Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Tennessee Weekend: HEY VOLS!!

This week started out with a BANG-literally! On the way to school on Tuesday morning Forrest was involved in a 4 car pile up on the interstate! Thankfully he was totally fine. His car was not so lucky! It is still operable but is definitely banged up. We are also very thankful for our wonderful insurance agent, Joseph Puckett! He handled everything! You couldn't ask for a better agent or friend! Fortunately, this was the only negative excitement for the week, allowing us to enjoy a majorly fun weekend! After Forrest got home from school on Thursday night, my parents picked us up and we drove to Gatlinburg, TN for the weekend. For basically as long as I can remember, my parents have gone to Gatlinburg every other year when Alabama plays Tennessee in Knoxville to stay in a chalet with their friends the Cusimanos, Cardwells, and Siegles. The chalet they rented this time had 5 bedrooms so they invited us to be the 5th couple! We were SO excited to be included!! We had both been to Gatlinburg before but it was when we were much younger, and we had both been to the UA v. TN game in Knoxville, but not with each other. We arrived late Thursday night after the rest of the group had gone to sleep. We were pretty tired as well so we hit the hay immediately so we could be fresh and ready for the next day. When we woke up we were greeted by the most outstanding views!!

Off of our balcony

With Mom and Dad

The house wasn't bad itself! It was enormous. We shared the basement level with Mom and Dad. We each had our own bed and bathrooms on either side of the big game room, complete with bar, fridge, 3 tvs, pool table, Foosball table, and air hockey!! The main floor had 2 more bedrooms and the kitchen/gathering room and then it had a top floor with a little den and another bedroom. Each level had large balconies and there was even a hot tub!
After getting ready, we all jumped in the car and headed to downtown Gatlinburg for lunch and shopping. We ate lunch at a German restaurant over a deli and for the life of me and I can't remember its name. They had the MOST delicious sandwiches on this very soft but warm bread that was to die for! After eating we wandered around checking out all of the goodies downtown. We definitely saw some pretty cool stuff!
At lunch

Gracie the dog in her sunglasses and Bama dress. We met her and her owner while walking around town
When we got back Forrest and I immediately jumped in the hot tub. Neither of us had been in a hot tub in who knows how long, and for some reason we both really want one, so you can imagine how excited we were to actually be able to get in one! We lounged around in the warm water until dinner time. My dad grilled filets and everyone else pitched in and provided part of the meal. After dinner Forrest and I played pool before hopping back in the hot tub. This time, we turned the tv inside towards the window so we could watch football while we relaxed! We definitely were spoiled!
Watching football, Jersey Shore style!

On Saturday morning we woke up to a delicious breakfast casserole being cooked for us. After scarfing down way too much breakfast, we got dressed in our game day finery and headed out for the day. We left the group early so we could go to Knoxville and hang out with my friend Deborah, who recently moved there with her husband Quinn. On the way down, we stopped and rode go-carts in Pigeon Forge. We ended up being able to get a double car (meaning we could ride together) and could ride on two different tracks. I drove on the elevated track, which had a spiral much like the ones at Bryant Denny Stadium that you have to take to get to the upper deck. Forrest drove us on the "pro" track. We were speeding around at 40 mph, and I was screaming all the while! We felt like little kids again!
Me driving on the elevated track

After the ride, we continued to Knoxville. I was SUPER excited to see Deborah and her new house, which was adorable!! Our friend Randi had come up too, as well as two of her other girl friends. We had the greatest time catching up and snacking on her Beer Cheese Dip while we watched the first 1/2 of the AU v. LSU game. We all tried REALLY hard to be for AU but as die hard Bama fans, we just couldn't do it!! We kept laughing at how indoctrinated we were!!
Forrest and Deborah's dog Snuggles!
At half time, we piled into Quinn's car and headed to campus. Deborah gets to use her teacher's parking pass on game days so we had a primo spot in a deck one block from the stadium!
Me, Deborah, and Randi ready to beat those Vols

We had to part ways so that we could pick up our tickets. While wandering around the stadium, we met up with Farrah and Justin. Farrah and I took our traditional pre-game pic before heading to meet Jay and Claire at a tailgate.
Last pic with my lucky shaker
On the way, a TN fan stopped me and told me that she liked my shoes. Well, they were pretty cute gray slouchy boots so I looked down and then thanked her. When we started walking again, I looked down again and noticed that my lucky shaker was missing!!! It had been tucked away in the back pocket of my purse and apparently that TN person took it while I wasn't paying attention! It was NO WHERE on the ground I had I seriously taken 2 steps so if it had fallen out I would have been right there to pick it up. Can you believe that? Someone seriously stole my shaker! I was kind of devastated, as I have had that shaker since I was either a junior or senior in college and it said AOII Loves the Tide on the handle. Forrest was SO sweet to go check all the garbage cans in the area just in case the TN person threw it away, but to no avail. I am still pretty upset that someone was so petty as to take a shaker!! There were some TN fans around watching me freak out (yes, it probably wasn't that big of a deal but to me it was life altering) and one of them had the nerve to say that since it was my lucky shaker, that now we were going to lose and it was all my fault. I played along with this but I was pretty annoyed by the whole situation. I was in the middle of relating the entire tale to Jay and Claire once we finally gave the shaker up as lost when a sorority sister of mine and Claire came up to us and said that Angie Harmon from Law and Order was at the next tailgate! We all ran to see and lo and behold, it was! Farrah was super brave and asked if we could get our picture with her, and Angie was SO kind and agreed. Forrest and I got a pic and so did a giddy Justin! I am still not sure why Angie and her football playing husband were there, considering she is from Dallas and he played at USC, but it was still pretty cool! I am pretty sure that was a gift to me from my abducted shaker!

With Angie Harmon
"We probably should be going"

Oh Ang

Her hubby, Jason Seahorn

Starstruck, Forrest and I left the group and headed to our seats. Who was sitting on our same row?? Why Erik Anders and Roy Upchurch, 2 Bama players that graduated last year. How cool! Our seats were right above the Bama band so we felt right in the action. The game was SUPER exciting to watch, as we made some stellar plays AND won! TN is one of our biggest rivals and I get a huge sense of satisfaction when we get to sing Rammer Jammer to them in their stadium! HEY VOLS!!!
There was a surprising lack of orange by the end of the game

Rammer Jammer!

Erik Anders and Roy Upchurch

We met back up at the car with Deb and Randi and the rest of the group and regaled them with our stories from before the game. We stopped at Sonic on the way home, which took literally 45 min. Have you ever been in the line at Sonic for 45 min? Well I can tell you it is NO fun! I don't know what the problem was but after we had been there for so long we refused to give up!! This of course put Forrest and I home pretty late, but we had such a great day, it was hard to care!
On Sunday morning we got up, packed, and drove down to Pigeon Forge to Mass. We were lucky to find a church right on the way home. This place was pretty interesting, however, as you had to walk through the gift shop to get to the sanctuary AND it was decorated like a cabin (and I don't mean that in a good way). It was a good service though and they had a wonderful choir despite the decor!
Once we finally made it home I was eager to pick up the dogs. Ruffles stayed at my Uncle John and Aunt Sue's house. She has never stayed with anyone other than my parents so I was concerned that she was upset, but she had a great time and was treated just like a little princess. She was SO excited when we picked her up that she was scooting around like crazy! Thanks for taking such good care of her guys! After a quick nap for Forrest and run to the grocery store for me, we rode out to the Bailey's to get Sonny, who always has a great time in Duck Springs. We stopped at my parents for dinner before heading back home to crash after an amazing weekend! ROLL TIDE!

Deborah's Beer Cheese Dip

8oz pkg of cream cheese

1/4 cup beer
1/4 cup ranch dressing
1 cup shredded cheese
2 Chopped green onions (Deb didn't put any in her batch and it was still awesome)
Beat ranch and cream cheese with blender then mix in other ingredients and chill in fridge!

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