Friday, November 27, 2009

North Carolina Booksignings

Well, I had a terrific time in North Carolina last week. I got to see so many of my friends and several of Steve's relatives while there. My friend Carrie Hewitt and I flew out of Seattle early Thursday morning. It was fun to show her where I used to live, etc. My dear friend Art Howard picked us up from the airport...and then, we headed to downtown Raleigh for supper. He took us to The Pit a great southern cuisine restaurant where Carrie had her first taste of collard greens and Hush Pupplies--one of my favorite items. Then, we stopped by WRAL to leave my DVDs and a book for the producer. Ran into some friends there...Clarence and Dona. On Friday, I was interviewed on the Noon News at my old station WRAL-TV in Raleigh by a wonderful anchor friend Bill Leslie. It was a great opportunity to promote the booksignings in Raleigh and in Wilmington. I haven't been on that side of the camera is a great while and it was good practice. Talking with Bill made it so easy too. I was trying desperately not to say uh, um or any other filler words. I guess I did pretty well. My booksigning at Dancing Moon was fun...Joanie and Lori came right before it ended which was awesome cuz then we all went to dinner at The Point in North Raleigh. I had one of the best salads ever~! Saturday, Waltye, Carrie Hewitt and I went to the Seagrove Pottery Celebration which was a treat. Steve's cousin Ippie joined us as did Carrie's friend Peggy from Atlanta. She drove six hours to see Carrie. They had not laid eyes on each other for 27 years. It was sweet to see how they just picked up where they had left off. Peggy was a doll. Very sweet and such a pleasure to spend time with. I can see why she and Carrie have been such good friends. Waltye was a gracious hostess as always and it was special to get to spend so much time with her. On Sunday, I had brunch with Dan and Julie Oliver in downtown Raleigh while Waltye was directing her church's choir and Carrie had spent the night with Peggy at a hotel in Cary. Dan and Julie are so awesome...and FUNNY! Afterwards, I got back up with Waltye and we picked up Carrie and headed south. On the way, we stopped off in Fayetteville to see more of Steve's relatives, the Grannis family. Ed is the DA in Fayetteville...a job I cannot imagine. With two military bases there he has his hands full! and he has been the prosecuting attorney for many decades. That terrible case there last week with the little girl who had been pimped out by her mom and then murdered by the wacko who took her would give me nightmares. I am glad he has the disposition to handle such cases...someone has to do it. We made it to Ocean Isle Beach Sunday night and it was great. We stayed at The Winds which is owned by Carrie's friend Debra Hamilton. I got up the next morning and walked on the beach. It was great but it torqued my back and I paid for it later. I highly recommend The Winds. It was very nice and cozy. We spent one day toodling around Calabash shopping and eating fresh seafood with - you guessed it more Hush Puppies! Yummo. We actually drove over to the S. Carolina side of the border so Carrie could get her picture made with a South Carolina sign behind her. It was only about five miles from where we stayed. Then, we got to have breakfast the following morning with our hostess Debra. She is this tiny little Southern beauty and so generous! Loved meeting her. We all trekked on over to Wilmington. Waltye and I went to meet up with Steve's Uncle Charlie and his wife Betsy. I love their home it is so comfortable and just beautifully decorated. They are such a wonderful couple and so loving. They took Waltye and I out to lunch at a place on the riverfront in historic downtown Wilmington...called Elijah's. It was great to catch up with them. Then, they delivered me and my books to Two Sister Bookery in the Cotton Exchange. What a delightful bookstore! It was so quaint. It made me miss The Good Book, my old shop here in West Seattle. I had fun meeting folks and was invited to come do another signing the next time I am in NC, which might very well be next May or June when Keili wants her Pampa Ed to teach her how hang glide at Kitty Hawk. We will see... so anyway, after the booksigning we hit the road and headed back to Cary to rest up at Waltye's pack for our return trip home and for her trip to New Jersey to spend Thanksgiving with her cousins. Carrie and I spent part of our departure day with Dick and Margy King some friends of ours from when we lived in Chapel Hill. That was a treat. We spent most of the day at A Southern Season. WOW! a tiny little local gourmet food shop has grown into a megastore with delis, restaurants, over 100,000 bottles of wine, a chocolate section that was unbelievable, beautiful pots, pans, gadgets galore! It is amazing. We then caught our flights home and arrived just in time to get a few hours rest before Thanksgiving. Which brings me to the many reasons why I am thankful...for wonderful friends, family, good health, love, and beautiful memories of my son, parents, grandpa, Alycia, Michael and my newest angel friend Phyllis who passed away while I was in NC. She was and will always be a jewel in my heart.

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