Sunday, March 12, 2017

Auburn, a fun destination that still feels like home

My self imposed Social Media ban has been surprisingly easy, however I do admit I missed it so much this past weekend. I took last Friday off and one of my work friends and I took off to Auburn for a short but sweet trip. I got to eat at my favorite places, and watch the Auburn Gymnastics Team flip on Senior Night and marveled at how much the place had changed since I left it so many years ago. I probably do not get back to Auburn as much as other alumni and admit that it has been a while since I went for a sporting event.  Pulling off the interstate it was like stepping into another world of businesses, apartment complexes, restaurants, and so much more that now lines the streets of the town I used to call home. Where is the freaking grass I kept thinking to myself. However when we got into the heart of campus I felt this immediate calm wash over me as I was back where I belonged. The place that literally gave me the foundation that would shape me into the person I am today.

It was a fun trip and I hated not sharing it with my social media friends and family. Prior to the meet we ate a delicious cheese burger at Cheeburger Cheeburger (with fries and onion rings cause I'm an adult), yes they have bigger mason jars now and no I didn't steal one but I really wanted to do so. I'm grown now and I guess I know better. I knew better then too but let's not focus on that or the fact that there's at least one jar in my cabinet (maybe two). Then we walked up to the famous Toomer’s Drug Store for some shopping at J&M Bookstore, and Tree appreciation time before going to Tiger Rags, must stops for any Auburn fan. We also decided to catch a movie while we were in town since we had some time to kill and we love movies. I'll watch anything as long as I have popcorn. Too bad a. the popcorn was kinda stale, and b. I accidently dropped it before the previews were done and lost half of the popcorn on the floor. We went to see “The Shack” which I have to admit was better than I thought it would be even if there were things about it that I didn’t like and I'm sorry .... Tim McGraw was a distraction. I never fell into the movie enough to know that wasn't Tim McGraw and frankly he annoyed me during this movie.  It’s one of those movies that I’m glad to have experienced but not one that I’m going to rush to Amazon to buy the book, or get it on DVD so I can watch over and over again.

Last time I focused on my lack of negativity via social media and this time I was reminded of how much positivity I tend to throw out there too. This week’s Auburn Gymnastics meet celebrated “Senior Night” and to not take a moment to tell the Senior class what a joy it has been to watch them work was hard was really hard.

So I'll take the time now, MJ (Psychology), Lucia (Pre-Med), Kelsey (Mechanical Engineering), and Kullen (Aerospace Engineering) it has been an honor to watch each of you work and I'm sure whatever path you walk...tumble...down next you will be amazing at it if you only show HALF the dedication that you have shown to this Auburn Team. Thank you for your time, your dedication, and the memories, War Eagle and happy graduation! (side note, I included their respective majors cause I wanted to give a shout out to how smart my Tigers are as well as talented and strong!)

These ladies give up so much to wear that Leotard from time with family, with friends and with loved ones to the amount of time they train, study and support each other it seemed wrong to not acknowledge it. The meet we went to was between Auburn and Pittsburg, not exactly an SEC clash of the titans meet but Pittsburg had a great meet. The Pittsburg team was staying our hotel and while we only saw them for a few minutes the interaction I had with them was very positive. They looked like a great group of young ladies and they definitely put on a show for the Auburn fans Friday night. I would have liked to have tweeted to the team’s twitter handle to tell them how much I enjoyed their performance. They definitely came to play as did the Auburn Seniors in their final night before friends, family, and fans in an Auburn leotard in a home setting.

The season is not over but for those Seniors that’s a night they will always cherish. I also loved how the entire team came out to each of the exits to talk with fans, take pictures and sign autographs (let’s see the football, basketball, baseball teams do that and I know their tickets are more expensive). Watching these ladies with their fans was fun, watching little boys and girls afraid to approach but then be welcomed with a hug and a picture was heartwarming, you got a sense that they appreciated us being there as much as we appreciated what they do. Those ladies are pretty amazing! Next up for the Tigers is the SEC Championships in Jacksonville. This young team has the opportunity to do well at the championships, they have been knocking on the door all season with great scores they just need solid scores, hitting their routines and they could have a great night. Don’t get me wrong I don’t harbor this insane idea that Auburn will win it all, that’s between LSU and FL (my money is on LSU) and you can never rule out Alabama but I think Auburn could be the dark horse no one is watching to come in and finish 5th. This team is building and with a young team they have a bright future ahead of them.

After the meet we went to one of my favorite places in the world to eat “Willie’s Wings.” It was a mainstay in my student life and they deliver! They are only open from 5PM until about 1AM so it was the perfect late night place to go for some good hot food that wasn’t pizza. A college kid can only eat so much pizza. I was so excited to walk into the Resturant and was immediately transported back by the smell. I couldn’t wait to get that sandwich in my belly. Western Sub with Tots, I’ve tried to recreate it at home and I come close but NOTHING compares to Willie’s Western Sub with Tots. With a fully belly I slept like a baby.

On Saturday we got up frolicked around campus some more, sent Golden a note from Biggin Hall (her home away from home while at Auburn) and hit the road to head back home. It was a great weekend of conversation, fun, food, and laughter. I can’t wait to go back. I wonder if my boss would let me take every Friday off to spent 24 hours in Auburn, better yet I wonder if they want to open an “Auburn branch” with me as their first employee. I could move back there in a heartbeat. In a few years my nephew, Lord willing, will be at Auburn and I just might have to make more of a point to get up there and make sure he’s not making the same mistakes I did while in school. Auburn will always have a special place in my heart and I hope he’ll feel the same way after he gets his degree. It’s so much more than a place or a school it’s the atmosphere, the people, the area itself and until you experience it I can’t explain it to you. So I’ll leave you with this …

Marcy (C/O 01)