Well it has been a little while since I have updated. To be honest I finally had som
e time to myself, but spent it in a hot tub, instead of writing. But I am going to try to sta
rt back tracking and getting some stories out.
I left everyone in VA and decided to drive through rural VA instead of going out of the way to stay on major highways. This was a great choice. I saw my first hitchhiker driving west, but before I set out on the trip I decided I would have to give up being friendly in certain ways as safety precautions. needless to say I have been very safe so far on the trip.
I also realized passing small church
es, that if I planned the
trip again I
would try to stop in churches in different places every Sunday to understand other cultural differences. My favorite church sign said, "Get in now, before the Easter Rush" Driving through Alabama I also saw a good one about coming to church no matter where you are in life, because "Moses was a basket case" (Dad I thought of you and your sense of humor when I saw that.)
And all but one of the days I have been driving have been absolutely beautiful.
l when I got to Chapel Hill/ Carsboro, I met up with my best friend while I was i
n Cuba. And we drove to see wh
ere Jon grew up and meet his wonderful mother. They started getting me prepared for the amount of sport and college basketball that was immanently coming into my life that evening. Also they began giving me some tips on being in the south, and I apologise to anyone that has ever come over and I have not had some kind of food ready to offer you. I am learning though. Again meeting Jon's mom was a delight. ALSO they have flowers down there. (in fact that trend has continued as I have gone south)
Well then David and Jon, avid UNC fans and now Alumni had people over for the UNC game and chili. Now it was a little to close for all the big fans, I however thought it was a very interesting game. However the next nig
t when another random game was on I decided I had really watched two games at this point, and maybe making dinner and watching a movie was an okay second option. I just wasn't ready for too much of a good thing.
Now because my friends love me, or maybe because they also like southern food, Ellen, Jon and I had a mini Cuba reunion over southern food. I had explained my need for biscuits and gravy. Well when I got to that part of the meal the problems started arising. at first I ju
st started pouring some gravy over the biscuits, which quickly caught th
eir attention. They explained a biscuit is to be eaten with a fork and a knife. Understandable so I take off the top half, pour gravy on and replace the top half. (its okay to laugh at me, but I am used to biscuits and butter and there are far less rules). Well this again elicited a big reaction and I ended up putting both sides face up, pouring on t
he gravy and finally enjoying a biscuit with a fork and knife the way the south intended.
I also attended a class with Jon t
o see three Durham Public School Principals speak. I of course found it fascinating, especially because I only really have DCPS and a little knowledge of New Orleans to compare it to. And then when you hear how these school districts are going to be facing major budget cuts- its intense. 90% of one of the principals freshman haven't passed the middle school reading competency exams. That is not just a number and something we can roll our eyes at and say is happening all over the country- however it is.
The next day I decided to cross North Carolina and called a friend I haven't seen since High school and woke him up at 9 am to see him at Gilford College. And in fact so far I think that area has been the one most effected by foreclosures and then economy. However they still make good coffee. I also stopped into a little winery right before Asheville,
with the help of my GPS device Trev Trev. And had a nice talk with the guy that explained a family hobby got out of hand and now they are planting for their own v
ineyards. If anyone would like to take up this hobby with me and then open a vineyard, please know I am interested.
At this point I began to hit the mountains in North Carolina and detoured a little before Asheville to go to the Folk Art museum on the Blue ridge parkway. I think I would have picked out a present for all of you in the gift store that sells the guilds work, if I had been able to afford it. I had a great time looking through the glass work, and carving, and etchings, and weaving and etc.
Then I ventured into Asheville and wandered around into book stores and to look at other art and talked to various artists. Doesn't seem like a bad place to live. I had decided to go to Austin to see my friend Ari, but as she was out of town, I think I made the right decision to go anyway. As luck would have it, my friend Ethan's Aunt and Uncle took me in for the evening and spoiled me with a lovely meal and conversation. And I was driving to their house through the mountains at sunset and it is an incredibly beautiful place!
Also I think I am ready to adopt the Blocks as my own aunt and uncle and truly lucked out on how wonderful and fun they are to spend an evening with and talk over where I am in life.
I definitely got two different sides of North Carolina, but absolutely beautiful places. Turns out there are a lot of pretty places in this country, but we'll get to that in the next installments.