Thursday, May 16, 2013

What is 'that place' in your hometown?

I found out the other day that my neighbor's wife has family from Dunn, my hometown. After we chuckled over the fact that it truly is a small freaking world, he said to me, "her family one time brought us some stuff from this one bakery ..."

I knew exactly what bakery to which he was referring. "Oh, Sherry's Bakery, I bet," I said.

"Yeah, that's the one!" His eyes were wide and his grin was big as he reminisced on the baked goodies he got from the so-called "Sweetest Smelling Corner in Town."

This got me thinking: With all due respect to other long-time, established places, Sherry's Bakery is "that place" in Dunn that most people first think about if they have lived in Dunn, visited Dunn or even heard of Dunn. Heck, the Governor visited Sherry's a couple of weeks ago.

So whether you are from Dunn, Raleigh, Hickory, Waynesville, Duck or wherever, what is "that place" in your hometown? What's the one signature place that people think of when they think of your hometown?

Tuesday, May 07, 2013

Wildflowers? Good! Roadside trash? Not so much

North Carolina used to be known as the "Good Roads State." I can't say I've been on all of the highways and byways of late to speak to construction or potholes. But one thing that seems to have gotten worse over the years is the amount of litter alongside our state's major roads. In fact, my wife's aunt (visiting from Nebraska) once commented, "I love your state. It's beautiful. But why is there so much trash along the highways?"

We took a day trip to Florence, S.C., last weekend, and this problem was evident. On many stretches of Interstates 95 and 40 were used fast food bags, aluminum cans, cardboard boxes -- you name it. It was unbelievably distressing -- and unnecessary. 

We have discussed before the N.C. DOT's Swat-a-Litterbug problem. Do your part; if you see someone disrespecting our state, make the call.

In better N.C. road news, if there is one thing that our state seems to do really well, it is the N.C. DOT's Wildflower Program. On our journey to South Cackylacky, we remarked time and time again about the beauty of the wildflowers that populated the medians and grassy portions of exits all up and down our roads. Seriously, kudos to the state transportation department for that! It's really a program of which we should all be proud. But I just wish people had enough pride in their state not to throw cigarette butts and pizza boxes and more out their car windows.

Monday, May 06, 2013

Our State mag updates TRAVEL NORTH CAROLINA app

We were pumped last year when Our State magazine unveiled its new mobile phone app for people interested in seeing what this great state has to offer. Well, we recently got an email from the good folks at Our State to let us know that they have not rested on their proverbial laurels; TRAVEL NORTH CAROLINA has been redesigned and updated.

From a press release:

“This redesign makes the app much more user-friendly for those exploring North Carolina," says Laurie Weaver, integrated marketing director. “You can search by category, city, or region to plan a vacation in advance, or use the ‘Near Me’ function to discover restaurants, shops, and things to do in your vicinity while you travel. It's a must-have for folks traveling around North Carolina.”

The app is brimming with more than 1,500 points of interest across the state, organized by location and category. In addition to lodging, attractions, dining, and shopping destinations as well as clickable phone numbers and websites for easy planning, the updated app offers the following new features:
·       "Local Favorites" that offer tours of featured areas
·       36-hour guides to Our State's Tar Heel Town magazine features
·       "Near Me" function that shows nearby attractions as you travel
·       "Editor's Picks" that include points of interest from the magazine
·       A build-your-own itinerary function
·       Digital postcards to share your adventures from your smart phone via email and social media channels

TRAVEL NORTH CAROLINA is available for free download in the Apple Store and Google Play. For users that downloaded the earlier version, update the app using your smart phone's regular update process. More details are available at