Thursday, July 31, 2014

Back to Athens

More years ago than I care to admit, John and I were fresh-faced undergrads at Ohio University. We started dating just a few months before we both transferred there from other schools (a decision in the works prior to us getting together, for the record). Athens holds a special place in my heart because our relationship started and grew there for 3 wonderful years. A couple weekends ago, we went back for a visit.

This is the most spontaneous overnight I have ever orchestrated and gotten John to agree to so excuse me while I pat myself on the back. On Wednesday, I told John OU was hosting Ohio Brew Week. On Saturday, we were there. Bravo! We hadn't been back to campus since 2008 which was just a day trip. We walked around, ate, bought t-shirts and drove the 2+ hours home. It was fun but this was better. We stayed overnight at the OU Inn which is the only walkable hotel option. It's a bit under a mile which may seem far to some but we are accustomed to this walk. John's apartment was up a giant hill across the street so it was all very familiar.

We got there in the early afternoon, checked in, and headed up to campus. A lot had changed but it had the same feel. All of the happiness we felt when we were carefree in college came rushing back in and we immediately knew this spontaneous getaway was the right decision.

The CI in the daytime is strange.

Being Ohio Brew Week, we didn't have to stoop to the Miller Lite of our formative drinking years. Although, I did love the prices on that schlock. I wish I could go through all of the 30ish beers we tried but I didn't take good enough notes. And no, all of them were not full pours by any means.

Here are a few standouts that we really enjoyed:

-Rockmill Brewery, Saison Noir
-Mt. Carmel, Coffee Nut Brown
-Jackie O's, Skipping Stone (actually -- pretty much everything we had at Jackie O's)
-Listermann, White Death (my new favorite Christmas brew by FAR)

While the beers were great, the atmosphere was just as awesome as we remembered. I was worried I would feel really old but because of Brew Week, the crowd was definitely more outsiders than undergrads. That and there aren't nearly as many students on campus in the summer.

The remodeled Junction now known as J Bar -- come on.

One tank top wearing 22 year old guy talked to me as if I was much younger than my 31 years and it made me feel really good about myself. I am aging well, apparently.

At the Pigskin

We capped off the night with a slice of pizza from Goodfellas (of course) for the long walk back to the hotel. Our t-shirt supply is now restocked too and we have vowed not to let another 6 years go by before heading back.

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