Although, I guess, I never posted day two.
Day 2: Elon, NC
Miles: 436 mi.
Yesterday I overslept (lame) and realized when I got in the car that I had not accounted for the loss of an hour heading into EST. That being said, after a quick shower, I jumped in the car and did not get out except once (after a very harrowing near-running-out-of-gas experience in the mountains). Sotomayor kept me company, although the book is not really all that I hoped and dreamed at this point. It was also a beautiful, sunny day, making it ideal for mountain driving (if mountain driving is ever ideal).
So I ate garbage in the car all day and arrived exactly 7 hours later in Elon, NC. Saige and I said hi and approximately 10 minutes later, had launched into such deep conversation that she insisted on opening a bottle of wine.
Two (or so) hours later, we were done with said bottle and friends began arriving to accompany us to trivia night at the Fat Frogg. I wish we could say we fought the good fight, I wish I could say we put up a good face. But I can’t. Because we weren’t very good and didn’t win any of the rounds. Andrew Stevenson was there, and began cheating during the final song identification round by using an app on his phone. Also, he was drinking chocolate milk. But I got pepper jack (?) cheese sticks that were insane. I burnt my tongue.
I passed out almost immediately when we got home.
Day 3: Durham, NC
Miles: 80-something (40 min. both ways)
Steps: 2,716 (0.79 mi.)
Duke hoodies spotted: 47 (approx.)
So Saige and I missed our goal of getting up by 8:15 significantly, but still managed to make it to Duke’s campus with about ten minutes to spare. Leaving late did mean that we didn’t have time to stop at Biscuitville for breakfast. Saige was astounded that I had never heard of Biscuitville, and I was astounded that she hadn’t eaten there. I will be stopping tomorrow on the way to DC, so stay tuned.
We were late for the tour because of parking. The first visitor’s lot we found was reserved for a special event, and the second lot that we found was also reserved for a special event. Proceeding back up to the first lot, we asked if we could park there anyway, despite not being involved with the feminism and archaeology workshop going on. They sent us back to the second parking garage where a suspicious older woman barely let us through and at first denied our claims that the men at the first lot had sent us here to park.
About five minutes late, we saw the tour group in full swing on the first floor of the law school and Saige asked if we could just “hop on.” The tour itself was fairly uneventful and not terribly informative, except for the fact that our tour guide himself told us that “there is nothing to do in Durham, which pretty much forces you to stay on campus.” This was framed as a plus, and the guide would not be the first person we met to claim to love this aspect of Duke Law.
After the tour, we sat in on a Civil Procedure class, which was much more boring and much more difficult to follow than the Criminal Procedure class I had sat in on with Eric Bisby at John Marshall Chicago. But I was also hung over with a killer headache that I told Saige all day would probably result in an aneurysm. Before class, I dutifully waited for the professor up front, introduced myself (as well as Saige) and formally requested her permission to sit in. Before class, the professor introduced us to all 70 students and told them that this was their opportunity to convince us that law school was a bad decision.
A couple of students came up after class and asked us if we liked it and what we thought of Duke. Kristie Rogers even went out into the hall and came back with chicken wraps that they were handing out for “lunch” preceding the “100 Years of the 17th Amendment” Cookout. Saige and I had decided to sit in on this event, seeing as how “lunch” was free and we could meet some students. Also, “The Federalist Club” seemed like something I would be into.
If you haven’t picked up on the fact that lunch was awful because I keep putting lunch in quotes, it was. The talk was awful. Well, awful boring. For me and Saige. I felt bad that I was too dumb to enjoy what I’m sure this very capable speaker was doing a good job of speaking about. We thought about leaving. “But Saige… what if we hurt his feelings?”
We stayed for the entire hour. It was a nightmare. Also, Mike Dippolito was in there. He was playing on his laptop the whole time. He was not, however, surprisingly, wearing a Duke hoodie. He left early. (Rude.)
After the lecture, we got the hell out of Dodge. Saige said I should have gotten my parking validated in the admissions office. I said that parking validation would be a stupid idea in Duke Forrest because you couldn’t possibly be parking there for any other reason than to conduct business at Duke. They still charged me $8.00. I complained loudly about it and told Saige that the parking garage’s policy of only taking “rolled change” (as indicated by a sign) was illegal.
We left campus so quickly I forgot to get a patch for my bag. We tooled around downtown Durham for a few hours, trying to find where the actual town was. We first found ourselves on a wide, sad, desert-highway lined in “Not Just Fabrics!” and doorknob emporiums. I was distraught. Ten or fifteen minutes later we got downtown. The Warehouse District is really very cool, with old-timey cigarette ads and tobacco company logos painted on big brick buildings topped with smokestacks. But apart from the occasional cool diner or bakery (separated by blocks and blocks of nothing), it was really quite a ghost town. We found a little corner (Brightleaf Square) reminiscent of Printer’s Alley in Nashville (only much smaller and dead) where I got some lunch.
At Piazza Italia, I got a chopped salad, a Regina Margherita, some bread and a soda. At Piazza Italia, it costs $3.00 for a soda. Also, the pizza, which looked and sounded great, was cold and bland. I asked them to reheat it, and it was still bad. I wanted gelato, but thought the better of it since lunch was so disappointing. The foccacia bread was good, but the butter had cashews in it. We hope they were cashews.
After lunch and gelato (which was great, we got it from the another shop) we went to Ninth Street to find a Duke patch for my backpack at the Duck Shop. We probably should have eaten at Ninth Street to begin with. Everything looked much more fun. We went into a hippy clothing store (Native Threads) that would have been fun if the incense didn’t ravage my pounding head. At the bookstore, the guy behind the counter told us that Duke doesn’t “authorize” patches anymore because they were “being put on things they didn’t like.” Saige looked at the stickers and asked an obvious question. I looked at the beer koozies and doubted his authority. I thought about buying one and cutting out the logo for my backpack, but it seemed like a lot of trouble. And the Blue Devil is so ugly, I really didn’t want it on my bag. And it was becoming more and more obvious that there really isn’t any chance of me wanting to go to Duke anyway. So, we left Durham and I crossed Duke off the list. Might try to get a patch online.
Saige and I went home and napped until dinner. I started a blog post, reheated that awful pizza and gave up, and we went to real dinner in Elon at “The Root” (salad and creme brulee, really good). Saige took me around to meet some of her friends, and we went to Andrew’s apartment to double-assassinate him (we’d been planning it all day).
Time for a shower and bed.
Tomorrow: Biscuitville. Drive up to DC and meet Cici at her place by 1:00. Go to Georgetown day. Reunited and it feels so good.