As I’ve gotten older, the memories of The College Years grow more distant and dimmer. But during our trip to Lexington this past weekend I was reminded how much fun those days could be.
My stepson, Jake, had been wanting Tammy and I to visit him in Lexington, Kentucky, for a while now, but we kept having scheduling problems. We finally picked a weekend and made our way to the Bluegrass state Friday night.
The drive there should have been around 6.5 hours, according to Google Maps, but it sure felt a lot longer than that. Some of it was because we got stuck in a traffic jam in Nashville, which set us back at least 45 minutes—if not longer. Then there were the idiots on the road who couldn’t figure out how to pass the 18-wheelers, but I don’t want to relive that.
We didn’t arrive to Jake’s until almost 9 p.m. (EST) and I’m not sure who Jake was more excited to see—Savannah or us. I DO know that Savannah was excited to see him.
We sat around Jake’s townhouse with his roommates and friends. I’m still not sure which ones actually lived there and which ones just stopped by to hang out.
They live in a perfect spot because so much stuff is within walking distance. But after being there for only two days I know I’d be 300 pounds if I lived there.
There were two burger joints (Smashburger & Hugh Jass Burgers), a chicken place (Raising Cane’s), a smoothie place and an Italian place (Fazoli’s), all within a 2-minute walk from his door.
We got chicken tenders from Raising Cane’s because Jake said it was like Zaxby’s, “but better.” He was right. They were a LOT better than our last meal from Zaxby’s.
We spent the rest of the night just hanging out at Jake’s catching up before heading over to where we were staying at the Hyatt, which is connected to the legendary Rupp Arena.
Besides the Peabody in Memphis, I can’t think of the last time I stayed at a hotel that had a bar in the lobby— as well as one attached to Rupp Arena.
Not only were there bars, but they also had tons of gift shops and even a little food court like the mall.
I told Tammy that I love this hotel and that I could live there, that I wanted to live there. I told her we could go back to visit Jake anytime she wanted…as long as we can stay there when we do.
We had to be back at Jake’s by 9 Saturday morning to do a little tailgating before Kentucky’s game with Vanderbilt, which kicked off at noon.
We got off to a late start Saturday morning because we had to wait for Jake’s girlfriend, Hannah, and her friend, Alex, to get ready–figures—before we headed off to Waffle House for some breakfast. Now, I love me some Waffle House and normally get the same thing (hash browns scattered, covered, smothered and chunked), but this time I changed it up and added country (covered in gravy) to the mix.
While the food was amazing, Tammy has told me I’m no longer allowed to get the “country” part. I’ll just leave it at that.
We headed down to Commonwealth Stadium to try and find Jake’s friends who had been tailgating since 7:30 that morning.
As we were making our way to the stadium, I looked down on the ground and saw what looked like a ticket and, sure enough, it was.
I hadn’t intended on going in to the game–they were just playing Vanderbilt—but now that I had a free ticket I figured I’d give it a shot.
Everyone crowded around the gate as I walked up to see if I indeed had a “real” ticket.
Sure enough, my ticket was real and I found myself inside looking for my seat.
I couldn’t help but think how I’d never find a ticket to a football game in Tuscaloosa, Gainesville, Auburn or even Oxford or Starkville. But then again, this is Kentucky where basketball is king, not football.
Tammy texted me to say they were waiting for me at the gate where I had left them, so I didn’t get to stick around for much of the game. But I was OK with that because I didn’t think I’d get to go inside in the first place.
As we were heading back to the car, a group of female Kentucky students was walking in front of us. They all were following the Dress Code that we had seen so much of around campus and apparently one of them was still feeling the effects of the previous evening.
Alex heard her telling one of the girls the following, “I got f^cked in the @sshole last night and now I have diarrhea.”
Kentucky: Keeping It Klassy.
We went back to Jake’s place for a bit but Tammy and I left as a group of people started streaming in to start some day drinking and grilling. We headed back to the hotel so I could watch the end of the Tennessee-Georgia game.
We sat at the bar called Yesterday’s on the bottom floor of Rupp Arena and met a couple whose daughter was on a swimming recruiting trip.
We talked with them a while as Tammy and I split a basket of fries. This is where Tammy found out that she loves Shock Top beer.
When we finished our dranks we headed into some of the shops in the lobby. That’s when we learned a valuable lesson.
Don’t shop when buzzed.
There’s a lot of talk about not doing things when “buzzed,” but shopping wasn’t one of them. After our stop at the Old Kentucky Chocolates shop, I feel like it should have been.
We headed back to the room for a quick power nap, then made a quick stop at the liquor store for supplies—Tammy needed some Shock Top—and then headed back to Jake’s.
We didn’t have anything planned and weren’t sure what to expect, so we just went with the flow.
Not long after us getting there Jake broke out their karaoke machine and that’s when the night started to take off.
Everyone in the place was really into it and I’ve NEVER seen anyone get as excited as they did for Duran Duran’s “Hungry Like the Wolf” to come on.
We were getting a kick out of watching people starting to fade as the night went on. Case in point: check out the guy on the couch in the picture below.
As the night went on, we kept finding our couch friend in various places, but he was always doing the same thing.
What was even funnier about them falling asleep in various places throughout the night was that by the end of the evening both of them were “fully functional” and ready to go out with the group.
But they weren’t the only ones who kept falling asleep during the night.
But Savannah didn’t pass out until much later in the evening, prolly because she took a pre-party nap on the balcony.
She was a hit with a lot of the people who stopped by at Jake’s.
One girl kept taking pictures of her—for her Dad who loves bulldogs—and another girl sat with Savannah for 10+ minutes petting her and telling how good of a dog she was.
When new people would show up at Jake’s, Savannah would hop down from her spot on the couch to check them out.
Apparently everyone that entered passed her stringent testing because she didn’t kick anyone out.
She even went outside to the courtyard a couple of times to check on the people who were hanging out there. Oh, and so she could do her business.
It was getting late and they crowd was wanting to do a little bar hopping, so that was our cue to head back to the hotel. Several people asked if we were going out with everyone, but I told them we had a 7-hour drive the next day so they backed off.
We made it back to the hotel and Tammy immediately crawled into the bed. She was asleep in seconds.
Me on the other hand… I was starving.
All of the fries I had consumed during the day were long gone so I started looking through our snack stash.
I found my Waffle House leftovers and was about to tear into that when I realized I didn’t have any utensils. I looked over my shoulder at Tammy—who was gone by this point—and starting using the toast—and my fingers—as food delivery devices.
Once those leftovers were gone, I turned to our newly acquired chocolate stash and feasted on some chocolate covered potato chips, then found my cashews, some cookies and regular potato chips.
I was so ashamed of myself as I crawled into bed, but at least I wasn’t hungry.
Sunday morning we stopped by the Lexington Diner for breakfast. I got their Sunrise Burrito that had chorizo, eggs, onions and peppers and cheddar cheese and added a side of potatoes.
We stopped by Jake’s to pick up Savannah and deliver a dozen donuts to everyone. When we walked in we were shocked at the mess, but even more shocked that someone who was NOT there the night before was cleaning it up.
We hit the road around 11:30 and headed back to Memphis. Normally the ride home from a trip seems longer than the ride there, but that wasn’t the case this time.
We even made a stop in Cave City, Kentucky so I could get pictures of the giant dinosaurs at Dinosaur World to send back to my co-worker, Devon. He loves dinosaurs like a 5-year old does and I knew he’d be jealous.
He was very jealous.
Savannah slept like a log in the backseat, sometimes snoring so loud that we could hear her over the radio.
It wasn’t until I got back home that I realized the whiskey I bought in Kentucky was actually made in Tennessee.
Guess that just means we’ll have to make another trip. I don’t think Jake or Savannah will mind.
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