Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Evansville, Indiana

We took a short hiatus from football games and spent a weekend in my mom's hometown of Evansville, Indiana for my Uncle Alan's 50th birthday celebration. Bo had never been there before, or anywhere in Indiana for that matter, so this was pin #4 on our travel map this year. My mom was excited to show him around and we were looking forward to spending time with family members that we rarely get to see - some of whom Bo finally met for the first time after all these years!

We drove into town just in time for the surprise party at the Hornville Tavern, one of my mom's favorite restaurants. Uncle Alan was not so surprised when he walked in since he had figured out something was up...but he was surprised to see me and Bo there :)



That weekend was also Fall Festival, which almost everyone was involved with one way or another.  It's a large street food festival - second in size only to Mardi Gras! - and we split everything we tried to taste as much as possible.

My two favorite food booths are probably biased ;)  My cousin Dawn makes the chicken and dumplings for her church's booth and they are SO good (Dawn consider this a reminder to please send me that recipe!) Last year she won first place! We went over to her house later that night and had a few more bowls of it for dinner as well. My other favorite was the apple cobbler with vanilla ice cream, which was also my grandpa's favorite. I definitely know where I get my sweet tooth from.

The only downside to the fall festival is there is no alcohol ;)  So we stopped into the Gerst Haus for a few beers and some more food. We loved this restaurant!

After the festival we visited the cemetery, since the last time I was in Evansville was for Grandpa's funeral in 2010.  It was nice to see my grandparents' finished headstone as well as my cousin Jordan's since they were all buried in the same family section. I miss them so much and it was weird to be there without getting to see them, so this made do.

We spent the afternoon at Dawn and Ed's house to watch the LSU-Florida game, which began our losing streak this fall. That evening we all went over to my cousin Jenny's house and sat around the fire, drinking beer and telling stories. It was such a great time and we loved spending time with my long lost Evansville cousins and their families :) My only regret is not taking any pictures of us all together!

Sunday morning we stopped at Denny's for breakfast before making the drive home. Typically we avoid these kind of chain restaurants but it was my Grandpa's favorite. He just loved Denny's and had breakfast there all the time, so we figured if we ever went to Denny's this was the time and place to do it. And we had to admit it was actually pretty good. Thanks, Grandpa :)

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

UF vs Arkansas

The last time the Gators won a football game was a whopping 6.5 weeks ago (yikes!), so let's reminisce back to the good ol' days before the rest of my game posts from this season get really depressing. We played Arkansas that weekend and celebrated my mom's birthday (one day late), though oddly enough this was the only home game where we didn't take a family picture.

one heck of a way to road trip

gator band alumni came right by us with the old drum, so I couldn't resist

It was also Bo's fraternity pledge class reunion that weekend, so we spent most of the day tailgating with these guys since we don't get to see them very often. So fun to see them all grown up, most of them married and some with kids - as compared to the crazy days back in college ;)

We were pretty excited since this was the first night game in the Swamp in two years. And the Gators put up a nice score in that game to win 30-10. Too bad it's been all downhill since then...


just love it when people take a terrible picture for you....

Monday, November 11, 2013

UF vs UK: Lexington, Kentucky

After two full days of bourbon tasting and touring, we completed the Kentucky Bourbon Trail in Lexington. We spent the rest of the weekend there to tour the city and campus, and to attend the Gator game on Saturday. Our friend Julianne used to live in Lexington so she gave us several recommendations and we managed to hit up most of them.

Friday afternoon we took a very short break from bourbon and had our first beer of the trip. After that we returned to bourbon. It was very noticeable in all the bars that instead of the neon signs advertising beers that we are used to seeing, they were all signs for bourbons. And all the bars had a huge liquor selection, but not many beers on tap. Clearly they have a preference and we thoroughly enjoyed it. We bar hopped for a few hours and had dinner at Saul Good, which had opened just a few weeks before and lived up to its name.


Saturday morning we finally got to sleep in for the first time on this trip, since the game wasn't until 7pm. We had lunch at Tin Roof and stopped at Two Keys for a few drinks before making our way towards campus. 

Their campus was very open and spread out, and it was a nice mile long walk or so to the stadium. We always love touring other campuses and comparing them to our own, which of course we are biased toward ;)

total accident that our GPS took us along the convenient "cat path" towards the stadium

this one's for you, dad! :)

a Christmas tree! so random

The official UF alumni tailgate was not very good, so that was disappointing. We walked around that area for a while and made some new gator friends for the day to watch the other games that were on TV until ours started. It was glaringly obvious that Kentucky is a basketball school, as even for a night game there just wasn't much going on during the day until right before kickoff. Not too surprising just interesting to experience!

As usual we went into the stadium fairly early to watch all of Kentucky's pre-game traditions. We had amazing seats - row 3, right along the endzone, in the Gator section.  Kentucky is much more generous with their visitor section than most other teams. Out of 14 teams in our conference, UK was the 10th SEC campus we've visited, and the 9th SEC stadium where we've attended a football game. Only five more to go!

And as many of you already know....we were on TV!! We didn't have very good cell phone reception in the stadium, but we knew it as soon as our phones started blowing up with everyone who felt obligated to inform us. For those of you who might have missed it, we got enough pictures sent to us from people who paused their TV's when we were on screen, that we could probably recreate the entire footage of our 5 second feature on ESPN. Kentucky had just scored a touchdown to tie it 7-7, and right after that we missed a field goal - both of these plays were in the endzone right front of us. We've beaten Kentucky the past 25 years in a row, but our team is not very good this year. Everyone kept telling us that if UK was ever going to beat UF, this was their year. All I knew was that if we lost, I did not want to be there. So you know how they always show sad fans on TV for the opposing team?! Yea, we were those fans.

biting my nails on national television. sweet.

This is also the very reason why we always have our picture taken before kickoff. After that, we go into game-time mode, which is clearly very intense and not so photograph-friendly. I'm pretty sure this is my stance all game, every game. Man this team stresses me out big time. But we still love going to games. Makes zero sense, I know. We are just crazy.

Coach Muschamp was not too impressed either...

Thankfully, we managed to pull off a win, 24-7. Unfortunately this game is shaping up to be the Gators' only win on the road this entire season. Sad times, gator fans. Sad times. Hoping for a miracle this coming weekend in Columbia.

This was our first visit to the state of Kentucky (a new pin in our map!) and we absolutely loved it. The scenery was gorgeous, the fall weather was perfect, the people were so friendly, and overall we were very happily surprised with how much we enjoyed it. So much so, that we definitely want to go back and have added a few more trips to Kentucky on our bucket list, so we hope to return again... some day. We have quite a long list! ;)