When the Three Brothers Pizza World Pizza Eating Championship in Greenbelt, Maryland was announced I knew I had to take advantage of the opportunity to go back to the area. I lived there (in Annandale, VA) from 1983-1991 (ages 12-20). Lots of memories - fun stuff, not fun stuff, dating, high school, learning to drive, golf, running, lifting, and all that comes with growing up. I had not looked back since taking off for Colorado in 1991 but it was OK to go back. For a day or two.
The plan was to fly in to Dulles, in Virginia, and meet up with my parents in Greenbelt. They'd fly up from Tampa. Saturday my sister, her husband, and their two kids would drive up from Norfolk. It was not until we were already there that we thought about the obvious - why did we stay in Greenbelt?!? Why didn't we stay in Annandale?!? It would have been more convenient for all - I had an 8:30am flight back to Colorado. Oh well, getting up at 4:30am is what it is.
Back to the beginning of the story. My flight out of Denver is at 10:15am. We leave the house at 6:30 what with the Orange Alert and stories fresh in our heads of 1 to 2 hour waits. We get to DIA before 7. I say bye to T, Honey and Max. Head inside to wait. Only there is NO WAIT. I only have the one carry-on so I hop in the Xpress line. Through that crap, on the train, and at the gate just after 7. DMB Weekend on the Rocks it is.
The flight takes off on time. No big deal here. I get to Dulles, get a car (Hyundai Accent!), and head toward Annandale. On the drive I see stuff I remember and a lot of stuff I don't remember. I don't remember stuff because it is new - maybe not new in the NEW sense but new since I was last here.
Driving through Fairfax I see this 7-11. No way. NO WAY! I go in and buy a Big Gulp and a bag of pretzels. Big whoop, you say. But ha - screw you Mr. Convenience Store Manager who in 1985 forbid me from coming in this 7-11 FOREVER because he caught me shoplifting a candy bar or something. I will see you in HELL! But really, thanks to you. I would have one later lapse of juvenile misjudgement, but getting caught at sev that day way back when was a turning point.
But seriously, why the locks?
After the 7-11 stop it's on to the first planned stop. W.T. Woodson Freakin' High School. Class of 1989!
High school for me was fine. I took the middle of the road. Not a big jock, or a stoner, or dweeb. I was just me I guess. I learned a lot - be it academically, about girls, about life.
I went in. Found my locker I had for the first two years.
Below you can see the temporary classrooms. Easily 40 of them if not more. That's new.
This is Frost Middle School. Wargames. Break dancing. Moving on....
Below is the stadium shared by Frost and Woodson. I cannot tell you how many times I ran the stairs. Up. Pump the arms. Down. Do it again. Nor can I tell you how much I do not miss running up and down stadium stairs. But it primed me for kicking ass during the ROTC PT tests.
After stopping at Woodson and Frost, it was on to our house.
It's been kept up well.
It's the same deck. No external changes. My parents sold it in 1991 for about $250,000. Good. It last sold in 2004 for $600,000! I would've loved to go in and see if something could justify the price!
Here's the subdivision pool and tennis club. Is the swim team no more? My sister had some records on a board. I had one too. The board is gone. Or maybe it's moved.
I leave and get on the beltway that will take me to Greenbelt.
Slow down though because it's stop and go the WHOLE way. Never going above 30 mph. For 22 miles. Lovely.
Next up, I will have Part 2. The competition.