Sweet Home Alabama

Auburn University
Auburn University

I’ve really been enjoying this first month of #AdvenureYear

I’ve been very fortunate already. This fantastic new job tells me to explore. So I am! I’ve been back and forth to Alabama quite a bit. Birmingham mostly, Auburn, and now Tuscaloosa.

Things I’ve learned so far:

1.) At the hotel I stay in, in Birmingham, you can’t purchase alcohol from a store on Sunday. But restaurants can serve it starting at noon.

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Toomer’s Corner Lemonade

2.) In Auburn, everything closes at 5pm on a Sunday. Except Five Guys on College Street.

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3.) Nothing is Impossible in Tuscaloosa… even when a rivalry game is about to go down.

So as I’ve been adding and checking things off my bucket list – I now have time to cozy up in my king size bed at the Hampton Inn with my calm chamomile tea and chocolate chip cookie.

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Tuscaloosa was the destination this weekend. A Bridal Show at the Hotel Capstone is calling me. As I arrived, I realized I was literally across the highway from the University of Alabama. Auburn and Alabama campuses within one week of each other. Pretty cool.

I was pretty hungry as I pulled up, and noticed how conveniently located a restaurant (Baumhowers – awesome burgers) was to the hotel. Literally right next to it. Like 12 steps from the hotel to the restaurant door. It was packed though. I called ahead to see what the wait time was, and if I had any shot of nabbing a seat at the bar. The kid told me sure, it’ll be easy to seat one. So off I skipped.

I walk inside and holy Alabama overload. I should have known. There’s a GIANT elephant mounted to the wall as soon as you walk in, and I’m now mad at myself for not taking a photo of it. I figured a restaurant would be packed on a Saturday, and then I started to notice all the people were decked out in their Alabama gear, and one or two Auburn stragglers were wandering around…. hmmmm.

Thank goodness for smart phones. How the heck did we find any information before them!? I pulled up the Alabama athletic site and right there, staring me in the face

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ah. makes sense now. There’s a freaking state rivalry game and I had no idea. Way to go me.

My first thought: how much are tickets? yup. website says sold out. LIES. From working in sports a few years, I’ve learned the very valuable tidbit of information – no sports venue is ever actually sold out. There is always a way to get in. Even when its Auburn vs. Alabama. I was chatting with Big Seester, Baby Brother, and King Triton… contemplating my option – to go, or not to go. Lets be honest though, I already knew I was going. I just wanted that support system to say “ummm duh. go”. And they did.

The next process was finding an ATM, figuring out what parking was like, and what my chances were of scalping a ticket. So I asked my waitress, who was decked out in ‘Bama gear, complete with temporary tattoo on her face. She thought the parking was free, and that I’d have a pretty good chance of finding a ticket, but “you may want to get there a little earlier, just in case”. So she brought the check and wished me luck on my adventure.

I stopped back at the front desk of the hotel for directions to an ATM and the Coliseum. It was so much easier than anticipated. I drove right onto campus with zero traffic, followed 3 cars to the park-and-ride, and jumped on the Gameday bus. Hopped off at the side doors to the Coliseum (I was the last one on the bus, so the first one off), and found a scalper immediately who sold me a single ticket. Too easy. He wanted $75 for it. HAHA sorry buddy, I know what they’re priced at online for nosebleeds, I offered him $40.

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I ended up paying $50 for a lower level seat.  As me, myself, and I sauntered to the 6th row, behind Alabama’s bench, The family already seated there was the original owner of the ticket. Apparently they sold my seat, and the one next to it to the scalper for $10 each. So technically he got what I originally offered. That’s fine. And here I am checking off an Alabama/Auburn game on the bucket list.

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And yes, Nick Saban was there too. My seat mate whacked me every time he walked by to make sure I didn’t miss him.

Seat Mate
Seat Mate – who reminded me of an old college friend. Just 10 years older.

It was a good game! The Alabama fans were SUPER loud, and REALLY angry at some points. And while Auburn ended up losing it in the end 55-57, I will still proudly say WAR EAGLE. Just not while I’m surrounded by angry Alabama fans. I kind of like my face arranged the way it is.

And that’s where I leave you this evening – When opportunity knocks, will you answer?

#AdventureYear

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