An ‘Alabama Bucket List’: A Samford Sunset


By Bradley Robertson

It’s hard to believe that summer is coming to an end. With school beginning so early these days, time with our kids gets cut short during these hot months. Our ‘Bucket List’ journey has been a great one and I’m thankful to continue it into the fall. There is just so much our state has to offer; some hours away and a few of them right here at home.
On our local Bucket List is a family sunset night at Samford lawn. This was something we did often last summer and we hit this one this week as a last hurrah! It’s the calm before the storm of Auburn students and afterschool activities.
We begin around 5:30 p.m., throwing bikes and trikes and scooters into the back of our truck as we head downtown for dinner. Auburn offers many options for adults and kids. Our favorites are Mellow Mushroom, Moe’s BBQ and Little Italy.
We park the truck at AuburnBank, each kid grabs their riding toy of choice and we slowly head to downtown.
Shep’s favorite has always been his heavy-duty tricycle. He makes a tractor noise with his lips, and he’s as loud as an actual tractor. He is oblivious to the passersby, they hear him coming and grin at this funny child of mine. Sissy and Braxton go for their bicycles or rip-sticks. They usually match up here, in hopes to race and enjoy the company of the other one.
I’m pleased with walking and watching these silly country kids take on the town. My children are loud and they do not hesitate to own the space they are in. Together, we choose a place to dine. The kids park their gear outside and we pile inside to get some grub.
We enjoy as much as we can of dinner but the kids are eager for the following part of this local adventure – riding their selves wild at Samford Hall. We finish up with me capping off a cold beer at Mellow Mushroom and we are back on the sidewalk headed to Toomers.
When we finally arrive, they take off free as eagles and they are completely content with our evening. The smooth pavement and pathways are a mixer for these dirt road kids. They ride and weave in and around Langdon, Samford and the many trails in between. I park it on a bench, watching them fly around on their wheels, the evening sky above us all.
These are my favorite times, and I’m certain this is why I created our Bucket List. Time stands still and we can relax in the moment surrounding us. When I’m at home, it’s hard to step away from chores and work. Creating some space for my kids, away from home, is my winning ticket. I get to simply enjoy them, watching them be kids and laughing at their childish antics.
We stay here till just after dark. They never want to leave, but that’s the fun in it too. You know they have had plenty of fun when they are not ready to go home. I give them each a last call for their final ride around the grassy lawns. They weave in and out, I lose them a time or two but then they all suddenly appear. We make our way back towards Toomers, we cross over the streets and slowly ride back to AuburnBank.
We load everyone up and we head back towards home. My kids have always loved this outing, it’s harder to accomplish in the busy of football season with the rush of students.
My children over time have learned the value and tradition of the Auburn Family. I don’t just want them to hear the stories we hold dear, I want them to feel it. When they arrive on summer nights at Toomers and Samford, they are given the freedom to feel Auburn in their own way, as a child. If that feeling is good, they can’t help but love the Auburn Family too, and that makes this mommas heart happy.
Bradley Robertson is a local mother, wife and creative. She’s an Auburn University graduate, loves good food and getting outside with her family. Bradley enjoys feature writing, as well as Southern culture and lifestyle writing.


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