Liberty University & UVA

We are staying a few miles outside Charlottesville, VA as Jessica is in town to visit with her college roommate, Kellie.  And when the opportunity to visit with “Princess Jessica” presents itself we would be insane to pass it up, so here we are.

Jessica arrived at our campground soon after noon on Saturday and we then drove south to Lynchburg, VA, a drive of about an hour and a half.  Jessica came to see the Liberty University marching band, as two girls in her church youth group are members.  It was a beautiful afternoon and we enjoyed the game as well as the half time show (the “Flame” also won the game).  Liberty University is a beautiful campus set in the Blue Ridge Mountains.

As you can see, it has a beautiful stadium with mountains on both sides.

We stood at the top of the bleacher area just behind the band during the game.  At half time we moved across to the other side for a better view of the band.

After the game we returned to Charlottesville where we met Kellie and her mother and enjoyed a nice dinner at a local Chili’s.

On Sunday we met Jessica, Kellie, and Bob and Sue Watson (Kellie’s parents) in front of the Rotunda on the campus of the University of Virginia.

Kellie’s father, Bob, is very knowledgeable on the history of the university and even has a very famous relative who’s death contributed to the honor system at UVA.  In the photo above you see the Rotunda in the center and buildings on either side.  This area was the vision of a university in Jefferson’s mind.  Students and teachers lived in the quarters on either side and interacted in the lawn area.  The rooms are still used to house students and faculty today, still in the spirit of Jefferson’s vision.  The rooms are small, sparsely furnished, and have no plumbing!  Fourth year students consider it an honor to be chosen to reside in one of the rooms, even though they have to “hike” to a bathroom.  One of the rooms was the home of Edgar Allen Poe for a year and is preserved in the same condition as when he was a student.  The door to the adjacent room was open and a female student was busy at her computer as we passed by!

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Poe's Room Today

In 1840, the head of the faculty was a law professor named John A. G. Davis who resided in Pavilion X on “the lawn”.   At that time, the students had a reputation for being a bit “rowdy” and did not like the strict rules for the  supervision of exams enforced by the faculty.  One night in November, the students got a bit out of control (some called it a riot) on the lawn and Professor Davis rushed out to quell the disturbance.  As he grabbed on of the leaders of the activities, the student pulled out a pistol and shot him in the stomach.  Davis passed away after two painful days.  His death encouraged discussion of the rules and lead to the formation of the school’s honor code, still in place today.  Davis is Kellie’s great-great-great grandfather!

The picture above is taken from a large display in one of the rooms in the Rotunda.  We felt privileged to be in the presence of the Watson family!

The Watsons

The Wrights

American Icons

That was enough of the history tour from Bob, Kellie took over the tour and quickly guided us across the street to a nice restaurant where we ate out on the sidewalk along University Avenue.

Virginian

The meal was followed by a trip to an ice cream shop for dessert.  Kellie is quite the tour guide!

Dessert!

After parting company with Jessica and the Watson clan, we road our bikes down to a pedestrian mall near the historical district of the city.

File:2008-0830-Charlottesville-DowntownMall.jpg

The Downtown Mall

What a great weekend . . .      The weather was perfect as was the company.  We’ll be in this area for the next few days, then we will move south to Mt. Airy, NC, home to Andy Griffith and Mayberry!

More on that later . . . .

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