Sunday, October 9, 2011

Carolina History & Haunts Tour

When I booked our babysitter for last night, I had thought we'd be going to see Irma Vep at the Triad Stage.  We drug our feet too long and by the time we went to buy tickets on Friday (yes, the night before the show-I know. I know), they had sold out.  J found another playhouse in Greensboro with an awesome sounding play (4 people playing 150 characters--at first glance, it sounds like a really bad version of Sybil without her meds, but hey, I wanted to see how they'd pull it off).  Once again, sold out.  Since we didn't want to waste a prime opportunity to sneak away from the Sound and Fury, J was challenged to find something to do, other than the typical dinner and movie.  He came across the Carolina History & Haunts walking tour of downtown Greensboro.  We have done ghost tours in almost every town we visit, mainly to get the stories, not because we are honest to goodness believers and being in our backyard, it sounded like a winner.  However, they only had one spot left.  He called & promised the guy I'd be on my best behavior, so they let me sneak in.

Since we had been winging our Saturday night out, we decided to continue on and wing it for dinner before the tour.  We went to Natty Greene's, but it was too long a wait.  Undaunted, we headed to Liberty Oak Tavern.  We were seated immediately.  Five minutes pass--no waitress.  Ten minutes pass--no waitress, plus the nattily dressed couple behind us were complaining to other servers about how they had placed their order over 40 minutes ago & still didn't have even their appetizer.  If they were going to ignore that super sharp couple, the Godwin trainwreck didn't stand a chance.  We walked off after fifteen minutes of being ignored.  Other waitresses were waiting on tables around us (even those seated after us) and we spoke in the loudest manner--by taking our bucks elsewhere.  Bad show Liberty Oak.  We headed to our trusty stand by, Opa.  You might call us unorganized, but we prefer to call it "living dangerously" (cut us some slack--we're middle aged, middle class--not having reservations IS dangerous to our kind).

After dinner, we walked to meet up with the tour group at the Municipal Center.  We'd driven past this place gazillions of times and never gave it a second glance.  Our tour group was lead by Topher, who looked curiously like John Popper, only without the bandoleer of harmonicas.

Seriously, I kept expecting to hear him break out into a chorus of "Runaround"
The tour lasted for a little over an hour and half.  We walked to Blandwood Mansion (cool, other than for the association with John Motley Morehead and his unfortunate association with UNC) and to a few other areas in downtown, including M'Couls and the Biltmore Hotel.  Even though I have lived in this area for 15 years, I know virtually nothing about the history of  it (other than my mother went to undergrad at UNCG and hated it).  The "history" part of the tour was worth the $13 a person.  I feel thoughly elucidated and highly educated now.  Go ahead--ask me a question!  I didn't see any "haunts" and I forgot to take my camera to snap pics to see if any orbs materialized (I firmly believe orbs are just dust specs and in that case we live in a veritable haunted house).

It was very fun, even if the scariest part of the night was our experience at Liberty Oak Tavern.  The weather was beautiful and John Popper  Topher was a very entertaining guide.  We had 35 in the group (yeah, I guess I wasn't the only one they allow to slip by) and he managed to herd us around AND educate us.

Bonus score--we ran by Krispy Kreme afterwards.  Hey, we had a babysitter--we were living it up!  In a middle age, middle class kinda way.

Carolina History & Haunts Tour

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