I’ve avoided this post for 6 weeks, and now I’ve forgotten some details. Subconsciously, it’s understandable–recalling these moments makes me homesick. It’s hard to write about my Nashville trips. As a self-defense mechanism and in order to protect my sanity, I’ll write a paragraph, take a break, write some more and walk away. Most posts aren’t written in one shot, especially not my Southern-bound experiences. But at least I’ll be back in December and May, which makes the writing a little easier this time.

This trip was all about my 10 year reunion. My friend Candi and I promised each other many years ago that we would attend this uneventful event together. Romi and Michelle’s High School Reunion takes the cake as my favorite chick flick, and ever since we watched it in the 6th grade, we romanticized our reunion as if we hadn’t kept up with our classmates for years thanks to Facebook.

But aside from the reunion, I surprised my parents, and their reactions were priceless. I doubt I’ll ever pull off such a spectacular surprise ever again, but the reunion provided an excuse to fly out on the down low. I landed on a Wednesday and left that Sunday. Every trip feels so brief, but I’m beyond grateful for the friends and family that go out of their way to see me. As time goes by, it becomes so very apparent who’s willing to drop what they’re doing to see me and who’s not. Overall I am very fortunate to remain in contact with the friends that matter most.

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Taking off at 6 in the morning. Had to leave my house at 3 a.m. but it was worth it!

My friend Matthew picked me up from the airport and took me straight to Mom’s since she’s only five minutes away. We chilled for a few before meeting Tika at Just Love in Brentwood. The bacon tator’s where it’s at–you can’t get that kinda stuff out here in Colorado! Not to mention, their Hazelnut Mocha taste delish.

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Afterwards, we headed to my Dads. He was taken by surprise, but not to the extent that he was screaming like my Mom. He opened up the door and said, “What the hell are you doing here? I was just about to take a nap–come on in!!!”. When arrived at his house initially, he wasn’t home. This is unusual, because he’s normally working on the yard, his trucks or completing some sort of home repair project. I called to see where he was, and before I could get a word out, he said, “Talk to your Granny. I’m driving”. And as I’m talking to my Granny she says, “Are you here? You sound so close”. For the first time in years, I was rendered completely speechless. How the fuck could my Granny tell I was in Smyrna? Is she intuitive or what? I paused for several moments and she said, “Are you there?” “Yes I’m here” “In Colorado?” “Yes…..” “You sound so close”, and I just laughed. They were driving back to Dad’s after eating at Carrabba’s. So Matthew and I drove to Kountry Korner (which looks completely different) and waited 15 minutes for them to get home before us.

By the time we arrived, Granny had already left. But spending time with my Dad was exactly what the doctor ordered. I hadn’t seen him since November, the longest period of time we’ve gone without seeing each other, ever. I was honestly relieved he didn’t get as emotional as my Mom–there’s only so much crying I can handle in a day.

We demolished some BBQ for dinner before Tika came to visit. Plus Dad purchased the ingredients for my favorite fall beverage: Rum Chata with a splash of milk, pumpkin spice vodka and fireball. To credit this drink as the “bees knees” doesn’t do it justice–I’m proud of this seasonal concoction I developed on my own. But I can’t enjoy my drink alone the way I do with Tika. This girl is my rock and makes life so much more enjoyable.

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Hidden gems in my old bedroom–my brother and I when we first moved to Tennessee

The following morning, Dad and I booked it to Grandma’s. I only got to see her for an hour, which made me sad. Afterwards, Erika and I grabbed drinks at Margarita house in Smyrna–the only decent place to drink with several marg flavors.

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Next, I hitched a ride to Murfreesboro where the drinking continued. Casi hooked me up with some riesling and a free trim; my poor dead ends hadn’t seen shears since June when a chick getting ready to close haphazardly cut my hair in a frenzy.

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Can’t wait for her wedding!

I wanna say I hung with Jess Thursday evening, because I remember my allergies kicking in the second night. After hanging on her porch for hours, it suddenly felt as if I couldn’t breathe. After she took me home, I raided my Dad’s cupboards for Benadryl and passed the fuck out.

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The following morning, Dad drove me to see Granny. She’s an insomniac, a woman after my own heart. She was tired, I was allergy ridden and all was right with the world. Besides seeing my parents, these visits with my Grandmothers mean the world to me. If only I could convince them both to see me in Colorado.

Granny gave us a tour of her gardens, and I still knew the names of many flowers we don’t have in the midwest. From her delicate Japanese Maple to the Veil Calibrachoa (commonly known as Million Bells), everything was absolutely beautiful.

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Tika was kind enough to take a half day on Friday, so we headed to the ‘Boro for drinks. Unfortunately, the Boulevard no longer serves bushwhackers and we were told to try Sam’s Sport Bar, but of course their blender was down. So Tika and I practiced our resting bitch faces indicating our sheer disappointment.

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Eye roll
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Coffee before boozes
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Visiting the boys at Jefferson’s: We hadn’t brought the Memphis in May Crew together in years!
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Hanging with my God Daughter’s
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Tika introduced me to the Goat
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Passing my old house in the boro
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Plus our other old house towards the outskirts of town
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BBQ makes everything better
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Small world–ran into Candi at Food Lion right after we got off the phone

After Tika dropped me off at Dad’s I got ready for the party at Clint and Casi’s house. What a kind gesture to open your home to guests that’s currently on the market. And I’m pretty sure it marked the first ever empty house party I’ve ever attended. When someone’s willing to host, it allows me to meet with several friends at once, and for that, I am grateful.

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Caitlin!! My other gorgeous half.
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Booze, courtesy of Tika…not even counting what everyone else provided.
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Love these people beyond words
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Chick pic!
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Hellooo Sadie!!

Needless to say, I was hung over af by the following morning and slept the majority of Saturday. I try not to go too hard, but how can I not when I’m surrounded by my closest friends? It was all I could do to separate myself from the couch and try to look pretty for our reunion.

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Aside from the flooded walkway, this venue was awesome!

The reunion in a nut shell: Started out boring, end up awesome. We only paid $25 for a meal and drink whereas most reunions cost at least $50. And as luck would have it, Brandon hooked us up with an open bar. So instead of 1 drink, I had like 5. After an hour or so, he turned up the music and it felt like a crunk Smyrna party. Pictured below with me are Jennifer Donaldson, Candi Kennedy, Briana Slate, Mallory Sykes Carter and Sara Bellmore. It was lovely catching up with these ladies whom I hadn’t seen in years.

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Following the reunion, my friends and I met at Wall Street, my favorite bar besides Three Crow. This might have been my favorite part of the trip–kicking back and relaxing at my home away from home with Tika, Caitlin, Sadie and Dee. Between the music, the drinks, the atmosphere and the memories, I had missed this place so much.

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I stayed at my Mom’s Saturday night and the following morning, she was kind enough to drive me to Party Fowl, 12th Avenue South and The Cat Shoppe/Dog Store for my Nashville fix. So all in all I got to visit, Smyrna, Murfreesboro and Nashville–not to shabby for such a brief trip. I even got to step inside Draper James, Reese Witherspoon’s flagship store. But with $35 pocket squares, I knew I couldn’t afford a single item of hers and that’s truly a shame. I love me some Reese!

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Mom walked me to the gate at the airport, and we cried like we always do. Taking off gave me chills as the plane departed from the ground and I transitioned from the life I used to live to the one I have now. They say going home gets easier over time, but I doubt it ever will. A major part of my heart will always remain in the South, while my personality represents the way I was raised: I could never rid myself of the manners, integrity and overall friendly spirit I developed in Tennessee. I love Colorado, but people don’t act the same out here. There’s just something about the South that makes people better than anywhere else I’ve ever been. Between the food, the music and the Southern hospitality, you’re hard-pressed to find another place similar to Nashville, Tennessee.

I took the shuttle from the airport to my car and paused before driving home. I couldn’t help but cry again as I gazed at the beautiful sunset, all alone in a desolate parking lot in Denver. “What a great time to be alive”, I thought. I was missing my city, but I also couldn’t wait to get home to my husband and our pets.

I moved to Colorado assuming the grass was greener, which wasn’t necessarily the case. But until I made that discovery on my own, you couldn’t have told me any different. For three long years, all I wanted to do was move. Now here I am, wondering why the fuck I gave up such a wonderful life. I had an awesome family, an endless supply of friends and super cheap rent in the city. I had a decent job, and I had a reputation.

Starting over wasn’t easy, but if I had it all to do again, I would. If I had stayed in Nashville, I would’ve ultimately grown resentful of the barriers that kept me planted in the South. I’m glad I branched out and spread my wings, because I’ve definitely matured in the last year or so, but Nashville will always be home to me, no matter where I live.

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