Ava Gardner, The Easter Bunny and A Wizard on Horse! Welcome to Smithfield!

When I first decided to write this blog I wanted it to be about fostercare, adoption AND traveling with our kids. In the beginning I posted a few times about travel, but them when things with our fostercare and adoption progressed the blog began to lean toward that subject.

With that said, I wanted to share something fun. Having a large family should not slow families down from getting out  creating memories and enjoying life together. When we first adopted L&D they told us that the best way to form attachments with them was to get out in crowds with them, so that they felt protected by us. Later as they grew, I read that the glue that can hold a family together are the memories and traditions they create together (not blood).

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We have started a great tradition in our family. Every Easter we go on a family hike. Usually this is the time of year that the weather is starting to turn (for the better). After a long winter, it is a perfect time to get out and enjoy nature, and explore together.

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This year, we waited until the last minute to plan. because we thought it might rain. We looked up some local trails and we found the Neuse River Walk. So we packed our backpacks and headed out (after checking out all the Easter booty the crazy bunny left).

The Neuse River walk is part of a greenway that runs across North Carolina from the Great Smoky Mountains to the Outer Banks. We jumped on the trail in Smithfield. Smithfield is a small town about 30 minutes outside of Raleigh. It’s best known for it’s star resident. Ava Gardner who grew up here. It is not the most progressive city. This is a nice way to say that it’s a city that is still mired in racism. Although the huge billboard  welcoming you to Smithfield with a  painting of a Grand Dragon of the KKK sitting on a stallion rising fiercely over the words Smithfield, NC has been removed. The undertones are still there.


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It was Easter, so not many people were out on the riverwalk, but of the handful of people we encountered I would say half of them greeted us with icey, dissaproving looks.

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It’s a great Greenway, and of course we didn’t let the narrow-mindedness of a few ruin, or even disturb our day. We know that we will encounter racist situations, and it’s our job as parents of multi-racial children to help them navigate  these unfriendly waters, and not shelter them from the real world.  Of course we would not put our family in a situation that we know would be hostile. There are restaurants outside of the RTP area  that are known to host KKK meetings, we stay out of these areas.

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The path is great, and very stroller friendly. There are several waterfalls and bridges along the way, and grassy areas to stop for a picnic. I recommend it for it’s ease and scenic charm. The only cautionary tale is that the ‘local folk’ you may run into will not greet you with that Southern hospitality that the south is so popular for,…well only if all y’all look a little different than them and their Mommas anyway.

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4 thoughts on “Ava Gardner, The Easter Bunny and A Wizard on Horse! Welcome to Smithfield!

  1. so surprising. really. I mean it’s 2013!!! I would think that the most you would get would be looks of confusion… Like, “are they babysitting all those kids?”

    I know you and Georges must be uber sensitive to this, but are they kids even aware? I hope not.

  2. Sorry this happened to you. I live in Smithfield. The worst that has happened to me that a man couldn’t believe I had an in ground pool while I was waiting to get my chemicals tested. If you go to WalMart today you see biracial couples and kids. I’ve even seen open lesbians. At the local high school there was an openly gay black guy twirling flags with the band during the football games when my kids attended. It’s obvious that there are still some ignorance out there but it’s not widespread and open. I go to downtown all the time and have been in the museum and never had an incident.

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