Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Duke Road Trip

This past weekend we decided to take a road trip to the Alabama v. Duke game with Justin and Farrah. We were lucky to get some tickets CHEAP on ebay (although, we could have gotten them for free if we waited until we got to the game) and Justin was able to snag us a great hotel deal. On Friday we loaded up Farrah's car and set out on the 8+ hour trip. We were well stocked with snacks (all very healthy--gummi worms, M&M's, party mix, etc) for the road and had 3 ipods to entertain us. Farrah and I slept until we got to Atlanta and then we literally sung our way through Georgia and South Carolina! She had the Glee soundtrack on her ipod and we had to get ourselves ready for tonight's premiere by making sure we knew all of the words! We stopped in Greenville, SC at an Outback for dinner. Random, I know, but I kept seeing signs for it, so I guess the people who paid for those billboards can rest easy knowing they work! Farrah introduced me to their yummy sangria AND we each got the scratch off cards (like a lotto ticket) and were both able to win free stuff for our next visit to Outback (which of course now the advertisers can be even happier that they will successfully get me into an Outback twice)!

Even though it was night it was cool to pass so many colleges on the way-GA Tech, UGA, Clemson, and eventually UNC Chapel Hill and finally Duke! We got their SUPER late but we had a great time along the way! We stayed in the Cambria Suites and we all agree that their beds are the most comfortable hotel beds we have ever been privileged to sleep on!
On Saturday we got up ready to face the Blue Devils, except that I had left my game day shirt AND game day purse at home! How this was even possible, I don't know, because I usually don't unpack any game day stuff from my suitcase so the purse at least should have been in there already! Silly, I know. Anyway, we headed over to campus for lunch and a look around. Campus was beautiful! I felt like I was in England, or at least in a Harry Potter movie! The buildings were beautiful and there was lots of wide open, green spaces and trees. We saw the beautiful "chapel", which is the largest "chapel" in the world, although, I think they could get away with calling it a church. It is a non-denominational church open for students and the public. We couldn't go in because they were having 3 weddings there that day! I couldn't fathom this---3 weddings on a game day?? When Alabama is on your campus?? I guess Duke really IS a basketball school!

We ate some lunch outside and we started to notice lots and lots of students walking around in crazy outfits. I assumed this was for some fraternity party, as there was one blasting right across the street with oddly dresses party goers. I finally just asked someone what they were doing and they said "tailgating". Really? Tailgating? Apparently, the Duke students dress up in weird outfits and go party in a students only parking lot before, during, and after the game. I didn't really see these crazies in the stadium, though. When I say crazy, I mean wild and a little bit scandalous! We saw lots of girls in tutus or short petticoats with only panties on underneath! We also saw 2 girls dressed like Jessica Simpson as Daisy Duke from the Dukes of Hazard, complete with inappropriately short shorts! It was definitely an experience!

In the midst of all of the craziness, I was trying to sell some tix for a friend. I totally would have made a sell had Justin not been so cheap!

 Ahhh---now that is a girl who knows how to dress for a football game! I was so excited to run into Ellen, one of my bffs that I never see because she is in law school at UVA

We did get to go into Cameron Indoor, where the Duke basketball team plays! Mason, on of the players, was in the lobby. He was SO tall! The outside of the arena looks like the rest of the campus. My sister described it as "the castle". Inside, the seats are all above the court and you look down onto it. Apparently, we just missed Coach K walking across the court before we got there! It was very cool to be able to see it AND it was very nice to sit in the air conditioning for a while!
After we cooled off, we went into Wallace Wade Stadium to see the Tide play! Wallace Wade, of course, coached Alabama to a National Championship before coaching at Duke, so it really was a historic game. Their stadium was tiny compared to Bryant Denny, but it was a very neat place. You come in at the top of the seating sections and walk down to your seats. Forrest and I were sitting right in the sun and got sunburned! It was cool, though, because you could get a stamp on your hand and leave the stadium and come back in. Forrest, Justin, and my dad took this opportunity to "revive" themselves while Farrah and I cooled off in the shade (where their seats were happily located).

After the game went back to the hotel to shower and change before heading to Nana's for dinner. Our friends Mrs. Joy and Don Rhea met us for dinner and we couldn't have been a merrier group! Don and Joy told us all kinds of fun stories that kept us laughing all night! Also, Forrest and I found out at dinner that our friends Joseph and Lauren Puckett are expecting their first baby! I am BEYOND excited for them and can't wait to see baby Puckett in April!! The food at Nana's was DELICIOUS! Forrest and I had veal meatballs and gnochi for an appetizer, duck (me) and tuna (Forrest) for our entres and homemade ginger ice cream for dessert! Everything was amazing--I highly recommend!! When we were about to leave were heard screams and groans from the bar area, so we rushed in just in time to see the end of the Auburn v. Clemson game. While watching, Justin got to meet the chef, who had ties to Gadsden, believe it or not! It was a perfect way to cap off a great day!!
On Sunday, all 4 of us got up and went to Immaculate Conception Catholic Church for Mass before heading out. (Coach K may or may not attend this church--one of the buildings was named after Emily K, so who knows!) Justin and Farrah were so kind to go with us! They were actually kind all weekend--finding us the hotel, driving us the entire way, finding the great restaurant! We had an awesome time with them and can't wait for more trips together in the future! They also introduced me to Five Guys burgers and fries on the way home! Heaven!! Everything was so tasty and fresh! The other highlight of the trip back was driving through Kannapolis, home of Dale Earnhardt. We saw his statue and everything! After another lovely ride back, we arrived home delightfully exhausted and ready to face the week! We will NOT be goint to the Arkansas game this weekend, and it might actually be nice to stay home and get some things done for a change! (although, you just can't beat a Bama football weekend!)

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