Greg travels frequently for business and in the last 5 years, has had the privilege of going back to Chapel Hill, NC once a year. I always say that he needs to take me with him, and this time, he did! Because my parents are here this winter, I had babysitters, so I boarded the plane and headed back after 16 years away.
The first time I went to Chapel Hill, I flew out to meet Greg for a weekend in 1995. We were engaged, and he had already started grad school at UNC. I was still in Utah. When I got off the plane, he met me with a red rose in hand. 17+ years later, in 2012, I got off the plane to see Greg standing there holding a red rose. I burst out laughing. It was cheesy and sweet and just hilarious all at the same time. I had actually forgotten all about the rose, so I was impressed with his efforts toward romance.
Our first stop from the airport was Allen and Son's BBQ on the outskirts of town. My, how I had missed real Carolina BBQ. It was HEAVENLY and just as I remembered. Lived up to every hope and expectation.
Driving around was so much fun! I couldn't believe how many memories came flooding back. After lunch, we had to go grab dessert on Franklin St at the Yogurt Pump, the site of so many 'splurges' on date night, in our first year of marriage.
We next paid tribute to the passing of the Burrito Bunker, home of the $1.50 HUGE burrito that gave us so much cheap joy back in the day.
Walking down Franklin St, used to be the main activity of our date nights. As we 'walked down memory lane', and shopped for UNC souvenirs for our kids, I laughed at this great t-shirt:
Then it was off to walk around the beautiful campus of UNC Chapel Hill. The Old Well:
As we walked around, I recalled what campus looked like the day after Hurricane Fran, in 1996. It was COVERED in downed trees and leaves.
Greg, paying tribute to his alma mater:
And then a moment of silence at the site of the theft of his beloved mountain bike. He still gets sad when he thinks of it.
Walking through the campus arboretum, home of so many memories.
Oh, how I love those camellias!
Apparently, Greg used to love them, too:
After walking around campus and the LDS institute, we drove over to our first apartment:
Then, to Greg's last bachelor pad:
And as long as we were at it, my old office:
The next morning, we attended church. Greg was the first person to ever speak at the pulpit in this brand new church back in 1995. I was surprised to find how dated it looked! In my mind, it was still a brand new building, but now, mauve isn't so brand new...
That night, we had dinner with three of Greg's old buddies from grad school. It was a blast and again a funny thing to find time doesn't stand still! It was so strange to see everyone stride in with families!!
The next morning, we drove around again, and visited Duke Forest, where we used to so often hike.
And even though we prefer to hate Duke, we still drove over to see the beautiful Duke chapel again.
It was a wonderful, wonderful weekend, and I am completely blessed to have spent the last 17 years with such an amazing best friend. We have the best time together and I adore him.
And that's the truth.