On Saturday 10/16, we woke up excited to participate in the 2nd reason we were in Wisconsin: to watch the Ohio State Buckeyes play the Wisconsin Badgers at Camp Randall Stadium. Todd had always wanted to go to Camp Randall to "jump around", so when Peppermint and Tom decided to get married on 10/10, we set out to find out how we could get tickets to the game on 10/16 in Madison. We looked on StubHub.com but the tickets were kind of expensive. So I told Todd that we should contact the local OSU Alumni club in Wisconsin and see if we can get tickets through them. Todd contacted them and they said they had tickets! All Todd had to do is become a member. So Todd is now a card-carrying member of the Ohio State Alumni Club of Wisconsin! Then we paid face value for the tickets, plus for the Buckeye Bash on campus before the game. We were so excited to score the tickets. :)
For lunch on Saturday, we decided to check out Smoky Jon's BBQ in Madison. Peppermint had watched a show about BBQ on the Food Network the night before, and found this place via the power of Google. Everyone touted it as the best BBQ in Madison, so it was imperative that we checked it out.
If you look closely at their poster, you'll see that the pig is eating a rack of ribs. :| To steal Peppermint's joke... the ribs here are so good that the pigs eat their own!
Here is the food.
Did it live up to our expectations? Not really. It was okay. I guess we're slightly spoiled by Phil's BBQ, LOL. And Tom's favorite is Famous Dave's, which is what they had at their wedding.
After lunch we went back to the hotel to get ready for our separate agendas. Todd and I were going to the Buckeye Bash and game. Peppermint and Tom are not sports fans, so they went on a brewery tour with Peppermint's uncle and aunt.
Driving to the game was pretty painless. Nothing like driving to a Buckeye game in Columbus. We arrived without much traffic, and through the magic of Todd's iPad, found a parking garage on campus. It wasn't even full yet when we pulled in, although almost, since we had to park on the highest level on the rooftop. We walked around and found Memorial Union pretty fast, which was the location of the Buckeye Bash.
The view of Lake Mendota was awesome. What a beautiful day!
Food was aplenty inside the Buckeye Bash, as were Buckeye alumni and fans.
We found a free table outside and sat down to enjoy the view. Todd went inside to get his food first. When he came back, he was all excited because Archie Griffin, the only two-time Heisman winner ever, and Ohio State alum, was inside! As a side story, did you know that the lady who made our wedding cake also made Archie Griffin and Keith Byars' wedding cakes? I think that cinched the deal for Todd when we were picking, LOL!
Todd was also excited because guess who else was inside? Brutus Buckeye! I told Todd that we must leave our food on our table and go back inside so I could get a photo of him with Brutus. It was imperative! So we went back inside and Brutus was taking photos with some people. There wasn't really a line, just random people would walk up and request him to pose with them. I don't know why, but Todd urged me to go first. He took a couple of photos of me with Brutus, but neither turned out real well. This was the best one.
Suddenly (cue dramatic music), Brutus started walking with a cheerleader away from us! He kept walking away, further and further. But Todd didn't get his picture taken with Brutus yet! With tenacity and purpose, Todd followed Brutus around like a crazed stalker, much similar to when he followed the giant tomato around at Comic Con last year. Finally, Brutus stopped at a window to wave to the fans. So Todd waved at the fans with him.
And finally, success!
Todd was so excited! I was so excited for him. I tweeted and Facebooked the photo right away, and also sent it to Todd's parents, LOL.
After the Brutus excitement, I finally got my food and sat down to eat.
After we finished our meals, it was time to walk to the stadium.
We got inside the stadium pretty easily. And because we got tickets with the OSU Alumni Club of Wisconsin, we got to sit with fellow Buckeyes, thus avoiding being "badgered by Badgers"!
The student section of the stadium.
More pictures of the field.
I don't know if you followed the game, but it was a sad day for Buckeye Nation. We went into the game as the nation's #1 team, and lost. Wisconsin took the opening kickoff and ran for a touchdown. Then they scored two more touchdowns pretty fast. By the start of the 2nd quarter, we were down 21-0. That deficit was hard to recover from, even though our team tried. At one point, we were only down 21-18, but Wisconsin scored on their next possession. We lost the game, but it was still a much worthwhile experience to have gone to Camp Randall. Plus, I got to add one more stadium to my stadium list! I'm at 39 stadiums now!
On Sunday 10/17, the four of us drove from Madison back to Eau Claire (3 hours). We said goodbye to Peppermint, Tom, Mo, and Sisko. Then Todd and I drove another 1.5 hours to the Minneaplis airport. Our flight was overbooked, so it was delayed while they looked for 11 people to volunteer to take a later flight. We didn't volunteer, because we wanted to get home, LOL. After a 4 hour flight, we got back to the San Diego airport. Took the shuttle to get our car. It was dark by then. Our car wouldn't start, it didn't even crank. So we had to have someone come with a car starter. That totally sucked, because after driving and flying for almost 10 hours, I really wanted to get home! Turned out, the battery was dead on the Explorer, just when we're about to sell it. Boo! Oh, that reminds me, I never blogged about Todd's new car. That post will come soon.
Anyways, thanks for reading about our big 8-day Wisconsin trip. It was some fabulous adventures! And I didn't even get sick of Peppermint, LOL. Not sure if she got sick of us though. I guess it's a testament to our friendship that we're still talking and IM'ing with each other. Last year when she and Tom came to visit, we joked about how we were gonna have to "be on break" from each other after being together for a few days, but that did not happen. And neither did that happen this time. We had a great time exploring Wisconsin and Minnesota, where I had never gone before. I will miss the Wisconsin cheese curds, for sure! :)