John and Amy had to take off early for work, so we said our goodbyes and then loaded up the bike to head to South Carolina to see Ryan’s family.
Of all the states we’ve traveled through, the Carolinas are in the running for the most beautiful! I know what you’re thinking, “Beth, you’re biased! You grew up in North Carolina.” True, but I’ll explain my reasoning anyway. First of all, there are many kinds of beautiful, just like there are many fantastic flavors of food. Lasagna and triple chocolate cake are BOTH delicious, but for us, lasagna is a comfort food we could eat every week. I thoroughly enjoy death by chocolate cakes, but I cannot eat them regularly. The Carolinas are comfort food for me. Carolina mountains roll in and out of each other like lazy waves in the ocean that are made of bushy green trees full of life and alluring colors. Western mountains look jagged and defined in comparison. Grand and austere, they strike my palette as decadent. This is why the Carolinas get my bonus points for beauty.
As we were pulling into Ryan’s hometown, we stopped by the side of the road to take a picture of two old hangers that were locked up, but filled with classic cars that you could see through the front glass. As we’re paused to snap a shot, a gentlemen on a riding mower shouts to us from the other side of the street, “You want to take a look at those cars?” To which we reply, “YES.” Turns out he takes care of the grounds and can go in and out of the hangers as he pleases, so he let us in to see the cars. There was an old 1929 Chevy in there I would’ve gladly used as a daily driver! Such character!
After that really cool detour we arrived at Ryan’s parents’ house. From that point on until when we left, it’s hard to remember what happened which day. Suffice it to say, we spent a lot of time hanging out with Ryan’s grandparents that live nearby, caught up with a bunch of friends, tried some new recipes, got schooled in canasta, took some motorcycle rides with Ryan’s parents, saw a movie, and just tried to relax in general. Hanging out with Ryan’s grandparents was really cool because they were filling us in on some family history and even took out an album filled with pictures going back to the late 1800s. Fascinating. Ryan has a great great uncle who invented several items you would recognize: the self cleaning oven, electric coffee percolator, removable electric burners for the stove, etc. We stayed in SC for about a week before taking off for NC. It was a really great time with everyone!