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!!|
|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!|
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.