Western North Carolina

Our short time in North Carolina was about one thing; visiting family. Instead of our normal sight seeing and city dining, Jon and I enjoyed a little relaxation and a lot of great home cooking and conversation.

Days  121 – 123
December 1 – December 3, 2014
Mileage 15455 – 15880

We bypassed most of the tourist destinations in North Carolina, as well as its popular eastern shore, to spend time visiting family members in the western part of the state. We greatly enjoyed all of the southern hospitality and home cooking we received. The unpleasant part of our visit was that we couldn’t stay longer!

Our first stop in North Carolina was Graham, where my Aunt Alice and Uncle Carl live. Graham is on the outskirts of Burlington and Greensboro. My family welcomed us with a great home cooked meal of shrimp primavera. It was probably our first non-restaurant meal since Colorado. We had a nice time catching up with them and stayed up late chatting.

The Captain White House

In the morning my Aunt and I went to the Captain White House, named for its occupant Captain White and not for its color which is actually yellow. The Captain White House is a historical house which is now used to display art exhibits by the Alamance Arts group. Because we were nearing the Christmas season, the house was decorated for Christmas and turned into a craft market selling holiday decorations and ornaments.

Christmas decorations and crafts at the Captain White House

During our stay we got to enjoy some boardgames. Not wanting to say goodbye so soon, we decided to get a barbecue lunch at Hursey’s Bar-B-Q. Hursey’s is a fixture in Graham and provides catering to many local events. We enjoyed Hursey’s and I especially liked the potato salad that came as a side dish. The regular sandwiches are served with coleslaw on top (or you can ask for it on the side of you prefer) and cost less than mass produced burgers served at fast food restaurants.

Our next North Carolina destination was Charlotte, where Jon’s grandfather (Poppy) and his wife, Betty, live. It was a delight to see them, and after chatting for a while we sat down to enjoy another great home cooked dinner courtesy of Betty. After dinner, we stayed up far past our bedtime hearing stories about Jon’s childhood and Poppy’s many jokes and anecdotes.

The next morning Poppy and Betty took us to a brunch place they’ve had good meals at, and we were able add another one to the list. We went to Cafe Monte, where despite the large menu, we all ordered omelets. The omelets were huge and were served with a fruit cup, potatoes, and toast. We ate until we were stuffed. Back at Poppy’s house, we were able to enjoy some more time catching up and looking at photographs.


  • Blue Ridge Parkway – On a previous trip to Graham, my family drove along lengths of this Scenic Highway.
  • Ghost Town in the Sky – Located in Maggie Valley, NC my family visited this amusement park about 17 years ago. From the parking lot an aerial tram lifts you up to the main park. We went in the off season and had the park to ourselves, so the employees ran the rides twice as long as normal.
  • Biltmore Estate – Another destination from my previous trip to NC. This beautiful mansion and gardens are open for tours, as is their winery.

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