Thursday, November 1, 2012

Oregon Madness

Let me preface this post by saying that I absolutely loved my time at Miami, and if I could go back to that fateful day in April, 2006 when I made my college decision, I wouldn't change a thing. That being said, my time in Eugene at the University of Oregon was absolutely incredible, and I am completely overwhelmed by the amazing opportunities that my brother has available to him as a student there.

For the record - flying to Eugene from Pittsburgh is a HIKE. Unless you want to pay right around $1000 for a one-stop flight, you're looking at logging at least three flights and around 10-12 hours of total travel.

Alright, alright, I can hear the wheels turning and the questions forming already - You went for a weekend? But you were only there for 36 hours and flew for about 24! Are you crazy?

Answers: Yes, I only went for the weekend. And yes, I might be a little crazy. But I would do absolutely anything to spend time with my family that is now spread out across three time zones, and when looking back, I probably won't even remember the time I spent flying. It was worth every second.

Needless to say, by the time I got to Eugene (after working a full day before departing), I hugged my family hello and kissed the pillow in my hotel room goodnight! Full on faceplant onto the bed, out like a light. Glorious.

The next morning we looked out the window and welcomed the sight of a beautiful day in Eugene - pouring rain and completely cloudy. Now, if you're of the Miami variety and this was the weather for a home football game, you would've said "Great, I'll watch from the bar. Uptown we go!" But not at UO. Instead, people donned their yellow ponchos, Oregon rainboots and anything they could to protect themselves from the rain and ventured outside like it was a crystal clear day. Totally inspired, my parents and I purchased hats and sweatshirts, threw on our raincoats and headed out.

Best. Gloves. Ever.

On the way to the stadium (yes, walking), I was floored by the beautiful campus. Like Miami, the all-brick buildings are packed into one defined on-campus area, with gorgeous fall foliage to boot. Add in the surrounding hills and mountains, and I was truly in awe, despite the worsening weather.

What rain?

Arriving at the stadium was, to put it bluntly, like woah. You turn the corner of the trail to the complex and suddenly there it is - Autzen Stadium.

Like I said.. whoa!

Now I'd like to take a moment to address a myth our cab driver told us that morning on the way from our hotel to campus - it never rains in Autzen. HA!, I said. But I kid you not, it didn't rain for more than two minutes from the time we climbed the stairs to our seats, until the time we left the premises. I don't even need to detail the football game, because it was just as incredible as it looks on TV. It was a packed house and everyone was on their feet for almost all of the 70-14 blowout of Colorado. Whammy.

Waiting for the game to start in.. wait for it.. no rain!

We wrapped up the day with linner (lunch+dinner) at the famous Track Town Pizza, followed by a night of relaxing and some late-night eats.

Drying off/thawing while inhaling some delicious pizza

Bright and early, I was off to the airport and on my way back to The Pitts, but not before I got a healthy dose of family and college life in the Pacific Northwest (hint: it rains a lot).

So there it is (finally) - my UO trip recap. Tah-tah for now!


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