Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Wendell and Raleigh

This morning we were hosted by the Wendell Rotary Club in the town of Wendell, east of Raleigh. We were well looked after by Johnny Whitfield and Scott Hicks (not the Academy Award-winning filmmaker, but the landscape contractor / part-time police officer).

Our first stop was Mortex, a large, wholly locally owned apparel manufacturer that specialises in college sportswear among other things. Unlike good old Bonds, these guys are determined to keep production on home turf. Our guide was the head man Ed Morrell who took us through the designing and printing arm of the business (they also do the manufacturing of the clothes in another building).

Ed shows us the printing facilities at Mortex

Having had our appetites whet for sports apparel, we headed to the Mortex outlet store where old stock and seconds were ridiculously cheap... $3 for a pair of trackies (that's sweat pants for our American readers), about the same for a jumper (that's a sweater, American readers, not a pinafore). We soon had the cash registers ringing... who can resist a bargain?

After lunch at local diner Aubrey's and Peedie's (declared by Kel to make the best burgers ever) we walked through town, stopping at the local police station for some pics with the cop cars.

An impromptu vocational visit for Corey at Wendell Police

We stopped in at Perry's Gun Shop, where I got a true taste for American gun culture. Seeing guns in Walmart is one thing, but the weapons lined up in this place were amazing. Everything from the pint sized pistol for the handbag to guns that would make Rambo sweat!

Kel looked so hot with this pink number we nearly bought it for her

I like the idea of buying a taser to show your love for someone...

Our friend Tommy from Wake Forrest collected us from Wendell and we headed to Raleigh for a look around Pullen Park and NC State University (home of the Wolfpack). Pullen Park is a large tract of land adjacent NCSU, full of family fun. Some highlights:

North Carolina's favourite actor, Andy Griffith. (I barely remember Matlock, but evidently he was famous before that, in a show with Richie Cunningham...)

Me looking particularly special on the Pullen Park carousel

Tommy (a graduate of NC State who is not at all impressed at rivals University of North Carolina winning the national college basketball championship recently) took us to his alma mater for a look see (and to encourage us to buy things in the gift shop).

After that we headed to Krispy Kremes... no visit to Raleigh is complete without a donut (or two), even if you nearly slip into a coma trying to digest the fat and sugar.

It must be the hat that's making Margaret look pensive, because she loved the donuts

Corey proved the police and donuts stereotype for us. (Now he'll have to get up at 5 tomorrow to get rid of the fat!)

Tomorrow we move on from our Wake Forest hosts, so thank you to everyone for looking after us so well. Yet another great stay in a beautiful part of North Carolina.

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