Recently my husband, Benjamin, and I had the opportunity to go back to the place where it all started – The University of Georgia – the home of the Georgia Bulldogs.
This visit came about in a way that neither of us would have expected. 11alive News aired an interview about my husband going from a homeless addict to a business owner. The interview captured a lot of people’s attention. The news continued to run the interview over the weekend and it grabbed the attention of a man that we now know as John Gurley, a former UGA football player. We soon found out Mr. Gurley was following his spirit when one day he popped up at our store, Bigmouthben Stores, right here in downtown Atlanta. Ever since that day, John and his wife Robin, also a UGA alumni just like her husband, have been in our lives. After a few phone calls and a church invite, we ended up sitting with them at their beautiful home in Athens. The gesture of John and Robin was more important than they will ever know. Neither Ben or I had been to Athens since the 90’s so this was a milestone and one item finally checked off our bucket list.
We rode around Athens reminiscing about the places of our youth. Since both Robin and John had also attended UGA, it was one big flashback. The beautifully architected buildings that ran throughout the campus were just as scenic as I remember. The campus had expanded adding new educational buildings and sports complexes. Each of the new additions adding to the already picturesque scenery.
Ben and I can never thank them for opening their home to us and treating us so wonderful the entire trip. It really made this trip one of a kind. We are so happy to say we made new friends.
The fun didn’t stop after cruising around Athens. I watched Ben develop an interest in golf as the guys hit a few balls in the recreation room. And eventually, Ben putting on John’s hiking gear as John told us about his recent trip to the mountains. Maybe one day Ben and I will take our own hiking trip.
Another highlight was visiting The University of Georgia Golf Course. Now, this was definitely a surprise. The beautiful green grass rolled on for what seemed like forever. It was a fairly cool morning with a slight overcast which made the morning adventure ever so pleasant. The sun peaked just enough for us to feel like we were on vacation.
Ben and I went on to make a quick video in front of the dormitory that we first met each other along with a slew of pictures. We are looking forward to sharing our video and pictures in an upcoming post.
The campus of UGA is a pictorial place. If you are in the area it is without a doubt worth taking a drive through even if just for an hour. Also, if you make it to the campus, take a brief stop in the shops, restaurants, and bars, you will have a great time. We stopped and enjoyed some delicious ice cream at Ben & Jerry’s.
Here a just a few pics from the course. More coming soon.
To read more about my first thoughts of UGA and how Benjamin and I met checkout my recollection of our first meeting at UGA and a peek into – The Book of Benjamin by Benjamin “Bigmouthben” Graham
© 2018 All words & images by Tanya Graham unless otherwise noted.