Sunday, October 12, 2008


October 11, 2008

Another nearby destination for us is Starkville, the other big college town around these parts. Home to Mississippi State University, it's only about an hour-and-ten minutes south of us. Although it's a little farther away than the University of Mississippi in Oxford, a trip to Starkville has the advantage that we get to hang with Susan, Carley's best friend from childhood.

Susan and her husband Bill both graduated from MSU, and they liked Starkville so much that they've never left. Bill has since started 2 different software ventures, and they have a great circle of friends here, several of whom teach classes at the university. We enjoyed spending the day with them and their adorable daughters Harper (4) and Anna Wyatt (1).

The highlight of the day was a home football game against Carley's alma mater, the 14th-ranked Vanderbilt Commodores. The game ended in a 17-14 upset victory for the home team, much to the delight of the maroon-clad Bulldog faithful.

Susan & Bill's tailgate crew had a strategic setup away from the crowds around the stadium, with plenty of room for kids to play, and even an electrical outlet to plug in the TV.

The crew included several other pre-schoolers for Rowan to hang out with, and he had a blast.

There was all kinds of fun to be had!

There was also a great little spread of food and drinks for everyone to enjoy.

Rowan's favorite part was getting to know Harper, who is just as sweet as can be.

For the actual game, we met up with Carley's dad, who had hooked us up with awesome seats in his friend's skybox. The skybox was the perfect game-time environment for a 2-year-old, since there was a big room behind the seats for him to roam around and explore, instead of having to stay in the same seat for the whole game.

Of course, the first thing he did was fall asleep! He was pretty wiped out from a busy morning of tailgating.

After a nap and change of clothes, Rowan was ready to hang with his Papa and enjoy the luxuries of the skybox.

Eventually he came down to the seats to check out the commotion and the view.

There's always quite a commotion at Mississippi State games, thanks to the fired-up fans and their tradition of ringing cowbells to cheer on their Bulldogs. The relentless clanging makes for a loud and festive environment, and Rowan had never seen anything quite like this before.

He got into it for a little while...

...but ultimately he spent most of his time back up in the skybox, "cheering" and entertaining himself with pom-poms, miniature cowbells and the like.

After the game, we went back to Susan and Bill's house for an enjoyable dinner party with 2 other couples. The grown-ups had lasagna and wine, while Rowan and Harper had a smorgasbord of treats at the kitchen counter.

Harper was so pleased to have Rowan sleep over that she was happy to share her bath with him.

We were all a little groggy on Sunday morning, but after such a great Saturday, who could complain? We definitely need to do this more often!

Back to the main page