ball. It was 6-3 at the half and Temple had taken the ball away from us twice. At least their kicker blew one field goal attempt. During the 3rd quarter, Temple tied it up before our offense really go going. With 6 minutes left in the 3rd, we drove 75 yards in 3 plays to pull ahead. On Temple's next drive, Amos intercepted and run it back to the 8 yard line. We scored again to make it 20-6. Just to keep in interesting, Temple pull in a 75 yard pass to make it 20-13. In the 4th quarter, Penn State again intercepted and ran in back for a touchdown. The lions scored again to make the final score 30-13 and make the team bowl invite-able for first time since the sanctions were handed down. We actually had a running game this week.
Back at the tailgate, hungry tailgaters enjoyed ribs and beef soup. Chad warmed up the deep fry and we used the new fry cutter to make fries for poutine. We also cooked pierogies, mac and cheese wedges cheese sticks and sweet potato fries (from Larry's homegrown sweet potatoes).
As the sun set, the group quicken thinned out. We were able to get a group picture before Chad headed to volleyball. Rob headed over to the RV lot to get Chalupa and bring the truck over. The wind stayed low and we sat around the fire place talking until around 10. We (as usual) were the last people in the lot. We wished each other a happy thanksgiving and then headed home. See everyone again in 2 weeks for MSU.
SundayNormally, the pack up and ride home is pretty uneventful. This was not the case this Sunday. We passed Scott's wife Melissa and Scott's Mom on the way home. We had to stop when Chad lost a bumper cap and a piece of PVC began sliding out. We also had to make an emergency stop for fuel in West Middlesex with only 3 miles to empty.
For the Glory,
Dirty Alumni Tailgating Newsletter Volume XI Issue 9
FridayLeft 1730 hrs. Friday. Dinner at Clem's BBQ around 7pm. Staff was dressed in Halloween costumes, and we overheard them describing their plans for the evening. The one guy working there said he planned to get drunk and pass out in the woods. We were wondering what you think is normal if your plans are to pass out in the woods.
We drove out of the rain as we got into Altoona, and we continued on to meet Mad and Suz to drop off some of the tailgating supplies around 2100 hrs. Rob and Chad checked out the excavation work being done at Mad's mom's house for the new addition. Once unloading and visiting briefly, we continued to the RV lot where we found ourselves at the extreme east end of the overnight RV lot. The lot was surprisingly full compared to what we expected, but we were pleased to have a nearly perfectly level spot that made unhitching the truck not necessary, thereby reducing our setup time considerably.
Cari and Marianne had been downtown for Marianne's birthday, but we found out they were already back at their hotel. We headed toward Ag Arena, trying several times to call Handy Delivery for a cab, only to repeatedly get their answering machine. As luck would have it, a taxi pulled into the Ag Arena lot just as we got there, so our transportation problems were solved. We arrived at the Saloon to find the line wrapped around the corner and onto College Avenue, which gave us plenty of time to check out all the different costumes everyone was dressed in for Halloween. Andy arrived a few minutes later; the line moved fairly quickly and we soon found ourselves in a not-so-crowded Saloon. It was a nice change of pace from the normally dank, humid, sticky-floored, shoulder-to-shoulder crowd. Rob, Andy, and Chad enjoyed checking out some $5 Monkey Boys (well, they were really $12) and some 80's Cheese until closing time. The line at Canyon Pizza was ridiculous, so we went instead to College Pizza. Andy gave us a ride back to the RV before he headed out to his hotel in Clearfield for the night.
Rob and Chad got moving around 0830 hrs. but it took us about an hour to get over to the green lot to meet up with Mad, Suz, and the rest of the crew. They already had the fireplace going for the Italian-themed tailgate. We enjoyed some food and a few drinks, but the morning passes quickly for a noon kickoff. Due to the high winds, we broke everything down before heading into the game.
Rob, Chad, and Andy hung around after the game and collected around three dozen hot drink mugs, and Chad found an official 1995 Penn State Rose Bowl poncho someone had left behind. The Penn State and Maryland bands remained on the field for quite some time after the game, fraternizing and showing off their respective talents. It was nice to see the comradery shared there, because it certainly wasn't present with Maryland's football team after their classless display of douche baggery in refusing to shake hands at the coin toss. Their attempt at being bad-asses coupled with an on-field scuffle that wherein one of their players smacked a ref in the face (OK, the B1G refs probably deserved being smacked in the face and maybe more after the way they have been officiating in our games recently) earned them a 15-yard penalty on the initial kickoff. (Maryland's coach was later fined $10K for this and one player suspended for 1 game)
The post-game tailgate was already up and going by the time we got back, and we enjoyed more Italian-themed goodness including chicken parmesan. Mad, Suz, Chad, Rob, and Nick remained as the last tailgaters in the green lot before wrapping up around 2130 hrs.
For the Glory,
Dirty Alumni Tailgating Newsletter Volume XI Issue 8
"It smells like a dumpster fire over here"
ThursdayRich, Nell, Rob, Alaina and Chad met at Sam’s Club at just before 6:30. Unlike homecoming, there were no problems on the drive. We attempted to use Waze to share locations during the drive, but it had problems. We got to RV lot, but waited for a long time before we finally got parked. There were RVs everywhere in the lot. We ended up in Row 4: RVs 7, 8 and 9.
We took a cab to Darkhorse for Yuengs and wings. Jeremy stopped in before we headed to the Saloon to hear My Hero Zero.
FridayIt was a beautiful day. By the time we work up, RVs were already parked in lower field between us and Park Ave. There were also RVs parked in the reserved section too.
We walked over the Meat lab and then made breakfast of breakfast biscuit sandwiches and cheesy potatoes back the RVs. For our Friday entertainment, we attempted our first lap at the trifecta: 3 alcohol producing establishments in 1 day. We visited 7 Mountains Winery, Happy Valley Brewery, and Big Spring Distillery. Afterwards, we visited the Creamery before heading back the RV lot.
We played Skip-bo and were later joined by Mad and Suz.
SaturdayOur founding fathers tailgate started with a breakfast of Stuffin muffins and bacon.
The RV across the aisle had its occupants sitting on RV roof with chairs for most of the day. Luckily, no one feel through or off.
For lunch we had ham, open faced turkey sandwiches with gravy, soup and plenty of deep fried stuff. We also had some great fries, probably because Chalupa licked the potatoes while I was carrying him while preparing the fries.
With the great weather, many of our tailgaters ended up sitting on Rich’s RV rug. A spontaneous game of duck, duck, goose started and ended after a few rounds when Chad almost knocked the TV off of a nearby table while attempting to round the circle.
We also had a really impressive drink table in the middle of the tailgate. To go along with the theme, Rich brought a case of founding fathers beer from yards. The worst of which was the Spruce Ale. It didn’t seem bad at first, but who really wants something that tastes like pine needles?
As it got closed to game time, we turned the Christmas lights on.
The Nittany Lion managed to hang in there and send the game into double overtime, but we were overcome 24-31 (2 OT).
For half time, the blue band’s show consisted of TV show themes, complete with matching formations.
When game goers returned by to the RV, everything was already packed up. I turned on the oven and heated up the turkey legs for a late-night snack before heading to bed.
SundayThe morning was still nice. We finished cleaning up outside before Mad and Suz stopped by to pick up their stuff and discuss next week’s plans. Alaina and I headed to Ollie’s before departing State College.
For the Glory,
Dirty Alumni Tailgating Newsletter Volume XI Issue 7
Official quote:The 2nd roadtrip of the 2014 season would be a domestic trip for Chad and I. We did some research ahead of time. Their RV lots either opened at noon on Saturday for $80 or at 11 PM on Friday for $260. We opted to take our chances and see what we could find when we got there.
"That about sums it up"
ThursdayWe left Chad's house at 7:30 PM and had dinner at Shorty's before hitting the road for good. We drove across Ohio until 12:30 AM and stopped at a Walmart in Oregon, Ohio.
FridayThe morning air was only 37 degrees. We made breakfast of egg sandwiches and headed for Dearborn, MI. We arrived at the Henry Ford Museum before 11 and spend about 5 hours looking at cars, steam engines, presidential limos, farm equipment, Pro Football, airplanes and even a few RVs. It was a very neat museum and I wish we could have stayed longer to see the Greenfield Village.
After we returned to the RV, we noticed that the brick wall outside our front was all the separated us from the Ford test track. We got a few pictures of test vehicles on the track and ate a late lunch at the RV.
From there, we headed towards Ann Arbor, picked up some groceries, drove around campus, found the expensive RV lot. There were 30-40 RVs in there, but we wanted to see what else we could find. I was getting anxious, we thought that perhaps we might end up on a city street for the evening, but we found a dark spot at the nearby mall. We got a late dinner California Pizza Kitchen and watched a movie on the projector in the RV before calling it a night. After the mall closed, they shut the lights off, so we got a good night's sleep.
SaturdayIt was again really cold when I took the dog out in the morning. We cooked breakfast and just chilled in the RV because it wasn't time to go yet.
We left the Mall and rolled right into the lot at 11 AM. The UM website had a typo the said the lot opened at both 7 AM and noon. Apparently, some people had spent the night there and others had arrived at around 8 AM. There was no traffic and no line. There was 6 RVs in lot.
The parking lady was helpful but super perplexed as to where to park us in the nearly empty lot.
It was sunny and warmed up quickly as we set up our stuff. In addition to my normal PSU and "Don't give up the ship" flags, we also put up a John Deere flag. The parking staff dropped off a garbage can just for us with an "M - trash" sticker on it. The cans were dirty and attracted a large number of bees and an old guy who kept walking around the lot looking for cans to help with his grand-daughter's college fund. It got a little creepy after he stopped for the 6th time.
This was quickly noticed by one of our tailgate neighbors, who was an intern at John Deere and had just accepted a full time position there. It also turned out that his name was Kevin and he was the homecoming king this year.
We walked around the lot and introduced ourselves to some the other folks in the lot. It turned out that one of our other neighbors was a couple from State College that I had met at the Meat lab during the Akron weekend.
We sat out and enjoyed the sun shine for a while before taking a walk up to the stadium during the day light hours. Chalupa enjoyed the walk. We walked just about a mile through the golf course to the stadium. They actually let people tailgate on their golf course. We got some pictures of the stadium, which doesn't really look as imposing as one would expect the largest football stadium in North America to be. We walked back to the RV.
After the walk, we sat up for a while and made a tater tot casserole before it was time to head into the game. We got to our seats, which were very low in the south end zone before the National Anthem.
Even from the inside the stadium, it still didn't seem that big. The attendance total was 113,085. The Lions and the Wolverines battled it out during the 1st half with Penn State leading 13-10. They during the lights mostly off while the blue band performed, and then totally off when the Michigan band used lights balls and lights on their band helmets. It was neat. During the second half, the game was all Michigan. Hackenberg couldn't get enough time to do anything. A late on-side kick attempt drew a penalty and then failed on the second attempt. Final score, 13-18
We stayed to watch the bands play post game and then headed back across the golf course to get home. The lots were still full of tailgaters. I had a few more drinks and we watched Super troopers before heading to bed.
SundayIt was a lot warmer in the morning. All of the cars cleared out, but there were still 2 RVs in the lot when we left. We headed south and stopped at Cabela's in Dundee Michigan. After that, we east across Ohio and stopped at Seneca Cave.
After taking the Cave tour, we grilled up some burgers in the parking lot outside and headed home.
For the Glory,
Dirty Alumni Tailgating Newsletter Volume XI Issue 4
ThursdayThis year’s Oktoberfest tailgate got off to a rough start. I was late getting out of work, because of some task that I’ve now forgotten. To add to the delay, I also got a flat tire on the RV on I-79 just north of Cranberry. I went into emergency mode and it was fixed in 20 minutes.
We met Chad, Rich, Nell, baby Nathan, and Jessi at Sam’s Club and rolled into the rolled into RV lot at a very late 9:30 PM. We were parked in row 2. I was RV #106 into the lot. It was so full for a Thursday night.
Alaina and Nell stayed with Nathan at the RV while the rest of us headed to the Darkhorse. Bill and Tim met us at Darkhorse as we were on the way out. Drunk people tried to steal our cab, but Rich wouldn’t let them.
FridayThere was a thick fog across Lot 19 in the morning. We walk over to the Meat Lab with Nathan. Matt and Kori arrived and were parked several rows back because they came in later. It warmed up quickly when sun came out. I headed to Bastion Tire to get a replacement spare for my RV and got lunch at Sheetz while I waited. Chad was still sleeping in his RV. Everyone else headed downtown to the Frasier Street deli and met the new wrestling coach Cael Sanderson.
After I brought my spare tire back to the RV and met up with Chad to head downtown. We met up with the crew at McLanahan’s. Rich picked up a new Christmas sweater from Lion and Cub. From there, we headed to the Creamery to stock up on ice cream sandwiches.
From there, the boys headed to Lion Surplus. Rich debates buying a filing cabinet. We sat at the RVs until parade time and grilled some steaks for dinner. We watched the homecoming parade from a nearly identical spot across near the Wagner Building as last year. The Parade was weak. Many floats had only flats sides with 1 or two kids (who were probably on their phones).
The girls went out for the night after the parade. The guys stayed in the RV lot with Nathan. Carter arrives at the RV really late.
SaturdayWe got a game day start at 7:30 AM. It was foggy again. The crew helped Mad and Suz carry stuff over to the tailgate. For Breakfast, we had stuffin muffins, cottage bacon, French toast sticks. The sun burned off fog quickly and it gets warm fast.
For our annual Oktoberfest tailgate, we had Sauerbraten, toasts and pigs in a blanket. Rich and I hooked up hooked up cable from a neighbor via a splitter.
Chad and I left early to head over to the Letterman Club before the game. We were invited by Jeff Woofter. The club lounge was largely empty before the game.
While the day was warm and sunny, the atmosphere on the field was cold and rainy. It’s like they weren't even trying. A crowd of 102,910 witnessed the disappointment. Chad and I left our seats to return to the Letterman Club in the 4th quarter after the turnover on downs at our own 30 yard line.
After the game, everyone was crowded into the space between the RVs to get out of the sun. Dennis and Lisa stopped by. We deep fried stuff: fries, onion rings, and liquor cake. Mad and Suz made Chicken and Waffles.
Chad got into the Jagermeister and was giggling and dancing while deep frying and singing along with the “Large balls” song and dancing in his chair.
Shawn and Shari rejoined later when we had the lights on. We took a straggler photo later in the evening and watched Jackass 2 on DVD.
The morning pickup went smoothly, except for one problem. Chad had parked his RV nose in, but a rental RV was parked in the spot where his truck would need to go to hitch up. The owner of the RV wasn’t planning to pick up his RV for hours. Chad unbolted the spare tire on the rental RV to make a little more room and managed to hook up and pull out at 90º angle with only inches to spare.
I stopped at Jeremy’s on the way out to top off tire pressure and had no issues on the ride home.
For the Glory,
Dirty Alumni Tailgating Newsletter Volume XI Issue 3
Official quote:This tailgating weekend was a little weird for so early in the season. I came up by myself on Friday after work. I also left the dog and the RV at home. I dropped off my gear with Madeline on the way into town.
"Why don't you take some corn into the game?"
SaturdayBecause Suz's new car has more room, they were able to carry all of the gear and have room for a passenger. They picked me up at 7:30 AM. We stopped at Weis for more ice and cocktail sauce.
We arrived at lot at 7:57. The lot attendant had never seen our number before (apparently, he was confused by the "2" for 2nd game of the season). After a minute and a discussion with other attendants, he yielded and let us into our spot.
We parked in our new spot, which is just 2 aisles over from Smitty's tailgate. For breakfast, we had pancake bites and bacon with amaretto maple syrup. The lot was fairly empty until noon.
There was plenty of discussion about Scottish independence vote as we were flying a Scottish flag. Scotland had just voted days earlier to remain part of the United Kingdom.
After Larry and Carol arrived, Maddy, Suz and I took a walk over to the Weaver's tailgate and talked about Ireland.
For lunch, we had a Clam bake. This was clams, mussels, shrimp and spices cooked with corn and potatoes. We also had Roast beef wraps.
For beverages, we had cape cods and orange shandy.
Before the game President Barron was riding around the lot on golf cart. I got to shake his hand, but didn't get the chance to talk.
The game started at 4 PM and the most intimidating thing about UMass was their band. The Band was totally awesome. On suggestion from Maddy, I added an ear of corn to my in-game snack bag. Penn Staters enjoyed a sunny day while the Nittany Lions dispatched the minutemen 48-7.
Once back in the lot, we enjoyed more food and beverages. We played "Pigs" in evening and finally left the lot at 11:30 PM.
For the Glory,
Dirty Alumni Tailgating Newsletter Volume XI Issue 3
ThursdayAfter an extremely short work week and a trip to Ireland, it was time for the Rob, Mom and the 2 puppies to head to Happy Valley for the home opener. It was hot. We were parked in Row 1.
FridayFirst thing in morning, we headed to the meat lab. I had plenty of conversations with people in line because I was wearing my Ireland T-shirt. I cooked breakfast back at the RV and then we rode into town courtesy of the Family Clothesline Van for some swag shopping. We got lunch at a window seat in the Corner Room. We stopped briefly at Old Main to see the restored frescos. Next, we walked to the creamery and scoped out the new tailgating spots.
Back at the RV, we had steak and wine for dinner. It was so hot that we were sweating while just sitting in the chairs. Later in the evening, Sean and Sherri got into town. I went down to meet them at Saloon. It was a late night.
SaturdayIn the morning, Mom and I walked over to spot 2533 for this year's Fiesta tailgate. It was very hot noon game. Penn State won 21-3 over the Akron Zips and the ferocious kangaroo mascot.
After the game, a violent line of storms was threatening on the horizon. The stadium speaks and police were advising people to seek shelter. We quickly packed up the tailgate. Nick and I headed over RV on foot in exactly enough time to get complete drenched and the storm to pass before we got the RV. Mad and Suz joined us at the RV after the traffic died down. We took the group picture at the RV and made some burnt kielbasa before calling it a night.
For the Glory,
Dirty Alumni Tailgating Newsletter Volume XI Issue 2
Official quote:Penn State was scheduled to play UCF in Dublin, Ireland by Bill O'Brian as a replacement for a bowl game. He was a former assistant coach under George O'Leary of UCF. Unfortunately (or fortunately), B'OB left for the NFL before the game could happen. This game would be the first game for our new head coach, James Franklin.
In the weeks leading up to the game, an Iceland volcano threatened to erupt. A few years earlier, a similar thing had happened and shut down air travel to Europe for weeks. Needless to say, we were all a bit nervous leading up to this trip.
Tuesday, Aug 26 = attempted to leaveAfter spending the day getting ready for departure and dropping off the dog with my mom, we headed to the airport. We were set to have a connection in Dulles and then head to Dublin. There was a weather delay to our connecting flight, which would have caused us to miss our flight to Dublin. After more than an hour at the check-in desk, we were sent home until the next morning. We didn't even make it through security.
This was a huge bummer, because had we known, we could have easily driven to Dulles and caught our Dublin flight as planned. The ticket agent wasn't even that helpful.
We picked up our car and headed back home to get everything else re-booked. The ticket agent said that the airline would waive change fees to extend our trip by a day, but this was easier said than done. Another hour on the phone and 2 agents later and we were re-booked.
Aug 27 = leftOur second attempt to leave the U.S. went a bit better. We were able to get checked in and through security. YEAH! This time; however, our travel route would take us from PIT to IAD, IAD to JFK and JFK to Dublin. The 1st 2 hops were also via turboprop. Our 3rd flight was an Aer Lingus flight, with the big Shamrock on the tail. It was a long day of traveling, but everything worked fine.
Aug 28 = arrived early and tiredWe arrived earlier than planned in Dublin at 4:40 in the morning. We were greeted in the airport by the Anthony travel staff with balloons and banners. We were able to quickly get a cab and get to our hotel. We arrived at ~5 AM. It was still dark out, so we caught a few winks in the hotel lounge. After the sun was up, we stored our luggage and headed out to explore. Our hotel was about a block away from the city center. We grabbed some breakfast at Kylemore on O'Connell St and then explored along the River Liffey.
When we returned, our room was ready and we met Eugene, our hotel's Anthony Travel representative. We picked up our commemorative lanyards, some pins and some maps for the events.
We had some minor troubles with our primary travel adapter. We I first plugged everything into the adapter and into the wall, the adapter was loose. It sparked and tripped the breaker for our room. Needless, to say it went in the trash and I switched to our backup. Everything was good after that.
We caught some winks and headed out on the Dublin Bus hop on-hop off bus tour. During our travels around town, We saw the players heading into the library at Trinity College.
A while later, we hopped off the bus tour to see the Blue Band play near St. Stephen's Green. I got my picture with the Nittany Lion. While there, we caught up with Jessi and her friend Jenny. We all headed to Dawson St. Lounge, the smallest bar in Dublin. It was 24 seats and down a spiral stair case. Unlike our favorite State College basement bars, this place was well ventilated, clean and carpeted. We had a few pints before heading further up Dawson Street to Café Au Siene for dinner. After a lovely dinner and a few drinks, we split company and headed back home.
Aug 29 = Guinness partyFriday morning, we got off to a slow start, there was a brief fire alarm at about 7 AM that woke us up. We drifted back to sleep, only to wake up well after breakfast was over. Apparently, someone put a croissant in the toaster at the restaurant, which sets off the fire alarm for the whole hotel.
It was cooler today and misty.
We walked over to the old Jameson Distillery for a tour. We had to wait a few minutes before heading inside to book tour tickets for an hour later. During our wait, we checked out the gift shop and had lunch at a café in the square with Jameson. During our tour, I was lucky enough to be selected as a taste taster at the end of the tour and received a diploma from Jameson. We met briefly with Cari, Maryann and their mom when we were headed out. When we left, the line just to get inside to buy tickets was out to the street and tours were 2-3 hours away.
We completed the remainder of the Dublin bus tour. It took us past the Guinness Brewery and the Dublin Zoo.
At 4:45, it was time for the official tailgate in Temple Bar. It was amazing how many fans showed up. The streets were jammed. I got a button from an English guy, who was just passing through Temple Bar on the way to his hotel. Someone had randomly stuck a button on him.
It started to rain before we caught a dinner of fish and chips at the King Fisher restaurant across the street from our hotel. Later in the day, we boarded a coach bus from our hotel to the Guinness Storehouse for an exclusive Penn State Party. The party was overwhelmingly awesome. It was after normal business hours, so the whole building was reserved just for us. Our bus dropped us off at the gates and we headed into the basement. In the ticket line area, we were greeted by people in Victorian area Irish clothing. As we headed into the building, there was a Gaelic drum band and a small section of the Blue Band was playing from the next overhanging level above. We were welcomed to the party by Penn State Cheerleaders and the Nittany Lion.
The interior of the Storehouse was built to resemble a Guinness pint glass and escalators crisscrossed the open interior of the pint glass. Our entry into the party wove and meandered through the Storehouse tour until we reached the 5th floor. We were seated and served dinner and drinks and desserts. It was amazing. We sat down to dinner with our friends Ed and Gerri from the hotel.
After a delicious meal, we enjoyed more drinks and were treated to an Irish band and dancing. On the ground floor, there were piles of Citizens Bank buttons for the game, Guinness key rings and assorted Penn State swag. We were able to shop for more Guinness gear before heading home for the night.
Aug 30 = game dayFinally rested up for game day, we boarded the bus to the official tailgate after a full Irish breakfast at the hotel. The buses dropped us off nearby and we followed a literal breadcrumb trail of Anthony Travel employees that guided us to the Porterhouse in Temple Bar for the official PSU tailgate. This was just 1 of 3 official bars for PSU. The streets and the bars were jammed with PSU fans. We enjoyed several beverages before catching the bus to Croke Park.
The streets were an interesting sight as many of the locals donned any American football jersey or college T-shirt that they could find. We saw Steelers, Ravens, Packers, Colts, Broncos, 49'ers, and Eagles as well as USF, Minnesota, Iowa and many other colleges.
The bus dropped us off on the opposite side of the stadium than we needed. As we walked around the stadium, we saw the 2 parachutists attempt to land in the stadium. Apparently, the UCF parachutist missed the stadium entirely and landed safely on nearby railroad tracks. Due to the lengthy walk, we saw the F-16 fly-over from outside the stadium, rather than from our seats. The nicer weather from the morning disappeared and intermittent rain and colder weather moved in.
The beginning of the game started out well enough, and Penn State gained the lead early. We were sitting next to an Irish man with his 3 boys. It was neat, because the PSU guy behind us and I were both explaining the game to him. By half time, PSU was up 10-3 and was dominating the stats for the game.
In spite of actually having at least part of both team's band in attendance, the half-time entertainment was a mini hurling match.
The Irish man traded roles by explaining this game to us. It was similar to handball and lacrosse, only much faster. The PSU proxy team won the match.
When the American football resumed, PSU continued to dominate the yardage statistics, but wasn't able to translate that into the score. UCF scored a touchdown and jumped into a 1 point lead with only 3:30 left in the 4th quarter. It was a nail biter. Penn State was able to drive back to the 25 yard line with only three seconds left. Sam Ficken kicked field goal to win by 2. Final Score 26-24. After the game, there was a small fireworks display. Coach Franklin was awarded a game trophy by Art Rooney Sr. (owner of the Pittsburgh Steelers and former ambassador to Ireland).
Before heading back into the tunnel, Coach Franklin stopped to do a "We Are" cheer with the fans.
Once again, a ton of Anthony Travel people were around to direct us back to our bus to the hotel. After a little time to clean up, we all meet up in Temple Bar to celebrate. We had dinner at the Old Mill and then headed over to Fitzsimons (#2 of the official PSU bars) and the place was packed with fans. We luckily found a table and played some games of Quarters (or Euros?!?) and then headed home.
Aug 31 = extra dayIn the morning, we caught a cab and took a tour Kilmianham Jail. I was expecting just a tour of an old building, but we learned a lot of history about the 1916 uprising, the split from the British Empire and the formation of the Irish Republic. This jail was featured prominently in the story.
From there, we headed to Dublin Castle and toured around the grounds and cathedral.
We walked back into the Temple Bar for more photos and to grab some lunch at Fitzsimons. It was a completely different place during the day when it's not packed with people. We had an excellent lunch and then headed back to the hotel. Later, we went out shopping at places like T.K. Max, the Temple Bar Trading CO and Carroll's Irish Gifts.
We had a late dinner at Burger King and then took a stroll along the river. We stopped at The Parnell Heritage Bar and Grill before calling it a day.
Sept 1 = headed home
When we arrived back at Dublin Airport, most of the balloons from our arrival were still intact at the airport. We had no trouble getting through the airport or through security. We had to go through again to get into the U.S. pre-clearance area. This unfortunately meant we were stuck in the basement of the terminal, but we were already cleared for customs back into the U.S. We had lunch at the lone establishment in the basement terminal, which used up our remaining paper euros.
About 8 hours later, we arrived in Chicago. We were supposed to have a brief layover and then head back to Pittsburgh. United Airlines had other plans for us. We boarded our flight and sat on the tarmac during a rain storm. Eventually, the plane headed back to the gate and we were allowed to get off because the plane's windshield wiper wouldn't turn off. We eventually got a new plane and were headed home. In total, we were stuck in Chicago for 3 hours due to busted wiper.
SummaryDomestic air travel problems aside. This was an amazing trip. There were Penn Staters everywhere. The Dubliners were friendly. The food was delicious and the Guinness was amazing.
For the Glory,
Dirty Alumni Tailgating Newsletter Volume XI Issue 1
Blue White Weekend 20144-12-2014
Blue White Weekend was our first tailgate of the 2014 season and the 10th year of combined tailgate with 2theLion. The University announced a parking change the week before BWW. This year, RVs were relegated to the normal overnight RV lot during the day on Saturday. We were able to change our plans slightly and still have a great weekend.
ThursdayThe lone RV of the bunch, Rob and Alaina arrived at Walmart at 9 PM and set up camp for the evening. We cabbed it down to the Darkhorse. We had drinks with Doug L (a former Beaver Campus classmate) and some of his friends. We were joined by Jeremy and watched Shake, Shake, Shake (band) before heading back to the RV.
FridayAs the lone RV for the weekend, we slept in. It was a nice break. We went shopping at Walmart and got breakfast at McDonald’s. When we returned to the RV, it was circled by 5 idling CATA busses.
We packed up the few things that we put out and drove the RV to the meat lab, where we met Mad and Suz. We moved the RV to Jeremy’s driveway. It started raining after we got parked. We headed downtown for some flair shopping.
Downtown, we noticed that the Mad Hatter is closing, so this was the last chance to stock up on the Nittany Lion ears that all the girls have. As we were leaving, Alaina’s umbrella broke. As I was attempting to fix it, we were met by Jessi and her family. We headed down College Avenue, stopping at a few more stores before we parted way.
Alaina and I met with Mad and Suz and headed out to Seven Mountains Winery. Unfortunately, we forgot to tell Jeremey who was already on his way there. Alaina thought ahead and packed snacks, but unfortunately, I forgot to grab the Bruschetta from the RV fridge. Luckily we were able to find some on the way out. We enjoyed a few bottles with our snacks.
Once returned to State College, Alaina and I met Jessi and her family for a nice dinner at Facca Luna. After dinner, everyone headed home to get ready for Saturday.
SaturdayJust like old times, we met at Walmart with a car and truck convey. It was a foggy morning. When we drove up to meet Mad and Suz, there was another car. Rich and Janelle surprised us by showing up for the day with 3-week-old baby Nathan.
Once all arrived, we convoyed over to the stadium. The convoy was slightly separated at a traffic light, but we were all able to be parked in the same row. The parking attends were quick with the parking, but they wouldn’t even give me time to back in. The neighbor’s cornhole game was nearly a casualty during parking maneuvers.
We set up 3 canopies, mainly for shade. The day started out warm and only got warmer. For breakfast we had muffins, bacon and pancake bites.
The group grew larger as the day progressed. Everyone enjoyed a paw-print cake, mini chicken and waffles, homemade meatball sandwiches, and plenty of cupcakes.
The game started at 1:30 and was our first glimpse at Coach Franklin. Gone was the weird scoring system. Blue topped white 37-0 in front of a sun soaked (as opposed to rain soaked) crowd of 72,000. The new jumbotrons on the north and south sides of the stadium were torn apart for the upgrade that's coming for the fall.
This was also the first weekend that the newly engaged couples were able to meet since getting engaged. Shawn and Shari made custom “We are engaged” PSU cozies for themselves and Alaina and I. Once of the funnier moments was when Shawn and I were sitting in down and one of the neighbors asked what was on the cozies. Without thinking, we both held them up and said, “We are engaged.” A split second later, we both blurted out “not to each other.”
As the night approached, we played a few games of “Pigs.” Our group was the last people to leave the lot at 9 PM. It was a beautiful day.
For the Glory,
Go to 2013 newsletters
Diesel Tailgate: Get Big! TM