There’s something special about traveling for hours in a pickup truck with three young boys. Especially if those boys are your grandsons. Of course, the destination has a lot to do with the mood of the travelers. On October 3, 2015, our destination was Jordan-Hare Stadium on the campus of Auburn University for the football game between our Auburn Tigers and the Spartans of San Jose State.
The first decision of the day was easy. Pull off at the first McDonald’s and order whatever you want at the drive-through, then eat it while traveling south down I-65. The next decision was mine to make because the boys didn’t care whether I chose US 280 or staying on I-65 once we reached Birmingham. If you’re traveling that way and enjoy getting the flavor of small towns in central Alabama, take US 280. Stop in at any of the minimarts along the way and soak up some Southern drawl and “Good Ole Boy” culture.
But, I knew my companions were totally focused on arriving at the Loveliest Village on the Plains, so we sped down I-65 to Montgomery, then took I-85 North straight to Auburn.
The weather wasn’t perfect as we encountered periods of light rain all day. But, everything else was perfect. Boys between the ages of 8-10 have no reason to hold back their excitement. Not even the presence of an iPad for each one kept them from asking every few minutes how far we were from Auburn. Although Luke and Seth are brothers and Nathan is their first cousin, they functioned the whole trip as though they were a single unit. Without knowing it, they made it easy for me to become their age again by watching them lap up every moment of the day.
The campus covers 1,875 acres and every foot of it deserves to be seen and appreciated. Of course, the City of Auburn, AL which surrounds the campus is filled with bookstores, restaurants, and unique shops. Still, my resolve was for us to experience as much of Game Day at Auburn as possible. We parked on South College Street right across from where the campus begins and walked North toward famed Toomer’s Corner. Follow this link to learn some history behind one of the most important intersections in the state.
On a day like this one, the game seems to be on as soon as your foot rests on the sidewalk. For the youngsters, every sight and sound reveals a new discovery about a place they’ve heard so much about from relatives and seen on TV. The alumnus in the group can’t keep up with the flood of memories stirred by the same experience.
According to an app on my iPhone, we walked over 5 miles during the day. But, we need to go again because there’s far more to see and do at a Game Day in Auburn.
A few of the highlights of the day..
Iconic Samford Hall Tower in the background.
One of the two new Oaks at Toomer’s Corner.
The new Jumbotron is massive! Even from outside the stadium.
Front row for “Tiger Walk”.
Couldn’t pass up Cam Newton without a picture!
Another special memory for…Grandaddy!
Great place to dance to the music high above Pat Dye Field.
Are you kidding me? On the field after the game. A first for me!
“The Boys” sittin’ on the goal line. I’m feeling a post or two from this picture..
The way every Auburn fan hopes to end “Game Day”. Luke was nearby looking for Aubie.
Quotes of the day…
Luke: “I’ve never seen so much orange and blue!” and, “Look, there’s Aubie!”
Nathan: “Don’t worry, I know how to get down to the field.” and “My Mom and I ate here before the A-Day Game.”
Seth: “Look, there’s a Moe’s. Can we eat there?” and “Can we bring (cousin) Sam with us next time?