Friday, May 20, 2011

Lex Vegas

Pretty sure no one calls it "Lex Vegas" - but come on, that's a great nickname!

Anyway, as I've alluded to about 3 times here on the blog we spent a long weekend in Lexington, VA for Jonathan's 15-year college reunion from Washington & Lee.  Note that Jonathan also went to W&L for law school, so going to this place where my husband spent 7 years of his life was exciting for me.  And really, the whole weekend was exciting and fun, watching Jonathan re-live "the glory days" with his college buddies.

We rented out a B&B with what would have been 5 other couples (except 2 spouses weren't able to come).  This was an awesome move and made it really easy to keep up with people and go to the different events.  And the events?  That was a pretty cool aspect of the whole reunion weekend.  Unlike Rhodes reunions, the fee to attend the whole thing was quite a bit higher, but there were basically events every day/night and you could have all your meals (and cocktails) included in the weekend package.

The boys (and their 24 oz beers) outside the B&B:

So we got in Thursday and immediately went to campus.  We did a walking tour and a driving tour.  The campus is really pretty - all the buildings are uniform (as they are at Rhodes), but the architectural style is sort of Georgian (I think that's what we'd call it, right art history kids?): brick buildings with big white columns.  It's pretty small and set on a hill with huge, old trees.  On our walking tour we went through Lee Chapel because it was raining which was pretty intense with a life-size marble statue of Robert E. Lee.  And we also saw the incredible new student life center.  It wasn't around back in Jonathan's day and he definitely felt it would've been an awesome addition to his college life.  Thursday night we went to one (of two) bars in town for some pre-dinner drinks, and then headed to a cool restaurant (called the Red Hen [I think]) for dinner with all of our group that was in town.  We ended the night at the other bar in town, The Palms, which comes up in many a law school story, so it was fun to experience it.
Some of the guys at The Palms:

Jonathan and me on the hill in front of the academic buildings:

Us and Jonathan's friend Kippie & her husband Alex in front of Lee Chapel:

Every morning we had awesome breakfasts at the B&B.  After that on Friday, we headed over to campus to walk around some more and have a campus-sponsored lunch.  (Note that all of these meals we had on campus had awesome vegetarian options, so, go W&L!)  Jonathan and I then put on workout clothes and walked around on a little trail (I think called the Chessie Trail) that went through the woods and by a river that runs through town.  Friday night was the official Class of '96 event at a guy's house who lives in Lexington.  It was fun and we got to see a bunch of other people who were in town for the weekend.  We followed that with an all-alumni party on campus, and then back at one of the town's bars.

One sort of different thing about W&L to Rhodes is that everyone lives off campus all years except freshman.  So the boys live in the fraternity houses sophomore year, and then they all live in little houses around campus the others.  All the houses have nicknames that everyone on campus is familiar with - stuff like "Stucco," "Vegas," "Windfall," etc.  Kippie and her husband for the weekend happened to rent out the house Jonathan lived in for 2nd and 3rd year law school, so we got to see that.

Saturday our whole group had lunch together at a cute little restaurant in town.  Then we headed out to a joint class of '96 / '91 party at a place called Zollman's.  In college, the W&L kids would have parties out there and would bring bands to play at the pavilion.  "Pavilion" is a strong word, as the building itself is basically a metal barn with port-a-potties outside.  But it's out on some pretty property that's right on the river, so it was nice to be out there.

Jonathan's friend Preston lost a bet to their friend Jason, so he had to wear this Generals jersey to the party at Zollman's:

One of the highlights of the weekend came after Zollmans, when the boys, who had been drinking for most of the day, decided they wanted to break into the SAE house.  The SAE's are currently on probation (and not living in the house) until next school year.  Fortunately, one of the guys in our group has some connections $$$ with W&L, so he was able to have a campus safety officer meet us there to let us in.  It was wild to see the house and see their old bedrooms.  Also, they found their book of meeting "minutes" and were reading some of the absurd/hilarious stuff they wrote back in the day.  They might or might not have found some ceremonial robing, but since I most definitely witnessed far more SAE secrets than a non-member is supposed to, I'm not at liberty to discuss that.  But it was so funny!  You can take a group of successful 37 year olds, get them out of work clothes, into their old fraternity house with some beer, and watch as their age dramatically regresses.  But in a good way.

In the library of the house reading the minutes:
Jonathan & Preston's old room (we'll not think about how nasty those mattresses are):

Saturday night we went to a dinner/drinks/band event on campus for the alums.  But then left early so we could go to a fraternity party.  Just like back in the day...

All in all, it was a fun weekend!  I wish I hadn't gotten sick on the 2nd day we were there, but luckily I was still 100% functioning.  I loved hanging out with both the people I already knew, and the new ones.  And I enjoyed all the other wives.  I enjoyed Lexington, too.  I had such a different college experience since Rhodes is in an actual city.  Lexington is a tiny town that basically has one little "downtown" area of shops and restaurants, and the rest is residential houses out in the country.  I'm sure when going to school there, the size of the town has nothing to do with anything.  But as an adult now, seeing the town just reminded me that I probably wouldn't ever do well in such a small place.

Anyway - it was fun - I look forward to the next reunion!


Sarah said...

Sounds like a great trip. This made me a little sad I do not have a UD reunion this summer. My 5 year was last year, but many of my friends graduated a year later and are going this summer as well. Ahh well, I will be looking forward to the next one.

katie said...

hahahaha. oh, that bed! gotta love the good ole bunk!

LB said...

Sounds like a fun trip!