Last Saturday was graduation and Rob and I decided to take this week off from work before starting into the summer. He will return to his summer job at IT and I will continue on in my regular work for a few more weeks until I officially retire.
Monday we drove some friends up to the Charlotte airport for their overseas mission trip. In a rare moment of spontaneity we decided to spend the night up in that area and visit a few local places of interest. One place that my friend Kathy has been mentioning to us for years is the Schiele Museum of Natural History in Gastonia, NC. The museum has a number of dioramas of North American wildlife which were quite interesting. It also has a nice exhibit of minerals and gemstones. We did find some of the exhibits to be rather "tired" looking, particularly the bird exhibits, some of which were very faded in color. The museum also had a few live animals, such as snakes and these fellows:
After touring indoors we went out on the nature trail and headed to the 18th century back-country farm. Since we were there on a weekday morning there were no interpreters there, but we did meet this delightful woman who was working in the garden:
She was working very hard weeding and trimming back some rosemary which was quite overgrown. She possessed a wealth of knowledge about old-timey plants and their uses which she shared with us. Nearly all the plants in the garden were used for food, medicine, or for their scents. The farm also had a few animals, such as these creatures:
We also saw this fellow while we were walking on a trail--he wasn't part of an exhibit!
All in all our visit was enjoyable, but I would recommend if you would like to go that you go after mid-June when more exhibits will be opening and on a weekend when there are interpreters there giving various demonstrations.
We asked the nice garden lady for recommendations for lunch in the area and she suggested a local barbecue place which we tried. It was very crowded and had lots of trucks outside, which is usually a good sign. Our waitress recommended that we split a small barbecue plate and we still couldn't finish our meal. The barbecue was good, be we were a little disappointed with the sides. We have been very spoiled by Bucky's here in Greenville.
Since we were in Gastonia I felt like I really needed to make a stop at Mary Jo's and pick up a few things. I found some flannel for baby gift, some quilt batting, and a 1930's style print for a new apron. While I was enjoying my time at Mary Jo's Rob went to a nearly coffee shop and caught up on his email.
Our next stop was also recommended by the garden lady. She told us about Tony's City Ice Cream which has been in Gastonia since 1915. Rob thought that we really needed to stop and try it out since it has such historic significance. We enjoyed our ice cream there. We were told that they have really good Cherry Lemonade slushes, but we didn't try those this time. They also sell sandwiches, including liver mush sandwiches. So, if you are curious about liver mush after reading Jan Karon novels here's the place to go to satisfy your curiosity. 🙂
Our next stop of interest was actually pretty close to Tony's, but unfortunately we didn't know it and we drove further than we needed to to find it. We stopped at Long Creek Mills which is a store which specializes in thread (especially threads for sergers and machine embroidery.) They also had quite a bit of other crafting materials such as beads, pom poms, etc. One thing that interested me was the cotton yarn. They had lots of the large cones of Peaches and Cream and large bags of balls of Sugar and Cream. The website doesn't show all the colors that they carry, but they have more colors than I have ever seen in any store. I bought this bag:
If you knit or crochet dish cloths this is the place for you.
After that we headed on home and are planning to work on a few projects around the house and yard for the rest of the week.
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