Family Ties: Tuscaloosa, Alabama

My brother, Nate, and his wife, Kate, (yes, they are so cute and should have their own show, "Nate and Kate: insert creative title") are in the same business as we are, experiential marketing. In fact, my brother is the one that introduced Casey and I to this magnificent world.

The only downside about both of us touring, is that we are both constantly traveling and don't get to see each other but a few times a year. In 2012, Casey and I have been on the West Coast and in Chicago while Nate and Kate have been primarily on the East Coast.

Luckily, we were FINALLY within radius of them and quickly rented a car and made the trip from Memphis, Tennessee to Tuscaloosa, Alabama for a much needed family reunion.

A bonus to our trip, is that we got to check out Bryant-Denny Stadium and a little part of the University of Alabama's campus. FYI, it's HUGE. Soldier Field seems so tiny compared to this massive fortress. For comparison, Soldier Field holds 61,500 people while Bryant-Denny has a seating capacity of 101,821! I think I can understand why college athletes want a salary aside from tuition.

After we lifted our jaws from the sidewalk in complete and utter awe of the stadium, we started off by grabbing dinner at Buffalo Phil's where PFGs and Sperry Top-Siders were in full force and where three out of the four of us ordered the Hawaiian Chicken Sandwich (yum!).

Then we continued to scout out the area by visiting Houndstooth where we caught up on life and snapped this group photo. We chose this spot because it reminded us of the Houndstooth in Chicago (located on Clark Street near Wrigley Field).

Afterward it was time for darts and dancing at The Red Shed where we boogied to live music, sipped on PBRs, and even scored a sticker to add to Casey's collection.

Then, we continued with the tropical theme and capped off the night at Hungry Howie's with Hawaiian pizza (Casey and I's order) and Nate and Kate each snagged a pie to try as well. It was definitely a popular spot for students to grab late night grub as each table was occupied.

We only had one night together, and it was amazing. Every time we see Nate and Kate, we always have a blast! I can't wait for the day when we are closer in location or at least get to spend more time with each other. Thank you Nate and Kate for hosting us, and for making our trip so wonderful. We love and miss you both!

Tips for Tuscaloosa: There is a Hilton Garden Inn just five miles from campus. Other than that, hotel chains are sparse which unfortunately allows Tuscaloosa hotels to jack up their prices. Smoking is still allowed in bars and restaurants in Alabama (not a fan) which made us appreciate the clean air in Chicago and Denver (or the State of Colorado) even more. Tuscaloosa is a fun town....but what college town isn't? I highly recommend visiting when school is in session for the atmosphere and if you're lucky, catch a game at Bryant-Denny Stadium! Roll Tide!

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