Monday, August 10, 2015

Of dead starters and revisiting old haunts Mebane, Carrboro, Chapel Hill and Durham NC...APRIL 15-18 2015

April 15 dawned with rain and we started getting ready to leave.  This only being our 3rd time doing it we were still pretty much newbies at everything and did each step and double checked it against a list.  Last thing was attaching the car.  But, lo! The car would not start.  NOTHING. Not a sound which meant it wasn't the battery but what was it?  We had driven it the night before and had left nothing on.  So, I called USAA for a garage and within 1/2 hour a really nice guy arrived with his truck.  He checked the battery and it was fine.  Looks like a bad starter, he said, reaffirming what we suspected.  He was able to do a tow start (YAY AGAIN for manual transmission) and we hooked up the car and got on our way.

Now, we were on our way to the Triangle region of NC but planning to stop first to see another old friend from St Croix.  Jill (and her husband) live in Hawaii but come to NC every year and they were there.  We called to say we would be late but the driving wasn't as bad as we thought it would be in the rain and we got there before lunch....with a dead battery.  Steve and Don were able to push start it and Don drove it to the top of the (hill) driveway facing down in case it needed it again.  We then had another wonderful visit in their gorgeous house and went over to the club to feast on unbelievably good roasted vegetable sandwiches.  Jill and I then got to yakking so Don took a nap, Steve did some business, Phoenix settled at my feet and Cadbury, who'd been welcomed into the house, roamed and explored and finally curled up and slept.  Alas, we needed to get to our destination before dark so we bid farewell and set out on our way.



The campground, Jones Station RV Park, is in Mebane which is right outside the Triangle area (Durham-Raleigh-Chapel Hill) but an area I know from my days as a Home Health Nurse based in Chapel Hill.  The campground is new and pristine.  It was quiet and with only a few campers relatively private. Mebane is a rural community.

MEBANE
Our campsite at Jones RV Park in Mebane






Faced with the knowledge that the car needed to be seen we headed to Durham where there was not only a Honda service center but was one of the places I had lived and wanted to revisit.  It was the first house (well, condo) I owned and I'd sold it after I moved back to St Croix in 1992.  We took the car in and were told they would need it for the day.  They took us over to Enterprise to rent a car and we set out first to visit Chapel Hill.  After FINALLY finding a parking space we realized we had no cash (all the change was in our car) so we walked until we found a UNC library and one of the attendants gave us change for a dollar.  We walked back through the Arboretum and then took some time to stroll around town.  Then we headed off to lunch in Carrboro which is where I first lived when I loved to NC.  The first house had been razed and a development stood in its place but the next place was still there and looked the same.  After a very good lunch in downtown Carrboro and very cool and funky town, we drove to Durham to see the old condo and check on the car.  Still no answer so we went back to the campground.  At 7pm they called to say the car needed a new starter and would be ready for pick up the next day at 10.

CARRBORO


The second apartment I had in Carrboro-there was a tennis court below with a brook behind it.  My dog used to swim in the brook chasing what she viewed as "swimming sticks"-they were cottonmouth snakes and no she never got bitten

CHAPEL HILL

A selection of flowers from the UNC Arboretum







Grounds and buildings at UNC-Chapel Hill



FIRST PLACE I OWNED
Seaton Rd, DURHAM

The tree behind the car was a sapling Crape myrtle (Lagerstroemia)  that barely reached my waist when I moved away

The next morning was obviously planned for us and after getting the car we tootled around and then made our way to Fearrington Village.  FV is a planned community which was relatively new when I lived in NC and they still had the same great bookstore and restaurants that I remembered.  We had lunch, browsed the books and bought only one, but I took pictures of the covers of all the other ones I wanted and will gradually get them on Kindle.  Then it was time to go to Holly Springs to meet a co-worker of Don's.  Don worked on Long Island as a Systems Analyst for Broadridge.  They program the brokerage statements for most of the big "houses" and some of the programmers telecommute.  Rob is one of them.  Originally from Australia he gave us the name of a beer pub, Blueprint Brewing Co.  where we were to meet.  I have never been a beer drinker but decided to go with the flow.  WhooHoo glad I did.  I discovered that if beer is amber and not too hoppy I love it.  I had a sampler and had a great time listening finally to Don having fun with a friend.  The food truck that normally came to the beer pub did not put in an appearance that night though so we headed back to the RV and had a light meal before getting ready for our next leg....to the Outer Banks...

FEARRINGTON VILLAGE


Hydrangea

the small lake at Fearrington Village


Stone Sheep sculptures
When I first went there Fearrington had specially bred cows called Belted Galloways which are black with a white stripe.  Now they breed goats that are the same called Tennessee Fainting Goats

Mahonia

Stewartia
Hawthorn

One of the whimsical sculptures-this is a weather vane

Rhondodendron



Rob and Don at the Blueprint Brewing Co. in Holly Springs
Click on the link to take you to the
Next Stop: On to the Outer Banks (NC) with a family history stop along the way

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