October 05, 2011

Virginia Tech Trip '11

Lane Stadium, the home (American) football field for the Virginia Tech Hokies. W.K. and I spent two hours and 45 minutes looking for our friend's tailgate. We never found it.

This past weekend, me and Mike Willis ventured out of central Virginia outward to the Appalachians, specifically the Blacksburg area, which is an informal term given to the Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University (lets be real, this place exists because of the school), which itself is a formal term given to Virginia Tech. And at Virginia Tech, often abbreviated VT, which thankfully saves paper when typing blogs, nearly every single one of my friends decided to go there for 13th grade.

Part I: The Drive

Because I live in Richmond and attend VCU, and Mr. Willis lives in Fredericksburg, and yes, attends University of Mary Washington (or, to save breath when typing, UMW) I had to make a strange, triangular loop through the state as I rolled northbound on the I-95, before we plowed through forest and fields on VA-3, then went through bustling Orange to get on VA-20. From there, we were in Cavalier Country (also sometimes called Charlottesville) it was a shot westbound on I-64 to Staunton then on I-81 to Tech. If any of you know of these places, I'll, sadly, be amazed.

The trip involved music, and music in short. At Tech, I realized that not all college buildings exceed 15 stories. The feat of this was astounding, but that was beyond the point of Tech's incredible features. While most buildings were single digits in terms of stories tall, every building was castle looking, and vaguely reminded me of Hogwarts. You see, the last time I was on the Tech campus, during broad daylight, was literally a decade ago. Specifically, the date was October 20, 2001. So, yes, LITERALLY a decade.

Part II: Parking, police, security

Veering back to the chronological events, Mr. Willis and I made excellent time driving in triangles to Tech. It was around 5:45 p.m., or for those of you who do not know AM/PM time, it was roughly 17:45. However, it was not until, around 7:30 p.m. (19:30) last Friday evening when the two of us actually parked. You see, the two of use made the fatal mistake of going during a college football weekend. Tech was playing Clemson, a soccer powerhouse, and well they have a football team too, but they're only ranked eighth, so that's unimportant. The issue was trying to find the police station to get a guest pass, and Mr. Willis, whom has been to Tech before, completely forgot where it was. Annoyingly, I do not know my spelling and I made the VT mobile website look crappy, so it took awhile finding the right address of the police station on my Google Maps GPS. Technology 6, Tyler 3.

Point being, we found the police station. And, I made the police officer ask a dumb question! You see, I was wearing a VCU shirt and he asked me if I was a visitor or not. But before I could politely say yes, he immediately cought himself saying "I should not have asked that, cause you're in a VCU shirt." Point being, we got the pass, got lost trying to find visitor parking that was not closed off for the game, but a security guard drew us a map to find a spot. We found the spot.

Part III: This thing called "parties" (?)

Being unfamiliar to college American football, since I go to VCU, apparently college students go to these off campus houses, drink unhealthy quantities of piss-stenched beverages and decorate the lawn with red cups. It's better known by some people with imbalanced social lives as partying. Since the concept is very foreign to me, Mr. W.K. and Mr. T.D. decided it would be in my best interest to join them in seeing what the party scene is like. The decision was not made to go out until minutes before midnight, which sparked a doomsday clock in itself, all parties were in the dry, pre-hangover stages.

So, first, they sneak me on the Virginia Tech campus connector, and I'm probably the only one within miles upon kilometers donning a VCU sweatshirt. Strangley, I learned that Tech kids love VCU second to their own school. I'll delve into that topic later on. In the meantime, the three of us barged our way through herds of drunk, and tipsy collegiate students while seeing what the scene is. We made our way to the back kitchen of this townhouse, where a makeshift beer poing table, which was a corkboard of the Maryland flag on top of a foosball table, was assembled. Since it was foosball, I endorsed such activity. However, with most beer and such gone, it was simply water pong. And there were these two kids who were dominanting the games more so than Real Madrid and Barcelona dominant the competition in La Liga. Oops, did I say competition? I meant financial backing.

Anywho, W.K. and T.D. seemed eager to challenge them, and good Lord, they got "mad respect" from the two, despite losing both times. These two beer pong titans they went up against, had spent the previous two or so hours thrashing their challengers. This time around, Mr. K. and Mr. D. took it to them, immediately eliminating three of the cups within the first two turns! But, unfortunately, the titans came back, and Mr. K. and Mr. D. subsequently lost. The second time at it, the beer ponging got down to the wire, and I mean...THE WIRE. Both Mr. K. and Mr. D. as well as the beer pong titans each had one cup remaining, but they kept hitting the table tennis ball off the rims of the cups, as they hopelessly sailed to the floor. Sadly, as the story ended, the titans made a splash and emerged victorious.

It is a learning lesson for the dynamic duo that is W.K. and T.P. It builds character. I hope they improve their water/beer pong talents, cause so much potential only as freshmen!

Part IV: Two hours looking for a tailgate

Scenery during me and Will's unsuccessful two hour and 45 minute walk around the Lane Stadium parking lot. As we can recall, this past Saturday within the East Coast was rather chilly. In Richmond, was a frigid 62 degrees Fahrenheit. Okay, fair enough, that's mild to most people's standards; in Blacksburg, the temperature was hovering in the mid 40s, which is well nearly seven degrees Celsius. With the rain, it was uncomfortably misty outside, as Mr. K. and myself trotted through the acres of pavement attempting to find a tailgate of newly-acquired Robinson Secondary School alumni. In short, we never found the tailgate, despite jacking up Mr. D.'s and the Patel's phone bills while they gaves us directions we simply could not comprehend. For two hours and 45 minutes, we lost our way trying to find them, and I burned off enough calories to make myself feel less guilty about my monstrous breakfast. My hands were raw, my mood was content, and my feelings were uplifted by very nice, and very loud VT fans chanting:
How nice! And later a kid told me that he and quote "loves VCU". Made me smile. But what's there not to hate about VCU? Well, in terms of basketball, Tech might hate Commonwealth for that. While that was nice to get some love for my school, the hopeless excurision culuminated in the best of ways! See the photo below:


Part IV: The finale of the trip

Once you see as many beautiful, green soccer fields such as the ones in that photo above, it is incredibly difficult to top that. I tried, and from there, I had a series of events such as getting into a heated battle with M.C., T.D. and their floormates in Apples to Apples. I came in second, so, well, it was almost as good. Then the next day, Sunday, Mike and I went home, and there was shit traffic. Did not get back to VCU until 8 p.m.

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Tyler Walter

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