The Lyles Tour the U.S.- Winston Salem, NC

As promised, here's a post sharing all of the fun adventures we had and sights we saw while on the interview trail. John and I decided not to share where we had been until after match. So, since that day has come and gone, here you go! Since we went so many places and crammed so much into each trip, I will be dividing this post into numerous parts. So, sit back and enjoy.

Winston Salem, NC


October seems like so long ago, but that's when we started the interview trail in Winston Salem. It was a marathon of a trip since we drove up one day (with Henry), went to the interview dinner that evening, John interviewed the following day and we drove straight back to Alabama. However, between the hustle and bustle we did get to enjoy the city. The very first stop we made, aside from unloading our bags at the hotel, was to visit the Moravian Village in Old Winston Salem. Salem was founded in 1766 by the Moravians, a Protestant group of people that began in present day Czech Republic. The Moravian people were missionaries who established settlements in Pennsylvania and North Carolina, with Salem serving as the central administrative, craft, spiritual, and professional headquarters of the North Carolina congregations. 

A number of the original buildings in the village have been preserved and restored, and still serve the original purposes. So, when you walk along the cobblestone streets, it really is a trip back in time. Salem College, a four year liberal arts women's college, is housed in the village too. So, a number of students and professors actually live within the Moravian Village. 

John and I loved walking through the sprawling vegetable gardens and into the local shops that sold various homemade goods including baskets, Moravian star ornaments and baked goods among other things. The baked cookies and candies are especially popular and are distributed nationwide. 

We also made a visit to God's Acre, the Moravian cemetery located next to the Moravian church. The vast cemetery reminded me of Arlington with its white tombstones and rolling green hills. However, the tombstones were all flat, signifying the belief that we are equal in God's eyes. The tombstones were also arranged by choir groups, meaning the women and men were buried in separate locations and according to age group. The oldest graves were from the early to mid 1700s. I usually am not one to find cemeteries interesting, but this was definitely an exception. 

The next day while John had his first interview with Wake Forest's pediatric residency program, I decided to visit downtown. Thanks to the fall of the tobacco industry, the downtown isn't as booming as it once was. However, there are still a few pockets of business to be found. I started the day with a coffee from Camino Bakery. The smell of fresh baked pastries and strong brewed coffee was just what I needed to start the day. After flipping through a local newspaper and people watching through the huge storefront windows, I walked outside into the brisk fall air to see what downtown had to offer. I will admit, a lot of the businesses downtown are centered around just that-business. So, I walked by a lot of banks, lawyer offices, and accounting firms before ducking in for a cheap lunch at Skippy's Hot Dogs. All hot dogs are served on freshly baked pretzel buns and generously topped with whatever you fancy. Since I had walked all morning, I felt that I deserved to go all out with a super messy and oh so tasty chili dog. It was a good choice, indeed.

 After seeing all the downtown had to offer, I hopped in the car and went to see Wake Forest's campus. Along the route from downtown to campus, I stumbled across some beautiful neighborhoods with early 20th century architecture and majestic oak trees gracing their lawns. The campus was just as beautiful as the homes surrounding it. I didn't spend much time there though because I did feel a little out of place amongst the 18 year olds rushing across campus to make it to class. 

Since the afternoon sunshine was just too beautiful to stay inside, I continued my tour of Wake Forest by going down the street to tour the university's botanical gardens, Reynolda Gardens. The gardens are situated on the land of the former Reynolda Estate, which was developed and remained under resident ownership between 1906-1924. Much of the property of the estate was dedicated to farming and held numerous gardens. However, after the Reynolda family's residency ended, the gardens fell into ruin until Wake Forest adopted the land in the 1990's and restored them to their original state.

So, even though our stay was short, we crammed as much as we could into the trip. However, from there on out we decided that spreading the trip out a bit more made for a much more relaxing time for the both of us. It was fun though and a great way to start out the Lyles' Tour of the U.S.!


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