A Travellerspoint blog


Old Salem - Winston Salem, NC

Toy Museum Rocked!

This trip was really nice. Salem was established in 1766 by Moravians.

My favorite part was the toy museum. Seeing all the giant dollhouses was amazing. There were marbles, tin toys and lots of circus toys that were really neat. We weren't able to take pictures in the museum, but I wish we could have to show you.

I really liked the Single Brothers' House too. This was a home where unmarried men lived and apprenticed in trades. We saw people making pottery and pipes, a tailor making clothes and a carpenter. We didn't get a chance to see the Single Sisters' House, but maybe next time.

I also toured a tavern where George Washington visited. There was a copy of a letter written by him on display talking about his stay and visit to Salem.

I really liked the Miksch House. I liked seeing how they spun wool into thread and see how they loved back then. This was the first Salem family home.

We also went the bakery where they made fresh bread and cakes. I got some icecream and then we had to head home. I can't wait to go back to see the things we missed :).

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Posted by Jessica NC 17:18 Archived in USA Tagged tourist_sites Comments (0)

Bennett Place - Durham, NC

The End of the Civil War!

I was excited about Bennet Place! This was a place that I had been wanting to visit since we started our travels.

It is famous for hosting the largest troop surrender of the Civil War. This surrender was made by General Johnston to Union General William Sherman. The first meeting was on April 17, 1865, then another meeting April 18 and the final signing of an agreement and surrender April 26.

Bennett Farm was chosen by General Johnston because it was midway between the two troop lines.

James Bennett, his wife and three children settled on this farm in 1846. In 1921, there was a fire that destroyed the farmhouse and the kitchen. The only thing that is left today is the chimney. I think that is so cool that I touched the same fireplace and chimney that two of the Generals in the Civil War touched and may have leaned against during their visit to this farm.

The day that we visited Bennett Place, there was a Confederate Soldier reenactor that told us about what it was like being a soldier during that time. It was neat learning about their life during the war.

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Jessica pretty much said it all about Bennett Place. It was unfortunate that the chimney was the only original part left, but seeing that little bit of history amazes us.


Posted by Jessica NC 10:39 Archived in USA Tagged tourist_sites Comments (0)

Roanoke Island Aquarium


When we were on Roanoke Island, we also went to the aquarium. I know it's not a historical place, but I wanted to write about it.

My favorite part of the whole aquarium was the otters. They were playing and swimming all over the place. I also saw turtles (my mom's favorite), fish and alligators.

They had some touch exhibits with shells, crabs, starfish and stingrays. I only played with the shells.

There were some really HUGE sharks in an exhibit called "The Graveyard of the Atlantic".

I came home with an otter and mom a sea turtle stuffed animals from the gift shop. Mom also got a Christmas ornament to put on the tree at Christmas. When we were done, we went over to the fossil dig and found some shark teeth. That was pretty cool.



NC has 3 aquariums to choose from, so no matter what beach you go to this summer, you have an aquarium near you. It's a great family time place to go.


Posted by Jessica NC 04:05 Archived in USA Tagged tourist_sites Comments (1)

Fort Raleigh - Manteo, NC

Fit for a Queen!

Hi! While we were on our trip, we also went to Fort Raleigh. It was right beside The Lost Colony Play.

We got to see some tools the colonists used, some pots that the Indians used and other artifacts. There was also some dishes, a model of the Elizabeth II and the Elizabethan Room. It had great furniture and an amazing ceiling fit for a Queen. I had a great time.

We didn't get a chance to walk out on the forest trail, but what we saw of the visitors center was great. Don't miss going there if you get to go to Manteo!



I wish we had more time to explore the trail of Fort Raleigh. Jessica liked the vistors center and had very detailed information which she loves to read. They also had a wall dedicated to The Lost Colony Outdoor Drama that gave information about how it all started and followed it through the years. We will definatley go back to walk the trails and see the Elizabethan Gardens, I hear they are incredible.


Posted by Jessica NC 15:03 Archived in USA Tagged tourist_sites Comments (0)

Wright Brothers Monument - Kill Devil Hills, NC

Way Cool!

I had my choice of going to the beach and play for a little while or walk up the HUGE hill to see the monument...... I went to the beach, BUT the reason I did that was because this was our view from our hotel room.


Mom let me have a little fun while we were gone. It wasn't all learning lol. I loved the view I had from the hotel.


Posted by Jessica NC 07:50 Archived in USA Tagged tourist_sites Comments (0)

Old Burying Ground - Beaufort, NC


We went over to Beaufort to find a horse and carriage to take a tour around the historic part of the city, but didn't see one. When mom was driving around, we saw a very old looking cemetery and stopped to look.

We saw a few pretty tombstones that were covered with toys and play jewlery and ribbons. When we got home, mom looked online to find out more about them. One of the ones with all the toys on it was a little girl that died at sea and her father brought her back in a rum barrel to bury her at home instead of at sea.

A lot of the ones we saw died in the 1800's. I didn't see any ghosts :(. The sign also said that it had a lot of soldiers burried in there. It was pretty creepy but fun to look at the dates.



Posted by Jessica NC 07:33 Archived in USA Tagged tourist_sites Comments (0)

Tryon Palace - New Bern, NC

Tiny Palace

Hi everyone!

Today I am writing about Tryon Palace.

We went and saw some of the gardens which were nice and also took a tour of the the inside of the house. We saw inside the stables, but the kitchen we locked, so we couldn't go in. There were many rooms in the house. I thought it would be bigger than what it was, though it was a very nice house. I really liked the gallery where it showed the women that had Tryon Palace rebuilt. They had artifacts that were found when they rebuilt the palace.

We also saw the Jones house when we were done at the palace. We went into the museum shop and I got a magnet to take home. It had a picture of the palace on it.

I was disapointed when I found out that it was a reconstruction and not the real palace. It was really hot, so we didn't look at everything outside.

I'll write soon about our next adventure!



The ORIGINAL Tryon Palace was built between 1767 and 1770 by Royal Governor William Tryon. A fire destroyed the palace in 1798. The only original structure that's part of the palace is the stable. I'm not sure about the blacksmith shop or the smokehouse. We couldn't understand our tour guide that well. Most of our tour was muttled and it was pointless to ask her to repeat herself.

The brochures make Tryon Palace look huge and we were told that it would take hours to look at everything. We were there for about 30 minutes during the guided tour. The palace and grounds weren't as big as the brochures make it out to be. It was extremely hot, so we didn't go through the gardens and as Jessica said, the kitchen was locked and we couldn't get in.

In my opinion, this was a miss. We could have stayed at the beach a little longer rather than rushing off to visit. Basicly, if you would like to spend $15 to see a house built in the 1950's, this is the place for you. Frankly, I can do that for free just by going to my grandmother's house.


Posted by Jessica NC 07:10 Archived in USA Tagged tourist_sites Comments (0)

The Birthplace of Pepsi - New Bern, NC

While we were on New Bern, we went to the Birthplace of Pepsi-Cola. I got a Pepsi!

They also had a penny machine with Pepsi designs, so I got 3 flattened pennies for my penny collection. One of them says "Brad's Drink". That is what it was called before it was named Pepsi. They had lots of Pepsi things in there like Santas, old bottles and things like that.

I picked up a glass with some history written on it for my Papa. He loves Pepsi :)

I hope you can go too!



This was very fun for Jessica. She wanted to go and get something for her Grandfather.

They had a short film running on a t.v. above the counter telling the story of Pepsi. It was pretty neat to be in the same store that "Brad's Drink" was invented. You can't miss it. The Birthplace of Pepsi is located in historic New Bern.


Posted by Jessica NC 05:15 Archived in USA Tagged tourist_sites Comments (1)

The Lost Colony Outdoor Drama - Roanoke Island - Manteo, NC

My Favorite Part of Roanoke

Wow! I loved this!

At the beginning before the play, there was a town's person actor that was juggling knives. He was really good and funny.

Mom got tickets for the front row on the isle and during the whole play, indians, soldiers and others kept running up and down right beside me as part of the play.

There were sad, funny, dramatic and frightening parts. My favorite part was when one of the indians kept chasing Tom to try to kiss him. That was so funny.

I got Queen Elizabeth's autograph, John White's autograph and others. I really had a great time that night.



This was a very special part of the trip for me. I was about Jessica's age the last time I saw this play and it was great being able to share it with her.

It was amazing to see how much they have recovered since the last fire they had a few years ago. The costumes and actors were incredible. The play was great. It did have a couple of slower parts that could have been left out, but other than that, it was a hit.

I didn't realize we would be so close to the stage when I bought the tickets. I just didn't want to have someone's head in front of Jessica so she couldn't see, but that would not have been the case if we had sat further back. The seats are made to have a good rise to them so everyone can see everything.

We were able to take pictures before the play started, but cameras were not allowed during the production. I got the pictures I could before and after.

If you get to that area, try not to miss it. This was a good hit and not a miss of our trip :).


Posted by Jessica NC 04:45 Archived in USA Tagged tourist_sites Comments (0)

Roanoke Island Festival Park - Manteo, NC

We had a pretty good day at Roanoke Park on Wednesday. We saw a remake of the Elizabeth II, the Roanoke Museum, the Settlement site and the Museum Store.

Walking the ship was ok. The Elizabeth II was smaller than I thought. The Museum was pretty nice, but didn't see any artifacts. It was very interactive. You could dress up in old looking clothes and play on boats and things. Nothing really jumped out at me. The settlement site wasn't that interesting to me. There were no markers telling me about the site. Just actors talking funny and trying to get me to do the hands-on activities. It showed things about soldiers. I really like the Virginia Dare part of Roanoke History and there wasn't anything there about that.



I have to agree with Jessica on this one. During our 3 day trip we ran into a few hit & misses. It was not what we were thinking it would be or what we are used to on the sites we have visited. I'm sure they encounter a ton of people each season, so they try to make their Park fun and self-guided, but the lack of staff was discouraging.

We didn't have time to watch the film they provide about the settlement, so that may have filled our knowledge void, however, for those who do miss the film like us, had nothing to go on as we walked the park. There were no "information stands" to let us know about what we were looking at. Jessica said at one point the phrase "tourist trap".

I'm sure that this is a great place to visit with a group of young kids that like to roll-play and dress up, but it wasn't for us. If you have a question about something, the staff will answer it and that's about it. Not very forthcoming on the info.

The most fun Jessica had for this visit was the fossil dig. They have a spot set aside where they truck in loads of sandy dirt to sift through to find shell fossils and shark teeth. She did find some neat things. It's a good place to park the kids while the adults go shopping in the gift shop next door. Was it planned that way?

Please don't let our experience discourage you from going if you are interested in visiting. It just wasn't for, that's all.


Posted by Jessica NC 14:52 Archived in USA Tagged tourist_sites Comments (0)

Somerset Place - Creswell, NC

Hello! Our first stop on our mini historical vacation was Somerset Place. I really liked everything about this large plantation on Phelps Lake. All of the buildings in the owner's compound (in the big white fence) were the original ones. It has the house, kitchen, smokehouse, dairy and even a school house where the Collins children went to school.

My favorite part was the Collins family house and the dairy. The house was huge! They have a parlor, bedrooms, the boy's playrooms, housekeeper's room, service rooms and others. The dairy was very neat. It had a cradle churn for making the butter.

When we were touring, we felt the house leaning. Turns out that the main house is sinking and needs to be repaired. Hopefully they can raise the money to get that done. This is a great place and it needs to be saved.

Well, I'm off to write about the other places we saw this week!


More Notes From Mom...

This was one of my favorite stops this week.

Somerset Place was named after Somerset County in England. Somerset was an active plantation for 80 years and sat on 100,000 acres.

Being able to see and walk through the original buildings was my favorite part. Using the same doors and standing on the same floors as people did such a long time ago amazes me. I know we walk on the same soil as people did in those days and , but buildings and homes make it different. I don't know why :). They also have archaeological remains of other buildings exposed for you to see.

Our guide was wonderful! I really have to hand it to the guides of these historical places. They have to know everything about the sites and be prepared for any question that is thrown at them. Way to go guys!

Please visit the website below to learn more about Somerset Place. There is a ton of information on there.


Posted by Jessica NC 07:33 Archived in USA Tagged tourist_sites Comments (0)

Mordecai House - Raleigh, NC


Boo Everyone!

Today we went to the Mordecai House in Downtown Raleigh, the oldest house in Raleigh on it's own foundation. There were parlors, closets, bedrooms and the "haunted" room. It was built in 1785 by Joel Lane for his son Henry. 80% of the artifacts in the house are from the family that lived there for generations. There are 4 generations that lived in the house until it was sold to the City of Raleigh in 1969 I think.

I took my infared thermometer from my ghost hunting backpack and tracked down cold spots. Cold spots can sometimes be a sign of paranormal activity. There was a piano there that people say they hear playing when no one is playing it.

At the end of our tour, we were just about to go back downstairs when we heard something drop in the next room. When I looked inside the room, nothing was out of the ordinary!

Well, that's it! See ya!



I grew up in Raleigh just about 10 minutes away from the Mordecai House and don't think I've ever been. What a shame. It was a place to visit. I was happy to see so many items that the family owned all those years ago. Most of the other places we've visited this summer have had only replicas to show.

Jessica forgot to bring her EMF detector with her, so she will bring that next time. Maybe she'll have more stories for you.

We had to cut our trip short today for a vet emergency. (Waffles, our dog, hurt her foot at home so we had to go back. She's fine now)

We only got to see the house. We will visit again soon and tour the grounds and the other buildings in the pictures.

Until then, check out this website giving you more detail about the house....


We were not to visit many places this week due to the weather, but will make up for it big time next week....

Jessica and I will be taking a 3 day - 2 night excursion to the coast. On our travels, we will visit Somerset Place Plantation, Manteo, Roanoke Island Park, New Bern and maybe Edenton and Bath if we have time. It will be a long few days, but a fun one. Just mom and daughter on the open road! :)

We are leaving Tuesday and getting back home late Thursday night. We will try to blog about our trip on Friday.

I would also like to take a minute to thank all of you that are following this blog. Jessica wakes up every morning wanting to see how many people looked at it the day before. We are up to over 800 views since we started! Thank you again and I hope you are able to take a day and enjoy it with your children. They are only young once and I'm going to hold on to these memories forever.

Posted by Jessica NC 18:38 Archived in USA Tagged tourist_sites Comments (1)

House In The Horseshoe - Sanford, NC - American Revolution

Today we went to the House in the Horseshoe. It was built around 1772 and is called House in the Horseshoe because it sits on a hilltop in a horseshoe shaped bend on the Deep River.

It has lots of bullet holes from 1781 when a few Revolutionists and Loyalists had a shoot-out. In 1798, the North Carolina Governor, Benjamin Williams, bought the house and lived there until he died in 1814.

I would have to say my favorite part of the trip was the video in the museum hut. It was a film of a reenactment they did a few years ago. It was really cool.



They are having their annual reenactment in August. Looks really neat. Check them out on the website.


Posted by Jessica NC 13:25 Archived in USA Tagged tourist_sites Comments (1)

Bentonville Battlefield - Four Oaks, NC - Civil War

Don't Miss This One!

Hi everyone!

Today we visited Bentonville Battlefield. We took a tour around the battlefield. We went to the kitchen, slave quarters and the Harper House. The Harper House was used as the hospital during the battle. General Sherman and General Johnson fought this bloody war. The Battle of Bentonville was actually the bloodiest battle on North Carolina soil. This battle took place after Averasboro.

I really don't have a favorite part of this trip. I loved everything about it.

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This was a great place! The visitors center has so much to offer in information and detail. Their collection of photos and artifacts was very impressive. It includes letters from a soldier writing to his mother and sister, doctor kits and a detailed fiber-optic exhibit that covers the first and bloodiest day of action at Bentonville.

As Jessica said, the Harper House was used as the hospital during this battle for both the Union and Confederate. The house still stands and shows how the inside was set up during that time. The Harpers lived in the house during the battle with 9 children. Unbelievable!

I would like to add a big thank you to Derrick. He was a wonderful tour guide! He knows everything there is to know about the Bentonville Battle and the Harper House. We even had some "off the wall" questions for him about the house and he had an answer for them. Great guy! Thank you again!

Bentonville Battlefield is having a HUGE reenactment in March 2010 that we will not miss. All of the information is on their website. Please take the time to head out to this historic landmark. You will not be disappointed.




Posted by Jessica NC 15:17 Archived in USA Tagged tourist_sites Comments (0)

Museum of History & Museum of Natural Sciences - Raleigh, NC

OOPS! lol

semi-overcast 31 °F


Hi everyone! Today we were supposed to go to the History Museum in Raleigh. The History Museum and Science Museum are right beside each other and we walked into the Science Museum by mistake (we didn't realize it until the 3rd floor! We were thinking most of the museum was about how NC came to be through animals lol).

There were animals from all over NC. There were sea animals and land animals. There were animals that swim, fly, crawl, scamper and slither. There was even a dinosaur exhibit. There were whale skeletons and fish. There was a giant sloth's skeleton that looked 20 feet tall! There were birds, bugs, fish and lots of other animals. Oh! I almost forgot to tell you that one of my best friends came with me today too.

We also went to the History Museum and saw the Blackbeard Pirate Exhibit. There were weapons, artifacts, jewels, treasure, cannons and more!

I really had fun at the museums today. Tomorrow we are off to Bentonville Battlefield in Four Oaks!


Well, I don't have much to add to this one. Jessica pretty much said it all. We did have fun today even though our plans changed. It is a little embarassing that I was born and raised in Raleigh and didn't know which building was which :).

My favorite part of today was definately Knights of the Black Flag Exhibit at the History Museum. I've always liked pirate folklore and even have a souvenir Blackbeard cup from when I was Jessica's age from a visit to "The Lost Colony" play my grandparents took me to.

KIDS ARE FREE for this exhibit! Adults are only $5.00 and it is worth every penny. It runs until January, so PLEASE try to make out there. It was wonderful!



Posted by Jessica NC 15:45 Archived in USA Tagged family_travel Comments (0)

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