We managed to wake up early this morning and headed over to a local coffee shop so I could work with my tutor. This was the one of two places on our trip so far that has had a great cup of coffee. The other one was in Austin Texas. We decided to spend part of the day walking around The Reynolda Estate. This place is pretty impressive. I think in order to truly appreciate it one has to disassociate the stigma of tobacco that we have in this day and age. R.J Reynolds was pretty progressive for his time. One of the more note worthy things he did was build two hospitals a black one and a white one that had cost the same and had equal health
care. This was pretty impressive considering the period he was in and that they were in the south. The place itself deals more with his wife Katharine Reynolds who named the estate after the feminine noun of Reynolds. Her story is pretty unique as she herself wasn’t born into wealth. This is important because although the mansion is crazy huge, it’s completely functional and practical. She wasn’t a woman who sat around and indulged herself in her immense wealth but rather had a hand in the every day working of the home and the small village, school, and church she had built. It’s an amazing place and story that should not be forgotten. We walked around the house and were impressed by the sheer size of it. There were three levels and an entire basement, which was converted by a later generation, that was a dedicated as a game room. The floor was also designed so that the kids could roller skate the entire level. Sadly, photographs of the interior were not allowed.
Next we headed to downtown Winston Salem. I had mentioned to Shelly that the city was a lot bigger than I had thought. She mentioned to me that the size of the city is a little deceiving. Over the years as we had come to understand more and more the dangers of smoking, people have quit and as a result a lot of jobs have disappeared. It´s funny, I’ve always known that smoking is bad for you, but I had never thought about the thousands of people who have lost their jobs and have had to move out of their homes or city as a result. It´s kind of bitter sweet if you know what I mean. We walked to the RJ Reynolds building in the middle of the city. This building is spectacular and was the original inspiration for the empire state building. You can tell that a lot of work went into the building and the art style. The building has
|George Washington Partied here|
been empty for quite sometime, and its rather amazing to think that a building that big is just void of people. However, a company purchased the old building and is planning on converting into a hotel. After lunch, we went for pleasant walk through the city. I use the word pleasant lightly as I’m sure Lily, the youngest daughter, would disagree. The walk was hot and humid, but the sights were worth the trip. After arriving in Old Salem, we walked through a restored old trade part of the city. A lot of the trade shops are still there and one can purchase a ticket and take tours through each of them. Of the notable sights, we saw the first all black independent church in the South and the Pub and Inn that George Washington himself stayed in and most likely had a warm ale.
En route to our starting point we ran into a Smoothie restaurant called the Tropical Smoothie Café. We decided that we should stop here and cool off with some refreshing cold smoothies. In true mother fashion Shelly left us in the restaurant while she walked the rest of the way to pick up the car and then pick us up. We were fortunate as it was happy hour and all of our smoothies were half off (it doesn’t get any better than that). In route to the house, i fell asleep in the car. This seems to be becoming a common theme for me here in NC. When we arrived at the house, I went straight up to the bedroom and sleep for another two hours plus. We spent the rest of the evening having dinner and were able to sit in on a Hayes family bible study. It was a long and eventful day.