It feels so good to be home for the holidays, spending a whole week with all five members of the Johnson Family together again. We’ve been pretty busy getting in more quality time during the Christmas season.
On Wednesday, the whole family took a trip into Raleigh to stop by a mall or two and look for the AV cables necessary to connect a Wii to an analog television set. Nathan got a couple new Wii games for Christmas and was itching to play them sometime before leaving for Nebraska. I saw one restaurant at the mall called the California Pizza Kitchen and immediately thought of Vivian, who is always telling me about Round Table and other of west coast pizza chains that I would have to try if I ever go to Petaluma.
Today, my parents and I took a trip out to the coast together. Our first stop was New Bern, which had once been the capital of North Carolina. We had lunch at a lovely little seafood restaurant called Captain Ratty’s. Dad and I shared a platter of mussles, shrimp, oysters, clams, and crab legs. We walked up the street and visited the birthplace of Pepsi, which was more like a small gift shop than an actual museum, much to my dad’s disappointment.
We did a little more sightseeing on the way down to the ocean, walking around the old Governor’s Mansion (called the Tryon Palace) and dropping into the Maritime Museum to check out such things as a Franel lens from a lighthouse and wreckage from Blackbeard’s pirate ship.
Our final destination was Fort Mason state park, where we got to walk along the beach and see the Atlantic Ocean. It was the first time I’d seen the Atlantic before, if you don’t count seeing it from an airplane flying to England. We stayed to watch the sunset and then had a late drive home. I got to walk along the shore a while chasing seagulls and picking up a couple stray seashells. I also walked out along a long row of precariously-placed jagged rocks to get some shots of the sun setting over the ocean.
All in all, it was a great, busy day being a tourist, but I was definitely ready to unwind and get to bed when we returned home.