like old times

Posted by susan on May 4th, 2010. Filed under: getaways.

It’s always strange to go back to a place that represents a specific time in your life – an era. It’s particularly strange when you find out that so much has changed, but it’s great when you find out that some things haven’t.

sju rugby alumni

This past weekend I headed to Philly to play in our annual rugby alumni game. I have been to Philly so many times since I graduated from Saint Joe’s in 2005, but it has been a while since I actually set foot on campus. I felt out of place at first, meeting the new team and gearing up on the gorgeous field that sits outside of the field house – back in my day we weren’t allowed to practice or play on campus, but more on that later. However, when my old friends started trickling in, it felt just like old times.

My sister Jenny orchestrated the entire weekend and it was an absolute blast thanks to her proactiveness and sick excel spreadsheet skills that kept track of all the alumni through the years. Per tradition, the alumni scrapped together whatever pieces of athletic clothing we could find and prepared ourselves for a match that would inevitably lead to days of pain, bruises and potentially some explaining to do at our office jobs.

While most of us hadn’t even seen a rugby pitch since college, despite the heaving and purposeful stalling to get grasps of air, it looks like we still got it. Together, we came out with a win.

That night, we headed to the Great American Pub in Narberth for some beers and appetizers and then were off to relive some college memories among the hills and bars of Manayunk. Really, it’s like riding a bike.

But first, Lisa, Bryce, our friend Brianne and I couldn’t make the trek over the Schuylkill River without stopping by an another old stomping ground – Overbrook Pizza. I lived right across the street from here my senior year and I could see it from my living room. Like many places in Philly, they have a great cheesesteak.

overbrook philly

It felt good to be back at Overbrook – it was a moment filled with flashbacks. The shop is right next to the Septa stop I frequented to visit Mike at Temple University. As we waiting for our “hoagies,” we spied on a group of college kids gathering on the lawn of my old apartment who were about to leave for a formal. And the man at the counter actually remembered Brianne and we had a nice chat about “kids these days.”

I was also reminded that I once lived blocks from Will Smith’s old high school, the one I drove by twice a week to get to my internship senior year.

will smith

As I waited for my food, suddenly the line “down at the plateau is where everybody goes” from Summertime went through my head. My old rugby practices were actually on the plateau where we took our warm-up runs through clouds of illegal substances, all while dodging the occasional broken glass and inevitable syringe before stretching.

Though much has changed, it was nice to be able to relive memories with old friends. I definitely want to make visiting my campus a habit during my future Philly trips.

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