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Heral Sun - Holiday Fun

Following Memorial Day weekend 2011


By Melody Guyton Butts; 419-6684

DURHAM -- The aroma of smoking charcoal and coconut-scented tanning lotion can only mean one thing -- officially or not, summer is here.

With a three-day weekend that's gotten sunnier and hotter as it's progressed -- today's temperatures are expected to top out at 94 degrees -- many folks included water in their Memorial Day weekend plans.

By 10 a.m. Sunday, cars were lined up off U.S. 64 waiting to file into Jordan Lake's Seaforth recreation area. Entrance booth attendant Amelia Lemons said it's been a busy weekend, and it only promises to get busier. "Memorial Day is crazy!" she said with a laugh.

Phillip Pittman, preparing to head out to the beach with his family, said the short drive to Jordan from his Willow Spring home played a role in the decision to enjoy the weekend there.…

…. Jermaine Hopkins traveled with his family from Apex for an affordable day in the sun. He said they planned to take advantage of the water, swings, beach volleyball court and grills.

"With the economy like it is today, you can put 20 people in the car, and it's still $6 [to enter the park per vehicle], so you can't beat that," he said. "We really thank North Carolina parks for that."

A more serene scene was found further north, at West Point on the Eno park in Durham. A few kids splashed around and climbed on rocks in the river, while several families suited up for canoe trips.

Johanna Bonet came to the park as part of a two-family group from the Cary/Apex area. She said one reason they came to Durham was the availability of rental canoes, kayaks and equipment, through Frog Hollow Outdoors.

"We just wanted an experience with the kids, to be on the water," she said. "We'll do some barbecuing later." ….