Well I did it. I got the courage to return to my old stomping grounds where I crashed and burned. Thankfully I was meeting up with my fellow Harding drop-outs who were really the reason I loved Harding in the first place. This trip would not have been possible without my loving husband who allowed me to leave him for a few days to go on this little escapade, and my wonderful in-laws for keeping my little monkeys! Thank you both so very much!
The fun started when Kristi pulled up in the driveway, and I got to see my roommate for the first time in over 10 years!! I was secretly afraid of how "reuning" might feel after so long, but great friendships never change. It was as if we had never been apart. After gathering our wits about us, we climbed in the car and tried to get situated and then realized we needed a picture of the start of this journey. So we climbed back out again to grab the first shot of us together since the good old days.
The giraffe is a stand-in for our friend Ryan who was supposed to be with us, but ditched because of a few snowflakes. We will forever hold a grudge, but did appreciate the quietness of the giraffe! :) Love you Ryan! Of course, one picture wasn't enough. This was going to be an epic adventure.
The next few hours were spent trying to figure out where we had left off. Even though we had been at Harding at the same time in the end, we didn't see much of each other and therefore missed out each other's last year there. We discovered that our junior year had been the "death" of both us. It was pretty interesting that we were going through the same things and yet circumstances just kept us apart that year. We recalled all the horrible events, all the great events, and everything in between.
We got to stop right outside of Memphis and talk with my beautiful sister-in-laws for a few minutes. We fell behind on the "journaling" of this trip, and forgot to bring the camera in and take a picture. Boo! Once we got back on the road again, we realized we were dangerously close to being out of gas. We pulled over at the closest exit, which was apparently in ghetto-town. Since it was decidedly dangerous to pump our own gas, we decided Ryan should it. He was a bit scared, but I had his back!
We survived pumping gas without incident, grabbed our ho-ho's and hit the road again. We intended to have lots of video blogs along this trip, and I totally forgot about it, so I grabbed the camera to get Kristi's intial thoughts.
It wasn't long before we hit the bridge before the forever long, last leg of the journey. Here's my pyramid that I love so much!
And then this sign that we know all too well! Yay for familiarity!
We were trying to make it in time for dinner with Leigh, but we were hitting the starving point so we stopped by Subway. Yum!
Somehow we got all sorts of turned around past this point. Probably from gabbing entirely too much. It was getting dark and Kristi didn't like to drive in the dark so we pulled over to change places. We decided to let Ryan drive.
We managed to get back on the right track and made it to Searcy in fairly good time. We checked into our hotel. The smell of cigarette smoke greeted us as we walked in and we knew we had the right hotel for memory-making!
Don't stay at the Knight's Inn in Searcy. Just putting that out there. This was our closet sized room. It wasn't this messy when we checked in, by the way. We took this right before we left. But still. Don't stay there.
When we checked in, the front desk worker had a message for us - Leigh had called!! We got into the room and called her immediately and waited for her to come. Didn't take long before we heard a knock at the door. I loudly barked, "Who is it?" and flung the door open to get the biggest hug from Leigh. We were all finally together again!!
Leigh had been waiting for us to eat dinner and she was starving! So we headed out to find a place to eat. Searcy had grown so much there was an amazing amount to choose from. However we were all so giddy and talkative that we couldn't figure out where to eat. We finally settled on the old restaurant Mexican behind campus. So many changes already. Even the name of the restaurant changed.
We even made sure Ryan got a bite to eat. See Ryan? We took good care of you like we promised!
The night doesn't end there..but this blog does. Because the one thing I learned is that 10 years DOES make a big difference in your ability to keep up the same pace as you were able to in college. And I'm exhausted. So as thrilling as this blog was - stay tuned for when the real adventure starts!