Town Crier: Free Lodging that Makes You Young Again

MONTCLARION: April 16, 2010

It was two years ago that my daughter picked the University of Georgia as her college of choice. Little did I know that when she went off to school, I’d be going back, too, in some small way.

It’s one thing to slap a logo on your car and wear your kid’s college sweats – but staying in her dorm room? Eating in the dining hall? Going to her chem class?

On a visit to Athens, GA. last week, I discovered the proverbial “Fountain of Youth”. I rolled back the clock and was 19 again. “Forever Young” as the song goes.

What I discovered is that college is a blast – even more fun when you don’t have to study. Far from the days when my dining hall served mystery meat, the food service at Georgia is restaurant quality, with carving stations and make-your-own pizzas and smoothie bars and specialty salads.

My daughter’s dorm is a suite – generously appointed with a living room, kitchen and private bed and bath on each side. Each night I slept like the dead – like a kid who’d come off an all-nighter. In the morning, my brain was percolating.

I got up and went to class. I doodled in the back of the lecture hall (just like the old days), worked out in the student athletic center and went out for Mexican food with my daughter and her friends. The whole experience was exhilarating.

As adults, we spend thousands of dollars on oils and elixirs just to stay young. But for some of us, a trip to our kids’ college campus may just be the ticket. After all, we’re paying for it – why not reap the benefits?

Mail Bag: Thanks to reader Chuck Harrison for sending me information on the upcoming Walk-4-Hearing in San Francisco’s Presidio. 36 million of us are hearing impaired, making it the third largest public health issue in the country behind heart disease and arthritis. To raise money and awareness there’ll be 21walk-a-thons across the country on May 22nd. Find out more at

Email Bag: Reader Merete Aiyer weighs in on my column on the dangers of walking on winding hills roads. She says “disregard the old rule about walking against traffic at all times,” and instead walk on the side where you’ll best be seen by oncoming traffic. Aiyer, herself, crosses Colton at least four times on her daily half-mile walks.     

Around Town: There’s nothing like a good progressive dinner – especially if you don’t have to cook. The Lions Club holds its spring Taste of Montclair Tuesday, April 20. $25 gets you goodies at 16 village eateries, including newbies Amba, Grille One Carvery, Yogofina and Kakui Sushi. One restaurant that won’t be participating is Il Porcellino – the latest business to close in this weak economy.

Gin Picks: Some hot offerings this weekend, if you’re looking for things to do: A History of Human Stupidity is playing in the Subterranean Theatre below LeVals Pizza in Berkeley. Silly and cerebral, it’s quintessential Berkeley theatre with the added attraction of being able to eat and drink during the performance.

And through the tunnel: Andy Warhol’s Quick Pix and Pop Icons is showing at the Hearst Gallery at St. Mary’s College in Moraga. Warhol’s works have sold for as much as $100 million. See his celebrity portraits of Mick Jagger, Dolly Parton, Marilyn Monroe and more, along with – of course – the iconic Tomato Soup Can.

Got news? You can reach Ginny Prior by phone at 510-273-9418, by email at or on the web at Follow Ginny on Twitter at


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