Last weekend I left Ben at home to relax while I sped toward the east coast to attend my favorite event of college football season. I don’t have a lot of pictures to prove that I was there because the camera and I are not agreeing at the moment as to how I should look in pictures but let me assure you that from 5 pm on Friday, October 29 through the morning on October 31 I was living it up with some great friends at the World’s Largest Outdoor Cocktail Party in Jacksonville. For me this year it was cocktail-less of course but the excitement and tradition were alive and well. Thanks to my dad my friends Mandi and Julie and Weston and I were able to stay in a great condo located just across the St. Johns’ from the stadium.
At the beginning of the week I didn't know what time I was going to get up there because we were so busy at work but thanks to a big push of overtime I was actually able to get off work at 1 pm and was able to pick my friend Sarah and her friend Kelly from the JAX airport at 5. The three of us went to a late dinner at the River City Brewing Company where I enjoyed a great Caesar salad, filet tips with mushrooms, onions and blue cheese in a red wine demi glaze, and key lime pie for dessert. We then killed some time before my other friends Mandi and Julie and Julie’s husband Weston arrived from Atlanta.
Saturday morning I got up at 8 am because it doesn't matter what time I go to bed I will always wake up at 8 am. I let my guests sleep and made a slight trek over to the Whole Foods Market that is located in Jacksonville. Now for whatever reason, I have been obsessed with Whole Foods since my first visit to the Atlanta/Buckhead store back in 2005….so needless to say my expectations were high. I have to admit though, that in the past five years Publix has made some great strides in their product lines had Publix now has most if not all of the brands that Whole Foods carries plus Publix has regular stuff like Sprite so I no longer feel as if I am missing out on something major because our area doesn't have a Whole Foods. Anyway, I picked up some bagels and bacon and fruit and headed back to the condo.
After breakfast and getting ready the rest of our friends arrived at the condo and we hopped on a water taxi and headed to the stadium. Now I wasn’t really excited about the actual game this year because I of what I had seen from the Gators up to that point. However, my excitement level increased about 100 fold after I was forced to walk through a tunnel of “drunk obnoxious Georgia fans” – their words not mine – and remembered just how good it feels to be the winner at the end of this game. After a fun afternoon of tailgating we headed over to the stadium and were happy to find that all of our friends were sitting within four seats of each other. I was also really excited because we were sitting about 15 rows up which meant I could get some great shots of the Gator players.
It was an awesome spot and an AMAZING game full of all the ups and downs that I can always expect from a Georgia-Florida matchup. It doesn’t matter how many wins or losses each team has when they face off against each other in Jacksonville each year you better believe that you are about to witness a brawl. In an ending that was sooo exciting that I was legitimately worried about pre-term labor (picture me jumping up and down, hollering and holding my belly all at once) the Gators came out victorious and I for one was more than excited to wave goodbye to those now sad obnoxious Georgia fans who once again had to watch their Dawgs come up short against my mighty Gators! I know that in the next few years its going to get more difficult for Ben and I to attend this game because of all the events that happen around Halloween related to the kiddos but I also know that when we do get a chance to return to Jacksonville the tradition and rivalry that is the Florida-Georgia game will be there waiting for us.