North Carolina Tar Heels: My First-Ever Trip To Chapel Hill

Oct 10, 2020; Chapel Hill, North Carolina, USA; A general view of Kenan Memorial Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports
Oct 10, 2020; Chapel Hill, North Carolina, USA; A general view of Kenan Memorial Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports /

Site Expert Nick Delahanty made his first-ever trip to Chapel Hill recently. What does he have to say regarding his visit to the North Carolina Tar Heels?!

My entire life, I’ve been a die-hard North Carolina Tar Heels fan.

Thanks to my mom, I learned that I bleed Carolina blue from a young age, even though it wasn’t common in our home state of New Jersey. I’ve watched some of the biggest moments in North Carolina history through the television, dreaming that one day I would have the opportunity to experience it all in person.

Well, that dream is now a reality, as I can now say that I can cross off the top item on my bucket list.

I’ve heard plenty of times that Chapel Hill is a very special place. Even though I believed it, I never fully understood just how special it was until I finally had the chance to see it for myself.

With my 30th birthday approaching (not till January, don’t wish me a happy birthday just yet!) my family thought it was the perfect opportunity to finally get on campus. With work schedules working in our favor, they planned a weekend in which there was a lot going on at North Carolina.

Once we landed at Raleigh-Durham airport, the excitement really began to kick in. After making the short drive, and passing some uncharted territory on the way, we finally arrived at the Graduate Hotel. If you’re an avid UNC basketball (and Michael Jordan fan) the Graduate Hotel is a great place for you.

We were quick to find our way onto Franklin Street, as we now approached the areas that we saw being swamped with students after major victories. As we were all ready to eat, we made our way to Sutton’s, a great place to start the trip.

Sutton’s is not your typical restaurant. In fact, it’s labeled as a drug store, as you can pick up prescriptions there as well. Sort of like a mini-diner, the food was outstanding, setting the tone for one of many great food places we visited during our short stay.

After exploring the storefronts on Franklin Street (and thus, spending a ton of money), we were focused on seeing some of the popular spots on campus. We took the short trip to the Bell Tower, admiring the view up close and personal.

From there, we made our way toward Kenan Stadium and were very excited to be able to make our way into the open stadium to see the view. The images below simply speak for themselves.

We then proceeded to Carmichael Arena, a very popular place in Tar Heels history. Not thinking that we would have the opportunity to see the court, a friendly worker allowed us access just before the women’s basketball team practiced. We watched as the team made their way to the court, and were surprised when redshirt senior Eva Hodgson made her way toward us.

My first thought was “oh boy, we’re getting in trouble for being here!” but that was not the case. There’s no doubt in my mind that Hodgson could be the mayor of the University of North Carolina, as she simply is one of the nicest people you’d ever meet.

We had a brief conversation about the team’s upcoming game (which we ultimately attended) as well as the rather close proximity between our hometowns (us being from Jersey and Hodgson coming from New Hampshire). Of all the student-athletes we could’ve run into first, I’m sure glad it was her, as she was so down to earth and possesses such a bubbly and upbeat personality.

After running around Chapel Hill, we ventured to Top of the Hill for dinner, another well-known dining establishment in the area. As we sat on the top balcony, I couldn’t help but think of how cool it must be to witness the students and Tar Heel faithful celebrating on Franklin Street after a major victory.

We wrapped up dinner and decided to venture into enemy territory. In our Carolina gear, we drove around that campus in Durham, just to see Tyler Hansbrough’s house (Cameron Indoor Stadium).

In the blink of an eye, the first day of our trip was over. The first day was pretty amazing, but just wait until you hear about day two.

Dean Smith Center, here I come!

Next. UNC Women's Basketball cruises to victory over SC State. dark

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