VT Trip (2/2)

Going back to school always makes me happy.  Even back in the days when driving down I-81 meant having to prepare for finals after Thanksgiving, I could never help but start to hum “country road… take me home…”

Well, this time we picked a really memorable weekend to visit.  The school was shut down on Friday, and so were most of the stores and restaurants in town.  Even the Math Emporium!

Nothing stops Wally World, though.  Where else would thirsty people go to clean out the water shelf?

While Blacksburg is still a rural town, the urbanization and commercialization had been cranked up like crazy.  Best Buy, Bed Bath & Beyond, Jos A Bank, and other big brand retailers creeped in.  A third parking garage is being erected in town, not that long after the first one surprised us with its presence.  The Kroger on South Main, holy cow, had doubled in size, added a drive-through pharmacy and a huge groumet section.  It’s now as impressive as Super Walmart and Boeing’s airplane factories.

Saturday’s lunch took place at Owen’s.  It brought a new definition to “home food”.  The same pasta sauce, garlic bread, General Tso, Philly cheesesteak, and smoothies that we had had hundreds of times since freshman year.  Freshens now has a new design to the cup, but that’s it.  Even the texture of the rice remained the same weird tasting that we’ve never had anywhere else.

The best moment of the weekend was when Phil walked into the bookstore and inquired, “TEN YEARS AGO, you guys used to carry this thing on that shelf…”  The cashier responded to the awkward question with professionalism, that if they had any of the older merchandise left, it would’ve been kept in another section of the store.  Right, she was probably still learning the Times Table when we last saw what Phil wanted.  Did we sound like grandpas or what?  Looking at the youthful faces around us and counting the number of businesses that used to be in More Than Coffee’s place, well, definitely didn’t help.  After all, we returned to visit our retired friend, Jason, right?

What did bring us back to youth was the incredible snow storm.  Running in knee-deep accumulation, taking silly videos, and throwing snow at each other helped discounting our maturity.  The white Drillfield, wow.

Here’s Jason, with one of several mini snowmen that we built.

One of two awesome snow forts, which always get built on the DF after a major snow:

Woohoo!  In the face!  (not a nice thing to do to the elderly, though)

And there on Alumni Mall, the cadets (I assume) built a huge snowman and a giant snowball.  It’d take some clever engineering students to make something that size.  Awesome.

Later that day, we found tons and tons of other snow sculpture around town, in front of frat houses and apartment complexes.  It was a calming throught that we all once knew how to put down the busy work to enjoy life and the world surrounding us.  The thought almost made me believe that I was young again… until I got exhausted walking across the Drillfield…