Thursday, November 5, 2015

Roll Tide Road Trip Weekend

Roll Tide! I may have only attended the University of Alabama for a short amount of time, but the love for the Crimson Tide took root. It wasn't that hard to convince S to cheer on the Tide with me. Its not just the winning, there is a history and a fan family that makes Bama football special.

As members of the Bama fan diaspora cheering from California, the allure of seeing a game live calls every year. Last year we answered the call and booked a roll tide road trip weekend.

We booked a red-eye flight to Atlanta and borrowed a 2015 QX70 from S' friends at Infitini USA. 

First stop: the Alabama state line! Perfect spot for our first photo op of the trip. (watch for fire ant piles in the grass!)

While it may not be fine dining, Waffle House is basically required if you're on a road trip in the south. S had never been to one before so we pretty much had to pull off for breakfast when we saw this one in Oxford, AL.

The restaurant was full of other patrons in Alabama gear. This is probably a normal scene for a Friday morning before a game day in Alabama, but it made us really excited. Its not everyday we get to blend in as Bama fans. Our crimson t-shirts and my houndstooth elephant earrings usually earn us a few stares while out in public, but not this weekend!

Dega! Talladega Superspeedway is just a few minutes off Interstate 20, the main freeway connector between Atlanta and Tuscaloosa. 

We stopped for a track tour and a quick walk around this famous race track. There is also a museum, but we didn't have time to visit.

Next stop, Barber Motorsports Park in Leeds, AL. This place was great! There is a world-class museum with thousands of historical motorcycles and cars. The collection is absolutely amazing. 

The museum looks out over the racetrack through floor-to-ceiling windows. The track hosts the Porsche driving school and while we explored the museum's exhibits we got to watch a class doing laps around the track.

The Barber Motorsports Park is also right off Interstate 20 making it a perfect second stop on our Bama road trip.

A few minutes down the road is the Irondale Cafe. This is the real Whistle Stop Cafe from the movie Fried Green Tomatoes. The fried green tomatoes here are amazing. Add in the fried chicken and chocolate chess pie and this is the perfect lunch stop.

(I forgot to take a picture while we were here so this screen grab from Google street view will have to do)

We made it to Tuscaloosa and rounded out our afternoon with me giving S a tour of campus.

I also got really excited about the opportunity for an impromptu tour of the DZ house. Sisterhood is forever! 

S has heard endless tales of the magic that is Dreamland Barbecue. This is the stuff dreams are made of. It just might be worth a trip to Alabama just to eat here. Ya, its that good.

I had to bring S to this legend of an eatery. Of course we came to the original location. He wasn't disappointed. 

Up bright and early-the streets around the stadium started closing at 8am-we walked the quad and took in the excitement from all the tailgaters. Trust me, you haven't been to a tailgate until you've been to a tailgate in the south.

We met up with S' friend/co-worker and fellow Bama alumnus and Tide fanatic for breakfast on the lawn of his fraternity house. (That just happened to be on the front lawn of the stadium!) Breakfast consisted mostly bourbon and Coke Zero...when in Rome, er Tuscaloosa, right?

Bryant-Denny is a dry stadium so plan on doing all your drinking before or after the game. I say that in the most have-responsible-fun kind of way...

I could barely contain my excitement at being back in Bryant Denny Stadium! When I was a student here I was also a member of the Million Dollar Band. It was such a treat to get to watch them from the stands. 

It was wonderful to share the excitement of Alabama football with S in real life. There is an energy in the stadium that just doesn't quite come across on TV.

There are no bad seats in Bryant Denny. We sat in the top row and loved it. Our seats were covered so no baking in the sun and we were also covered when the rain started. 

The game ended early under a lightening delay. The officials called the game early in favor of Bama. Final score 41 - 0. Sorry Florida Atlantic Owls.

We celebrated the blow-out win with a few rounds of yellow hammers at Gallettes on the strip. Its tradition! (and delicious and fun!) 

San Jose State University (SJSU) was playing Auburn University for the night game. (S and I met at SJSU.) By the end of the night we basically had the whole bar cheering on SJSU with us. Auburn still won...but it felt good to watch the SJSU boys give them a run for their money.

We had an early flight out of Atlanta in the morning (a result of an error with Delta's booking system) so we didn't stay out too late. We thoroughly enjoyed our roll tide road trip weekend and hope to make it happen on a more regular basis. 

Do you have any tips for college football weekends? Share them with me below!


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