This weekend, missing my cousin Joe like none other, I grabbed a Halloween costume (a hipster) at Savers, packed up a duffel bag with clothes and a few books, and headed out to Eugene, Oregon with my cousin Ben and roommate Philip. We stayed at Joe's house, a ten minute walk to campus in foggy Eugene. He lives with an Alaskan, a Minnesotan, an Oregonian, and one of my best friends, Connor Soicher from Denver.
Joe is a human physiology major and chemistry minor, bound for medical school, and he absolutely loves the school. Our relationship is worth noting - our fathers are brothers, and our mothers are sisters, making us literally more than first cousins, but less than brothers, earning the previously unheard of "Bruzzin" tag...there is a third brother and a third sister, but they didn't work out. I am also a week older than Joe, but for all intents and purposes we are virtually twins (even though he is hairier than I am).
We flew out Thursday night into Portland, where Joe and a friend met us at the airport and brought us back to Eugene. While I didn't make it to Joe's Friday 8am Biology lecture, Philip, Ben, and I took a few hours to walk around campus during the school day. Animal House, my favorite movie, was filmed on the UO campus, and I was dying every time we passed famous buildings from the movie - the Dean's office, cafeteria, Omega house, and Hayward Field included. The athletic facilities are ridiculous, and the campus is very green, very old, and very pretty. After Joe finished class, we grabbed lunch at Cafe Siena, an infamous Mexican restaurant just off campus, and hiked up to Spencer's Butte, a 45 minute trip through tall trees to a vantage point overlooking Eugene. The city is similar to Boulder, although the pace and vibe of everyone there is a little slower.
Saturday morning saw us up and awake at 8:30, and we shortly headed over to Autzen Stadium for the CU-Oregon football game. Oregon, ranked second in the country, is a powerhouse, and the entire experience was awesome. Despite unrelenting, pouring rain, we made the twenty minute walk from campus to the stadium and joined the throngs of tailgaters outside the stadium to cook some breakfast burritos before the game. Even with the rain and our 1-6 record, the game was sold out, and the student section was packed. Ben and I proudly sported CU jerseys, but the game quickly got out of hand, and we lost 70-14. The highlight of the game without a doubt was the Animal House tradition where after the third quarter, the entire crowd dances to "Shout". It was truly a dream come true. After the game, we trekked home in the rain, bummed about the score but energized by the experience of gameday.
After stopping in Portland Sunday afternoon for a bite to eat, we came home to Boulder. I already miss Joe, Connor, and their roommates, and cannot wait to be back in Eugene in no time at all.