#989 Fayetteville, NC

First visit to a brand new facility. The lunch price has gone up about 40 cents. Nothing new on the menu. Lots and lots of noisy people. The acoustics were poor, extremely loud environment. Wait staff rushed. Not sure about the layout. Long narrow pathways that are easily blocked by one person, or one person moving their chair into the pathway.

I’m not sure Golden Corral has come up with a winner in this update. I think I will be more likely to visit some of my other haunts one extra day a week instead of braving the crowded new GC.

You don’t realize how much value you place on a friendly wait staff until they aren’t there any more.

Finally, the spaghetti special!

I took off Monday and Wednesday of this week, because Tuesday was Veterans Day. On Sunday, I realized that Monday might be the first time that I could visit Down on Main Street in Washington, NC and get their Spaghetti Special again. I had visited twice since my first visit with Leo Taylor, and both times they did not have spaghetti on the menu. My second visit was probably on a weekend and they said that the spaghetti special was only served on Mondays. It took another visit, during the summer, to find that they only have the spaghetti special on Mondays, AND not during the summer.

About 30 minutes up I95, I realize that I have forgotten my phone.  Darn, I’m not going back for it, but there goes the GPS and camera, and I don’t have my little red Canon camera either.  No pictures today. *And, that would have been nice when I saw the sea gulls atop the posts.

I took the chance and headed to “Little Washington” on Monday morning. The trip takes a little more than two hours, so I detoured through Greenville and by ECU. Purple buses and purple covered students, were plentiful, but there was at least one long haired blonde female student dressed in Carolina blue.

I made it to Down on Main Street about 11:30 am and saw no customers seated outside in the small courtyard. I went to the back door and opened it and went in. I was seated at the exact same, high chaired table, as I was seated my last visit.  *Let me say that being seated here is not that bad.  Many of the waitresses are very attractive and there is a constant stream of them going in and out of the kitchen.

My waitress came to the table. I asked about a hard apple cider that I had enjoyed previously. She had to “go back” and ask, but returned and suggested it might have been the Angry Orchard cider. I ordered that, water, and the spaghetti special ($5.99) with a house salad and honey mustard dressing. The spaghetti special was written simply on a small black A-framed chalkboard sitting on the floor.  *The entire meal, including tip was probably only about $16.

The salad arrived with my hard cider, and a package of soda crackers. The salad & dressing were good, and the apple cider was especially tasty.

When I was almost done eating my salad, the spaghetti plate arrived. There was a good portion of spaghetti noodles and sauce on the plate and a garliclly Texas Toast.

The spaghetti sauce was very good. They include onions, mushrooms and meat in the sauce which is way beyond what most restaurants attempt to serve their customers. Those extra ingredients, and the flavor, were what made my first experience so special. Leo and I both had the spaghetti special on our visit. We had sat at the bar, where several other customers were lined up eating various dished and sandwiches. I had looked at the spaghetti another customer was having and it did look good. Another customer told me that the spaghetti was good as well as their sandwiches.

After lunch, I headed down to Jacksonville, NC via the scenic route. I started toward Aurora, NC, but then deviated to the Minnesott Beach Ferry. I stopped in Grantsboro, at the Hess Station to fill up on gas.

I got to the ferry as the last several vehicles were unloading. I pulled up in a line of vehicles, probably about the 4th or 5th vehicle.

I had not ridden this ferry in probably 25 years. I know I rode this ferry several times when I was living in Jacksonville, before starting work in 1995 at FSU. I doubt that I would have taken the time and effort to come up and ride this ferry on one of my visits to Jacksonville/Hubert during my almost 20 years working at FSU.

The ferry ride only lasts about 20 minutes, but it is a wonderful little interlude.

I got out of my car and walked to the port side of the ferry, and then walked back to use the men’s restroom. I then walked up on the second, passenger deck, to watch the few seagulls flying about. A couple of gulls were standing atop the flag poles. Amazing that the gulls just stood there as if weathering a strong gale. There was a young boy with his father walking about and then to the stern of the vessel.




After the ferry crossing, I came back through Cherry Point/Havelock and headed back up Hwy. 70 to New Bern.  About a mile from the New Bern bridges, there is a tobacco shop.  I stopped in and bought the last (well, it was the last they had on display) two-pack of RamRod cigars they had.  I think the original price was under $3 for the two-pack, but now is about $7.  Even at this price they are a relatively good deal.  I cut each of them in half and that works for me.  *I just saw online that I could purchase them for about $3.45.

ADDENDUM:  Sometimes a melancholy comes over me and I wonder at the selfishness of us all (the Human Race).  We have friends and relatives that we “love”.  We sometimes have the eccentric pal or a buddy that seems to touch our inner selves, a fellow traveler along Life’s Path.  But, then I sometimes step back and wonder about the motives of us all.  Are we not all selfishly invested?  We give to our loved ones, but the unstated motive is that someday they will give back to us.  I try to be unselfish, and maybe I am, at times, but the selfish part of me taints my life far more often than not.


The Remorseful Day

The problem with “cliff-hanging” Endeavour is that you know how your main character turns out. He’s not going to die, nor remain convicted in prison for the rest of his life.

The Remorseful Day is about as bleak an ending for a main character as I can recall. Pretty close to life-like. Morse is old, in poor health, abandoned by his late love. The shine is off for the brilliant detective, reconciled to bird watching for the remainder of his “miserable” life. Even Lewis knows more about birding than Morse, their roles reversed. And, how life-like, Morse dies and Lewis can’t even be there because his profession calls. Well done!

I’ve never been good at working crossword puzzles, my feeble attempt at appreciating Opera failed,  I don’t like the taste of beer, and I work alone (for the most part), daily, solving small problems.

I’ve recently enjoyed poring over many of the 360 degrees images of Oxford University college buildings via the Virtual Tour of Oxford.  Did I even know what Michaelmas or Open Admission was before that?  But I am impressed that there are tunnels used to port books between the various Bodleian libraries.

Still, I’ve reached a time in my life, “old age” and find myself watching stability leave my life with ever increasing speed.  Nothing really important has gone lately, but little things.

I’ve lived in Fayetteville, North Carolina for almost twenty years.  I started work at Fayetteville State University on August 7th, 1995.  About six months ago, I passed by a Hardee’s fast-food restaurant, either going to or from work, and realized it had closed.  I saw a note on one door, from a distance.  Wondered what the note said, but never made a detour to read the note.  The building has remained empty.

20140713_091027One morning after breakfast, about three or four months ago, I got in my car and headed past Independence Mall.  As I looked opposite the Mall, I saw that the Golden Corral was gone.  Well, most of it was gone, and it had been there less than a week before.  I quickly made a right turn and came around into what had been the restaurant’s parking lot.  There was still wreckage of the building in heaps, and heavy equipment parked nearby.  I saw no sign of fire.  I took a couple of pictures and then left.

I found that plans were in the works to build a new Golden Corral on the same location.

Less than a week ago, as I was having lunch at another Golden Corral (across town), DeWayne, a long-time waiter there, told me that the current location 20141020_131644would be closing after the coming Sunday.  He and others were to be transferred over to the new location.  *I’m not sure if it is open, or will be opened before closing the current location.  Still two long-time restaurants that I have visited regularly for almost 20 years have/will disappear.

I was born on my cousin, Mary Ann (Kellum) Sharpe’s sixteenth birthday.  I think I recall that she has been married to her husband, James “Jim” F. Sharpe for almost 50 years.

I like Tom Selleck as an actor.  I have especially enjoyed the character, Jessie Stone.  But, I have noted how old the actor has become.

In addition to liking Inspector Morse, Inspector Lewis and Endeavour, I am a fan of Midsomer Murders.  I’ve enjoyed John Nettles, but had noted that in his last episodes he was looking old.

Go, go, Golden Corral

I just found out yesterday that the Golden Corral that I normally visit will be closing after this coming Sunday. I don’t recall exactly, but I think it was built shortly after I came to Fayetteville, NC in 1995. I am not sure of that.
I have known DeWayne probably since my first visits.

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