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I know that it is February and a long time until football season. But, Mardi Gras will be here soon. And Mardi Gras always makes me think of Louisiana. So, I thought that today I would share with you the trip report from our Louisiana-Lafayette Football trip a few years ago. Now, when most people think about college football and Louisiana, they instantly think of LSU. But, after visiting Louisiana-Lafayette, I’m telling you that you can’t find a college campus that embodies the personality of a state more than this school! So, without further ado, here is our Lafayette football trip report.
The Drive to Lafayette
We left home on Friday afternoon about 4:00 pm. We stopped in Chris’ hometown and had dinner with his family. After dinner, we drove to Lake Charles, LA, which is where our good friends live. They were not home this particular weekend, but allowed us to crash at their house on Friday night. We arrived at their house at about 11:45 pm after a rather uneventful drive. Needless to say, we went right to sleep upon arriving.
We woke up on Saturday at about 7:30 to discover it was raining! Rain during a football trip is never a good thing. It ended up raining off and on all day and night. It was never a hard rain, just enough to be an inconvenience. We took our time getting ready for the day, which is unusual for us on a game day. For lunch, we went to one of our favorite places in the world: Darrell’s. This is a bar in Lake Charles that serves the best po’ boy sandwiches you can imagine! They are to die for! Every time we are in Lake Charles, we must have a Darrell’s Special. It is heaven on Earth! I get hungry just thinking about it! After lunch, we drove to Lafayette, which is about an hour from Lake Charles.
The Bookstore Hunt
When we got to Lafayette, we went straight to campus. First stop was the Student Union, where we thought we would find the bookstore. But, unfortunately, it was closed for construction. We located the bookstore’s new location, which was around the corner and down the street a bit from the Student Union. When we got there, we found it was closed! I will never understand why college bookstores are not open on game days! This makes absolutely no sense to me. This says a lot about the atmosphere of this campus, however. It was completely dead on campus. You couldn’t tell from walking around campus that there was a game that day.
Surprise in the Dorms
We went into one of the dorms to use the bathroom. Inside, we discovered the elevator doors had a huge school logo on them. We decided to take our sign picture with these doors. I love running into something unexpected like this! After snapping this great picture, we continued exploring the campus. It is a nice campus on the outside, but inside, the buildings really show their age.
A Real Swamp in the Middle of Campus
We paid a little visit to Cypress Lake, which is an actual swamp right in the middle of campus! This is by far the coolest thing I have ever seen on a college campus. There were signs all around it saying that it was an alligator habitat and to not let pets get in the water! It had a small brick wall surrounding it, which I guess is effective in keeping the alligators in. However, I’m not sure how effective that wall (which was only about 8″ high in some places) is in keeping drunk college kids out! We spent some time looking at the alligators and other wildlife here. Some of those gators are a good 5 feet long! We took our landmark picture here. Boston enjoyed watching the gators.
While we were at the swamp, we saw the cheerleaders meeting up for the game. Two of them were kind enough to take a picture with Boston. After that, we left campus.
The Stadium and Tailgating
The Louisiana-Lafayette football stadium is actually located off campus. After we left campus, we found a sports bar near the stadium called Pete’s. We watched a some games here and ate some appetizers. It was a nice little break before the game started. We then headed over to the stadium for the game. We got free parking again! I love when this happens at college games!
The atmosphere at the stadium was completely different than it was on campus. There were people everywhere. Most of them were tailgating. We were surprised at how extensive their tailgating scene was. Now, we know why there was no one on campus: everyone was already at the stadium!
We found a souvenir shop and bought some shirts and a bear. They did not have a plush version of their mascot, which is a pepper. I don’t understand why colleges that have unique mascots don’t market them! Such a wasted opportunity! They also did not have any helmets or golf balls. Again, why don’t you sell these things!?!? We ordered them online later.
After making our purchases, we saw a little bit of the Cajun Walk, where the players parade into the stadium. We then looked at their baseball stadium, which was next door. It is very nice. We plan to come back someday to go to a Lafayette baseball game. We had to pay full price for Boston to go to the game. This seems a little silly for this level of football. A top tier program they are not! After watching the band and cheerleaders parade in, we went into the stadium.
It is a nice little stadium, sunk down into the ground. There was a great crowd and nice atmosphere. We took Boston’s picture with Cayenne, the Cajun Pepper. He looked more like a voodoo doll than a pepper. He was a little creepy!
The game was against Florida International. The Cajuns won 48-20. It was a bit of a lop-sided game. Lafayette lost their starting quarterback to injury in the first quarter. The backup quarterback came in and played a great game, though.
The Drive Home
We left the game a little bit early so we could make the long drive back home in the rain. On the way, we hit a coyote on the highway! Luckily, we didn’t have a wreck, but it did cause a good bit of damage to the front of our car. We made it home at about 3:00 am. It ended up being a nice little game with more atmosphere than we expected. We enjoyed our day of Lafayette football. If you are ever in the area, go visit and check out a Cajun athletic event. And be sure to stop by the swamp! You have to see that for yourself! It is crazy, but very much expected of Louisiana! Happy travels!