Friday, March 29, 2013

Back roads

I am watching Charmed.  After all these years, it is my go-to guilty pleasure when it comes to tv. Not only am I awake at 7 to watch Aaron Spelling's homage to boobs and combat boots, but I have been up since 5.  After all, how else might I squeeze every minute out of my vacation?

Our packing had been delayed by a Tolliver nap (cats can't resist an open suitcase), but eventually we gathered all our things.  I, of course, overpacked, the back of the CRV crammed to the hilt with clothes for every occasion, shoes to match, food (don't forget the chocolate bunnies!), books, electronics.  We were expected to be gone about 48 hours.  Bill, on the other hand, packed two pairs of socks and boxers, two shirts, and trunks for the hot tub.  How reasonable of him!

Leaving also means extensive instructions for the pet sitter.  Two pages of details about the kittens and cats, their likes and preferences, how much to feed them and when.   I laughed when after many paragraphs, the dog instructions were simply, "throw some food in Eddie's bowl."  I am cat all the way.  Bill is dog.  As it should be.

We both had to work, so it was almost 4 when we headed out.  The highway route is about two and a half hours to Charlotte, our ultimate destination, but the back roads are so much more interesting, so off we went, through Chapel Hill to Old Greensboro Road, to 49, which would take us all the way to the hotel.  We were sad to be in a car, but this year's cold, wet spring meant no motorcycles yet.  We will definitely retrace this route, though, because it was some beautiful riding.

But spring it definitely is, as we passed farm fields filled with babies.  The itsy bitsy cow sticking his head out of the fence to eat the grass by the road, the hop hop hopping goats.  My favorite was the teeny tiny goat, all spindly legs and shaky knees, who climbed up on his reclining mother to a triumphant stance, king of the hill!  The mom goat just lay there, with her baby standing tall, his tiny hooves on her belly much like my cats sit on me for that early morning lovin'.

Bill is some sort of turkey whisperer and often when we are traveling, he will suddenly shout, "Did your see that???" and I never do, and he'll shake his head sadly that I missed the turkeys in the field.  One time we were on bikes, and he pulled over unexpectedly.  "Did you see that?"  I had missed it completely so we doubled back. He pointed to a long shallow field by the road.  "See?"  I saw nothing.  I stared.  I sought.  He started freaking out.  "Right there!"  Finally, my eagerness and anxiety in full swing, I saw them. Turkeys!  A bunch of them!  How DID I miss them?

For this trip, we again passed a shallow field that ran the length of a stretch of road.  Bill pointed. And there, on the edge by the trees, a turkey.  Gobble gobble!  Finally my turkey goggles are working!

We rolled through the gorgeous North Carolina scenery, still brown and desolate from our unusually wet and long winter.  A few weeping cherries brightened our path, but mostly the woods were still brown and damp.  We passed a Pentacostal church with the simple marquee, "God is awesome."  In Asheboro, we passed the classically Carolinian "Guns and Gold" store.

We passed beautiful farm houses with gorgeous outbuildings, triggering my outbuilding envy and discussions of "when we win the lottery."  In spite of all the stories to the contrary, we are sure the money won't change us.  And with our winnings, we would of course take care of our friends as well.  See?  The money won't change us.

We passed a junkyard of exclusively old cars--acres of fins, grills, enormous steel hoods, and trunks big enough to hold today's cars inside. Most of them rusting, forlorn.  Ford coups, Old Willys coups, Buicks, and the like, stretched out along the roadway, a monument to the glory days of the auto industry.  

Eventually we pulled into the Embassy Suites where we were greeted by a lovely fountain with fake ancient ruins.  The manager's reception offers a full open bar--potentially a great thing if only Bill or I drank alcohol.  The steak dinner at the hotel restaurant was exquisite and our waiter a lot of fun.  Totally worth the mortgage payment we forked over when it was all done.

Today will take us to the NASCAR Hall of Fame, which promises to be yet another bastion of redneck delights. We are also hoping to find a salvage/repurposing center in case the Charlotte crowd throws away better stuff than Durham.

We love our state!

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