Drivin' along the road to fun, fun, fun
By AMBER AGUIAR
With football season comes roadtrip season, and this weekend thousands of Domers and Belles will travel to Michigan for Notre Dame's first away game.
This will be the first of many roadtrip opportunities this year, with the Stanford game the only away game more than a day's drive away. And students across campus are already planning for future treks.
"I can't wait to party on someone else's campus. We're always nice to visitors here, so hopefully they'll be the same way," said senior Brian Rigney.
Sophomore Matt Kloser looks forward to watching this week's game from Michigan Stadium. "I have a friend that goes to Michigan so I'll get to sit in their student section," Kloser said. "Of course I'll still be cheering for Notre Dame. But I know we wouldn't really like it if some Michigan fan decked out in all their stuff was cheering in our section, so hopefully I won't die. I'll be sure not to taunt anyone."
Some students like senior Jen Baltruzak are looking forward to away games just for the long drives. "Sure I want to see the games, but what I really can't wait for are the actual trips. There's nothing better than a good roadtrip," she said.
Even members of Notre Dame's band, like senior Ruth Luckas, are looking forward to the bus ride to the first away game. "I can't wait for what we call Crudwells, where we can make new freshmen do whatever we want. Anything from fetching a soda to reading very personal and risqué accounts out of magazines like Cosmo," said Luckas.
Many are already looking beyond Michigan to later games.
"Purdue is the only place I know where you can get burritos the size of your head," said Baltruzak, recalling the slogan of a Mexican restaurant she passed and wanted to stop at on the way to Purdue her sophomore year.
She is among many juniors and seniors who remember roadtripping to Purdue for a game two years ago and are looking forward to going back.
"But this time we're going to beat them. There's nothing worse than a long drive home after you've had a loss. No one talks and everyone's irritable. It's terrible," said Baltruzak.
Others are waiting for the longer, overnight trip to Tennessee.
"Why Tennessee? Because Tennesseein' is Tennebelievin'!" said senior Erin Orthmeyer. "It's the only place I've ever been where you can still get Sundrop Soda and candy cigarettes. And the town sheriffs double as midwives."
After an eventful fall break trip to Tennessee where she encountered a small town sheriff with a leprechaun tattoo who hailed from South Bend, and now splits time delivering babies and fighting crime, Orthmeyer can't wait to go back. "You never know what will happen next," she said.
According to junior Keith Kawamoto, the trip to Knoxville will be awesome.
"Tennessee is going to be crazy! There will be over 100,000 screaming people and you'll be there in the middle of all of it with all of your friends. It's the perfect time to get away from school and just have fun."
Roadtrips make an ideal getaway for any student, but personal travelling preferences vary. Many roadtrippers try to be as efficient with time as possible, stopping only when necessary.
Senior Rob Razzano, on the other hand, recommends remembering "to stop at several gas stations along the way to take advantage of all the cool, cheap stuff you can find there."
But regardless of their personal roadtripping styles, students agree that some things are always essential. "All you need are good buddies, tickets, a grill and most importantly, the `Riggs Party Mix.' There's nothing like jammin' with the Rigger," said Rigney. Mixed tapes prepared before a roadtrip are popular staples, and according to students like Rigney, they are one of the most important parts of a great drive.
Razzano agrees. "Good music is definitely key. I'd recommend some good Southern Rock, or maybe some Blue Grass. But Metallica is essential in case you get tired while you're driving," he said.
According to senior Brad Conners, another important element of a good roadtrip is comfortable travel. "There's nothing worse than trying to cram eight people in a car made for four and a half," he said.
Others suggest that snack foods are a key element of an enjoyable roadtrip. "Good food is what makes a good roadtrip," says Orthmeyer. "It wouldn't be official without beef jerky, a burrito supreme and a slurpee. Besides, stopping for food breaks up the monotony of a trip."
Kloser agrees that especially when planning to drive to an away football game, it is important to consider food. "You have to take a grill, one small enough to fit in your trunk, that you can pull out in the parking lot when you get there. It's an instant tailgater. Just throw on some brats and it's glorious," he says.
But above food, legroom. and music, good company is on almost everyone's list of roadtrip essentials. "The most important thing is the people you go with, because you won't have a good time if you don't get along," says Kawamoto. "Roadtrips are all about the camaraderie."
All Scene Stories for Friday, September 3, 1999