09 October 2012

The great return to Nashville

As I mentioned last Friday, Mr. P and I headed back to our old stomping grounds this past weekend for a friend’s wedding. Nashville! You fair city!

I wasn’t sure how I’d feel about being in our old city, because I still miss a lot of things about Nashville. At the same time, I know moving here to STL was the right choice, so I am trying really hard to like this city as much as my beloved Nashville. It’s not that St. Louis is hard to love, it’s that I’m still sort of fixated on my ex-city. I didn’t want one weekend back to make me all nostalgic and sad.

But (per usual) my anxious turmoil was for naught. Mr. P and I had a fabulous time in our old familiar city, making sure to hit up as many of our favorite things-to-do as the schedule allowed!

We grabbed lunch at our standby for chicken tenders:

Which, by the by, has its own baby Beyonce out front.

(You’ve been around the internet enough to know the Beyonce chicken by now, right? For the love of all that is good, go read it.)

I also made an old familiar stop in my former hometown:

That’s right. I went to Home Depot while traveling. On a mini-vacation. The love of projects is strong. I will show you when I’m done, promise! I just have very very little time to work on projects nowadays so progress is sloooow.

We also drove by our alma mater:

And visited as many friends as we could – those we crashed with, those at church, those graduate school friends who haven’t finished or decided to put down roots in Nashville. I forgot to get photos with most of them, but I did get a photo with my newest friend:

Remember the baby that was born while we were in London? There she is! We got to have lunch with our dear friend and her family (at Whole Foods, if you’re wondering why we’re hanging out in a grocery store). The newest addition is infinitely more precious in person, but the camera is unforgiving so you’ll just have to take my word for it.

So while we had a blast visiting old favorites and friends, the main reason we were in Nashville was this:

Congrats, you crazy kids, you wonderful friends, you fellow St. Louis transplants!

In the little bit of downtime between the ceremony and reception, Mr. P and I packed in a bit more nostalgic sight-seeing. Here we are at the park bench where he proposed three and a half (whaaaat) years ago:

There’s a giant tiled dragon in that park, and while I was snapping shots of it, Mr. P randomly volunteered a bit of GQ:

Annnd that’s why I said yes three and a half years ago.

After that walk down memory lane, we headed downtown for the wedding reception. Batman building, I miss you! The Arch is cool and all, but it’s no Batman building.

We were all fortunate that the weather on the wedding day turned out to be cool and cloudy – a perfect fall day for those who adore fall days, I think (and much, much better than the six straight hours of rain Mr. P and I drove through to get to Nashville). Check out the beautiful fall colors in full force near their reception venue!

Speaking of the reception, it was held in Nashville’s former art deco-style post office, now an art gallery.

The location was beautiful, as you might expect.

Fitting for the beautiful bride and groom!

Cocktail hour in an art gallery in a historic building? What a way to celebrate being back in Nashville.

I even remembered to get a photo of Mr. P and me together, marking our fifth (!) wedding of this year, and marking our return to the city in which we fell in love:

In the end, visiting Nashville felt like visiting an old university (which perhaps makes sense, as I was there for school). In other words, I loved being there then, and it was fun to visit now, but like a college graduate who left for a real job... ultimately I’ve moved on. I didn’t think I’d changed, and Nashville hasn’t really changed much either in the short time we’ve been gone (well, aside from the new baby I suppose). And yet... it’s not home anymore.

Though that sounds sad, it was actually comforting to feel more like a savvy, knowledgeable tourist than... displaced. And while I had a blast visiting both another place and another time, I didn’t feel sad or compelled to stay in the past anymore.

Thanks, Nashville, old friend, for the welcome back. See you later.


Rachel C said...

First, OMG YOU GOT ENGAGED AT DRAGON PARK!?!? I grew up playing there and it is still one of my favorite places in the entire world. It holds very special memories for me because my grandfather would always take my brother and me when we visited him.

Second, this post and your new feelings towards Nashville remind me of my favorite quote --
"There is nothing like returning to a place that remains unchanged to find the ways in which you yourself have altered." -- Nelson Mandela

Sarah said...

Yup, Dragon Park! It was a good choice on his part, right? So many reasons to love it!

Also, that quote is PERFECT. Yes. That.

Tina said...

I love this post! - I get it so completely.
The towel/chicken story is hilarious and garnered that blogger a new follower, for sure... she is living life on the edge of Victor's patience, though, don't you think? Hoping they don't turn up on ABC's Final Witness is all I can say... that would not be so funny.
Finally, loved the pic of E & A - and getting to see the bridesmaids and her bouquet, too!:-)

Miles said...

The baby looks good on ya. ;)