Carolina In My Mind
Written by Jamie
Our next destination: the family farm of our dear friend (and my boss!) Gary McDermott. As we pulled in and parked on the beautiful crest of the hill on the McDermotts’ property, the comforting feeling of familiarity came over me. While surprising, this was certainly a welcomed feeling for me, given that our daily lives had been anything but “normal” or “routine” for the past 6+ months, and especially since “normal” or “routine” were not adjectives I was anticipating on characterizing the next 5 months of our life on the road. Gary, his son Stiles, daughter Audrey Belle, and his in-laws greeted us with smiles, hugs, and lots of attention for Gus.
We all met up with Gary’s wife Brian and his other daughter Raeanne for a wonderful dinner at Maxwell’s Tavern in downtown Waxhaw, NC, followed by a run over the pedestrian bridge across the street right as the train was coming through town (if you’ve ever been to Waxhaw, you know exactly what I’m talking about…pretty exhilarating!). That night marked our FIRST OFFICIAL NIGHT sleeping in Bob Argosy. The temperature was just right, and we slept quite soundly on our queen-sized memory foam mattress, and awoke to the roosters crowing on a cool, crisp morning.
We spent the majority of the morning working and drinking delicious coffee at Crossroads Coffee House in downtown Waxhaw. In between shopping and calls to local rv refrigerator repairmen (more on that in a later post), we stopped for lunch at The Stone Table in historic Monroe, NC. While we had both been to Monroe before, we had no idea where to eat, and this place DID NOT disappoint – so much so that I wrote my first Yelp review! Trae had the pan-seared shrimp & grits and I had the turkey wrap (best turkey wrap I’ve ever had). We spent the remainder of the afternoon working on some things in the trailer, followed by an amazing evening of catching up with some of our closest friends, Justin & Michele Hayes and Kyle & Erika Taura, over home-cooked pork fried rice. Can’t beat it!
The following day had two main objectives – working on the trailer and eating Peruvian food. Bobby Chaplin told us about this place before we had the house fire. Sadly, we only tried Viva Chicken just before leaving Charlotte – what a mistake! This place has amazing fresh meal options. The Quinoa Stuffed Avocado and Arroz Chaufa are AMAZING. That evening, we had a bonfire with the McDermotts, complete with our first s’mores of the season.
After an amazing home-cooked breakfast the next morning, we said our goodbyes and continued north to spend the night with my good friend Anne and her husband Mike.
That evening, we were lucky enough to catch up with our friends Joey and Pam for dinner at Mi Pueblo in Concord. Trae was a groomsman in their wedding last year, and it was great to catch up with them and hear how life was going. When we got back to Anne & Mike’s, we decided to introduce Gus to their sweet dog Sadie, and it could not have gone any better. Sadie is just slightly bigger than Gus, so the two of them played so well together for hours. The next morning, we woke up and cooked Anne breakfast in celebration of a big birthday. After we let the dogs play for a little longer, we had to say our goodbyes and hit the road.
As we pulled away, it was hard not to think that this would probably be our last time in North Carolina for a while. We had called this state home for the last 5+ years and had truly enjoyed our time exploring this beautiful part of the country. Leaving Anne & Mike’s marked a point in our journey where we truly were leaving our “comfort zone” of the cities and roads that we had navigated for years living in the southeast. It was exhilarating, for sure, but we’d be lying if we didn’t also acknowledge the little bit of fear of the unknown ahead of us.
Trae and Jamie