Monday, March 03, 2008

A Busy Weekend

Mark and I drove to North Carolina on Friday evening to see Jonathan who has moved to Greensboro. We got there in time to have supper with Jon and his girlfriend Michelle. They're both in College in the town, and we hadn't yet seen Jon's first apartment. After we ate, we went back and met his cat and their 2 birds and got the grand tour. He has a nice apartment but we were tired and went over to the hotel where we were staying and got a good night's sleep. I've been dealing with some IBS issues too lately, but of course, that didn't keep me from eating well on this trip. lol After a humongous breakfast, Jon met us and we went exploring, driving all over the place to look at everything. We went to the Guilford Courthouse National Historic Site which was where a Revoluntionary War battle was fought and lost, and then headed over to a "roadfood" BBQ place for lunch.
After we had our BBQ we did some more exploring, hitting the local Scout Store and office (I got an adorable Scout shirt for Aidan) and then off to a hobby shop and a quilting shop. Then we drove by the Greensboro Natural Science Center and decided to take a look. They had a small zoo there with tigers and a lot of small animals and big snakes. It was a beautiful day with fairly warm temperatures so it was perfect to be outside.
They had a wallaby area where you actually got to walk through areas where the wallabys could come look at you or let you pet them if they wanted. There was one that was being touched by a little girl but he hopped away so Jon was very disappointed. They are grass eaters, and they did have an enclosure where people couldn't bother them, so they were happy just letting us look at them.
There was also a great meercat enclosure. Since we were there so late in the day, they were getting ready to be afraid of the hawks that usually fly in sometime in the evening. These two were up on the top of their enclosure (the volunteer told Jon that the zoo had to build a staircase for them to get up to the top so they would feel better about having a vantage point). They were really cute.
But cute as they are, the volunteer told the crowd that they could bring down and kill a much larger animal and the zoo had to be sure they couldn't get out because they would cause so much damage to the zoo and the other animals. After the zoo, we went back and picked Michelle up and had supper at PFChangs at the nearby shopping area.
Sunday morning was bright and warm and beautiful for our ride back. Along the way back, we stopped at Petersburg National Battleground National Park which consists of quite a large area of land and included several sites, a driving trail where you could see the earthworks and a couple of visitor centers. What was disappointing was that so many significant things were simply marked by signs on the side of the road. Even the famous crater is gone, it was not preserved. The armies and citizens of Petersburg, in southern Virginia, were under seige for about 9 months during 1864-1865 and there were earthen forts and bunkers dug all around the city. The local armies were trying to defend their city against the invading Union forces that were trying to take them over and were starving them out. This beautiful house was in a small town on the end of the City point where the James and Appomattox rivers come together. It was part of a very large plantation and was taken over by the Union troops during the seige.
This is another view of the River right off the banks on the property of the house. It was beautiful out and there were plenty of people out walking, playing with their dogs, and just generally enjoying the weather.
This guy was the first robin of spring that I was able to get a picture of. I know that it's going to get cold again at least a few more times before winter is over, but it was nice to see the Robins had come back and that spring was in the air.
This house was on a bluff overlooking city point park. The park sits on the site of where the Union built a huge complex of docks, wharf areas, and receiving areas for the food and weapons that they had come in on a daily basis during the seige. While the people of the town were starving (even the civilians), tons of supplies came in and were transported from the river to the troops via vast railroad lines that were built up in this area. After the war the area became a small town again. There are signs on the houses in the area of what they were during the war.
This was a nice shot of the park with a seagull in the foreground. Although it was a tad breezy there were plenty of people out enjoying the day. After we left Petersburg we stopped for food at one of the Cracker Barrels we love so much, and then off we went back home to Baltimore. It was a great weekend!

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