Tuesday, September 29, 2009
Travelling to North Carolina.
We got going around 9 and then arrived at the Peace Bridge a couple of hours later. We were asked, at US Customs, who owned the car, new one on us, never had that question before. The Peace Bridge is one of the major crossings between Fort Erie, Canada and Buffalo, NY in the States. It has been the subject of much news lately, particularly in view of the increase in armed border guards. Even on the Canadian side they are armed apparently. We were lucky with our crossings apparently, delays have been really bad with people being backed up for 4 hours and more due to a strike recently. When we got to the Pennsylvania Turnpike there were major road works for the first 40 minutes, they must be spending millions on widening the road. I was fascinated because they have cut into rocks at the sides of the road and the striations now apparent were very attractive. Like an attractive rock wall. I wish I had been able to take pictures. The Turnpike crosses some of the most attractive country and I wish it were possible to take reams of video along the trip as the scenery is absolutely fantastic at times. There was a lot of rain in Pennsylvania, it really chucked it down. We didn't get out of the rain until we were in Virginia. Gas prices in the States seem to be running in the $2.60's to the gallon, of course a US gallon is 4/5 of a European gallon.Funny, we passed a house somewhere along the road, and I thought they had deer ornaments in their front yard, then I realised they were moving. There were about half a dozen red deer. I just hoped they wouldn't head out onto the hiway. There was enough road kill anyway. I love to see deer, almost as exciting as seeing dolphin. There are lots of them all over the place, but they are pretty shy and you don't normally see them a lot during the day in particular. Arrived in Winchester and put up for the night. I had mentioned visiting Sky Meadow state park but we didn't after all. I realised we were in the area of the Luray Caverns in VA, we visited those many years ago, there are some fantastic shapes visible in the caves, I have all kinds of pictures at home, but not available now. Heading down one of the Interstates, we happened to notice a flight of three bi-planes. We wondered what that was about. Haven't really seen bi-planes much since World War II. Also saw lots of flocks of birds planning to migrate. Heading down Hiway 70 which leads to Morehead City and the area where we will be staying. We saw more deer at the side of the road, I don't think I have ever seen so many live deer by the roads. I asked in the office and ask about the $100 grocery voucher - I thought we should have two for two weeks. However, they said I shouldn't have even got one. We went to the cottage and unpacked the car then started to make the bed. A knock on the door was an inspector from the company to see if everything was OK. We told her the barbecue was pretty disgusting, she said she would report it. Went out to dinner but first gasssed up, it is $2.39 or so in this area. We also bought some booze - it is still really cheap here, we got two pint bottles for the price of one in Canada. Went to the Fish Trap for supper. Been there before. We ended up with a delicious dish of Mahi Mahi which had been blackened and was served with a home made pineapple salsa and a few shrimp over a bed of rice and black beans. It was great. After dinner we headed over to Lowe's grocery store and did some shopping. I bought a couple of turkey breasts for home and a couple of bottles of wine, so the $100 didn't last long. Whilst we were in the store, the heavens opened. Luckily it wasn't raining quite so hard when we actually left. Made it a tad difficult to see exactly where the cottage is. Luckily Emerald Isle has mile markers and our cottage is just past 17 so we managed to find it. That is the beginning of our trip to North Carolina. More tomorrow. I forgot, we did go bowling after all. This recipe came from Joe Barkson's World Wide Recipes and being a lover of lamb, I thought it sounded really good. Italian Lamb Stew with Olives (Spezzatino di Agnello alle Olive) 2 Tbs (30 ml) extra-virgin olive oil 2 lbs (900 g) boneless shoulder of lamb, cut into 1-inch (3 cm) cubes Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste 2-3 cloves garlic, finely chopped 1 tsp (5 ml) finely chopped fresh rosemary, or 1 Tbs (15 ml) dried 1 cup (250 ml) dry white wine 1 can (15 oz, 425 g) whole tomatoes, chopped, with their liquid 1/4 cup (60 ml) chopped fresh parsley 12-18 kalamata olives, pitted if desired Heat the oil in the bottom of a large, heavy pot over high heat. Season the lamb with salt and pepper and, working in batches, brown the lamb on all sides in the oil, transferring it to a plate when it is browned. Lower the heat to medium and saute the garlic and rosemary in the same pot for about 1 minute. Add the wine and stir to dissolve the brown bits in the bottom of the pot. Add the tomatoes and meat to the pot and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer covered, stirring occasionally, until the meat is tender, 1 1/2 to 2 hours. Add the parsley and olives and cook for 5 minutes. Serves 4 to 6. Have a great day.