Maybe it’s too late for the trip down, but for the trip back, instead of taking I40 stright to I95, I’d jog over to Goldsboro, pick up US70, and then meet up with I95 at Smithfield. Because…
You can hit Wilber’s, in Goldsboro, for the best of E Carolina bbq: http://www.hollyeats.com/Wilbers.htm
And then the Nahunta Pork Center, just a few miles north, to see and perhaps buy anything that can be eaten off a pig:
And then to the Smithfield Ham Shop for a genuine Johnston County, NC country ham, in my opinion, one of the best there is. The Ham Shop also has smoked turkey and smoked beef loin (both good), and a house version of prosciutto (which I admit I never tried). When you get out of the car and sniff the air, you’ll know they are making the hams right there. http://www.countrycuredhams.com/shop/
Just some suggestions for the start of what otherwise will be a long and boring ride back to NYC.