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In September 2013, we drove to Starkville, Mississippi to experience school #41: Mississippi State University. We also experienced the cowbell phenomenon for the first time. The cowbells are something that you have to see to believe! This is our Mississippi State trip report.
Traveling to Mississippi
We left home on Friday afternoon at about 3:45 pm. We took my new car for its inaugural road trip. It rained on us all the way to the hotel! This slowed us down some. We stopped for dinner at McDonald’s Cafe, which is a little truck stop out in the middle of nowhere between Dallas and Wills Point, TX. It was not very good! Lesson learned: not a good idea to stop at truck stops out in the middle of nowhere! About 15 minutes into the trip, I realized that I forgot to pack contact solution. Every time we stopped, I looked for some, but no suck luck.
We finally arrived at the Holiday Inn Express in Philadelphia, MS at about 12:40 am. I borrowed some eye wash from the front desk to use as contact solution for the night. Our room smelled musty and the carpet was a little damp, but we were so tired that we didn’t care. We went straight to bed.
Saturday is Game Day
Boston woke us up at about 7:15 am! I really wish I could make the child sleep longer! We ate breakfast at the hotel and then got ready for our day. We left the hotel at about 10:15 in the morning, and drove to Starkville, which was about an hour away. Along the way, we discovered that there isn’t much in the State of Mississippi. It is a pretty rural state. We stopped at a Walmart on the way to Starkville to get contact solution. I also picked up our MSU stickers and a new pair of pants for Boston. (These would end up coming in handy later in the day.)
We got to campus at about 11:30. We parked a short distance from the stadium for $20 and walked to the bookstore. Similar to what we saw at Southern Miss, the MSU fans tailgate on the grassy areas of campus instead of in the parking lots. There were hundreds of tents set up everywhere! We found it interesting that so many people had signs up with the name of their tailgates on them. After we got our things at the bookstore, we walked to the Cotton District. This was a little area right off campus. It was very reminiscent of New Orleans’ French Quarter with balconies and ironwork on the buildings.
We ate lunch at Bin 612. This was a bar, but they gave the standard bar food a gourmet twist. It was excellent food for very reasonable prices. Boston got a whole pepperoni pizza for himself! We all enjoyed it greatly. After lunch, we walked back to campus and took our pictures.
Our landmark picture was in front of the Hunter Henry Center, which houses the alumni foundation. Our name picture was with some of the tailgating tents. Boston and I then walked back to the car, while Chris walked to a store to get beer and drinks. While taking our pictures, Boston fell and got his jeans all muddy. So, I let him play in a fountain that we passed on the way to the car. When we got back to the car, I changed him into the pants I had bought him at Walmart. Gotta love that mother’s intuition!
Chris met up with us at the car, but he didn’t have any beer with him. A police officer confiscated it from him as he was walking across campus because it is a dry county! Oops! Apparently, the police won’t say anything to you if you have your beer in a cup, but they will take it if it is in a can or bottle! Good to know! We sat in the car and listened to the first half of the Notre Dame-Michigan State game on the radio. Chris and Boston played a little football too. At halftime of the ND game, we went to the stadium.
On our way to the stadium, we stopped at the State Fountain Bakery and ate some MSU ice cream. College ice cream is always so yummy! We then went into the stadium and found our seats. There is nothing special about their stadium, but we did like that there is a walkway all the way around between the seats and the field.
The biggest tradition at MSU is the cowbells. Everyone has at least one. We saw some people with multiple cowbells. Most of them are very large and decorated. We had no idea just how big of a deal the cowbells were. There were thousands of them! That place is deafening when they all get going! I was hearing cowbells in my sleep that night! We did find it humorous that there were “responsible cowbell ringing” signs and announcements. Boston loved the cowbells, but they were a little too loud even for him.
The crowd was really into the game, even though it was a blowout in the first half. It was a great atmosphere. We thought they had a better atmosphere than Arkansas or LSU! The people were also very nice. We didn’t hear or see anyone all day that was anything other than polite. Southern charm was definitely on full display. MSU has a large band, which Boston enjoyed watching.
Afterwards, we were barely off campus before Boston fell asleep. We went back to the hotel, where Chris and I ate McDonald’s and watched some games on tv before calling it a night.
The Drive Home
On Sunday, we woke at about 8:00 am. We ate breakfast at the hotel and got ready. We left at about 9:30 am. For lunch, we stopped at a McDonald’s around 11:00. We got back home at about 6 that evening. It was a great weekend trip!
Want to read more of our football trip reports? Here are the others:
- University of Alabama Birmingham
- University of Louisiana Lafayette
- Notre Dame and University of Toledo
- University of Iowa and Northern Illinois University
- University of Missouri