Travel date: November 4-November 6, 2011.
Last weekend was my alma mater's - the University of Florida (Go Gators!) - annual homecoming festivities, with my gator boys playing Tennessee's Vanderbilt University. As a devout Gator fan (through the good times and the bad times) and all-things-Gainesville enthusiast, myself and my group of Gator friends planned this glorious trip for months, and made it one to remember. And I even got to introduce some new friends to the Orange & Blue culture - which you can read more about in what looks to be an awesome fellow Journalism/Communications grad site: UF Traditions: A look into the past, present and future.
When in Rome, do as the carefree college students do:
An Alumni Guide to a Weekend Down Nostalgia Lane
NIGHTLIFE - Hit up GatorCity/XS and their legendary 80s night, as well as Mother's for some of the cheapest drink specials in the country - think pitchers for dollars - just don't wear shoes you don't mind getting absolutely gross.
TAILGATE - find a cozy spot on/near campus to park and set up camp - ours was down the street from Hume, the Honors dorm. A little bit of a walk to the stadium, but that guarantees a great tour of campus and all its glory!
AT THE SWAMP - we scored amazing seats for our first winning game in 4 Saturdays. Follow along with the Pride of the Sunshine Band and our fierce mascots Albert & Alberta for the cheers and traditions (see below!) - and when in doubt, do the gator chomp and yell "Gator Bait!"
FOOD - are you a hardcore alum? If the good ol' beer and pizza diet doesn't scare you, the best nostalgia food will be the 24hour-7days a week operating Five Star Pizza. Sadly we had to skip Satchels, as none of us could wait 1 hour to be seated.
Gainesville, the transient city that never ages, that changes so often yet stays the same, will always have a really dear place in my heart. From the strong-holding friendships, hysterical memories and all the growing up i did, it shaped who I am and it'll forever be my home.
|The Pride of the Sunshine Band|
We are the boys from old Florida
|Albert & Alberta|