About a month ago, Travis' grandparents (Bill and Joyce) called and said that the Fighting Illini would be playing in the Texas Bowl the Wednesday after Christmas. They are avid fans and since we already lived in the area, they decided to come down for the game. We bought enough tickets so that my family could go along as well.
Bill and Joyce came down the day before the game and they brought Travis' little brother Sean along. We exchanged gifts on Tuesday night and then went to bed so we could get some rest before the game.
The game was at 5 pm on Wednesday, but we wanted to go up beforehand to tailgate. Unfortunately for us, there was an 80% chance of thunderstorms, but we were determined to go up and take advantage of the Illini being in our neck of the woods. We made it to the gate 15 minutes before it was supposed to open, so we got in line and waiting. The marching band and the cheerleaders were supposed to have a tent set up in the parking lot at Reliant Stadium, but the weather was too crappy.
We set up our tent as soon as we got there and Travis started grilling burgers. It. Was. POURING.
Travis had our tent up in a jiffy, but we spent a good 20 minutes trying to help our Baylor neighbors set up their tent. My dad got a puncture wound while trying to help and the dang tent fell over anyway from all the water pooling on top. Ariel was standing with her back to the tent when it happened, so she got jacked in the head pretty hard. She was okay, but she had quite a goose egg from it.
My dad made chili that he reheated on the side stove.
Bill and Joyce, trying to stay dry...
My dad bought disposable ponchos to help keep us dry. They need to make longer arms on those things. I wore my rain boots, so my feet stayed dry. But since there was about two inches of standing water at all times, everyone else was saturated.
We were lucky and had seats on the same side of the stadium as the TV cameras, so everything was facing us. The Illini marching band is pretty intense. There are SO MANY people in that band. At one point they made the shape of the US and then they surrounded Illinois...
Orange and blue!
Overall we had a great time. I tried to get Aiden to nap before we went in to the game, but he just would not fall asleep. The main problem was that he could still see us from the car. Travis and I took turns sitting in the car with him until it was time to head in for the game. He was ridiculously clingy to me once we got in the stadium, but he was quiet and observant the entire time.
I think spending two weeks at home with me turned Aiden into a serious Momma's Boy. I'm hoping that tones down after a few days back to daycare.