Amidst the rising fog and shining sun this past Saturday, I came to the conclusion that our journey through the Great Plains in December cannot compare to the adventures one can find during a journey to “The Loveliest Village On the Plains”. This village is none other than Auburn, Alabama, for those of you who do not yell War Eagle on Saturdays in the South or don’t realize that the best lemonade is found at Toomer’s Corner and not at a fast food establishment.
I am ashamed to say that I have not been back to Auburn since I graduated in 2013, until this past weekend. I absolutely loved attending college at Auburn University for multiple reasons other than the fact that it really is the loveliest village on the plains. The people at Auburn create a sense of “home” away from home while attending college, due to their overwhelming kindness and true southern charm. Simply put, you feel the spirit of the South.
There are many traditions built upon hallmarks within this lovely village. This short list will give you multiple motivators for taking a journey of your own!
Why is Auburn called “The Loveliest Village on the Plains”?
A poem was written by Oliver Goldsmith in 1770 called “The Deserted Village,” which included the line “sweet Auburn! Loveliest village of the plain.” It stuck with Auburn fans, and will always be known as the loveliest village.
What is Toomer’s Corner?
Toomer’s Corner is named after Toomer’s Drugs (founded in 1896), located on the corner of Magnolia Avenue and College Street.
If you ever visit Auburn, it goes without saying to stop in Toomer’s Drugs and order a freshly squeezed glass of lemonade with a taste that is found at no other place.
The tradition of rolling the trees at Toomer’s Corner
Celebrations have been going on for as long as there was a football team at Auburn. These celebrations focus on throwing toilet paper on trees surrounding Toomer’s Corner. Unfortunately, in 2011 after Auburn’s defeat against their rival Alabama in the 2010 Iron Bowl, an unruly Alabama fan poisoned the famous oak trees at Toomer’s Corner with a commercial herbicide. The trees were cut down in 2013 after observation that they would likely die. After grieving this small-town tradition, the university planted new oaks in 2015 so Auburn fans can enjoy the tradition again of rolling Toomer's Corner.
These are the original rolled trees, taken after a game while attending school at Auburn
Many other traditions create Auburn's Southern charm; however, you will be capable of discovering them with your new found knowledge on experiences in the lovely village on the plains.
A few snapshots of the lovely University
One of the main reasons my husband and I took a trip down south to the loveliest village on the plains was to run a 5K in the annual Auburn Running Festival. The course featured twists, turns, and gently rolling hills. Influenced by other traditions, the race started at Toomer’s Corner and finished on the 50-yard line of Jordan-Hare Stadium.
Proud of my husband, the winner of this year's Auburn Running Festival 5K!
I placed 8th overall, and 1st in my age group with a time of 20:54.
New PR for the win!
Only my husband and I would continue to run an extra 7 miles after the race. Fatigued is an understatement as to how I felt. Possibly due to waking up at 3:45 am and driving 3 hours just to run a 5K. We are either super dedicated or just a little crazy, but most likely just a little bit of both.
After working up a huge appetite, we dined at a local restaurant for brunch called The Hound. It’s a lovely restaurant you will want to visit if you’re ever in Auburn. While there, you drink your whiskey bottle poured water out of mason jars, eat on old farm tables in a dimly lit lodge, and admire the surrounding scenery and true Southern decoration.
I just couldn't leave Auburn without a stop at my long lost grocery store, EarthFare…
Emily is a Wife, Registered Dietitian/Nutritionist, & Lactation Counselor.