In early August, I spent a weekend in North Carolina while Jason was on location there for work. He was working in the Raleigh-Durham area, so it served as the hub for our Southern weekend adventure.
First on the itinerary was a spin around downtown Raleigh on a trolley pub. Last summer, Jason and I did a pedal pub in Milwaukee. We knew it would be fun with the right people, and I was excited to go on one in a new-to-me city.
Trolley Pub Raleigh was legit, way more legit than what we did in Milwaukee! First of all, there were seat belts — which when you get going, you really appreciate! We had an orientation to the outing, and our driver was great. But best of all, this trolley had a motor. Now, while our driver made us pedal to the first stop, which included pedaling up the biggest hill on our route — and was horrible — she used the motor the rest of the night.
Our first stop was The Raleigh Times Bar, and it was packed. We came in sweaty from pedaling a trolley up a hill. It was a cool spot, but we couldn’t really enjoy it — we just awkwardly tried to find a spot out of the way to chug down our drinks.
Second stop was Calavera, and I loved it! It was a small space lit with colored Christmas lights. Jason and I split a strawberry margarita, which was very good.
The third and final stop was the Ugly Monkey. Oh boy! This reminded me of student bars in our small college town. While it was relatively empty this particular night, I could picture it stuffed with college kids. It was a fun little flashback to my college days 😉
Overall, it was a fun night!
On Saturday, Jason and I headed to Myrtle Beach with friends. And we confirmed that we just aren’t beach people.
Have you ever watched even just a little bit of the TV show Jersey Shore? That was my impression of Myrtle Beach. I want to believe there are nicer areas around Myrtle Beach, we just didn’t see them. And if there aren’t? Well, we don’t need to worry about going there again.
While Myrtle Beach was not our thing at all, I did enjoy dipping my toes in the Atlantic Ocean. And we enjoyed our time with our friends.
Tastes of the South
Sunday happened in two parts. First up were a couple of campus visits. Jason had already visited several of the college campuses in the area, and the student affairs pro in me definitely wanted to see the University of North Carolina and Duke.
On route to our short, mini-campus tour, we grabbed some barbecue at City Barbeque. OMG! The barbecued turkey was incredible! I got ribs, too, but they played second fiddle to the incredible turkey.
After lunch, we headed to Duke University. What an incredible campus! I love schools that retain and honor their history, and you could feel this on the Duke campus. It’s one of the same things I appreciate about my alma mater, UW-Madison.
Next, we made our way to the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Since our afternoon plans were quickly approaching, we really only had time to stop by their bookstore. I found a great long-sleeved t-shirt and etched pint glass to at least acknowledge my visit.
From UNC, we drove to the home of Jason’s co-worker for a good old Southern cookout. The home and property were exactly what I would picture for the South. As for the cookout? OMG — Again! So much incredible food — the crab dip, in particular, was exceptional! I enjoyed real fried corn fritters, which were delicious, and my first glasses of sweet tea.
After dinner out came the guns! And I shot a gun for the first time! Honestly, guns are not at all my thing — and shooting one terrified me — but I figured this was my one opportunity to at least try. Done, and I’m good never shooting a gun again.
North Carolina was a nice place to visit, but I could never live there — or really anywhere in the South for that matter. My few trips south have made it very clear to me that I cannot handle the humidity. Ugh! It’s just terrible. And while it gets humid in Wisconsin, it’s nothing like what I’ve experienced in Florida and now North Carolina. Aside from the humidity, though, the people were absolutely lovely and kind and the areas we traveled through were beautiful — so green and lush. Luckily, I get the green sans horrific humidity back home.
Check another state off my list. 29 down, 21 to go!