Monday, September 9, 2013

exploring winston salem

So I’m doing another Americorps gig! Whoo!

I don’t think it’d necessarily appropriate to give a tonnnn of details, but the short story is that I’ll be working with little (as in, pre-school) childrens who like all children deserve to arrive at school ready to learn and able to express themselves but won’t necessarily be fully equipped to do so because of challenging home situations.

I recently traveled to Winston Salem, NC to train with my new AmeriCrew. I have very few photos of the training itself, but they make me laugh.

The first is of a duck attacking my fellow corps member Leslie.


Ha! Our (awesome) supervisor designated one of our training days as an outdoor day, so we did some team building type stuff in a park. We were in a picnic pavilion, where local ducks are clearly used to getting people’s tidbits. They were AGGRESSIVE.

Another awesome thing about this new Americorps program (and there are many) is that unlike my old program, we trained in a beautiful building (not an ugly, old, smelly, crammed-with-random-crap one) and were served delicious breakfasts and lunch each day (unlike the old one, which never fed us unless you count the food bank leftovers we frantically gorged at the end of our stressful days). Our last day, we got (admittedly less than healthy but quite delicious) biscuit sandwiches from a local barbecue place. Enjoyed with delicious fruit.


Because our organization was hosting a fundraiser, we spent the morning camped out on the front lawn. It was lots of fun!


And that’s all I have to say about my new gig for now. However, I did want to share about Winston Salem, which is a surprisingly fun city!

I stayed at a hotel and also got a per diem. It was great for like two days (there was also a free gym, which I visited every day after lots of sitting-down-y training) and then it was like “Ugh get me some vegetables.”

One night we went to an establishment with some saucy mermaids and fishing netting on the wall.

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‘Cept it was Tuesday and our really really really hands-off waiter didn’t tell us it was TACO TUESDAY so we spent too much money for normal food where we could’ve spent very little money for awesome tacos! Tragic.

My favorite day in Winston Salem was our second to last day, where they let us out of training early and we got to visit Reynolda House. No pictures were allowed inside of the awesome-robber-baron-house-turned-museum, but I went a little nuts in the gorrrrrrrrrgeous gardens.

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This is columbine. It smells like heaven and butterflies love it!

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The food department.

Tomatoes and figs!


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The rose garden! Usually I’m not that into roses but these were gorgey porgey.

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Steve calls these “Jurassic Park Plants” :)


So. Many. Grapes. It smelled like heaven, standing under the vines and inhaling.

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Watermelon patch! Fun fact: my cousins inadvertently created a watermelon patch in their backyard by sitting on the back porch eating watermelon and spitting out the seeds.


Went to the Biltmore estate in Asheville and they had these same funky golden leaves on display. Must’ve been a trend of the times.


Can you imagine having this in your yard?!

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Fun fact: the Reynolda family made their own lake (…) by damming up a natural spring. Surprise surprise, nature was all “That’s cute that you think you can just manipulate me like that” and it has now almost entirely returned to its natural state and provided a beautiful environment for birdies.


Also, Mario mushrooms. Never saw red mushrooms before the move to North Carolina.


Th’other side of the dam.


For dinner, we went into the little “village” near the house and dined al fresco.


Wish I’d been there with more of a crowd- it would’ve been fun to go sharesies on some of those sandwiches and small plates.

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Limemade! Made to order! I got mine suuuuuuuper tart, mm.


For dinner, I opted for a cup of the lobster bisque…

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… and some Holy Salty bruschetta type stuff with red peppers, onions, feta, etc… good but a little overwhelming on the sodium front.


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