Homecoming in Laramie is one of a few weekends especially good for local tourism, hotels, restaurants and especially bars. Two weekends ago was no exception and we helped on all 3 accounts, as always.
I've been a graduate of the great learning institution called the University of Wyoming since the Spring of 2003 and again in the Spring of 2004, so this was technically my 4th homecoming as an alumni but in reality my 3rd since being a student of any kind. There has always been talk in our circle of friends about how to manage to maintain a moderate level of intoxication throughout the entire weekend. It seems like an easy proposal, we have plenty of people to take care of us and drive us around, getting a DWUI in Laramie is the last thing you want to do, and we've all experienced plenty of time working on various levels if drunk while we spent our years in Laramie so it seems like an easy proposition. Let me tell you brother, drinking to that level for 2 solid days is hard work. To really do this you need a plan, no a program, and you have to stick to the program, there can be no deviations, or you'll end up waaaaayyy to drunk and the drive back towards Colorful Colorado involves squinting at the bright light interrupted by the need to pull over for bouts of nausea, this is not a good place to be. The other end of the spectrum is being the guy who quit drinking too early, the program has a specific wagon jump on point, if you go too early then you're the guy who's falling asleep at the bar while the rest of the group is having a good time, or since you're sober enough you have to retrieve the other guy who went off plan from the bathroom floor, he's been there for an hour, super.
There are a couple of things to note about the program, it is dependent on scheduled Friday and Saturday evening events. Our Friday evening choice is favorite Laramie bar, The Library and the closing down at 2am there of, I recommend any of the house brews! Saturday is a little more flexible, either a house party by one of the band kids, unless they're on the way to Casper for the state marching festival, or hit Mingles and claim the middle pool table, pool is a good way to avoid way too much drinking on Saturday night.
So part one of the program is designed is to avoid the first situation of too early and too much intoxication followed by pain, this involves two things, moderation at night and preparation for the morning. The moderation is something that must be practiced. This year the preparation for morning included Advil and Gatorade, both very good ideas, also stongly suggested is to make your last drink of the night a pint of water, trust me your brain will thank you in the morning. This part of the program, was done with a high degree of success this year, no hangover or queasy stomach on Saturday or Sunday mornings by anyone involved. Also highly recommended is getting yourself to the Chuckwagon for breakfast on Sunday morning, but go early, it's busy on a Sunday after all, I recommend the breakfast burrito with the sausage gravy, hm hm hm.
And now, some actual homecoming events! You already know where we were Friday, The Library, remember, ask for the stout, tell them James sent you. On Saturday morning you have to be up early for the Parade, and you have to see it in a location near Coe Library. Why Coe you ask, because it's near the front of the parade so you're done watching first and can get to the bookstore first*, and because there are free coffee and donuts at Coe!
The Parade is just good clean fun for the entire family, let's leave it for the fraternity boys to be drunk at that one, morons. After the parade there are multiple options for food and beverage, virgin bloody mary's and margaritas in the Union along with popcorn and cotton candy and the student LDS group has given out free hotdogs and orange drink the last two years, you can't beat a free hotdog. The best bet for free food and beverage though is tailgate part. The College of Business tent, a bastion of free food and drink, they have bratwurst, hamburgers, hotdogs, sodas, chips and the real kicker, give out a free beer coupon to anyone in line, genius!
After tailgate park it's gametime! This year's game was excellent, a win over Utah for the first time in 6 years! It was a great game for the Pokes and showed how much better they were than the 2-4 record, let's just hope some more wins and timely conference opponent losses can get them into a bowl game again!
After the game we always do dinner with my family, I was the first of 3 boys to go to Laramie for some higher education type learning and both folks have a degree from Laramie as well, heck I spent time in the classrooms there in utero one summer! Dinner with the family is always good, and our family is getting extended, what used to be just the 5 of us is now at least just the 7 of us, my wife and the middle one's wife, if not 8, the youngest's girlfriend, if not 11 like this year, we were also joined by my sister-in-law's mother and brother and the youngest's girlfriend had a friend in from Utah to see the game, she only got to drink water though.
If there's a part one there must be a part two correct? Of course, part two is the actual continuation of a pleasant buzz the entire weekend. This year we got close, but we missed, there was a large chunk of complete soberness on Saturday. We did learn from our experience though. We've identified several places to insert some strategic drinking on Saturday morning/early afternoon for next year, and next year is when you will hear about them. I don't know if we'll ever get to that buzzed for 2 days state, or if as we "grow-up" we'll ever want. No matter how next year turns out it should be another great year of rabble rousing with a great bunch of friends and family. -JH
*On a separate note, there has got to be something embedded in that diploma paper that alters your genetic makeup making you need to drop an ever increasing amount of money at the UW bookstore after graduation, we're not up to the 3 digit dollar values yet but we're getting closer every year.