Last week I got to go home. . . to both of them, well, all three of them if you include my current home. I took a flight to Nashville and spent some time with my friends there. On my first night east of the Mississippi River in a while, I had dinner with some of my co-workers. It was so great to be among friends again. Not only that, but they were so sweet and threw me an impromptu bridal shower. Mostly it was just the opportunity to hang out with people who knew and liked me and whose lives I feel like I'll always be a part of or at the very least interested in.
The next day I got to hang out with my friend Greg and hit two of the places that I miss most in Nashville: Signature Nails and The Patterson House. I got a fantastic pedicure with a complimentary drink, a great foot massage and wonderful service. There are tons of nail places in LA, but I have yet to find the one that has all of those qualities. And the Patterson House. I think I've waxed poetic about the place and its drinks enough. It was the one place I visited last week that made Chef jealous. And the big bonus was that I got to have great conversations with Greg, which made me miss him even more.
The next day I went further north and saw my Uncle Ric and Aunt Deb, Grandma and my Aunt Mio. We had some damn good barbecue, which, along with quality pizza, is something I've yet to discover in LA. People don't just use smokers like they do down south. The history of barbecue isn't there. Then I visited my dad at his work, which was nice because it's always kind of cool to see friends and family members in their career element. Then I visited my Uncle Jeff and my other grandma, who didn't recognize me with the new hair and then when she did, she repeatedly told me how much she didn't like it. I also got to visit my mom's cousin and a family friend before heading off to New Harmony for the night.
Once in New Harmony, Robin and I went to dinner and then rolled around the city via golf cart. We picked out a location for the wedding reception next year (yay!) and then she showed me the coolest thing ever. We went down a dark path into the woods near the river and were surrounded by thousands of lightning bugs. It was like being in the middle of a twinkly light Christmas tree and looking out.
The next morning I had breakfast with Dad and Robin, took a tour of New Harmony and dad's office there, then headed to Evansville to hang out with Jack. We did lunch, then chatted and made muffins. Actually that's not a typo and I didn't make the muffins at all unless you count cheering him on from the sidelines. Did drinks and dinner with the Dicuses and Aunt Mio. Made tons more memories and was in bed at a decent hour to get up and in a car by 5:30 to catch my flight to New Orleans.
All in all, it was a packed but very much worth it trip to my previous two home states. I saw just about as many people as I could in the time allotted. Now I can't wait for them to come out West to enjoy some sunshine and the ability to be warm without being surrounded by air you can feel moisture in immediately.