September 27, 2010

No Way José!

FINALLY THE TUSCALOOSA RECAP: Brought to you by the makers of procrastination!

So first off let me apologize for taking not one, but three? weeks to recap about my amazing weekend in Tuscaloosa, Alabama. When I say work has been crazy, I haven't been lying.  With working late hours and coming in early there has been no time or energy for anything, much less blogging. I hope that this thorn in my side of O.T. actually comes to a halt soon, even though I've loved the extra money in my pocket.

Anybenjamin! For the record I've only ever been to one other college football game, it was a championship game held at the local university here in my current hometown. I've never been to a big SEC team's game, a Big 10 game, or even to a game at my own alma mater. It's fair to say that other than one professional football game years ago during pre-season (Skins vs. Eagles) I've never truly had the LIVE FOOTBALL EXPERIENCE! That was until a few weekends ago.

Shortly after receiving these in the mail...
{see the little Trojan helmet, yes, these are visitor tickets won off ebay - for a bad ass price!!!  You never would have known we were in the visitor section, the entire stadium was red and white all over, minus the very lower rows of our section that were gold and royal blue}

As soon as I held the tickets in my hand, I started to get excited - not on the outside mind you, but on the inside. I've always been a girl that's a bit of a "glass half empty" type. I just try not to get too emotional until it's absolutely necessary. Needless to say that true excitement factor started brewing the night before we were to head to Tuscaloosa. This made it difficult to sleep - I had visions of McElroy and Trent Richardson dancing in my head.

We woke up bright and early - thankfully I did all the real "glamour" work the night before. Toes painted a lovely shade of gun metal gray, hair straightened with a hint of red reflecting in it, outfit all picked out, koozies packed into our new rolling cooler and over night bags prepared. To give you an idea of how much we flew by the seat of our pants on this deal... we had no formal place to sleep that night. We were heading to Tuscaloosa on a hope and a prayer that someone we were friends with there would give us a place to rest our head. Our original plan? We were going to set up a bed in the back of my Jeep Cherokee complete with sleeping bags... one downfall, an hour into the trip I realized we forgot out pillows. No worries, we planned on being drunk off a Crimson win anyway so we'd be fine. 

The ride was long, but enjoyable. Half way through I fired up the iPod. While spinning on random it landed on a Grateful Dead song. It seemed so fitting. Riding with the windows cracked the weather was a brisk and comfortable 70 degrees, unheard of in Alabama this time of year, but then again it was really early in the morning. Mike and I decided to tune up the Dead's greatest hits and roll on through to Tuscaloosa.

We made one pit stop to grab a couple of red bulls and a pack of razors. I'm sure the girl at the counter thought I was crazy. What was the razor pack for? Don't worry I wasn't going to shave my head like a Munk Tebow, I was actually aware that I had missed a spot shaving my armpits that morning and I knew it would drive me insane all. day. long. if I didn't handle it... Trip to the bathroom, swipe of the razor, $5.00 later and I was good to go. Seriously, would have driven me insane in my tank all day knowing that stubble was there - *issues?*.

From there it was on like Donkey Kong - we arrived soon enough into the great town of Tuscaloosa. The town was still a bit sleepy but the game day buzz was alive and well. The town was all decked out in red and white and most of that was on each and every person we saw on the street. With every passing minute we were in town the crowd grew and grew. Mike and I parked up the road from the central strip of the town and walked to our first destination. The Houndstooth. Truth be told I was really craving breakfast, but there didn't seem to be anywhere on the main strip providing eggs, cheese, and grease for me to down... instead we opted for a 10:30 AM brew and a bbq sandwich both were amazing and the perfect way to kick off game day.
{hers & his breakfast of champions}

I don't know why I didn't think to take a picture of our great view. From where we sat to enjoy our breakfast the street of the strip was right in front of us, great tunes were playing on the outside speakers of a bar across the way and in the distance above the downtown buildings we could see the very tops of Bryant-Denny Stadium. Then again... look at what's in front of me... I was hungry and this was the ONLY thing on my mind... well that and the fact that I was about to rip the overhead television off the wall if they mentioned Tebow's name one more damn time!! Sorry Gator fans and Bronco lovers I'm over him... O-V-E-R-OVEROVEROVER!

{My first view of the Stadium driving by... EEEE GIDDY!}

After a meal and waiting on Mike's younger brother J.O. to meet us we decided to walk around a bit. Like I said the entire town was buzzing with excitement. I wasn't sure what to expect in coming to T-town, I had no idea what the surrounding areas looked like, no clue what it meant to tailgate at the school and no idea where we were supposed to go and park. While walking I discovered that basically if you owned property close to the strip or the stadium you could make BANK selling parking spots. Seriously... $20 a pop! Many of the kids in the area will take their cars elsewhere and sell their spots in their apartment complex on game day, smart move kids! Thankfully we didn't have to worry about parking, instead Mike's sister-in-law's family lives in Tuscaloosa about three blocks from the Stadium and her brother-in-law is an employee of the school. This was perfect. Not only did we have a secure place to park the Jeep but remember my comment about sleeping in the Jeep, at least now if we did, we'd have a secure and quiet neighborhood to do this in. And yes, we're just that ghetto. WHAT? WHAT?

One's we arrived at the A's house we were able to hang out with Mr. and Mrs. A and their adorable little girl K, as well as Meet Mr. A's family who was in town for a visit. So far the morning was perfect the sun was bright and shining the weather was perfect (although in retrospect a black tank top was a super bad idea! I was getting a bit too hot outdoors most of the day due to it), and we were surrounded by friends.

We finally met up with J.O. and his girlfriend B and made our way over to where B's family was tailgating. Remember when I said I had never tailgated, or been to Tuscaloosa, well I was shocked to find out that people actually not only let you buy a spot to park your car, but will rent you a spot to park your RV as well! Random parking lots all over town were loaded to capacity with RV's, campers and cars.  B's father has his spot rented for the entire season and it's a great place to set up camp! Right near campus and you can see the Stadium as clear as day from the lot. Prime tailgating spot. I guess I was expecting one huge parking lot for the tailgating, close to the stadium. A place you could wonder around and see people - I guess I was thinking more along the lines of pro-ball, not college ball. In the end it was rather interesting getting to walk around campus and see all the tents set up on the Quad and all of the students partying and wandering around before game time.

We spent the early part of the afternoon before the game at B's family's RV enjoying free food, lots of tasty snacks and other games on the big screen. This definitely was the perfect Tailgating camp complete with it's own bathroom. No searching for a public restroom needed. Here we are, probably into our 3rd beer of the day... I think, but who was counting? Not me.

Hanging with the B Family In Tuscaloosa... you can see the stadium wayyy back behind my head}

After we got our fill JO and B wanted to give us the tour of the campus. B used to go to Alabama and knew just where to take us. We enjoyed not only the campus but the Bryant Museum as well. It's nice to be a part of this schools huge history...even if I've only officially been a fan for the past 4-5 years. I got a little weepy in the museum, maybe it was PMS or maybe it's just that he was quite a coach and it is quite a legacy but I just enjoyed every moment of it. I also found out that "The Bear" coached for one year at the University of Maryland. That made me smile, being a girl from Maryland and all that.

{Me, Mike, JO & B outside the Bryan Museum via rolltide.com}
NOTE: I forgot my houndstooth scarf I planned to wear for the game! GRRR!

{view of the Bear's Desk as it was in his office at Alabama}
Hey Packer fans I know it's hard to see but he does have a Green Bay
Mug on his desk filled with pencils.

{Can you tell how excited Mike was taking pictures in the museum?
He took a TON but I won't bore you with all of them.}
ROLL TIDE!

{Campus Landmark The Denny Chimes}

After our tour it was time to get our drink on. The four of us walked downtown and hoped in and out of a few of the great bars on the strip. Most were extremely packed which is to be expected on game day but we found a great little underground bar, the Bear Trap to get some drinks, some air conditioning and some good conversation before heading to the game.  I was introduced to "Baby Bombs" this weekend by B and JO. I had no idea you could get a Jager Bomb in a mini size!!! Much easier to deal with and much easier to walk after drinking as well!

{Mike & I before heading inside for the game}

{Me & B sipping on water. How cute is her outfit?}

Soon after our cocktails it was GAME TIME! Mike and I were so excited we could hardly contain ourselves. Walking into the stadium we caught the end of the Spirit Parade with the Cheerleaders, Big Al the mascot and most of the Million Dollar Band! I think I was about as excited as the 8 year old boy in front of me about all this, thankfully I'm potty trained or there might have been a mess on the floor!

I won't lie... I got chills walking into the stadium. It was loud, it was bright, and it's beautiful! We found our seats and holy CRAP were they awesome!!! Thank you again Mike for bidding on them and thank you Ebay seller for letting these go!

I wish I could give you a better idea of our seats, they were great and we were right where the Tide ran out onto the field. It was great, minus one thing.

See the lady in the foreground... see the mini couple behind us in the background... yep... we don't look smashed in there but we were. TIGHT, TIGHT, TIGHT!  There could have been a bit more room for us, but what can you do... they're benches. I now have a smaller ass (thank you P90X) and I'm the one paying the price for it. It was close for comfort but the crowd was loud and ready for a great night - the Tide delivered!!!

Stupid shadows messing up my cute pictures! Before Game Time!

FINAL SCORE: ALABAMA 48  / SAN JOSE  3

The entire game was amazing!!! I hated to leave it but by the middle of the fourth quarter I realized if we wanted to eat anywhere locally after the game, we needed to leave early and get a seat ASAP at a local place. We met up again with JO and B (they had different seats) and we made our way to a great little bar in town Buffalo Phil's. You all know me and chicken wings and buffalo sauce it's hard to pass up so that's exactly what I got... only I got tenders instead of wings. It took us 15 minutes to get a table, but once I ordered dinner it took them 5 minutes to bring it to me! (I'm sure it was under a heat lamp but seriously, CARE? They were good, juicy and 100% devoured in minutes!). Add to this a visit from Mr. and Mrs. A and we all had a great time sharing some laughs and drinks to end a great day.

My only disappointment with the evening was that apparently the whole town parties the night before the game, not after. That makes NO sense to me... if you have a great game you're supposed to party it up afterwards and celebrate but I guess because all the kids celebrate the night before.. they're too pooped to party again that next night. FOR SHAME! We didn't turn in early, but we didn't exactly WOOP it up that evening either.

After a long night of hanging out, and seeing the town thankfully we were able to crash at B's family's condo in Tuscaloosa. Her whole family hadn't shown up as originally planned so we had run of the couch which I was SO thankful for. I may say I'm a tough cooking but the jeep was TRULY a last resort  in my mind.

The next morning was a bit rough. I slept in my contacts, not the smartest move at all. Mike and I are the types that wake up and we're ready to go. We had to wait to get JO up to take us back to our Jeep and on our way back home.

All in all we had an amazing time and we are already planning our trip back. We don't have tickets for the Homecoming game but we figured we would have just as much fun hanging with B's dad at his RV watching the game and friends at their tent on the quad that we wouldn't need tickets. The atmosphere alone is worth the fun!!! We've been warned we need to come the night before the game this time though... so we shall see.

So tell me - have you ever been to a big college game? Who's your favorite team? And remember let's all be respectful here! I will be the first to say I'm not a fan of Florida, but I don't down any of my girls and guys personally if they are fans.

HAPPY FALL & FOOTBALL! ROLL TIDE ROLL!!!

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23 comments:

Carolyn @ life, love & puppy prints said...

Sounds like a great time! :)

L said...

How fun! Looks like a really pretty campus! Those sandwiches look yummmmmy! I go to school at LSU so I guess that makes me a Tiger ;) we play you soon!

Dr. Cynicism said...

Breakfast of champions indeed! That's like olympic champion grub right there! Glad you had a great weekend trip!

Kelly @ Dare to be Domestic said...

L you are an LSU Tiger - well done!!!

Shandal said...

Looks like you had an amazing time! :)

Rach said...

I've been to a couple OSU Buckeyes games. Not a big football fan (e.g. NOT AT ALL) but there is nothing like game day camaraderie and silliness... I can TOTALLY get behind that!!

Love. That. Tank. And I totally feel ya on the razors; I have three or four "travel size" deodorants in various purses, one in my car, one in my desk at work... because sometimes I'm just so excited to get to wherever we're going that day that I can't remember if I took the 30 seconds for the preemptive strike that morning. J makes fun of me all the time, but I know he'd rather have a forgetful gf than a stinky sweaty one. ;)

Candice said...

Party before but not after? Weak.

Glad you had a blast!

Hokie Sean & Kelly G. said...

I'm so proud of your tailgating experience, especially your breakfast of champions.

If ya'll want to make a trip to VA, we Hokies can show you how we tailgate! I can promise *amazing* food and as much beer (or mimosas) you can handle.

Crazy Shenanigans said...

It looks like it was a great day at the game!!!

Leslie @ A Blonde Ambition said...

Oh how I love football season! Looks like y'all had an amazing time!

Ok, even though my fingers hurt a little typing this...Alabama was pretty darn amazing on Saturday. We put up a good fight, but ya'll officially whooped us in the end. Seriously though, 'Bama's defense is just crazy good. : )

Girl, PX90 is WORKIN for you! You look so great! Love the black ruffley (sp?) tank!

Kelly @ Dare to be Domestic said...

Leslie thank you!!! Girl Arkansas is my 2nd fave in the SEC and you all were on FIRE!!! Your QB has a wicked arm, I was floored!!! It was a great game!!!

Amanda said...

I am not a big sports fan, but I do have to say that tailgating and going to college football games were my FAVORITE parts of college...especially the tailgates! There is something about college sports that's just magical to me..not to be corny..but it's kids playing their hearts out and not for millions of dollars! Sounds like a fun game!

hotpants™ said...

We felt the same way when we went to our first Florida State game in Tallahassee. It's so much fun. I wish we'd slept in our car. Our hotel was super nasty.

Kristin said...

This Saturday is gonna be epic...GO GATORS!

Sara said...

Is there any better way to start your morning than with a BBQ sandwich and a frothy alcoholic libation?

You know there isn't.

Katie said...

Oh how awesome! I'm a Bama girl and a UA alum - so happy I found your blog! Following now :)

city girl said...

Sounds like a great time, and the campus looks gorgeous!

Day Old News said...

God, I wish I could go to my college games now, so much fun! Beer for breakfast is definitely a game day tradition.

bananas. said...

glamour, football, friends, burgers, and BEER!!! now that's MY kind of trip.

and um please tell your friend i want to borrow her outfit and figure. kthx.

bananas. said...

ps. my glasses are Rx. they always are so you never have to question that with me. i got them online at warbyparker.com. they were $95, free shipping and Rx. i say check it out. their stuff is way cute.

Allyson said...

I would like to have the following things and not necessarily in this order: your breakfast of barbeque and beer, your P90X arms, and the shirt you wore to that game. Oh, and your friend's purse. Can you work on that for me? OKgreatthanks!

It looks like you had a BLAST and I'm with you...what's up with people partying BEFORE a game...clearly they have never heard of counting the chickens before they hatch. Although I do kind of like that their partying doesn't actually have anything to do with the outcome of the game. We win, we party. We lose, we party. I could get used to that!

Rachel McPhillips said...

Okay, so, one of my blog friends told me I should read your blog, since you live in AL and are a HUGE Alabama fan. :) Glad you had fun in Ttown. We are huge tailgaters, feel free to stop by anytime! :)

Mike said...

Candace, we partied before the game, and tore it up after the game. I think I had upwards of four pitchers of beer at one bar, along with shots.

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