Exploring the cities of North and South Carolina

Within the first week of my trip, I made it to Chapel Hill. After helping Redbud with their stand at Western Wake Market, I followed Nancy’s recommendation to visit Franklin Street in Chapel Hill. The street borders on the UNC Chapel Hill campus, filling all the shops and restaurants with college students. It was nice to be around people my age again, and walk around a college campus.

I got lunch at Mellow Mushroom, never having been to one before. They serve a nice veggie pizza with daiya cheese.

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After lunch I walked up and down Franklin, slowly making my way onto campus. The campus is beautiful and is what I’ve always pictured “college” to look like. The buildings were old and many made of brick.

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I walked through numerous squares, past dormitories, halls, and libraries.

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I stopped to read under a bell tower next to the football stadium.

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As rain threatened overhead, I walked down what I could only assume was “frat row”. There were beautiful large brick homes, with Greek letters posted on the front. My initial thoughts were confirmed when a young man stepped outside the house and proceeded to relieve himself on the nearby bushes.

All in all, I enjoyed my visit to Chapel Hill and decided to head to Greensboro the following weekend.

As Nancy later told me, Greensboro is very spread out. My destination was a little yarn shop called “Gate City Yarns”. It is owned and operated by a woman Nancy went to high school with. She worked as a registered nurse for many years, and started working at this yarn shop part time to support her knitting habit. When the shop was up for sale, she jumped at the opportunity to purchase it, and now successfully owns it. So, to South Elm Street I went to find Tina. As soon as I mentioned Nancy’s name, she was very happy. I could tell lots of old memories came flooding back. Apparently my timing was off, as I had just missed an intro to knitting class at the store. Regardless, Tina showed me around and pointed out different yarn types I could use for various knitting projects I was hoping to try. Being a beginning knitter, I appreciated all the help and advice. Many of the yarns were from Italy, several made from organic cotton, and all incredibly soft. 🙂

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South Elm Street was nice, however when I tried to turn down a different street, none of them seemed to lead anywhere. There were a few tall office buildings and small parks. I’m sure the trip would have been better if I’d known where I was going. UNC Greensboro was probably not too far from where I was. I did manage to find a cute coffee shop with homemade baked goods, and got to sample their walnut fig bread.

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On my last day in South Carolina, the other farm intern I met offered to show me around the unique city of Greenville. I say it’s unique, because our first stop was a trail meandering right through the city. Falls Park on the Reedy greets you with fountains pumping out pink colored water (for breast cancer awareness month).

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We traveled by bridge over a large waterfall. I couldn’t get over how beautiful it was, and the fact that there were office buildings behind it.

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The rest of the trail took you through parks and around buildings. We passed hotels, waterfront restaurants, and even an outdoor concert space.

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The trail eventually meets up with Swamp Rabbit Trail, which runs for fourteen miles.

Back on Main Street, my “tour guide” showed me where the Saturday farmer’s market usually is. Vendors simply set up right in front of stores on the street. The atmosphere of Greenville was homey to me. It reminded me of Bloomfield Avenue in Montclair, New Jersey – but better. The shops ranged from a spice and tea exchange, to a 100% organic locally grown cotton clothing and linen store. We stopped in both. A good portion of the restaurants had outdoor seating, and local residents were going for their morning run. It was my kind of town.

 


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