North Carolina memories (and the great little town of Littleton)

So, on my little girl’s 14th birthday we found ourselves in North Carolina. Our plan was simple: the Sylvan Heights Bird Sanctuary in Scotland Neck and the Cryptozoology & Paranormal Museum in Littleton, N.C.

I fell in love with Littleton, with it’s population of 640. It reminded me of the small town near my childhood home (population, 400) but a tad more vibrant.

Littleton had several churches, three restaurants, a police station, an independent pharmacy, an independent hardware store, a library and an arcade.

And the newspaper box had about a gazillion copies of a freebie newspaper that appeared to be an advertising supplement to the local daily. It was literally one broadsheet, both sides, which made it four pages. About 2/3 of one page was the classifieds.

And in the middle of this broadsheet was the weekly Food Lion circular.

And it was in this sweet town we found Grandpa’s Barbecue where I had a good helping of sweet potato pie and the best potato salad I had ever eaten. The potatoes where practically puréed.

From there we went to the Crpytozoology Museum, which I believe I mentioned in an earlier post.

That place was two rooms in this couple’s house. He was a retired photographer from the New York Daily News and he said the area has a strong paranormal pull.

Of birds and beasts

We arrived at the Sylan Heights Bird Sanctuary at around 11 a.m. The birds were amazing.

img_7376

Endangered Sun Conure

After we left the bird sanctuary in Scotland Neck, we traveled out to Littleton, NC. The town has 650 people and a downtown that has three restaurants, a pharmacy that closes at noon on Saturday, an arcade and an old-fashioned hardware store.

I fell in love.

We ate at Grandpa’s Kitchen. And I even had sweet potato pie.

After a brief walk around town, we went to the cryptozoology and paranormal museum. Turns out the whole town is haunted AND packs of Big Foot roam the area.

Littleton has made television for its unusual traits. Check out these videos:

Places with Pierce

Bigfoot in Littleton oh CBS

Day 7… and we’re not killing each other

Today is my daughter’s 14th birthday.

She wasn’t happy when I sailed across the room and leapt on her bed screaming in a falsetto, “it’s my baby’s birthday!”

At 6:30 a.m.

Today we hope to make it to around Richmond, Va., since we are due home tomorrow and I have to be back at work at 7 a.m. Monday.

I wonder if they missed me.

Our exciting plans for today include the bird sanctuary that was closed on Monday and an afternoon visit to the paranormal museum.

And finally… the Quality Inn right off I-95 in Fayetteville, N.C., may have been my favorite hotel balancing price and function. With taxes the room was about $70. The breakfast wasn’t exciting but in included a variety of hot items in addition to the continental selections. And personally, I loved that they offered peanut butter with their bread products.

The room was clean but sparse. Refrigerator a tad busted up but while trying to freeze water bottles into ice cubes for the cooler we almost had one freeze. The water pressure in the toilet was poor. But the pool open 10 a.m. to dusk and it was clean and a nice size for a small hotel. Coffee was decent. And they had a former room on the first floor converted into a fitness center. And a public laundry room.

Day 3 on the Road

We had hoped to explore the Cape Fear area, but nothing seems to open until 10 a.m. So we headed out of the hotel fairly early, after the teens used the luggage trolley and the toilet broke.

The Red Roof Inn was decent, even if the plumbing was unpredictable. The staff was friendly. The pool cute. Yes, I went swimming. And the breakfast was bagels, cereal and danish.

The coffee has been getting progressively worse.

So we hit the road, and almost immediately, we saw this truck (which broke my heart):

I used to be a vegetarian. I used to buy my eggs and milk and meat at a local farm where I saw the chickens running around.

But this is the reality for an industrialized farm. This is how these chickens live. Many of them were upside down. I’m wondering if they have ever seen daylight before. I am wondering if they are off to slaughter.

I said all these things in the car.

That it is completely possible these chickens spent their entire lives in a warehouse style barn in the dark. They might have seen daylight for the first time this morning as they were loaded onto this truck without leaving these awful cages.

The sunlight may have terrified them and burned their little eyes. And then the truck started moving.

Have you ever ridden in the back of a open air pick-up truck? I have. Imagine being a small bird and all that wind.

And then when the truck finally stops, they are killed.

All so agribusiness can make money.

Support local farms! Support small business! Think about where your food comes from.

On a brighter note, we have two whoopee cushions in the car. Or we did. My daughter tried to get Gayle, but failed. So Gayle kept that one to have her turn.

My daughter was messing with the other one and popped it.

I also introduced my daughter to the concept of reveille as a bugle call. So now she might try to master that. After she gets Taps.

Route 95 in the South has lots of day lilies and sunflowers everywhere.