Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Back to North Carolina

Julie and I went out to NC for our normal Fall visit.  She went out a few days early because I had a Planning Commission meeting I didn't want to miss.  It is always a busy visit for us, running from event to event and friend to family to friend.

We always try to schedule the weekend around a NC State football game.  This week it was Wake Forest, which is one of the few teams in the ACC worse than State.  One of the great mysteries of my football tickets is that without increasing the amount of money I donate, my parking pass keeps getting closer and closer to the stadium.  This is the shot from our car to the gate we go in.  I have no idea how in a stadium of 58,000 people, I park 100 feet from the entrance.   At the rate my space is improving, I should be parking inside the stadium pretty soon.
We have had a standing invite to join our friends Norman and Dick for tailgating before a game.  This year we were able to take them up on it.  Norman, who used to own the Wine and Things store is in charge of bringing wine.  Dick is the chef.  This is some serious food.   Here we start with a wonderful curry flavored soup served with real dishes and a nice white wine in real wine glasses.
Then to the salad course, which was interesting because of the sliced octopus.  I have never seen octopus being cooked on a grill before, especially at a football game. Norman, Julie and I were all fairly uncertain, but it was delicious.
Then on to the pork tenderloin with potatoes and brazed kale. The people in the background are having the standard NCSU tailgate food: Bojangles chicken.  Needless to say, we were dining on a different planet.  Norman's Châteauneuf-du-Pape was superb!
The game was a bit cold, so we left when NC State was up 42-6.  This win means that State qualifies for a "bowl".  I include the quotes because our likely bowl choices will be bowls you have never heard of, probably played long before January rolls around.

Just an impromptu iPhone picture of Jim Saunders.  Julie stayed with Jennifer Polleck for a few days and then we moved in with Jim and Carmella Saunders.  Both houses have beautiful views in the back yard and we really appreciate the hospitality.
After visiting with lots of friends and family, Julie returned to Utah and I took a few days to poke around Beaufort (NC, not SC), where we used to own a home.  I have been wanting to get back there for years but we have always been so rushed trying to see everyone (although we never do).

If you are looking for a fairly inexpensive business opportunity, the Mr. Waffles is for sale.  I think it was just outside Kinston.  You'll probably want to start with some Round-Up in the parking lot.
When I rolled into Beaufort, I gave Gene Riggs a call.  Gene and Pat were fantastic next door neighbors the entire time we had our place in Beaufort.  He still lives in the same house and I was lucky to be able to come out and spend a few hours catching up.  As much as everything in life changes, Gene and Pat haven't.
I stayed down on Beaufort's Front Street at the Inlet Inn.  The first night I went up to Clawson's to get a beer and some food.  The Shrimp and Grits were to die for, and very inexpensive.  Yumm!
I love staying on the waterfront.  There are just so many things to watch and photograph.  There was a fairly steady stream of nice boats moving from the Northeast down to Florida for the winter.  They would show up one afternoon and be gone the next morning.
One morning the entire east coast was breaking records for nightly low temperatures.  Beaufort, even though it is right on the water, was down into the low 20s.  Most of the water on the docks runs through exposed PVC pipe, which is easy to freeze and crack so they left all the hose bibs dipping.  One was dripping just slow enough to create a stalagmite of ice on the dock.  Kind of interesting with the sun rising behind it.
As best I could tell, this Great Blue Heron was hired by the Chamber of Commerce to attract tourists.  He was just soaking up the warmth of the sun and watching people go by.  By the way, I was reading a book and learned the word for that warmth you get when the sun shines on you:  apricity.  Since it plays such a crucial role in dressing in Park City I should feel worse for not knowing it, but even as I type, the spell checker is telling me it is wrong.
Beaufort has always been an interesting mix of historic homes, 2nd home rebuilds, and locals housing.  This is a big house, with a big yard, right across the street from the water.  I was not surprised that I couldn't find one of those signs saying "Renovations by XXX company".  Don't think this would be a good reference for a yard service either.
This boat was beautiful.  It looked roomy and very comfortable, except for the poor guy who has to keep the wood stained.  I was waiting for the sun to go down when the flag caught my attention.  When the wind would blow it it straight, the sun would backlight it.
Finally, the sunset.  This was taken from my balcony at the Inlet Inn.
I drove down to the Cedar Island Ferry, which leads over to Cape Hatteras.  There isn't much to see along the way, but I do like running across Spanish Moss.  That is definitely one we don't see out west.
And some more with a star burst thrown in.
I went back to our neighborhood one more time to take some quick shots of our house.  It looks remarkably similar.  That's our old grill and our indestructible porch furniture. 

The dock looks about the same with the lift for the old jet ski.  I was surprised to see the roof I put over the boat lift still there.  I think I was the only one for miles who put a roof on, so I figured there was some good reason not to.  Gus, the new homeowner, said his boat was still looking new when all the others around looked bleached out by the sun. I do like the little Christmas tree on the right end of the dock.  It lights up every night.
Gus and Deb had replaced the shingles and put in new heat pumps and AC units, but everything else was almost identical. Some of our art work is still hanging on the walls.
Even the fire ants in the yard were just like I remembered them.  This is one thing I am happy not to see in Utah.  I hope that our rocky soil and cold winters will prevent that from ever happening. These buggers are vicious.
My last night there was a good one for sunsets.
About 15 minutes later
And right at the very end.  Quite the pretty evening.  The water would have been a lot prettier if the winds hadn't been blowing at 20+ mph.  A smooth evening would have made some nice reflections.  It also would have permitted me to stay warm.
And a parting note from the Atlanta airport on the way home.  I have seen a lot of different warning signs, but this one was new to me.  Perhaps it was because I was flying out of the international terminal.

This was our last trip for the fall.  Nothing else scheduled for two months, so now we settle in for winter and skiing.
Post a Comment