Saturday, December 28, 2013

A little more of the "triangle"

The self-guided tour program continued today, with a little side jaunt to the neighboring town of Durham. The weather was again (not to belabor the point, but it's too novel for us--and delightful--not to mention...repeatedly) predicted to be clear and in the 50s, so we couldn't miss the chance to be outside. (In December! Okay, I'm done...) Specifically, we drove the 14 minutes or so to the head of the American Tobacco Trail, a former railroad line converted for use by walkers, runners, and bikers. It's now wide, paved, and smooth, offering a pleasant place for a family stroll (or, as we prefer to think of it: "earning our lunch"). We entertained ourselves strolling and chatting for a 3-mile loop...leaving ourselves 20 more untouched miles to tackle when we come back...with 2-wheeled vehicles!

Satisfied with our first successful foray into Durham, we headed back to UNC-land--I mean "Chapel Hill"--to check out an eating establishment that looked promising when we'd passed it in our explorations yesterday. Lime has a menu that closely resembles our beloved California Tortilla "up North", which is one point in its favor. But what ultimately sold me on it was the bold proclamation: "Speak Vegetarian? So do we. Just about everything on our menu can be prepared without meat. We will add vegetarian organic beans, guac, cheese, rice or whatever you'd like. We're cool like that." Oh yeah, my people! Also, your meal comes with "bottomless chips" and a fresh salsa was a small piece of...tasty heaven, I tell ya! The friendly lady who took our order asked if it was our first time visiting, so she could explain the procedures to us or answer any questions we might have. She must have shared the information that we were newbies with the manager, because he personally came over near the end of our (delicious) meal to welcome us...and present a free, hot, just-out-of-the-fryer-crisp order of sopaipillas (which if you're not familiar with this particular treat, is like a Mexican doughnut, rolled in sugar and cinnamon...and mmmmm yummy). Oh yeah, I think we've found our new favorite go-to place when we feel like grabbing lunch in Chapel Hill (that is, if we can even get NEAR the joint when the 40,000 or so students are in residence...we shall see...)

Then it was time for one more charming dinner with Husband's cousin and her spouse. (They keep inviting us over and feeding us--doing their best to perpetuate the neighborly reputation of this state. Who knows, it might be an official North Carolina Statue as well as the "waving" thing...I sure hope they give us a manual to study when we move!) That leaves us one more full day to get into trouble down South--um, "catch any last sights we may have missed so far". Despite my older son's emphatic protests, we might just have to stop by that OTHER campus, you know the one I'm talking about, the one whose mascot rhymes with..."Moo...Levels". I think he's afraid some kind of... angry collegiate sports god...will strike him down, or something, for deliberately encroaching in enemy territory. The rest of us simply aspire to enjoy another scenic excursion on the grounds of a historic, venerated institution, while absorbing some nature, culture, and academic atmosphere. We promise not to flaunt any obvious University of Maryland or Tarheels gear...and to wave to everyone we meet! (You think that'll get us out of there unscathed? Let's hope so...)

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