"People are always asking me where to take vacation. What’s a cool place? What’s the most scenic drive?" WRAL News Anchor Bill Leslie attempts to answer those questions and others in his Carolina Conversations blog.
Hello friends! On this the 11th anniversary of of one of America's darkest hours I wanted to share with you an image of hope.
As many of you know I am an amateur photographer. I love capturing warm images especially in the golden light of early morning or late afternoon. I have several nice cameras and lenses. But nothing I’ve shot has come close to capturing the imagination and wonder of the public as a photograph my daughter Lauren took at the beach with her cellphone recently. I posted Lauren’s picture on my Facebook page Friday and it went viral. Yesterday I posted the picture on WRAL's Facebook page and nearly 5,000 people said they liked it.
I wanted to share the image with you. Feel free to give it a name. To me the image evokes a strong feeling of hope – a stairway to heaven – a victory of light over darkness. And it all started with a walk down Fernandina Beach in Florida.
The cat sleeps in the piano here. The ghost sleeps in the basement but likes to bump around on the third floor at night. Welcome to the Brunswick Inn, a charming bed & breakfast down by the water in Southport.
I saw the cat blazing by me like a bullet from the kitchen into the piano where it hit what sounded like a middle C. I never saw or heard the ghost but the wind was blowing hard one night and the rain was coming down in torrents the second night. Plus, I always pack a white noise machine to help me sleep. The ghost has reportedly been haunting the inn for 130 years. It is said to be the spirit of harpist Tony Casseleta who drowned in a freak boating accident nearby in 1882.
Over the years inn patrons and owners have called Tony a gentle ghost who still plays his harp and enjoys the mostly peaceful setting. But when there is a lot of commotion and noise at the inn pictures have mysteriously crashed to the floor and suitcases have been rummaged through allegedly...
How did your weekend go? Any grand adventures? Please share.
I cashed in on a Father's Day gift and took the train to Charlotte for an Alison Krauss and Union Station concert at the NC Music Factory Amphitheatre. It was absolutely fabulous! The concert tickets were a gift from my son Will who works in Charlotte for a small film company. We will be talking about this evening for years to come. Will prefers rock over bluegrass but the sheer enormity of talent in this legendary band simply blew him away. He called Alison's performance the finest vocal work he has ever witnessed in a concert and he has been to quite a few. It didn't hurt to have fourth row seats.
The emotional power of the concert reminded me of the first time I heard Nightnoise at Charlotte's Spirit Square venue. If a band can make me cry then I know the music is marvelous. Like with the Celtic fusion Nightnoise years ago, tears were streaming down my face as Alison and Union Station closed out the...
Any restaurant plans you would recommend for this weekend?
I had a great pizza experience last night. You may want to add this to your list. If you go to Bella Mia Authentic Coal Fired Pizza in Cary be sure to ask for Nick as your server. He is one of the most knowledgeable wait people I have ever encountered at a restaurant. Plus he has this wonderful radio voice. Nick knows pizza and all the ingredients that go into it and the delicious salads served here. Also, he can tell you all about the interesting beers Bella Mia puts on its menu.
This is gourmet pizza. It’s more expensive than your standard fare but worth every bite. I sampled the Houston Street and Park Avenue pizzas. The Houston had smoked mozzarella which was out of this world. Fresh basil adds a delicious dimension to the taste. Weave in the coal and wood used to bake these pies and you have one wonderful dining experience.
Blowing Rock was one of the top vote getters in our blog on North Carolina’s prettiest towns. It’s no wonder. I joked in a recent Facebook entry that Blowing Rock leads the country in flowers per capita. Have you been there lately? Well, let’s just say Blowing Rock is in full bloom this summer.
Last weekend I spent some time in this mountain village. My sister Stephanie and her husband John have a condo on Blowing Rock’s main drag. I stayed with them last weekend while emceeing the Grandfather Mountain Highland Games in nearby Linville. It was my tenth consecutive year as games emcee and it is something I look forward to each summer.
John took me for a drive last Saturday to a spectacular view overlooking the Johns River Gorge. I can’t wait to return there in autumn when those hardwoods are glowing with colors. I also took several shots of churches and yes- flowers in the area along with a picture from my sister’s home. I hope you enjoy these images...
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Superintendent of Public Instruction June Atkinson asked lawmakers Monday to increase North Carolina's competitiveness in teacher pay and recruitment by exempting public school teachers from having to pay any personal state income taxes.
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