You can't go home again. I guess in a lot of ways, that can be true. The place you knew as a kid tends to change. People grow up and move away. The places you were so familiar with growing up tend to evolve and move on without you. And they aren't even considerate enough to call and get your input or ask your permission to change.
I went back to Roanoke for the weekend. It was my first visit since last August. And since I hadn't visited in about six months, I figured I should pack as much into my 48 hour trip as I could. Okay, it was less than 48 hours, but not much.
Friday evening I got to town in time to meet Mom and Jerry for dinner at the 611 Steakhouse. Many years ago, this restaurant was a Western Sizzlin'. It's still the same basic restaurant, just a different name. It's funny because I was talking about Western Sizzlin' with a coworker on Friday. How I used to love getting a huge baked potato and then traveling up to the potato bar and loading it up with shredded and liquid cheese and, of course, bacon bits. I was still able to do that, which was a pleasant surprise.
Saturday I took advantage of the fact that I didn't have to be anywhere right away and slept fairly late. I woke in time to meet Jessica for lunch at Macado's. Let me take a moment to explain the importance of Macado's. Macado's is a completely awesome restaurant that has no equivalent in the Raleigh area. The menu is enormous. The list of sandwiches goes on forever. And though they have a seemingly limitless selection of signature sandwiches, I get the same thing every time I eat there. Stogie. On Kaiser roll. For the record, I also got some potato skins. So very good.
After lunch I visited Mamaw for awhile. She made me a banana cream pie. I had eaten too much at lunch, so I felt guilty when I could only handle one piece. Then I headed over to Landon's to meet his newborn baby daughter, Sydney. That's them on the left. She's definitely an adorable kid. I only have one complaint. When Landon handed her to me, she immediately let go. How do I put this delicately. She waited 'til she got in my hands to drop the deuce. Yeah. And I'm pretty sure she did it on purpose. Her face was really red. She was trying.
Last night I met up with a group of friends from the Bluefield days. We all met at Macado's. There's a Macado's at the mall in Bluefield, so that restaurant holds a special place in our hearts. And did I mention there's nothing that even compares to it where I now live? I miss it so much. Okay, tears have been wiped away. On the right here you'll see our mini-Bluefield College reunion. Starting on the left we have Mary Tatum, Aaron Peck, Brandon Caldwell, and Josh and Heather Cornett. A special thanks to Brandon's wife, Kara, who volunteered to get behind the camera. Dinner was great. Once again, I got a Stogie on Kaiser. 'Cause that's what I do. I had a great time with those guys. We talked about what each of us was doing these days. We talked about what others were doing these days. We talked about the good ol' days. Josh and Heather showed off pictures of their newborn son, Porter.
All in all I'd say it was a pretty good trip. But much like Hawaii or Cleveland, Roanoke is the kind of place that's great to visit, but I wouldn't want to live there.