"It's a beautiful place. We never would think of us spending three weeks here. A lot of people are like what are you doing in Fayetteville, it's three weeks, but we're enjoying it here. It's so pretty... Just random people we meet on streets, they've been very nice to us... The culture is wonderful here."
Cassie Yuan and Florence Tesha are exploring and embracing everything Fayetteville has to offer step by step, street by street and picture by picture. Cassie is from China and Florence is from Tanzania. Both ladies are freshmen at Duke University, but spending this holiday season in Arkansas was not intentional.
"We both couldn't go back home for Christmas so we thought we should do something for fun," said Florence.
"Her family friend booked us a trip to Fayetteville, North Carolina but accidentally we ended up here for three weeks. We love it here," said Cassie.
Instead of finding the next flight to their original destination, the two decided to take on the city.
"First I was like okay, this place is different and I didn't know how it was going to turn out but it has just been surprising me every day. The people, the place, the food, I just love it so much... We just like adventure, both of us, and we were just ready for it. We said if not Arkansas now, then it will be Arkansas never, so let's go for it," said Florence.
Walking around town, Cassie and Florence are letting curiosity run its course.
"We've gone to Crystal Bridges, we've gone to the Square and yeah, we've seen a lot," said Cassie.
"It has been a big adventure. We had a horse ride, a horse sleigh ride yesterday at the Lights of Ozarks, that was awesome. I have never seen that and the other things that's different is the ponies. Children ride real ponies here, that's awesome," said Florence.
The dynamic duo is opening doors to adventure, finding new friends and soaking in every second of their spontaneous experience.
"I'm thankful for a great friend, it's a new friendship that we just started... and this beautiful town and wonderful people. A lot of people have extended help to us," said Cassie.
"The people. They have made this Christmas just a beautiful moment... A very memorable one. It's not with family, but I just feel like I'm at home already," said Florence.
Both ladies said everyone in Fayetteville has been so welcoming and generous. The hotel manager where they are staying is giving them a discounted rate and gave them a ride to Crystal Bridges. The owner of an antique store on Dickson Street invited them over for dinner. Kevin at F-Town Longboards offered to show them how to skate on some of Fayetteville's trails, so everyone has really been reaching out and helping make this accidental trip one they will never forget.