Thursday, November 15, 2012

Back to Raleigh

Julie and I took a trip back to North Carolina to visit with family and friends.  We managed to hook up with a lot of people, but the time just flew by so quickly. 

From a weather standpoint, we couldn't have timed it better if we owned the Weather Channel.  The day before leaving Park City, I was playing golf in shorts, which is very unusual for our early winter that most people refer to as fall. Meanwhile, Raleigh was damp, chilly and windy.  When we got to Raleigh, the temperatures warmed up to 70 with glorious sunshine.  Back in Park City, a storm rolled in and dumped 2-4 feet of snow, depending on where you were.  The day we left Raleigh, it was drizzling and the temperatures were diving down.  This kind of luck doesn't happen very often.

We stayed busy visiting people for breakfast, lunch and dinner almost every day.  On Sunday, we went to Simply Crepes with my cousin Sara, my aunt Martha, my dad and Julie. 
We have such great friends in Raleigh and many of them are kind enough to offer us a place to stay.  This trip we stayed with Ken and Jennifer Polleck for part of the time and Jim and Carmella Saunders the rest.  Thanks!  Ken left us for a day to go run the Richmond marathon and knocked 12 minutes off his PR. He did that while recovering from some hip problems!

This is the lake/pond right behind the Polleck's house.  Quite the scene to wake up to every morning.
Last year we didn't manage to get back for an NC State football game.  This year we caught the Wake Forest game and got to tailgate with lots of people from our old neighborhood.
While tailgating, this thing "drove" by.  It is a pub, with a bartender and beer taps.  The downside is that it is driven by pedal-power.  I'm not sure how these people ended up on the Trolly Pub.  Perhaps it is something you rent. I'm not sure I want my tailgating to involve a spin class though.  I'm good with chicken and beer. 

I was whining to Julie that we weren't having Bojangle's chicken with our tailgating.  I ended up stopping by some State fans I had never met before, telling them I now live in Utah where there is no Bo's, and asking for a piece of chicken.  My faith in southern hospitality is still intact.
After a miserable no-show game last week against Virginia, a different NC State team came to play.  They basically kicked Wake Forest up and down the field.  Wake's one touchdown came on a nicely executed trick play.  Other than that, they had nothing.  Now State has to play Clemson, one of the top teams in the country.
Judy and Alex Plavacos joined us for the football game.  Julie is sporting the wolf ears from her Halloween costume.

After 10 or 15 years, for no reason I can determine, my parking space was changed.  I haven't given the Wolfpack club any extra money, but our space is now about 100 feet from the stadium, right near the gate we go in. Awesome for popping out for a halftime drink.
Julie and I got to go to the first NC State basketball game of the year.  State's team is ranking 6th in the country, which makes all our fans nervous but excited.  They have a good returning squad plus three new McDonald's All Americans.  It could be an exciting year.  I'm not sure how much you can take away from beating Miami of Ohio, but State managed to whomp them by about 40 points, even after playing the entire bench.
I tend to save the weirdest for last.  Outside the Saunders' house was one of the biggest Preying Mantises I have ever seen. Unfortunately, my iPhone is not the best choice for macro photography. I could have sat there for 30 minutes if I had my Nikon with me.  For those of you in my photography class, this is insufficient depth of field.
Thanks to all our friends and family that offered up places to stay and changed their calendars around so we could get together.  We think about you every day and wish we could get back more often.

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