One of the sad, if inevitable, parts of getting older is the culling of friends. People that once knew every deep (or silly) thought of your heart become strangers and time and distance separate you farther and farther until you don’t even know what you would talk about if you saw them again. The girls who cried on your shoulder about that boy that broke their heart get married and have babies with guys you’ve never even met. It’s not always the ones that you think are going to stick around for the long haul that do, especially when you do what I have and move 2000 miles from where you grew up. And that’s why it’s extra awesome that two of my friends since elementary school, Crystal and Kailey, came out to visit me in Reno for a weekend!
They flew in and out of Sacramento (about a two hour drive), because it’s cheaper that way. They also flew in on Saturday and out on Tuesday for the same reason, so they ended up arriving in Reno at about 230 on Saturday. Since Saturdays mean football for Drew and I and it was the Notre Dame game, we headed up to Drew’s parents house (they were out for the evening and had graciously offered for us to use it for this exact purpose) to watch football. Thankfully, given the result of the game, we mostly hung out on the lovely back porch and talked and caught up. I regret absolutely nothing about not watching that game, and after it was over we headed off to dinner.
One of the things I knew we had to do when Kailey and Crystal were first planning their trip was Basque food. Reno is one of the few areas in the US that has a decent sized Basque population, so it’s one of the few places you can get dine Basque-style. Having been here several times myself, I knew that there was going to be pretty much nothing for me to eat (Basque food is super vegetarian-unfriendly), so I had put away a decent amount of food during the day and wasn’t especially hungry. But hungry or no, when you go to Louis’ you have to have a Picon Punch. After dinner, we wanted to head over to the Lincoln Lounge, but it was closed for a private event (we never ended up making it while they were here), so we headed to another one of my favorite bars, the Sierra Tap House. It’s right on the river, and it’s the perfect place to go out, grab a drink, and play a good round of Cards Against Humanity.
Besides Basque food, one thing that I’ve always thought Reno does really well, dining-wise, is breakfast. So, obviously, we had to go to the Squeeze In for brunch and have mimosas in goblets. The Squeeze In is one of my favorite places to eat in Reno…it’s quirky and fun and delicious and did I mention the mimosas in goblets? So we all filled ourselves up to the brim with food and then waddled off somewhere I’ve been wanting to go in Reno but hadn’t had the excuse to before now: the Discovery Museum! It reminded me a lot of the Hands-On Museum in Ann Arbor, in that it’s one of those interactive educational museums that are fun for both kids and adults. We spent a while acting like big kids there before taking an afternoon break and then heading out to dinner at one of my favorite Reno restaurants: Campo. Since it was a lovely evening, we sat outside by the river and ate delicious Italian food until we were full to bursting, and then headed next door to the Old Bridge Pub to grab a quick drink (we picked it because it had TVs and poor Drew was football deprived all day). It’s a neat little place, but there were a couple of people already aggressively drunk at 9 pm who made unpleasant company, so we hightailed it out pretty fast.
Monday was our Lake Tahoe day. Drew had to work, so it was just the girls, which ended up working out best anyways. The morning was cloudy and cool, so I suggested going up through Truckee to kill some time shopping while it warmed up and that ended up being a really good idea. We did a lot of shopping at the cute little stores before heading down to Kings Beach to get lake time in. I’m a Michigan girl, I was raised in and around the water, so I had a blast splashing around in the lake and basking in the sun on what turned out to be a really nice day: warm enough to hang out on the beach in swimsuits, but cool enough that we weren’t baking. Since we were there on a Monday, there was pretty much no one else there, which was also awesome. We grabbed a snack at Steamers per Drew’s recommendation before heading back into Reno on the Mount Rose Highway and heading to grab dinner at Great Basin Brewing Company. Since Drew has gotten dragged to craft brewers in Michigan, we thought it was only fair to take my Michigan friends to a Nevada brewer. They have good food, I’d eaten there before, but I was so stuffed from a whole weekend of overindulgence that by the time I took about three bites of my caprese salad, I was done. Kailey and Crystal wanted to get in some casino time, so that was the end of an amazing weekend with my best friends.
So, here’s some #realtalk: sometimes, it feels like blogging is a way of nostalgizing your life as it’s happening. It’s either “look at all the cool things I’m doing, life is so grand” or “here is my humorous take on the little daily downfalls, but don’t worry, not sad just funny” with an occasional “this is a serious talk about a serious issue” lumped in when a celebrity dies of an overdose or something. Look at all the funny and good, no sign of the hard and bad. And I do that too, write glowing things about my relationship while avoiding talking about things like that one time I was ready to leave a party because I was tired and my back hurt and Drew didn’t want to go and we ended up staying for over another hour and it still kind of annoys me when I think about it. Doesn’t mean we don’t have a positive, healthy relationship, but I deliberately leave out those little moments of strife or annoyance because I want to focus on the positive stuff, because it’s easier and nicer to focus on the positive, because it makes my life look better. Or the fact that my sister is refusing to come out to Reno to visit me because she “just doesn’t really want to see anything there”, even though it’s where I live now, and how much that hurts my feelings. I don’t want my blog to become a catalog of my whining about things that I don’t like. That’s not fun for me to write, and it’s certainly not fun for anyone to read.
Where I’m going with this is that it wasn’t until my friends came out for like, 72 hours that I realized how very lonely I actually am. I speak to Kailey and Crystal (and my mom, and my dad, and my sister) regularly on the phone, but there’s nothing quite like actually sitting down together and sipping drinks and just bullshitting in person. Going and having real experiences together is what keeps friendships really alive, and that’s something I’m not going to have the chance to do very often with the people that have known me since I was 10, and that sucks. I don’t know what the solution really is, either. While I’m sure that I’ll make Reno friends as time goes on, I’ll never be able to have the same richness of history as I do with my besties, the ones who watched me cry and listened to me angst over boys that I would now breezily dismiss as nothing special or meaningful, who remember who I was and love me for who I am. And that blows. Being lonely is hard. Flights across the country are expensive for everyone. This is the choice I made, to move out to Reno for Drew, and many things about that were and are good, and the right choice. But the friends part is something I’m having a hard time with.