Monday, September 27, 2010

Hog Country

This weekend I did one of my favorite things in the world -- I went on a road trip to a Bama football game with my nieces.  So we hit the road Friday for Fayetteville, AR, which is at the northwest tip of that state.  Normally, that drive is waaaaa-aaaay too long.  But when traveling with this fun group of college students, not so much.  It was awesome!

First thing to understand is that music is an essential part of such a trek.  I don't know how we made trips like this before iPods, but loading an iPod with good playlists is vital.  On my iPod there is a playlist made especially for these trips, and it has been built gradually over the last five years or so.  (Believe it or not, it ranges from classics like You're So Vain all the way up to recent songs like Drake's Find Your Love.)  Or sometimes we switch to one of the girls' iPods.  (Gotta give Brooke at least a small Bieber fix.) At times we just listen, and at times we're belting out lyrics at the top of our lungs. Fun!  Of course, at times they're sleeping and I'm driving -- that's usually coming home.

This trip, being so long, featured alot of good memories.  There was our traditional stop at an Outback Steakhouse on Friday night.  (Don't judge.  We've been doing this since our first trip to Oklahoma in 2002, and we love our cheese fries and steak.)
2002 - Haley, Macy and me in Oklahoma.  Yes, I wore jorts.
We then swung by Beale Street just to see it from one end.  A couple of our stops in Arkansas were a little dicey.  We stopped for gas and a bathroom break and a guy was yelling at us -- constantly -- from his motel balcony! Yeah, dude, "you might be a redneck if....(insert your own joke)."  We had couple of other umm...interesting stops as well.

Of course, the most fun was game day.  I love road games, and not just because I get to travel with the fam.  I love seeing the atmosphere other college campuses and stadiums; I love being outnumbered and trying to overcome that.  It's all great.  And this was a big time atmosphere, probably the biggest game ever on their campus.
Stadium filling up during warmups - electric
This road game was especially fun because I got to tailgate with my friends Rob and Lauren.  They live in KC, a very drivable trip from Fayetteville, so Bama's trip there was a good opportunity for them to see the Tide play.  Tailgating with them was alot of fun and a major highlight of the trip.  And of course, their presence was probably the critical factor in Bama eeking out a very tough game. :)
And what a tough game it was!  The stadium was at a fever pitch and the Hogs jumped out to an early lead after only two plays.  It was rocking!  There was actually a point in the 3rd quarter (with the score 20-7 Hogs) that I actually had some doubt that the Tide would pull it out.  (If you know me, you know that almost NEVER happens -- even in years where we they weren't very good.)  But the team just kept doing what they do -- calmly, methodically, without panic -- and the final outcome was another win for the top-ranked Crimson Tide.
24-20 Bama...we're pretty happy. RTR!
After the game, we said goodbye to our friends after a few high fives, and headed to Buffalo Wild Wings to celebrate, eat, and watch some more football.  That was fun, but the fun was interrupted by an unexpected phenomenon: UFC!  Apparently, Saturday night featured some sort of pay-per-view event that caused them to highjack most of the TVs after we had been there for a little while.  It was frustrating (and I think at one point I was a poor rep of Christ while "discussing" this with the manager), but also, eventually, funny.  The crowd in there was cheering at the strangest things.  Once again, you may insert your own Jeff Foxworthy joke here.

Yes, it was a long drive home yesterday.  You know it's a long trip when you begin talking about partial derivatives at the Alabama state line.  (Yes, "that just happened!")  But SO worth it!  Making memories with family and friends is such a cool part of life (and something I believe will be part us forever); Alabama football is the icing on the cake.  Next road trip in two weeks, and I can't wait.  Roll Tide!


  1. It was so good to see you Donnie and meet your awesome nieces! What fun and sweet girls! Seeing you all was definitely the highlight of the weekend. ROLL TIDE!

  2. They usurped the Auburn/South Carolina game with UFC? I guess Arkansas is a bit more "Foxworthy" than I thought. ;-)

  3. Hey, I doubted the comeback during the 4th too! It happens to the best of us I guess! Truly, I was just shocked at how ill-prepared I was to lose. I felt sick to my stomach and was shaking with nerves. I didn't think I'd be that way! Anyway, I was already planning to take the month of October off because I've never really recovered from all the traveling LAST season but after that game (in the blazing Ozark sun!) I know I'm going to sit out the next month. Pull us through this weekend and next! RTR!

  4. PS: I just saw that you linked to my Pilgrimage to Pasadena blog... THANKS! I guess I need to get back to blogging eventually. Maybe I can focus on that in October since I won't be traveling as much.