Goldsboro, NC | 7.31.10

Goldsboro was only a day trip because we were there nearly all day; it only took us 45 minutes to drive it! Once again, we thoroughly enjoyed driving the 2-lane roads and seeing the farmland, cool old houses, beautiful new houses, and everything in between. The houses with the big porches, whether new or old, always look welcoming. One of Goldsboro’s claims to fame is a historic cemetery, the Willow Dale, where a mass grave of 800 confederate soldiers is located. It is quite something and we were glad to see it.  All but 200 soldiers’ names have been identified, which is pretty impressive. I took lots of photos; we like the old cemeteries. The really old stone work is magnificent and some of the inscriptions are so lovely to read. The segregated Jewish portion of the cemetery has graves from the 1800’s and early 1900’s with beautiful markers, markers in disrepair, with a view of the road and a housing project across the street… still a strikingly beautiful cluster of trees, old brick and stone with tender words dedicated to loved ones.

We saw some beautiful churches today also. Sometimes it seems that there is a church on every corner just as there is a family cemetery about every mile down every rural road.

We found a roadside barbecue restaurant, which is a favorite of the locals, and we enjoyed our lunch. Gary got brisket and I got a barbecue san. When you order “barbecue” down here it means pulled pork; it is smoked and does have a light vinegar-based sauce, but not a heavy barbecue sauce. Canned green beans are big sellers here, but they are not cooked without hog back, fat back, and/or a mondo hunk of bacon, and some chicken or beef boullion. If you choose string beans as your “side” here in the south, they are canned beans. Okra is big here, also a common side dish. Doesn’t do anything for me, but it is beautiful in a garden when it flowers.

The final part of our pleasant day – by the way, the temps did not get higher than 80 degrees – was discovering a small vineyard near Goldsboro (her label is A Secret Garden) run by a woman who has farmed her whole life and who decided to start growing muscadine grapes and do some winemaking. She lives on property her parents farmed, she now has a beautiful small vineyard, and we spent a good hour walking around, looking at her bottling set-up, and enjoying her company in such beautiful, lush farmland. Remy was welcome to scamper around, which she thoroughly enjoyed. Gary bought a couple bottles. The wine is natural in terms of no additives other than some sugar in her sweet wine; she doesn’t even add yeast in her winemaking. It was over my head, but very interesting. The owner has no website, doesn’t have a mailorder service, but does a lot of repeat business with the locals and visitors who travel the rural 2-lane roads. She had a cute little tasting room and we enjoyed our personal tour of her home-grown business.

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