I probably said more than enough in my last post about how excited I was to spend a weekend with my friend Shannon, and yet I feel the need to reiterate: when I woke up Friday morning, I felt like it could be Christmas morning. I could not wait to be in Tennessee!
Fortunately, I was only one, non-stop flight away from Nashville. Before I knew it, I was eagerly walking through the airport to meet Shannon. You know those friends you have who you can go months without seeing (almost 10 months in this case) and yet pick right up where you left off? Yeah, Shannon is one of those kinds of friends.
So it was no surprise that she knew two things without even asking. First, that the most important thing to do right away was to eat lunch. And second, that the best place to do that was a new downtown restaurant – Husk.
It was pretty much a combination of my favorite restaurant-things. Delicious, locally sourced, Southern food (there was even a garden next to the restaurant); bright, understated yet stylish decor that fit seamlessly with the historical building; a bit of unexpected presentation mixed in; and, of course, a chance to start catching up with my best friend. Perfection!
The menu changes on a regular basis. I ordered the Nashville Plate Lunch, which on this particular day featured fried catfish, roasted broccoli, and squash casserole.
After an amazing lunch where most of the conversation centered on how much we liked the food, we made our way to Shannon’s house.
I think most friends have a “thing”- something that they share in common that somehow brings them together. For Shannon and me, that thing is coffee. After lunch, and with no discussion, we knew implicitly that coffee must happen soon. After considering our options, we decided coffee on the back porch would be perfect. We soon found ourselves relaxing on the back porch, large cups of coffee in hand, while I repeatedly pointed out that the weather in Tennessee was so much better than in Texas. By that, I mostly meant less hot. It was during this relaxed, caffeine-fueled discussion that the topic of tattoos somehow came up. Neither one of us can actually remember how or why. I blame it on caffeine and the post-delicious-meal coma and perhaps a little friendship induced delirium. I was not even half way through my holds-a-week’s-worth-of-coffee sized mug and suddenly we were discussing what I planned to permanently put on my body the next day. You know, just your typical Friday afternoon.
We spent the rest of the afternoon doing more of the usual things we do when we get together, like getting pedicures and eating Mexican food. When you have traditions like that, it would be a shame to break them. All the while, Shannon occasionally worked on the tattoo design with (probably annoying) input from me.
That evening, we decided to attend a concert in downtown Murfreesboro. It was definitely a community event with lawn chairs and sno-cones and barbecue. We even ran into Shannon’s parents. It was a lovely night to sit outside listening to live music. Murfreesboro offers events like this throughout the summer.
After the concert, we ended an already full day sitting by a fire roasting s’mores.
In case you lost track, we ate lunch at an amazing restaurant, drank coffee on the back porch, got pedicures, ate another yummy meal of Mexican food, designed a tattoo, attended a local music event, and roasted marshmallows. All in less than 10 hours. And it was perfect. Despite being a busy day, I never felt rushed or like we were doing too much. We talked when we felt like it and just enjoyed the fact that we were together when we did not feel like talking. I love that we could effortlessly fall back into the pattern of our friendship, but also explore new possibilities. Like tattoos. I think that is the paradox of friendship – living the best and the worst parts of your life with another person; doing what you have always done and getting the encouragement to do something completely different.
And, if the real reason you’re reading this blog is because you, like most people I know, are convinced I must have been intoxicated while getting a tattoo and you are really wanting to know the story behind it (it’s okay, you can admit it), then stay tuned. The next installment will include Cora’s Great Tattoo Adventure.