Happy Birthday Casey!: Clemson, South Carolina
For Casey's 27th birthday I "surprised" him (he had an inkling) by taking him back to his "alma mater" for our second excursion to Clemson, South Carolina--home to the Clemson Tigers....
First you most know that Casey, his brother Andy, and a few others held an extensive draft back in 2007 to decide their pretend alma maters based on characteristics and categories that suited them individually in order to decide which university they would have attended if applying for a university held no boundaries. Wishing they had attended "real schools," Casey was awarded the honor of graduating at Clemson University and has been their biggest fan ever since.
(Casey on our first visit to Clemson enjoying our victory of avoiding all personnel and signs in order to make our way onto the field of Death Valley for this great picture!)
On our first visit to Tiger Town, Case mentioned that he would love to golf at the university's golf course but believed it was private, hence came the massive hint for his "big" birthday present. Immediately after returning back to our hotel in Atlanta, I called the Walker [Golf] Course at Clemson University and found out they are indeed a public golf course. I reserved Casey a tee time, golf clubs for a lefty, booked a hotel room within steps of the course at the James F. Martin Inn (on campus) for the night prior and we were set for celebrating the big 2-7.
After work on Monday, August 22, we set off for our second adventure to South Carolina. Casey didn't know exactly where I was taking him, where we were staying, or the activities in store but he had high hopes for what I had planned and secretly had his fingers crossed that we were headed to Clemson and that he'd be hitting the links for his birthday.....he was right.
Above is the view from our hotel overlooking the golf course as we prepared to freshen up and begin Casey's birthday celebration as a Tiger.
Freshmen were moved in, graduate students checked-in and it was just my luck that the Tigers returned to campus on that Monday, August 22, to reunite with friends and begin classes. So what some may think would be a quaint Monday seemed like a bumpin' Friday as Casey and I started the night off at Mellow Mushroom. First, if you don't know Case he LOVES pizza....in fact, it's a Sunday tradition. Mellow Mushroom is a chain we first noticed in Denver, but the venue at Clemson is situated in an old residential house which provides a great experience off the bat. We went for a couple Yuengling Lager pitchers (America's oldest brewery) and saddled up to a sausage and green pepper pizza that tantalized our tastebuds--so good!
Afterward, we kicked back, relaxed and took some pretty great pictures on the Clemson Tiger statue located right in front of the Mellow Mushroom on campus. The night was off to a great start for a very special birthday boy. We like to "walk it out" after we eat a heavy set of servings and made our way to Main Street on campus to hit up Tiger Town Tavern (est. 1977), the hotspot for students.
Tiger Town Tavern is an excellent college bar as it not only features cheap eats and drinks, but one of our favorite bar games--BUCK HUNTER!
Casey put on a impressive game per usual (I'm competitive and hate to admit it, but this kid is good at EVERYTHING).
We also challenged each other in some high speed racing games as we snuggled into the car seats of old school arcade games also found at the sweetest bar on campus. I have to mention that I did actually beat Casey during one of those races.
As the night went on we noticed a few students wearing Tiger Town Tavern t-shirts. We had seen some t-shirts as advertised at the bar from our previous visit, but they were collecting dust on the shelves for a good $20.00 a piece. Then we noticed a unique shirt that wasn't advertised. In fact, it's said "21st Birthday, I'm LEGAL!!!" Maybe not to the average Joe, but this shirt was a gem to us...a must-have. Being probably one of the oldest people in the bar I had no qualms about racing toward the bartender asking..."I noticed your shirts for someone's 21st birthday. Well, it's my boyfriend's birthday...as of midnight...but he's not 21...more like 27....can he still get the t-shirt?"
She responded with "No."
I was not going to walk away without this t-shirt, so I immediately responded with "Well, it's still his birthday...how much would it be to buy it?!"
Seriously....$10.50?! That doesn't even require a thought process for this diamond in the rough. I forked over the money and Casey got to walk away with this killer tee to remember his 27th...errrrr 21st birthday! :)
By the way, random note...but this bar does not do tabs. Yes, you read that correctly. You CANNOT open a tab at Tiger Town Tavern--just another reason to reminisce about your college days and realize you'll never get those wild and crazy days back...
We ended the night with a trip to Backstreets Pub which was adorned with old school IDs under their table tops (we're talking mullet clad students with letterman's jackets) and free shots for birthday boys. It was a quick trip as we're in our late 20s, no longer equipped with the longevity of our college days and wanted to get a good night's sleep for Casey's tee time at 10:50 a.m.
The next morning on Casey's birthday, August 23rd, we headed towards the pro shop just a hop, skip and a jump away from the hotel. The Walker Course is a beautiful course which makes it hard to believe that it's actually home to a student golf team and a university nestled in small town, South Carolina. The front nine was spread out while the back nine showcases the gorgeous lake which the course borders.
Here are a few pictures from the day as Casey brought his "A-game" to the links to celebrate his birthday:
I got EXTREMELY lucky to capture this next shot as Casey birdied on the 6th hole. I didn't even realize until later that I actually got the ball as it began to sink into the hole.
As mentioned, Casey is good at everything...it's a gift. He has a natural talent and if you challenge him to anything, he will work...and work...and work until he is the BEST. On the day of his birthday he shot an 81 with one of his peronal best scores for the front nine.
I can only hope that my birthday gifts were as much of a success as his golf game. Casey is a very special person and someone whom is so dear to me. I am so blessed and so lucky (and any grateful adjective you can think of) to have him in my life. Whether he realizes it or not, I received a gift on his birthday as well...and that was to spend his very special day with him. :)