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Just when Tijuana was starting to seem like a distant memory, we stumbled upon a US replica que se llama “South of the Border”, while crossing into South Carolina on I-95. Having seen signs for this place as far as 75 miles north — nothing could have prepared me for this sleazy, cheesy interpretation of my recent home that I am so fond of. Bad statues, overpriced Mexican goods, fireworks, over weight Americans eating too much ice-cream, and partying in the parking lots (rest-stop Fiestas????) can all be found here. You would think they would at least have the decency to sell my favorite Mexican dessert –churros! The minute I saw this place, I knew that Lexi and I were in for a humiliating photo OP or two.

The day started out a bit more refined. We woke up to a beautiful morning in Durham, NC and headed out early to walk Lexi & tour the Sarah P. Duke Gardens at Duke University.  This is by far one of the prettiest, well maintained public gardens that I have ever visited and a photo OP of another kind. Gorgeous flowers were everywhere with water lilies akin to those in a Monet painting. Lexi enjoyed the Coy pond (almost a little too much). She was pulling towards those fish as if they were her last meal. Clearly she had forgotten the steak that Steve snuck out of the hotel breakfast buffet for her just an hour earlier.

The refinement ended there. I had read about the Raleigh Flea Market that takes place every weekend. Since I like to shop for antique collectables and other flea-finds, I thought this would be a great stop on the way out of town. It was touted as being dog friendly and the photos on the website looked promising. While there were a few “finds’, several fresh market & craft vendors, and oddly some really nice fishing rods, I was very disappointed. This is me being DIPLOMATIC! Although one person’s trash can often be another person’s treasure, half used bottles of pharmacy items and rusted tools are not my thing. Being the furniture guru that I am, I of course found the only office furniture vendor there in the nicest quadrant of the parking lot. Chair for $15 — you bet. Steve will need a new desk chair in Tampa. We could have strapped it to the roof of the car, but I nixed the idea of strapping Lexi’s dog bed to the roof when leaving Baltimore, so I wasn’t going to agree to that nonsense this time either. Besides, I have much higher design standards as I am more of a Vitra ID chair sort of girl 🙂

We are resting our heads in Savannah, GA for the next 2 nights at the funky, dog-friendly Thunderbird Inn while our temporary housing is being readied. It will be nice not to drive tomorrow although as the photos hopefully show — getting there is half the fun……