Tuesday, August 03, 2010

Alma Mater, Hail!

Ah, Williamsburg. I spent 7 years of my most formative years there, through college and law school, but since graduation in 2005, I hadn't felt a strong desire to go back. It's not that I don't love the town (I do) or loved my time at William and Mary (I did), but the bar examination-induced trauma was just too strong to ignore for a couple years. Coupled with my academic burn-out from 7 years of continuous higher education, I needed a break.

But all that's over! It was time to head back to the Burg and revisit all the old hot spots. So with Selvi along for the ride we painted the town red...or as red as you paint it when you're facing 105 degree weather. Because it just so happens we decided to head down to Williamsburg on the hottest weekend of the year. Typical.

We drove down Friday night after work and because of traffic on I-95 didn't arrive until 11pm at night. But that didn't deter us from doing a quick drive around the town and campus. Let me just say this: if any of those kids ever bitch about their not being anything to do I will punch them in the face. When we were there, there was NOTHING. Literally, nothing. It was big news when they built a Wawa across the street from campus and the frats and three bars (called "the delis") basically comprised the entire nightlife. Of course, things improved as time went on. But now, there is an entire yuppy village at New Town (with bars, restaurants, housing, etc.) and two movie theaters. TWO! We used to have to drive down to Hampton to the AMC to see a movie. Now there's a huge multiplex in New Town and some place called a movie tavern, which is kind of like the Arlington Drafthouse.

The campus has changed a lot too; there are two new dorms on Barkesdale Field, and the Rogers science building has been expanded into a new "science center." The Swem library renovations are done and the renovations of Andrews and PBK are starting. The law school also has a fancy new library (which of course was done right when I left), and there is a brand new business school where the Common Glory parking lot used to stand. And the University Center (UC) was renamed the Sadler Center (after Sam) and is having a whole new wing added.

Ah, changes.

But not everything changed. Morton (the government building) is still slowly sinking into the ground, but god knows I love it. And the music building, Ewell, is still exactly the same. But they should really think about upgrading their security; almost all the campus buildings were locked, but we waltzed right into Ewell and into the bandroom. We even left some nice messages on the chalk board. No seriously, they were nice. Something like, "greetings from alumni!" Nobody except the janitors is likely to see it, but it made us feel good.

The Sunken Gardens at morning. Looks just the same!

Of course I had to take pictures of the Wren building, right?

The original Music department diva.

Me and Selvi chill with Thomas Jefferson.

The sun dial on new campus looking towards Swen Library.

The Crim Dell bridge. As soon as Selvi and I walked by, about 5 adorable turtles swam up in eager anticipation of us throwing food at them. Ha, suckers.

It's nice to know somethings never change, like the inside of the University Center.

After we spent a couple hours walking around the campus, we hit the campus shop and bookstore (my former employer) for some WM digs. Then it was off to the Prime Outlets for some shopping, and Peking Mongolian BBQ for lunch. A word about Mongolian--it was just as good as I remembered. SO GOOD.

And I was really happy after eating at the buffet.

By that time, it was over 100 degrees, so Selvi and I headed back to the hotel for an afternoon nap. Then we met up with my friend Andrew at our favorite drinking spot, The Green Leafe. On the way there we lamented that it wasn't Sunday night when we could have broken out our Green Leafe mugs, but it turns out they were offering mugs of margaritas on Saturday. That's right, mugs.

That's a whole lot of margarita.

By that time we were well and tipsy, so Andrew loaded us up in his car and took us to hang out at his place. We watched some quality HBO shows and just hung out and had fun. Then it was back to the hotel where we slept the night away. We didn't have a lot of time the next morning since we had to get back to DC, but we slept in and then went to IHOP for brunch. It may not be fancy, but it's definitely a Williamsburg tradition.

All in all, we had a great weekend, and I'm really excited about going back sometime soon. Once you walk down memory lane...it's hard not to make a return trip. Maybe we can get some of you WM alums to come with.

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