Christmas Trip to North Carolina (Final Blog of 2023)

Christmas Trip to North Carolina (Final Blog of 2023)

Since the last  Blog  covering my November trip to the UK , I had a few quiet weeks with not much going on.

In between getting prepared for my latest adventure, I took in a few extra curricular activities.

On the 24th of November I took my Thunderbird  out for it’s final run of the year, before putting it in the garage for it’s winter hibernation.

On the 27th of November I drove my Chev Impala over to nearby Finch , Ontario,  to snap some pictures of the Canadian Pacific Holiday Train.

On the 12th of December, I went along to the Canadian Tire Center in Kanata to see my beloved Ottawa Senators play the Carolina Hurricanes.

It was my first time back at a live game since pre-covid times.

The ‘Sens’ have been going through a rough patch of late, and this game was another disappointment as they lost 4 to 1. 

After a recent road trip consisting of even more losses , they have since relieved the head-coach of his duties.

Former head-coach Jacques Martin is now back as the interim replacement with Daniel Alfredsson as his assistant.

Christmas was getting closer , and once more I was heading down to Willow Springs, North Carolina to spend the festive season with my daughter Carla, and the family.

On Tuesday the 19th , I left my place in Cornwall, Ontario  at 10-00 am.  in the morning on the familiar drive south.

By 8-00 pm I was booked in to my usual overnight stop-over at the Red Roof Inn , beside I81 in Winchester, Virginia.

I set off early in the morning (4-00am) and after a few stops along the way , I was pulling in to the Saddle Tree Stables, in Willow Springs at 10-00 am ,  where I’d arranged to meet Carla.

That’s where she was keeping Lee, one of her two horses.

We then went back to her house, before setting off on our afternoon agenda.

It was the last day of school for my grandkids Benji and Sophia and they were staging a science display for the parents to see.

On Friday the 22nd , we were heading to nearby Holly Springs, where Carla keeps Lola , her other horse.

She acquired Lola, on a  ‘rescue mission’ . Lola recently had a foal, and following that , had developed some health issues so her future looked grim .

Carla wanted to save her, with the hope that TLC would give her a better quality of life.

An appointment with the vet was set up for that afternoon.

While this was taking place, Benji and Sophia made themselves useful shoveling ‘poop’

The Vets prognosis was good, and the things look good for Lola.

On Saturday the 23rd , Carla and family had been invited to some friends for a party, so I did my own thing for the day.

I went on a little road trip.

It may be December, and not much racing going on , but that doesn’t stop me going to check out tracks I’ve never been to before.

It was a beautiful day, and just right for cruising down to the coast with the sun roof open .

The  Carteret County Speedway N.C. is located about a two and a half hour drive from Carla’s and just a ten minute drive from the beach at Cape Carteret .

It’s a paved oval and it looks like quite an impressive place

 Hopefully I can get back there in 2024 when the race season gets under way.

Well , seeing as I was so close to the ocean, and it was such a lovely day , how could I resist a trip to the beach.

After feeling the water , I had a nice lunch at Surfs Up, an eatery at the start of the Bogue Inlet Pier

The Shrimp Burger was excellent.

The 24th of December, of course is Christmas Eve, and after a bit of last minute shopping the family made our traditional visit to Church.

Christmas Day was a fun morning watching the kids open their gifts, followed by the big  meal at supper time.

During the day Carla and I made a special visit to see Lee at the stables.

Once again, I had a lovely Christmas with my family.

I left Willow Springs at 7-45 am on Boxing Day  for the long drive back to Canada.

The roads were good , not too busy , and apart from a bit of fog in the Pennsylvania mountains , things went well .  I was able to be back at my place in Cornwall at 11-00 pm. 

On Wednesday the 27th I visited my buddy Ron Morin who’d been picking up my mail while I was away.

I’m pleased to say , an item  I’d been waiting  for had arrived.

After more than 50 years of searching, I’ve finally filled a gap in my program collection.

I’ve been collecting BriSCA F1 and F2 Stock Car Racing World Final programs since I was a kid.

One of them, the 1965 F2 race that took place at Swindon became elusive, and after putting up ‘wanted’ ads for a long time I eventually gave up hope.

Thanks to Michelle Iddon, I now have the copy in my collection.

Michelle is the widow of my late friend Andy Webb.

Andy # 763 was runner up to Johnny Marquand # 189 in 1965, and in 1967 he went on to win the big race for himself.

Thanks again to Michelle, it will be a nice memory of my good friend Andy.

Finally as the year comes to an end , I must mention that I went to the movies for the first time since pre covid days.

On Friday the 29th , I went along to see the recently released film  Ferrari .

It’s the story of Enzo , the iconic Italian car maker.

It was a very good, and well worth seeing.

That’s about it for this year , Happy New Year to everyone. I hope 2024 is a good one.

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