What do you think when you hear tailgating? For some it might be associated with driving - such as when a car is following too closely behind another car it is said to be tailgating; in the South, when most people hear the word tailgating they think football. A thin description of tailgating is bringing food and drink to a said football game and enjoying it before and after the game. A thick description involves a little bit more. Let's take the William family. In the early morning hours (around 7:00) on a crisp fall Saturday the car is loaded and the family heads out ready for a day of cheering on their favorite team. They arrive at their designated parking spot that they have had for 10 years and start to unload the car - coolers upon coolers of the family's favorite foods. They have packed a grill (?!?), a tent and tablecloth, a flag representing their team, a radio and the school's fight song, and grandma's secret recipe cookies, of course. As they get things situated, the Jones, who park a couple of spaces down, come by and say hello as the children start to round up nearby kids for a game of touch football. At this time, Mr. William opens the grill and gets ready to make pancakes. Since there are still 5 hours until game time all of this might seem a little strange to an outsider - but not to anyone who has grown up with this tradition. The day continues on with friends, food, and finally, game time. After the game is over, the family comes back, but they aren't ready to head home yet. Mr. William fires up the grill again and this time puts some chicken and vegetables on. They invite the Jones family over and they share this meal which is a tradition among the families anytime there is an afternoon game. Tailgating is part of the culture of the South - for some it represents more than the game itself and has become a way of life on any given Saturday.
This picture was taken in Miami at the hotel where we were staying. I chose this particular photo because, to me, it represents peace and relaxation. Whenever I am stressed out I can think about this vacation and calm down. I also like it because it is a progression from dark to light which represents the journey I am on in my life right now.