After arriving on the Friday night later than expected- what have they done to Jacksonville's roads? They are no doubt better oraganized now but I didn't recognise the roads at all!! But eventually in our wee red bettle we arrived at my friend Lauren's parents house, where we were staying for the week.
Early the next morning we were up to meet my friend San and her boyfriend Nelson at the airport.
Whilst waiting for them we went to Starbucks to order a coffee and I got very overexcited when I saw what the blend of the day was. No doubt you are thinking as the lady behind me in line commented- 'why do I care that they are selling Pike's place?' (I thought Nathan was still standing behind me when I turned round and exclaimed about Pike's Place but no he was looking at something else)
As I explained to the lady behind me my new last name will be Pike! Once I told her this story she was my new best friend and then was slightly bemused when I ordered two mint mocha frappacinnos! 'You can't not order Pike's Place!'... we did later in the holiday and it tastes lovely!
For those of you that may care I believe it is where the first Starbucks was located in Seattle.
Once San and Nelson arrived we hot fotted it down to Gainesville- just over 2 and a bit hours away. San went to Uni there so was able to show us where to park. Students sell there front drive spaces for $20-$30 but we lucked out and got a space.
My friend Heidi's husband, Matt had organized tickets for us to watch the Gators so we met up with his friend Craig to get tickets and then went into the stadium... affectionately known as The Swamp. It was AMAZING! 90,000 people for a college game.
San and Nelson
The Swamp- All Blue and Orange. The atmosphere was magic! So many people shouting for the Gators, doing the Gator chomp and cheering on Tim Tebow, their star quarterback.
Nathan, Me, San and Nelson
Nathan and I
After the game we walked past this gator welfare charity trying to raise money. I even got to pet a baby gator! (they did have their mouths duc taped shut!)
The whole town seemed like it was taking part in the game and there were so many tail gate parties taking place in carparks and driveways all round the centre before the game. After the game we went for drinks to a bar called the Swamp. It was pretty busy but lots of fun.
The Swamp had a beer garden where we met with our friend Terri from high school. It was so lovely to see her and catch up. Later on her husband, who is currently studying for his Vet exams came and met us.
Terri and Hugh, they kindly put us up in their lovely house with their two cute cats in Gainesville overnight.
After the Swamp we went to a college bar called 'The Grog House' which was $5 entry and then drink as much beer as you like! We had a good giggle and it was so lovely to see Terri and meet Hugh.
Nathan and I
Nelson, San, Nathan, Me, Terri and Hugh.