Pictures and More - The Real World Strikes: 2001
Well, I didn't waste any time trying to make the most of the weeks I had left before taking the plunge into the real world. Upon graduating, I made a trip to The Outer Banks (Avon, NC) with some friends from school (namely, Nate, Mike, and Mike's girlfriend Jill). Mike's brother, Paul, his girlfriend, Robyn, and two Youngstown hoodlums by the names of Dan and Bill also joined us bringing the tally to 8. It was definitely a good time. On the way down and back I was able to stop and see a couple old friends - Clint Miller (OU alum) and Mike Kastelic (old friend from home). The last set of pictures was taken on a cheapo disposable camera and spans the whole week we were there.
In July, I headed out to New Mexico to visit. I learned many things while out there for a week, most notably: yes, there IS sand in New Mexico; mice DO like to be picked up by their tails; and the word "all" IS also a verb. Little time was spent in the house, we were traveling so much. Here are some pics from the trip to see Crystal, including some from Carlsbad Caverns.
September 29, 2001 saw the surrender of yet another fine young man. Joel Brownfield and Rachel Hemmert, fellow OU grad, tied the knot at her house in Piqua, OH. And what a house it was; I mean this place was made for parties. So, we saw what began in a small closet in Athens, OH blossom into a beautiful couple known now as Mr. and Mrs. Brownfield. I think there's a lesson to be learned in there somewhere, though I'm not sure where. It was great to see all you Bobcats again.
The weekend of October 12-14 Alina and Jeff made a trip up to Chicago to visit Cat. The 13th was Alina's birthday and we had quite a celebration. I'll tell you what, Chicago is one cool town.
The weekend of October 19-21 once again found me heading to Chicago, this time with Gabe. Our high school buddy, Greg, lives outside Chicago in Geneva, IL with his wife Kristin. Besides the two of us, Jeff (another Mentor High alum) and Bryan drove up from Cincinnati. Man, it was great to see the old gang again; almost as if we were back in the high school days again.
Homecoming 2001 at Ohio University met and exceeded all expectations. It was great to see everyone. Now I realize everyone knows I pretty much live for this particular weekend, but it has always seemed somewhat strange to me in a way (albeit a blast). Here we get two days with people seen every day throughout college. Back then it was taken for granted. And now, even though you may not have seen some friends in years, it seems so natural just to fall back into the old groove. And it's such mayhem that you never get a chance to really catch up with any one or two people. It's quite overwhelming. I knew long ago that there would never be another time in life like college. Where else can you throw together a four or five kegger at a moment's notice and pack the place? Where else do all your friends live within a 10 minute walk (or stumble), all conveniently centered around a strip of almost 30 bars that are hopping six nights a week? And whereas in college friends would enhance the drinking experience, now it is the other way around. These days I enjoy just sitting around talking and reminiscing as much as anything else. But as much as Ohio University means to me, I've come to realize that it's not the hills or the buildings that I miss, but all those people that resided therein. To go back this one weekend a year and find myself surrounded by those same friends - well, it was a great feeling. More than once this Homecoming I'd just look around and say to myself "Now, this is what it's all about: friends like these." You guys are the best. Thanks to everyone who traveled from far and wide to visit their alma mater where it was almost (ALMOST!!) like old times.
This set of pictures covers a few nights out in both Cleveland and Columbus, spanning several weeks, including one night I got to test drive a sweet ride. Hey, Tim, I was (relatively) careful!
This role covers some nights out around home, New Year's Eve 2001, and a following visit from Crystal. Albuquerque to Cleveland: not a bad trip for one who had never been on a plane before. Not bad at all. New Year's Eve was at the Weinstein household, a sure bet for a good time. And during Crystal's stay we took somewhat of a whirlwind tour of Ohio and surrounding states.