Monday, October 31, 2005

RBD Tour: Season 1

A new Elenbaas tradition has started! Now everyone reading this who is rolling their eyes after that first sentence LISTEN UP. I admit, some Elenbaas traditions are stretches and some are unnecessary, but this new one is awesome and will last a long time. First, the name: RBD stands for Randy Ben Derek and basically just sounds cool. Tour is because it is a travelling tradition, and Season 1 is for the sports analogy. The new and now hyped Elenbaas tradition is for the 3rd generation Michigan fans to take a road trip to see the maize and blue tear up the big ten. Derek, Ben, and I took our first road trip and watched Michigan play Northwestern in Evanston, IL under the lights for an ESPN televised game on Saturday. I have to credit the idea to the 2nd generation Elenbaas men who have gone to an away Michigan big ten game for about 12 years straight now.

Derek hitched a ride to west Michigan Friday afternoon and I picked up the two of them after work Friday so we could have some additional hang-out time. After making pizzas we watched some TV and then played speed scrabble. Ben was surprisingly good for a 12-year old and almost picked off Derek. After scrabble we went to midnight bowling and got 6 games in before crashing for the night.

Saturday was a football feast. The three of us played football in the morning with a group of guys at Calvin and then headed straight for Chicago. On the ride we talked about football and listened to it on the radio. Then we got to Northwestern in time to check out the campus, toss the football around, and check out the stadium.

There is something about Ben that just generates funny or at least memorable moments. These have been coined "classic Ben moments" by his dad who has undoubtedly seen too many. This weekend there were 3 good ones.

1. After making dinner we made Ben clear the plates. But to be funny he simply laid the plates flat on the rack in the dishwasher instead of nicely placing the plates in the rack so that they could be washed. As he tried to squirt out of the kitchen Erin grabbed him and tried to force him to finish the job. As the two of them were horsing around Ben broke free and slammed directly into my arm, which was holding a freshly poured glass of pop. He nailed my arm in such a way to project all of the pop in the glass all over the wall, oven, microwave, cupboards, floor, and cabinets within 5 feet of me. It was the biggest pop spill I've ever seen. I couldn't have thrown the pop and made a bigger mess.

2. While playing one of the rounds of speed scrabble Ben was complaining about getting a lot of "I"s. All of the sudden, after Derek had said "go" a bunch of times in a row and we were both scrambling to get all our letters in Ben says "is 'Get-er-done' a word?" Derek and I both quizzically look up to see this in front of Ben:

Needless to say, Ben didn't do very well that round, but he did get creativity points.

3. While driving to Chicago Ben kept mentioning having a "lucky penny" because it was from the year he was born. Then, after paying a toll I gave him a quarter. He quickly checked to see if it was a "lucky quarter." After a few seconds of silence Derek asked "so what's the year" to which Ben responded "6661." Derek: "Ben...flip it around." Ben: "Oh, 1999."

We took the scenic route to Northwestern and went through downtown Chicago. It was a beautiful day so we took some pictures along the lakeshore.

Northwestern is a pretty sweet campus. We had a couple of hours to kill before game time so we tooled around campus a bit and tossed the football around.

We really lucked out with the tickets. Ben's neighbor happened to be outside as we were leaving. Paula asked him if he was going to the game and he said he was. She asked if he had any extra tickets and he said there was a whole group of them going and they probably had a couple. Well we needed 3 so we passed him up. The next day he found out they did have 3 so we met up with him and only had to pay face value. We saw some scalpers who wanted $125 each.

The game itself was sweet. Michigan played tough and came out with a 33-17 win. It was their first big ten game decided by more than 3 points and it improved their record to 6-3 (3-2 big ten).

Overall it was a tremendous weekend. It was great hanging out with my bro and little cousin. We will definitely keep this tradition up.


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