It’s been Tennessee, Georgia (briefly) and now North Carolina today! I had a really super lazy day yesterday, which was great. I had a late morning and then headed out for a bit of a walk (it wasn’t raining at last) and some lunch. Went to Ruby Tuesdays and had something to eat, but the best bit was the long conversation with Rachel on the phone. Almost an hour! Then I walked about a bit more, went to the American Museum of Science and Energy, which had a very interesting exhibition on the creation of Oak Ridge and the Manhattan Project, and then after that I just went back to my hotel room, watched TV and dozed. Total and utter bliss after all the excitement of the last few weeks. Months even. It’s been a while since I had a full day to do nothing like that. The only things that would have made it better would have been a little black cat with a snaggletooth and a black and white cat with an immense amount of fur cuddled up with me! Hope they’re OK! I finished my (signed!) Christopher Brookmyre though – a really good one.
This morning I set my alarm for 8 to get up in time for my taxi. But it was only after I was showered, dressed and putting on my watch that I discovered that actually I had got up at 7am. How annoying is that. Basically it seems that Congress changed the timing of daylight saving time after all the clocks in the hotels had been programmed! Still, it meant I got on with completing my OU assignment, which is now pretty much good to go. I got to the airport with plenty of time. Had to repack my bags at the curb – always classy. Plane was delayed – they said an hour but suddenly boarded us all a took off not quite that late, which was great. So I got to Atlanta in plenty of time for my connection to Raleigh. I was met by the massed hordes of Gil, Iyad, Khalid and David, with a sign Gil had made saying “Emerging Leader Antonia” as I came down the stairs!! He’d borrowed someone’s sign and written it on the back!!! We drove into Raleigh and booked into the hotel. I’m waiting to be convinced, but the Sheraton area on a Sunday night does not make Raleigh seem like a hopping place! We found a really nice place for dinner and even Gil got to eat a plate of raw vegetables (I tell you, what I am learning about Kosher food laws…!). It had a gorgeous Viognier from Washington State. I’ve had 2 lovely Oregon wines and now a great one from Washington. I’m beginning to think the US is like South Africa – they just don’t export their good wines! I’m making an effort to try US wines and not go for the usual Italian and Australian that I know on menus – and I haven’t been disappointed so far. Will have to find a decent supplier in London.
So in the hotel now. Unpacking, sorting myself out, preparing for a day with Raj (US Eisenhower Fellow) tomorrow at his institute. Should be fun. But Raleigh does have some work to do!