Today was the day for which we came to Arkansas: I was getting inked by Erik!
But that wasn’t scheduled until after noon, so John, Ben, and I grabbed a quick breakfast at McDonalds and headed to beautiful downtown Bentonville to wander and catch a bit of the local ambiance:
If the store had been open, I so would’ve thrown my credit card balance to the wind and bought this…
We also went through the Walmart Visitor Center. (Hey it’s a small town and there wasn’t much else to do to kill a couple hours.)
Walmart has a visitor center, you ask? Indeed. From the website:
Visitors can look, touch and explore through a series of family-friendly, interactive displays. All the exhibits are designed as giant scrapbooks that tell the story of Walmart through words, images, artifacts and interactive displays like our virtual tour of Sam Walton’s old office and our map featuring information on customers, stores, suppliers and associates from around the world. We’ve even got Mr. Sam’s trusty old Ford F-150 parked in the gallery.
In other words, it’s a veritable warehouse of pro-Walmart propaganda.
The funniest things I saw were two items in the “returned merchandise” exhibit. Both pretty much sum up the entire stereotype of Walmart shoppers:
It was still way too early to head over to Erik’s studio, so we killed some time at Grounds for Thought and did what geeks do: we got coffee and brooded over our laptops.
We grabbed lunch at Gusano’s Pizza and then headed over to Odyssey Tattoo, Erik’s salon. John left early because his appointment was first, and he was already in the chair by the time we arrived:
Soon Calvin & Hobbes were frolicking on his arm:
I was next.
John had his return flight to catch, so shortly after I sat down in the chair, he was off. It was a great visit and Ben and I can’t wait until we see him again. Maybe next year a trip to the east coast is in order.
The good Doctor and his Tardis were a bit more involved, so it took a while longer…
Three hours later, it was finished!
It was everything I’d hoped it would be. Thank you, Mr. Rubright. I can never say that enough. It is amazing.
From there, Ben and I went back to the hotel room for a bit and then met Erik at Grub’s. Added bonus: JP and Earl were in town as well and joined us shortly after we arrived!
A great vacation got a little bit better!
I’d never met either of the guys, but had been following JP’s blog for some time. Like Erik, he’s exactly the same in person as online and we had a great time. Unfortunately, after three hours of getting poked, I was beat, and shortly after dinner Ben and I bid our adieus and headed back to the hotel.
We did make one stop on the way first, however. Andy’s Frozen Custard…
…and bug watching.
Yikes! Are you supposed to put a saddle on and ride that thing? It looks like something that crawled out of The Mist. (Mmm…Thomas Jane.)
But I digress.