Life in the Southeast

Since March of 2010, we’ve lived in Greenville, NC. Our zip code is officially Winterville. [[ UPDATE: Not any more – as of December 2014!]] I work at East Carolina University as a Technology Support Specialist where I train and support faculty and students in the use of Blackboard, our learning management system. Gary is happily retired from the pharmaceutical biz and does some volunteer work pounding nails for Habitat for Humanity. That gig allows for a 2-day escape from keeping our house clean and well-stocked with food, plus he’s learning some new skills and using some old skills. On most days there is a continuity of helpers, so he’s met other retirees on the home sites who also like to do hands-on volunteering. Oh – and I am the Boise State University alumni rep for eastern North Carolina, which means that once in the fall I host a football party in a sports bar of my choosing. I’m happy when one person shows, ecstatic with anything over one. Go Broncs!

We are looking for a retirement destination, and that’s been pretty fun. Gary sold the snow blower before moving south – that should answer the question, “will you ever move back to Montana?” Our day trips and weekend trips have taken us to places even five years ago we never imagined we’d see. There’s so much we like about Savannah, GA (I spent 18 months there for a job before Gary was officially free to make the move from Billings, MT), but I got my fill of living in a tourist town. And the bugs are freaky huge there. However, if you have a chance, ever in your life to visit Savannah, do it. You will not be sorry. That’s where I learned that mac & cheese is considered a “vegetable of the day.”

Shortly after Gary moved to Savannah.

Charleston, SC is also a must-see for anyone visiting the south who is a history buff and who likes architecture, historical mansions, coastal cities, etc. etc.

War Memorial, wife waiting for husband, downtown Asheville

We really like Asheville – maybe a little too touristy for us to live, but what a lovely city. Oh – 12 Bones Smokehouse – we love their food. Their smoked potato salad (I know! smoked!) was so interesting AND fabulous. And RC Cola products on tap… a blast from the past. Even though we live in eastern NC, where vinegar-based BBQ is king, I am more into the western NC flavors.

Also in the mountains, Blowing Rock, is a small town that is uber-cool (is that a word?), but even a modest house in Blowing Rock is way out of our financial comfort zone.  Their downtown is delightful, interesting, and just plain “Oh-my-gosh-I-love-this-town” cool. We’ll go there again for a visit. In fact our anniversary weekend this year will be spent in a B&B between Blowing Rock and Boone.

Greenville, SC, and the surrounding area, is on our short list of retirement destinations. We have lots more exploring to do, but we sure like what we’ve seen so far, plus SC is more retiree-friendly than NC, per Gary’s homework. Check out my first Greenville, SC blog post for more + pix.

Scrumptious apple dessert at the Pitt, one of Raleigh’s famous BBQ restaurants

Trying the regional and local BBQ joints is a dirty job, but someone has to do it! Southern food (aka Comfort Food) is out of this world in many restaurants, but it’s not the the kind of food that we eat on a regular basis, despite its heavenly goodness! We’re at the age where the word “lipids” finds its way into conversations with our family doc.

Winston-Salem, NC, and that area – wow…. love it. It’s a big city, yet has a community feel, plus an eclectic vibe with the beautiful campus of Wake Forest University. W-S has a vibrant downtown (you know how we love a “real” downtown!), Old Salem (can’t get enough of that), good shopping (including Costco), and more. If we lived there, we would not be far from Hanna in Raleigh, and we could pack our sweatshirts and get to the mountains in no time. This city is also on our short list. See my post on W-S.

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