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WrestleCade Weekend 2021 – The Day Before

Last weekend, Jimmy and I reunited at Wrestlecade 2021 in Winston-Salem, North Carolina. This was the second Wrestlecade we’ve met up at and my fourth Wrestlecade so far.

There is so much to say about that Saturday at Wrestlecade that I honestly don’t know where to begin. I’ve been looking back at my pictures and just basking in how great of a day it was. For the longest time, I’ve said my trip to Wizard World in Chicago in 2016 was the greatest weekend of my life. I now believe that this past weekend was the greatest.

Over the years, I’ve documented my time at Wrestlecade on The Wrestling Insomniac. It just wouldn’t feel like a trip to Wrestlecade if I didn’t keep up that tradition. I am doing things a bit differently this year, I’m breaking the event down into moments instead of an overall review. I did a short recap, but I plan on a series of posts over the next several weeks which I think will make for a more enjoyable read.

I’m not 100% sure how I’m going to implement my Wrestlecade stories here at Middle-Aged Fat Kids. I may bring over the posts one-by-one, or I may combine them. Heck, I may even write a second series of posts. But until I get all that sorted out, I wanted to talk about part of the weekend that doesn’t involve wrestling but was fantastic in its own right, the drive up the day before. I’m a big believe that the journey many times is better than the destination, and while I do think Wrestlecade was wonderful, the day before was pretty great too.

My wife Brandy and I took off from Raleigh and arrived in Kernersville around 11 AM and stopped by Dairy’O a local fast food joint that I had never been to. The food was decent and perfectly serviceable. Nothing too great to write home about.

From there we made a stop at the Winkler Bakery at Old Salem. Old Salem is restored historic Moravian village in downtown Winston-Salem. The Winkler Bakery was founded in 1807 and still makes deserts the old fashioned way. It’s super small inside, but it’s well worth the trouble. They make a sugar cake that I adore.

Old Salem was quite busy for Black Friday and it took some sucking in of the gut, but I managed to make it out with my beloved sugar cake and some Moravian Cookies. We devoured half the sugar cake back in the car before taking off to our next destination, Hamptonville, North Carolina.

Hamptonville is a tiny town where the majority of my father’s side of the family are from. I was last there in November 2019, at my grandmother’s funeral. I don’t really have any contact with my extended family on any side, so I figured that would be my last trip up there since my father had moved to South Carolina. Well, I wanted to show Brandy where my family was from and I wanted to take a photo of my grandmother’s house. My great-grandfather built it by hand in the 1940’s, and I know it’s rotting away due to family neglect. So, I pulled off 421 and made the turn towards her house when I saw the church where her funeral was held. I told Brandy that was it and then it suddenly occurred to me, she’s buried there.

As odd as it may sounds, I’ve never been to the grave of someone I knew. Everyone that has died in my life has been cremated. It just never dawned on me that her grave site was there. So, I pulled into the parking lot and her marker was the first one I came across. It was surreal and a bit strange, but after a quick glance through the rest of the markers for any other family members, we hopped back in the car and I proceeded to give Brandy the tour.

As we drove past my father’s cousin’s house, I recognized the vehicle as my father’s. I didn’t know he was in the state for the holiday, so I made a mental note to text him after we made the quick trip to my grandmother’s house. We drove down, the few miles, hopped out, took the pictures and attempted to avoid my crazy uncle who lives just below her house. It’s his land now and the last time he didn’t recognize my car he came running up the hill with a loaded gun. That’s just how they do things up there.

My father responded to my text and I told him to step outside. He was shocked to see us and we went inside and visited for an hour or so. Once we finished that up, our next stop was the Shiloh General Store, an Amish run store about ten minutes away.

The last time I visited the General Store, it was a tiny store with a deli counter where they made sandwiches and a lot of dry soups. Now, it’s a tiny little grocery store. Not only does it have a huge refrigerated section, but there must have been ten aisles. We spent $100 in there buying fresh deserts, breads, kitchen utensils, soups, and other assorted goodies. Heck, Brandy even bought a book on canning.

After our fun shopping trip, we headed back to Winston-Salem where we stopped by the Benton Convention Center and snagged our armsbands and Wrestlecade t-shirts.

We drove twelve minutes to Kernersville, checked into our hotel, and rested for a bit. Then drove right back to the same parking garage at the Convention Center to make our reservations for dinner at Jeffrey Adams on Fourth.

Our one year anniversary was earlier in the month, but unfortunately we were both battling a pretty mean illness. This was our makeup anniversary date and I gambled on a place I had never been before. I’m so glad I did. Not only was the service great, but it was one of the best meals I’ve ever had. Both Brandy and I left amazed how fabulous the whole experience was and despite the two hour drive, we will definitely be back.

After dinner, we went back to the hotel where I purchased front row seats for the Deadlock Pro Wrestling show in Raleigh in January and then I tried to calm my excitement down before bed. I couldn’t sleep, but I spent an hour or so chatting with Michael from The Wrestling Insomniac about wrestling and then I fell asleep reading a chapter of Jon Moxley’s book. I only ended up getting about six hours of sleep, but the next morning was Wrestlecade and I’ll be back to write about that sometime in the near future.

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