Last month I was in Montgomery, AL for a press trip with Hyundai. It was a quick visit. In and out, in less than three full days. Just sixty miles from Auburn, I knew I had to find a way to return home for a trip down memory lane. When I told my friends with Hyundai about my plans, they generously offered to loan me a Hyundai Santa Fe for a few hours. It was a cloudy morning when I climbed in the driver’s seat, but rain, sleet, or snow wasn’t going to keep me from a road trip to Auburn.
It had been 10 years since I walked the loveliest village on the plains. I knew things had changed. I knew Toomer’s Oaks had been removed, yet my heart still ached when I saw the gap where the trees used to stand. With only a few hours in town, I felt like I was running a race to cross things off my list. We started at Toomer’s Drugstore, where I committed my first crime: I didn’t order a Toomer’s lemonade. What was I thinking?!?
Down the street, I popped into J&M Bookstore to pick up a few souvenirs. I wanted one of everything, but settled for a new Auburn shirt, coffee mugs, and a decal for my car. Time was flying faster than a second in the 2013 Iron Bowl game. It was time for lunch, and I knew there was only one choice: the original Momma Goldberg’s. We walked down Magnolia Avenue, a route I took hundreds of times as a student. Except, when I was an Auburn student, we didn’t have a Chick-fil-A or Chipotle.
Standing in line at Momma G’s waiting to order a Momma’s Love sandwich, memories came flooding back. Even though they’ve added on to the patio, and expanded the menu and beer selection, the atmosphere has stayed the same. The food was great, and the company even better. Bubba Hall and Jamie Ray from High Ridge Spirits joined us for lunch. I wish I’d recorded them as they entertained us with stories of moonshine and Auburn football.
We could have talked for hours, but the game clock was ticking. Maybe not an actual game clock, but time was flying and we needed to be back in Montgomery to catch our afternoon flight. On our way back to the car,I followed the sidewalks over to Jordan-Hare stadium. Even though I watch every, single, Auburn football game on TV, I was amazed at how much the stadium has changed. A Saturday in June outside Jordan Hare, doesn’t have the same energy as a game day Saturday, but I was excited to see Cam Newton’s Heisman statue outside.
Just like the second half of the National Championship game, our time was up way too soon. We hiked across campus, and back to our Hyundai Santa Fe. I didn’t want to my road trip to Auburn to end. I would have loved to have walked every inch of campus. Driven from one end of town to the other, and tossed back a few local beers at The War Eagle Supper Club.
Our trip back was uneventful, and the 2014 Hyundai Santa Fe gave a smooth ride through all the construction zones. I was quickly reminded of why I love the Santa Fe so much. From its easy to use navigation system, to its fuel efficiency, the Santa Fe continues to be one of my favorite family SUVs on the market.
Hopefully this fall, I can make a road trip to Auburn from Houston, and spend a little more time reminiscing on memory lane.