Winter break in Amherst

As I sit cozied up in the oversized chair in my friends' Rolling Green common room, I have to marvel at just how accessible the world can be.
This morning, I woke up at 7 a.m., three states away from where I'll be going to sleep.  Getting up at 7 wasn't difficult when I was waking up every other hour already; I was, perhaps irrationally, afraid of the drive.
Yes, this morning was the first time I drove to Amherst all the way. Previously, I had only gone with a family member or taken the train to visit.  At this point, though, I knew it was as good a time as ever to give the full trip a shot.  After filling up on gas and grabbing my friend Alexa for the long, long trip, we set out to visit Evan and Sabrina in Amherst.
Save for a brief unintended detour right near the border of New York (287 east and 287 south are the same thing, right?), the trip went pretty smoothly, and we arrived at my friends' house right before dark.
This nice dinner out and quiet night in is still a little surreal to me; I think I've yet to really process that I made it up to Massachusetts of (mostly) my own volition.  The world has never seemed as accessible as it does right now; I've always had to rely on someone else's plan, schedule, or transportation to get somewhere.
I only have a day in Amherst before heading to the Boston area to visit my boyfriend, so I'm hoping to squeeze as much as I can into the next 24 hours.  I can already tell these next few days are going to go quickly and, before I know it, I'll be back in my bed 200 miles away from my UMass friends.  Still, after finally driving up myself, Amherst is no longer a foreign, unreachable land, but another place that, with a little time and willpower, I can finally add to the list of places that are only a do-able drive away.