Walking back to the house, at a crossroads, I manage to get the camera out of it's case quickly and catch this guy and his gorgeous old car and he gives us smile and the horn a "beep! as he spots us. Back to retrieve our car now, already packed and ready to go, with a quick but heartfelt goodbye to Kathleen who I'd like to know better.
We take the road, promising a stop for lunch, even if it's only a chain restaurant. We shout "bridge" and this is another biggie. It crosses Lake Marion, in South Carolina, which is so big that each side of the bridge is water up to the horizon. Lovely. When I spot a sign that says "Antiques Mall, 70 miles" I decide that will do as a stopping place, and as the word antiques in the US covers everything from seriously old to mid-20th century stuff, I just might find a little gem to take home. We couldn't find it at all! Small town, so not far to go looking for it, but either it was gone, or it was hidden. At least we find somewhere for lunch. It is a chain, but what a chain! Route 55 is a 1950's style diner, and everything that goes with it. Hot dogs, Burgers, Coca Cola, Fries, the usual suspects. But like most chains, it's a franchise, and the staff here are really proud of their venture. The black and white tile floors shine like mirrors, the toilets are spotless (in fact I never found a dirty one the whole trip) and smell fresh and clean, and the staff are attentive. The chrome gleams, and there is great rock and roll playing. I would not have been surprised if the staff had not leapt onto the counter and burst into an acapella version of "Will you still love me tomorrow?" or some other hit of the past. Maccers has a hot dog, and me? I have frozen custard. Never had it before, but given the chance will have it again. Who knew that custard makes such a lovely cold treat when I can't eat icecream? Heaven!
We could do with bottled water, so a quick half mile from the diner we find a Piggly Wiggly! It's a supermarket chain and if you like American films set in the south, you may be familiar with the name. Certainly I have seen it mentioned in novels and by stand-up comedians. And here we are attempting to understand the cashier, who not only talks quietly, but has the strongest accent I have ever heard in my life. I caught "y'all", and got the money right, but I'm ashamed to say that I really did not hear what she said, although "have a nice day" might have been in there somewhere. Now we are non-stop until Fayetteville, North Carolina where we are staying the night. We have no idea what this town offers, but it is a good distance to break the journey back to Washington Airport. What we don't know is that it services Fort Bragg. Fort Bragg is H U G E ..... 50,000 military personnel at any one time. The town is easy to find with the GPS (just come off the 95 and listen to her - "take the next left") and we find ourself (hurrah!) at the correct address.
|probably our only ever 'Selfie', but here we are - made it to our next bed for the night!|
He recommends us to the best burger in town "hand made, and I know the cook" - he's right, John says it's like an old fashioned home made job. I have a little taco as I am not really hungry, and ask for red wine. Remember Buckfastleigh? Or Sanatogen? Fortified wines of the past... not my taste, and probably not anyone else's in Fayetteville, because it is served from a bottle into a wine glass right next to the till, so they obviously don't sell much of it. John has a beer, sensible boy! When we return, Doug's wife is back from work, and we spend another hour talking this, that and the other before they need to go to bed and we go too.