Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Go Mountaineers!

Before she moved to Atlanta, Bo's sister, Dudley, worked in Boone, NC. She went to grad school at Appalachian State and through her job she gets tickets to their home football games (she still works for the same company but in their Atlanta office). We've been trying to go to an App State football game with her for a few years now, but it never worked out with UF's schedule - which, clearly all things must revolve around during football season. But this year App State had a home football game during our bye weekend, so we finally made it up to Boone to see the Mountaineers play.

Dudley took us around to meet all of her friends at their tailgates. The most notable tailgate has this bus out front, so you absolutely cannot miss it. Hysterical!

We were right in front of the stadium as the Marching Mountaineers came by for their walk into the stadium before the game.

The south endzone has general admission seating on the lawn. We've never seen that anywhere else, but it was pretty cool. Definitely a great option for families with young kids.

Through her old job, Dudley was solely responsible for getting the turkey leg vendors in the stadium. She was very proud of it and Bo was absolutely thrilled. He loves turkey legs!

the turkey leg lady, Dudley, and Bo

he had been waiting for this turkey leg for SO long

Appalachian State played Coastal Carolina that weekend, and it was a blowout (55-14). It was so weird being at a college football game and not wearing Orange & Blue. Kidd Brewer Stadium was probably the smallest college stadium we've ever been to - before that would probably have been Vanderbilt. Nothing quite like the SEC, but that was to be expected. It was actually really nice to be at a game that wasn't stressful or intense. Go Mountaineers!

Thanks again, Dudley, for such a fun weekend in Boone!

Thursday, October 25, 2012

College Station, TX

Bo and I like to attend at least one away game every year. Choosing our away game this season was a no-brainer. As soon as the 2012 football schedule was released, we immediately booked our trip to College Station to welcome the Texas A&M Aggies to the SEC. This was a pretty big game not only because it was their very first SEC game ever, but also since their originally scheduled first game was postponed, it was their very first game of the season this year as well. Who knows when we'll play them again (much less, in College Station), so Bo and I were pumped for this trip! ESPN College Gameday was there and the Gator Nation had a terrific showing.

We got in town Friday night and had dinner with my cousin, Kelly, who is a junior at A&M. I still can't believe she is halfway through college (starting to feel old...) but age aside, it was great to see her.

We spent most of the evening in the Northgate area. We had several recommendations on bars to visit, so we just started at one end of University Drive and made our way through a few of them...

Several people told us we had to go to at least one shot bar. As the name implies, they only serve shots. We had never seen this before, so we of course had to check one out. The first one we saw was Dry Bean Saloon.  The line starts at one end of the bar, you order, pay, take your shot, and walk out the other end of the bar. In and out in less than 5 minutes. I feel like this would be lethal in Gainesville.

the monstrous shot menu at Dry Bean Saloon

loving College Station!

One of our favorite things to do at away games is to check out the opposing team's traditions. That said, we had to attend their Midnight Yell Practice on Friday night. As it got closer to midnight, the bars were practically dead. We thought there would be a decent crowd at yell practice, which was a huge understatement. There were thousands of people waiting outside the stadium to get their seats for yell practice. It was PACKED. We were pretty impressed that so many students left the bars just to go practice cheers during what we consider prime time for the bars.

waiting to get into the stadium. SO many people!

We sat in the farthest corner opposite from the student section so we could observe without being a part of it. We weren't really sure what to expect, but it was basically a big pep rally to practice all their cheers and similar to our Gator Growl they made some jokes against us. All in all, as an outsider - it was okay. I'm glad we went and saw it, but it's not something we need to do again. It lasted about an hour, and by the time it was over we were wiped out. We managed to get a few hours of sleep  before waking up for game day the next morning!

We got back to campus pretty early on Saturday and walked around for a while. We decided to skip the College Gameday show because it was slammed with people, and standing in a massive crowd behind the stage just isn't our idea of a good time. Especially since we had such a short amount of time on a campus we had never seen. Time to explore!

Welcome to Aggieland!

horses outside the stadium - this was another first for us.

One thing that really stuck out to us was just how nice their fans were! We have been to several other college campuses and the Aggies were by far the most welcoming. Maybe because they were so darn excited to be in the SEC, or because we have no real history or rivalry against them yet. Whatever it was, they loved having us there and we loved their fans in return. As we were walking around, it took us a while to realize that people passing us were nodding their heads and saying "howdy" to us - and once we realized it, we had no idea how to respond. "Howdy" is not in our vocabulary, but what do you say if you don't say howdy in return!? We just awkwardly smiled and nodded back. We really wanted to say "Gator Bait!" or "Go Gators!" but they were just so, so nice that it didn't seem right. Most of them welcomed us to their campus, asked what all we had already seen, and directed us to something else we might be interested in seeing. Every single one of them asked if we were enjoying our time in College Station and how our visit had been so far. We just couldn't get over how friendly they were!

The 12th Man

We had originally planned to meet up with some of Bo's fraternity brothers to tailgate, but they weren't quite setup yet, so we continued our campus tour and headed over to where Gameday had been earlier that morning. By sheer luck, we ran into the UF Alumni tailgate that was put on by the Texas Gator Clubs - right next to where Gameday was. This was one of the best tailgates we've ever attended. Just $15 got us each a huge plate of food (hello, brisket!) and all we could drink for the day - beer, soda, and water. We immediately told Bo's friends we were just going to hang out there instead :) It was such a great location, right in front of the stadium. Very well done, Texas Gators.

watching other games on TV - tents, tables, and chairs for everyone. it was awesome

heeere come the Gators!!

alumni side

student side

pretty good view from our seats!

Their marching band played during halftime and they were awesome. They played the Aggie fight song over and over, and marched into all these crazy formations while maintaining perfect lines the entire time. We watched closely to see if anyone would run into each other or knock someone else out with a tuba, but we never saw a single mistake (from what we could tell). It was so cool!

most impressive formation. they were on top of each other and constantly moving!

SEC pride!

It was another tense game but our Gators managed to pull off a win! And just one week after breaking our home game losing streak, Bo and I also broke our losing streak for road games (last year's away game trip was against LSU, and the year before that against Bama). We were extremely excited! 

20-17! Go Gators!

 After the game we continued on our bar crawl from the night before. Again, I must emphasize how friendly their fans are. The bars were pretty crowded, but they all served food - a definite plus, even if it is only bar food. As soon as we ordered, some Aggie fans offered us seats at their table, bought us drinks, congratulated us on a win, and were just generally awesome. Thanks again, Aggies, for such an amazing trip! If the Gators ever play out in College Station again, we'll be there for sure. 

Sunday, October 21, 2012

UF vs. Bowling Green

We spent Labor Day weekend in Gainesville, FL to go to UF's opening football game this season. Our primary purpose in going to this game was to see a "guaranteed" win, as Bo and I had not seen a win in the Swamp since 2009. Yikes! It was a serious losing streak that we were glad to finally break - though the game was a lot closer than we anticipated. We were a bit nervous for our Gators this football season!

Since Kristin and Mark moved up north, we had to find a new tailgating spot. We used to be a stone's throw away from the stadium, so no matter where we decided to go, it was definitely not going to be anywhere near as close. We ended up over by the Accounting School (our old stomping grounds!) with some of our Atlanta friends, and it was actually really nice to walk through campus and pass other tailgaters as we headed to the game.

Century Tower

the Turlington Turd! hadn't seen this thing in years.

look at all that orange & blue!

We bit the bullet this year and finally bought season tickets. We got to the game reallllly early so we could meet our neighbors and watch all of the pre-game warmups. We were surprised how many people were there an hour before kickoff, but we also couldn't believe how many empty seats there were once everyone was in the stadium.

love the new Gator head logo on the 50-yard line

heeeere come the Gators!

love our seats!


halftime visitors :)

love this girl!

mission accomplished! we finally saw a win at home

post-game celebration

We spent the rest of the weekend souvenir-shopping and bar-hopping, and hit some of our old favorite spots: Burrito Brothers, Gator's Dockside, Salty Dog, Swamp, and Las Margaritas. Before we left town on Monday, we stopped by the stadium one last time and took Molly for a short walk around campus. Obviously, she loved it.

found my brick! always a fun game.

one of our most favorite places on Earth

It was such a great weekend to be back in Gainesville! Go Gators!!