Category Archives: Southern Tidbits

Hurricane Tidbits

Hurricne

We interrupt our regularly scheduled blog with this Southern Tidbit–Hurricanes are part of the history of the South, whether we like it or not. Even our polite Southern manners cannot keep them away. I was curious about the history of hurricanes in the southeast USA and found an interesting site that lists all the hurricanes since Christopher Columbus in 1502. If you like this sort of thing, check out this link.

Historic Hurricanes

 

Advertisements

See the skyscraper that inspired the Empire State Building

Model for Empire State Building

Model for Empire State Building

Winston-Salem is best known for the Moravian culture on display in its historic Old Salem community. But visitors passing through downtown often look at one of the city’s skyscrapers and have a feeling they’ve seen it somewhere before.

Winston-Salem’s Reynolds Building was the model for the Empire State Building, one of the world’s most iconic skyscrapers. The connection is so strong that executives from the Empire State Building sent the Reynolds Building a thank-you card on its 50th birthday.

The Reynolds Building was constructed in 1929 by Shreve and Lamb, who would design the Empire State Building a few years later based on the same plans. The iconic shape of the two buildings is the same, though the Empire State Building has 102 floors whereas the Reynolds Building has 22.

For nearly a century, the Reynolds Building was the home office for the R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Company. The Reynolds Building was named “Building of the Year” by the National Association of Architects, won the 1984 Art Deco Society of New York award for best restoration and was the tallest building in the South for 35 years. The building’s future is undecided and it may take on a new role as a luxury hotel.

(Reprinted from Visit North Carolina: Project 543)

The Southeast’s Most Magnificent Waterfalls

Looking Glass Falls, NC

Looking Glass Falls, NC

By James Richardson (Guest Blogger)

Waterfalls are always a great destination for travelers in general–hikers and photographers in particular.What makes a good waterfall? What makes a great waterfall?What is a best waterfall? For that matter, what makes for the Ten Best Waterfalls? First of all, what is best to one person may not be best to another.  I had to arrive at a definition for a best waterfall before I could compile my list. These are many good waterfalls in this part of the country and I wanted to give all an equal chance. Continue reading

7 Fun Facts About North Carolina Beer

7 Fun Facts About NC Beer

NC Beer (Photo courtesy of VisitNC.com)

Check out North Carolina Beer!

1. North Carolina is home to nearly 100 breweries — more than any other state south of Pennsylvania and east of Texas, according to a Beer Association survey.

2. The “State of the Craft Beer Industry” report for 2013 shows North Carolina setting the pace for growth of new breweries with a 23 percent increase in 2011.

3. Three major craft breweries chose the Asheville area for East Coast expansions: Oskar Blues (Brevard), Sierra Nevada (Mills River) and New Belgium (Asheville, opening 2015).  Continue reading

NC Carolina Potato Festival

Who Knew? NC has a Potato Festival!

It’s true. I just discovered that the North Carolina Potato Festival will take place in Elizabeth City on May 18th from 10 am. until 10 p.m. Some of the fun and unique activities include:

  • “Anything but Fries” Restaurant Challenge
  •  National Potato Peeling Contest
  • Little Miss Tater Tot Contest
  • Lucky Duck Derby Race
  • Car & Motorcycle Show
  • Cornhole Tournament

Live musical performances on the Main Stage are planned throughout the day and feature a wide array of music. In addition, there are  arts and crafts, concessions, activities and rides for children, and a grand finale Street Dance under the stars.

Interesting facts about potato growing in North Carolina

  • North Carolina produces over 18,500 acres of potatoes for commercial sale valued at approximately 23 million dollars.
  • North Carolina also ranks about 17th in the nation in cash receipts for potatoes.
  • Most of North Carolina’s potatoes are grown in Northeastern North Carolina along the coast.
  •  Potatoes grow best in Northeastern North Carolina due to the rich, sandy soil and high mineral type soils found there.
  • February is known a potato-lover’s month.

East Coast Shag Classic to be held at Wrightsville Beach

East-Coast-Shag-Classic-web-image-1024x682

East  Coast Shag Classic Benefits “Women of Hope”

Top beach music bands will converge at Wrightsville Beach  for the second annual East Coast Shag Classic on President’s Day Weekend.  The Blockade Runner Beach Resort will host the event February 14-17th. Continue reading

How Not to Offend Southerners! A Humorous Essay

Wilmington, NC, Azalea Festival represents the South in all its glory!

Wilmington, NC, Azalea Festival represents the South in all its glory! (Photo by Sandra Chambers)

Traveling “Down South” the Right Way!

Since relocating to a beautiful coastal town in North Carolina—leaving behind my old life in the greater Washington, DC, metropolitan area– I have had a true “conversion” experience. My eyes have been opened, my mind enlightened, and joy has filled my heart – I have become a “true Southerner.”

Since my conversion, you will no longer hear four-letter words from my mouth– except for the occasional “y’all” or “yes’m.” I also sleep later, drive slower, and wear the T-shirt that says:  “I wasn’t born in the South, but I got here as fast as I could!

 Many of you already know you’re an outsider, which puts you one step ahead of people like myself who used to think of ourselves as  “part Southern.”  I finally had to admit that being born in West Virginia didn’t make me Southern. “Hillbilly” and “Southern” are not synonymous terms. (And, of course most people know that West Virginia sided with the North in the Civil War. Also, be aware that in the South you won’t hear about the Civil War; only about The War of Northern Aggression.)

Even living in Virginia (I was there for 25 years) doesn’t qualify me to be a Southerner. Coming from the northern Virginia area, I can attest to the fact that there are neither Southern accents nor Southern manners to be found in that area—especially when driving the Beltway! (A very recent trip to DC confirmed that!)

Because of my life-changing experience, I feel compelled to invite you to come along with me to discover this unique territory and culture known as “The South,” and to offer my assistance in making your visit more enjoyable and acceptable —both for you and the rightful residents of the land upon which we Northerners surely trespass.

Basic Rules for Traveling (and relocating) to the South:

 (1) First and foremost, practice your Southern drawl before arriving in the South. Like all foreign travelers, you are more likely to be looked upon with favor if you at least attempt the local language. Practice slurring your words together like “y’all.” Hold for at least two seconds.

(2) Never argue over Southern pronunciations. Although I was an English major in college, I have thrown away my Webster’s Dictionary in favor of the vernacular pronunciation. For example, Standard English will tell you that “Kerr” Avenue is pronounced with an “er” sound, but the Southern pronunciation is with an “ar.”

(3) When you order iced tea at any Southern restaurant you must specify “sweet” or “unsweet.” Of course, real Southerners always drink sweet tea (heated first so that the pound of sugar dissolves before chilling).  It is acceptable, however, to order half and half if you admit to being a recovering sugar addict.

(4) You also need to know that “grits” are not just for breakfast in the South. “Shrimp and grits” is standard Southern fare for lunch, dinner, or snack.

(5) Google Paula Deen before crossing the Mason Dixon line. You don’t want to be culturally illiterate when discussing fine Southern dining with locals. It would also be wise to know what goes into a “mint julep.”

(6) Be sure to eat at a Calabash Style seafood restaurant. Some Southerners will argue that it’s the only way to eat seafood (lightly battered and fried.)

(7) Last but not least –although I do not get the point of whipping my neck back and forth a hundred times while watching cars speed around the track—all true Southerners should know who Richard Petty and Jeff Gordon are.

There you have it– seven rules to help you make the most of your visit (or relocation) to the South. While you’re here on my site, check out some of the awesome Southern destinations we cover in this blog. Sign up to receive notice of any new Southern-Traveller blogs via e-mail or RSS feed. You will get an e-mail whenever I post–which is definitely on Southern time–maybe  once or twice a month. Then you can click to read the article or totally ignore it (which of course, defies all Southern politeness!)

© Sandra Chambers