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Duke Gardens; Anne Learns How to Drive a Manual Car (video!)

Posted Apr 09 2012 10:37am


Monday again already – wahhh! I had another wonderful day yesterday with Matt – such a nice, relaxing weekend. I took the weekend 100% off from schoolwork and am feeling refreshed and ready for this CRAZY week. Our comprehensive exams for the masters program are on Friday – this week will be studying, studying, and more studying.

Backing up to Saturday night, we had a delicious dinner on our porch – leftovers from Friday, when Matt made homemade spaghetti and meatballs for us.


We used a quinoa pasta we found at the co-op grocery store – delicious! Plus lots of chopped peppers and wilted spinach for some veggie power. And a piece of garlic bread!


We also both enjoyed a glass of wine. It was a perfect night for porch sittin’!


On Sunday, Matt and I did a little mini strength workout outside:




And then we packed a picnic and headed over to Duke Gardens for a few hours!


We heard that Duke Gardens was a must see before leaving the area, and it was the perfect day for it. We spent some time exploring when we first arrived:

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And then settled on a sunny spot to spread out our blanket and get our picnic lunch on!


For lunch, we brought an assortment of goodies from our fridge. Cheese, crackers, hummus, turkey, and also some unpictured salami:


Dried mango and some fresh grapes and edamame, plus some unpictured apples:



It was delish.


We did a little more exploring after enjoying lunch and some relaxation time. Duke Gardens is gorgeous! There were a lot of families out enjoying it, too.

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It was a pretty awesome way to spend a Sunday afternoon.

When we arrived back home, we started Operation: Teach Anne How to Drive a Stick Shift.


It was fun/hilarious. As I mentioned, I need to be able to move Matt’s car since we’ll be parking in a tandem spot up in DC – and I also think knowing how to drive a stick shift is just a good skill to have in general. :) After a few failed attempts, I was actually up and running pretty quickly! Reversing was still a bit dicey, but I was out and driving around (including a main road) within 15 minutes. Yay! The hardest was getting going in 1st again after any sort of hilly stop sign or traffic light.

We thought it’d be funny to take a video of my first attempts – get ready to laugh because I look like a TOTAL ditz in this video… I swear I’m in a science-based masters program. ;)

And here’s one from a few minutes later when I actually kind of knew what I was doing. Hooray! I picked it up pretty quickly after the first muddled attempt captured on the video above. :)

Driving a stick is actually pretty fun – I feel like you have a lot more control over the car. I can’t imagine trying to learn to drive a stick while also trying to learn how to drive for the first time, though. This was way easier since I already knew how to drive/not hit cars on the side of the street and all!

Sadly, the fun is now over – this is going to be a busy week, but I’m ready for it. Here we go!

Do you know how to drive a manual car? When did you learn?

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