Saturday, September 11, 2010
Going to Carolina in My Mind...
And in real life as well!! We are thoroughly enjoying our time so far in NC. We said goodbye to Mom and Dad in Henderson on Thursday. They are heading to Emerald Isle for a few restful days at the beach. The Hesters will be joining them. In the meantime, we made our way to Durham to spend a couple of days with Julie and Reinhard whom we met in EI several years ago. As we cycled our way through the city we stumbled across a renovated old tobacco factory that now houses some very cool restaurants and bars. We enjoyed a great lunch at a place called the Mellow Mushroom and saw this neat neon bike sign on the wall. Our arrival at the Weise home came just in time because it was hot, and we were ready for the vanilla tea and German cake which was served poolside! Dinner was a spectacular display of Carolina Barbecue complete with Brunswick Stew, pork, hush puppies, slaw, candied yams, and green beans. Friends Richard and Cindy Lucas joined us for dessert; banana pudding (you know, made with Nilla Vanilla Wafers!) and berry cobbler. Needless to say we were all happily stuffed, but not too tired to take some fun photos which included Benno the border terrier:)
Friday was gorgeous; not a cloud in the sky and pleasantly warm. We certainly have hit the jackpot so far with wonderful weather! Julie took us on a tour of the Duke University campus and botanical gardens in the morning. It was especially fun to walk with Benno through the Japanese display as he looked for squirrels and became fascinated with the ducks in the pond! Reinhard joined us for the afternoon. We headed to nearby Chapel Hill to walk around the UNC campus (both Julie's parents went there and she attended Law School there as well). We felt young again as we strolled with the students and had lunch at a popular local eatery on Franklin Street called Spanky's. We had a mandatory photo shoot at the campus wishing well and a heavenly warm donut at Krispy Kreme:) After a siesta back at the house we gussied up (is that term still used?!?) and drove a few short miles to the Magnolia Grill which is often written up in Gourmet and Bon Appetite because of it's fresh, innovative cuisine and extensive wine list. Let me just say that the twice baked grits souffle with mushrooms and shaved foie gras is to die for...not to mention the warm chocolate bread pudding:) Good thing we got back on the bikes today to burn off all those decadent calories. Currently we are in Dunn, NC. The 60 plus miles we covered today was mostly on the Tobacco Trail and some very quiet country roads so traffic was not really a problem. Two more days of riding before we return to the coast (ahhh!) and visit with our friend Mary Evans in Wilmington. Looking forward to it:) Thanks again to Julie and Reinhard for showing us such a great time these past few days! Oh, and by the way, I still can't decide which NCAA team is my favorite, (other than SU!) the Blue Devils or the Tarheels, so I will just have to watch all their games again this year to pick one or the other...is anyone surprised by that?!