Carolina Blues

in Healthy Tailgate 2011

I’ll give University of North Carolina this:  they are very friendly to the opposing team’s fans!  Southern class through and through… very important for the Tarheels because MIAMI WON!  Wahoo.  I wouldn’t have been able to stand it if our one tailgate of the year resulted in a loss.


The Husband, our friends Sean and Isaac (UNC grads), and I were up super early – we left Charlotte at 6 AM – for the two and a half hour drive to Chapel Hill.   It was rough, but it was all worth it when we arrived at the parking lot with hours to spare.


Some non-American readers have remarked that they don’t really understand tailgating.  Well, you park your car in a lot, pop up a tent, put up a table, unload a grill, and throw a little party right there in the parking lot.  People blast music and play games. 


Some people keep it simple with folding chairs and takeout food, but many people are like us – really into the tailgate experience!  My favorite is when little old ladies tailgate and have special team-themed flower centerpieces on their tables. 


Once we unloaded our stuff, I immediately fired up the grill and heated up breakfast.


Scrambled eggs, vegan potato salad (which was based on this recipe and positively AMAZING), fake sausage, and fruit. 


After eating, we played games.


What do you call this game? 


We call it corn hole but I know there are so many funny names for it, depending on the region you’re from!


After a few fierce rounds of corn hole, we settled into our chairs for a little pre-gaming and conversation with our neighbors.


And then, it was time for LUNCH!


Heated up the grill again… Baked beans, veggie burger with grilled peppers, quinoa salad, and more potato salad. 


I was stuffed.


We broke down our tailgate and wandered through campus to the stadium (I love it when stadiums are on the college campus – such a great atmosphere).  I felt like the Husband and I stuck out like sore thumbs with our bright Hurricane-orange t-shirts.  But no one heckled us! 


They probably REALLY WANTED to heckle us because Miami took the lead in the first quarter and never let it go, despite a turnover in the last minute that almost cost us the game.  It was a nail-biter!


In the 4th quarter, the Husband and I shared this Carolina Blue sprinkle ice cream cup.  Delicious.


After the exciting finish, we strolled back through campus – which is truly so beautiful – and I couldn’t help but wonder what my life would be like if I had gone to a school like UNC.  There were parents and grandparents hanging out in front of their old Colonial-style fraternity houses, little kids running around in cheerleader and football outfits, and a real sense of football community that was lacking at my college.  Straight out of a movie!  Very cool and very, very fun.


We’re resting at a hotel, and then we’re going back out on the campus tonight.  I’m gonna pretend like I’m 21 again.  Heh. 



  • shae October 15, 2011, 6:34 pm

    I miss my alma mater sooooo much! I am so glad I am a Tarheel, isn’t the community amazing? I’m a little biased though 🙂

  • Sarena (The Non Dairy Queen) October 15, 2011, 6:34 pm

    The eats look so good! I use hummus in my potato salad since I don’t like mayo. Have fun the rest of the weekend!

  • Vanessa @ Swift as Shadows October 15, 2011, 6:36 pm

    I’m American and never really understood what tailgating was. I kind of want to experience it now! Have fun tonight! =)

    • Vikki October 15, 2011, 11:29 pm

      You should, but to truly experience it, you have to come south. Tailgating is an art and southerners have perfected it. We start at 7 am and go all day. We’re not all healthy like Caitlin. Clemson, USC, Auburn, FSU, UF, UGA, etc can throw a party. I’m looking forward to the Clemson-Wake Forest game in November. (I’m a Clemson grad.)

      • Emily October 16, 2011, 3:20 pm

        Me too!

        • Vikki October 16, 2011, 6:37 pm

          Class of 2000 for me. My brother, sister-in-law, and Dad are grads as well. It is a bit of a tradition. My mother, well, we don’t talk about where she got her degree. 😉

  • Alicia from Poise in Parma October 15, 2011, 6:43 pm

    I once was taking a tour of a winery that had cornhole boards set up outside their restaurant’s patio. I said to our host “I love that you all have cornhole available to play” and our host corrected me saying, “we prefer to say lawn toss”. I stood corrected, but I could have taken her down with my mad underhanded throwing skills!

    • Devon October 15, 2011, 7:13 pm

      That’s hilarious! I can just imagine her saying that…

  • J @ Ess and Jae V2.0 October 15, 2011, 7:24 pm

    OK, now I get it. Sounds like a lot of fun. Good going on the healthy grub.

  • Samantha October 15, 2011, 7:29 pm

    Isn’t UNC’s campus beautiful? I’m an NCSU alum but grew up tarheel blue, through and through and spent many weekends of my youth at Kenan Stadium or the Dean Dome where we had season tickets for football and basketball games. Your tailgate menus sound awesome!

  • Sana October 15, 2011, 7:45 pm

    Hahaha, have fun partying it upp!!

  • Kristyn October 15, 2011, 7:47 pm

    Oh we totally call it corn hole in the hick section of jersey (it exists!). And that vegan potato salad looks A-mazing! Live it up on campus and being 21 again!

  • Nikki October 15, 2011, 7:47 pm

    I’m a grad student at UNC right now, and the football culture is so awesome! It’s definitely nothing like my undergrad was.. boys in blazers, girls in heels, and carolina blue everywhere!

  • Mary October 15, 2011, 8:13 pm

    I love that you can balance healthy and fun – that tailgating food looks amazing! And I also call the game cornhole – so fun to play at summer gatherings. I think ours is put away until next year:(.

  • Julia H. @ The Petite Spiel October 15, 2011, 8:36 pm

    If you’re playing what I think you’re playing, then I’m pretty sure I call it “hot potato toss”. Game names are so strange…

    Glad you had fun (and that your team won)!

  • Kristen (inspiredbydooce) October 15, 2011, 8:53 pm

    I have never tailgated (in my defence, I’m Canadian…) but it looks like a lot of fun! I would definitely come tailgate at your party- corn hole, great food? Count me in (even if I could skip the football part)

  • Mary October 15, 2011, 9:01 pm

    Holler – I went to Carolina. Go to Bob’s (“Pantana Bob’s”), Top of the Hill, or La Res (“La Residence”) if you want the fratty Chapel Hill experience.

    • CaitlinHTP October 16, 2011, 10:24 am

      WE checked out Top of the Hill yesterday afternoon – a pretty cool spot!!!

  • crystal October 15, 2011, 9:43 pm

    I call it bags b/c corn hole just sounds like a bad gay porn to me lol

  • Paige @ Running Around Normal October 15, 2011, 9:49 pm

    LOL!! We call is bags, too. Sometimes we play with washers though, and call it, well, washers!

  • Ericka Andersen October 15, 2011, 9:57 pm

    Awesome day for tailgating and a game. I’m kinda jealous of your cute, mini-grill! Love the blue/white sprinkled ice cream too! Your description of the UNC campus reminded me of my own campus (Indiana University) and I totally miss tailgating too!

  • Sara @ RunnerWife October 15, 2011, 10:00 pm

    We moved from North Carolina about a year and a half ago and I miss it so much! I went to college about 20 minutes from Carolina in Raleigh and I loved the city! There was so much to do and see, probably a lot like Charlotte! Enjoy your night reliving your college days 🙂

  • Jenn October 15, 2011, 10:01 pm

    Just because someone might have folding chairs and takeout doesn’t mean they’re any less into tailgating. Not everyone wants to fill up on began potato salad, quinoa, and veggje burgers. Everyone is different. Every tailgating experience is different.

  • Kath October 15, 2011, 10:01 pm

    I have been a Carolina opponent my entire life and I can assure you that the UNC fans are the WORST at being friendly to opposing teams…

    • CaitlinHTP October 16, 2011, 10:25 am

      Awww really???

  • chelsey @ clean eating chelsey October 15, 2011, 10:10 pm

    The game you’re playing is called BAGS!!

  • Katie @ Peace Love and Oats October 15, 2011, 10:32 pm

    A friend of mine went to UNC and I went up to visit him for Halloween one year – it was a blast and the campus really is gorgeous! I’m glad you had a great tailgate, I miss tailgating!

  • Tracy October 15, 2011, 10:35 pm

    UNC is a fairly enclosed campus, right? Pitt sprawls through a town, nearly intermingling with other college campuses. No way are you going to encounter grandparents hanging out like that in Oakland. I forget, were you at Pitt when they had their own stadium, or were they playing at Heinz Field already? I’m not much into tail-gating, but I’ve seen that game called Corn Hole, Baggo, among a few other names I can’t recall right now!

    • CaitlinHTP October 16, 2011, 10:26 am

      They played at Heinz Field – which was a cool tailgate experience but more like a drunken mess than a ‘family’ thing. Did you go to Pitt??

      • CaitlinHTP October 16, 2011, 10:26 am

        Actually, wait – I think there are family parking lots at Heinz Field. I just never ventured into them!

      • Tracy October 16, 2011, 4:41 pm

        I did not go to Pitt, but have lived in The Burgh since ’74 🙂 I went to Robert Morris College (it’s a University now, woot, woot), and they did not even have a football team when I started there. I think their team started my 2nd year of college, but they played off-campus at a local high school (so NOT conducive to tailgating). I’ve worked for UPMC since 1998, so I guess I worked for Pitt when you were in school there!

        • CaitlinHTP October 16, 2011, 4:48 pm

          Fun 🙂 I love PITT. I miss it a lot!

  • Deva @ Deva by Definition October 15, 2011, 10:43 pm

    Corn hole was a BIG game on my college campus. I went to school in a small town. I loved the atmosphere!

  • BroccoliHut October 15, 2011, 11:36 pm

    As a die-hard Duke fan, I am always delighted to hear about a UNC defeat–sounds like a good game!

  • Laura October 16, 2011, 1:15 am

    oh tailgating, how i love thee!! I currently go to a college down in the south so tailgating is as essential as breathing to us. your breakfast all cooked up looks amazing!! that’s so good to hear that UNC was a nice crowd- it’s always a shame when you’re in a stadium surrounded by obnoxious jerks who boo you! congrats on the win!

    • Meagan October 16, 2011, 5:09 pm

      Southern tailgating is the ONLY way to tailgate 😉

  • khushboo October 16, 2011, 2:02 am

    I wanna tailgate- looks like such a blast!

  • Nicole October 16, 2011, 2:29 am

    Chapel Hill is so beautiful!! Miss that place.

  • Rachel October 16, 2011, 3:17 am

    WOW! I have to make that potato salad!!

  • Mel October 16, 2011, 6:59 am

    I went to the university of kentucky and we sure know how to tailgate. It’s an all day experience and so much fun. We also play “corn hole”!
    Are you going to do the Turkey Trot in Charlotte for Thanksgiving? My dads fam lives in Charlotte and my hubby and I are going to visit and run in the race. Hopefully I’ll see you there!

    • CaitlinHTP October 16, 2011, 10:27 am

      I’m thinking about it! I love Turkey Trots 🙂

  • Leah Kirkhorn October 16, 2011, 8:25 am

    we keep it original here in MN and call it a bean bag toss!

  • Heather @ Side of Sneakers October 16, 2011, 9:20 am

    1. I love your tailgating set up and 2. I LOVE that you cooked breakfast while tailgating!!!

  • Hillary October 16, 2011, 9:24 am

    I call the game bags, but I’ve heard cornhole, too!

    UNC is probably one of the most beautiful campuses I’ve ever been on in my life. Kind of wish I could go back eight years and decide to go there!

  • Meghan October 16, 2011, 9:33 am

    I went to Ole Miss for grad school so I love a good tailgate! Your posts have brought me back to good times in The Grove 🙂 I wouldn’t even know how to begin to describe a tailgate to someone who has never experienced it – you did a great job!

    • Meagan October 16, 2011, 10:53 am

      How did you like Old Miss? My fiance is thinking of going to law school in Mississippi, and I’d love to go to graduate school there.

      • Meghan October 16, 2011, 1:45 pm

        I did my undergrad work in Atlanta so I was a little nervous to go to Mississippi but I unexpectedly loved Ole Miss. What graduate program would you be looking at? I was in their (super weird and unique and awesome) Southern Studies program and couldn’t have asked for a better graduate experience. Oxford and its people and culture are amazing. Also, that’s where I met my husband so I’m a little bias 🙂 You should take a visit – even if your husband doesn’t end up going to law school there, it’s a great little weekend excursion.

        Wow, that was much longer than I intended it to be – can you tell how much I love Oxford? 🙂

        • Meghan October 16, 2011, 1:46 pm


          I just can’t let typos go unnoticed!

        • Meagan October 16, 2011, 5:13 pm

          I went to East Carolina University, and I majored in Business & Marketing Education. I’m still not sure if I want to get a Masters in a business field or an education field. We were planning to visit Oxford this past weekend, but it didn’t work out. Wahhhhh. 🙁 We’re still planning to go later this year or early next year, though. We’re really excited! 🙂

  • kathleen @ the daily crumb October 16, 2011, 9:47 am

    what a fun day!! i LOVE tailgating. we live super close to northwestern (and not too too far from notre dame) and try to get out there a few saturdays per season. our food is never as delicious as your looks, though!

  • Erin October 16, 2011, 10:08 am

    I’m from South Florida and I *love* tail gating so this post (and your last tail gate post) made me really happy and slightly envious 🙂

  • erica October 16, 2011, 11:13 am

    I love your “good review# of chapel hill! I’m moving there in a few months to start a research job at UNC. Cant wait to try the Spotted Dog when we arrive!

  • Amber K October 16, 2011, 12:12 pm

    This makes me so bummed that I never went to a university. Sounds like a blast!

  • Meagan October 16, 2011, 1:08 pm

    I have to agree with Kath, UNC fans can get pretty dirty! My fiance is an NC State alum, and I went to East Carolina. Our Saturday tailgates are always so fun! We love grilling out…it always makes us new friends 😉

  • Lauren@DC Savvy October 16, 2011, 1:45 pm

    I am so jealous! Yesterday was the perfect tailgating weather! I went to UNC, but since I live so far away now, it is hard to get back for games! I am glad you enjoyed Chapel Hill so much!

  • Emily October 16, 2011, 3:25 pm

    totally corn hole. without a doubt. i grew up in the north and never really saw it too much, but went to school down South where it’s sometimes more competitive than the actual football game!

  • Heather Montgomery October 16, 2011, 4:16 pm

    Fun! I love tailgating! At LSU, we really know how to tailgate! Hundreds and hundreds ofof tests as far as the eye can see. So so fun! Our fans may not bebe quite as friendly though, we are just rreally ccompetitive ha!

  • Lisa October 16, 2011, 4:44 pm

    what fun indeed!

  • Marian @ marianwrites October 16, 2011, 5:37 pm

    i’m so jealous that you were in chapel hill! i miss that place so much. i’m so glad people were nice to you! where did yall go out on saturday?

  • Sophie @ threetimesf October 16, 2011, 5:48 pm

    I don’t know the game Corn Hole at all?1 🙁

    Looks like a fun day out! 🙂

  • CJ @ October 16, 2011, 7:30 pm

    CORN HOLE! Best tailgate game ever! what the heck else would you call it? Bean bag toss?

  • Maura October 16, 2011, 11:12 pm

    Going to Boston University, I too missed out on the Saturday football college culture. We had hockey, whch was was er, fun? But not the same (especially for a warm weather LA girl). A couple of years ago I went to a UT Texas game, and all I could think was, “Are you freaking kidding me?! This is what I missed?!” So much fun. Glad your team won for your one and only tailgate this season.

  • Dogfood Provider October 17, 2011, 12:32 am

    I wish I could have come out to play with you! I’m just down the road in Raleigh. I’m surprised that all the time you were at Pitt you never made it down the road to my alma mater, Penn State. We sure do know how to tailgate in Happy Valley, PA! Oh well. Hey, I am running my first 5K this coming Saturday, and I wanted to let you know that you’re part of what has inspired me to do it.

    • Amber @ Busy, Bold, Blessed October 17, 2011, 12:47 pm

      Yes, Penn State does some seeeerious tailgating – it extends for miles! I don’t make it there as much as I wish I could, but it’s a blast.

      And PS – I’d call that game Beans!

  • Samantha Angela @ Bikini Birthday October 17, 2011, 9:26 am

    Admittedly, I don’t like football. But I did go to a University of Michigan at the Big House once and sat in the student section and it was unbelievably fun.

  • Marissa C October 17, 2011, 12:06 pm

    I’ve heard amazing things about the UNC campus.

    As far as mean/annoying football fans go, though–this is my list (as a Sooner)

    Mean–LSU, Texas Tech
    Annoying–Texas A&M. I’ll never forget having to stare at some Aggie girl’s butt during halftime because she refused to sit down when everyone else was…IN THE STUDENT SECTION. I get school pride, but that was just RUDE. I actually wanted to see the Aggie band–they are really cool!

  • Carolina John October 17, 2011, 1:23 pm

    That was a great game. I listened to it on the radio while driving back from DC. Miami got lucky that UNC couldn’t finish off the game after they recovered the onside kick.

    and i totally call it cornhole too. Gate it up!

  • Callie @ Callieflower Kitchen October 17, 2011, 2:00 pm

    I don’t really understand tailgating, but that might just be my Canadian-ness, or my complete lack of interest in football. My boyfriend went down to Buffalo for a game/tailgating last week, and while I don’t understand, I hope he had an awesome time anyway 😉 lol

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