Some of my favorite things about fall are the changing leaves, apple cider and pumpkin pie, and football season. Particularly the latter. Although WKU has never had a very good football team (at least not when I was in school), I was still very excited to go back and visit during Homecoming weekend. On Friday afternoon after work, I made the long trek to Bowling Green, stopping in Nashville to pick up Drew from the airport. He’d spent the past several days traveling for work so we were more than ready to be reunited! We arrived in Bowling Green a little after 10 p.m. and headed straight for our hotel. As we walked through the hallway toward our room, my Mom came out to greet us. Every time I see my Mom-which has only been twice since moving to Atlanta-I get flooded with so many emotions. I’m more than happy with my new life in Atlanta, but I still miss my mom every single day. Chelsea and her mom were also staying in the same hotel—how perfect! As soon as we were all reunited, I knew that even with all the time that had passed, nothing had really changed. A great weekend was in store for all of us.
Our Saturday started out pretty early; we headed to campus for a morning open-house at Imagewest, the student-run agency I interned at during my senior year. It was a little surreal walking in to the agency as an alum and someone who’s starting out in the real Ad world. All the current students were asking both Drew and I for advice, which was a total role-reversal. For the past 4 years, I was the one looking all googly-eyed at the alumni who’d come back to visit, just praying that one day I’d “make it” too. As I signed the guestbook and dropped my business card in the jar, I realized that I most likely wouldn’t be where I am now if it weren’t for my experience at Imagewest.
After leaving Imagewest, and parting ways with Drew, the girls made mimosas and navigated through a sea of red toward the lawn for tailgating. We brought Macey, Karly’s dog, with us–she was definitely the life of the party. I’m actually glad Drew didn’t get a chance to see her since I think he probably would have tried to steal her and bring her back to Atlanta with us. It was fun (and again, surreal) mingling from tent to tent and reuniting with people I hadn’t seen since May. I now completely understand why WKU alumni come back for years and years, even bringing their kids and in some cases, grandkids. Sure, there are thousands of people, yet it feels like a close-knit family. I hope Drew and I continue to go back each year that we’re able.
After tailgating, and a short sting shopping with Mom and Chelsea, we made our way to Olive Garden for dinner and drinks. Drew and I rarely eat at chain restaurants in Atlanta so I’d forgotten just how delicious Olive Garden’s salad and breadsticks are. And hats off to the bartender for making on heck of a margarita. Sitting around the table with my two best friends from college, along with the moms, made me nostalgic, almost sad. The times that we’ll be able to get together like that again aren’t as numerous as they once were. Still, I don’t think there’s any distance that could keep me from seeing those girls. We’re already talking of planning a New Year’s Eve weekend in Nashville.
After a mid-morning brunch at Cracker Barrel, we all packed into our separate vehicles and set out in opposite directions. Saying goodbye to Mom was difficult as always but knowing that my parents will be visiting us the first weekend in November made it a bit easier. And I know I’ll be seeing Chelsea and Katie before too long. The best thing about our friendship is that no matter how long we go without seeing each other, we always pick up right where we left off.