Have Flag, Will Travel: Celebrating 125 Years of WVU Football

#WVU125The package I had been anxiously waiting for finally arrived in late May – a commemorative flag celebrating 125 years of WVU football. The letter that accompanied the flag nudged me to participate in the anniversary campaign by taking the flag on my summer travels and sharing pics on my social media accounts using the hashtag #WVU125.

I took the letter to heart. Every time I packed a suitcase this summer, I made sure my flag was carefully folded inside it.

My first trip was to Cadiz, Ohio. Dave and I went to stay with our friends Pat and Judy Moore, who we met through WVU football.

#WVU125Pat took us to the childhood home of the “King of Hollywood” Clark Gable and then we went to Boss’ Bison Ranch, where we got to feed the buffalo.

#WVU125We had so much fun. I was practically laying in the driver’s lap trying to avoid getting slimed by the giant buffalo. This was no small feat as you can see for yourself. I believe the big guy appreciated my guffaws.

Buffalo ranch in Cadiz

At the beginning of July, I drove to Montreal to meet up with my ol’ college roommates Jill and Steve. We rented an apartment for 5 days and soaked in the French-Canadian culture. Unfortunately, I was sans flag the day we hiked up to Mount Royal Park, which has glorious views of Montreal from the highest spot in the city.

But I didn’t make that mistake again. Here we are on the St. Lawrence Recreational Path with Expo 67 behind us on the other side of the river. The architecture reminded me of the popular 1980s video game Tetris. #WVU125

As we walked through Old Port of Montreal, we heard a familiar cheer from an unfamiliar face: “Let’s go, Mountaineers!” Katherine and her husband were visiting from Chicago and she called out when she saw my flying WV sling bag. She had graduated from WVU in 1987.

#WVU125The next day Jill’s sister, Tracy, and her family joined us from Williamstown, WV. We all went to check out Olympic Park, which was built for the 1976 Olympic Games.

#WVU125

#WVU125After Montreal, I drove over to Toronto to meet up with my daughter. Aly is a graduate student and TA at the University of Waterloo, which is about an hour from Toronto.

On our last day, we went to The Second City to buy tickets for “The Hotline Always Blings Twice.”

I felt a thrill as I thought of  all the greats who had started their careers there – like Gilda Radner, John Candy, Eugene Levy, Martin Short, Dan Aykroyd and Catherine O’Hara.

The comedy show had us in stitches. It was like watching a Canadian SNL. All of the sketches were hilarious.

After Canada, I was home for a week  before we flew to Florida for a vacation with my family in Bradenton.

After spending time in this area, I’m rethinking my declaration that I would never live in Florida. It’s only a 5-10 minute drive to Anna Marie Island. I had the best seafood omelettes at the Rod and Reel Pier.

#WVU125It’s also only 20 miles from Siesta Key, which has the finest beaches I’ve ever seen. The sand is like powdered sugar and it’s cool enough to walk on barefoot because it’s 99% pure quartz. I understand now why it’s the No. 1 beach in America and one of the top beaches in the world.

#WVU125My next travels will be to Morgantown and I can’t wait. I’ll get to participate in Football 101 for Women again, where we’ll be coached through drills on the field by the players.

If you haven’t checked out the #WVU125 website dedicated to the great history and unforgettable moments that make up our storied football program, what are you waiting for? Take some time to explore the special content, archival photos, classic videos, interactive graphics and fan poll voting.

Let’s go.

 

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