"Williamsburg is Jamestown continued, and Yorktown is Williamsburg vindicated," it was rightly said of the Historic Triangle, an essential secular pilgrimage site.
Easter at the Black American Basilica of Saint Mary of the Immaculate Conception, Norfolk was wonderful, but I had to wonder how authentic was it to Black American Catholic history? After all, they too spent centuries celebrating the Tridentine Mass. In fact, many of the older parishioners looked as detached from the choral offerings akin to the many African Methodist Episcopal Church buildings we would later drive by further south as any other Catholic sitting through the Mass of Paul VI. The homily, however, was unquestionably superb: solid Catholic doctrine delivered by the white pastor with black rhetorical style sans the affected black accent of Fr. Michael Pfleger.
Why did I wait so long to discover the Outer Banks? High tider ("hoi toider") English was a delight to hear. Speaking of Elizabethan English, the story of the Roanoke Colony was great to spook the kids before our stay in Croatan National Forest.
Southern Pale Ale and Flagship IPA are two fine Carolina brews, the later bought at Brew Thru. And Piggly Wiggly provided the meat and greens for one of the finest meals I have ever cooked over fire, and also shopping bags that the kids converted into soccer jerseys.
Myrtle Beach, South Carolina was a bit of a disappointment. Thank God that rain and a botched reservation shortened out stay to one night. We made the best of the weather and had wet, cold fun at Mount Atlanticus Minotaur Goff and Family Kingdom, at which we were the only visitors.
The rain allowed us to visit Charleston, South Carolina, which was not on the original plan. Our time there was short, but left me convinced that this is America's most beautiful city. I've heard it said that foreigners are advised to visit New York City, Boston, San Francisco, and New Orleans, but in none of those cities, great as they are, did I find anything approaching the charm and grace of this Southern Belle!
Heading back north, we stopped at a tourist trap I loved as a kid, South Of The Border, which has metastasized far beyond what I remember it being. Speaking of which, what's with all the Mexicans down there? I remember them being in the stories of John Steinbeck, not Flannery O'Connor.
Our last night in the South was spent in charming Wilson, North Carolina, with its Imagination Station Science Museum, before making our last stop the delightful Sylvan Heights Waterfowl Park in Scotland Neck, North Carolina.
The Carolinas lived up to all my expectations. The people there are wonderfully friendly, so much so that I was shamefully hesitant to ask simple questions because these inevitably turned into long conversations.
The two races in the South live closer to each other and get along better than they do in the North, where this can only be said of the educated elites, who rarely travel outside of their circles, so think the North is wonderfully integrated, which it is not; in fact, it is far behind the South.
Labels: America the Beautiful, Dixie, Drink, Family, Food, Freedom, Race Matters, Separated Brethren, The Catholic Faith