Despite a bumpy start (featuring lost keys, one exploded soda can and booking an AirBnB loft not only on the wrong date, but also the wrong MFing state), my first road trip of 2017 is in the books.
My best friend Beth and I hit the road to Fayetteville, AR (not North Carolina, which is where I booked our loft). Why Fayetteville? It’s 3.5 hours away and, in keeping with my resolution, it’s somewhere I’ve never been before. I also did a quick internet search and determined that there was definitely enough to do in the area to fill 36 hours.
It took Beth nearly three hours to find us new lodging, but we finally settled in to a cute guesthouse on 10 acres of land. I found myself hugely intrigued by the owners who had written several computer text books, had ties to Oklahoma and appeared to be active members of their community. I also enjoyed waking up to this view* from the top bunk.
The next day was full of adventures as we hit many hot spots recommended to us by locals and former locals.
Definitely a hipster location, but that’s not a knock on it. The café is modern and was crowded with young people working away on a Saturday morning. I ordered the quiche which I thought would be packed with protein, but it was mostly packed with cheese. It. Was. Delicious. I also got an almond milk latte to make up for the cheese; also delicious.
I’m typically a take-it-or-leave-it kind of person when it comes to museums, but everyone said that Crystal Bridges was a must. Given that admission is free, it didn’t take much to twist my arm to check it out. I’m so glad I did. I’ve been to several museums in my day, but none of them have focused on American art and history. I thought it was pretty fascinating. Beth and I had a blast commenting on all types of pieces and taking pictures around the grounds.
One of my favorite pieces was Evan Penny’s Old Self: Portrait of the Artist as He Will (Not) Be.
When I initially glanced at it, its life-like detail creeped me out. It was made with a scan of the artist’s torso printed with a 3D printer. He then shaped other materials to make a 3D portrait of himself as an old man. Evan even included his own hair. Although not the most impressive piece there, it certainly was the most eye-catching for me.
On the suggestion of a friend who grew up in the area, Beth and I stopped by for pizza at Tiny Tim’s in Dickson Square. I was slightly skeptical at first when the waitress brought out Styrofoam plates, but one bite and I was sold. It may not be the trendiest restaurant, but the pizza was fantastic and clearly made with quality ingredients. I wish I could’ve eaten 10,000 pieces.
While chatting with our waitress at Tim’s, she directed us to Funky Yard Sale, which is more or less a flea market. I’m a little obsessed with these stores. I love all the random things you can find if you’re willing to dig. I walked away with a cup that reminds me of my Grandma Peel, a locally made small wall hanging as a souvenir of the trip and a Sunshine Bear for my sunshine, Netha.
We couldn’t head home without a little dessert, so we made a quick stop by Bliss. I’m no cupcake connoisseur, but Beth is and she raved about the peanut butter icing. Bonus points to Bliss for staying open late.
Despite our rocky beginning, Beth and I had a fantastic time in Fayetteville/Bentonville, full of laughs and new experiences. If you would like to visit, I’d suggest going in the spring, if possible. The Ozarks are beautiful in bloom. And I do concur that visiting Crystal Bridges is a must. If you’re a drinker, you’ll also want to hit up Dickson Street and bar hop the night away. We skipped because we felt driving back to OKC after an evening of bar hopping wouldn’t be the wisest decision. Still, we drove the strip a couple times and it looked lit. And it was the second biggest “must” from locals.
Until my next adventure… xoxo