Well, hello there, strangers! Remember me? It’s only been, what…2 years since my goodbye post? As you may remember, I put the blog on hiatus to move to Virginia for an incredible job opportunity. As excited as I was to take the next step up in my career, leaving this little blog behind was hard.
After all, Off the Eaten Path STL has been a very big part of my life since its inception in March of 2010. And believe it or not, this blog has helped shape me into the person I am today. When I first started this blog, I was an incredibly introverted 25 year old. I had very few friends, I rarely ventured outside of the suburbs where I lived, and my favorite restaurant at the time? Applebees.
A lot has changed since then, friends. In the time since I started Off the Eaten Path, I’ve been nominated twice by the Riverfront Times for Best Food Blogger, I’ve done freelance work for Maplewood-Brentwood Patch and CBS, I was featured in the St. Louis Post Dispatch, I made a television appearance on Great Day St. Louis, I was a speaker at Show Me the Blog St. Louis, I was chosen as one of Chevy’s ‘Keys to Your City’ VIP Ambassadors, I was one of the judges for 2012’s Midtown Alley BBQ Contest, and I hosted numerous blogger meetups and events, where I met so so so many cool people in St. Louis. Can you believe this girl used to be so shy she wouldn’t even leave the house, much less interact with strangers?! I certainly can’t believe it. This little hobby blog blew up into something bigger and better than I could have ever imagined. Oh — and I definitely have a new favorite restaurant, but you’ll have to wait a bit to see what that is! Spoiler alert: it is definitely not Applebees. 😉
So you can imagine that leaving all of that behind was hard for me. Very hard. I contemplated continuing the blog in Virginia. I toyed around with dropping the ‘St. Louis’ from the blog title and simply blogging about restaurants all over the country. My friends encouraged me to go for it. My family urged me to give it a try.
But…I just couldn’t do it. As much as I love food, writing, and photography, something felt wrong about changing the focus of the blog. I almost felt like I would be cheating on my city if I started blogging about places outside of St. Louis! And maybe, deep down inside, I knew that I would eventually find my way back home.
So I held out. I continued to pay the hosting fees to keep my little space on the Internet around. I continued to follow foodies on Twitter, and I tried my best to stay on top of the food scene in St. Louis. You know…just in case.
And two years later? I’m back. I’m back! I was fortunate enough to be offered an even more incredible job opportunity here in my hometown. An opportunity that I absolutely could not refuse. I’m super duper excited to start my new job, but more than that, I’m excited to be back home with my friends and family.
Since I’ve been back, I’ve taken time to explore the things that made me fall in love with this city. I visited the Missouri History Museum to check out the new exhibit to commemorate St. Louis’ 250th birthday:
I visited the newly expanded St. Louis Art Museum:
I even went to the zoo!
But more importantly, in the week since I’ve been back in town, I’ve spent lots and lots of time with friends and family. Eating good food, giving lots of hugs, and making up for lost time.
I will be back next week (and every Friday!) with a brand spanking new review, but I just wanted to take a quick moment to thank everyone who has kept up with me on Facebook and Twitter, and have made my return home so sweet. The ‘welcome home’ tweets, Facebook messages, and emails have been so incredibly heartwarming. I’m so excited to be blogging again, and I hope to make this blog even bigger and better than before.
Stay tuned for a new restaurant review next week! See you then.