Saturday, January 6, 2007

From The OC to The NC, Part II

Vacation Days 6 & 7: Lenoir, North Carolina (continued)
Mr. Hipp grew up in Lenoir, so we spent some time visiting sites and friends from his childhood. His high school sweetheart and her husband own Hogwaller Outfitters, an amazing store downtown. They have everything from outdoor gear to kids educational toys to skateboards to fresh roasted peanuts! It was buzzing with holiday shoppers but we got to say a quick hello to the proprietress.

Next door is Java Joe's, which is everything Starbucks once was and, unfortunately, will never be again -- cozy. Work from Lenoir artists is on the walls, including some great stuff from Mr. Hipp's high school friend, Charlie. He used to have a website with his artwork, but it is no longer active. I did get a shot, though, of Mr. Hipp attempting to steal one of his pieces from the wall of Java Joe's:

We have our own Charlie original that we treasure. It was a wedding gift and has a prominent spot in our dining room. Charlie and his wife, Leigh Anne, are remarkable people. They are both special education teachers who made a conscious effort to stay in Lenoir and make it a better place. Leigh Anne is working on a master's degree full-time and they are the proud parents of an impressively well-behaved and super-cute little girl (the aforementioned 2-year-old who was, sadly, only mildly impressed with my Magic Sock). Where do they find the energy?

Here is Leigh Anne, Charlie, Baby G, Sarah, and Wiki by some public art outside of Hogwaller's and Java Joe's.

From Lenoir, we hit the road for Asheville for even more good times with friends and...YARN!

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