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Day 9: Memphis

- The Experience, Daniella Maney ’20

Samuel navigates on his phone while Mark drives the car through Memphis.
Mark at the wheel and Samuel at the navigation station.

Bloggers Daniella Maney, ‘20 and Mark McPhillips, ‘20 embarked on a road trip this summer with their friend Samuel Piller, ‘20 before coming back to Conn. We will publish a series of posts about what they experienced along the way.... (Read Post 1)

I drove from Mississippi to Memphis, Tennessee, in the morning. It was another quick drive, and arguably the prettiest. I had a hard time keeping my eyes on the road because we were driving through valleys with open fields and hundreds of bulls walking around, eating grass, and laying under canopies of trees. We arrived in Memphis at around 3 p.m., the earliest we have ever arrived at a hotel. I was wiped out from a bout of insomnia the night before so I decided to take a quick nap... that happened to be two-hours-long. I woke up hungry, like always, so I looked up barbecue places in Memphis. A restaurant called Central BBQ in downtown caught my eye. It was 20 minutes from our hotel and we decided it was worth the drive because we needed to get authentic barbeque while in the south. The restaurant was great. They made their own ghost pepper hot sauce. We decided to get a slab of ribs which comes with four sides. We got green beans, homemade pork rinds, mac ‘n cheese, and onion rings. Mark said, "That was the quickest meal of my whole life," because we wolfed down the meal in probably seven minutes.

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Day 9: Panera, Pilot and Pork

- The Experience, Mark McPhillips '20

Dani and Mark take a selfie while in the car on their way through Mississippi
Dani snapped this pic of us on our way through Mississippi.

Bloggers Mark McPhillips, ‘20 and Daniella Maney, ‘20 embarked on a road trip this summer with their friend Samuel Piller, ‘20 before coming back to Conn. We will publish a series of posts about what they experienced along the way.... (Read Post 1)

We awoke to the sound of people knocking on our hotel room door.

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Day 8: Red Dresses and Mississippi Music

- The Experience, Daniella Maney ’20

Male and female runners done red dresses in the streets of New Orleans for the annual Red Dress Run.
At first, this was a confusing sight.

Bloggers Daniella Maney, ‘20 and Mark McPhillips, ‘20 embarked on a road trip this summer with their friend Samuel Piller, ‘20 before coming back to Conn. We will publish a series of posts about what they experienced along the way.... (Read Post 1)

Our second day in New Orleans managed to be even crazier than the first. When we arrived back in the French Quarter, we immediately realized that there was a big event happening on account of the many people parading around the streets in red dresses. Coincidentally, our visit happened to be on the same day as the Red Dress Run. The Red Dress Run, according to New Orleans Online, is organized by a group that is a "self-proclaimed drinking club with a running problem." It was definitely a hilarious sight to see hundreds of tipsy men and women running around in red dresses through the streets of New Orleans for charity. This event was awesome to see and really brought the New Orleans energy that I had missed our first day exploring the city. We danced through the streets to songs blasting from the huge portable speakers of runners. Our soundtrack of the day consisted of songs like "Pour Some Sugar on Me" by Def Leppard and "It's Raining Men" by The Weather Girls. We wove our way through the crowd back to Marie Laveau's House of Voodoo for Mark to buy a box of Tarot Cards, which he decided was worth it (he says he's going to use them at Connecticut College all of the time) and I bought a sticker for my fridge at school.

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Day 8: From Beignets to Fried Chicken

- The Experience, Mark McPhillips '20

Dani took this picture of Mark with a wax figure of the Allman Brothers Band
Dani took this picture of me with a wax figure of Jaimoe from the Allman Brothers Band.

Bloggers Mark McPhillips, ‘20 and Daniella Maney, ‘20 embarked on a road trip this summer with their friend Samuel Piller, ‘20 before coming back to Conn. We will publish a series of posts about what they experienced along the way.... (Read Post 1

The first moments of today were a little bit hectic.

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Day 7: A New Orleans American Horror Story

- The Experience, Daniella Maney ’20

Dani poses in front of the mansion featured in the television series American Horror Story.
Posing in front of the Buckner Mansion, even in broad daylight, was slightly freaky.

Bloggers Daniella Maney, ‘20 and Mark McPhillips, ‘20 embarked on a road trip this summer with their friend Samuel Piller, ‘20 before coming back to Conn. We will publish a series of posts about what they experienced along the way.... (Read Post 1)

Day seven was my day for sure. We finally arrived at my choice of destination: New Orleans. As I mentioned in this previous blog post, I picked New Orleans for a lot of reasons like its history with Voodoo and Haitian culture. I wrote my first essay in college about colonialism and its influence on Louisiana Voodoo culture for my Natives and Newcomers ConnCourse. I had some difficulty finding sources to fuel my research for the paper so I hoped to learn more about Voodoo and its history from our visit to the city. I also wanted to visit New Orleans for the food. With creole seafood and delicious desserts, I knew that this place was meant for me to experience. I have always found the energy around New Orleans enticing, stemming from the excitement around Mardi Gras and all of the stories I have heard from family members. Lastly, one of my favorite seasons of the show “American Horror Story: Coven was filmed in New Orleans. Jessica Lange and Kathy Bates star in Coven alongside my idol Stevie Nicks.

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Day 7: Exploring NOLA

- The Experience, Mark McPhillips '20

A photo of our feast at the New Orleans Creole Cookery.
Our feast at the New Orleans Creole Cookery.

Bloggers Mark McPhillips, ‘20 and Daniella Maney, ‘20 embarked on a road trip this summer with their friend Samuel Piller, ‘20 before coming back to Conn. We will publish a series of posts about what they experienced along the way.... (Read Post 1)

This morning was similar to yesterday’s in that it was a bit of a disappointment...Dani, Samuel and I did not rise until noon!

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Day 6: Our Longest Drive Yet

- The Experience, Daniella Maney ’20

Dani and Samuel take a selfie in the car leaving Oklahoma City
Peace out OKC

Bloggers Daniella Maney, ‘20 and Mark McPhillips, ‘20 embarked on a road trip this summer with their friend Samuel Piller, ‘20 before coming back to Conn. We will publish a series of posts about what they experienced along the way.... (Read Post 1)

Day six was one of the longest drives of my life. It was comparable to my spring break return trip with the Conn Club Ultimate Frisbee team from Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, to Acton, Massachusetts, which took 12 hours and 40 minutes. Leaving from Oklahoma City, we had a 10 1/2-hour-long drive ahead of us, a tough feat after driving consistently for a week. However, it was a trip we were excited to embark on because we had our eyes set on the prize destinations of Dallas and New Orleans. This was definitely the longest drive of our trip so far. The second longest was from Neptune, New Jersey, to Columbus, Ohio, which took a total of nine hours. Many of these times are projected by Google. It's hard to remember how long our drives actually were because when you account for gas, bathroom, and food you add at least an hour or two to each trip.

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Day 6: To New Orleans

- The Experience, Mark McPhillips '20

Samuel rests his head on the table next to the remains of his lunch from In-N-Out Burger.
In-N-Out Burger: 1 Samuel: 0

Bloggers Mark McPhillips, ‘20 and Daniella Maney, ‘20 embarked on a road trip this summer with their friend Samuel Piller, ‘20 before coming back to Conn. We will publish a series of posts about what they experienced along the way.... (Read Post 1

This morning was a bit of a disappointment…

When we first planned the road trip I said that I would make an itinerary for our trip and that we would stick to it as best we could. Unbeknownst to me, the schedule for today had us leaving Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, at 8 a.m. (not getting up at 8 a.m., leaving at 8 a.m.).

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Day 5: Accepting Postcards from Kansas

- The Experience, Daniella Maney ’20

Dani posing in front of miles of corn fields.
A corny photoshoot

Bloggers Daniella Maney, ‘20 and Mark McPhillips, ‘20 embarked on a road trip this summer with their friend Samuel Piller, ‘20 before coming back to Conn. We will publish a series of posts about what they experienced along the way.... (Read Post 1)

I started my day at 9:30 a.m. (which feels both early and late) by running circles around the parking lot of the La Quinta Hotel. 

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Day 5: There’s Plenty of Corn in Kansas

- The Experience, Mark McPhillips '20

Dani, Mark and Samuel take a car selfie with a Lawrence, Kansas, geofilter.
Landed in Kansas.

Bloggers Mark McPhillips, ‘20 and Daniella Maney, ‘20 embarked on a road trip this summer with their friend Samuel Piller, ‘20 before coming back to Conn. We will publish a series of posts about what they experienced along the way.... (Read Post 1

Usually, I am the first of us awake on a given morning of this road trip. This morning, however, was a bit different. 

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