Before getting full on into Christmas, I have to stop and share my November trip down to my Alma Mater, Virginia Tech. It had been two years since I last saw my buddies and we had been trying to coordinate a meet-up since last fall. One of the highlights of moving back to Virginia is that I’m now only 4 hours away from my home-away-from-home, Blacksburg… which makes my heart swell 🙂
My dear buds from the ‘burg have been my friends since freshman year when we all wound up in each other’s lives shacking up in the same suite in “New Residence Hall West,” now officially named something else, but that’s what is was when we moved in. We were pretty lucky; it was pretty nice digs for college freshmen. We are all so completely different, but have maintained a great friendship for over ten years now!
Rachel still lives in Blacksburg, so gave us the ‘updates around town and on campus’ tour which was great. I feel like I got caught up on all the latest traffic circles, restaurant developments and campus additions. We also visited the beautiful memorial for the fallen Hokies of April 16, 2007. A large semi-circle with a memorial Hokie stone for each person that died that day has been made permanent on the campus Drillfield, right in the center of our campus. It was touching to see that people still set notes and momentos against the stones, even now five years later. This memorial was inspired by the impromptu arrangement of Hokies stones that sprung up in the days very soon after the shootings, each with a name that was soon surrounded by flower, notes, candles and other tributes. This permanent memorial was completed within the first year, replacing the impromptu stones, and has had some additional touches since it’s initial installation. The kind of table-looking thing towards the back of this picture contains bios on each of the victims whose names are on each of the stones with their pictures.
A crazy popular Blacksburg haunt is Gillie’s restaurant, a classic granola vegetarian downtown restaurant where you’re kind of afraid to look too closely at your silverware, but the food is am-aaa-zing, particular their breakfast. It’s a Gillie’s Special for me every time, no menu required. Roasted potatoes topped with scrambled eggs, grated cheese and salsa with a fresh delicious biscuit. Sounds simple, but I’ve never been able to really recreate it. Yum.
I also picked up some new Hokie gear, in particular a new hoodie since my previous two have become pretty tattered. I wore it for the first time on Saturday after Thanksgiving when VT played our rival University of Virginia in football and we won! Must be the new sweatshirt… We also visited a new craft beer shop where I picked out a collection of beers for Chad and he’s enjoying sampling through those. All-in-all a great weekend of, first and foremost, catching up with my girl friends and taking in the sites and tastes of Blacksburg. Now that I’m a VA resident, I find myself surrounded by Hokies everyday, and I can visit the homeland more often. Gobble, gobble 🙂