Our visit with the other Keel's

Trip Start Sep 12, 2011
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23
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Trip End Nov 21, 2011


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Flag of United States  , North Carolina
Sunday, November 6, 2011

After leaving Myrtle Beach we head up the coast toward Ike's brother Gary's home in Oriental, North Carolina.  It feels like we are going "backward" on the trip.  Leaving Myrtle Beach, it was a balmy 74 at 11am; can't believe it is November, we have been so lucky to be one step ahead of bad weather everywhere we have been.  However, as we head north we see dark clouds developing and hear about a "nor'easter" that is heading into North Carolina.  By the time we get to Wilmington at 2pm it is very dark, we are driving in heavy winds, lightening and a real downpour!  What a change in the weather!
















Along the route we drive past "Cape Fear" (remember the scary Robert DeNeiro movie?) and through the cute coastal town of New Bern, the birthplace of Pepsi Cola (1898) and home of one of my favorite authors, Nicholas Sparks.  I am kidding Ike saying that if we called "Nick" and told him I'd read all his books, he would surely meet me and take me to lunch!  By the time we reach the little berg of Oriental, the rain has stopped but the wind is still quite gusty and it has cooled off considerably.  Finally arrived at Gary and Caroline's lovely home on the coast.  They are still mopping up after Hurricane Irene paid them a visit in August.  Because of the current little storm the waters are all high and streets in town are flooded.  I'm thinking that it would definitely be a test of one's tolerance and faith to live in such a place, no matter how pretty it is.  You would think you'd have to be on constant guard every year during "hurricane season".  








Ike and Gary enjoy their chance to catch up, and Caroline is indeed a very gracious hostess and goes out of her way to make our stay very comfortable and homey.  I thoroughly enjoyed the chance to get acquainted with them. Gary enjoyed showing Ike some of his "projects" in the garage: mopeds that he makes out of old bicycles and various engines, he also took us on a local tour to see the sights, where we saw lots of homes that were still being repaired and water up everywhere.  Caroline is a true example of a "southern belle"! When we weren't eating something great that she had prepared, we were sampling the local cuisine. What the local restaurants lack in great chefs, they make up for in hospitality is all I can say! Oriental is known as the "sailing capital" of North Carolina; it's a little village with 900 residents and 3000 sailboats! Local t-shirts boast the saying, "A quaint drinking village with a sailing problem". Walking around their development we see the local wildlife: pelicans, herons and even a jellyfish that washed up a drainage ditch into their neighbor's yard!































After the winds died down, we had a good time hanging out in the yard while Gary manned the grill.






















As much as we would like to stay, we are headed out to Gulf shores, Alabama to visit Ike's sister so that we can begin the journey home.  We are realizing at this point that our trip is going to be cut a little short so that we can get home for Pam's memorial service.  It is noon by the time we get on the road; sunny and 71 after last three days of cold and wind. by the time we get back down to Myrtle Beach at 5pm it is still 71. We agree that we need to return to this area again.















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