the wonderful world of veena.

29 November 2014

46 of 52: beginning my farewell rounds.

One of the first things I did when I decided to accept the job in Bangalore was plot with Lindsay a time to visit Nashville. I knew I wanted to spend a few days with Evelyn - and I suppose with everyone else, too - before shipping out, and as luck would have it, last weekend worked perfectly for all of us. I checked with Natasha to see what her schedule was, and I decided to head over on Thursday to spend some time with her and Natalie, so I knew I would be getting to see most of my Nashville friends in one go.

As luck would have it, Steve finished work early on Thursday, so I got to spend some time with him and Evelyn - and later with Lindsay - before they went out for the evening and I made my way down to the Gulch. I dropped my stuff at Natasha's before the girls picked me up for dinner. We had an awesome dinner at Thai Esane followed by drinks at the newly-opened Prima [both places highly recommended, by the way] and then some much-needed vegging on the couch.

I continued to veg for most of Friday before heading back over to the Wright household. Steve had a work event, so Lindsay and I fed Miss Evelyn dinner and ordered some pizza for ourselves. We entertained ourselves with some television and caught up over a few months worth of stuff before turning in.

On Saturday we took little E to the park close to their house and then for a visit to Marathon Village, an old motor works that now houses various local shops. We grabbed some Hattie B's for lunch and then went to Drew and Catherine's to watch the Arkansas game. Steve took Evelyn home, and Catherine and I caught up while Lindsay took a nap. L and I had a late dinner at Taqueria del Sol before picking up ice cream on our way home.

[she's pretty much the coolest girl i know]
[no trip to nashville is complete without a stop by the taproom]
And on Sunday we gathered for a brunch of friends at the ML Rose -- Drew, Catherine, Natasha, Natalie, Steve Berneman, Kristin, Steve Wright, and later Lindsay and Evelyn once E woke up from her nap. It was such a fun meal, and it made me so happy to have everyone together in one place.

[my sendoff crew. love these kids]
After a quick drive to Memphis and a Grizzlies-Clippers game on Sunday evening, I packed up and drove down to Baton Rouge on Monday to see Lisa, Jonathan, and Devin. I've not been to Baton Rouge since they moved over a year ago, and I especially wanted to see them since Devin is now 2.5 and baby number 2 is due in early January.

Devin was napping when I arrived, so Lisa and I got to catch up for a bit until he woke up. We went for an early dinner to Parrain's, which was fantastic [and where I randomly had eaten on my last visit to BR in 2008]. It was the first time I had tried chargrilled oysters, and they were pretty yummy, as were all of the other goodies we had.

On Tuesday I hung out with Devin while Lisa went in to work, and we spent a few hours playing with trains and working on puzzles. He's such a bright little guy, and it was really cool being able to have a conversation with someone so small. Lisa and I spent some time chatting while Devin was napping, and once he woke up and had a snack, we met Jonathan and went to LSU's campus to visit Mike the Tiger. Because, yes, LSU has built a habitat in front of the football stadium where their mascot lives. So, you know, there's just a tiger hanging out on campus. No big deal. And after Devin fell asleep, Lisa, Jonathan, and I ordered pizza and enjoyed a quiet evening at home.

It was so great to get to see such wonderful friends and to spend some time with the next generation of cool kids. I've said it before, but I really am so grateful for the wonderful friendships I found at Rhodes and for how they endure regardless of time or distance.

I logged 1,000 miles in a week, and it was entirely worth it.

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