Who knew having fun could be exhausting? I just spent a week in Charlottesville, VA doing just that. My parents thought I’d decide to spend the Spring there, after all!
So what was I doing, if not moving back? For starters, I was gathering my scattered possessions, including my car, which I had stored at various homes thanks to the help of fabulous friends.my worldly possessions on Amy’s floor”]
And then there’s my car, Paolo, a 2008 Honda Fit. I hadn’t driven him, or a manual, in all of 6 months, and it sure felt good to shift those gears again after so long. But 6 months without my love is a while for even sturdy Paolo, so I spent my first day back in the ‘ville getting my car ready for the big drive West, which included replacing the car battery and getting the tires checked, and then making him street legal with updated license tag. I tested him on the road the next day when I drove to Harrisonburg to see my buddy Jake and workout with him at CrossFit Harrisonburg. Great little box which challenged me with a short 12-9-6 wod of clean and jerks (135/95) and chest-to-bar pull-ups. Then I witnessed Jake eat a whole half a pig as a post-WOD meal. That was most impressive. His post-meal constant belching was not. Still… very good to see an old bud!!!
Jake wasn’t the only gym buddy I saw, I mean, I did coach at CrossFit Charlottesville for a year and work out there a year before that… I have connections I had to visit and cherish! So if I said I went to Charlottesville for a week and spent every day in the gym, I’d be lying, but it’s close. I had my own lifting to do, after all, and I knew the gym was where I’d get to see a ton of people I wanted to see.
Speaking of my own lifts, it turns out lifting on my own isn’t all that awful. I still prefer having a coach watching me at the moment, but I managed to PR my snatch at 133#/60.5kg (yayyy!)and got a new clean at 169#/77kg clean PR video [don’t mind the failed jerk]! 175#/79kg was sooo close, I managed to get under it twice, but just couldn’t drive it up.
The gym has provided me with a great little family of friends in Charlottesville, and one of them hosted me for the week (thanks, Amy!), others I got to visit for lunch at Eppie’s and BeerRun, dinner at Positively 4th Street and Himalayan Fusion, and a potluck dinner with others while watching the Golden Globes. We even had an impromptu bowling night at Waynesboro — I never even broke 100, but I sure had a fun time with them all.
I have other friends, too. I did got to Charlottesville for a grad program at UVA, and that’s where I first met people. I saw my old roommate and “the three Elizabeths” (yes we all share the same name) had our victorious reunion at Now and Zen for sushi (after a failed attempt to get manicures… for some reason the nail place was crazy crowded!). We caught up on girl talk and all our overseas adventures — all academic in purpose — of me in Greece, Elizabeth in Italy, and Libby in England. So so so good to see them. That’s why I booked a week in town, after all! It might now have been long enough.
And I saw dogs, at the gym and at Amy’s (awww Jackson, such a sweetie even if he did eat some of the gifts I brought for people). And I saw lots of cats. I love cats, I really do, not because they’re adoring like pups, but because they are, well, catty. They have sass and attitude. I was reminded heartily of the reasons why I love cats. Devon and John’s cat, Maggie, showed the adoring cuddly side when she snuggled up to me in state of total and utter relaxation for a while just letting me pet her. Joe and Lex’s cats are of 3 different natures: shy, ambivalent, and curious. Jason and Lydia’s cat, Mia, apparently has become a little more evil than usual… she loves feet but now she also loves attacking feet (I learned this the hard way). And then there’s Mrs. Noam Chomsky, Amy’s cat, and my new roommate for the past week. Chomsky normally hates everyone but Amy and she makes no secret of it by hissing at everyone and everything to her heart’s delight. However, towards the end of my stay there Chomsky not only tolerated my presence (no hissing?) but even drooled happily while curled up in my bed on my pillow. Call me the cat whisperer.
Oh, I went house-hunting! Still am doing so in preparation for moving back in July/August, and if anyone knows of a 3-bedroom place for July in the Belmont/downtown area please let me know!
To sum it up, Charlottesville looks the same: green and small and charming. Such is most of the South. One could get used to life there, knowing DC is a short 2 hour drive away along long stretches of green highway. But, as is ever the case with a place I can call ‘home’, it’s the people. Seeing all those familiar faces and remembering once again how lucky I am to consider each one of them a friend, and how happy I am when I’m with them… that I wouldn’t trade for anything.