Paris Wolfe Posts
If you watched any or all of the 249 episodes of “The Andy Griffith Show” in the 1960s — or still catch reruns — consider a visit to Mount Airy, N.C. Griffith, who plays Sheriff Andy Taylor in the show, grew up in this small town and used it as a model for his series.
While the show exists only in reruns today, parts of the town are happily stuck in the past. Just six and a half hours down Interstate 77 you’ll find an entertaining getaway that makes the most of its connection to Barney, Aunt Bee, Opie and the rest of the gang.
Glimpses of the Past
During our visit, we slept in the retro, pragmatic and clean Mayberry Motor Inn at the edge of town. Keep in mind, this is a flashback to simpler times, and the motel appropriately small and historic. Rumor has it the owner sometimes dresses up as Aunt Bee while working the front desk.
The best start to visiting the town, after a good night’s sleep, is the Squad Car Ride. While we waited our turn in the Ford Galaxy (the fleet consists of ’62 ’63, ’64 and ’67 models) we checked out the replica of Wally’s Service Station.
Inside the historic corner building, we took turns posing in the jail cell and propping our feet on Andy’s desk. Definitely Facebook moments.
For our ride, we perched on the vinyl backseat and cranked down the old windows. Riding up and down the streets, we learned about the man and the show. We saw places that Andy Griffith/Andy Taylor frequented such as Floyd’s City Barber Shop and The Snappy Lunch.
After getting the lay of the land, we slid into a small booth at the 94-year-old The Snappy Lunch diner for North Carolina’s official pancake-battered pork chop sandwich....
Sansho Pepper Experience is Startling
As the Blogmaster for The Herb Society of America, I seek herb experiences when I travel. I want to see what’s different, new or part of the local culture. The older I get the further I have to reach for new experiences; travel is a great way to find them.
A recent visit to the Jean-Talon Market in Montreal was a jackpot. It’s like Cleveland’s West Side Market, but local to the Canadian city.
My favorite store in the historic market was Epices de Cru, a colorful exotic vendor of herbs, tea, and spices. The husband and wife owners travel the world to bring home the best ingredients from the “ordinary” to the unusual. Think: Cinnamon leaf or avocado leaf (use like a bay leaf with a different accent.) I was so entranced I visited twice. The second time I spent an hour perusing shelves and deciding just what to carry home.
Feeling adventurous I asked for the most unusual product and was introduced to sansho pepper. I can’t decide if the person assisting liked me or hated me when I was allowed to sample the small “peppercorn” which comes from the berry of a deciduous shrub – prickly ash — cultivated in Asia.
It was like my first experience with wasabi. Intense nerve confusion. I wasn’t sure if I was going to live or die. I lived.
First, the tip of my tongue numbed. That electrified numbness spread. From cheek to cheek I sensed a citrus – lemon/lime, maybe – coolness. And, my mouth started to water. It wasn’t hot or spicy, but like something had a hold of the nerves in my mouth. It expanded beyond taste to a physical sensation. And, it lasted nearly 10 minutes.
Once I realized that anesthesia was the expected experience and the limit (I wasn’t succumbing to rare nerve poison), I was fascinated....