Sunday, May 1, 2011

Days 4&5: Jacksonville

On Thursday we all crammed into my parents' suburban and drove the two hours to Jacksonville.  It was like a dream, rediscovering places I once knew.  There's just something so poetic about the trees and the river.  I know I romanticize it, but Florida is really where I came into my own.  How can I not romanticize a place where so much soul-searching and growing took place?  I think we all fall in love with places we grow, at least in some sense.



The first thing I did was have my mom drop me off at the home of my best friend/kindred spirit/other half, Miss Ellen West.  There was much giggling and jumping around and pure joy.  Ellen is such a great friend and we have been through so much together.  She is so inspiring and it's so wonderful to have a friend that completely and whole-y understands you.  My favorite thing about Ellen is that I can tell her anything, and not fear any sort of judgment.  Ever.  Or maybe it's that we can have a meaningful conversation about faith, or love, or family, or the future, and the next be doubled over in hysterics about some joke we just cracked.  I love her, but sometimes love just doesn't feel big enough a word, you know?  We're sisters.  I wish I had words to describe the seemingly infinite nature of our closeness and friendship, and the love and greatness I feel emanating from her, but I really can't find any.

We hung out at Ellen's house for a while, and I got to say hi to her parents (her mom was so cute, she just had to take a picture of us girls, together again!)  We tried to get a hold of Trey and Chris, but Trey had mixed up the dates I was coming and was in Georgia for the weekend, and Chris was in Daytona for that night.  But we decided to make the best of it and go to our "Secret Place", which really isn't that secret anymore.  Oh well.

Isn't he magical with his little blue tail?

We have no pupils!  Thanks Florida sunshine!
After our Secret Place fun, we went back to Ellen's house and I got to meet her boyfriend, Andrew.  He's a great guy, and I love seeing Ellen happy, so he's a keeper in my book.  We all waited for Dan to finish golfing with my dad, and then went on a cute double date to St. Augustine.  We had dinner at my and Ellen's personal favorite: Pizzalley's.  (It's pizza!  In an alley!)  We walked around a bit and went to some cool little art galleries.  We were going to get ice cream at Kilwin's because Ellen and I would always go there in high school, but they'd already closed for the evening.  Fortunately we found this great gelato shop that more than made up for our lost Kilwin's.  I wish I had taken more pictures, but these were the only ones I got.

Sitting on the comfiest couch ever in the most posh hotel lobby I've ever seen.

Ellen and Andrew.
It was such a fun evening, even when we had to walk down the dark, creepy street to get to our car.

The next day was full of more Ellen-filled fun, this time with a splash of Chris.  Dan went golfing with my dad again, and Ellen came and picked me up for round two!  Since we were close to my old house, we decided to go and see it.  They repainted it, so it looks completely different.  It was so sad to drive by and know we couldn't go in.  It felt weird, like an intrusion.  Plus somebody had stuck this giant stuffed leopard in one of the upstairs windows, and it's the first thing you see when you look at the house.  Weird.  We should have taken a picture, but we didn't want to look like stalkers.
We then drove to Chris' house (fortunately he woke up and got dressed for us like ten minutes before we walked in the door).  It was fun to see him and his mom.  We all did some catching up, and Chris told us all about our friends and all the haps of the past two years.  Life changes after high school, and definitely not always for the better.  It's sad to hear about some of the wasted of potential, and friends that have thrown their lives away.  It's hard to look on while they do that and not be able to do anything about it.  At the same time, it makes me grateful for choices I have made that may have not made me the coolest person, but have definitely helped my life turn out for the better.  And I'm so grateful to have faith in and a testimony of Christ, as well as for the support, love, and example of my parents.  I wish I could give those things to some friends, but it's something they have to desire for themselves first.  We went out to lunch with Chris and spent a little more time back at his house, where we watched MGMT music videos and played the story game.  I forgot to take any pictures.  Oops...

Ellen then drove me home and we had to say goodbye.  That's always so hard, but I know I'll see her again.  Probably not soon, but I know it'll happen.

The rest of the evening included a delicous homecooked meal (thanks Karie!) shared with family and friends, and a girls night out to do a little last minute shopping before Easter.  I love hangin' with my mom and her friends, especially when my mommy is buying me new clothes!
It was a good day.  Even though home can change, it's still home, and it will always have that charm that draws me in no matter how far away I am.

1 comment:

I Live For It said...

This looks like a blast! Love this post!


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