I never had a chance to post about our trip back through our college town in August. It seems fitting to post this weekend as it is homecoming in Columbia.
I hadn't been through town since graduation so I was anxious to get back, even if it was only for one night. After a wonderful dinner with our dear friend Becca, we parked the car downtown and began a long walk around campus. I guess I wasn't prepared for how emotional the trip would be. Returning to a place so familiar, so important to me, turned out to be a much bigger deal than I thought it would be. Some portions of the campus had changed dramatically, while others seemed perfectly locked in the years I attended school. For the most part, walking around was a surreal experience, like a very long moment of deja vous. I kept waiting to see a younger version of myself turn a corner, on her way home after a long evening studying in the library.
After walking campus we headed downtown to one of our favorite spots, The Music Cafe (unfortunately renamed The Blue Fugue). We ordered beers, found seats, and enjoyed a bit of open mike night.
The next morning before leaving town we returned to Ernie's for breakfast. It was one of our favorite spots and the site of our first date. We were relieved to see that the menu was unchanged and savored our breakfast and coffee before snapping off a few more photos around town and getting back on the road.
I walked away with mixed emotions. There was so much that was wonderful about my life then. It is the place where I truly found independence, made incredible and long-lasting friendships, and learned a great deal about myself and the world. It is the place where I met the man I married and where our history together began. But I love my life now. It's a good place too.
More than anything, I am so happy I attended university not in a city, but in a small town completely devoted to the school and the students. It was such a wonderful experience, it's difficult for me to imagine attending school anywhere else. Especially with a campus as beautiful as ours.
And now I need to finish this post with what might be our cheesiest ad yet. Scratch that. Anyone remember that terrible ad from 2007 with the animated tiger running through these post-apocalyptic streets of a big city? Yeah, that one was pretty bad.