Day 8 Monday 17th August- “Headed down south to the land of the pine, I’m thumbing my way into North Carolina”

Raleigh, North Carolina.

In May and June of 2014, I was on another contiki, the Grand Northern in the United States.

The song, Wagon Wheel by Old Crow Medicine Show always reminds me of that trip, it was sort of an unofficial day song I guess you could say.

At least once a day it would be played on the bus and if it ever came on in some small country pub we were at, the slut dropping and booty shaking would stop and the contiki family would come together and sing along ballad style.

I’ll get back to this in a moment.

Our first stop this morning was to the famous Arlington National Cemetery.

A cemetery that was once a battle field during the civil war and is now home to American service men and women who have either fought for their country or served as president.

The walking tour was amazing. It the midst of melting heat even at 9 o’clock in the morning, we managed to see as much as possible before the changing of the guards at 9.30am.

The changing of the guards takes place every hour on the hour during winter and every half hour during summer.

The guards are guarding the Tomb of Unknown Soldier, representing all of the unknown military personnel who are unable to be identified ranging over at least the last 150 years in every war that the United States have been involved in.

It is a very symbolic duty, all of the guards that are doing shifts are volunteering and take it very seriously. The saying is “May God only know their faces”.

It was a very moving process to watch and I would highly recommend to anyone who is visiting Arlington Cemetary to pay visit to the Tomb of Unknown Soldier and to watch the changing of the guards.

Right behind the Tomb of Unknown Soldier is the Arlington Memorial Amphitheater where every year on Memorial Day, Barack Obama gives his powerful speech to the nation.

Once our tour of Arlington Cemetery  had completed, it was back onto the contiki coach and off to Richmond North Carolina for lunch where I had my very first “Five Guys” burger experience.

Now just like the song, Wagon Wheel by Old Crow Medicine Show, “thumbin my way into North Carolina” the contiki tour manager played the song as we journeyed into the city of Raleigh.

Tonight we had an included dinner at the Golden Corral Buffet where we ate, and ate and ate some more, and even made room for dessert!

Across the road from Golden Corral Buffet is a place called Adventure Landing that houses Go-Karts, Lazertag, mini golf and a games arcade.

Well like the big kids that we all are, majority of the group headed over for some friendly rivalry of go karts and lazertagging 🙂

It was a really nice night and we were due for some contiki family bonding


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