We headed out on Friday afternoon and hit the road since the Tuscaloosa campus isn’t too far of a drive from us. We didn’t leave until around 1:30 or so. We stayed in Tupelo which isn’t too far outside of Tuscaloosa. Just a side note, no hotel rooms are available in Tuscaloosa on game day…So in case you are ever going for a game, just a little info for ya.
We made a couple stops on the way, and eventually made it to Tupelo Mississippi. We got checked into our hotel and check out some of the hotel amenities. Then, we took off into town to find some dinner. We ended up eating at Red Lobster. We all ordered the endless shrimp dinner. I won’t tell how much shrimp I ate, but they about tapped me out ;) Love that shrimp scampi!
After dinner, we went back to the hotel and went swimming. The pool was outside and it wasn’t anything fancy, but we had it all too our selves! We swam and then got in the hot tub and then back in the cold pool, and back in the hot tub, then back in the cold pool, etc… It was fun! We ended up swimming for about 3 hours and went to bed kinda late.
The next day, we slept in a little bit and got up and grabbed a quick bite to eat at McDonald’s before heading across town to see the birthplace of Elvis Presley! The admission was a little more than we wanted to spend to see the chapel, museum, and his house. Although, we did pay to walk through his house and we went to the gift shop. One of the most interesting facts is that Elvis’s dad got a loan from the bank for $180 for materials to build their house. After being built, they couldn’t afford to pay it back. CRAZY!!! Anyways, we stayed there and took the little tour and checked out the gift shop.
After the Elvis thing, we got gassed up and headed to Tuscaloosa! Once in Tuscaloosa, we went shopping for some Alabama souvenirs and such. The best place to look….yep, you guessed it. WAL-MART!
We went to Wal-Mart and found a couple things. I usually get a souvenir junior football from whichever team we go see. I’ve got a Tennessee and Alabama football. I haven’t been able to get an Arkansas or Auburn one yet, but I will soon! We also got a couple of other things. The Wife got some ribbon to put in her hair and a few other things.
After Wal-Mart, we headed over to Dreamland BBQ (http://www.dreamlandbbq.com/default.aspx?id=5) for some game day tradition! Before we saw anything we smelled it and knew we were getting close! We saw the smoke before we saw the place! When we pulled up, we saw a big tent set up next to the building. So we headed that direction and there were outside tables and chairs and people eating so we had a seat and asked the lady what she recommended.
It was SO GOOD! The ribs were amazing and the potato salad was excellent! Definitely worth the trip! We ate outside with a live band. It was a fun atmosphere, however, when we left, we noticed that people were going inside the building as well to eat. I bet there was a more historic atmosphere in there than there was outside in the tent. Oh well, maybe next time.
From there, I still hadn’t found an Alabama hat that I liked (I’m picky about hats…don’t judge me, women! It’s the only accessory we men have. You have shoes, purses, and earrings!) So we headed to the closest Hibbett store that our iPhone led us to! It just happened to be in a Mall. So when we arrived at University Mall a few minutes later, we pulled in the parking lot and noticed that there were shuttles to the game! About 10 or 15 Greyhound size busses all ready to go! We got lucky on that one. We still had a few hours before game time. So we headed inside the mall, paid for our round trip shuttle bus ticket and took a gander in the mall. We walked around a bit and found the Hibbett Sports store. Inside I finally found a mass selection of Alabama hats to choose from. I got one.
Afterwards, we still had barbeque taste in our mouth and I just needed that sweet tooth something after the rich BBQ. So we stopped at the Great American Cooke and got a cookie. After enjoying our desert, we headed over to the shuttle. We didn’t have to wait too long but by the time we left, there was a long line forming. The 2 mile drive was a tight crammed squeeze, but we finally arrived and saw the Stadium. It was awesome!
The bus drove us right up to the front of the stadium. We got out and still had a little bit of time left. There was a LOT of people there, but there was also some booths and vendors and things outside the stadium so we window shopped for a while and ended up buying two little “stick-poms” for a $1 a piece to cheer with.
Then we headed toward the stadium. First, we headed to the first gate, thinking we we could just go in and walk to our seat. The first entrance we walked up to the lady was telling people NO CAMERAS! Ain’t gettin’ by me with a camera! And we said, well what do we do? Why no cameras? She was like, I don’t know, but you can’t bring it in here. This is the first stadium I’ve ever been to that didn’t allow cameras! That is the stupidest thing I’ve ever heard. Maybe not professional telephoto lens, but a regular digital camera? Stupid!
Anyways, we walked away and huddled for a meeting and The Wife and my friend were like what now? And I stuffed our camera down in the bottom of Jennifer’s sling bag and said lets find another entrance. The next entrance we came to we snuck by the camera checkers (this wasn’t hard because of all the people) and go the to guy checking the tickets. He then told us that we couldn’t get to our seats from that entrance, so we had to walk back around. Long story short, we got in with our camera and found our seats.
When we walked in to the stadium, we walked out on field level and on the ground. Then we walked up to our seats 25 rows up. These were great seats. We enjoyed the game and took lots of pictures too!
We left in the 4th quarter and got on the shuttle and went back to the mall. After getting back to our vechicle, we went to get some dinner and stop by Krispy Kreme because the Hot and Ready sign was still on!
The next morning, we got up and checked out of our hotel and went and got breakfast at Cracker Barrel. After that we hit the road and came home.
It was a fun trip but I was dog tired morning. There is just something about driving that makes you really tired and wears you out. It was a GREAT trip and was a blast. The trip was great, the game was a lot of fun, and we just had an all around good time. Hopefully, we’ll get to go back again one day!