Archive for September 6, 2001

Chapel Hill, North Carolina (I guess Tar Heels have small heads)

September 6, 2001 Leave a comment

I left Richmond Hill later than I had wanted to – I slept right through my alarm, so I finally dragged myself out of the hotel at noon. I had 350 miles or so to Ben’s and he didn’t want me there before 5:30 or so, so that was OK.

Driving northbound I-95 in South Carolina is all about one thing and one thing only – South of the Border billboards. South of the Border is this complex of crappy tourist shops and tourist restaurants and a motel and an RV park and gas stations and arcades. It is supposedly Mexican themed – its mascot is a fellow named Pedro.

The billboards count down the miles left in the state. The first one is 163 miles away and each one posts the mileage remaining. It definitely speeds up the trip. And when you finally see this giant fluorescent paint complex on the horizon, it is obligatory to stop.

At South of the Border, I bought a 50 cent book with photos of their famous “award-winning” billboards. These are actually older versions of the billboards with their politically incorrect mascot. The signs have now been updated to modern times with different color schemes and no Mexican Guy mascot on them. Some of the billboards:





OK that’s just a sample – you’ll just have to drive I-95 to see the rest. Did I mention I bought one of their famous bumper stickers? Not the fullsize one – I got the small one because it is only half the price – 5 cents.

So I continued motoring up to Ben’s place and arrived around 6:20. It seems like for the next hour or so, we were avoiding trying to decide where to eat. Finally it was decided we should go to Red, Hot and Blue, a BBQ joint near here. I say joint, but it is actually a chain started by some Southern Congressmen who wanted real Memphis style BBQ in D.C. Or so the story goes. Anyway, it was very good, although in Memphis it may be cheaper.

After dinner, I wrote my journal, watched some TV, hung with Ben, etc. etc. You were expecting maybe some wild partying??

This morning Ben left early – I even woke up early! I called the Saab mechanics in town and they told me that they were too booked to even change my oil. I asked what they recommended, and they said that the Jiffy Lube was in town. Ugh.

So I went and found Ben’s classroom building, parked illegally and got Ben after class at 10:30. We walked around on Franklin Street and grabbed lunch before he had to go back to class. This gave me about three and a half hours to kill in Chapel Hill.

I’ll be sure to tell you about the rest of the day a little bit later, but we’ve got to go to the airport now to pick up Jen and her friend Melinda.

I apologize for the above journal entry – it’s pretty dry. I guess I need some water.

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