Road Trip Day 8 - 2007-07-27

Here's a map of my trip on day 8:,+TN&daddr=Fayetteville,+AR&sll=37.0625,-95.677068&sspn=42.901912,82.617188&ie=UTF8&z=8&om=1

Check out pictures from today here:

I headed out of Memphis this morning at around 9:30 for Fayetteville, Arkansas to visit my friend from Middlebury, Justin, his wife Nikki, and their new baby Blue. The drive was by far my shortest, around 5 hours, which was a nice change from the long trips I'd been doing before. I arrived around 3:30.

It was pretty easy to find Justin's house, because it still had a big sign that read It's A Girl! in front of it. It was great seeing Justin and Nikki for the first time since graduation (3 years). The baby, as expected, was absolutely adorable! I'll be sure to put up some pictures tomorrow, I didn't get any today.

After Justin gave me the tour, we headed out to Hoghous for some drinks and appetizers before he headed off to work at 7:00. We had some great spinach and artichoke dip and enjoyed the patio on Hoghous which overlooked the main street in Fayetteville.

After that, we still had a bit of time, so Justin decided that it was about time that I learned how to drive a stick. Fortunately, he is driving a car that it on its last legs anyways, so there was not quite as much pressure as learning on my Mom's new Mini, for example. We found a nice big parking lot and drove around for a good 20 minutes or so, practicing getting into first and shifting up through the gears.

Justin was a great teacher! He also suggested that I learn how to get the car into reverse without shaking the bejesus out of everybody in the car, which was quite worthwhile. After I had the basics relatively down, we took to the streets. Perhaps a little too soon, though! We were at what Justin says is the busiest intersection in town and I managed to stall the car twice during a left turn, blocking incoming traffic. It was somewhat harrowing, but a good experience. The weird thing: nobody honked! If you did that in Boston, you'd be hearing about it in about 1/100th of a second.

I finally managed to get it into gear and we pulled into a gas station. I practiced getting into first a few times, then we gave it another shot. This time went much better, and I managed to get back to Justin's neighborhood without further incident. There were some good hills to practice starting on near his house, so he had me practice starting uphill and starting in reverse uphill. I could definitely use some more practice, but I think I was getting the hang of it.

So we headed back to Justin's house and Justin headed out for work. Since Justin was working, he thought it would be fun to set me up with a good friend of Nikki's from school who they were both quite close to named Steph. We had a great night: we went to get some food at Pesto Cafe, had some mint chocolate chip gelato at a cute family-owned gelateria named Carpino's, and then watched a few episodes of It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia. Overall, a very enjoyable evening!

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