Monday, 27 April 2009

Fayetteville, NC

The mystery location for our weekend away was... Fayetteville. Those of you who know Fayetteville will be scratching your head right now thinking what is so great about Fayetteville? (Or Fayette-nam as my doctor so eloquently put it - it's a military town) Well not much actually. But we did go with a specific purpose in mind - indoor skydiving!

Just outside Fayetteville in a little town called Raeford there is a purpose built skydiving building. It's three stories high, with the first storey taken up by some ginormous fans which create the wind velocity for the upper levels. Andrew got suited up (after Lucy had tried on his helmet and googles) and then got to experience the feeling of sky diving whilst only a metre off the ground. He wasn't quite doing the spins and headstands that the professionals were doing but he had a great time and wants to go back and do it again. Lucy was keen to do it until she was told that the instructor would have to hold her and she backed out.
It was great fun and we have a DVD to watch of the whole adventure.

But let me start at the beginning. Our first point of call in Fayetteville was the wonderful Airborne and Special Operations Museum. This is a fantastic museum that is well set up to tell the stories of Fort Bragg military involvement in various wars starting from WWII through to current engagements in Afghanistan and Iraq. Lucy was fascinated with the parachutes (in full display hanging from the roof), the canon fire and the flight simulator. She even conned her Dad into buying her some planes stickers "so that I can remember coming to the museum Daddy!" It would have been great to read a lot of the history plaques but a certain 2 year old only had so much patience in waiting. It was fitting for ANZAC Day that we remembered those who served in WWII.

It turned out that Saturday was the annual Dogwood Festival in Fayetteville! So the whole town turned out for a fair right next to the museum. We wandered over to check out the stalls. Lucy got a purple blow-up monkey and a sticky-tongued frog for filling in a survey and then we headed into Hay St for calzones at Pieros. Andrew tried to win Lucy a giant Hello Kitty toy but alas failed to hit the targets. There was also a petting zoo/animal viewing area and surprisingly we were able to see two red kangaroos, though Lucy was more facinated by the lemurs. For dinner we headed over to Morgan's Chophouse which was followed by a swim in the hotel pool (a highlight for Lucy!)

On Sunday we took a short walk along the Cape Fear River Trail from Clark Park. We started at the covered bridge and took the Bear Trail around the grounds. There wasn't much to see but we did see the Cape Fear river, hear lots of frogs croaking and got bitten by mosquitos (despite spraying ourselves beforehand). We ate morning tea in the amphitheatre where Lucy put on a performance on the stage (I'll post this video another day).

We then headed to Lumberton for lunch at Fullers Traditional Bar-B-Q. Where else but the South do you get a buffet comprising of biscuits (scones), butter beans, pulled pork, fried chicken, fried fish, fried mystery meat, fried shrimp, mac and cheese, fatback (crackling), hush puppies and red velvet cake? It was a sight to behold! On the table the condiments included Texas Pete's Hot sauce, lemon juice and molasses (?!?). There was an excellent salad bar and the dessert bar was cool whip heaven with an ice cream machine on the side. We are enjoying these unique eating opportunites when they arise but it's not somewhere that you should eat at every Sunday after church as most people were.

We couldn't find the Farmers Market in Lumberton so we continued to head home via Lake Waccamaw. Lucy was asleep in the car but Andrew took a walk down to the water to check out the view of the lake seen left. 40 minutes later and we were at home unpacking.

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