We walked along the river, past the special place we would come once a year for cheesecake. It made me a little sad, as it is now a bastion of inexpensive trinkets to remind visitors of their trip.
Even though we didn't come to this area of town that often, the occasions that brought us there were always entertaining. We wandered past the staircase I fell down once upon a bachelorette party. And past other memory-sparking locales.
Memories of weddings. Date parties. Singing along with dueling pianos. Letting much older gentlemen buy us drinks. Dancing in scary 80s day-glo painted rooms.
After our river walk, we wandered around the gardens near campus. I never really wandered there in college. It didn't seem as safe. Maybe it's just I was more scared. Of the world, of everything. With the help of my friends, I've become less timid, more self-assured than I was in college. We we all helped each other to grow in many ways.
After dropping one more at the airport, we went to a favorite place for dinner. The building looks as if it might topple over at any time, yet it houses a beautiful bar and fantastic restaurant. My friend Jen used to take the other Jen and I there for lunch or a beer when we'd get stressed about classes. The one bar I chose to take my brothers to when they were in town for my graduation.
It amazes me how seeing a place, hearing a song, or smelling a distinctive smell can spark a memory. I'm sure this wasn't the case, since we all actually graduated, but thinking back to my college days, it seems like all we did was have fun and begin amazing, life-long friendships.