I feel that one of the most hopeful and optimistic places one can visit is a college campus. I am invariably left with respect for the bright, articulate and hard-working tour guides who fearlessly walk backwards while introducing us to the universities they love. Their pride and passion is contagious and creates a surge of optimism within me for what these young people will accomplish for themselves and for our greater world. Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, known as “Virginia Tech” or “Tech”, in Blacksburg, VA is no exception.
I missed out on my older son’s visit to VA Tech so I was determined to accompany my younger son to Blacksburg. It is a 4.5-5 hour drive from our home in Maryland so I wanted to make the most of the trip. After an easy but monotonous trip down Interstate 81 we arrived at the beautiful Inn at Virginia Tech. The hotel, with its exterior of limestone “Hokie stone”, was a gracious and welcoming break from the road. After resting a bit, we were driven by the hotel concierge and Tech student to Blacksburg’s #1TripAdvisor restaurant, Cabo Fish Taco Baja Seagrill.
Cabo Fish Taco was amazing! Our friendly waitress served us the complimentary chips and their corn and tomato salsa. We then had the crab and shrimp dip appetizer with warm and crispy parmesan pita bread. I was almost full but had no problem eating my entree of lemon grilled shrimp tacos with the Cabo Fish Taco signature side of cheddar jalapeno mashed potatoes. It was so good! Cabo Fish Taco has only one other location in Charlotte, NC but I think they would be a big hit in many other college towns or Washington, DC maybe?
As we walked back to the hotel through campus, I was stunned by the beauty of Virginia Tech’s campus. I have been touring colleges with my three kids since 2013 and Virginia Tech is truly gorgeous. My photos do not do it justice but hopefully give you some idea. We walked across the drillfield at dusk to Burruss Hall and then past the duck pond to our hotel.
The next morning was spent on the official admissions tour of campus. We had both a bus tour of sites not covered by the walking tour, including Lane Stadium, and then we were led on the walking tour which ended at the impressive War Memorial Chapel, a tribute to the alumni who have died while in military service. The figures sculpted in limestone represent the values of Brotherhood, Honor, Leadership, Sacrifice, Service, Loyalty, Duty and Ut Prosism, the Latin motto of the University meaning “That I May Serve”.
We finished up our tour with an informative session at the College of Engineering and then were ready for lunch. At our tour guide’s recommendation, we ate at the Cellar, located conveniently off campus on Main Street. We were revived by our delicious sandwiches and iced tea, picked up by the hotel driver to get back to our car and we were on the road headed home.
I thoroughly enjoyed my first visit to Virginia Tech. The university, campus, and downtown Blacksburg are all impressive. My son came home wearing maroon and burnt orange so we may be back.