Tuesday, June 28, 2022

Greenville, North Carolina - and great PIZZA!

WELCOME TO THE EMERALD CITy


Tar River, Greenville, North Carolina


Lovely Southern home in Greenville.

Greenville, North Carolina is widely recognized as the thriving cultural, educational, economic, and medical hub of Eastern North Carolina. Enjoy world-class events and East Carolina University and the Greenville Convention Center. Experience our vibrant art, live music, and culinary scene in the Uptown Greenville and Dickinson Avenue Districts.

AND

If you're ever in town be sure to visit Luna Pizza Café

Perhaps, like us, your travels sometimes include crazy, one-off visits to places you hadn't really planned to visit. Right now we're taking a road trip to Eastern North Carolina to use free hotel nights before they expire on June 30th! Just returning from the UK, I hadn't expected to be packing up again and leaving hearth and home!
First stop was here in Greenville because I had read an article in a magazine about this amazing pizza place. The owner, a former university professor at East Carolina University, enrolled in a famous Florence, Italy pizza academy to learn the intricacies of making fermented dough and how to lightly char Neapolitan pies in a high temperature oven. Long story short, he retired from teaching and opened Luna's here in Greenville......and soon there will be more locations, hopefully one closer to home for us. . . . . . like right across the street from us in north Raleigh's burgeoning Midtown PLEASE owner Richard!
Our favorite Neapolitan pizza EVER was enjoyed in Palermo, Sicily. Our ship dropped us off for a day ashore and after sightseeing we ended up sitting outside with friends overlooking the water enjoying fabulous pizzas!  A VERY close favorite  has to be this pizza Margherita tonight at Luna's right here in North Carolina, excellent in every way, along with an amazing appetizer, Involfini do Melanzani (rolled, stuffed eggplant), and we shared the best Tiramisu dessert ever!  The dining experience was so enjoyable. Beside the wonderful food, Walt the Manager, and Kelly our server, were most hospitable and helpful, and took time to chat with us.

Perfect Pizza Margherita 
Good to the last crumb!
Very good Italian rosé!

We just may be heading back to Greenville again soon as tonight's meal
 was fabulous!
Back on the road tomorrow heading to Elizabeth City via the historic towns of
 (Little) Washington and Bath. 

I had hoped to post this last evening however the WIFI in the hotel room quit!


Saturday, June 25, 2022

Time flew by with new friends -



I do like being at home again. . . . . . but getting away and flying across
 the pond was so enjoyable after such a long time.

Seeing family and old friends, and meeting new friends or making
 acquaintances was fun.
Our new friends included a sweet elderly blind man, Monty, from Wales, 
whom we breakfasted with at the hotel on several mornings, and two
 amazing ladiesMyra and Pat who are gorgeous, funny cousins in their
 eighties. They were on holiday from Newcastle. They kept us in stitches
 even when we couldn't quite understand their Geordie accents. 

There was also Wendy whom we met on a bus ride and discovered
 we were at the same school together. We talked about the teachers we
 had and the silly things we did as teenagers. Such as sit in the classroom
 seats next to the French doors and stick our legs out sideways to get a
 tan on those few and far between sunny days of early English
 summer. . . . before the school holidays started and we were
released from uniforms, Panama hats, ankle socks, and uptight
 rules and regulations of an all girls' Grammar
 School back in the 1950's!!!

An evening visit, one of several, to our favorite pub, and luckily
 just a hop and skip away from our hotel, was interesting. We ordered
 drinks and food and settled in to listen to some awesome live music. 
We sat at a table next to two men, one a surgeon, both part of a 
Trauma Team who go to Africa to help provide free surgical care for
 patients with broken bones and traumatic injuries in rural Kenya
Very interesting conversation for us as we have visited there and have
 seen how botched, or often no surgery, leave men, women and children
 unable to walk properly, or to use their arms to work and provide for
 their families.
If interested in reading more about, or supporting this worthwhile charity,
go here:  https://www.futurehealthafrica.org/traumateam


Bob outside the Hole In The Wall, favorite Torquay pub.
Bend your head though, the beams are very low!

Torquay's Oldest Pub – Circa 1540

With its cobbled floors and low-beamed ceilings, the Hole in the Wall has been a regular for smugglers and business people alike. Providing a traditional pub atmosphere with great food and quality beer, the Hole in the Wall aims to provide first class service with a great social experience for all. Good selection of ales to include Doom Bar,  Butcombe Bitter, Otter Bitter and with as many as four changing guest beers and traditional real cider too, you will not be short of choice!

I'm busy catching up here at home. Unpacking and laundry, lots of garden chores as lack of rain and very high temperatures - it was 99F when we disembarked our flight in Raleigh - have wreaked havoc on plants and shrubs, and the grass is browning out. However the figs are plumping, daylilies blooming, and some hydrangeas survived and welcomed us back with paler shades of blue.
 Have a great weekend - I'll be around to catch up with you soon, and hope to add more stories from our really fun trip.

Tuesday, June 21, 2022

Up, up and away!





Composing this in the hotel's Concierge Lounge. Looking out through the large
 windows at Heathrow's runways at the landing and taking off of planes.
From all corners of the world, displaying their colorful painted tails, we can
 name them being this close.
They are different from this hilarious illustration of 'flying machines' 
I found in a corridor downstairs when searching for the gym - not to exercise
 just for something to pass the time!

We're stuck at the airport hotel today.
This day, of all days, brought the greater London transportation strike.
There are no trains or subway, the busses are limited and being
monopolized by commuters requiring an alternate way to work, so our
 planned day into the city for a look about, and perhaps a bit of shopping, has
not materialized.  

You win some, you lose some!
The old plan for this day included keeping a costly pre-paid appointment
 for the required COVID test to return to the US. Thankfully that regulation
was lifted a week ago and we are hoping to have the fees refunded.
Instead, what was going to be a free day, has turned into a minor lockdown
day. We had breakfast here. We took a walk around the large hotel property,
 and will walk again later as it's a beautiful sunny day. 

Now I'm sipping Britvic Spicy Ginger Ale - "Lifting Spirits since 1938" it says
 on the bottle, it works! I'm nibbling Brontë biscuits, "Great British Biscuit
 Bakers since 1895".
Silly as it sounds, it's little things such as this that make me feel I'm really
 at home again.


Traveling to London yesterday via the National Express coach, the
 green, grass of home flew past the windows. . . . . 5 hours of great
scenery in sunshine and blue skies.



Supper last night was at the nearby Pheasant Inn pub. 
We've eaten here for many years when flying out of Heathrow as it's
just a 15 minute walk from the hotel.
This time tomorrow we should be back in Raleigh following the long
eight hour direct flight.  
I'll be back here once settled and caught up with the most
important tasks awaiting at the house. . . . . and definitely 
the garden.

It has been a wonderful trip home and I'm already planning the next one!