Virgina is for Lovers

Trip Start Sep 05, 2010
Trip End Sep 18, 2010

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Where I stayed
503 Owens St.
The Schneider household

Flag of United States  , Virginia
Monday, September 6, 2010

As we descend south, I recall all the many times I've taken highway Route 81 from Northern VA to Blacksburg VA where I attended college at VA Tech and later worked before moving to NYC in the mid to late 90's. 

I forgot how beautiful this drive until we drove down through the Appalachians. We ended up taking a scenic route as we got closer to Blacksburg, through Ironto, Va. instead of entering in Blacksburg through Christiansburg, which isn't so pretty.

We stayed with my very dear friend (and one of our groomsmen) Herb Schneider and his awesome dad, Herb Schneider. We went to The Cellar, one of my old haunts that we college kids used to drink and eat at downtown. The food tasted exactly as I remembered it (Veggie Greek spaghetti is the the bomb) although the crowd completely changed. It has become more jock-ish as opposed to the punk rock hipster / grungy hippy crowd I recall back in the 90's. The VA Tech football team was playing Boise St. that night and the bar crowd was willing the team to victory with their over enthusiasm and cheering for each play. If Tech actually scored the amount of times the crowd actually stood up and cheered, they would have had 6 or 7 touch downs within an hour. It was kind of annoying but sort of amusing to a certain point.

The Herb's gave a us a brief tour of campus (of course I knew it already but Karl didn't). We pointed out where the Va Tech massacre occurred and I showed Karl where my old dorms were. We drove around the big Drill Field, a central part of campus. I used to jog around it late at night. It was safe because a security car would drive around the field simultaneously and could see me jogging the whole time. I miss jogging at night. It was so quiet. I hadn't been to Tech since before the massacre. It seemed pretty much the same except for the memorials for the lives lost. I always felt that the VA TECH massacre was Blacksurg's 9-11 (which I experienced when living in NYC my second year living there in 2001). But like NYers, the Blacksburgians bounced back. 

Certain things remain the same (same coffee shop, Bollo's and breakfast joint, Gillies) as other changed--all the downtown record stores were gone. So sad.

I wish we had more time to go to Mountain Lake where I worked in the dining room one summer. They shot Dirty Dancing there. Mountain Lake is a natural lake on top of a mountain. It's gorgeous and right next to the Appalachian Trail. There's a great view from the trail up there but alas, we must push forth to Tennessee to visit my father's side of the family and learn about my crazy ancestors and their wild west shoot 'em up stories.

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Azul on

Wow, I didn't know that there was a massacre there...

Great photos! What did you take them with?

Rosie Puryear on

Oh oh man does that flood me with memories. I never thought thinking of the Cellar would bring tears to my eyes! Ha. I need to get back there for a visit myself. So sweet - thanks for posting this.

Sylvia on

The Record Exchange is gone? Now that's a bummer. WTF are jocks doing in The Cellar? We knew it was semi-doomed when they renovated right after Harve and MaryAnn left...too bad.

Haven't been down there in years, but glad you're sharing the North East vibe with the 'Burg, Adele. ;-)

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