November 3, 2011

Rocky Top

This past weekend has been circled on my calendar since since this time last year.  And, the reason was not Halloween.  It was for the annual Halloween weekend match-up between South Carolina-Tennessee.  About half of my friends in Charleston have ties to East Tennessee.  They either went to the University of Tennessee or hail from Knoxville, Kingsport, or Chattanooga.

In combination with the game, three of my friends that we going to be in Knoxville were celebrating their birthdays.  Additionally, Homemade Wine had their hometown release party for their new CD.  My excitement level the week of the trip was uncontainable.

Elizabeth, Nate, Luke, and I loaded up in my car on Thursday to make the six hour drive from Charleston to Knoxville.  Nate grew up in Knoxville, and Luke attended UT.

After arriving in Knoxville a little after 7:00, Nate briefly showed Elizabeth and I around campus and downtown Knoxville. {Luke had dinner plans with his girlfriend}  As soon as I spotted the Mast General Store on Gay Street, I had to go in and get some candy.  I have a great picture of the massive candy aisle but for some reason it would not upload. Fail.  Following my brief return to being a kid in a candy store, we continued down Gay Street and had dinner at Downtown Grill and Brewery.  The brewery was an ideal place for dinner.  They had $2 speciality drafts and the food was delicious.  The atmosphere was fun and lively for a Thursday night.

Gay Street {take with iPhone}
Friday was Nate's birthday and one of his close friend from home birthday.  We had hoped to explore Knoxville some more but mother nature had different plans.  It literally rained all day; therefore, we lounged around and prepared ourselves for the rest of the weekend.

That night, Homemade Wine had a CD release party at Irish Times.  Their newest CD, Barstools, Broken Hearts, and Songs from the Road, will be available on iTunes shortly.  This party was for the hometown crew.  The band headed down to Key West for the big party the next day.

Most of the group
We were pretty much divided evenly between Carolina and Tennessee
Carolina ladies - Christie, Elizabeth, and I 

The boys in the band.
The birthday boys leading a hand for Darlin'.
On Saturday, the weather was unbelievably perfect.  I am talking sixty degrees and a little breeze.  We started the day at Jesse's tailgate just off the Strip {Cumberland Street}.  

L-R - Lauren, Jake, Jesse, Luke, Nate, Elizabeth, Me, Christie, Connolly, and Chris
After a little beer pong and partaking in other libations of the clear kind, we headed across campus to the stadium and lot G10.  This lot is really a parking garage attached to the stadium.  Our friends that live in Knoxville have a spot on the top deck.  For those of you not familiar with Tennessee's stadium, it is located on the banks of the Tennessee River.  Therefore, we had a picturesque backdrop for our tailgate. Rolling hills, riverside view, and a mix of garnet/black and orange/white makes for a beautiful scene.  

Jake, Elizabeth, and I
I was even fortunate enough to bump into some of my sorority sisters that were in town for the game.  I was hoping to catch up with them, but I was not sure how easy it was going to be since I was with a big group.

Kristie, Emily, Sarah, and I

Nate - our gracious host - and I 
Beat Tennessee!

Happy Birthday Nate & Blake
Chris and I - Chris's birthday was on Thursday

The game lacked much excitement.  Carolina continued our winning ugly way win anyway season and moved to 7-1.  Two games stand between us and returning to Atlanta as the SEC East Champions.

Someone take me back to Tennessee!  We had a wonderful weekend and came back with lots of memories and laughs.  I will admit - Knoxville is gorgeous, and if Carolina had not been playing, I would have sung Rocky Top every time I heard the song {which was around 85}.



  1. So glad you had fun in Knoxville! The last time I was home we went to dinner at the Brewery!

  2. This sounds like such a fabulous weekend, and I am loving all of the cute tailgating outfits! :)

  3. I want to spend a weekend with you, Ashton!! You and your friends always seem to have so much fun! Hope you're well--I feel so out of the loop these days with my lack of blogging!

  4. Of course I'm biased because I live in K-Town, but Neyland Stadium is seriously the BEST!! I'm so glad you enjoyed your visit!!


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