Having the opportunity to travel back to the states and surprise my family and friends for Christmas was one of the best presents I was able to give and receive. There truly is no place like home for the holidays! Although I was sick with a horrible cough and cold during my stay in the states, I made it a point to spend time with as many friends and family as possible; and my trip could not have been more fulfilling! One of my favorite moments while being home was one of such simplicity.

I had arranged to meet with one of my best friends/honorary triplet/mini-me, Katie Mettler for breakfast, and our mothers were to join us! We had decided upon The Snug as our meeting point, because let’s be honest, our only other choices were the Corner Depot, Richard’s, and Ugaldes (if they’re even still open?!).

There is something to be said about The Snug and it’s quintessential resemblance of our quaint hometown.

Located in the 100 block of West Market Street, The Snug has been opened since 1927 (according to the book “Cafe Indiana: A Guide to Indiana’s Down-Home Cafes”). The restaurant sits only two booths wide and the original coat closet is now used as a wash closet. Sign on the window read: “You had a choice. And you chose The Snug. –Thank You!” and “Where good food and good friends come together!” Though a fire broke out on the top floor apartment of the same building just months ago, The Snug still thrives with business. The advertisements on the paper place-mats haven’t changed much since the eatery opened and the only tear-off coupons available on them are the to The Bowling Alley: Buy 2 games get 1 free! (the only real form of safe, fun, and legal entertainment offered to minors in our town). It’s a place where time is measured only by two things: refills on a cup of coffee and the owner/manager/main chef coming out from the kitchen every hour, on the hour, to visit with his patrons. Many of Blufffton’s most-distinguished older residents even have designated stools at the small bar, a place they like to designate as their “home offices.” In the window sits the cutest little Dollar General version of those Kinkade winter villages with an imitation blanket of snow being made in the way of a shedding white towel. And the menu of this Bluffton landmark, hasn’t changed in decades.

Right after the fire...The Snug is still open for business!

The cozy little interior

The Snug is one of the only downtown businesses that has remained over the decades!

As the four of us sat there, we talked about how Katie would be traveling to London in the spring and how we could best coordinate travel plans while abroad. We shared secrets on how to survive some of the toughest semesters in college and our moms both shared their dreams for furthering their education and passion for service. We left The Snug that day, two and a half hours later, just as joyfully elated as ever about our futures.

Quality moments like these spent with loved ones makes me so proud of how and where I was raised. Communities like Bluffton are so hard to come by today. It’s a hometown that offers fellowship everywhere you go from the local cozy restaurants, to Wal-Mart, to high school athletic events. It’s a place where those old coaches, teachers, and community members that don’t have Facebook keep up with your successes in the daily distribution of the Bluffton-News Banner; and the even keep the old papers and cut out the articles just so your family has an extra copy, or ten.

Our families had a choice on where to raise us. And they chose the snug town of Bluffton, Indiana.

And I wouldn’t have had it any other way.