Hank Snow, one of Canada's finest country musicians, singing the original I've Been Everywhere (Man). It gets really good at about 39 seconds. This is what I feel like, even if it's not totally true.
North Carolina, Raleigh specifically, was beautiful and smokin' hot. Dude! I was wearing sweaters at home and then I flew into Raleigh and could have been comfortably wearing shorts and a tank top. Again, the people of the South ( I don't know if NC is actually considered The South, but everybody had awesome twangy accents, so I'm just going to lump it in with the South, ok?) once again amazed me with their capacity for kindness and generosity and just general friendliness.
And the food!! We hadn't even made it out of the airport parking lot and my boss and I being given recommendations on where to get the best BBQ. We ate at a Waffle House, went to IHOP (Jacob, my son, is convinced this is reason enough to move to North Carolina. Boy loves his pancakes.) and then my boss and I made what might be the greatest discovery since that one guy discovered that one thing that helps everybody and makes the world a better place. We discovered The Golden Corral. A monster sized buffet that dwarfs every buffet I've ever seen and I consider myself somewhat of a connoisseur. I'm pretty sure angels sang as we entered the restaurant and then sang again after we figured out what to do and entered what can only be described as a coliseum of culinary delights. If you've never been to a Golden Corral and you love food, especially Southern food, I suggest you pack your bags and head to the closest one you can find. I also suggest you wear stretchy pants. Just reading the Golden Corral's "About Us" page on their website has me salivating.
Golden Corral's legendary, endless buffet features an abundant variety of delicious familiar favorites and continuous new menu offerings for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Golden Corral's legendary, endless dinner buffet features an enormous variety with 15 proteins including USDA, grilled to order sirloin steaks, pork, seafood, shrimp, and chicken. We are especially proud to serve USDA sirloin, aged and hand-cut daily by our in-restaurant butchers. The endless lunch buffet features a wide variety of home-style classics like our pot roast simmered for 12-hours, made-from-scratch meatloaf, crispy fried chicken, creamy mac and cheese, made-from-scratch mashed potatoes, beloved Bourbon Street Chicken, so many fresh salad choices and dozens of other items. Our endless breakfast buffet features made-to-order omelettes, fluffy pancakes, hot-off-the griddle sausage and bacon, fruit, French toast, pastries and much more. Our bakery and dessert buffet are filled with freshly baked breads, like our famous yeast rolls, homemade cakes and pies, delicious cookies, brownies, pastries, and ice cream.I ate black-eyes peas (Fergie was particularly delicious. Heh!), hush puppies, mac and cheese and lots and lots of other stuff. It was fresh and tasted homemade and wonderful. Honestly, I wanted to spin in beautifully choreographed circles throughout the restaurant like some kind of chubby Disney heroine stuffed full of butter, cream based sauces and other yummy vittles. It was also pretty awesome that over 4 different servers came by to "chat" with us. We eventually called them on trying to hear our "funny accents" and they unabashedly admitted to trying to get us to say "aboot". I put on my best hoser voice and spun them a tale of dogsleds, canoes and igloos for their honesty. My meal only cost $14!! It was awesome!
In North Carolina I also had the opportunity to have dinner with some of the ladies from my bookclub. We nearly started a brawl in an Outback Steakhouse over which college basketball team I should root for (I'm picking USC so that nobody hurts me. Plus, I like quoting The Hangover's "wolf pack of one" bit), I was attacked , by some spicy ranch dip, and I nearly upended an entire table of cat-shaped canisters (that's me , bustin' up pussies all over NC - I'm hardcore like that.) at that most glorious of bookstores, B&N where I did, in fact, spin beautifully choreographed circles like some kind of chubby Disney heroine. These ladies rock and made me laugh so hard I nearly peed my pants and shot pomegranate margarita out my nose. Thanks Steph and Candace for a great night!
|I'm not smiling. That is a look of sheer terror. It just jumped out at me. It was horrible. Curse you spicy ranch dip!|
That being said though, I'm very happy to be home. I missed my menfolk, got behind at my "real job" and I'm really very exhausted. As much as I love this new opportunity to travel and will continue to jump on it as often as I can, home really is where my heart is.