Chillin’ with old friends in North Carolina: 6 month solo road trip

Days 4-11,

Part of my 6 month solo road trip is about reconnecting with friends and family, many that I have not seen for years. A solo road trip affords me this pleasure. I don’t have to deal with a co-pilot or a dictator, telling me that it’s time to go. Coming and going as I please is freedom. The only locked in dates that I have are December 6-15 when I will be in the Bahamas. Other than that as Pilot I am my own boss. I decide to chill at my friend’s house from November 23-December 1.

They live in a 1400 lot subdivision surrounded by golf courses. Sanford, NC is a sleepy town of Golf communities. Since they are avid golfers they love it here. The unobtrusive waterfront raised ranch style home sits quietly on the lot. Surrounded by pine trees it has a wonderful western view of the lake. A large deck over looks the water. The open floor plan takes the lake into account. As a designer I appreciate how the floor plan and the site work together in unison.

The lake mirrors the night sky

The lake mirrors the night sky

Watching the sunset is heaven. The crimson colors slowly dance on the water creating a magical array. I hear the loons as they call out. Their voices ripple over the lake. Peace.

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November 27

Getting together for Thanksgiving brings back comforts of home, Since the early 1990’s it’s been a tradition to gather at their home in New England and enjoy the day of great food, drink and conversation. It’s been a few years since we broke bread and I’m looking forward to it with much anticipation. Their daughters will be there it will be wonderful to see them again.

We gather at 2 and enjoy a delicious meal and talk about old times. The only thing we don’t do is play Trivia Pursuit or Pictionary after the meal which were the games of choice years ago. At about 4:30 the party breaks up, Heidi has to go home to take care of the horses and the football games are on.


November 29th:

Carol and I drive to the touristy town of Pinehurst which is about 40 minutes south of Sanford. The sun is shining and it’s in the low 60’s which is a welcome change to the colder weather earlier in the week.

Gingerbread/candy display

Gingerbread/candy display

We walk around the town checking out the shops then we head to the The Carolina Hotel and walk the lovely grounds of this majestic old hotel. I love the Architecture with the large verandas and copper/metal roofs. It exudes the southern charm. We walk inside to the lobby to admire the large gingerbread/candy display of the town. Looking closely one can view the intricate details: Logs homes made of pretzels/Tootsie rolls, windows made from melted sugar/lifesavers, slate roofs from round flat candy wafers, snow – white frosting. Now that the Christmas holidays are upon us decorations are out in full force as holiday music plays in the background.

November 30:

Lynne and I head to Southern Pines which is another tourist town for lunch. We park and I take a picture of the street corner to remember where the car is. Of course the sign reads E. Massachusetts Ave (where I’m from).

Who would have thought in a Southern town?

Who would have thought in a Southern town?

At least I won’t forget the street name. We walk around and find a little cafe and sit outside. I look up and see the street sign; New Hampshire. We start laughing. We are in the south and the street signs are of our home; New England. Too funny.

After lunch we go to see Lynne’s sister, Heidi and check out her horse farm in Five Points. She teaches riding lessons and boards horses. It’s an interesting story of how they acquired the property. They bought the place sight unseen. Since they lived a few states away, her parents looked at it and thought it was perfect for their family and their brood of horses. They were relocating to the area but couldn’t get away and were afraid of losing the property. Needless to say they bought it. It needed lots of work but over the years they remodeled the buildings to fit their needs.

Ribbons from horse show on display

Ribbons from horse show on display

One of the out buildings is a post and beam tack room filled with lots of ribbons won at horse shows over the years. The sun filters in fading the ribbons. The smell of old wood and horses linger in the air. I wish I could capture that wonderful heavenly smell.

Diagonally from the tack room is the shack in the back near the pool which sports an island theme. Bamboo on the ceiling, walls painted beach blues, a wooden bar with stools and lots of beach memorabilia.

The horses have lots of pastures to enjoy. There are a couple of small barns with stalls and storage for hay/grain. They are well fed and taken care of. We hang out for a few hours catching up, then we say our goodbyes with hugs.

Life is Good…

About inthecompanyofnone

Residential Designer by Trade who also blogs about various topics. Just came back from a 6 month solo road trip which took me through 30 states and two international countries. Seeing the USA by road is amazing. It's so diverse in natural beauty and climate. Traveling solo allows me the freedom to go where and where I want without compromise. It's a sense of accomplishment to be able to travel in the company of none.


  1. Beautiful writing Maria! I loved Pinehurst, and used to spend a couple of weeks there every year from about 9 yrs old to about 15. Just my Sister & I would visit our retired grandparents there! I remember acres of peaches in Southern Pines where we’d go for bushels to peel and chop over Cheerios each morning! Great swimming at local hotel pools. Grandfolks weren’t golfers, but avid bridge players in their own clubs: grandfather (we called him Great Daddy) belonged to “The Wolves,” a men’s bridge club where he would occasionally volunteer at golf tournaments holding up score signs, or managing crowd control. My mother just recently gave me one of his old journals to read- good stuff! Thanks for bringing it all back to me… There were some rough times too, that he doesn’t even bring up in his journal: like that my grandmother insisted on having martinis brought to her bed for breakfast, and for the last 10 years of her life (spent in a hospital), She couldn’t even remember who he was! So much for 55 years of marriage…
    Still, it was a place I had good times & would love to take Anne or our little dogs to & recall where Great Daddy used to walk his large groomed black poodles: Emma & Louis! (What, they weren’t racist, they just liked jazz…)

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