Two words: Pineapple whip.
This story begins more than a month ago while going through airport security at RDU. In a rush trying to make my flight, I left my license in one of those dreaded grey buckets. If you’ve ever tried to rent a car, you know it’s necessary to have a license, which I didn’t.
The drive from the airport to my hotel was about 40 minutes, and I wasn’t about to walk. This was a problem, but not one that God wasn’t able to handle. He answered my prayers and despite the very late notice, John Patterson, the chapter VP, picked me up at the Little Rock airport after my flight from DFW. He went on to let me drive his car around the campus for two days. That was an incredible blessing!
If the name Stoby’s means something to you, then we’re now friends because you understand that this hole-in-the-wall can change how one looks at a burger. Breakfast the next morning was just as good. I suggest you order a Belgian waffle with pecan pieces accompanied by hash-browns, eggs and bacon.
This has been good fun, but let’s get back to the point of the matter: Arkansas Pineapple Whip. It’s not ice cream, nor is it yogurt. It is the greatest thing I can’t describe. What seems like pineapple juice whipped into a soft serve was swirled alongside a grape flavored variant. The combination was sublime!
That afternoon, I got the chance to watch the BYX soccer team play against a team of almost entirely ex-soccer team members and a handful of other fraternity members. I’ll tell you what, it was a hard fought game! There was no quitting! It was so competitive I almost forgot that the final score was 6-1, but who’s counting anyways.
I went to dinner with the officers after the game at a local Japanese place where the fried rice was top notch. What I will remember the most is the wasabi guacamole, at least I think that’s what it was. Creamy, spicy, smooth and flavorful; I could eat it for days. Marble Slab ice cream across the street topped off a quality night of sportsing, BYX talk and bro time.
Central Arkansas is not a big campus and the football stadium is right in the middle of it, so before I headed back to my hotel for some needed rest after a full day, I stopped by. It was dark and quiet, I saw an open gate, and I walked towards it. I can confirm that the purple and grey stripes look much cooler from on the field.
Tuesday morning came early and started strong. An 8 a.m. meeting with Pledge Captain Jordan Pfaff at, yes, you probably guessed it, Stoby’s, for the second time in a day kicked off what would be a busy and productive day. My pecan waffle prepared me for meetings with the rest of the officers.
Lunch with Chaplain Daniel Curry was one of the best meals I had all visit. We went to a Conway legend, Holly’s Country Cooking, where our plates and palates were graced by the best chicken Arkansas had to offer.
The best part of this day was that the weather was beautiful. In North Carolina, summer looked like 85 and sunny, so when I moved to Texas, 12 consecutive days of 100+ degree weather was less than ideal. Conway gave me a brief reprieve from the heat, and I’m convinced it was helped by the trees. They were beautiful, and they were everywhere.
How many people can say they’ve had their chapter meeting in the school football stadium? However long that list is, you can add my name to it after Tuesday. We met in the UCA Bears post-game briefing room; definitely takes the cake for coolest place I’ve ever been in chapter. Chapter was smooth, worship was well-played by two guitarists and another brother on a mandolin.
In keeping with tradition, the after-chapter meal was at Slim’s. It sounds sketchy, but imagine a classy KFC or a Zaxby’s that doesn’t smell funny. Fair enough, that still sounds sketchy but it doesn’t change things. The chicken was pretty good but the real MVP’s were the fried pickle chips, which were so good that our table took out four baskets of them. The real fun began when we got back to the house and threw Black Ops II in the XBox, and as the night grew old, we dominated wave after wave of zombies.
It’s abundantly clear that the men at UCA love BYX and are committed to their chapter, and I thoroughly enjoyed my time spent with them. The next morning included a few short talks with Bryce and Michael before hanging with a group of brothers in the Student Center. After a good time was had by all, John Patterson, because he’s a good person, drove me back to the airport. I can hardly wait to go back, and this time I’ll have a car. Better watch out, Conway, I’m coming for you.