Friday Jan. 3- Allen & Sons, Pittsboro, North Carolina

IMG_1097-1We woke up this morning to 28 degrees outside and 40 degrees inside- the heater went out! Im not sure if that made it harder or easier to get up and get packing. It was time to end our tour and get the RV back to it’s home in Charlotte by 11 a.m. But that doesn’t mean the road trip couldn’t continue- just a change in vehicles and drivers.

When we started the whole voyage, I hadn’t shared photos of where we picked up the RV, I think I was in shock when the taxi dropped us off here, thinking what did we get ourselves into. Now after 8 days traveling around the south, it was kind of bittersweet to see it end.

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Then we got over it, hopped in the new rental car and set off for Chapel Hill to visit University of North Carolina, a school that Ben dreams of playing lacrosse for one day. We tried to ignore the 2hr drive, really, when else would we have the opportunity to do this? It was time well spent.Oh, plus a detour to Kannapolis to see Dale Earnhardt’s memorial statue. (I can’t believe we just happen to drive past that town)

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The campus was so beautiful. Old historic buildings, a cute downtown, and lacrosse fields right next to the dorms. It was instant love for Ben. (Granted he’s in 8th gr, but he is a planner like his folks!)

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We waited, not eating all day for the BBQ experience we had to go after now that we were in East Carolina. I can’t believe how much I know about all of this now. First of all, they are not called restaurants- it’s either a BBQ joint or place based on the size of the eatery. East Carolina BBQ is whole hog- they use everything but the snout and serve it with cole slaw and a vinegar, red pepper sauce. (It is a runny liquid, no tomato!) This is the pulled pork that I grew up on, my dad spent years perfecting his sauce and he was an amazing BBQ master himself. This was the BBQ experience I was waiting for and Allen & Sons, in Pittsboro, just outside of Chapel Hill delivered. The whole joint was everything you would imagine Carolina BBQ to be- small, no frills, with very few things to order.

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Listed on the menu was ‘BBQ dinner’- being the CA rookie I am, even at this point, I asked ‘What meat does that include?’ The college student waitress looked at me perplexed and said ‘It’s Pig’, like duh lady. We went with the pulled pork sandwiches, Ben had to go no bun, and hushpuppies.

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They serve the sandwich with amazing cole slaw with lots of black pepper and a bottle of vinegar sauce on the side. Honestly, the best pulled pork of the entire trip, and for only $4.25. It is amazing how food can bring back such good memories as I felt like my dad was right there with us!

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We made the 2hr trek back to downtown Charlotte for a night stay at a hotel. Warm, showers, relaxing, and a huge culture shock compared to where we were just 24hrs prior.

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Tomorrow, Ben and Brian are off to explore the NASCAR hall of fame and as much of a team player as I am, I’m really happy to be taking a pass on this experience. I do think Brian has just one more BBQ joint in mind before we board our 5:00 flight back to reality. My last post will be the official road trip awards.

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