- Date: 09-23-2014
- Current City: Raleigh, NC
- Current Location: North Carolina State Fairgrounds
- Site Number: 101
- Wi-fi Signal: Verizon – Good / AT&T – Average / Campground Wi-fi – Very Good and Free
- Cell Signal: AT&T – Adequate
- Mission: Work / Explore
- Compliment: 2 Officers, 1 Crew, 0 Guests
- Captain: Eric Highland
- Navigator: Brittany Highland
- 1st Mate: Trogdor the Burninator
- Guests: None
- Weather: Overcast / 58°
- Precipitation: 10%
- Humidity: 72%
- Wind: 0 mph
- Fuel: 50 Gallons of Diesel
- Odometer: 105,167
- Generator Hours: 4613.6
- Estimated Date of Departure: Saturday, September 27th.
- Next Destination: Myrtle Beach, SC
Special Orders: Enjoy new friendships, continue client work
09:35 – Part of the difficulty in keeping up with regular Captain’s log entries has been a lack of free time where we aren’t doing something spontaneous and fun. We have thoroughly enjoyed our time since we last updated the log from Williamsburg, VA.
For our faithful readers, we last left off after visiting the home of Thomas Jefferson (Monticello) and the lovely city of Charlottesville, VA. We’d been staying in Williamsburg, VA and visiting as many places in the Historic Triangle as we could in the time we were there.
On August 31st, we made our way back to Virginia Beach. It was time to head south. This time we stayed at Fort Story in Virginia Beach. We were there for two weeks. Here are some highlights:
September 6th – Brittany and I took Smaug out for a drive to Kitty Hawk, North Carolina the “Birthplace of Aviation.” We stood on the spot where the Wright Brothers first launched their aircraft. As history buffs this was an exciting day for us. Also, along the way we found an enchanting little farmers stand that was just incredible called Grandy Greenhouse & Farm Market.
September 7th – We found the best Buffalo Wings we’ve both ever had at Shorebreak on Virginia Beach. (We went back 3 times!)
September 10th – We went out with Michele and Ryan again for the last time this round. Love these crazy kids, who are now off to California even as I write this. They met with us and their friends Nathaniel and Emily and took us to a spot called Pungo’s Pizza & Ice Cream. Let me just say that I’m glad we found this place right as we were leaving. It would have played havoc on my waistline. It was so incredibly good. I can’t recommend the garlic knots, pizza, and cinnamon knots highly enough!
09:51 – That brings us to Saturday September 13th. We made the trip from Virginia Beach, VA to Raleigh, NC. We decided to stay at the North Carolina State Fairgrounds (where we are as of this writing) and it was a GREAT decision. The campground is newer, and though the sites aren’t paved, the wifi connection has been great, the cell reception perfect, the water pressure adequate and the location is about 10-15 minutes from everything in Raleigh.
Mostly, it has been great because we’ve met some of our newest favorite RVers in Denny and Veronica of the RVOutlawz. We’ve really enjoyed hanging out with them a ton. Veronica has a brother who lives in Raleigh named Juan and he’s pretty awesome too.
Then we met Deke and Tiffani, also great folks who’ve come highly recommended.
We’ve also met Paul, Lynn and Cheryl during this time who have been following along on our adventures here on RV Wanderlust. We love meeting new folks and it has been a blast to hang out with everyone.
11:28 – Here are the highlights of our time in Raleigh so far:
September 13th – The day we arrived also happened to be SPARKcon. It is a festival of creative explosion which includes art, music, film, fashion, geekery, circus, dance, comedy and pretty much everything else you can think of. We didn’t know it was happening. We had actually decided to go to Raleigh Times as they had been named one of the top 50 burgers in the nation by Food Network. The burgers were awesome and the pork nachos to die for. Our server Brian A. was one of the best servers we’ve ever had anywhere. We really enjoyed this day, it was nice that we found parking, great food and got a free festival to boot.
September 14th – On Sunday, we started off the day by going to Hope Community Church. It was a huge church and we really enjoyed it so much that we went back this last Sunday. Solid teaching and friendly people. Then we went to the Greek Festival here at the fairgrounds. We had Gyros for lunch and of course some baklava. We watched some Greek dancing and perused the Greek Market. It was an awesome Mediterranean festival. After this we stepped outside to the Flea Market that takes place each weekend, also on the fairgrounds. I bought some DVDs to add to the collection and we both enjoyed just interacting with all of the merchants and seeing their unique wares.
September 16th – The 16th was a fantastic day! We went out with Denny, Veronica and Juan to celebrate Mexican Independence Day. Our Mexican food was just good… not great. But the time afterward is where we had a blast. We went to a place called Clockwork Orange, then to Juan’s office where I schooled Veronica in some ping pong. (To her credit I was sober and let’s just say she had a few drinks in her.) Then we went to a secret bar inside a bar. The place is called Green Light Bar and it was hidden behind a bookcase inside of the Architect Bar. Very cool! Unfortunately we didn’t really get good pictures but we had an amazing time. Highly recommend the Green Light Bar if anyone is ever in the Raleigh area.
September 18th – On the morning of the 18th, a dog in the campground came after me while I was on my walk. We discussed it with our friends on Facebook. It was really interesting to see the insights from our friends and followers. I appreciated the wisdom and advice from folks who have RVd much longer than us.
September 19th – Back to Raleigh Times, this time to meet up with Deke and Tiffani. They are former fulltime RVers who have settled down a bit here in Raleigh. They have a great story and are really incredible folks. There seems to be a recurring theme here with awesome RV folks we’re meeting but there is something in our commonality that just makes getting together a blast. After Raleigh Times we headed to an underground bar called Fox Liquor Lounge. It was fun and had that exclusive feel to it. We’re hoping to have Deke and Tiffani over for a BBQ this coming Friday.
September 21st – The 21st was an errand day. I got a brand new Makita power tool set. We also got a poplar board to replace an old shelf behind our jackknife couch and some spray paint. We had the board cut, then I took it home and sanded it, cleaned it, painted it and installed it. Turned out pretty nice.
Remarks – As most of you who follow our blog know, I’ve been actively working on being a bit more fit. I’ve lost 29lbs since May of this year. Brittany took me out shopping, and got me clothes that look nice but feel a little young for what I’m used to wearing. But hey, she likes it and if it makes her smile then that means the world to me.
I’ve now set an alarm at 10AM 12PM and 2:30PM. When these alarms go off I take breaks and walk. My goal is to get between 7,500-10,000+ steps per day 5 days a week which I monitor using a device called a FitBit. Also I try to walk at least one of those three times for 30 minutes or more without stopping. I’ve been generally eating healthier with smaller portion sizes and paying attention to my caloric intake. It will be interesting to see my blood work when we get back to Austin.
Life is really good. Brittany is the best, we always smile, laugh and love. I’m crazy about her and I couldn’t imagine any of this adventure without her.
15:26 – We’ve been having some great adventures these past few weeks. I loved being in Virginia for a month – it’s definitely one of my favorite states and being close to my brother and sister in law was fabulous.
The military campground at Fort Story wasn’t my favorite. The cell coverage was horrible (I definitely had a business call standing in the middle of the road under an umbrella) and there was no sewer (aka no showers or laundry at home). I learned to put more value on things I usually take for granted!
Raleigh has been good to us, and it’s so awesome to have Denny and Veronica staying close by. Even though we only met 9 days ago, it feels like we’ve known each other a lot longer! Last night, Eric and I grabbed a couple of drinks and a blanket, and we went to sit outside with D&V. The weather is cooler, just in time for the first day of fall.
A few places were recommended to me that we haven’t tried yet. Foundation and C. Grace are two craft cocktail bars, and C. Grace is supposed to have live jazz and blues Tuesday-Saturday nights. For BBQ, Clyde Cooper’s was recommended if you want traditional North Carolina barbecue with the apple vinegar sauce, hot peppers and chopped meat (cash only). For a more complete barbecue meal, Hillsborough BBQ in Hillsborough was the top choice. Finally, Calavela was recommended as a fun tequila and empanada bar.
I’ve gotta stop because this is all making me extremely hungry! -B