This past weekend was a trip down memory lane: Dan and I headed back to Villanova, our alma mater and the place where we met! We actually met on the first day of freshmen orientation, but were also both on the XC/Track teams during our four years. I loved Villanova and haven’t been back in over a year, so it was great to go back for the weekend.
We made a stop to Whole Foods on our way into campus and enjoyed a nice picnic on the grass to start the walk around campus!
The we visited South Campus and Stanford, our freshman year dorm. Stanford was the largest of all the freshmen dorms, and housed most athletes.
We then walked up to the Athletics facility, and made a trip to the track. I wonder how many miles of laps were run around this track? Seriously scary when I look back to all the workouts over the years: being nervous, wanting to die, wanting to just hang on for dear life, wanting to numb my mind, wanting to chop off my legs, and even the occasional awesome workout thrown in for good measure.
We typically started and ended our runs at the track most days, unless we drove to Haverford, Valley Green or Valley Forge for runs. So many hours spent striding, stretching, doing core, drinking gatorade, listening to coaches, talking with the team, wow. I definitely missed it.
I missed it so much I went for a run right there! Just kidding, I just wanted an action shot.
After that, we stopped by the coaches office and said hi for a bit– a few athletes are headed to the National championships out in Des Moines later this week so they’re around practicing.
Then we headed back to main campus, and visited Austin, our Sophomore year dorm!
I loved Austin because it was right smack in the middle of campus, but featured single dorms. I lived right next door to my three best girl friends, and most of our guy friends were right upstairs. It was quieter than the “party dorms” down in the quad, but that meant we could always hang out at the quad and walk about 2 minutes home for a nice night’s sleep afterwards.
Then we walked over to West Campus, where we lived Junior and Senior years. Villanova only grants on campus housing for 3 years, so most all seniors moved off campus. Athletes, Nurses, and Female Engineering majors were eligible to get on campus housing their fourth year, which meant getting to classes and practices was a lot easier.
I loved living on West, which featured apartment-style dorms; I lived with my 3 best friends and we each had our own rooms and a living room, half kitchen, and two bathrooms! They were relatively new and clean, and all my other friends were pretty much all athletes so staying on campus senior year was awesome. I liked going to other friends’ apartments off campus from time to time, but it was really nice not having to drive to and from class and fight for parking every day!
The rest of the weekend was spent eating and running! We went to Hibachi, one of our favorite restaurants in Philly with views over the Ben Franklin Bridge:
And to Fellini’s an Italian restaurant in Ardmore that’s BYOB and so delicious!
I get the same thing each time. Chicken with zucchini and spinach, topped with melted mozzarella cheese and aurora (like vodka) sauce and a side of pasta. YUM!
And, of course, got in a bit of running while we were there! On Friday, we went to Haverford and did one loop around the trail there for a leisurely 2.5 miles. Could have done another loop, but was pretty content with just doing one for old times sake. On Saturday morning, we went to Valley Forge, which was (and still is) one of my favorite spots to run. We did about a 9 mile trail loop, which was one of my favorite Sunday long runs along the Schuylkill River, Mount Joy, Covered Bridge, etc.
All in all, it was a great weekend back! It was a bit nostalgic going back and not really being at ‘home’ there any more, but it still made me happy I had such fond memories and such a great experience there. I miss being there with all my friends, hanging out and getting to see each other all the time, and definitely took the 4 years we had together for granted at times, but all and all feel I got so much out of my time there.
How do you feel when you return back to a familiar place? What do you miss most about college, or home if you’ve moved away? Mostly, I miss the extra free time and my friends being around 24/7; we’re all over the country now and it’s just not the same as walking down the hall barefoot to watch Gossip Girl together! Also, I miss my XC/Track teams and the competitive atmosphere and feelings of accomplishment (and sweat) after a shared hard workout or long run.