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We woke up this morning and got on the road immediately, as we had a lot of ground to cover. When I was online yesterday, I managed to find a couple of interesting things to do in this area. Since we were staying between Chapel Hill and Raleigh, North Carolina we concentrated on those two areas. This area of North Carolina is often referred to as “Tobacco Road” because of it’s history in tobacco production. It also refers to the rivalries between the areas four major universities. (UNC-Chapel Hill, Wake Forest, NC State & Duke) The first item on the agenda was a visit to the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
We wanted to visit UNC at Chapel Hill for a couple of reasons. Not only did we want to see the planetarium on campus, we wanted to see the historic campus itself. UNC was one of the first state universities when it was established in 1781. The campus is quite remarkable. The buildings are old, but the architecture is fascinating. We walked around the campus grounds taking in the sites for about thirty minutes before heading to the planetarium.
Walking into the planetarium, we noticed that the building was pretty still. Unfortunately, since it was during the week, they only had one show in the morning for school children and we missed it. They did have a nice space themed museum exhibit along with a great historic art collection in the same building so it was not all a loss. I guess we are going to have to wait a little longer before hitting a planetarium on this trip.
After leaving UNC we headed over to the capital of North Carolina, Raleigh. Specifically, we wanted to visit the North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences in Raleigh. The museum sits right next to the North Carolina capitol building. Our guidebook said that the museum had a great dinosaur exhibit along with several other interesting things to see. The other attractive feature of this particular museum is the admission price. Yes, that is right, the museum is free. The museum was extensive enough though, that I would have gladly paid to see it. Our favorite part was the live insect and snake exhibit. They also had a working bee hive in the “discovery room” that Shawn Reece found fascinating. We spent about two hours walking around the four floors worth of exhibits.
By the time we left the museum it was after 4pm. We still had quite a drive up to Hampton, VA which is just south of Williamsburg. In our research, we have noticed that hotels are quite a bit more expensive the closer we get to Washington D.C. I was able to get the Holiday Inn in Hampton for a reasonable rate through Priceline. Priceline.com has helped me throughout the trip. On several occasions we’ve paid $20 a night for a very decent room.
We finally got to the hotel around 8pm and headed across the street for dinner. We are going to Jamestown and Yorktown colonies tomorrow to see some of America’s history. Jamestown was the first permanent english speaking colony in North America, while Yorktown was the site of one of the major battles of the Revolutionary War. Tomorrow night we are going to stay here in Hampton again before driving up to Washington D.C. on Friday. Talk to you soon.
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The Coomer Family
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