Thursday, October 6, 2011

tigers beat the hokies!

Football road trips are one of my favorite things to do in the fall, and I have traveled all over the east coast with various friends and family to watch Clemson play on the road. I remember all-to-well the feeling of hopelessness in Doak Campbell stadium in Tallahassee watching the Tigers getting killed by the Seminoles and at the Georgia Dome, when C.J. Spiller's kick-off return was the only score Clemson had in a 30-7 loss to Alabama. The excitement of that trip was hearing that my friend Kim experienced Braxton-Hicks contractions as she cheered C.J. on and seeing the bar where parts of Sweet Home Alabama was filmed on the way home.

I've sat through the rain at Wake Forest and witnessed a mediocre Clemson performance turned around by a Gaines Adams' blocked field goal. Clemson went on to win that day, and we loved seeing them come back! I thought about that game when I heard of Adams' untimely death. I've been to Duke, where students studied during the game; NC State, which became electric on a Thursday night when then freshman James Davis just showed out and rushed for 143 yards; and Boston College, where the city of Boston was overtaken by fans in orange on Clemson's first trip there, and our nerves were shot after the Tigers lost a heartbreaker in triple overtime.

The only ACC stadiums I had not been to until last Saturday were UVA, Miami and Virginia Tech, so I was excited when Richard agreed to make the trip to Blacksburg to cheer on our Tigers in a huge, both teams ranked in the top-15, match up. Richard was post-call, so he was definitely a trooper to make the 4+ hour drive with me. The gray and rainy day turned out to be one of the coolest in several months. We got the Blacksburg and in the stadium just in time for kick-off and honestly were pretty miserable throughout the first half.

cloudy skies and a full Lane Stadium

don't let those smiles fool you- we were cold and really wet!

Things started to turn around for us when it was clear that the Tiger team had shown up not only to compete but to dominate. Andre Branch kept VA Tech's offense from threatening all night, and Tajh Boyd and our receivers were right on, despite the unfavorable conditions. It was so exciting to be amongst a group of incredibly hyped fans! That's another one of my favorite things about away games- you know the fans there are some of the most dedicated.

delicious turkey leg- the Clemson hat was in the other car, but he really did have on orange underneath

The rain lessened, I bought a thick pair of VA Tech socks, and we made it through to the end of an amazing game. Clemson came away with a 23-3 victory and a new #8 ranking. GO TIGERS!

How bout them Tigers?!

warmer and happier after the game

singing the alma mater with the Tiger faithful

Richard and I ended up spending Saturday night in Staunton, Virginia, since all the hotels in Blacksburg and Roanoke were full. Staunton is on the way back to DC right off Highway 81 and is a charming little town. We've stopped there a couple of times on the way home from Spartanburg and really love it. We stayed in the middle of town at the Stonewall Jackson Hotel, which I'd highly recommend for anyone journeying to the Shenandoah Valley.

love the retro sign

We had a tasty Sunday lunch at Mrs. Rowe's. How we miss meat and three restaurants! The desserts at Mrs. Rowe's are fabulous.

still wearing the purple and orange

Woodrow Wilson's birthplace also happens to be in Staunton, and we took a very educational tour of his home and Presidential library. I have a new appreciation for President Wilson. Apparently he was quite the lady's man- he had two wives and a long-time "friend" named Mrs. Peck. He actually spent some of his childhood in Augusta, GA and Columbia, SC, which makes me feel a little closer to him. And he called himself "Tiger" because of his time as President of Princeton University; he was and remains the only President to have obtained his PhD.

back of the Wilson manse- his dad was a Presbyterian minister, so the home was actually owned by the Presbyterian church

President Wilson's limousine- after his stroke he used to watch Washington Senators games from inside the car

happy fall!
I hate the fact we won't make the Homecoming game against Boston College this weekend, but we'll be cheering hard in DC! I've loved Dabo Swinney from the start, and there is truly something special about this young Clemson team. I'm so, so proud of them, and of the 1000+ fans who turned out to welcome them home to Death Valley's West Endzone.

1 comment:

  1. I just found your blog! You always look darling!

    What a great game to go to! I used to live near Staunton when I was based at JMU in Harrisonburg to open up a new Theta chapter. I thought I had seen all the historical places, but I missed one!