As part of my plan to de-stress a bit, I went away to North Carolina to visit my good friend Claudette. The Type A in me usually does my research on any destination that I go to. This time, I decided to do no research. I was simply putting my faith in a local who knew exactly what she was doing and I LOVED the experience. Instead of doing every touristy thing out there, I got to experience Winston Salem and the surrounding counties the way they were meant to be seen – almost like a local. I felt at one with the people in this lovely little place. I think I was meant to live in the south. I loved the pink cowboy hat I tried on, the hospitality, the fact that my hair was bigger and bouncier there and the fact that I felt really understood by the women there. I was chatting with some people at a restaurant (they are so friendly there, which I love) – I told them about my HORRIBLE experience at a Pittsburgh Steelers game last year when my Longchamps purse was cruelly (and unusually) taken from me and I was forced to put the contents of my bag in a hideous Steelers clear plastic bag and they were outraged. I was told that no one takes a Southern Ladies’ pocketbook – nobody – I felt like I had come home. If I have to beg, borrow or steal (not Steeler) – no one will ever take my pocketbook again!
Dr. Oz has a black Labrador Retriever and has commented on the stress relief that pets provide. My friend had a beautiful Golden Retriever/Labrador Retriever cross. It was just the sweetest dog ever (aside from the dog that I grew up with) and having the chance to be around a dog for 3 days was also very soothing. This dog loved attention, but was so gentle. He was an 80 pound marshmallow.
It was also nice to go to a place where the pace was slower. Just being able to stroll instead of rushing from place to place was nice. The only complaints? Hot tea is not a big deal there and I’m a tea drinker. Sweet tea to me is just torture in a glass, I’m a British subject and I need a steamy hot beverage. It was also unseasonably cold, but you can’t control the weather. It’s a small price to pay for the fabulous experience that I had. Check out some of my favourite pics…
So what am I grateful for? That’s simple. I’m grateful I got to see my friends – I even got to catch up with a friend from junior high who happened to live in a nearby town. I was touched that she drove all the way out to see me. I’m grateful that Claudette took us to such great places. I’m grateful that I had a chance to spend time with such a special doggy and I’m grateful that I had a chance to get away from it all for a few days.