Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs? No, just rain…

Another lovely weekend for the books. One of my dearest friends from forever came to visit me after a year long sojourn in NZ, and boy have I missed her. She came for a vacation, and I enjoyed a staycation full of new experiences and reminiscing about old memories. Here’s a recap of our adventures. We started the weekend right Friday evening with… a UNC basketball win! Go Heels! Go America! Thanks, Veronica, for putting up with my love of sports 🙂 And so adventure begins! Saturday morning we awoke and made our way to donuts.. yummy delicious maple bacon flavored donuts. Duck Donuts, you have my love and patronage.

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To walk off the, I don’t really want to know how many, calories, we toured Historic Yates Mill. They’ve got a cool visitor’s center with old artifacts to play with and pretend your milling stuff and dead, stuffed animals on the walls (not my favorite part), but neat rocking chairs overlooking the water and the mill. So we forged ahead with our handy map and Girl Scout’s Guide to local vegetation (which is a great idea in thought, but it doesn’t work as well if there are few leaves on the trees to identify). Ah well.

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The path was an easy mile hike around the lake, and there are more hikes to do with varying levels of difficulty, but we were in an ambling mood so we went easy. We played Pooh Sticks on the boardwalk, although we never found out the winner because the sticks were too similar and too close together, and the lake switched directions half way through so only one stick made it. We both won, hooray!

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We also met a new friend, Franklin, obviously a great turtle name. He was chilling, walking along while Veronica sang songs to him- a great time had by all. We finished our tour at their little amphitheater, and Veronica practiced some lines from her upcoming play which sounds like great fun! Very silly, much like our favorite plays. Afterwards we went to the Farmer’s Market and grocery store to get some food- super exciting, made lunch and had coffee, then we made our way downtown. I’ve never been inside the Capitol Building, so I forced her in there. Can I just say, compared to Des Moines it’s kinda a letdown. But they did have a weird/cool? statue of George Washington done as if it were Roman times. We continued walking around admiring the people and what not, and getting some steps in before heading to Deco, which is a cool little shop full of weird sayings on varying objects and yummy soaps, perfumes, etc. I’m glad we went in because 1) they don’t support HB2 and 2) they had a “knit your own boyfriend” book which was just delightful.

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As Veronica loves cemeteries, we ventured to the Historic OakWood area and cemetery and looked around. It’s crazy big and very sombering. It even started to drizzle AGAIN, but it had a nice eerie/romantic vibe because of it. The only overtly sad part was the vandalism on a Civil War Monument- it’s just not okay to do that despite your views on the causes of the Civil War or issues going on lately. Anyways, we finished our day with some Thai food at Thai Villa, my favorite, and a movie/coloring/facials. What a great girls night!

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And now for Sunday. It rained, AGAIN, but that didn’t stop us. We started with a tour of NCSU while the rain decided to slow down. I took Veronica to the Court of Carolinas pictured below, the library, and finally we made our way back to Talley for our main purpose: ice cream! We had a small detour when Talley closed due to a Fire Alarm, but the wait only increased our excitement, and boy did it work. Delicious Howling Cow ice cream is necessary on any visit to State, and Talley is pretty cool too.

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While it was nice to show her my graduate school, we felt the need to revisit our old stomping grounds- UNC. So off we went! We started with a quick trip through South Campus to see the Dean Dome and Morrison, my old home, then wove through campus to Kenan where we parked. Part 2 of walking lots commenced. We walked down to Stallings Evans which was basically my home for three years= thanks athletic training and made our way up to North Campus. We went to the Forest Theatre to reenact more plays- obviously, and then walked around making our way up to the Upper Quad and Old Well. UNC has such a beautiful campus.

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Lots of good memories of this place. Makes me a little sad sometimes thinking that part of my life is over, but hey, more Baby Tarheels get to enjoy that amazing campus that shaped my life in so many ways. We continued to the Lower or Main Quad and through the UL/Lenoir/Union area and finally back to the Bell Tower. Somewhere on one tiny brick next to my brother’s brick in that Bell Tower is my name and class year. So glad my brother and I have those memories to share. 🙂 And being the girl that I am, I was hungry so we jumped back in the car, drove down Franklin Street, and went to Carrboro for some Armadillo Grill. Yummmmm.

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We finished our day back in Raleigh at the Beer Garden, completely overwhelmed by the 300+ beers, and got back home just in time to watch UNC win another game with Stephanie- Final Four! Wooooo! Go Heels! Go America!

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Even though it rained off and on or at least was cloudy the entire time, I had a wonderful Staycation. It was SOOOO nice to see my friend and catch up (and look at pictures of NZ- gah it’s so pretty there) and it was fun to visit new places and old places full of so many good memories and love. I’m ready for some nice weather though and some water sports- maybe next weekend will be better. Thanks for coming to visit me, Veronica, it was a delightful weekend. 🙂

 

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