After my last visit (December '05) I decided it was time to head back down to North Carolina to visit my friend Jason. (This is the friend that has his server send me reminder emails!)
I left early Saturday, missing traffic completely for the holiday weekend, and met up with Jason at his house around lunch time. We first decided that I was incredibly hungry and we needed to have lunch! He brought me, in his new 370 Z, to the Tobacco District. This used to be a working factory for Lucky Strike cigarettes back in the day, that they have transformed into a cozy area with businesses, shops and restaurants. It was really cool to see the old factory and even a huge furnace that was used so long ago in the process of making cigarettes. That day there was also a cornhole tournament on the grass, so there were a lot of people enjoying the sunshine.
Of course being it's a holiday weekend, it's also a weekend I'm on call for work. And of course, there are some people that don't understand what a holiday weekend means, and request help. So here I am trying to enjoy my holiday, when a user needs remote assistance. Instead of going back to Jason's house, I came up with the idea to find a library! Using his GPS we found there was a library within walking distance. 30 mins later, Jason has a new library card, and I was able to assist my client! And also enjoy a brief tour of the town on our journey to find the library. (Luckily it was the only time I had to work during the weekend).
After the rude interruption, Jason and I went to the Duke Gardens. It is a large variety of gardens on the Duke University campus, that we walked throughout admiring all the plants and animals. We saw some giant trees and typical vegetation, but enjoyed walking around outside in the sunshine. There were some very tiny turtles on a log in one of the ponds, and some little baby ducks that I found incredibly adorable! One of these ridiculously large trees had even more ridiculously large flowers, that I think were larger than my head. They were also incredibly potent, so I had to hold my breath when I went to investigate. After the gardens we went to Matt and Candra's for a BBQ. On our way to the BBQ - Jason let me drive his Nissan 370 Z. I had to show him the correct way to drive it :) It was fast, and it was smooth and a great ride. I manage to get the car over 100mph (with some goading) and it was amazing! He had a route planned out for me to drive, that had many twists and turns and I wish I could drive a nice car like that all the time! Once we made it to the BBQ (safely), ice cream sandwiches in hand, it was fun to see old friends and meet new friends of Jason's. We didn't stay too long because Jason, Shapess, and I had to go see the new Terminator movie! I very much enjoyed the movie and don't know what all those other silly people are talking about.
Sunday we woke up very early because we were going to the beach! First we got bagels, and then started the 2+ hour drive. Once we finally got to the beach, the sun decided to play games and hide, and maybe even rain a little. But after about an hour the clouds and rain cleared and we had gorgeous warm sunshine for the rest of the day. I had brought my sand toys from home and with them Jesse dug a very deep hole, which he turned into a comfy seat. (and later enjoyed eating his lunch in) We mostly laid around the beach, because honestly that's what you're supposed to do! and went for a long walk, finding sea shells and avoiding kids. I slept for most of the time on the drive back to Jason's house, or was reading. I had managed to successfully burn myself all over, and was very red and uncomfortable. I had thought I was being more careful, but apparently not. After a very long shower and a gallon of aloe later, Jason and I met up with Brendan, Jesse and Martin for dinner. After dinner we went to a coworkers house party - which was completely ridiculous. It was a giant, amazing house, that had a pool that changed colors of the water, and most importantly - they had exotic photo hunt, in the basement bar. Brendan and I played that for a while, and people helped on ocassion. Of course with me there, we got the high score.
Unfortunately I had to leave early Monday, but I had a really great weekend with Jason - thanks for putting up with me all weekend :P
For more pictures click here!