Tuesday, September 29, 2009

SEC Road Trip

All I can say is WOW!! People in the SEC really do love their football and everything that it entails. I started my trip off in Athens where we hosted a tailgate for the USC (gamecocks) game. We got there at 11 for a 7'oclock game which I must admit I thought was excessively early but I was in the company of two diehard gamecock fans and a Georgia fan that insisted it was absolutely necessary. Turns out they were right and despite the fact that we were arrived 8 hours before game time there were plenty of people who were already set up. We put out a big spread of grub and refreshments that I regret not getting a picture of before it got decimated. Here are some pictures from the game and of our banner which we were fortunate enough to set up on the dog walk.

I spent the first part of the week in Athens and met with a lot of really great people and got to eat a lot of really fantastic food. I almost overdosed on sweet tea because you can't find it out in Colorado except for in a McDonalds and they should be ashamed of themselves for calling that artificially sweetened crap sweet tea. Here are some cool Athens land marks from downtown and the campus.

The Arches

Statue of "UGA"

Next I hopped in my black PT Cruiser (a.k.a. heinous death trap) and made the journey to Oxford, MS. Unfortunately it rained almost the whole time I was there but it did not seem to dampen the spirits of the Ole Miss faithful. I spent Thursday and Friday meeting with clients and checking out some our rental properties down there, which are truly spectacular by the way. Here is one example. The owner, Mollisia Swaney, has taken great care in furnishing the property and makes sure that everything down to the last detail is taken care of. Click the image below for more information.

On Saturday I headed to the grove to participate in what I had been warned is the most impressive tailgating scene in the SEC. I am certainly no expert, but I was totally blown away. Again it was a night game and people line up at "The Grove"(it is a big park in the middle of campus) the night before and at 7:00 pm security lets all the tailgaters storm the grove and set up their tents for the next day. Apparently space along the "Walk of Champions" which is a brick walk way that all the players walk down on their way to the game, is the most coveted. I showed up around noon on game day to find "The Grove" absolutely covered with tents and people. I was not only shocked by the number of people that showed up in the rain and mud for an out of conference game but also by the fact that several tailgates had satellites, multiple flat screen TV's, carpet, chandeliers, and huge tables covered in food. It was so crowded it was hard to get good pictures but here are a couple.

I met a lot of incredibly friendly and gracious people, who define southern hospitality, that welcomed me to their tailgates and insisted I needed to come back for the Bama game because apparently what I was witnessing was JV compared to the crowd that would show up for an in conference game on a nice day. Honestly though I am not sure how you could have crammed one more person in there.

All in all it was a great trip and I am looking forward to getting the chance to visit some of the other conferences that we are serving as we continue to grow.