It was a grueling last half hour into Holly Springs – I happened to hit it right at rush hour. I arrived at Justin’s house before he did so spent my time re-organizing my belongings to fill a duffel bag of things I no longer need to carry with me. It lightened my load considerably. When Justin arrived after his long day at work I took him out to a lovely restaurant we had visited during my last stay at his place. It was delicious and we finished it off with dessert – I had the Tiramisu – yum! It had fresh whipped cream on top – I don’t usually eat like that, but every once in a while I splurge. Of course, I could tell the rest of the night that my stomach wasn’t used to it. But it sure tasted good when I ate it!
Next morning we ran a car mechanical check-up errand for Justin, then came back to his house where we both got personal biz done, and later in the day took my rental car back to Thrifty. We were only 5 minutes late arriving and they tried to charge me for an extra hour late return! I was pretty surprised and contested it, and thankfully they dropped that charge. The Thrifty Car Rental in Vermont allowed a 2 hour late return with no additional charges, so I’m learning that each place has different policies, even though they’re all under the same umbrella.
Justin then took me to the Natural History Museum in Raleigh – what an incredible display they have there! You walk in with gargantuan whale skeletons hanging from the ceiling, then follow along to enormous dinosaur exhibits, interspersed with smaller exhibits of every kind of wildlife and forest type, to finally end with insects on the top floor. Wow! The place is immense and the displays are exceptionally well done, and it’s free! Quite wonderful all around! They close at 5 p.m. and my train didn’t leave til 9:15 p.m., so Justin took me on a driving tour through the nightlife/restaurant/activity section of Raleigh before dropping me off at the train station.
The train left a couple minutes late and even though the seats were outfitted with footrests and leg cushions (like a recliner) they were horribly uncomfortable for trying to get a good sleep. It was a long night and I was very glad to see my Aunt and Uncle waiting for me at the station in Deland at 9:30 a.m. that morning. To my great surprise, they had quite a day planned for me, and so we were off to see something I had never seen before – Manatees!