Al Drago and I, clusters of middle aged women and a few families took off down Huffman Mill Road; we were headed to the Best Western in Burlington. It was exactly how I pictured my first time on a party bus.

On Monday night, Al and I covered a food festival called Taste of Alamance for The Pendulum. We were told to park in the lot behind Starbucks and that shuttles would transport us to the hotel located a little further down the road. We didn’t realize we would be riding in style.

Once we got to the event, we met up with Brandy Miller, the woman responsible for planning Taste of Alamance. After she gave us our wristbands, we headed in and began covering the event.

I’m sure I looked a little out of place. Everyone else’s hands were clutching cups, plates and napkins; I was holding a stack of papers and my pen from the Writing Center. I felt a bit awkward at first, observing people and walking up to groups of friends and inserting myself into their conversations; but after awhile, I started to enjoy myself. Most people were pretty friendly and willing to talk to me; and the tasty food didn’t hurt either.

This story was a challenge for me as a reporter. It took me some time for me to get comfortable walking up to strangers and asking them questions. I am used to having scheduled interviews where the person has agreed to talk to me. I’ll admit it put me out of my comfort zone, but I learned from it.

Also, getting to sample local cuisines definitely beats dinner at the dining halls. Sorry Colonnades.