Tuesday, July 08, 2008

Nothin' could be finer than North Carolina in the Summer

So for our 4th of July trek we decided to go and explore North Carolina for a week. Time for an all-American road trip, and the first time going as a family to somewhere other than Toronto, and North Carolina was it.

We had never been there and had heard lots of good things about the state, and it lived up to its reputation.

So we piled the kids in the van and headed south eastwards,as we pulled out of the driveway, Abby asked "are we there yet?", but at least she wasn't bored -- yet.

Through, Ohio, and through Ohio and through Ohio - that's a long state when you're driving through it -- Abby became super double bored. This was bad.

Then into West Virginia.

West Virginia is miles more scenic than Ohio, but we got hit that night around Parkersburg with a rainstorm that would not quit, and we pulled off the highway into a hotel that gave meaning to the term any port in a storm. (Its a bad thing when the hotel rating is in roaches not stars but beggars cannot be choosers).

On the road again that morning we crossed into Virginia and then North Carolina. The kids were pretty good with the ride, but even without the rain we would have had to stop for the night as you can't keep them in a car for 12 hours.

North Carolina was nice and warm and everyone was quite friendly. We began by looking around the Raleigh/Durham area and enjoying exquisitely excellent barbecue at a restaurant called Danny's - truly a fantastic place to dine.

The hotel at our first stop in NC, the Comfort Suites Inn in Cary was tons better than our Parkersburg stop, having hot breakfast every day as part of the stay and a pool. Leah at 22 months can now pronounce pool with excitement, emphasis and lots of insistence.

We also went to Pullen Park in South Raleigh where we took the kids on the carousel, mini-boat ride, a train ride and pedal boat rides.

Here's the train:

I then got a chance to go Scuba diving with some excellent DIR divers from North Carolina, who graciously showed me around the Fantasy Lake Quarry which was delighfully warm -- 77 degrees under the thermocline and in the 80s above.

After a few glorious days looking around the RDU/Chapel Hill/Cary area we went on to Wilmington for the 4th.

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