Oh to be in College again.....

Trip Start Oct 20, 2012
Trip End Jul 11, 2013

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Where I stayed
Senator Mahlum
Norfolk...New Bern, NC...Garner/Raleigh, NC... ..
What I did
Southern Snow.. New Bern....Emerald Isle... Pete.... Wake Forest University...

Flag of United States  , North Carolina
Thursday, January 31, 2013


    We escaped the traffic and winter weather in Maryland only to drive into the traffic and winter weather in Norfolk [nahfuk] Virginia where we would spend a couple of days with the musicians extraordinaire of the family, sister Carol and her birthday boy Dennis, The roads were quickly encrusted in ice and slush, but undeterred we ventured out to Felini's for a nice birthday dinner, followed by one of Mary's famous chocolate chocolate birthday cakes, followed by some chocolate chocolate cake for breakfast, followed by chocolate chocolate cake for lunch. It was a two-zit weekend. I spent one day gettin' my fix of hammerin' on some repairs, which was the least we could do for having one of their cars available to us for three weeks back in Ocean City. Our stay was somewhat short - we were all together in Ocean City for a few days - so as soon as the sun melted the streets enough, we headed further down the coast to Ernul, North Carolina, a thriving metropolis outside of New Bern [ OK it's actually a post office]  wherein resides the Knoll sister, Lisa, who received the most " love " from her brothers in our childhood, and husband Joe, who has never been a guy to shy away from a change of direction. They live on a nice 15 acre horse farm, sans horses. Budget cuts and a new direction resulted in a much more streamlined existence, and they too are planning for their own gypsy tour. 


    When in North Carolina, one must eat barbeque, so we promptly bellied up to baby-back ribs at the  Carolina Grill with their good friends Roy and Debbie, after having spent the afternoon playing pool and drinking Roy's beer and eating Deb's brownies.Just another day of caloric gluttony. We burned a little off the next day with a little walking tour of the 300 year old city of New Bern, birthplace of Pepsi [ formerly known as "Brads"], the first capital of North Carolina, sister city to Bern, Switzerland and the place to get "Dentures in a Day" for as little as $430. Ads for this service were quite prevalent, which seems to indicate a little too much Pepsi consumption or something. 

    After our tour we picked up dinner to go from 'Moores', home of the Guinness World Record hamburger bun and the self-professed best pulled pork in the universe. It was damn good, but I'd still put Glacier Pork up against any of 'em !

    Two days after slogging through ice and slush we found ourselves soaking up rays on the beach at Emerald Isle in 70* sunshine. [ Note to our Montana friends - it wasn't really all that great ].

    Rounding out our Ernul/New Bern visit, we drove up to Greenville, home of Eastern Carolina University, to visit neice Mary with a couple of pizza pies from the Mellow Mushroom [ turns out the name Magic Mushroom was already taken ], one of the ECU students' favorite pizzarias. Mary just finished her undergrad studies in Psychology magna cum laude (with a minor in Socialology) and is awaiting acceptance to graduate school. She would like to work with US soldiers suffering with PTSD. Believe me - most of the older Knolls cannot for the life of us explain how we ended up with all of these smart kids.     

    After prying ourselves away from Lisa, who generously would have kept us captive for another week or two, we backtracked a little toward Raleigh to have a brief [get it?] albeit somewhat manic reunion with our favorite 6'4" neurotic from Cabin John, MD, Pete Briefs [ also known as Pete em up, Bub,  Bubstein and Sweet Daddy] and his lovely wife Cris.

    Pete treated us to a couple of great restaurant/bars, one of them called The Flying Saucer, which sold over 200 different beers . This place has an interesting reward program, wherein one is rewarded with a personalized plate which is proudly displayed on the walls and ceiling of the establishment after one has successfully and completely consumed every one of their 200 different beers, preferably not in one sitting. One also must be a member of the UFO club and be recognized as a Flying Saucer Beerknurd, and remember, friends don't let friends fly drunk. Raleigh is home to NC State. Need I say more.

    That night we thought we might take flight in the trailer, as a cold front barrelled through with rain and 60 mph gusts. It was tough to sleep after that first branch landed on the roof. We reminisced the " Trav's Days " for a couple hours that morning, then continued west down that old tobacco road past Duke and UNC on to Winston Salem to visit our favorite Demon Deacon at Wake Forest, Bridger Mahlum, who kindly led us on a short tour of the campus and then joined us for a toast at the Foothills BrewPub. Having been a domestic- mostly- Budweiser beer drinker most of my life, I have been trying to educate my palate, so a new espresso stout, known as " sexual chocolate imperial stout " piqued my interest. Unfortunately this new libation would not be released to the public until 6 am the next morning. Yes, I said 6 am,and our waiter informed us that there would be a line forming outside at about 11 pm and he would have to arrive at 5 am to apply entry bracelets for the occaision. I really want to be back in college.

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Hokie Jim on

Looks like when this travel and fun is over, you will be ready to draw youe S.S. from the recliner.

Hoke Jim on

98 miles to Marion, Virginia

Teri on

Ok, sounds like you survived the" May drake " family. It really sounds like you guys are having way too much fun ! looking forward to the next adventure.

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