Monday, October 18, 2010

Homecoming---in pictures

Not wanting to make a scene, the goodbyes were quick and practically non-existent as we pulled away from Gammie and Grandad's Friday, leaving Gillian Grace behind for the weekend as we headed to Gainesville for Florida's Homecoming. Being that it was the first time I'd left my Sweet Bean for more than a couple hours, we rode in silence for the first few miles as I fought the urge to cry and force Bret to turn the car around. After all, leaving this face is always difficult!


Even though mom and dad are pros when it comes to child-rearing (I mean look how great I turned out, haha!), old habits die hard and the teacher in me couldn't resist leaving them with a handy dandy reference guide to all things Gillian Grace. From a daily schedule to GG's food preferences, I covered it all. And despite probably thinking that I was completely out of my mind, mom and dad were most gracious about my OCD tendencies and didn't make fun of me my face anyway!
And thanks to the great idea I learned from my friend, Laura, Gillian Grace also had a mini photo album with pictures of her daddy and me just so she wouldn't forget about us. After all, two days is such a long time! (Wink! Wink!)


On our way, we stopped in rivalry territory for a quick pit stop. You know me, I just had to snap a picture! Kudos, Tallahassee! You may be home of the Florida State Seminoles, but you sure do know how to make a girl feel welcome with one of the classiest restrooms I've ever seen in a Chick-Fil-A!



After the nearly five hour drive, we checked into our hotel and then headed downtown where, Bret and I enjoyed dinner at our favorite, out of the way, local pizza joint, Big Lou's. Yum!

Image credit: Dana Johnhill

Nothing beats a NY style pizza!

Greek salad with loads of feta and fresh olives

Is there anything better than fried cheese? Mozzarella sticks are my favorite fried food indulgence!

Having not been back to Gainesville since we moved a little over three years ago, I was excited to tour the town and see what all had changed. On the featured list of attractions, my old residences.

Image credit: Phil Sandlin/AP
Beaty Towers, dorm

I called this dorm home the Fall semester of my freshman year, before moving into the Chi-O house the following Spring. This dorm, though I didn't know it at the time, has a rather famous association. Tom Petty, the famous singer/songwriter from Gainesville, is said to have written his song, American Girl, after learning of a young co-ed's death after falling from one of Beaty Tower's upper rooms. Though not the most feel-good story around, you got to admit, it's a little interesting!

Apartment Life (Melrose Place it wasn't!)


Home Life
I moved into Bret's townhouse after we got married. 

While Bret finished up his PhD, we were fortunate to build and move into this home, even if it was only for a little while. Who knew we'd be heading to Alabama just a year and a half after moving in!?

After driving around town, we parked the car and headed to campus to join in the Homecoming festivities.

On our way, we spotted a few gators on campus. And not the orange and blue wearing, tailgating gators you might be thinking of, but real alligators!


After the close to 3 mile hike from our hotel, we were starving! Lunch at The Swamp, a Gainesville landmark, was the perfect Game Day choice! The food was just okay, but the electric atmosphere was second to none!

Image Credit: Gator Nites




After our late lunch and making the rounds to all the various alumni barbecues, we headed in to catch all the pre-game action. Sadly, we saw more action during the warm-ups than we saw from Florida the rest of the night!




And unfortunately, instead of looking like this...


Image credit: AP

We ended the night looking more like this...

Credit: Google Images

And after drowning our sorrows in one ridiculously over priced $17 slice of room service key lime pie...


We returned home and found our happy ending!



All in all, Bret and I had a wonderful weekend away, and Gillian Grace was spoiled rotten by her grandparents, as it should be! The only thing that would have made the weekend better would've been to have been able to enjoy it with Sweet Bean and to have come away with a W instead of the Gators third consecutive loss! Oh well, there's always next year, right?!

And for those keeping track, I managed to only call home to check in every two to three hours! Not too bad, huh?

What did y'all do this weekend?

{Thanks, Gammie and Grandad for watching Bean, and Mary for the tickets! Without y'all we'd been watching the game from the couch!}

Check out the Lee La La giveaway! It's been extended through Wednesday!



Candace said...

First - I know what you mean by leaving the baby and wanting to turn back. I have to convince myself that Addison is okay when I leave her with my mom. I'm not sure how I think I've made it this far if it weren't for her...but oh well.

Second - the restroom at Chick-fil-a makes my bathroom at home look bad. HA!

Third - I love visiting our college town! Luckily, we only live 30 minutes from Tuscaloosa, and I'm all over that place as much as possible - things still change every year though!

Fourth - I'm sure you are very happy to be home to that sweet face!

Tracey said...

I can't believe you dissed me this weekend!! You better be making it up to me REAL SOON, WEBB.

Glad y'all had a great time and yes, my heart is still hurting from our third loss in a row. "Wait 'til next year" is right. Still love my Gators even though they tick me off. ;)

Liz said...

Looks like you had a fun weekend!! Me and the hubs are off to TX for a weekend in less than month (without the babes). I'm excited for it, but starting to get nervous at the same time!

I think I'll make a little book like you did - that will be a great reference guide to little miss Abby! :)

I Do Declare said...

I'm glad y'all had a fun weekend! I love going back to campus and seeing how things have changed!!!

Wade & Melissa said...

Sounds like you had a great weekend! Calling every 2-3 hours is pretty darn good, considering I called home every hour until Maddox went to bed. I told my parents it will be a long long time before he stays the night away from me again! I survived...barely! Looks like GG had a great visit with her grandparents!

Speaking of football, not rubbing it in or anything, but LSU is 7-0 for the first time in like 50+ years! Just had to throw that in! Geaux Tigers! ;)

Oh, and that bathroom looks way better than mine at home! I am jealous!

Mungee's Ma said...

I love that notebook! That's definitely something I should do instead of quickly scribbling things down on scrap paper.

That bathroom at Chick-fil-A? So cute! We have an antique store in town that has the most adorable bathroom. I should take photos of it next time I go.

Gators ... what's up? It's a sad season :(

mama k said...

This was such a great post to read. I have unfortunately been away from my son for a couple of nights when I got really sick!! But he was with my husband. We have yet to leave him for a weekend with the grandparents...but it's definitely something we have been thinking about...

You have given me some inspiration to start planning a trip for just the two of us!

And I love the book you made!! Such a great idea...and it's great for emergencies too!

Kelly @ Blessed Mommy, Blessed Wife said...

Kudos to you for enjoying some adult time! I am trying to work up the courage to do this so we can ski this winter after I'm done recovering. I think I'm almost there. It's only taken me 5+ years.

That Chick-Fil-A bathroom is awesome! Love the color scheme :)

So glad you enjoyed a visit back to The Swamp! My brother also got his PhD there but now teaches at UGA and went to his first Dawgs game this weekend - I was shocked that he stepped foot inside their stadium! I couldn't wait to see the pictures to see what he was wearing. I was going to be shocked if he was in UGA attire. My SIL just posted them and he was in a plain black shirt but she had on her orange. Once a Gator, always a Gator ;)

Ashley said...

I was in Gainesville this weekend too! I wish I had known y'all were there I would have loved to meet you! What a disappointing game for our Gators :( I do go to Miss. State for grad school so it was a very bittersweet game. I was in orange and blue though. Still believe in the orange and blue! Go Gators! :)

Lindsay said...

love the pics girl! Looks like a fun weekend!

Kate (Southern-Belle-Simple) said...

just to prove that i'm a good sport about our different team loyalties, i won't say a single mean thing about your gators losing! it looks like you had a blast and i'm glad your ladybug was in one happy piece when you returned! thanks for stopping by southern-belle-simple! xoxo

Laura@Cowboy Boots said...

haha that chick fil a was amazing!!! others should take notes on a stylish potty stop!

i'm soooo glad you had a great weekend!

Shannon said...

Shannon- I had to pop over! Gillian Grace is ADORABLE!!! and- I cannot get over that Chick-Fil-A Bathroom!!!

KJJ Houston said...

I love this post! Love the tour of the old digs! Looks like you had a fab time even if you didnt end up looking like that cute picture :) he he
And ummm that restroom is so freaking awesome! Love that pattern and that they even did that for us ladies :)
Welcome home and you should totally do a fall festival of your own next year! Start the tradition!! You dont have to make it cost much at first. Or maybe you can get a group of moms to pitch in! Ours has evolved to marg machines and bounce houses, but I think it started out very minimal

BN Mom said...


I'm a new follower, maybe when you get a chance you can follow me too!

Jen said...

So jealous of your trip to G'ville! Hopefully we'll get down there next season for a game. Too bad those pesky Gators lost again!

Love how OCD you are about leaving GG. I was too! :)

Liz said...

You had me at "room service!"


I love how you even noted things like, "messy" on Gigi's Care Sheet!

Brittany Ann said...

1. You totally made my miss G-ville. Oh, the Swamp! YUM!

2. That first apartment complex? I lived next door to that complex for two years of undergrad and one of grad school at Florida!

3. Did you want to cry after the game Saturday? Because I totally did.

blueviolet said...

I'm glad you took the time to get away and you two are a darling couple. But what a lovely little ending, you're right!

PS. I once left my mom a note like that about what to feed my daughter and she totally disregarded it. The nerve! lol

Lexie Loo & Dylan Too said...

I'm so glad you had a great weekend away! Love the pictures!

Angie said...

Looks like a wonderful weekend away!

Even though it is so hard to leave my kids I always enjoy my time away, and the reunion with the kids is so bittersweet!

Sara said...

It's great that you had a weekend away!! I must share your OCD because I left my Mom a similar list the first time I went on a business trip after Addison was born. have great handwriting!

What a great trip down memory lane seeing all the places you guys lived during and after college. Sorry your Gators lost :-(

Kristin @ Ellie-Town said...

So jealous of your weekend away! Sorry you had to leave the game with sad faces. ;)

Your Southern Peach said...

Thanks for stopping by my blog. My mother in law is a Gator too! I absolutely love the notebook with "meal options!" We are going to Nashville for Vandy's homecoming this weekend so I am absolutely going to do this for the kids. Looking forward to reading more from you too!

Jennifer said...

Ok...I have done the same thing with the 20 page instructions for my mom on the one time I left my kids overnight. And she threw it right in the trash...LOL! At least your mom appeased you :) I am glad you had a nice time away. I am sure you needed a break. I swear it makes you a better wife and mom. And loved the house that you guys had charming. Glad to see GG's face this week :)

Singlemama said...

Hello! I am your newest follower from a Monday Blog Hop. I would love it if you would follow back at one or all three my blogs!

Thank you! Have a great week!

Jen said...

Yay for your getaway! Now you have done it! And I bet Gillian had a great time. I love your little user manual the best!
Love the tour of Gator Land.
Looks like you had fun...and got your happy ending!

Heidi said...

Thanks for the sweet comments you left yesterday. Starting a blog and putting yourself out there can be nerve racking.

Your daughter is beautiful! Such a cute age!

Annette said...

Sounds like an incredibly fun weekend! It's always fun to stroll down memory lane! I'm very proud of you Shannon! You created an awesome little photo album, and you did wonderfully entrusting your litte Gilly with your parents for the weekend. (I still haven't ventured to take a trip like this without Lil' Lewie, but I do know we'll need one soon--even if it's just for a little R & R.) Hope you had a wonderful time!