From Cheryl: This was a trip down memory lane for me. It had been 40+ years since walking the university towns of UNC and Duke. I spent a few years in this part of the South attending radiology school and getting to know the beauty of North Carolina. Studying, going to theater and music on campus, hiking the Carolina mountains, and river rafting the creeks were of equal pleasure, but of course I was in my early 20’s! I was pleasantly surprised when Colin stated how much he enjoyed Chapel Hill – for the center of town is the university, a true hub of activity. On the other hand, Duke reminded Colin of his time at Cambridge University, England, as the architecture is similar. The major different: the university in England was founded in 1209; Duke not until the 1838.

UNC, Chapel Hill NC

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Duke University, Durham NC

Duke chapel

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West Point Mill, Eno River City Park, Durham

From Colin: Not far from Durham, we found a very pleasant city park with one of the few working water mills in the States. It has a full time ‘Miller’ and flour is ground and bagged for sale in the small shop weekly. It was in full time operation for 160 years until a 1942 flood swept the dam away. It was fully restored and put back into operation in 1978.
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 Colors in North Carolina

From us both: Cheryl fell in love with the pink flower fields, so we finally pulled over to see them up close. Neither of us had ever seen red thistles! Pretty spectacular clouds and colors..

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A Field of Pink


  • Chapel Hill NC

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    Chapel Hill, NC

  • The cool winds of the north have started to meet us in SC. Cool 60s and beautiful blue skies, plenty of flowers budding all over the beach and grasslands. Colin wakes up early each morning before sunrise and goes out scouting for sunrise shots, while I’m still in dreamland. Myrtle Beach State Park, where we are staying, is beautiful with a well maintained mile long beach, fishing pier,  many picnic areas, and spring flowers blooming; a gem in the middle of the wasteland of Waffle Houses, Miniature Golf Courses and high rise Condos. The best thing for me is it seems every camper van around us has dogs for me to pet and play with. So I’m getting my fur fix.MB SP fishing pier

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    Huntington Beach State Park, SC

    We also visited Huntington State Park and beach, similarly beautiful and well maintained. There we found Atalaya Castle, the winter home of industrialist and philanthropist Archer M. Huntington and his wife, the sculptor Anna Hyatt Huntington. Not a very beautiful building, apparently built without written plans, but very interesting to see how they lived and contributed to the local community’s recovery from the Great Depression. The park also has an extensive marshland area with many wading birds.

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    The Carolina Opry (TCO)

    It was a last minute decision to see if we could attend some local music. The highlight of the show wasn’t the musicians and singers (who were all excellent) but rather the dancers All That!, known for putting their innovative hip-hop twist on clogging.
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  • Myrtle Beach, SC

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    Myrtle Beach State Park, SC

  • Private GardenCharleston is a fascinating city, surrounded on three sides by water, lots of history, full of activity, a surprise around every corner. The weather didn’t cooperate with us and 50,000 runners descended on the city for the last day or two for the annual ‘bridge run’. However we greatly appreciated the ground floor of the visitor center being available for RV parking plus the three free trolley routes through different parts of the city. Pineapple FountainMost of the waterfront is now public access, it’s possible to walk along the front from the Ashley River to the Cooper River via Charleston Harbor and the Waterfront Park, created after the damaging hurricane Hugo.

    The lower third of the city consists of some beautiful neighborhoods with exotic Southern mansions, most of which are kept in wonderful shape along with their (often walled) gardens. The rest of the city is a bustling hive of shops, museums, churches, and restaurants. We visited several museums, City Market, Waterfront Park, Slave Market Museum (housed in the original building where slaves were imprisoned and traded for 7 years), and toured around the Mansions. We also took a side trip to Charlestown Landing where the first English settlement in Carolina was created, and where a replica trading ketch is moored.

    Charleston
    Charles Towne Landing
  • Charleston, SC

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    Downtown Charleston, South Carolina