The 2006 Tour of Indiana Itinerary
Well, tomorrow’s the big day when I hit the road with my friend Peter for UWM’s trip to Butler, and Wisconsin’s trip to Purdue. It’s a one-day basketball bonanza, made possible only by some brilliant luck that two of my fair state’s teams’ schedules happen to place them in Indiana on the same day, with enough time between games to see both. Are my spirits dampened by the fact that both teams are coming off rough losses heading into their games? No way–there’s too much fun to be had, and too many hopes that my teams will get back on track (and I’d better DVR the Marquette game, in the event of an upset of Villanova). And last night's ESPN Classic documentary on Hinkle Fieldhouse didn't hurt my excitement level, either. There will be no stopping at any point for a hotel room. I’m way to cheap to drop $60 on a room, so we’re driving down early, and driving back late. It will be a road trip the likes of which few people outside of college ever make.
In preparation, I’ve drafted a basic itinerary, subject to change as various obstacles alter our path. Most if it’s centered around me (as I’m highly egotistical), though I fully expect that Peter will join in most of the events that do not involve internal conversation with myself. Here’s the plan as it stands now, though:
7:00am: Load up car with various road trip amenities (cooler of cherry-lime Powerade, bag of Red Vines, iPod, Blue Ribbon Yearbook, etc.) and depart Milwaukee.
7:45am: While heading down I-94, snicker childishly at the signs denoting the exit for the "Bong Recreation Area."
7:55am: Pump fists in the air at excitement of hitting first Illinois toll road, and the first use of my car’s newly purchased iPass transmitter. Yes, I paid a $50 deposit so that I could shave off the approximately 50 seconds of this trip that would be consumed by coming to a complete stop at toll booths.
9:30am: Stop for breakfast at random, low-rent establishment (sadly, there are no Waffle Houses in the North). In the event that said establishment serves a buffet-style breakfast, eat them completely out of bacon in order to ensure that the true cost to the restaurant of our meals is more than what we paid. I love getting a deal.
10:15am: In the event that the breakfast stop was at an establishment that serves a buffet-style breakfast, find rest stop to deal with bacon-related illness issues.
11:00am: Cue up Jackson 5's "Goin’ Back to Indiana" on the iPod. Consider for a moment the absurd fact that listening to this song repeatedly almost caused me to attend Big Ten rival Indiana University, rather than the University of Wisconsin. (Someday I’ll have to detail just how poor I was at the process of choosing a college. Yes, 75% of my process was focused on finding a place to watch good basketball.)
12:45: Park car and head to the UWM-Butler game at legendary Hinkle Fieldhouse. Annoy other pedestrians by quoting lines from Hoosiers in an amateurish, over-excited fashion.
1:00pm: Watch UWM-Butler game. Think to myself "This game is pretty good, but why can’t I get a rum-infused smoothie like at the Mecca back home?"
2:00pm: Watch halftime entertainment, and attempt to figure out way to mock it when I do my weekend write-up on Sunday night.
3:15pm: Depart Hinkle Fieldhouse and attempt to determine a way to kill some time in Indianapolis (the only major city that I’ve visited in the past and not liked all that much) before departing for West Lafayette.
3:25pm: Decide to head to NCAA headquarters, ambush Myles Brand, and angrily give him a piece of our collective minds on an issue yet to be determined.
4:00pm: Get turned away by security at NCAA headquarters, who tells us that Mr. Brand isn’t even there on Saturday, anyway. Decide to instead tour the NCAA Hall of Champions. Purchase overpriced "One Shining Moment" CD at gift shop on the way out.
5:00pm: Depart for West Lafayette, listening all the way to the new "One Shining Moment" disc and the Milwaukee Bucks "Light It Up ‘99" song which references such former NCAA greats as Robert "Tractor" Traylor and Danny Manning, during their brief stints with the Bucks. (Where was the love for J.R. Reid?)
6:15pm: Arrive in West Lafayette, get first ever glimpse at Purdue University. Contemplate briefly how my life would be if I had decided to become an engineer. No doubt I would be working with one of my best friends from high school, now an architect, to draw up plans for the most ill-conceived dream house ever.
6:45pm: Lament the fact that I can’t see the Carl Landry-Marcus Landry showdown I had been waiting for, since both Milwaukee Vincent High graduates aren’t playing, Carl due to a knee injury and Marcus due to academic issues.
6:46pm: Upon realizing that Marcus Landry, who I was thinking of just a minute earlier, couldn’t even make the road trip with the Badgers, lament the fact that we won’t even get to see a pre-game man-hug between the two siblings.
6:55pm: Furiously page through game program attempting to figure out if Purdue has any healthy players whose names I know.
7:00pm: Begin enjoying game.
8:00pm: Begin reminding self that this is a road game for the Badgers, and they can still pull away in the second half. They’re just not a great road team, but they’ll still be able to beat Purdue. Yes, they’ll definitely be able to beat Purdue. Probably.
8:05pm: With the fuel from the early-day bacon stop wearing off, stop at concession stand for nachos, completing yet another unhealthy day in my life.
9:15pm: Arrive at car, tune radio to post-game show, and depart for Milwaukee.
10:30pm: Give in to travel companion Peter’s demands to exit and head to a Wendy’s restaurant where he will proceed to purchase his weight in chicken nuggets for roughly $6. I’ll continue my unhealthy day with a small frosty.
11:00pm: Turn car radio to sports radio and learn that Super Bowl is the next day. Decide that I should consider making plans for the game.
12:00am: Still some distance from home, begin cursing the idea to ever go on this trip. Why did I want to do so much driving, anyway? And does Chicago ever end?
1:00am: While heading up I-94, snicker childishly at the signs denoting the exit for the "Bong Recreation Area."
1:45am: Arrive at home, pass out on bed from exhaustion, completely unaware that I’m sleeping on top of the wire hangers from which my Friday work clothes were hung. Dream happily of the excitement of the past day.
And that, my friends, will be the end to an epic road trip.