Well, the semester’s over, so the otter and I took a short vacation to celebrate! We went to North Carolina to visit with an old friend of the otter’s, Lesley, and Lesley’s boyfriend, Adrian. Here’s how it all went down:
At about 7AM on Saturday, the otter picked me up and we headed out towards NC, passing through West Virginia and Virginia. It was snowy throughout Ohio, WV, and Virginia, but one thing we noticed is that the snow looked cleaner in Virginia. It almost looked unreal, like those Christmas trees with the snow painted on them. Besides that, though, and besides driving through the mountains, everything pretty much looked like Canton, Ohio.
We pulled into Chapel Hill, NC at about 5PM. Again, it surprised me how much it looked like the Canton, Akron area; the trees were the same kiind of trees, and it was about 45 degrees, so I really felt like I was at home. Anyway, we met up with Lesley, Adrian, and their friend Alan (or is it Allen? It doesn’t matter; they called him Steve). We immediately, without even unpacking at the hotel, went to go see a Tarheels game at North Carolina University.
The game was cool. I’ve never been to a college basketball game before, and those North Carolina fans take that shit SERIOUSLY. North Carolina won, getting 100 points. One thing that confused the otter and me was that when the score got close to 100, the fans started shouting “Biscuits!” As it turns out, this is because when NC gets 100 points or more, the Bojangles’ restaurant, which is kind of like a cross between McDonalds and KFC, has a special on sausage biscuits and gravy. You gotta love the South.
Anyway, the next day, we met up with Lesley and Adrian at their apartment in Durham. I was excited about this because John Darnielle, the lead singer of and creative mastermind behind the Mountain Goats, lives in Durham. We hung out at the apartment, talking about music and pop culture for a while, then went to Chapel Hill.
Chapel Hill is nice; it kind of reminds me of Kent, Ohio, a typical college town. We started out at the Ackland Art Museum , which was great (they had some really cool modern art on the second floor). From the museum, we went to some of the local stores, like a comic book store and CD Alley, an independent music store. It was there that I tested my hypothesis that it would be easier to find Mountain Goats stuff near Durham. My hypotheisis was correct; I picked up Ghana by the Mountain Goats and Martial Arts Weekend by the Extra Glenns (a Darnielle side-project).
After the stores, we took a tour of the UNC campus, and Adrian treated us to some awesome Italian food. Unfortunately, I don’t remember the name of the place, but it was goog stuff. After all that, we went back to Lesley and Adrian’s apartment and watched Be Somebody…or Be Somebody’s Fool!, starring Mr. T! Here’s a clip!
The next day, after getting breakfast and the aforementioned Bojangles’ (which had GREAT Sweet Potato Pie!),Adrian gave us a tour of the Duke campus, which was beautiful but imposing. I think I would have gotten on better at UNC. After Adrian went to work, we hung out with Lesley at the apartment and watched the Youtubes. Then, we went to Twisted Noodles, a Thai restaurant, which was delicious (I had the Panang Curried Tofu…WIN!). After that, the otter, Lesley, and I had coffee at Franchesca’s Dessert Caffe (which, despite the bad reviews, had good coffee and good service). Then, we called it a night.
We met up with Lesley and Adrian one more time for breakfast before heading out again for good old O to the H I O. While it is good to be back, I definately miss the weather (which was almost 70 degrees on Monday), and I can’t wait until Lesley and Adrian visit Ohio!