Wednesday, September 12, 2012

The Tarheel State

As promised, It is now time to (briefly) discuss my super secret surprise trip to North Carolina to visit my parents!! I had first thought of my plan in May. I wanted to make it work out so I could come sometime in June to coincide with my mom's birthday. That plan ended up not working out, so after our family reunion in July, I got to thinking about it again. I ended up buying the plane tickets at the end of July. It was basically torture to wait that long before I actually traveled. Oh man.

Finally, the day arrived and I made my way to the airport! My dad left work to pick me up and, because he is awesome, told my mom he needed something from home so she would come at the appointed time. He had actual work to do so I tried (key word: tried) to stay calm and not talk at a super high speed. I think I ended up bouncing up and down near the window for a while. I finally saw my mom pulling into the parking lot and got into position. When she came around the corner to my dad's office, she saw me sitting in a chair directly in front of her. She was clearly surprised. Her jaw dropped and she said, "What in the heck are you doing here?!" It was classic. Below, you can see us right after she arrived at the office.

The three of us went to lunch after this and, when my dad had to go back to work, my mom and I did a little shopping. It was a nice day. On Friday, my dad had to work, so my mom and I went downtown and explored a bit. We went to the visitors center, got a map of the downtown area, saw this colorful cow below, and hopped on the free bus toward an historic neighborhood I wanted to check out.

We wandered our way through the neighborhood of Oakwood until we reached the Oakwood Cemetery. It was pretty huge. 102 acres, I think, even though they are only using like 70 right now. There was an impressive Confederate section to look at, and we also saw the grave of Margaret Mitchell's first husband, supposedly the basis for Rhett Butler in Gone with the Wind. Pretty nifty, if you're into old cemeteries. Haha.

On Saturday, my dad didn't have to work, so the three of us went to the Ava Gardner museum, which wasn't too far away. She is from a small town in North Carolina. Did you know that? The museum was great and we really enjoyed ourselves. We also checked out a few stores in the nearby outlet mall and had some lunch before heading back to the house to hang out. Below is a picture of my fuzzy brother bear, Jack. He's the best. He seemed to enjoy having me around.

Unfortunately, Sunday came very quickly. We checked out a huge farmers market and had some lunch before the parents had to drop me off at the airport. They are pictured below before we left the house. Aren't they just the cutest? I might be biased, but whatever.

I'm so glad that I got to make this trip, and that the surprise worked out well. It was nice to get away for a few days and spend time with my parents. It was, of course, also nice to come home (because isn't it always?). I would like it if everyone I love were closer to me and to each other geographically, but we can't have everything, can we? At least North Carolina is closer than Idaho!

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