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About Eisa


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Life Missions

(2 out of 5 complete)

To eat something cooked with pineapple in/on it

To eat 5 different fruits in 5 different countries

To learn about 5 different cultural dances

To learn to play an instrument

To go to a concert

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Travelog for: Eisa

Okinawa, Japan - 2nd October 2009

By: JaymeC

I'm a sweet little pineapple named Eisa. I was named after a traditional Okinawan dance, and as so I'd love to learn about other traditional dances! I also want to try some pineapple foods and lots of other fruits as well. I'm sure there are some out there I haven't tried yet. One of my favorites here in Okinawa is dragon fruit, but I doubt they have that in the rest of the world. I wonder what others there are to try? Overall I love all foods and want to learn about them! And though I love dancing, I want to learn about all kinds of music and also how to play. After all, Eisa dancers have to have their drums or its not much of a dance... maybe I can learn the drum one day or another instrument.

I'm setting off with an appropriate companion in Nori. I'm sure she'll show me the ropes of this toyvoyaging thing! And keep me from getting eaten... I can't wait to find out what I'm going to see!

Much love,

* Posted Oct 2, 2009, 11:02 am [Quote] [View just this post] Go to the top of the page

Richlands, NC, USA - 6th December 2009

By: Pixiedustlady

Hey Mom Im found!!! I am at Ballys house!!! I am safe and I am going to hang out a bit till you get me a new host :)  I thought since I was hanging around I would update you and tell you about North Carolina!!

Today I got on the computer and did a bunch of research on the state of North Carolina.  I have prepared a big report for you to read about the Tarheel state!! I am having fun and now there is a big gang of us here in the house and we are having a great time!  I hope you enjoy my report!!



North Carolina is bordered by South Carolina on the south, Georgia on the southwest, Tennessee on the west, Virginia on the north, and the Atlantic Ocean on the east. The United States Census Bureau classifies North Carolina as a southern state in the subcategory of being one of the South Atlantic States.

North Carolina consists of three main geographic sections: the coastal plain, which occupies the eastern 45% of the state; the Piedmont region, which contains the middle 35%; and the Appalachian Mountains and foothills. The extreme eastern section of the state contains the Outer Banks, a string of sandy, narrow islands which form a barrier between the Atlantic Ocean and inland waterways. The Outer Banks form two sounds—Albemarle Sound in the north and Pamlico Sound in the south. They are the two largest landlocked sounds in the United States.

Immediately inland, the coastal plain is relatively flat, with rich soils ideal for growing tobacco, soybeans, melons, and cotton. The coastal plain is North Carolina's most rural section, with few large towns or cities. Agriculture remains an important industry. The major rivers of the coastal plain: the Neuse, Tar, Pamlico, and Cape Fear, tend to be slow-moving and wide.

The coastal plain transitions to the Piedmont region along the "fall line", a line which marks the elevation at which waterfalls first appear on streams and rivers. The Piedmont region of central North Carolina is the state's most urbanized and densely populated section - all five of the state's largest cities are located in the Piedmont. It consists of gently rolling countryside frequently broken by hills or low mountain ridges. A number of small, isolated, and deeply eroded mountain ranges and peaks are located in the Piedmont, including the Sauratown Mountains, Pilot Mountain, the Uwharrie Mountains, Crowder's Mountain, King's Pinnacle, the Brushy Mountains, and the South Mountains. The Piedmont ranges from about 300–400 feet (90–120 m) elevation in the east to over 1,000 feet (300 m) in the west. Due to the rapid population growth of the Piedmont, many of the farms and much of the rural countryside in this region is being replaced by suburbanization: shopping centers, housing developments, and large corporate office parks. Agriculture is steadily declining in importance in this region. The major rivers of the Piedmont, such as the Yadkin and Catawba, tend to be fast-flowing, shallow, and narrow.

The western section of the state is part of the Appalachian Mountain range. Among the subranges of the Appalachians located in the state are the Great Smoky Mountains, Blue Ridge Mountains, Great Balsam Mountains, and the Black Mountains. The Black Mountains are the highest in the Eastern United States, and culminate in Mount Mitchell at 6,684 feet (2,037 m).[3] It is the highest point east of the Mississippi River. Although agriculture remains important, tourism has become the dominant industry in the mountains. One agricultural pursuit which has prospered and grown in recent decades is the growing and selling of Christmas Trees. Due to the higher altitude of the mountains, the climate often differs markedly from the rest of the state. Winters in western North Carolina typically feature significant snowfall and subfreezing temperatures more akin to a midwestern state than a southern one.

North Carolina has 17 major river basins. Five of the state's river basins: the Hiwassee, Little Tennessee, French Broad, Watauga and New, are part of the Mississippi River Basin, which drains to the Gulf of Mexico. All the others flow to the Atlantic Ocean. Of the 17 basins, 11 originate within the state of North Carolina, but only four are contained entirely within the state's borders - the Cape Fear, Neuse, White Oak and Tar-Pamlico.

The coastal plain is influenced by the Atlantic Ocean which keeps temperatures mild in winter and moderate in the summer. Daytime high temperatures on the coast average less than 89 °F (31.6 °C) during the summer. In the winter, the coast has the mildest temperatures in the state, with daytime temperatures rarely dropping below 40 °F (4.4 °C); the average daytime winter temperature in the coastal plain is usually in the mid-60's. Temperatures in the coastal plain rarely drop below freezing even at night. The coastal plain usually receives only one inch (2.5 cm) of snow and/or ice annually, and in some years there may be no snow or ice at all.

The Atlantic Ocean has less influence on the Piedmont region, and as a result the Piedmont has hotter summers and colder winters than the coast. Daytime highs in the Piedmont often average over 90 °F (32.2 °C) in the summer. While it is not common for temperatures to reach over 100 °F (37.8 °C) in North Carolina, when it happens, the highest temperatures are to be found in the lower areas of the Piedmont, especially around the city of Fayetteville. Additionally, the weaker influence of the Atlantic Ocean means that temperatures in the Piedmont often fluctuate more widely than the coast.

In the winter, the Piedmont is much less mild than the coast, with daytime temperatures that are usually in the mid 50's, and temperatures often drop below freezing at night. The region averages from 3–5 inches of snowfall annually in the Charlotte area to 6–8 inches in the Raleigh–Durham area. The Piedmont is especially notorious for sleet and freezing rain. It can be heavy enough in some storms to snarl traffic and collapse trees and power lines. Annual precipitation and humidity is lower in the Piedmont than either the mountains or the coast, but even at its lowest, the precipitation is a generous 40 in (102 cm) per year.

The Appalachian Mountains are the coolest area of the state, with daytime temperatures averaging in the low 40's and upper 30's for highs in the winter and often falling into the teens (−9 °C) or lower on winter nights. Relatively cool summers have temperatures rarely rising above 80 °F (26.7 °C). Snowfall in the mountains is usually 14–20 in (36–51 cm) per year, but it is often greater in the higher elevations. For example, during the Blizzard of 1993 more than 50 inches (130 cm) of snow fell on Mount Mitchell over a period of three days.

Severe weather occurs regularly in North Carolina. On average, the state receives a direct hit from a hurricane once a decade. Tropical storms arrive every 3 or 4 years. In some years, several hurricanes or tropical storms can directly strike the state or brush across the coastal areas. Only Florida and Louisiana are hit by hurricanes more often. Although many people believe that hurricanes menace only coastal areas, the rare hurricane which moves inland quickly enough can cause severe damage. In 1989 Hurricane Hugo caused heavy damage in Charlotte and even as far inland as the Blue Ridge Mountains in the northwestern part of the state. On average, North Carolina has 50 days of thunderstorm activity per year, with some storms becoming severe enough to produce hail, flash floods, and damaging winds.

North Carolina averages fewer than 20 tornadoes per year. Many of these are produced by hurricanes or tropical storms along the coastal plain. Tornadoes from thunderstorms are a risk, especially in the eastern part of the state. The western piedmont is often protected by the mountains breaking storms up as they try to cross over them. The storms will often reform farther east. Also a weather feature known as "cold air damming" occurs in the western part of the state. This can also weaken storms but can also lead to major ice events in winter.

North Carolina was originally inhabited by many different native peoples, including those of the ancient Mississippian culture established by 1000 A.D. in the Piedmont. Historically documented tribes included Cherokee, Tuscarora, Cheraw, Pamlico, Meherrin, Coree, Machapunga, Cape Fear Indians, Waxhaw, Saponi, Tutelo, Waccamaw, Coharie, and Catawba.

Spanish explorers traveling inland encountered the last of the Mississippian culture at Joara, near present-day Morganton. Records of Hernando de Soto attested to his meeting with them in 1540. In 1567 Captain Juan Pardo led an expedition into the interior of North Carolina on a journey to claim the area for the Spanish colony, as well as establish another route to protect silver mines in Mexico (the Spanish did not realize the distances involved.) Pardo made a winter base at Joara, which he renamed Cuenca. The expedition built Fort San Juan and left 30 men, while Pardo traveled further, establishing five other forts. He returned by a different route to Santa Elena on Parris Island, South Carolina, then a center of Spanish Florida. In the spring of 1568, natives killed all the soldiers and burned the six forts in the interior, including the one at Fort San Juan. The Spanish never returned to the interior to press their colonial claim, but this marked the first European attempt at colonization of the interior of what became the United States. A journal by Pardo's scribe Bandera and archaeological findings at Joara have confirmed the settlement.[9][10]

Sir Walter Raleigh returns to find the colony abandonedIn 1584, Elizabeth I, granted a charter to Sir Walter Raleigh, for whom the state capital is named, for land in present-day North Carolina (then Virginia).[11] Raleigh established two colonies on the coast in the late 1580s, both ending in failure. It was the second American territory the British attempted to colonize. The demise of one, the "Lost Colony" of Roanoke Island, remains one of the great mysteries of American history. Virginia Dare, the first English child to be born in North America, was born on Roanoke Island on August 18, 1587. Dare County is named for her.

As early as 1650, colonists from the Virginia colony moved into the area of Albemarle Sound. By 1663, King Charles II of England granted a charter to establish a new colony on the North American continent which generally established its borders. He named it Carolina in honor of his father Charles I.[12] By 1665, a second charter was issued to attempt to resolve territorial questions. In 1710, due to disputes over governance, the Carolina colony began to split into North Carolina and South Carolina. The latter became a crown colony in 1729.

Reconstructed royal governor's mansion Tryon Palace in New BernThe first permanent European settlers of North Carolina were British colonists who migrated south from Virginia, following a rapid growth of the colony and the subsequent shortage of available farmland. Nathaniel Batts was documented as one of the first of these Virginian migrants. He settled south of the Chowan River and east of the Great Dismal Swamp in 1655.[13] By 1663, this northeastern area of the Province of Carolina, known as the Albemarle Settlements, was undergoing full-scale British settlement.[14] During the same period, the English monarch Charles II gave the province to the Lords Proprietors, a group of noblemen who had helped restore Charles to the throne in 1660. The new province of "Carolina" was named in honor and memory of King Charles I (Latin: Carolus). In 1712, North Carolina became a separate colony. With the exception of the Earl Granville holdings, it became a royal colony seventeen years later.[15]

Differences in the settlement patterns of eastern and western North Carolina, or the low country and uplands, affected the political, economic, and social life of the state from the eighteenth until the twentieth century. The Tidewater in eastern North Carolina was settled chiefly by immigrants from England and the Scottish Highlands. The upcountry of western North Carolina was settled chiefly by Scots-Irish and German Protestants, the so-called "cohee". Arriving during the mid-to-late 18th century, the Scots-Irish from Ireland were the largest immigrant group before the Revolution. During the Revolutionary War, the English and Highland Scots of eastern North Carolina tended to remain loyal to the British Crown, because of longstanding business and personal connections with Great Britain. The Scots-Irish and German settlers of western North Carolina tended to favor American independence from Britain.

Most of the English colonists arrived as indentured servants, hiring themselves out as laborers for a fixed period to pay for their passage. In the early years the line between indentured servants and African slaves or laborers was fluid. Some Africans were allowed to earn their freedom before slavery became a lifelong status. Most of the free colored families formed in North Carolina before the Revolution were descended from relationships or marriages between free white women and enslaved or free African or African-American men. Many had migrated or were descendants of migrants from colonial Virginia.[16] As the flow of indentured laborers to the colony decreased with improving economic conditions in Great Britain, more slaves were imported and the state's restrictions on slavery hardened. The economy's growth and prosperity was based on slave labor, devoted first to the production of tobacco.

On April 12, 1776, the colony became the first to instruct its delegates to the Continental Congress to vote for independence from the British crown, through the Halifax Resolves passed by the North Carolina Provincial Congress. The dates of both of these independence-related events are memorialized on the state flag and state seal.[17] Throughout the Revolutionary War, fierce guerilla warfare erupted between bands of pro-independence and pro-British colonists. In some cases the war was also an excuse to settle private grudges and rivalries. A major American victory in the war took place at King's Mountain along the North Carolina–South Carolina border. On October 7, 1780 a force of 1000 mountain men from western North Carolina (including what is today the State of Tennessee) overwhelmed a force of some 1000 British troops led by Major Patrick Ferguson. Most of the British soldiers in this battle were Carolinians who had remained loyal to the British Crown (they were called "Tories"). The American victory at Kings Mountain gave the advantage to colonists who favored American independence, and it prevented the British Army from recruiting new soldiers from the Tories.

The road to Yorktown and America's independence from Great Britain led through North Carolina. As the British Army moved north from victories in Charleston and Camden, South Carolina, the Southern Division of the Continental Army and local militia prepared to meet them. Following General Daniel Morgan's victory over the British Cavalry Commander Banastre Tarleton at the Battle of Cowpens on January 17, 1781, southern commander Nathanael Greene led British Lord Charles Cornwallis across the heartland of North Carolina, and away from Cornwallis's base of supply in Charleston, South Carolina. This campaign is known as "The Race to the Dan" or "The Race for the River."[15]

Generals Greene and Cornwallis finally met at the Battle of Guilford Courthouse in present-day Greensboro on March 15, 1781. Although the British troops held the field at the end of the battle, their casualties at the hands of the numerically superior American Army were crippling. Following this "Pyhrric victory", Cornwallis chose to move to the Virginia coastline to get reinforcements, and to allow the Royal Navy to protect his battered army. This decision would result in Cornwallis's eventual defeat at Yorktown, Virginia later in 1781. The Patriots' victory there guaranteed American independence.

Antebellum Period
On November 21, 1789, North Carolina became the twelfth state to ratify the Constitution. In 1840, it completed the state capitol building in Raleigh, still standing today. Most of North Carolina's slave owners and large plantations were located in the eastern portion of the state. Although North Carolina's plantation system was smaller and less cohesive than those of Virginia, Georgia or South Carolina, there were significant numbers of planters concentrated in the counties around the port cities of Wilmington and Edenton, as well as suburban planters around the cities of Raleigh, Charlotte and Durham. Planters owning large estates wielded significant political and socio-economic power in antebellum North Carolina, often to the derision of the generally non-slave holding "yeoman" farmers of Western North Carolina. In mid-century, the state's rural and commercial areas were connected by the construction of a 129–mile (208 km) wooden plank road, known as a "farmer's railroad," from Fayetteville in the east to Bethania (northwest of Winston-Salem).[15]

In addition to slaves, there were a number of free people of color in the state. Most were descended from free African Americans who had migrated along with neighbors from Virginia during the eighteenth century. After the Revolution, Quakers and Mennonites worked to persuade slaveholders to free their slaves. Enough were inspired by their efforts and the language of men's rights, and arranged for manumission of their slaves. The number of free people of color rose in the first couple of decades after the Revolution.[18]

On October 25, 1836 construction began on the Wilmington and Raleigh Railroad[19] to connect the port city of Wilmington with the state capital of Raleigh. In 1849 the North Carolina Railroad was created by act of the legislature to extend that railroad west to Greensboro, High Point, and Charlotte. During the Civil War the Wilmington-to-Raleigh stretch of the railroad would be vital to the Confederate war effort; supplies shipped into Wilmington would be moved by rail through Raleigh to the Confederate capital of Richmond, Virginia.

During the antebellum period North Carolina was an overwhelmingly rural state, even by Southern standards. In 1860 only one North Carolina town, the port city of Wilmington, had a population of more than 10,000. Raleigh, the state capital, had barely more than 5,000 residents.

While slaveholding was slightly less concentrated than in some Southern states, according to the 1860 census, more than 330,000 people, or 33% of the population of 992,622 were enslaved African-Americans. They lived and worked chiefly on plantations in the eastern Tidewater. In addition, 30,463 free people of color lived in the state. They were also concentrated in the eastern coastal plain, especially at port cities such as Wilmington and New Bern where they had access to a variety of jobs. Free African Americans were allowed to vote until 1835, when the state rescinded their suffrage.

In 1860, North Carolina was a slave state, in which about one-third of the population of 992,622 were enslaved African Americans. This was a smaller proportion than many Southern states. In addition, the state had a substantial number of Free Negroes, just over 30,000.[20] The state did not vote to join the Confederacy until President Abraham Lincoln called on it to invade its sister-state, South Carolina, becoming the second to last state to join the Confederacy. North Carolina was the site of few battles, but it provided at least 125,000 troops to the Confederacy— far more than any other state. Approximately 40,000 of those troops never returned home, dying of disease, battlefield wounds, and starvation. Elected in 1862, Governor Zebulon Baird Vance tried to maintain state autonomy against Confederate President Jefferson Davis in Richmond.

Even after secession, some North Carolinians refused to support the Confederacy. This was particularly true of non-slave-owning farmers in the state's mountains and western Piedmont region. Some of these farmers remained neutral during the war, while some covertly supported the Union cause during the conflict. Approximately 2,000 North Carolinians from western North Carolina enlisted in the Union Army and fought for the North in the war, and two additional Union Army regiments were raised in the coastal areas of the state that were occupied by Union forces in 1862 and 1863. Even so, Confederate troops from all parts of North Carolina served in virtually all the major battles of the Army of Northern Virginia, the Confederacy's most famous army. The largest battle fought in North Carolina was at Bentonville, which was a futile attempt by Confederate General Joseph Johnston to slow Union General William Tecumseh Sherman's advance through the Carolinas in the spring of 1865.[15] In April 1865 after losing the Battle of Morrisville, Johnston surrendered to Sherman at Bennett Place, in what is today Durham, North Carolina. This was the last major Confederate Army to surrender. North Carolina's port city of Wilmington was the last Confederate port to fall to the Union. It fell in the spring of 1865 after the nearby Second Battle of Fort Fisher.

Bennett Place historic site in Durham, North Carolina.The first Confederate soldier to be killed in the Civil War was Private Henry Wyatt, a North Carolinian. He was killed in the Battle of Big Bethel in June 1861. At the Battle of Gettysburg in July 1863, the 26th North Carolina Regiment participated in Pickett/Pettigrew's Charge and advanced the farthest into the Northern lines of any Confederate regiment. During the Battle of Chickamauga the 58th North Carolina Regiment advanced farther than any other regiment on Snodgrass Hill to push back the remaining Union forces from the battlefield. At Appomattox Court House in Virginia in April 1865, the 75th North Carolina Regiment, a cavalry unit, fired the last shots of the Confederate Army of Northern Virginia in the Civil War. For many years, North Carolinians proudly boasted that they had been "First at Bethel, Farthest at Gettysburg and Chickamauga, and Last at Appomattox."

Film studios are located in Shelby, Raleigh, Durham, Charlotte, Asheville, Wilmington, and Winston-Salem. Some of the best-known films and television shows filmed in the state include: All the Real Girls, Being There, Blue Velvet, Bull Durham, A Walk to Remember, Glory (film), The Color Purple, Cabin Fever, Super Mario Bros. (film), Cape Fear, Children of the Corn, The Crow, Dawson's Creek, Dirty Dancing, Evil Dead 2, The Fugitive, The Green Mile, Hannibal, The Last of the Mohicans, Nell, One Tree Hill, Patch Adams (film), Shallow Hal, Talladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby, Leatherheads, Nights in Rodanthe and 28 Days. Half of Steven King's movies were filmed in North Carolina. The television show most associated with North Carolina is The Andy Griffith Show, which aired on CBS-TV from 1960 to 1968. The series is set in the fictional small town of Mayberry, North Carolina, and was based on the real-life town of Mount Airy, North Carolina, although it was filmed in California. Mount Airy is the hometown of actor Andy Griffith. The show is still popular in reruns and is frequently shown in syndication around the nation. North Carolina is also home to some of the Southeast's biggest film festivals, including the National Black Theatre Festival and the RiverRun International Film Festival in Winston-Salem, and the Full Frame Documentary Film Festival in Durham, North Carolina.

The School of Filmmaking at the North Carolina School of the Arts in Winston-Salem is a unique arts conservatory that combines rigorous professional training with unparalleled facilities, equipment and resources. All Second, Third and Fourth Year productions are entered into film and video festivals worldwide, and several have won major awards, including the Student Academy Award, the Angelus Award and the Cine Eagle Award. The best Fourth Year productions are also screened on film in front of large industry audiences at the Directors Guild of America in Los Angeles in June each year. School of the Arts alumni have performed in or behind the scenes of Broadway shows, film, television and regional theatre, and are members of the world’s finest symphony orchestras and opera and dance companies. They have won or been nominated for all of the major awards in the entertainment industry, including Tony, Oscar, Emmy, Grammy and others. Some well-known alumni of the NCSA School of Drama are Jada Pinkett Smith, Mary-Louise Parker, Catherine Dent, and Tom Hulce.

Although North Carolina did not have a major-league professional sports franchise until the 1980s, the state has long been known as a hotbed of college basketball. Since the formation of the Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC) in 1953, the conference's North Carolina member schools have excelled in conference play. The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (UNC), Duke University, and North Carolina State University are all located within 25 miles (40 km) of one another, creating fierce rivalries. Wake Forest University, another ACC member, is located less than 100 miles (160 km) to the west of these schools in Winston-Salem. UNC has won four NCAA national championships in basketball: 1957, 1982, 1993, and 2005. The Tar Heels also won a national-level championship in 1924, before the NCAA was created. Duke has won three NCAA championships: 1991, 1992, and 2001. NC State has won two: 1974 and 1983. The Duke-UNC basketball rivalry has been called one of the best rivalries in sports and the two schools are often contenders for the national title. In addition to the ACC schools, the University of North Carolina at Charlotte went to the NCAA's Final Four in 1977, and Davidson College near Charlotte went to the NCAA's "Elite Eight" in 1968, 1969, and 2008. In 2007 Barton College in Wilson won the NCAA Division II championship in men's basketball. Although basketball remains the dominant college sport in North Carolina, several schools have also enjoyed success in football and other sports. In 2005, 2006, and 2007 Appalachian State University won the NCAA Division I Football Championship Subdivision championship; they are the first university to win the Division I Football Championship Subdivision championship three times in a row. Wake Forest University has also enjoyed substantial success in football; in 2007 they won the ACC football championship and participated in the 2007 Orange Bowl in Miami, Florida. This was the first major bowl berth for a North Carolina-based team since Duke defeated Arkansas in the 1961 Cotton Bowl (game).

The Blue Ridge Mountains of the Shining Rock Wilderness AreaDue to geography, rich history, and growing industry, North Carolina provides a large range of recreational activities from swimming at the beach[53] to skiing in the mountains. North Carolina offers fall colors, freshwater and saltwater fishing, hunting, birdwatching, agritourism, ATV trails, ballooning, rock climbing, biking, hiking, skiing, boating and sailing, camping, canoeing, caving (spelunking), gardens, and arboretums. North Carolina has theme parks, aquariums, zoos, museums, historic sites, lighthouses, elegant theaters, concert halls, and fine dining.

North Carolinians enjoy outdoor recreation utilizing numerous local bike paths, 34 state parks, and 14 national parks which are the Appalachian National Scenic Trail, the Blue Ridge Parkway, Cape Hatteras National Seashore, Cape Lookout National Seashore, Carl Sandburg Home National Historic Site at Flat Rock, Croatan National Forest in Eastern North Carolina, Fort Raleigh National Historic Site at Manteo, Great Smoky Mountains National Park, Guilford Courthouse National Military Park in Greensboro, Moores Creek National Battlefield near Currie, the Overmountain Victory National Historic Trail, Old Salem National Historic Site in Winston-Salem, the Trail of Tears National Historic Trail, Wright Brothers National Memorial in Kill Devil Hills, North Carolina, Uwharrie National Forest.

Famous food and drinks from North Carolina

2008 Lexington Barbecue Festival A nationally-famous cuisine from North Carolina is pork barbecue. However, there are strong regional differences and rivalries over the sauces and method of preparation used in making the barbecue. Eastern North Carolina pork barbecue uses a vinegar-based sauce and the "whole hog" is cooked, thus using both white and dark meat. The "capital" of eastern Carolina barbecue is usually considered to be the town of Wilson, near Raleigh. Western North Carolina pork barbecue uses a ketchup and vinegar based sauce and only the pork shoulder (dark meat) is used. The "capital" of western Carolina barbecue is usually considered to be the Piedmont Triad town of Lexington, home of the Lexington Barbecue Festival which brings in over 100,000 visitors each October.

North Carolina is the birthplace of Pepsi-Cola, first produced in 1890 in New Bern. Regional soft drinks created and still based in the state are Sun Drop and Cheerwine. Krispy Kreme, a popular chain of doughnut stores, was started in North Carolina; the company's headquarters are in Winston-Salem. Despite its name, the hot sauce Texas Pete was created in North Carolina; its headquarters are also in Winston-Salem. The Hardees fast-food chain was started in Rocky Mount. Another fast-food chain, Bojangles', was started in Charlotte, and has its corporate headquarters there. A popular North Carolina restaurant chain is Golden Corral. Started in 1973, the chain was founded in Fayetteville. Popular pickle brand Mount Olive Pickle Company was founded in Mount Olive in 1926. Cook Out, a popular fast food chain featuring burgers, hot dogs, and milkshakes in a wide variety of flavors, was founded in Greensboro in 1989 and operates exclusively in North Carolina.

Ships named for the state
Several ships have been named for the state. Most famous is the USS North Carolina, a World War II battleship. The ship served in several battles against the forces of Imperial Japan in the Pacific theater during the war. Now decommissioned, it is part of the USS North Carolina Battleship Memorial in Wilmington. Another USS North Carolina, a nuclear attack submarine, was commissioned on May 3, 2008.[55]

Cardinal, North Carolina state bird
Strawberry, North Carolina state red berry
[edit] State symbols
Main article: North Carolina state symbols
State motto: Esse quam videri ("To be, rather than to seem") (1893)
State song: "The Old North State" (1927)
State flower: Dogwood (1941)
State bird: Cardinal (1943)
State colors: the red and blue of the N.C. and U.S. flags (1945)
State toast: The Tar Heel Toast (1957)
State tree: Pine (1963)
State shell: Scotch bonnet (1965)
State mammal: Eastern Gray Squirrel (1969)
State salt water fish: Red Drum (also known as the Channel bass) (1971)
State insect: European honey bee (1973)
State gemstone: Emerald (1973)
State reptile: Eastern Box Turtle (1979)
State rock: Granite (1979)
State beverage: Milk (1987)
State historical boat: Shad boat (1987)
State language: English (1987)
State dog: Plott Hound (1989)
State military academy: Oak Ridge Military Academy (1991)
State tartan: Carolina tartan (1991)[56]
State vegetable: Sweet potato (1995)
State red berry: Strawberry (2001)
State blue berry: Blueberry (2001)
State fruit: Scuppernong grape (2001)
State wildflower: Carolina Lily (2003)
State Christmas tree: Fraser Fir (2005)
State carnivorous plant: Venus Flytrap (2005)
State folk dance: Clogging (2005)
State popular dance: Shag (2005)
State freshwater trout: Southern Appalachian Brook Trout (2005)
State birthplace of traditional pottery: the Seagrove area (2005)

Hope you enjoyed your history lesson Mom!!  I am going to go watch  *Christmas with the Kranks* it is a funny movie!!


* Posted Dec 6, 2009, 9:47 pm [Quote] [View just this post] Go to the top of the page

Richlands, NC, USA - 6th December 2009

By: Pixiedustlady

Hi Mom!
We are eating pizza tonight!!


We are now watching a Christmas movie every night!! Tonight we watched *Christmas with the Kranks* it was really funny!!


I am going to go get some hot cocoa and look at the Christmas lights!!!

* Posted Dec 7, 2009, 12:43 am [Quote] [View just this post] Go to the top of the page

Richlands, NC, USA - 7th December 2009

By: Pixiedustlady

Just as I start to get settled in, I find out that I am leaving tommorro!! Darcie got me a first class ticket on Delta and I leave tommorro afternoon to go see Stephanie.  Mom, make sure you send me back here in the Spring  for a LONGER visit!! Bally should be home by then and we want to go to a car show together.  ;)

Missouri here I come!!!


* Posted Dec 8, 2009, 1:18 am [Quote] [View just this post] Go to the top of the page

Fredericktown, Missouri, USA - 11th December 2009

By: brilliantlyxx

Well, I finally made it to Missouri and I'm so glad to have a place where I can really get settled in AND have an adventure!

When I arrived, I met Cutie, Izzie, Blue Boy, and Mystery! Mystery is new just like me, so I feel less alone knowing that he's only been here a few days.  :)


Apparently Blue Boy is a very talented guitar player and may just teach me how to play before he goes off to Germany next year! I really hope he does!

Well, I need to rest up. That trip wore me out!


* Posted Dec 13, 2009, 8:11 pm [Quote] [View just this post] Go to the top of the page

Fredericktown, Missouri, USA - 12th December 2009

By: brilliantlyxx

Today, Mom, we decided to bake some holiday cookies! They weren't home-made, though; Steph said the home-made ones will come closer to Christmas time.  These you just buy the box and put them on a cookie sheet and bake them.  These were very neat, though, as they had reindeer and Christmas trees in them.


Here we are looking at the dough so we could put them on the cookie sheet and into the oven. Aren't they neat looking?

We put the first batch in the oven, then we had to wait and wait and wait and wait.. :mad: I tried not to get TOO close to the oven, though. I didn't want to be a bake pineapple.  :o

Here we are once the first batch came out. Yummy looking, huh?

Well, I've got to go! I've gotta finish baking all these cookies so we can eat them! Can't wait!


* Posted Dec 16, 2009, 6:29 am Last edited Dec 16, 2009, 6:30 am by brilliantlyxx [Quote] [View just this post] Go to the top of the page

Fredericktown, Missouri, USA - 17th December 2009

By: brilliantlyxx

Today, we made a gingerbread house! Again, like the cookies, it wasn't homemade, but it was still a ton of fun! It didn't taste too great though, so we skipped out on eating it.  :(

Afterward, we all settled in (well, except Chance. He wanted to get to bed early) and watched Elf and Four Christmases. If you have not seen either of them, I would reccommend watching one of them, especially Elf!

Well, it's VERY late and I need to get to bed! Only 8 more days until Christmas!! Hope I get some goodies!


* Posted Jan 27, 2010, 9:18 am [Quote] [View just this post] Go to the top of the page

Fredericktown, Missouri, USA - 22nd December 2009

By: brilliantlyxx

Today, there was a little bit of snow here. Not much really, but it's the first bit of snow that's been seen all winter so far!  :D


* Posted Jan 27, 2010, 9:25 am [Quote] [View just this post] Go to the top of the page

Fredericktown, Missouri, USA - 25th December 2009

By: brilliantlyxx



* Posted Jan 27, 2010, 9:21 am [Quote] [View just this post] Go to the top of the page

Fredericktown, Missouri, USA - 5th January 2010

By: brilliantlyxx

Today, we gathered around and listened to Blue Boy play his guitar. It was very beautiful. He's VERY talented.


We were a little curious and wanted to learn to play as pretty as he does, so we asked him if he could teach us. Boy, you should have seen his face light up at that! :D

He said he had to teach us the basics of guitar first, but we would get to play soon enough.

Here's the diagram he showed us:

The guitar is made up of three parts: Head, Neck, and Body.

The Head is the part above the neck where the Tuners are. Depending on the guitar, the number of tuners vary. Some guitars have six, some have twelve. You turn the tuners to tune the strings on your guitar.
The Nut is a piece of material that holds the strings in place. If you were to take the strings off of a guitar and look at a Nut, you would see little grooves where the strings should go.
Below the nut is the Neck, sometimes called the Fretboard/Fingerboard. The Neck extends down to the Sound Hole. On the Neck, you will notice that there are little piece of metal all the way down. These are called Frets. You place your finger near them, but not on them to play a note. The closer to the body you get, the higher the note.
The big fat part of the guitar is called the Body. The Body can be made out of many different types of wood and comes in many shapes. Toward the middle of the body and at the end of the neck is the Sound Hole. The sound hole is where the sound is projected out. Next to the sound hole is the Pick Guard. The pick guard is there to protect the finish of a guitar from being scratched up while playing with a pick.
At the end of all the strings is the Bridge. The Bridge is attached to the guitar and the strings go into it by using Bridge Pins to hold them in. Above the Bridge Pins is the Saddle. This acts just like the nut does and has grooves in it to hold the strings in place.

After we finished with the anatomy of the guitar, Blue Boy decided it would be best if we talked about guitar picks too. He dumped out his bag of guitar picks and showed us how there were many different colors, designs, and brands of guitar picks.

Blue Boy also told us that the picks vary in thickness. The white one of the left is only .38 millimeters thick, the yellow .73 millimeters, the black one at 1 millimeter thick, and the purple at 1.14 millimeters thick. He said the thickness of the pick is up to the guitar players preference. He said that he likes to play with ones about the width of the yellow one, but we were free to choose.

Sometimes, the picks don't give a number of the thickness and just give you a word. For example, the three picks in the top row say L, M, and X-H. The L stands for Light, the M stands for Medium, and the X-H stands for Extra Heavy. The bottom two were much simpler and said Medium and Heavy.

Once we all had this information floating around in our heads, it was time to start learning how to play a real guitar.

Well, almost time. Blue Boy decided to explain to us what a Capo is. A capo is placed on the fretboard directly behind a fret. It raises the pitch of the guitar without having to tune it.

NOW, we were ready to play guitar! I was up after Mystery finished his turn. I grabbed my pick of choice and got up to play. I thought I did an excellent job, though it was a pretty difficult to play since I'm just a little pineapple.  :(

Blue Boy noticed that the guitar was a little bit too big for all of us, so he went back to his room and came back with a surprise for us. He had a little electric guitar for us to play! It was the perfect size for all of us!

Well, Mom, it looks like I've completed my first mission!!!!  :cyclops: I'm very proud of myself and all I want to do is play guitar now. Maybe I'll join a ToyVoyager band! That'd make me so cool!  B)

* Posted Feb 1, 2010, 6:21 pm [Quote] [View just this post] Go to the top of the page

Fredericktown, Missouri, USA - 7th January 2010

By: brilliantlyxx

Today was yet another snowy day here. There was a few inches of snow on the ground when we got up, but not enough to make things really difficult.



* Posted Feb 15, 2010, 7:01 am [Quote] [View just this post] Go to the top of the page

Fredericktown, Missouri, USA - 11th January 2010

By: brilliantlyxx

Today we celebrated Steph's birthday. We baked her this cake and decorated it too. I think we did a very decent job, if I do say so myself.  :D


* Posted Feb 15, 2010, 7:02 am [Quote] [View just this post] Go to the top of the page

Alton, Illinois, USA - 23rd January 2010

By: brilliantlyxx

Today I got to go on my first real outing! We went north to Alton, Illinois. There's nothing too flashy about this town, but it's full of history, old buildings, and even brick roads in the downtown area. It wasn't a very beautiful day either, but it seemed to fit the town in a way.

I was a little bit excited and looking at the sign in this photo. Oops!

Also, because we learned SO much on this trip, I've decided to do this in several different updates just so it's not overwhelming.

Our first stop in Alton was to visit the legendary Piasa bird cave.

I didn't know much about the Piasa to be honest, so Mystery and I found this and began to read about him.

Many thousand moons before the arrival of the palefaces, when the great magolonyx and mastodon, whose bones are now dug up, were still living in this land of green prairies, there existed a bird of such dimensions that he could easily carry off in his talons a full grown deer. Having obtained a taste of human flesh, from that time he would prey upon nothing else.
    He was as artful and he was powerful, would dark suddenly and unexpectedly upon an Indian, bear him off into one of the caves of the bluff, and devour him.
    Hundreds of warriors attempted for years to destroy him, but without success.  Whole villages were nearly depopulated, and consternation spread throughout all the tribes of the Illini.
    At length, Ouatoga, a chief, whose fame as a warrior extended even beyond the great lakes, separated himself from the rest of his tribe, fasted in solitude for the space of a whole moon, and prayed to the great spirit, the master of life, that he would protect his children from the Piasa.
    On the last night of the fast, the great spirit appeared to Ouatoga in a dream, and directed him to select twenty of his warriors, each armed with a bow and poisoned arrow, and conceal themselves in a designated spot.
    Near the place of their concealment, another warrior was to stand in open view, as a victim for the Piasa, which they must shoot the instant that it pounced upon his prey.
When the chief awoke in the morning, he thanked the great spirit, and returning to his tribe, told them of his dream.
    The warriors were quickly selected and placed in ambush, as directed, Ouatoga offered himself as the victim. He was willing to die for his tribe.
    Placing himself in open view of the bluff, he soon saw the Piasa perched on the bluff, eyeing his prey. Ouatoga drew up his manly form to its utmost height, and planting his feet firmly upon the earth, began to chant the death song of a warrior.
    A moment after, the Piasa rose into the air, and swift as a thunderbolt, darted down upon the chief.
    Scarcely had he reached his victim, when every bow was sprung and every arrow sent, to the feather, into his body.
    The Piasa uttered a wild, fearful scream, that resounded far over the opposite side of the river, and expired.
    Ouatoga had held an invisible shield over him.
    In memory of this event, the image of the Piasa was engraved on the bluff.
    Such is the Indian tradition.

This sounded pretty scary to me, but Mystery seemed unafraid and I wasn't about to look like a scared little TV.

We also learned a little more about how the painting on the wall came about.
In 1673, Jacques Marquette reported that he and fellow French explorer Louis Jolliet discovered a painting of what was probably two "water monsters" on the bluffs of the Mississippi River near present day Alton. By 1700 those pictographic creatures were no longer visible. In 1836 the novelist John Russell described an image cut into the bluff of a legendary dragon-like creature with wings. According to Russell, the creature was called Piasa, "the bird that devours men." That version of the pictograph as well as myths about the Piasa have become prominent in folklore.

We went allowed to do much exploring in the cave today because it seems that they close it off during the winter months. Maybe I'll be able to come back some day and look at it all.  :)

Across from the Piasa bird cave is the Mississippi River. Around this time of year, Bald Eagles migrate to the Alton area and we were pretty excited to see them. We weren't able to get in a photo of any since Steph had to zoom in REALLY close to get any photos.


* Posted Feb 15, 2010, 7:16 am [Quote] [View just this post] Go to the top of the page

Alton, Illinois, USA - 23rd January 2010

By: brilliantlyxx

After we scanned the river for some bald eagles, we into the center of Alton to have a look at the ruins of the first state prison in Illinois. It also apparently housed many Confederate soldiers during the Civil War. There wasn't much left to it.

We found the sign in the middle of the ruins to not be very informative, but there were signs right off of the prison that came in handy to our learning.

The First Illinois State Penitentiary: 1833-1860

      The Illinois State Penitentiary in Alton was the first institution built with public funds in Illinois. Previously, prisoners sentence in county courts were incarcerated in crude buildings, often constructed of logs which were inadequate for the secure housing of the prisoners. The Illinois General Assembly acted in 1827 to secure a state penitentiary with funds appropriated. With the encouragement of Governor John Reynolds, a site was selected at Alton.
      After the selection of Alton as the site of the penitentiary, William Russell, an Alton property owner, donated 10 acres to the state for its construction. An additional two acres were purchased approximately two miles north of this site, in an area called Buck Inn, for use as a burial ground for inmates who died in prison. When the penitentiary opened in 1833 there were 24 cells. In 1846 an additional 96 cells were added. By 1855 there were 296 cells.
      The location of the prison was less than ideal. The southern wall was within eight feet of the high water line of the Mississippi River. The prisoner yard was not paved and had very poor drainage and became a muddy, flooded mess during heavy rains. The prison hospital was located in a basement without windows and it flooded easily. Sanitary conditions in the prison were made worse by the lack of an on-site well. Water was collected from a nearby stream in barrels and transported to the prison. Prisoners had no bathing privileges.
      In 1847, Dorothea Dix, famed social reformer, visited the prison and reported to the legislature that the conditions at the prison were deplorable. She stated, "No outlay of money can convert this prison into secure, commodious or durable establishment." By 1857, the legislature saw the need to replace the institution. Plans were made to construct a new prison in Joliet, selected because majority of the inmates were from Cook County. The first prisoners were transferred to Joliet in 1857 to begin on construction. The last prisoners were transferred to Joliet in 1860.


We also learned about the prisons use during the Civil War.
The Alton Military Prison: 1862-1865

      The Civil War began at Fort Sumpter on April 12, 1861 and Alton became a stopping off point for thousands of Union soldiers. Rail lines brought the soldiers to the river front and they boarded streamers for Southern battlefields.
      By December 1861, overcrowding at the two St. Louis prisons (Gratiot Street and Myrtle Street Prisons) prompted Major General Henry Hallack to send Lt. Colonel James McPherson to inspect this site as a possible use for a military prison. Lt. Col. McPherson reported to General Hallack on January 2, 1862 that the prison could be made ready for about $2,415. Negotiations were completed quickly for the leasing of the property and fires were started to dry out the buildings. The first Confederate prisoners arrived from Fort Henry on February 9, 1862.
      Guarded by the 13th Regular U.S. Infantry, the Confederate prisoners were marched from the levee below the prison into the prison yard. According to accounts in the Alton Telegraph, many local citizens commented on how much they looked like their own sons. The Alton Military Prison would eventually be home to over 11,764 Confederate soldiers as well as over 1,400 civilians.

After The War: From Prison to Parking Lot

      The Alton Military Prison closed July 7, 1865 when the last prisoners were released or sent to St. Louis. The buildings were torn down over the next 20 years until only a small remnant of the cell block remained. Stone from the prison buildings is found in walls and other structures all over the Alton area. The land was developed into a park and playground named after the Joel Chandler Harris character "Uncle Remus". The remnants of the cell block was moved to its  present location in 1970 when the lot was paved for the Con Agra Company parking lot.


We also noticed this hook in the wall of the prison and began to wonder what it was for. Mystery and I began to think that maybe it was just a way to keep the structure steady or maybe that it was used to detain the prisoners.


* Posted Feb 15, 2010, 7:20 am [Quote] [View just this post] Go to the top of the page

Alton, Illinois, USA - 23rd January 2010

By: brilliantlyxx

Our next stop in Alton was the place where a historical political debate took place! The debate was between Abraham Lincoln, the 16th President of the United States, and Stephen Douglas, a former Senator of Illinois.

We stopped to do yet another little bit of reading. I like how informative these places are. It's good to know what exactly went on.

Lincoln-Douglas Debate!
Lincoln's Rise to Prominence.

    The two life-like statues represent a monumental event in our nation's history--the Lincoln-Douglas debate.
    For a decade, the Illinois U.S. Senate seat was held by Stephen A. Douglas, one of the most famous politicans of his time. That is, until a little-known country lawyer named Abraham Lincoln challenged him to a series of debates.
    The seventh and final took place in front of Alton's old city hall on October 15, 1858. The Alton debate drew national attention and about 6,000 visitors from across Illinois and neighboring states.  It summarized the arguments that began four months before.
    Douglas spoke first, repeating his belief in the doctrine of Popular Sovereignty, the right of each state to do as it pleased about slavery and other issues. Lincoln asserted that it was a struggle between two eternal principles--right and wrong.

Who Won the Debate?
Douglas won the senate seat, but the debates launched Lincoln into the national spotlight. Just two years later, Lincoln beat Douglas in the 1860 presidential election.

Here we are in the middle of the debate. We broke a rule and climbed on the monument, but we were good and I don't think anyone noticed.

* Posted Feb 15, 2010, 7:23 am [Quote] [View just this post] Go to the top of the page

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