Texas A&M is quickly becoming the game I attend almost every year (2014 & 2016), but this year I won the chance to go out to Texas to see Alabama play at Kyle Field. Bucket List Item: ✔️, as Kyle Field marks my 5th SEC stadium.
My Dad and I flew out to Houston to travel with Tide up to College Station. We arrived in Texas on Friday afternoon and attended a party with the local alumni chapter. We had some great BBQ and got the chance to meet some of Alabama’s greats.
On Saturday morning, we got up early, loaded the bus and made the hour and half ride up to College Station. I have to say Texas A&M fans are the absolute nicest, and their campus is pretty impressive. We opted to participate in the national alumni tailgate to take advantage of the AC before we headed into the stadium. Our seats were located at the top of the stadium, but it offered a great view of the corps marching through campus.
Alabama and Vanderbilt have one of the longest histories of playing each other. Only two other old foes have lined up against Alabama football more times, Mississippi State and Tennessee. I was particularly looking forward to this game since these schools don’t play each other every year, and because it would be my 4th SEC stadium. (Bucket List Item: ✔️)
We drove up to Nashville on Friday evening and check into our hotel, which was right across the street from Vanderbilt University. After checking in, we headed out to grab some dinner at a local restaurant. We opted for The Row only a couple of blocks from the hotel. If you are looking for tasty food, a great atmosphere and live music, then you need to check this place out.
On Saturday morning, we all got up and headed to campus. We walked around for a bit before heading to the official Alabama Alumni tailgate. Thank the Lord it was inside with AC because it was HOT! After enjoying some of the other games for the day and some delicious Dreamland BBQ, Dad and I headed into Vanderbilt Stadium.
Fall equals football in the south. The temperatures may vary from the high 80s to the low 50s, the leaves may change in time for Halloween, but the one thing you can count on in the south is every Saturday there is college football.
To say I was excited to introduce The Tall Man to Alabama football is an understatement. I booked our tickets to the Texas A&M game as soon as they opened, and I have been counting down to this weekend since they season started. Making it a long weekend to celebrate our anniversary, we drove over on Friday in time to grab lunch at City Cafe, a staple to any visit in Tuscaloosa. A meat & three restaurant with lots of history in the city (and my family) this place makes for a great cheap date.
From there we drove over to campus and walked around The Quad. I gave The Tall Man my best tour possible sharing not only the history of the university, but also the buildings where I lived attended class for six years. The weather was giving us a perfect fall night, and the cherry on top was Denny Chimes playing in the background. We had planned on going to a few bars that night, but someone (cough cough) forgot his wallet back in Atlanta, so we headed to the movies before heading back to the hotel for an early night.
On Saturday morning, my brother drove down from Birmingham to join us and we headed off to campus to show off what college football is really like. If you didn’t attend a southern football powerhouse for college, then Saturdays are a totally different experience. The Tall Man was quite impressed with the whole spectacle. We headed to The Quad to start the tailgate process and grab breakfast. We sat around, talked and drank. Before heading towards the Stadium for all the pre-game festivities we took a detour by the Alabama Museum of Natural History in Smith Hall. We got to see the Hodges Meteor, a time capsule from 1907, and some dinosaurs. If you are ever on The University of Alabama’s campus, I highly recommend making a stop.
Our next stop was The Walk of Champions before we headed into the game. And what a game! The Tide was able to pull off another win against the Texas A&M Aggies. I was so glad my Tall Man was able to experience my happy place. It was so much fun watching him learn our cheers, songs and chants. I think he is now officially an Alabama fan – Roll Tide!
The last time I was in Athens was during the 2008 season when Alabama responded to a blackout in Sanford Stadium. (PS – It was amazing!)
So when my friends picked Georgia as our game of the year, I was more than happy to be there and watch the Tide teach those Bulldogs to behave…again.
We all headed up on Friday afternoon and evening, and we started our Athens experience off right with an amazing meal at Speakeasy. From there we took a look at the list of bars I was provided by UGA graduates, looked at the lines, and decided on Hedges on Broad as our place for the weekend.
Saturday morning we layered up in raincoats and headed out into the pouring rain (thanks Hurricane Joaquin). We decided the best course of action would be to stick with other Alabama fans as much as possible, so we headed to Silver Dollar since some Alabama alumni were meeting up there. From there we headed to lunch, and then to the stadium.
I will admit I was nervous prior to the game and during the first quarter when both teams kept going three-and-out. Alabama did manage to secure the first points on the board, but I had a feeling it was going to be a LONG game if we kept that pace. But my confidence grew during the 2nd quarter, and most definitely after all the Georgia fans started pouring (pun intended) out of the very wet stadium. My friends and I stuck it out to the end for a 38-10 victory. What a game!
After the game, we all headed back to Hedges on Broad to celebrate!
I say it every year, but this is turning out to be a very interesting season! I can’t wait to see how the rest of the season shakes out.
The last time I was in this special place was for the Texas A&M game last year. I had been trying to get over for a while, and this past weekend it worked out perfectly! I spent the weekend with my little “adopted” family from college. It’s been such a joy to have this lady and her kids in my life! And it was refreshing to get a weekend with them!
On Saturday, I pulled into town just in time to grab lunch (Taco Casa!) and head to the game. I used one of their spare tickets, and we had fantastic seats to watch the Crimson Tide take on the ULM Warhawks. We of course won, but it was a great afternoon with the boys talking football! After the game, we headed out for a nutritious meal of IHOP, before heading back to the house.
On Sunday, we headed to church and then grabbed a delicious Mugshots lunch before I head to back to Atlanta. It was way too short of a visit, and I’m looking forward to hopefully seeing them soon!
This past weekend was fantastic and a blast from the past! Friday afternoon I drove over to Tuscaloosa to meet up with some of my MBA ladies for the Alabama/Texas A&M game. The weekend started off with us all catching up with each other over some delicious Jim ‘n Nick’s BBQ and cheese biscuits! After eating way too much food, we headed to our old hangout, Innisfree Pub!
Saturday morning we got up, donned our crimson and houndstooth, and headed down to The Strip. We decided we would start our morning at Rounder’s, and ended up staying all afternoon to watch the game. We grabbed a table and got ready to cheer on our Crimson Tide!
And what a game!! 59-0! It was like our boys were back after a hiatus from the last couple of games! Roll Tide! To celebrate we headed to Rounder’s rooftop bar to dance the night away! As we headed to our next spot, we stopped and grabbed dinner at our favorite Chinese restaurant, Swen. After dinner we all headed back to the hotel feeling the day’s activities catching up with us. We all crashed watching some old school SNL. This morning we got up and all headed back to Birmingham. I went and met up for lunch with Laura and Patrick. It was great getting to see and catch up with them before driving back to Atlanta!
I’m sad the weekend is over. It went by way too fast, but it was fun getting to be in my favorite city with some of my favorite people!
PS – Can I just say I love the SEC Nation! What a weekend in college football! I love that 5 of the top 10 teams are SEC, and of those 5 teams 4 are SEC West!! Woot woot!