You can always tell when you've entered North Carolina...
No matter how long the road, every bridge has the same sign. It's like they think you'll forget that the bridge ices before the road, since the last time you read the sign, which was usually sixty seconds earlier.
Still, despite this wackiness, North Carolina has some of the most beautiful roads we've driven so far.
It's pretty amazing how enjoyable a ride is when the scenery is beautiful and diverse. In this respect, North Carolina is definitely a riders state.
Once we arrived, Paul got ready to spend his evening with his friends, Tom and Pat, and I headed over to Chapel Hill to see my old friend Ken O'Berry.
It's been way too long since Ken and I have had a chance to hang out, so it was great to get together over some steaks and good wine, and catch up on each other's lives. Not surprisingly, we've both become great fans of sabbaticals!
Of course, Ken's best success has to be his two kids, Hannah and Mikey.
Mikey had not been born at the time the O'Berry's left the bay area, but we became fast friends. Of course, this may have something to do with my motorcycle helmet, which Mikey truly loves. Once he had it on, there was no taking it off. Even to the point where he wanted to go to bed with it!
At least it should be pretty easy to get him to wear a helmet when he starts riding a bicycle or plays baseball!
After a thoroughly enjoyable evening (Even when Ken beat me at pool several times in a row), it was time for me to head out to stay with Paul at Tom and Pat's house.
The next morning Tom took Paul and I on a tour of some of his "spec" houses.
A spec house is when you build a house with the intention of selling it. Paul's friend Tom has made a living by buying cool plots of land, then building these amazing million dollar houses on them.
The two houses above are currently being built along a lake. Each has something like five bedrooms, their own septic systems, and their own home theatres. I don't mean home theatre like, "Hey, look at the big tv", but home theatre like "Look at the two levels of movie theatre chairs on a stage with state of the art audio/visual equipment". Pretty amazing stuff, so its not surprising that someone with the means to buy a $1.7 million house, would buy one from Tom.
Here is one of the houses he built before...
Even though he builds these great houses, the one that Tom and Pat live in is pretty amazing itself. This is their backyard. Yes, that is a lake at the end of their yard!
He also has a pretty amazing set of cars, including this 1942 Rolls that he and Paul are posing in front of.
Thank you Pat and Tom for your hospitality!
What can I say, I really enjoyed our visit to North Carolina!