Spring has sprung in the Carolinas

Trip Start Jan 01, 2010
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Trip End Dec 31, 2010


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Where I stayed
Thousand Trails Forest Lake Preserve

Flag of United States  , North Carolina
Thursday, April 22, 2010

  We've spent a couple of weeks here at our Thousand Trails Park near Lexington, NC.  We've taken this opportunity to see what our latest round of car problems might be (and we're not thrilled with the outcome...looking like we're going to have to drop in ANOTHER new engine when we get to Ohio).   Because we don't want to drive the car with any engine problems, we've pretty much sat still since we discovered what appears to be wrong with it, other than when we rented a car for the weekend.  (Enterprise, with their neighborhood rental locations has saved our butts so many times now...and this past couple of months, we've been taking full advantage of their $9.99/day weekend specials, while our car's been pretty much out of commission.)
Being here close to Charlotte also gave us the opportunity to get together with Cousins Paul and Sharon for a nice visit, at an interesting restaurant called The Prickly Pear in Mooresville. The restaurant is housed in what was formerly a Catholic church, and the rafters, which were built by Jesuit Priests in Spain, are over 500 years old and represent some of the oldest building materials still in place today. They are made of "Taiban", a wood product that has been extinct for centuries. Around the mid-1500's the rate of Taiban use far exceeded the supply due to the tree's 100-plus year growth cycle and limited availability in Portugal and Spain.
  Last Sunday, while we had the rental car, we went to brunch at the Childress Vineyard and Winery, something we've enjoyed almost every time we've been here - it's a beautiful winery, and their food is first class.  They didn't let us down, we thoroughly enjoyed ourselves, sitting at a table on their glass-in veranda, with a beautiful view of the vineyards and the exquisite grounds of the winery.
  Most of all, we're hoping the weather north of us continued to warm up while we've been here, and this is a wonderful spot to watch Spring become full in bloom!
  The Spring activity in this area came very close becoming a problem for us!  One evening, as we sat outside drinking a glass of wine after dinner, Greg noticed a couple of tiny sparrows flying out (and back in) under the back of our motorhome.  I caught pictures of these tiny birds with big leaves in their mouths when they'd stop for a moment in the grove of trees behind our site (which I will post when I've got a signal that won't drop off), but really didn't think they could be doing what they were!  Greg decided that, before we got on the road, we'd better lift our bed, and check out the diesel engine area - and I'll be darned if they hadn't built a LARGE, leafy nest right on top of the engine!
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