Raleigh? Really?

We’ve had some great plans since we’ve been here in North Carolina. Last weekend, we found out one of the Romgi’s law school classmates was in Raleigh for a few days, so we though we’d try to meet up for lunch. Sadly, on Friday night we learned that it wouldn’t work out, but we decided to head to Raleigh the next day anyway.

Then the Bwun woke up in the wee hours of Saturday morning, and I stayed up with him for about an hour. I was exhausted – it takes me forever to fall asleep these days, and I have to get up frequently (and I have four more months of this?!) – so I was really grouchy and may have sobbed while the Bwun ran around his room. Once I made the judgment call that he could go back to sleep (translation: I’m so tired I don’t care if he screams and cries for the next five hours, as long as he’s in his crib and I’m in bed), I zonked out. The Romgi is a wise man, and in his wisdom he knew better than to wake me up later that morning so we could actually get ready and go to Raleigh. So we stayed home. I think we went out for Korean food for dinner, so it was a good day anyway!

Now we have about two weeks left in North Carolina before we head out on our long journey home. There were two things we wanted to see: Raleigh and the beach. The weather all week has been bad – well, rainy and thunderstormy, which means DEATHLY HUMID – so the beach didn’t seem like the best idea. I knew I’d need plenty of sleep in order to be in a good mood for our day trip, so I made sure the Bwun got to bed early, and I went to sleep not long after he did. It was a great plan.

But I seem to be full of great plans that don’t really work out. My ear has been hurting for a few days (it’s not as bad now, so maybe it was just an ear ache after all), and it woke me up after a couple hours of sleep. The ear pain plus the discomfort of pregnancy meant I couldn’t fall asleep for about…five hours after that.

The Bwun slept great all through the night, and was perky and happy when he woke up this morning. Ok, that’s not quite true; he had a meltdown when I tried to give him some cereal. It turned out he wanted to feed me cereal. Of course. I don’t know how long I managed to stay awake – probably not more than 45 minutes – before the Romgi, in his wisdom, took the Bwun into the other room and let me sleep the rest of the morning.

Sorry, Raleigh.

Now the plan is to still go to the beach next weekend (we really, really want to go!), and then on our final day here – when we’re leaving North Carolina and driving to Washington DC – we’ll go through Raleigh and spend an hour or two there in the morning. (And of course, after that we have a whole week of driving, but it means that in 3 weeks from today we’ll be home! Hooray!)

Wish me luck in getting enough sleep to be pleasant company for our trip to the beach!


Day 6 and beyond: Greensboro

The Romgi made the clever observation that we had trouble finding a good price for a hotel room in Charleston, WV because it was a holiday weekend. Sure enough, on Saturday morning, the continental breakfast room was swarming with people (and, sadly, not much in the way of good food). We had only a half-day’s drive to Greensboro, so we planned to take our time getting ready in the morning and enjoy the last leg of our trip.

In the Romgi's words, West Virginia is "lousy with trees."

Sad news: as the passenger, it was my job on Saturday to take pictures of the state signs. Believe it or not, I did alright getting the Virginia one.

Virginia the bird welcomes you, apparently.

Virginia actually started to look like parts of Northern California. But maybe still with more trees.

Along the way into Greensboro, along I-77, there’s a town called Fancy Gap, VA. Here’s a story for you. I used to be a genealogy major. I think BYU might be the only place you can do that (you can become a certified genealogist, but that’s something separate from a degree). One of the classes I took required us to select a family group and focus all of our research on them. The family I chose was my 3rd-great grandmother and her children. There had been some confusion over who her husband and parents were – names were mixed up in the information I had been given. After hours and hours of research I determined that she was never married, but had five children. They lived in rural Virginia, in Carroll County, which includes Fancy Gap. When I saw the town name on our map, it reminded me of the research I’d done, and I vaguely remembered that there was a family cemetery in the area. My mom helpfully left me a message, but wouldn’t you know that cell phone reception along I-77 is almost nonexistent? So we had some fun with the GPS and some backroads. Eventually our GPS ran out of road, even though we were still on one, so we pulled up behind a truck that pulled over at a tiny little shack – which turned out to be Hugo’s Trading Post.


I went in to ask directions, and while I was in the Romgi snapped this picture.

Thank you for shopping here!

The man inside was very nice, and when I told him I was looking for the Bolt cemetery, he asked which Bolts specifically. I mentioned James Bolt (my 4th-great grandfather), to which he replied, “Who’s his kin?” I’ll be honest, the man had a heavy accent (drawl?) and I had to ask him to repeat the question. Luckily I have some slight hearing loss from my ear infections and I can use that as a handy excuse for making people speak more clearly and slowly. He did know who we were talking about, and gave us pretty good directions to the “main road” and from there to the Spence cemetery, where James Bolt is buried.

Before long we got to the main road, the bustling city center of Laurel Fork, VA.

We actually turned around so we could get a picture of this. It's just SO QUAINT.

Do you know what's even more quaint? (Quainter?) Laurel Fork Mercantile Co.!

Anyway, the man seemed to have overestimated how far it was from the main road to the cemetery, and since I knew there were quite a few family cemeteries in the area, I think we passed by. I saw one on the left but it was much sooner than expected, so we just kept going. But since Laurel Fork is only about two hours from Greensboro, we’ll take a trip back one of the weekends we’re here.

Oh yeah, we had to make a pit stop at a gas station a few miles later. I want you to take a look at this.

I don't know about where you live, but our gas pumps back home look a little more modern than that.

So, remember what I said about me being in charge of the state sign pictures?

There. All the way on the left. "Arolina Line."

There! Welcome to North Carolina!

We were able to make it into Greensboro and get settled into our apartment. It’s a fairly decent size, and while it may not be in a fabulous part of town, we’re paying about the same as our rent back home. Would you like a tour?

There's no overhead light in the living room, so we had to get a cheap Walmart floor lamp. It's amazing what a difference that makes over just turning on the hall light (which was burned out when we got here). The Bwun is carrying a walking stick that the Romgi got in Korea. The Romgi is chilling on the air mattress.

View from the living room. You wouldn't think it possible, but the kitchen is even smaller here than ours is at home.

Alright, I took a break from cleaning to take pictures, but I did get the dishes clean after this. I just want to point out that the sink, though full, is stainless steel. I really hate the ceramic one in our regular apartment. I can't ever get it clean clean clean, no matter how much I bleach or scrub it. But the best part of the kitchen?

AN OVEN! I especially liked having multiple burners, except it turns out I infinitely prefer a gas range. And I don't cook as well with electric. Sorry, universe.

All the light switches are like this. I don't know if it's a North Carolina/East Coast thing or just the apartment complex, but it's a lot easier for the Bwun to switch on and off. I guess that's the important thing, right?

We let the Bwun have the bedroom, mostly so we could shut him away when it was bedtime. We also let him run around and get all his toys out. This was the resulting mess, which seems fair after being in the car for a whole week.

The bedroom has a washer and dryer tucked away in a little closet, and can I say how glad I am that we don't have to go to a shady laundromat to do our laundry?

Both the bedroom and the living room have these air conditioners. The settings range from LOW HEAT to HIGH COOL, and although it does a great job of keeping the apartment cool (for free! to us, that is), there's very little difference between low and high. This matters because I'm tired of having constant loud noise. But, no sense in complaining. Better noise than heat.

And now – what have we been up to besides hanging out in our apartment?

The Romgi has been at work.

I’ve been looking after the Bwun.

And the Bwun…

...He's been working on his image.

I think the hat works!

I’ve read two books since we got here (Dracula by Bram Stoker and Masterpiece by Elise Broach), so I’ll post reviews soon. In the meantime, I hope you enjoyed my quirky storytelling and terrible picture-taking!

Day 5: Charleston, WV

This morning we had a leisurely start and didn’t even leave the hotel until check-out time. We had 4 hours of driving from Louisville to Charleston, so most of our trip was lengthwise through Kentucky.

We saw some quaintly dilapidated old barns...

...but mostly it was full of very green trees.

Welcome to West Virginia! You may have guessed that the Romgi was the passenger in charge of picture-taking this time.

West Virigina looked kind of like this.

With places like this (Tudor's Biscuit World).

We got to see the capitol building. (Yes, I double checked; the capital is the city, the capitol is the building.) Shiny!

The Bwun was kind enough to sleep for over 3 hours of our drive.

When he finally woke up, we were less than 15 minutes away from our hotel. And he was in a good mood. Thank you, the Bwun!

It was still afternoon when we checked in, but I was ready for food (thank you, the Oeuf). Although we’ve been trying to eat at local restaurants, what sounded good was Cracker Barrel. And oh, it was exactly what I wanted. French toast, biscuits and gravy, and the best hash browns I’ve eaten outside my grandpa’s cabin. Thank you, West Virginia!