Here are my five must-haves for a day of tailgating to celebrate Friday and the weekend. It's Pitt's homecoming and Louisville visits the 'burgh tomorrow! Can you tell how pumped I am for friends and food and fun in the parking lot? And hey, did you know there is a football game, too?
1. Pocket packs of facial tissue... or a few nicely folded squares of toilet paper. If you've ever been to a public event, be it a game or concert or even community festival, you already know what I'm talking about. There is never, ever enough toilet paper in the bathrooms/port-a-potties on the premises. My friend (and bride-to-be!) Julie is always prepared and has saved many of our butts (...) multiple times. Plain white is just fine, but feel free to jazz up things a bit with these adorable tissues; just don't leave home without 'em.
2. Comfortable shoes. Bonus points for team colors. When it's warmer, boat shoes are my go-to footwear; when it's much, much colder, toasty warm Uggs are the only things I'll don. But, when it's crisp, just chilly enough perfect fall weather, I won't leave home without my blue and orange New Balance classics. Though still kickin' (pun intended), they're certainly on the way out. I'm already on the hunt for a new pair, and this blue and gold pair certainly appeals to the Pitt alum in me.
3. Fun size candy bars. My friend's mom, who happens to be the tailgate planner extraordinaire, has always had a bowl of mini 3 Muskateers, Milky Ways, and Snickers for everyone to enjoy. For almost 3 years now, I can't remember a single game without them, be it a late night kick-off or a bacon, eggs, and mimosas tailgate feast. Heck, she's even brought ice packs to sit under the bowl of chocolate in the hot early season games. While we greatly appreciate the candy before and after the games, I think the most enjoyment comes from stuffing one's pockets with fun size treats and sneaking them into the game :)
4. Layers of clothing. I've learned that temperatures can range from 35 degrees in the early morning and warm to the mid-60s when the sun is out in the middle of the day and then back down when the sun sets. Puffy vests, scarves, hoodies, and cardigans are all essential parts of a person's comfort (and subsequent happiness) on a long day out in the "elements." As of this moment, my gameplan for tomorrow includes a T-shirt under a hoodie, all topped with a puffy vest with hand warmers in the pockets, just in case. Regular jeans will suffice -- no need for long underwear just yet.
5. Comfort food that will warm your insides and satisfy your appetite for hours. Since kickoff is at the unfamiliar hour of 11:00AM, I dove into my breakfast archives for something autumnal. Can't wait to bake this granola apple crisp again... it's been too long! Filling the apartment (and subsequent parking lot in which we'll be "dining") with the smell of apples and cinnamon... yes, please!
What are your tailgate must-haves? Be sure to stock up. And, even if you're not attending any sort of game, who says you can't have a tailgating party in your driveway or living room? Wishing you happy festivities, whatever they may be! :)