OK, let’s get this out of the way before I move on with the travelogue of everything I liked about our four days in the Carolinas. Drivers in South Carolina are enraged and in a hurry. We usually ride in front of the van in the right lane or at least on the far right of the road. We’re pretty considerate, pulling over to let folks pass. Until South Carolina, people had been tolerant and patient, but pretty much the moment we crossed the state line, we were tailgated and buzzed and got the only blaring horn we’ve had in three weeks. Rude on the road. It’s no gracious Mississippi. (Roll THAT around in your brain for a bit.)
We did get to spend a rest day in Charleston and had a great time. We only had a short sight-seeing bike ride around Sullivan Island with Notre Dame Alums (7 miles!). The homes there are beautiful, most of them rebuilt after Hurricane Hugo. I remember that one from Florida! With all the excess energy we had, we ran over the Ravenel Bridge, a beautiful suspension bridge that was right by our hotel. First time I’ve run anything with an incline in weeks. I’m going to suffer at my triathlon in a couple of weeks.
We went to a Charleston Riverdogs minor league baseball game. (Don’t tell Patrick I used this photo. He’ll kill me). They’re the Class Single-A affiliate of the New York Yankees. I guess Alex Rodriguez was here a couple of weeks ago. He reportedly left after people started chanting “A-Roid! A-Roid!” Ha. I tried to take photos of the fireworks show after because it was so good… but you know what cell phone pictures of fireworks look like. Here’s the best I could do:
The next ride day took us into Myrtle Beach. I’d never been there before. I’ve never seen so many surf shops with giant sharks, boats, or pirates on them, or so many miniature golf courses or fast food restaurants. Oh wait, yes I have. It looks like Ocean City, MD or Daytona on steroids (A-Roid! A-Roid!). And more rammy, angry drivers. On to North Carolina.
(Full disclosure: Once again, we passed the North Carolina sign in the dark, so we turned around and took this this morning, as we crossed in to Virginia.)
I was sad we were only in North Carolina for a day, but we did make the most of it. We got to visit North Carolina State, which I’d never seen before. Instead of running to the bookstore to buy Wolf Pack gear, I reunited with one of my original TV husbands from WESH in Orlando, Scott Hanson. We anchored weekends for five fantastic and highlight-filled years. What sticks out furthest in my mind is when we did a special on the very first Orlando Magic game and not one single piece of videotape came up when we asked for it. Good times. With some friends, ten years are like ten minutes and you practically pick up the conversation where you left it, and that’s what happened in Raleigh. Inside scoop: Scott was the least sports articulate person you’d ever meet (and that’s putting it kindly), so when we anchored at WESH, I sat next to the sports dude, Scott sat next to the weather guy. That way cross-talk made sense. That’s how we arranged ourselves in this photo, too.
From NC State, we went to Duke. Greg was meeting with big brains from the Brain Research Center. I went to the book store. My brother, Alan, and sister-in-law, Sheryl, are both Duke grads, which has led to some annoying basketball rivalries through the years, as I went to Indiana U. Not so much football. Indiana’s football team was horrible, but in all seriousness, I didn’t know Duke even HAS a football team. I was incredulous, then burst out laughing when Alan told me there really is a Blue Devil football team He was not amused. I actually saw a Duke Football shirt in the bookstore and wanted it SO BADLY for him, but it wasn’t in his size. They only had it in small women’s sizes. What’s up with that? And what does that say about the football team?? (I’m getting myself deeper and deeper, I know.) I will say that Duke is a beautiful campus, maybe second only to Indiana, Bloomington.
Greg had a Notre Dame Alum dinner, and we tagged along. He tells them about the Road to Discovery and the amazing progress Notre Dame and the Ara Parseghian Foundation have made in genetic research to fight Niemann Pick Type 3. The alums have all been so nice to us, but it does make me laugh whenever I choose to drop the I.U. bomb on them. Conversation the other day:
ND Alum: Get in the (group) picture!
Me: No, I don’t think so.
Alum: No, really, be part of the picture.
Me: I went to IU.
Alum: You’re out.
A couple of random photographic shots from North Carolina:
As you already know, we have crossed in to Virginia. I had better luck making a “V” for Virginia, I’m sure you’ll agree.