We picked her up at her house - the house I lived in my senior year and my brother lived in his last 2 years.
(I forgot to take a picture, so I stole this one from my friend. Thanks, Sara. :))
Then, we went to one of my most favorite places to eat on earth - Benedict Street. There was no "Tori's Chicken" on the menu, but I basically recreated it. That herb foccacia is to die for. And, oh, the ranch dressing! I think I made a noise after every bite.
After we left, I realized that was Duke's first restaurant experience. The fact that it was at Benedict Street is just so fun to me. And he was so well behaved! He was either looking around, smiling, or falling asleep.
Being in that cozy little lunch place was so sweet. I spent most Saturday afternoons in college eating lunch there with my friends. We'd wake up late, skip breakfast completely, and go there around 11:30. It's that little restaurant where you see everyone and you feel like everybody knows your name. Like Cheers ... minus the bar.
Seeing friends and professors there every week was something I looked forward to. And this time was no different. Although I didn't see any of my friends, it still felt the same. I saw little groups of college girls sitting at tables, using their hands to tell very expressive and dramatic stories. I saw a group of college boys with long hair and clothes that probably needed to be washed. I saw 2 music professors and they remembered me, so we had a little chat. I talked with Paula (the owner) and her husband (I'm blanking on his name) and they met little Duke. I know they didn't specifically remember me since they've seen ridiculous amounts of college-aged kids each day for many years, but it was great visiting with them.
It may seem like I'm making too much out of something really small, but if you attended OBU, Benedict Street was most likely a part of your Shawnee experience.
As we drove through the town of Shawnee, I thought about how fast time flies. It seems like just yesterday I was walking on the OBU campus. I treasure everything about that place ... every book I had to carry, every 8am theory class, every hour spent practicing in Ford Music Hall, every lively music history class, every coffee in the GC, and every moment I got to spend with my wonderful friends there.
I know I won't always have friends or professors at OBU, but that won't matter. If you are a product of OBU, there's some kind of unexplainable bond you have with people who went before you and after you. I'm so grateful for everyone I met and everything I learned there.