Note: This is a condensed version of the pictures I took with some added narrative. The rest of the pics can be viewed in the album The Trip 2013 – North Carolina. Each picture can be clicked to see a larger version and comment / like
After leaving Chicago behind I was desperately in need of some time to R&R before the Central American leg of my trip began, fortunately I was heading to North Carolina where I would be getting just that.
I arrived into Charlotte early afternoon on the 18th of May, due to the flight being domestic I wasnt hassled at immigration for the first time. David Wilson brother of Martin (my travelling buddy and old friend whom I stayed with in DC) met me at the airport and we headed back to his place. Lindsay his wife was up in the mountains filming so we went out and grabbed a bite to eat and sampled some of the local beers.
I was totally shattered so I went to bed early that night and awoke late the following morning. We had organised to go to Carrowinds, a theme park about 20 minutes away from his home in Charlotte.
We picked a great day to go as the weather wasnt great but that meant that there were far fewer people there and we were able to go on the rides several times in a row often without queueing.
One of the best rides was a giant swing that simulated free-fall / hang gliding. You have to wear special harnesses and are winched up to the top of a huge tower. After the count of 3.. 2... 1... you pull the rip cord and fall.
I had a great time. We had a go at some of the game stalls during the down time (thunder shuts the rides), David managed to win a basketball and I incredibly managed to remmeber enough of my scool rugby hooker position to throw an american football through a hole and thus win it as a prize.
All in all a great day
The following day we woke early, I had a 4 hour train journey to catch to Wilson North Carolina where Lorna (mother of Martin and David) was picking me up and taking me to Greenville, about an hour away from Wilson.
Lorna and Colin live in a beautiful house in Greenville.
I had a great time there catching up on some much needed sleep and recharging my batteries. Peter (the youngest son of Lorna and Colin) drove all the way down from his home in the mountains (5 hours away) to come visit me. It was really cool to hang out with him again.
We all went out to get some traditional North Carolina bbq one lunch time. Pulled pork and sweet coldslaw with cornbread. I enjoyed the pork and the coldslaw though the bread was a little tough.
Their house had a swimming pool out the back which they very kindly opened early so I could work off some of the callories I had accrewed over the past coupple of weeks of (a little too) tastey American food and beer.
They also still have their elderly gent of a cat Ashley which I remember from the last time I visited 13 years ago.
After just a few days in Greenville I was off again, taking the train in the rain back to Charlotte.
The next day was spent with Lindsay (David's wife) wile David was at work. We decided to head down to the centre of Charlotte where hill billies were gathering for the NASCAR themed Speed Street.
There was some interesting tens there where we managed to blag a load of free stuff. There was even a Tony the tiger where I managed to get a GRRRREAT thigh rub.
I even tried funnel cake for the first time which tasted like donut but nicer.
Unfortunately that was my last day in North Carolina, my flight the next day was taking me to LA where the Central American leg of my journey would be beginning.
I had a great time in NC and it was exactly what I needed, massive thanks to David, Lindsay, Lorna, Colin and Peter for letting me stay and showing me some of the awesome North Carolina.