Archive for the ‘Trips’ Category

Our Trip to Mayberry (Mount Airy, North Carolina)

Tuesday, July 24th, 2007

Last week, Jennifer, Jonathan, Carmel, and I visited Mount Airy, North Carolina, the birthplace of Andy Griffith. The fictional town of Mayberry seems to be based on Mount Airy, although there are obvious differences between the two. Mount Airy plays up the connection to Mayberry, and has regular “Mayberry Days” festivals. Many of the businesses are named after Andy Griffith Show characters or places. I thoroughly enjoy the Andy Griffith Show (I own all the DVDs), and I found Mount Airy fascinating because of the connection, although it stands out as a nice, little town in its own right. Many of the locals seem to like the connection to the show, although some prefer to emphasize the historic Mount Airy (home to the first “Siamese” twins, among other things). Here are some photos I took on our trip (with explanations):

Wally's Service Station

This image is a replica of Wally’s Service Station, where Gomer and Goober Pyle (as well as Goober’s gal, Flora) worked.

Mayberry Courthouse

This is a photo of Jennifer and I sitting at Sheriff Taylor’s desk, in the replica of the Mayberry Courthouse.

Blue Bird Diner

This is the Blue Bird Diner, started in the 1990s, and named after the diner mentioned in the show where Barney’s occasional love-interest Juanita works. I asked our waitress how often customers ask for Juanita. She said, “oh, about every other customer” in a wearied voice.

The Snappy Lunch

This is the Snappy Lunch, mentioned in a first season episode on the show. Andy visited this restaurant as a boy. The owner, Charles Dowell, is still around today. We met him when we visited. They are famous for their pork chop sandwich: deep fried pork chop, slaw, chili, onions, mustard, and tomato!

Mount Airy Wall

This wall showcases Mt. Airy attractions.

Mount Airy, North Carolina

This is a view of the outlying, newly-developed, areas of Mount Airy. Perhaps Mayberry would have a modern area like this, if it were a real town.

Shelton Vineyards

North Carolina is seeing many new vineyards and wineries spring up, especially as the importance of tobacco declines. This image is from the Shelton Vineyard, outside of Mount Airy.

Mount Airy Jail

This is a cell in the actual (old) jail of Mount Airy. They no longer use it today. It just isn’t quite the same as Mayberry, and I can’t imagine Otis actually enjoying his stay here!

A Good Weekend

Monday, September 11th, 2006

I had a great weekend; what can I say? Jennifer came to visit me, and we did all kinds of things. We went out to eat on Friday, and on Saturday went to the Our Lady of Consolation Shrine in the afternoon. Then we went to Saturday evening Mass, followed by watching my school’s high school football team. We left that at half-time because it was raining. We got a bite to eat a Mexican restaurant called “Mi Jalapeno.” It was great! In fact we ate there the next night too.

On Sunday we went to the nearest state park, which is about 20 minutes away. They have a beach area there where I took the photos below. Now it is back to old grind of course, but a good weekend always makes the week go better.

The photos below are of Jennifer, her feet, and two friends walking on the beach (I have no idea who they are).

Jennifer on the beach

Jennifer washing off her shoes

Strangers walking on the beach

Back from Vacation

Friday, August 4th, 2006

I just got back from vacation. Jonathan, Jennifer, and I went to Sandusky, OH, the home of Cedar Point, which has some of the highest and fastest rollercoasters on the planet. We visited Cedar Point the last day of our vacation, and went to their water park during the day, and then in the evening to the regular park. Thanks to some anonymous girls who offered us their buy-one-get-one-free coupon, we got in for a really great price. God bless you girls, whoever you may be.

The first two days of our vacation, we went to Toft’s Dairy, the Sandusky Fish Company, Firelands Winery, Mon Ami Winery, Sorrowful Mother Shrine, among other interesting places. I am not always into “touristy” stuff, and prefer a more low-key vacation where I can just chill out and enjoy myself, and this vacation was perfect in this regard. I ended up buying a wi-fi card for my laptop and had fun surfing the net at the hotel. I was supposed to get work done, but I am sure you know how much that usually happens!

It is good to be back though. The cats and my parents were waiting for me, as well as some vitamins and a replacement cord for my laptop I desparately needed. Now it’s time to get down to the real world: moving, setting up a classroom, etc.