Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Chicken on Waffles, Hush Puppies, and a Med Student's Wife

I'm finally going to attempt to give an update on the latest crazy adventure of ours: NC. Now, I wish this in some way referred to Natalie Cole, unforgettable Nat King Cole, or a run in with Nancy Carell (but really, who wouldn't want to be at a dinner party with Nancy and Steve). No, this NC adventure began with a car packed full of things, no space to spare, a trek through 6 states (Utah, Colorado, Kansas, Missouri, Kentucky, Tennessee), changes in scenery, and 3 days later, North Carolina.

10 things we learned while driving:
1. 36 hours in a car is too long. I have never been happier to get out of a car in my life. And I have never not wanted to get in a car more in my life.
2. Colorado and Kansas have a lot, and I mean a lot, of nothing. And free land.
3. The I-70 is about 2,000 miles long.
4. 80's music is making a come back. Or maybe it never left. In every state, a few 80's music stations could be found. Along with 100 country stations.
5. Kentucky has a million frogs.
6. Don't take for granted an Ikea close to home.
7. A day in Nashville is not enough, but still pretty fantastic.
8. Utah might have the most active highway patrol officers. Much to everyone's dismay.
9. Hush puppies in the South are not stuffed animals or shoes but a version of cornbread. Fried cornbread. I don't recommend them, they are terrible. But maybe that's just me (Aside: after remembering Hush puppy stuffed animals I spent a good deal of time, much much more than I should have, reminiscing and looking at so called "vintage" toys on eBay. Polly Pockets, Littlest Pet Shop, Strawberry Shortcake, Rainbow Brite, Puppy Surprise. Can you believe these things are labeled "vintage" on eBay? I must be getting old).
10. In a battle of trees versus mountains, I'd pick my Rockies every time.

You probably already know but if not, you're might be wondering, why North Carolina?? We moved here (to Durham) at the end of July for Michael to start medical school at Duke. It's been an adjustment to be sure and we're still trying to iron out the kinks of everything.

A few things about Durham so far:
1. Dame's Chicken and Waffles. Chicken on a waffle? Sounded like an unlikely pair to me. Though skeptical, I tried it and it was incredibly delicious.
2. The American Tobacco Campus. This old tobacco factory in Durham has been converted to a fun complex with restaurants, a theater, and live music.
3. Nana Taco's spicy Mexican chocolate shake. When I tried this my heart stopped a minute. It's that good. It tastes exactly like the Mexican hot chocolate you can get at the Nordstrom ebar except it's a shake not hot chocolate. Which makes it that much more delicious.
4. Dreyer's ice cream is Edy's in the South.
5. I can't find Albers cornmeal. Anywhere. And it's very much a tragedy.
6. Heat and humidity. You feel as if your face might melt off the moment you step outside.
7. Trees, trees, and more trees. Everywhere you look.
8. Cicadas that never stop. And incredibly large insects.

And there you have it. A short (somewhat) summary of the adventures in NC so far.

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