Howdy from North Carolina

l - Chimney Rock
r -Beautiful Biltmore Estate, Asheville

Well I've been here since last Tuesday but it's been a whirlwind of activity. Flew into Raleigh Tuesday night and stayed at an airport hotel. Took a city bus into Raleigh (because I'm cheap) which was fast and painless. Had a ham biscuit for late second breakfast/early lunch at Ed's in City Market (brains and eggs were on the menu but I resisted) - dragging my suitcase behind me. Greyhound charges $3 per bag per hour - forget that. Anyway went to the North Carolina History museum - I had visited there last time but there was a pirate exhibition on which was fantastic. Despite being immune to Johnny Depps' charms as a pirate I really do have this thing about pirates and vikings. Hmm.... Afterwards I sat in the sun for a while - it was mid 60's. Much different then Saskatchewan! Then I headed off to the bus depot. The bus depot was much calmer this time and bonus - the driver didn't get lost this time and Linda and family were there to greet me at Wilmington bus station. I announced to Linda that the driver didn't get lost and he was a comedian and he yelled "I heard that" :)

The next morning we headed for Asheville which is near the Blue Ridge mountains. Beautiful country!!! We stayed with Linda's son and family for three nights. Then Wii trivial pursuit - Linda and I got slaughtered but we got horrid questions. And that's the truth!

Friday afternoon we attended Adam's graduation - he is now a member of the Asheville Police department. It was very nice. That evening we went out for dinner to Chilis - yum. Afterwards we picked up coolers and went back to the house to play Wii Trivial Pursuit again. Doug and I kicked some serious butt - everyone said our questions were too easy. Sore losers! :)

Saturday Doug and Linda dropped me off at the Biltmore Estate and I had a fabulous time. It was built by George Vanderbilt in the late 1800's and is amazing. They had been there last year and said I must see it. Wow what a place and the landscaping was fantastic. Not at it's best in March but hey I still loved it. Daffodils of course and some azalea were coming up but in another couple of weeks it would be breathtaking. I did a 5 km walk in the gardens and really enjoyed myself. Even better - he treated his staff very well and even built a village outside the estate for them to live in. I had a fabulous peach ice cream cone to finish off my visit and Linda and Doug picked me up. Such service! :) That evening we went out to Red Lobster for a nice dinner.

This morning we headed back here via Chimney Rock State Park. We drove through some real hillbilly type places (some shops were called "Moonshine Place") and some gorgeous scenery. I even got to see Bat Cave - yep that's the name of the town. No sign of Batman or Robin though. Chimney Rock was beautiful - we took the elevator up as the stairs would have done my knees (and everyone else's) in. What a view! Then back here five hours later with a quick stop for lunch at the Atlanta Bread Company.

What a few days it's been - have enjoyed myself immensely. I hope to see the ocean tomorrow as they live just five minutes from Carolina Beach. Woo hoo!!!