Thursday, April 22, 2010

List Plan for 4/24

This weekend, in a small town in Eastern North Carolina, there is being held a festival that seems to have been created specifically for my needs. That's right, this weekend is the 24th Annual Mt. Olive Pickle Festival! My friend Kim and I will be attending in order to indulge our insatiable lust for vinegar soaked cucumbers. Yay!

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

List Item #3: Asheville!

List Item #3: Asheville!
Location: Asheville, NC
Date: 3/12/10-3/14/10
Cost: Don't even want to talk about it. :)
Results: Wicked Awesome

One of the things that I've always been embarrassed about my life in NC is my lack of experience in the mountains. My family drove through them when we moved to NC and visited Brevard College when I was in high school, and there were a couple of other school/choir trips that took us through the area, but other than that, bupkis. Isn't that mortifying? I mean, here I am, living in one of the most beautiful states in this great nation, and I haven't experienced HALF of it? Pathetic.
I was complaining about this sad state of affairs to my friend Chris Kirk for the umpteenth time and he suggested that we rectify the situation. We planned a weekend trip, hitting the major things that we wanted to do. We wanted to see the Biltmore House, eat tons of food and tour Linville Caverns. We also wanted to hit up one of our favorite places to eat from college in Greensboro on the way up. We planned everything, booked the hotel and off we went!

Chris picked me up from work at 5:00 PM on 3/12 and we drove to Greensboro. We stupidly had not called ahead for a table at Pastabilities, but we were willing to wait. The food was pretty good as usual, but the memories were better. Chris and I used to hit up Pastabilities at least once every two weeks while we were in college. It was really nice to be there again.

After Pastabilities, we took off for Asheville. The weather was TERRIBLE, raining and windy, and it was nerve wracking to drive, but we made it to Asheville at about 11 pm and checked into our hotel, the lovely Renaissance Hotel ( We promptly passed out.

We had tickets for 9 AM at the Biltmore, so after a breakfast at the hotel, we drove there. Chris was unhappy at how early he had to be up:

Poor baby. Anyhow, the Biltmore was gorgeous and it was a very nice day to be there.I was clearly much happier about the hour than Chris, but then, I'm used to getting up early. And I had ice cream, which always improves my mood.

After we toured the Biltmore and got some lunch, we decided to drive down the Blue Ridge Parkway for a bit.

It was a beautiful drive and the pictures don't do it justice at all. The mountains really are blue, that part surprised the heck out of me. It was a nice winding road and I might have kept on driving except we had to get back to the hotel to get ready for dinner.

Dinner at Zambra ( was AMAZING. We got our reservation through Open Table and had no idea what to expect, but it was fantastic. The service was excellent and the food was phenomenal. I would go back there in a heartbeat, it is probably good for my wallet and my waistline that we're four hours away from it!

The next day we checked out of the hotel and headed back down I40 to Linville Caverns. I have always wanted to visit caverns, and Linville seemed like a good place to start. We drove on a state highway for a long time to reach the caverns and it was heartening to see small towns that have not been bled dry by the economic nightmare in which we are all involved.
The caverns were beautiful, tons of fascinating and weird mineral formations

and adorable little chicken nugget sized bats.At one point, our guide told us that the water under our feet was so deep that they couldn't measure it. There was something simply terrifying about that, so I took a picture. Doesn't look so scary now!

All in all, it was a fantastic trip. And now I can say I've been to Asheville!

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Ginger Ale

I'm somewhat of a ginger fanatic. I love ginger candy, ginger ale, ginger beer, crystallized ginger, etc. This is partly because I'm allergic to most anti-nausea drugs and am prone to migraines, and ginger's anti-nausea properties are well documented. Anyway, although this is the North Carolina Bucket List Project, I'd like to make a little shout out to a South Carolina product that has my heart and soul.
Blenheim's Ginger Ale.

Specifically, variety "Old #3- Hot."
This stuff is the greatest. It's easily the hottest ginger ale I've ever had and I've had a lot of ginger ale. When I get a stomachache, I reach for the Blenheim's every time. It's magic, I swear. The first time I had red cap Blenheim's, I couldn't finish a quarter of a bottle, it was so hot. Over the years, I've gained a tolerance and now can down bottles no problem (although I do have to keep chapstick handy for the lip burn.)
Anyway, I've found Blenheim's at A Southern Season and at Fresh Market, but not at Whole Foods. If you're ever in NC and have a craving for some ginger, you should definitely try it out.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

List Plan for this Weekend

This weekend I am going to be tackling one of the largest (if not THE largest) items on my list, The Biltmore Estate. My friend Chris and I are leaving Friday for Asheville and will do the Biltmore ( on Saturday and then Linville Caverns ( on Sunday. It should be quite a trip!

Monday, March 8, 2010

List Item #2: Celebrity Goat Dairy

List Item #1: Celebrity Dairy Open Barn (
Location: Siler City, NC
Date: 3/7/10
Cost: $12.50
Results: Adorable

This weekend my friends Grady, Kim and Xandi and I visited Celebrity Goat Dairy for their Open Barn. We met at Kim's house for lunch before heading out for Siler City, and headed out at about 1 pm. The drive was beautiful, we passed Jordan Lake and commented on the relative insanity of those boaters who were racing around the lake in 50 degree weather as if it were actually warm outside and not just "warm compared to last week."
The trip took about an hour since we left from Kim's house, and was a pretty straight shot. We pulled up to the Dairy at about 2 pm and it was PACKED. We parked on the long drive and walked up towards the barn. There was a large pen packed with chickens and some children were looking at them and throwing bread to them.

The barn was behind the main dairy house, which is also a bed and breakfast. We, of course, made a bee-line for the baby goats. There were some that were about two weeks old, according to the farm workers who were taking questions.

And then some TINY babies that were less than a week old. These guys had a heat lamp in their pen, but clearly preferred to take advantage of the sunny day.

Kim and I got to hold one of the babies, they called him "Teeny" and said he was born on March 1, making him 6 days old. He grunted and bleated a little when we held him.

Grady and Xandi were interested to see that the baby goats had been given a jungle gym to climb around.

Inside the B&B part of the Dairy, they were selling fresh eggs, chevre logs and some jam, I picked up some fig preserves and some peach jam.

There was a peacock on the farm.

We thought he was going to display his plumage.

But then he just lay down and lounged in the sun. Can't say I blame him.

Overall it was a lovely trip with some lovely friends. I wish that I had bought some eggs, but c'est la vie.

Friday, March 5, 2010

Plan for this weekend

This weekend, I have been invited to go to an Open Barn event at Celebrity Dairy ( with my friends Kim and Xandi. It should be really fun, there are baby goats at the Dairy and they will be selling some of their locally famous cheese. This place had not been on my Bucket List, but it is now!

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

In case you're wondering...

The following is a selection of the other things on the NCBL:
North Carolina Pickle Festival in Mt. Olive, NC
The Collard Shack in Ayden, NC (famous for its yellow collard greens, yum!)
NC Zoo and Jugtown Cafe in Asheboro, NC
Carowinds in Charlotte, NC
Korner's Folly in Kernersville, NC
and of course, many many BBQ restaurants!

List Item #1: Museum of Life and Science

List Item #1: Museum of Life and Science
Location: Durham, NC
Date: 2/28/10
Cost: $15.44 (plus gas)
Results: Freaking awesome.

So it turned out that Steve has never been to the Museum of Life and Science. This had to be fixed. I spent many a frivolous teenage hour in that museum running around with my friends and really wanted to show Steve how awesome it was before we leave. Flush with dough from our tax return and needing a break from worrying about moving and law school applications, we decided that Sunday would be the perfect day to check it out.
The museum opens at noon on Sundays, which was just enough time to do some serious lounging and heavy breakfast eating before heading out. The drive wasn't too bad, we listened to music and obsessed about which law schools were likely to admit me. Steve was surprised when we arrived, he was expecting it to be a lot farther away.
We got to the Museum almost exactly at noon and were given some corporate passes by the people ahead of us in line! That saved us the $24 bucks that it would have cost us for admission, so we went into the Museum very pleased with ourselves.
The first part of the Museum that we attacked was the weather exhibit. Steve was enamored by the "tornado machine" and I still liked the "dune machine" that I had enjoyed years ago.

We explored the rest of the indoor portion of the Museum and then went outside, where we climbed all over the jungle gym like idiots. It was a blast, and no one looked at us funny, even though we were the only folks over three feet tall doing so.

After looking at the farm animals (and having a cow crush on Steven), we decided to take a break and get some lunch at the cafe. We were really pleasantly surprised by what they had, it was a little pricey, but the food was WAY better than any other zoo or museum food we'd ever tried. Steve had a BLT and I had an egg salad sandwich, which were both served on delicious ciabatta bread.
We noticed on our map that 2 pm was the time that the keepers released ladybugs in the Butterfly House, so we made our way down there after eating lunch. The Butterfly House is a beautiful place and we spent a long time looking around and enjoying it. The ladybug release was a little disappointing, but it was still quite fun.

After we left the Butterfly House, we took a walk around the grounds to see the bears, lemurs and wolves. The bear habitat is incredible and HUGE, the lemurs were asleep and the lone wolf was incredibly depressing. We also spent a good bit of time playing with the "wind toys."
All in all we had a good trip. The weather was lovely and the museum wasn't so crowded that we couldn't experience everything we wanted to experience. It makes me a little sad that we probably won't be back for a long while, but I'm glad we went.

The Basics

We're leaving in five months and there are lots of things we want to do/eat/see in North Carolina before we do. This blog will document our activities as we attempt to complete our North Carolina Bucket List. Enjoy!