Gobble de Art Blog

How to Throw a Fantastic Friendsgiving

14 November, 2018 0 comments Leave a comment

Greetings fellow Hokies,

With Thanksgiving coming up, all of us will be scattering across the nations to be with our flock families. However, before you go, you can celebrate the holiday with your friends. I believe that food and friends make for the best memories and that is why I am going to share with you some of my tips to help ensure a great Friendsgiving.

  1. Pick a good date.

With Thanksgiving being on the 22nd of November, it’s important to pick a date before or after the week. Another thing to keep in mind is how busy the week days are for a majority of people. It’s a good idea to plan this event for the weekend. I personally will be hosting my Friendsgiving on November 30th at 7 p.m. to give all my friends time after work to get ready.

  1. Split the cost.

Don't get me wrong, I love buying and eating food like next bird. However, it can get quite expensive if you are buying food for twenty of your closest friends. My suggestion for cutting down on cost is hosting a pot luck style dinner. You can still prepare the main course, but have your friends bring the sides.

  1. Be creative with your food.

I know what a lot of you are thinking, “does this bird eat other birds?” or “Is she a carnivore?” I am most certainly not, and growing up vegetarian with my family, we always had a meat free thanksgiving. That is why I am a big advocate that you should bring your customs and traditions to your Friendsgiving to add creativity and variety to a meal. Last year, me and my friends had a farm to table dinner. We all brought a unique vegetable or fruit dish that we grew in our gardens. It was an awesome way to try new dishes and see how well your friends can cook!

  1. Take lots of photos.

My GG always said a photo is a memory everyone can see, that is why we must make sure to take lots of them. Often times we can get wrapped up in the little things that distract us from being thankful for the things in life we have. That is why it is important to pause, get your group together, celebrate, and take a moment to snap that memory into to permanency. I can’t tell you how often I forget about how good things are, but then immediately get pulled back into gratitude when I see the pictures I took at my Friendsgiving and family I am truly a blessed birdie.

I hope these small pointers will help inspire you this holiday season to hone in on your blessings and enjoy all the people that bring you joy. If you have any other ideas or pointers on how to celebrate a great Friendsgiving, make sure to comment below!!!


Until next time Hokies

Gobble, Gobble & Happy Thanksgiving


Best Places to Golf Near the New River Valley

29 October, 2018 0 comments Leave a comment

Hi there Hokies! It’s me, the Fore the Hokies bird.

Fall is underway here in Blacksburg and in addition to Saturdays at Lane Stadium and winery visits on Sundays, there is one great activity that has an abundance of choices here in the New River.  Golfing in the New River Valley is a great way to spend a fall afternoon, whether alone or with your pals.  Here are my top six favorite places to golf in the New River Valley and nearby!

  1. Auburn Hills Golf Course

Located in Riner, Auburn Hills offers an outstanding course with dramatic elevation that makes it exciting for any golfer.  The 18-hole course features 6,534 yards of breathtaking views of the Blue Ridge Mountains.  This course offers a great variety of challenges for the average golfer and even the most skilled golfer.  Fall is one of the best seasons to golf at Auburn Hills as you get to see the beautiful reds and golds along the countryside.  Check out their website for directions and booking times!

  1. Bally Hack

This course isn’t in the New River Valley, but it’s still one of my favorites. This gem is nestled in the Blue Ridge mountains. The 190-Acre golf course designed by Lester George features a classic Scottish Highland-type design. The course is no joke and features 50 to 70 feet elevations. When you visit this beautiful course, you might even find a goat friend or two. They are known to roam the property. I also enjoy nesting here— if you see me say hi!

  1. Blacksburg Country Club

This beautiful piece of Blacksburg features 18-holes designed by former president of the American Society of Golf Course Architects, Ferdinand Garbin. The course offers a scenic view of the mountains. If you’re interested in competing, the staff can pair you with members or you can enter weekly golf events. To learn more, make sure to visit their website! You might even find me, the Fore the Hokies bird, nested here.

  1. Pete Dye River Course

The river course is located along the New River and provides beautiful scenery along with a well-designed course.  This course offers practices facilities that allow you to warm up before you play or just a place to improve your game. The River Course is open to the public and welcomes golfers of all abilities!  Since the River Course is owned by Virginia Tech it offers a special student discount which makes it an easy and affordable place for you and your friends.  The River Course does have a dress code and encourages people to call ahead to reserve a tee time, so be sure to check out their website before going!

  1. Thorn Spring Golf Course

The historic 18-hole course located in Pulaski has hilly fairways and small greens.  The course is open seven days a week and features beautiful views from the heart of the New River Valley.  The course offers a stunning clubhouse with two dining rooms with a patio that overlooks the 18th hole.  The Course has special rates for tee times after 2:00 PM so it’s a perfect place to go after class! Pricing varies for different days so be sure to check out their website and maybe even sign up for a membership.

  1. Virginia Tech Golf Course

Last but not least is our very own golf course in our backyard! The Virginia Tech Golf course is available to all students for a small fee. Students can register before playing and bring their own set of clubs.  This is one of the best places to go if you’re interested in a quick game of golf but not wanting to travel very far. The Virginia Tech golf course is open seven days a week, but times vary so be sure to call ahead or check on the website.  The website also gives the rules and course information, you can check it out here before you head over!

Golfing is a great activity to enjoy in the fall. With all of the distinct options available throughout the New River Valley, you’ll be sure to find your favorite place to tee off. If you see me out putting around, make sure to say howdy-ho!


-Fore the Hokies Bird

How to Celebrate Fall Hokie Style

23 October, 2018 0 comments Leave a comment

Hi there Hokies, its officially pumpkin spice season! Fall time in the Burg’ is a special time of year; not only is there Hokie football on Saturdays but there is an abundance of fun things for you to fall into! Here are my five favorite things to do in Blacksburg during the fall!


 1. Sample Fine Wines in the Area

Nothing says fall like a refreshing glass of wine, especially when it’s from one of the many wineries in the area, and thankfully there are several. If you go and visit one of the many wineries it is crucial to do a wine sampling. Doing this allows you to try a variety of flavors, and possibly discover a new favorite. If you’re looking for a full list of local wineries, you can check out this link: http://stepintoblacksburg.org/home/explore/wineries-and-breweries/wineries.html.


2. Take a Drive Through the Parkway

One of the best things about fall is when the leaves change to Hokie colors! Experience everyone’s favorite drive full of stunning scenery and fall foliage on the Blue Ridge Parkway.  The parkway spans through Virginia and North Carolina covering 469 miles and endless beautiful landscapes.  Whether you love driving alone or with your bestie, the parkway is a must see this fall.  You can also hike, bike and even camp along the parkway!  Check out the many opportunities it offers here: https://www.blueridgeparkway.org/about-the-parkway/.


 3. Enjoy a Sunday Brunch at Mountain Lake

Love to brunch with your pals but can never wake up in time? You’re in luck!  Mountain Lake Lodge offers a Sunday Brunch from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. with an endless buffet.  Mountain Lake’s Harvest Restaurant offers seafood as well as a breakfast and lunch buffet, so everyone will be happy! The restaurant overlooks the beautiful landscape that Mountain Lake offers.  After you’re full as can be, you can walk off that extra weight you’ve just gained and spot some locations from the film Dirty Dancing! This is the perfect place to come with your friends or family and enjoy a breezy fall Sunday!  The Harvest Restaurant is very popular, so it’s recommended that you place a reservation to ensure your spot!  Information including directions and contact info can be found here: http://www.mtnlakelodge.com/farm-to-table/harvest.aspx.


5. Start Jumping for Hokie Football!

How could I not talk about one of the best perks of Blacksburg and being a Hokie?  There is no better combination than Hokie football on a Saturday.  Tailgating with friends and family is a favorite Hokie pastime.  Ask anyone in Blacksburg and they’ll tell you that Saturdays are for jumping! 


I’m sure I missed all kinds of good things to do locally during the fall, so comment below what some of your favorite fall activities are.


Until next time,


Gobble, Gobble



How to Be the Perfect Wedding Guest, According to Dottie

19 October, 2018 0 comments Leave a comment

Hi Hokie Friends,

It’s your feathered friend, Dottie!

Over the summer I received several wedding invitations and without hesitation I quickly RSVP’d to all six of them. But of course, I didn’t pay too much attention to the dates in which they were occurring and recently my calendar has been blowing up with the fact that all of these weddings are occurring in October and November! Since fall weddings are all the rage, a lot of you all might be in the same boat as me.

I’ve complied a little list of some tips and advice to help you all get organized and to be the best wedding guest you possibly can be!



The very first thing you should do when receiving and invitation is check and make sure that you are able to go. Hopefully the happy couple will have sent out a save the date prior to give you a heads up. However, these days there’s no saying if you’ll be blessed with that old fashion formality. Once you’ve decided if you can or cannot go, it is pertinent that you send your RSVP! The earlier you RSVP, the easier it will be on the couple to plan accordingly with food, seating and spirits.



  1. Find the Perfect Gift

Hopefully this step will be easy and the couple will have publicly registered so you know exactly what to get! This takes the ambiguous nature of “will they like it?” away. Often times places will even offer services where you pick online from the list and will mail it straight to them. This way you can eliminate the shopping and wrapping hassle, and just enjoy attending a great wedding celebrating the marriage of friends or family.

  1. Plan Attire Accordingly

As the wedding date nears, it is crucial that you figure out what the theme of the wedding will be so that you can find the perfect outfit. Don’t just show up to a chapel wedding in your Nikes and blue jeans or attend a country wedding in your little black dress and suit. Hopefully the attire requested by the couple will be on the invitation. However, if you’re unsure, don’t be afraid to ask the couple. As a general rule of thumb, evening weddings are usually more formal and afternoon weddings are usually more casual in attire. Now, don’t attend an afternoon wedding wearing your pjs and flannels. However, you’d be surprised by how dark colors make your outfit formal, while lighter clothing keeps it casual. As Oscar Wilde once said, “You can never be over dressed or over educated.”

  1. Have Fun, But Not TOO Much

My very last piece of advice for while your attending the wedding, is don’t get too crazy at the reception. I have seen lots of heels beak, and pants split while attendees are shaking their tail feathers a little too hard.


Those are just a few of my tips and tricks for being the perfect wedding guest. Make sure to congratulate the happy couple and enjoy their special day with them. If any of you all have any suggestions that aren’t mentioned above, comment below!


Until next time!


Gobble, gobble and go Hokies



Dottie's Tips for Throwing an Awesome Football Game Viewing Party

26 September, 2018 0 comments Leave a comment

Hello Hokies!

I have been jumping all afternoon in excitement for the Virginia Tech vs. Georgia Tech game!, I won’t be able to make it to the game this weekend, but no worries! I will still be watching the game live from my nest. In fact, I wanted to share with you some of my top tips for having the most spectacular viewing party ever!


  1. Make it a Facebook Event

The first thing you have to do when planning an at home viewing party is making sure your guest list is implemented properly! Don’t just call your friends and forget to leave a voicemail, no one will show up with that kind of behavior. Try creating a Facebook event page, this way everyone knows who is invited and they can also RSVP directly to you.


  1. Have a Great Menu

Once you have a general idea of all your friends that should be coming, it is time to start thinking of food! I am personally a pescatarian, but many of friends are not, so it is important to get food that suits them and myself. I like to have a veggie platter, a variety of wings with accompanying dips, chips of more than one brand and cookies that include gluten free options. The larger the variety, the less likely you’ll be to displease a friend. After you have your menu in order, I always like to post it to my Facebook event page to give my friends an idea of what I am having followed with comments advising them to bring any food options that they wouldn’t mind enjoying themselves. Trust me when I say people love a party that turns into a potluck. Happy plates are those with a hodgepodge of things you wouldn’t make at a sit-down dinner!


  1. Décor Matters

You may think that decor is only minuscule with everyone's attention on the players on the screen; but let me tell you, people will notice cocktail napkins from Easter being used at a football viewing party. Try to keep your throw away plates, napkins, cups and utensils to the color of your team—maroon and orange of course! Solid white table clothes make for a crisp clean look as a finishing touch. Also, with fall in the air, I like to throw a little foliage action on to my spreads to make things just a touch home-like. However, if you’re not feeling that notion, just keep it simple with fresh cut flowers to give the appearance of effort.


I hope some of these pointers will help you plan your most awesome football game viewing party yet! If you have any suggestions or ideas that I may have not mentioned, comment below!


Until next time Hokies!


Gobble Gobble



Dottie's New York City Adventure

13 August, 2018 0 comments Leave a comment

Hello, Hokies!

My little Hokie feet are tired from walking around and taking in all the sights from the Big Apple. For those who don’t know, my flock and I took a trip over the weekend to break up our routines and experience something new. 


We began our travels by catching the Amtrak at their new Roanoke location. Let me tell you, I have never been more relaxed while traveling! The chairs reclined and there was plenty of room to kick back and take a little nap as the train went down the tracks. The best part of the train was that I didn’t have to stay in my seat the entire time, being allowed to move up and down the cars whenever I pleased, which made getting snacks a breeze from the café car.


Once we arrived in the city, I could immediately hear a pulse in the floor and everyone was off to the races, moving in different directions creating a vision that can only be found in what some call the center of the universe. When we arose out of the Penn Station I was amazed to see all the store displays light up with glamour and modernization. I was in awe as my flock and I got into a taxi and flew off to our hotel seeing all the buildings that appeared to continue up for miles into the sky. I got my camera out and began to take pictures on pictures on pictures.


When we got to our hotel, we had only a short amount of time to get ourselves together to officially re-enter the city and subway to Madison Square Garden for a concert which was an amazing experience. The energy of the crowd amped our spirits (reminding us of a Hokie football game crowd!). After the concert, we explored the neon lights as we made it back to our hotels, too excited to sleep.


Through the course of our weekend, we managed to visit the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Museum of Modern Art, the Whitney Museum of Art and watched the Yankees play. However, like all things, our weekend excursion had to come to an end.After we watched the final inning, we deiced there was only one way to conclude our trip.


We hopped on the subway and made our way over to see the city in grace, see the city in her brilliance, see the city in full, see the city from the Empire State Building. As we entered, we knew we were in for a Sleepless in Seattle experience with us being officially united with the city, completing the love story. At the top our views were clear, and the moment was priceless.


In one breath we were there and in another, we were heading back to our home in Blacksburg. My journey was magical, but I missed my cozy and familiar nest in Blacksburg. There really is no place like home!


Follow my Instagram at gobble_de_art for more updates on my latest adventures! 


Gobble, Gobble, Gobble



Dottie's College Freshman Survival Guide

28 July, 2018 0 comments Leave a comment

Salutations Hokies!

As a new fall semester is upon us, I thought it would be nice for me to extend a little advice to our new incoming class of 2022. Being an experienced Hokie, I have seen quite a bit in my day, and I’m determined for everyone to have their best first year! Here are my top tips for surviving your freshman year of college.


First of all, time management is crucial. Your studies are important, but don’t be afraid to take an evening off to experience the Town of Blacksburg and the various things it has to offer. It’s important to try new things and experience life! To keep up with your new schedule, make sure to use a planner or Google Calendars to schedule your activities and due dates.


Now, it is not the end of the world if you get lost and miss the beginning of class. I have missed several classes because I was too embarrassed to ask where my building was. If you’re lost, ask a fellow Hokie. They’ll be happy to help! If you are late or miss class, send your professor an email to explain what happened. They’re usually very understanding, just don’t make it a habit!


I know that growing up we were taught not to speak to strangers. However, now that your entering into a new chapter of your life, scrap that lesson and speak to as many strangers as possible! The more people you converse with will help make this big campus feel a little homier. Striking up a conversation will help you make those lifelong college friends that everyone talks about. 


Also, it’s important to know that you aren’t alone. No matter how overwhelmed you are feeling in your new life, you still have your support system back home. It’s okay to call your parents to get that little piece of home that your missing, or to figure out how to fold a sheet. It’s completely normal to ask for help when its needed and you will be happy you did.


Lastly, college can be a great time to reinvent and find yourself.  While you are making improvements in your life, make sure you don’t forget your values and where you came from. Whenever you’re in doubt of a path you might be embarking upon, take a step back and evaluate how the decision aligns with who you are and who you want to be. The outcome may surprise you.


I hope that my advice helps New Hokies on your Virginia Tech journey. I’m so excited for you all! If anyone has some good advice they’d like to share, comment below!


Gobble, Gobble, Gobble






Having a Blast in the Burg' this 4th of July

03 July, 2018 1 comment Leave a comment

Hello Hokies,

It’s me Cade, the Cadet Hokie Bird. I asked my sister Dottie if I could write a guest blog today because it’s my favorite time of the year; it’s the United States of America’s birthday!

Even as a young chick, the Fourth of July, full of red white and blue and patriotic pride has always been my favorite holiday. I am a huge fan of the tasty cookouts and beautiful fireworks, but what I really love about the fourth is the rich history behind it. 

Without being too much of a snooze, I’d like to give a brief history on the birth of our beautiful country. Two days after the congenital congress voted in favor of America becoming independent, representatives from all 13 colonies ratified the Declaration of Independence. This made America an independent country on July 4th, 1776.

This historic decision calls for a celebration 242 years later! No need to worry, I have the top ways to party like it’s 1776 in the Burg’! Here’s a schedule of events to suit your red white and blue fancy.

  1. Kick of the national holiday on the right feather by getting your flock together and heading down to Smithfield Plantation for their 2018 Fourth of July Celebration! There will be readings of the Declaration of Independence and live history presentations. There will also be fun activities for the young chicks and a delicious apple pie contest. This event is sure to set the patriotic mood!
  1. If parades are more your style, don’t get your feathers in a bunch! You can fly down to Main Street at 2 p.m. to see a patriotic parade. This parade is part of the 32nd Annual Blacksburg Fourth of July Celebration. The parade will begin at the old Blacksburg Middle School and conclude at Alumni Mall. The theme to this year’s parade is “Blacksburg Volunteers.” You won’t want to miss this event that is sure to be a spectacle of all things American!
  1. If you’re looking for more family fun after the parade, you can head to the Lyric Theatre for a free viewing of Up, sponsored by the Mount Tabor Ruritan Club.
  1. You can conclude your day of celebration by heading to Blacksburg’s Municipal Park to experience live music and entertainment with a firework extravaganza at 9:30 p.m. I know I’m excited for this festivity, especially the fireworks, which are sure to be a blast.

As you see Hokies, there are plenty of ways to enjoy America’s birthday and celebrate your freedom. How will you be celebrating your Independence Day? Comment your suggestions below!

Happy Fourth of July Hokies! Save me a piece of Apple Pie.




Unique Gift Ideas for Hokie Dads

12 June, 2018 0 comments Leave a comment

Hi Hokie Friends,

It’s Dottie! Very soon it will be a holiday dedicated to dad’s everywhere… Father’s Day! I love Father’s Day because it is a time to show some appreciation for good ol’ Papa Bird. Although your dad probably isn’t the Hokie Bird like mine, he is just as delightful.  Here are three unique gifts to give dad, without a tie in sight!


  1. A Hokie Bird

With Virginia Tech pride running deep in all our Hokie dads, what’s better than giving him a member of the flock? My brother X, the Executive Hokie bird would make a great addition to dad’s desk! However, if your dad is an avid golfer, he might enjoy having my brother GG, the Fore the Hokies bird as a permanent member of his man cave.


  1. A Day on the Golf Course

If your father is a big-time golfer like mine, you can gift your dad with a day on the golf course. There are several courses in Blacksburg that are up to par. My personal favorite is the Virginia Tech Golf course, located at 1085 Duck Pond Drive. You can find information on purchasing a day pass here: https://www.recsports.vt.edu/getactive/golf.html.


  1. Dinner out of the House

With Blacksburg Restaurant week just around the corner, you can promise dad a dinner date starting June 25.  Now is the perfect time to treat your dad to a gift card that he can use for the great deals that are coming up. For more information on this fabulous week of good food and great deals, you can check out this link: http://downtownblacksburg.com/restaurant-week-blacksburg.aspx.


The most important thing to remember this Father’s Day is that the most important gift you can give can’t be wrapped. Make sure to carve some time out of your day to spend with dad! The memories you make together will last a life time.

I hope these suggestions ease the stress of shopping this Father’s Day. What are you doing for dad this year? Comment below!


Until next time Hokies,




Dottie's Favorite Blacksburg Summer Activities

30 May, 2018 0 comments Leave a comment

Hi there Hokies, its officially summertime; meaning not only is there a plethora of parking spots in the Burg’, but also a bounty of fun things to do. Here are my top five things to do in Blacksburg during the summer!

  1. Enjoy a Farm to Table Dinner Cheese Dinner

As a native of Blacksburg, I enjoy eating and experiencing the local foods that come straight from the farms of our area. Additionally, I’m a big fan of cheese. I just think it’s gouda, if you know what I mean. The Virginia Cheese Fest’s Farm to Table Dinner is June 8th this year, only week away.  I can’t wait! I’m excited to feast on Virginia Cheese, spend a beautiful night at the Smithfield Plantation and enjoy a meal provided by The Palisades. I also heard that Chef T from Hell’s Kitchen will be making the dinner this year!  Maybe I’ll even get an autograph. You can purchase tickets for the dinner here:  https://www.virginiacheesefest.com/tickets

  1. Experience Blacksburg’s Annual Steppin’ Out Festival

This festival needs to be on your summer bucket list. If handcrafted art, food trucks and live music gets you clapping, you must attend Blacksburg’s annual Steppin’ Out festival. This large event has various local vendors, making it the perfect way to get all your holiday shopping done early, or get yourself the perfect gift. Additionally, it is a family friendly event, so bring the kids! Make sure to mark your calendars for August 3rd and 4th to experience Steppin’ Out.

  1. Go on a hiking adventure.

I always like to kick off my summer antics by rustling my feathers and hiking up to see the rushing falls of the Cascades. The two-mile hike is perfect for getting in touch with the greenery of the New River Valley and exercise.

  1. Spend the day on the river

Time-to-time I get a wild feather and have a desire to swim with the elements. If you’re like me and enjoy a day spent splashing in the water and enjoying nature, I suggest driving down to the New River Junction, located on Big Falls Rd. in McCoy.  You can spend the entire day floating down the river. Just make sure to wear your sunscreen!

  1. Check off #52 of the Hokie Bucket List

With all this time and sunshine on your hands, I recommend putting your summer days to good use by checking of #52 of the Hokie Bucket list…. Getting your picture with one of my flock members! My flock nests all over Blacksburg. Make sure to snap your picture with my family member, tag Gobble de Art in your post, and use #findyourhokiebird to get featured on our social pages! Here is a map to help get you started on your Hokie Bird Hunt: https://www.zeemaps.com/view?group=1092471&x=-80.386696&y=37.218042&z=5


These are just a few of my favorite things to do in the summer. What are yours? Let me know in the comments below!




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