You’d think the joke would get old. When we were in college at Texas Tech University, every night we went out was Nate’s last in town. Even after he graduated and moved away, it was still his go-to line—and it never seemed to wear thin.
Four years later it was no longer a line, but actually the truth. Nate accepted a transfer overseas and was leaving Tuesday morning. Now spread out across the country, our circle of friends decided to return to our college stomping grounds of Lubbock, Texas. Nostalgia aside, the amazing live music scene in Buddy Holly’s hometown is the perfect destination for a going away party.
We chose to stay at a hotel in downtown Lubbock because of its proximity to nightlife. It turned out to be a great choice! Our accommodations offered affordable luxury with awesome amenities—much like Lubbock itself. My girlfriend, Lindsay, was especially impressed with the indoor pool, and I appreciated the beautiful in-room flat screen TV.
We started the evening with food and specialty beer at Cricket’s Grill & Draft House. Their whole back wall is lined with beers on tap. A great live band set the party vibe. Lindsay, Katie and Sam tried their hands at shuffleboard while the rest of us embarrassed ourselves at pool. A small group of Texas Tech seniors taught us a few trick moves. I’m still proud I landed one without scratching the table!
After a while we left the pool tables to the experts and went next door to the Local Bar and Grill. This bar had a relaxed, yet energetic atmosphere. A local band was onstage, playing catchy pop-country full of powerhouse vocals and fast-paced guitar riffs. I have no doubt this band will see skyrocketing success in the near future. After a few more upbeat crowd favorites, they slowed the pace with an original ballad.
“C’mon,” Lindsay said. “Let’s dance.”
It felt good being with everyone again, and it had been far too long since our last trip. Maybe it was the music, maybe it was the dust on my boots, maybe it was recognition of Nate’s departure—but I realized how important it is to live in the moment.
Our new Texas Tech friends waved for our attention outside. We knew they were on their way to Wild West. It sounded like fun, so we joined them and spent the rest of the night two-stepping to country hits. All I can say is: awesome.
It was after 10 the next morning when I rolled out of bed and parted the blackout curtains. Texas sunshine flooded the room. Lindsay was already up, humming a ballad from last night as she prepped for a spa day with the other girls. I sent a text to Nate, Alex and the other guys to see what they wanted to do.
I couldn’t believe my eyes when I read the reply. I quickly responded, “Bros do not do brunch!”
I was wrong. After sinking my teeth into a petite filet served with truffle butter and beer-poached eggs at The Crafthouse Gastropub, I changed my mind. The menu was ripe with signature dishes—like brunch pizza and chicken fried veal, all ready to pair with a drink from their brunch bar.
That night we met back up with the girls for some authentic local barbecue at Tom & Bingo's Bar-B-Q. Then we hit the town, downing unpretentious drinks and enjoying the camaraderie at a few more hot spots in the Depot Entertainment District. At Blue Light Live, we caught an amazing show. I couldn’t believe these musicians weren’t already topping the charts. There’s nothing quite like the intimate setting of Blue Light—it felt like the musicians were playing in my own living room.
Of course, we had to hit up our old favorite dive, The Library. Forget the books, we were there to study the $2 drink specials. (Oh, how many times we’d told our parents we were at The Library…)
We ended up at Louie Louie’s Piano Bar where we saw the performers duel it out to classics like “Mustang Sally” and “Friends in Low Places.” As I watched Lindsay and our friends smiling and singing along, I recognized that experiences like this are what it’s all about. It was the perfect way to wrap up an unforgettable trip.
If you and your friends are overdue for some good times, plan your getaway to Lubbock!