old town alexandria | swoon

old town alexandria va | paperyrain.com

old town alexandria va | paperyrain.com

old town alexandria va | paperyrain.com

old town alexandria va | paperyrain.com

old town alexandria va | paperyrain.com

old town alexandria va | paperyrain.com

old town alexandria va | paperyrain.com

old town alexandria va | paperyrain.com

old town alexandria va | paperyrain.com

old town alexandria va | paperyrain.com

We headed to Northern Virginia with our pups to visit my husband’s family over the weekend. His parents were helping his youngest sibling get settled into her last apartment for her 4th year at UVA, so we decided to head into Alexandria, where it all began for Matthew and I.

We love Alexandria and we have a lot of memories in Old Town (most involved girl scout shooters from Murphy’s, the Irish Pub downtown, but blurry memories count). It was crazy to come back as 30 year olds and see the places we visited and swooned over in our early twenties. It’s definitely a different view of the city when you walk around during the day on Saturday versus at night on Saturday (farmer’s markets and brunch vs friends falling down stairs and late night tacos). If I’m being honest, I’ve liked it both ways.

I like that now, weekends are about delicious food at “adult” restaurants with friends (that doesn’t center around $1 beer night), browsing at boutique stores (that I actually can afford to buy something at), and picking up dinner from the farmer’s market (no more lunch meat and instant pudding for dinner). But I also really enjoyed heading to brunch for $2 bloody mary’s (mostly to cure our wicked hangovers), getting all dolled up trying to impress Matthew with all my cool, college dance moves (my future husband, so well worth it I’d say), and strolling down the streets, hand and hand, being loud and having the early 20’s stars in our eyes.

 For me, being there, with my husband of almost 6 years, walking those streets together where we got our start, was even more special as 30 year olds. I would say, one of the advantages of getting older is your view of life changes a little and I find myself enjoying the moment more. I can appreciate my many stages of life (versus being 22 and in the throws of a massive meltdown over God only knows what). I’m thankful I was a little indulgent early on, I’m thankful shaking my groove thing didn’t scare my husband off, and I’m thankful that I’m a little less of a party animal and a little bit more of a (cool) soccer mom.

Life is pretty amazing, so as my mature, 31 year old self, my advice is to enjoy every stage. Don’t spend time missing your 20’s, wishing away your 30’s, or regretting your (name any age). Move forward today, make it great and find your everyday joy because it’s there!

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