Sunday, January 22, 2012

A trip down memory lane

The Mr. and I took a trip up to Cincinnati recently to visit our alma mater, Xavier University.  While on campus, we took a trip down memory lane as well.

We walked past or through many of the buildings where we spent time back in the day.  One place especially meaningful to the two of us is the residence hall where we met.

Our sophomore year, we lived on the same floor, in different wings.  The Mr. knew my roommate and would pop by our room to visit sometimes.  I distinctly remember him being content just to hang out on our futon (yes, futons were cool back then), whether or not we were being particularly entertaining at the time.  It wasn't until the beginning of our junior year that we started dating.

Heading over to the academic mall, we find Hinkle Hall, the oldest standing building on campus, built in 1919.  It sits in the middle of a chain of buildings with castle architecture, meant to look like a single fortress.  The turrets of this Tudor-Gothic structure were modeled after the Xavier Family Castle in Navarre, Spain.  (Details courtesy of our friend Wikipedia.)

The main part of campus is up on a hill, about the same elevation as the historic neighborhood on the other side of the valley.  I always loved how this archway frames the view.

I passed by these inscriptions outside the doors of the biology building every day of my college career, but I'm sure I didn't appreciate the detail at the time.

As we were stopped for me to take some photographs, we saw a mother and son on a campus tour, getting the run-down from their tour guide.  It brought back memories of my campus tour guide days.  I've always loved having the role of an expert, and sharing my knowledge with others. I guess that's why I liked being a tour guide so much.  The only bad part was having to get up early on the weekends for early tours!

We probably could have used our own tour guide on campus this trip, because so much has changed in the almost-14 years since I graduated.  Thru-streets have been transformed into grass and walkways.  Vintage homes have been torn down in the name of progress to make way for new dorms and other campus buildings.  I'm bummed that the 1920s cottage that used to house the student newspaper operations (where I worked) was leveled  in order to make room for the new "learning commons" building.  I'm sure those were hard decisions  for the university to make -- balancing progress with history.

This is the view out the amazing gigantic windows of the new learning commons.  Although charming cottages had to come down to make room for this mega building, I'm pleased to see details like the X's in each window were included, avoiding a generic feel.

Across the quad is a new structure housing a dorm and the swanky cafeteria.  We snapped a quick smartphone photo for The Teen, to tease him for not coming with us.  He now wants one of these space-age beverage dispensers for our house.

But the reason why we drove up to Xavier for the day was to visit this place -- Cintas Center, the basketball arena, and home of the Musketeers.  Here's D'Artagnan out front.

And here are two smartphone views of the inside.  Xavier beat the Bonnies of St. Bonaventure.  Woo-hoo!

After the game we headed out to IKEA, where we didn't buy anything too exciting.  Alas, no fiddle leaf fig plants and no Stockholm Rand Rug.  By the way, can anyone tell me why the Swedes haven't figured out a better way to lay out their stores?  It's maddening having to follow a map and/or arrows on the floor.

On our way back south, we stopped in Northern Kentucky to have dinner at a sushi restaurant with The Mr.'s cousin and her husband.  Believe it or not, I'm 35 and had never tried sushi.  The server suggested that a California Roll is good for newbies.  Um ... not for me, thanks.  Was not a fan.  But the rest of my food was tasty, as was the company!

Anyway, thanks for indulging me in my trip down memory lane at Xavier.  It was fun to take photos of architecture, rather than just home decor, for the day!



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