Will and I left Winston-Salem at about 8:30 in the morning and had a lovely drive through southern Virginia. We were all full of excitement and anticipation and had all those first game of the season jitters. We got to Charlottesville around noon and after finally finding somewhere within walking distance of the stadium to park, we explored the UVA campus and walked down to the historic downtown mall, which had lots of cool shops and restaurants. If you ever go to Charlottesville and you have kids, probably don't walk to the mall from campus because it was pretty far, but with just us two it was fine. We saw some pretty cool stuff downtown.
[bike rack that looks like a bike]
[this guy came in to the place where we were eating ice cream and just stood by the fan for like five minutes right next to our table...how could I not take a picture of that hair?]
The main University of Virginia campus is beautiful, and everything is pretty close. The student dorms at the Rotunda are right by the stadium and a few blocks away there are a bunch of fun little shops and restaurants where the students all hang out. Also - interesting fact - it is apparently not the style to wear a t-shirt with your teams logo on it to a football game anymore. Every single UVA girl, and I mean every girl, was wearing a dress. Guess all us BYU chicks with our knee-length shorts and heavy cotton blue t-shirts missed the memo.
[This is the medical school. I'm definitely putting UVA on my list of places for Will to apply for residency :)]
[These are the student dorms, so cool]
After touring the town for a few hours we made it to the stadium around 3. Kickoff was at 3:30. Virginia has a lot of fun game time traditions – my favorite was the soldier who runs out on a horse with the team when they first come on the field. They also had a horribly animated video of a horse kicking a cougar with its hind legs all the back to Provo and the cougar landing on the statue in the middle of BYU campus. It was great.
By this point we were so hyped up for the game to start we could hardly contain our excitement. There were a TON of BYU fans there. BYU was definitely well represented.
But as everyone probably knows after the first quarter these giant rain clouds started rolling in and they stopped the game because of lightning. We were kind of bummed and frustrated at first, but eventually we met up with our Brown cousins who were also at the game and the long 2 hour wait turned into a little family reunion. My cousin Mark and his wife Shaunel live in Arlington and Mark’s younger sister Jenny and her husband Spencer were visiting them from Arizona and it was so fun to see them all at the game.
We also unexpectedly ran into Will’s old roommate Ryan and his wife Courtney – We had a lot of fun with Ryan when Will and I first met when we lived in Liberty Square. Ryan just moved to Virginia a few weeks ago and decided to come to the game. The funny thing was that when I first saw him at the game he was talking to my cousin Jenny because they both worked at Honeywell in Arizona this past year. What a crazy-small-Mormon-world we live in.
Well eventually the game started up again, but we had been tired of waiting in the stadium and we walked around the campus again with Jenny and Spencer, so we missed the beginning of the second quarter. When we got back into the stadium, though, it was almost 7 and we realized we hadn’t eaten anything since we had got there at noon and we were starving. And for some mysterious reason they closed almost all of the concession stands right after the game started up again. What the heck. So us and every other starving fan stood in one of the few open concession lines and missed half the second quarter. I finally got a giant bowl of popcorn and we made it back to our seats. We hadn’t been sitting down for more than one play when it started down pouring and my popcorn started getting drenched. We ran back out under the stadium again with everyone else, finished my popcorn, covered my purse with our hats and then ran back outside to watch the game in the rain.
[before and after the rain...]
You all know what happened after that, so let’s not rehash those memories. All I can say is that the BYU fans cheered as loud as they could and everyone stuck it out through the rain. It was a long three hour drive back home with a depressed husband, but by the time we got into bed we had the familiar “there’s always next game” BYU tune going in our heads. Overall we had a great day visiting the Virginia campus and it was so fun to see friends and family we hadn’t seen in a while. Better luck next time BYU.