05 December 2017

Championship Saturday: Back-to-Back-to-Back


Every time that I think about how Clemson has won three straight ACC Championships, how they have made three straight CFP appearances, how they won the National Championship last year, and how this is Clemson's new "normal"... I can't help but think about how incredibly awesome it is to be a Clemson Alumna right about now! It's pretty fantastic.

Also, I think about how the ACC Championship game is played in Charlotte and how in the three years since I moved away, Clemson has played in that game. Couldn't they have had a few more ACC Championship appearances while I lived in town?!

We had such a good time visiting one of our favorite North Carolina towns this past weekend though. Instead of a traditional tailgate, Patrick and I decided to do a little brewery and tailgate hopping.

First stop: Wooden Robot.

Unknown Brewing was looking a little sketchy on Saturday, thanks to a huge remodel that they're doing. But, we found some friends inside that it was great to catch up with!

The best part of this picture is not the fact that we ran into Jacob and Cameron in Charlotte, it's the fact that Cameron was wearing orange for the game. I'm just going to pretend that it was 100% for Clemson and not the neutral color of the game.

It wouldn't be an ACC Championship tailgate or game without Laurel. Six years ago, we bonded and finally became friends (after a year and a half of working together) at an ACC Championship tailgate, so it was only appropriate to celebrate that occasion on Saturday.

& that brings us to... the only picture that I took during the entire ACC Championship game. The storage space on my computer thanks me though, because I think I have hundreds (if not thousands) of pictures of Clemson football games and probably didn't need any more.

Next up: Clemson vs Alabama, Part 3.

Can we all just appreciate for one moment that the semi final games are not on New Year's Eve this year? I am so ready to be able to celebrate the New Year without having it tie into football games. Bring on the New Year's Day game!

30 November 2017

Rivalry #9

I love rivalry weekend.

Even though I started out the first part of the long Thanksgiving / rivalry weekend with a cold, I rallied in time for the Clemson vs Carolina game on Saturday. I was not going to miss this tailgate or this game.

Can you believe that this was our 9th Clemson vs Carolina game? It's hard to believe that we've been through 9 football seasons together... and yes, I definitely measure the length of our relationship by football seasons.

Can you also believe that we took my orange tent to tailgate with this weekend? It made directing friends to our tailgate so much easier since we were the only orange tent in sight in the State Fairgrounds lot.

It's exactly how this girl found our tailgate.

These people are some of my favorite, but we were missing the other two from our group. They'll get a pass for this game though since they were busy welcoming the littlest and newest member to our group :)

The picture below is brought to you by my uncle. He showed up to Thanksgiving with two things for me. The first was the "Don't Panic" FedEx button from sometime in the 1970s. The second was a six pack of River Rat's American Kölsch Story because he read this blog post... and took notes! Thanks, Addy!

And this picture is brought to you by 29 years of friendship. We may never actually plan on seeing each other ever, but we always run into each other anytime we're out and about around Columbia.

I was outnumbered at our tailgate for a majority of the day (things that happen when you tailgate in enemy territory) but these two showed up towards the end to try and help even out the numbers.

Game time!

We spent the first half of the game sitting in my dad's seats. After half, when the home team fans began their mass exodus out of the stadium, we moved down to the lower deck to watch the rest of the game with Patrick's dad in his seats.

Did I thoroughly enjoy our tailgate and the game this year? You bet. When Patrick and I first started dating, Carolina had just started their five-game winning streak. For the first five years that we were together... Carolina won. We're almost tied now.


In the end... Clemson walked away with a 34-10 win (their 4th in a row over Carolina!) and we're moving on to bigger and better things: the ACC Championship. It's an unofficial play-in game for the CFP Playoffs this year as Clemson takes on Miami and I am SO excited that the game is back in Charlotte.

But I might be more excited about the fact that Clemson is back to being the #1 team in the country. Go Tigers!


Hey Charlotte, we're coming for you!

21 November 2017

What's In My 6-Pack {of Craft Beers!}

Truth: I love craft beer.

Y'all know that I think a perfect day involves a stop at a brewery. To me, a brewery hop is the best way to celebrate any occasion from birthdays to bachelorette parties. I love to cross a new brewery off of our list and I'm always, always, always game to stop by one.

I also love to shop for craft beer. Some girls love to go shoe shopping and look at makeup for hours... I love to browse the aisles at my favorite bottle shops. To each their own, right? Well, I was browsing an aisle last week and shared a few of my favorites on my Instagram story and y'all had all of the questions about what other craft beers would make the list.

If I had to put together the perfect make-your-own 6 pack right now, here's what it would look like:

New Belgian Fat Tire Special Release Belgian White Ale

I may actually cry the day I can no longer find this special release. It is hands down my number one craft beer right now. It's delicious, and as a bonus, it comes from an incredible employee-owned brewery up the road in Asheville. There is potentially a small stockpile of it in our house #noshame

Wicked Weed Lunatic Blonde

Say what you want about Wicked Weed selling out and no longer being considered "craft beer" but I don't care. Wicked Weed is still one of my favorite breweries and until they sold out, I was never able to find their beer in SC. Now I am able to find Lunatic Blonde every where I go! There is only one blonde beer that I love more {Southern Belle Blonde from Twisted Spur in Columbia} but since they don't distribute, this one wins.

Revelry Gullah Cream Ale

I had this craft beer for the very first time last summer when Patrick and I did a quick brewery hop in Charleston to cross a few off our list / pick up growlers for our wedding reception decoration. It was great, but I was pretty sad that the only chance I'd be able to have this one was in their brewery. You can find it in Columbia now if you know where to look... and it's one that's really hard to not buy when I see it.

Coast 32/50 Kölsch

This is the one craft beer on the list that comes from a brewery that we haven't visited, despite it being just down the road in Charleston. 

OMB Hornet's Nest Hefeweizen

This craft beer started off as a seasonal brew that was only available on tap at their brewery and around Charlotte... which meant that it was always my first choice when visiting Charlotte in late spring/summer. Now, not only can I find it in bottles in Columbia, but it made OMB's year round list!

River Rat American Kölsch Story

The one hometown beer on the list, but the one that I can't leave out. There is always an American Kölsch Story in our house and there is always one in the cooler when we pack one for a tailgate or the beach or wherever. Partly because it comes in a really cool can, but mostly because it's a good beer.

So there you have it: all of the craft beers that you can currently find in my house somewhere and the ones that I am most likely to pick up at the store or choose in the brewery if we're there. If you come across any of these beers and you're a big wheat/wit/blonde/hefeweizen fan like I am, go ahead and pick up a six pack. You won't regret it!

20 November 2017

Weekending in Kiawah

Some people only enjoy spending time at the beach in the summer.

Sure, summertime at the beach is great. Warm weather, plenty of sunshine, vacation days... all of the good things and all things that I like. But spending time on Kiawah in the fall? Y'all, it might be my very favorite time to be at Kiawah.

I started out Saturday morning with a nice, easy run to the tune of Taylor Swift & reputation. I might be slightly hooked on her latest album and it's been playing on my phone on repeat since the day it came out #sorrynotsorry

My mom and I took our bikes out for a spin up to Freshfields to check out the new Cantina 76 that just opened up there, and my dad met us there.

Cantina 76 isn't a new restaurant to me. We have two of them in Columbia and I absolutely adore dining there. They have the best salsa, thanks in part to the copious amounts of cilantro that they add to it.

We made it an early lunch so that we could get back in time to watch Clemson take on The Citadel {& win!} before heading back out for another bike ride before sunset.

For the first time in the history of ever... or at least since they were still in high school and living at home, my dad and his brother not only live in the same state, but they live on the same island. Both of them closed on their original houses houses and moved to the low country the same weekend.

Since all my dad's side of the family currently lives in the Charleston area, I decided it would be a great idea for all of us to go out to dinner Saturday night. We enjoyed a delicious dinner at The Loophole on Johns Island... which happens to be right next door to Low Tide Brewing. Between The Southern General, The Tattooed Moose, and now The Loophole, there are plenty of good restaurants to check out before or after our next trip to Low Tide.

Sunday was more of the same from Saturday: a lot of biking & exploring around the island, to the tune of 16.5 miles.

It was a great weekend on Kiawah, but now it's time to kick off one of my very favorite week's of the year. We're hosting Thanksgiving at our house again, then we'll be cutting down our Christmas tree and putting up decorations, and of course, it's RIVALRY WEEK!

Happy Monday, y'all.

15 November 2017

Orange Britches Are For Championships

It doesn't get much better than a fall Saturday in Clemson.

I love to tailgate.

I love being surrounded by football, catching up with friends, spending time with my favorite tailgating partners in crime, people watching, and snacking on all of the fun food that comes with a tailgate. Patrick and I throw out the idea sometimes of what our life would look like if we didn't care about college football.

It would be really different. I'm just glad that we both love it as much as we do and it's something that we always enjoy together {with the exception of next weekend's game... Rivalry Week is almost here!}

I'm glad that most of our friends like football and tailgating, too. Even when it's super cold outside.

When it's cold enough to have on multiple layers, but you feel the need to not button or zip up any of said layers.

One of the other things I love about tailgates? You never know who you're going to run into. Running into your sorority little sister that you haven't seen in years? The best.

It was a weird football season for the two of us. We had a lot of girls only tailgates, we missed the game against Georgia Tech, and we decided to sell our tickets to the game this coming weekend. It's not often {ever?} that we miss two games in one season or have so many tailgates without the guys.

Clemson has this tradition to wear their orange pants {orange britches!} whenever they're playing in a championship game. Saturday night's game against FSU was for the ACC Atlantic Division Title, so the orange britches came out!

& this is what I like to call the "guess who isn't happy that we're attending the ACC Championship Game in December" picture.

But you know what?

Clemson is 9-1, ranked #2 in the latest College Football Playoff rankings, and they're headed to Charlotte in December for the ACC Championship Game! Go Tigers!

30 October 2017

The Tailgate Without a Football Game

Saturday was... weird.

Good, but weird.

It started out when they announced that the Clemson vs GA Tech game would be at 8pm. Then, they started predicting a cold, rainy day in Tiger Town. The final straw? My mom spent the majority of last week under the weather. Going to Clemson for the game this past Saturday just wasn't going to happen for us.

I improvised, embraced the un-planned {unlike last weekend}, and had an awesome fall Saturday in Columbia.

First up: Saturday mornings are for long distance half marathon training runs. Woke up early, waited for the sun to come up, and knocked out 6.5 miles.

From there, we headed downtown to Main Street for Soda City Market. Two of our friends and their super cute kid were in town and we wanted to catch up with them for a bit. Better yet? Two more friends were in town for the day and met us at the market, too!

Russell is the most chill kid I've ever met. I've been stealing this kid away from his mama every time I see him since the day I met him and I don't see that changing anytime soon. I'm pretty sure I treated his mom the same way when she was the same age... guess things don't change??

From the market, we headed out to the fairgrounds for a little tailgating before the USC vs Vandy homecoming game. I didn't have a ticket to this game, but I wasn't about to miss out on an opportunity to tailgate. In the 15 years that I've been going to college football games, I can only think of one other time that I've tailgated without going into the game {and both were USC game tailgates!}

Don't be surprised if you see me with a clear fanny pack like Katie's at the next Clemson game. I didn't even know such a thing existed!

It was a beautiful day for tailgating. Sunny, a little bit of wind, and just cool enough to get away with wearing jeans. It's hard to believe that a couple hours up the road in Clemson it was about 20 degrees cooler and pouring down rain for most of the day. We definitely lucked out with the weather in Columbia.

Hands down, the best part of the day was leaving the tailgate at 3:41pm, walking back to my car, driving back to the house, and getting inside the house in time for the 4pm kickoff. Living so close to USC's football stadium occasionally has it's perks! This Saturday was one of those days.

It was really weird to watch a home Clemson game from my house, but I totally didn't regret my decision to miss it AT ALL. It looked like it was absolutely miserable. Cold and rainy. The players would make a tackle on the field and slide an extra ten feet at the end of the play. We had friends who didn't make it the whole game and who spent hours sitting in traffic trying to get home. Nope. Nope. Nope. I enjoyed watching that win from my warm, dry house.

Here's hoping their game against FSU in two weeks is a slightly warmer and sunnier game!

Happy Monday, y'all!

23 October 2017

The Weekend of No Football

So, what exactly does one do when both Clemson and Carolina have a bye week on the same weekend?

You totally check out of college football.

We didn't watch a single game all weekend, and to be honest, had no idea what happened in any of the games until we caught up with the college football recap on Sunday morning on ESPN. Not going to lie - it was kind of nice having a completely football free weekend. Not that I have any intentions of doing that again until football season is over... but it was still a nice change!

I think I've finally reached "regular" status at my favorite watering hole, Craft and Draft, recently. They've got a great, low-key vibe there... part bar, part brewery, part bottle shop, part awesome. It's been my first choice of places to meet people after work lately and my first choice of places to grab a drink with Patrick if we're out and about.

This weekend started out there for drinks with my friend Camlin before we grabbed dinner across the street. I tried out a new-to-me wheat beer from Revelry Brewing {Charleston, SC}: Hotel Rendezvous.

It was good, but I'll still go for their Gullah Cream Ale first over this one.

Saturday morning, we scrapped our original plan of a day trip up to Greenville, SC to explore the Swamp Rabbit Trail by bike, and stuck to Columbia for the day. We headed out to the other side of Columbia and enjoyed a late breakfast at Trenholm Plaza at The Original Pancake House.

How I have never been here is a mystery to me... but we will absolutely be going again soon! Their pancakes were amazing.

After doing a little shopping, spending time with our friends' and their sweet new baby boy, and some yard work, we celebrated my friend Katie's 30th birthday.

Sunday was a little bit of a lost day. There was a fair amount of laying around and napping. We did manage to get our grocery shopping for the week done and made an incredibly delicious version of our Halloween Chili.

I'm assuming that every once in awhile you need an unplanned weekend like this, but to be honest, it was a struggle for me. I like going into the weekend with a plan to optimize every minute of Friday, Saturday, and Sunday. It was super weird not to plan. The planning-side of me is thrilled that this entire week and upcoming weekend are already planned out :)

Happy Monday, y'all!

17 October 2017

Life Lately

Hello, fall!

Around here, fall is three things:
College Football {specifically Clemson} & Tailgates

Pumpkins {but not pumpkin flavored anything}

& being outside as much as possible.

The weather hasn't exactly cooperated with the last one, but y'all, it was in the 60s tonight when I was cooking supper on the grill outside. We still had highs in the 90s last week so this sudden cool weather is much appreciated.

Much appreciated.

Fall also means spending as much time with this guy as possible before tax season rolls around after the holidays. We're taking it easy after all of the traveling we did this summer and we're not planning any big trips this fall. Instead, we're taking advantage of the fun things going on in our own city, like Soda City Oktoberfest and Brookland Brunch.

But, fingers crossed, there is a day trip in our very near future. Or a trip to the South Carolina State Fair. Either one will work for me!
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