By Nathan Miller
I’m a big fan of the state of Texas. I think that when you factor in everything that goes into the make up of a state there just isn’t anything better from top to bottom than the great Lone Star State! With that being said, there are only two other states that I wouldn’t mind living in. One of them is Colorado just because of how crazy beautiful it is up there and all the awesome things you can do outdoors. The other state is Georgia. I love the southern-country feel and the beautiful scenery (when you’re in the right place). Thanks to my awesome job I had to opportunity to travel out to Athens, GA from April 11-13th to go and visit the Pi Chapter of BYX at the University of Georgia. I’ve enjoyed all three of my previous visits and to say that I was looking forward to this visit would be a dramatic understatement.
The few days leading up to my UGA trip were also pretty sweet. The previous Thursday night I drove down to San Antonio to spend some man time with my Dad while my Mom was out of town. We got to go play golf at my home course and we had an awesome time. I posted an 80 with 5 birdie putts that lipped out (incredibly frustrating) and had some great quality time – just me and Dad. The next morning my Dad and I headed over to the other side of town and played a scramble style round in the annual Booz Allen Classic. Our team played pretty well and we tied for 5th out of 26 teams. A couple days of golf and then a couple days at UGA – that right there is a pretty sweet time.
Sunday I hopped on a big steel bird from San Antonio to Atlanta. After hiking through ATL’s HUGE airport and riding up 3 escalators that truly felt like the ‘Stairway to Heaven’ I got in my rental car and made the trek down to Athens. I had a Ford Focus this time around which was a heck of a lot better than that dang Kia Rio I had before (sorry Kia but that car sucked). I rolled into Athens at about 6 o’clock and I met with 4 of the officers (2 of them are losers) at Chili’s for some good fellowship and conversation. We got there just in time to watch the last 4 holes of The Masters so I got to watch my man Phil close it out – class act. We all sat there for a while just laughing and catching up on what was going on with everyone. After a couple hours I went to my hotel and got some rest because I had a ridiculously long day ahead of me on Monday.
The guys at UGA are awesome – I love them to death. However, they are notorious for making my schedule crazy busy whenever I come to visit. I had 9 hours of back to back meetings with current officers and men considering running for office in 2011. The meetings were awesome. The current officers are doing some awesome things and the guys that I talked to about running in the future give me confidence that the solid leadership at UGA is going to continue after 2010.
The day leading up to chapter meeting was crazy but my favorite part might have been lunch. You see, in Athens there is this amazing little hole in the wall soul food restaurant called Peaches. If you’ve ever eaten there you know why this may have been my favorite part of the day. I got to grab lunch there with about 7 or 8 of the BYX guys. The fried chicken was incredible. The mac n cheese was awesome. The cornbread was legit. The sweet tea was phenomenal. If you are ever in or around Athens check this place out – trust me.
After the soul food and a bunch of meetings it was time for chapter. We started off the night with some announcements. This was the Monday before Island Party so as you can imagine it was pretty crazy. The guys were running around getting their IP shirts (they spelled Georgia right this year), letting everyone know what the logistics of IP were, getting guys signed up to pass out sunglasses to advertise it and make sure everyone knew how they could be praying for the event. After announcements we were led in an awesome time of worship. One of the perks of the job is I get to worship with a different group of men in a different setting on my visits. The worship that night was absolutely incredible. Once worship ended I was introduced. Instead of a normal talk I helped facilitate a Q&A session with all of the guys. The men were able to ask any question they wanted to. They asked some tough ones and I did my best to make sure they were answered to the best of my knowledge. After this we all circled up and a bunch of us made our way to Chick Fil A for dinner. We had an awesome time of laughing and playing pranks on each other. We messed with Justin (Chaplain) so much that he actually got a little upset and meant to slide a sauce container down the table but instead it exploded all over the glass wall separating the play ground – it was totally unexpected and hilarious.
After dinner I said goodbye to the men. This would be the last time I would be in Athens and probably the last time I would see most of them so it was a tough goodbye (for me at least).
The next morning I met up with Chris Godfrey (President) at Ihop for some breakfast. We discussed all of the details and meetings from my visit as well as what the chapter needs to do going forward. When that meeting ended I hopped back in the Focus and began my journey back to Texas.
The Pi Chapter is doing incredibly well. They are still in the process of figuring out how they can have the maximum impact on the campus and they are looking to increase their involvement with Greek organizations and adding more structure to the chapter to help this happen. UGA is a very solid chapter and while I may like the state of Georgia a lot, Texas is still the best – no question!