Price, Autumn, and I went to Raleigh at the end of September (over Price’s birthday weekend!) so we could check it out as a potential place to live. The thing is we know we want to move from our time by the time Autumn has to go into kindergarten. Preferably, we would move sooner so we are in the process of looking around at options of places were we can move. Ideally, we are looking to escape the winters, but who knows, we might ultimately stay up here around Boston. We’ll see!
Either way, we went and had a great time checking out Raleigh.
Up nice and early!
Autumn did pretty well on the flight. She was a bit fussy because she wanted to crawl about but that’s a no-go on a plane. Thankfully, she did mellow out and napped in my arms, which gave me a mini nap as well. yay!
The umbrella stroller I borrowed from a coworker worker perfectly as we breezed through the airport to get to the car rental company.
We chatted with the fine folks at Alamo to get some suggestions for places to eat while we were visiting and then we were on our way!
Our first stop was Elevation Burger.
Prior to our trip, Price had turned to Yelp to look up some quick places to eat around the airport. He knew we would want to get lunch out of the way so that we could then just explore. So right.
They grind organic grass-feed beef at each location to make their burgers in house. You can really taste the quality. The meat itself is great but they also have yummy toppings too. I got a burger that had one patty of ground beef and the other was a veggy buger patty. So good! Plus they were pretty affordable considering the meat was from organic grass-fed cows.
I didn’t love the cheese fries (Shake Shack will always be my favorite) but the fresh cut fries were very good.
We then drove all around heading Northwest over to Durham and then we swung our way down to Chapel Hill before ending up at the house we rented for the long weekend. Durham looking great, as did Chapel Hill. I wante dot check out the old Lucky strike Factory that had been changed into a mix use entertainment complex a few years ago but it seemed liek there was a race going on in the city so there were a lot of road closures so we didn’t get to make it over there.
We ending up timing our arrival perfectly as we would check into The Olde Stone Guest House in Apex at 2pm. We found this house on AirBnB and knew it would work out perfectly for our needs. There was plenty of space inside and outside for Autumn to roam around. And it gave us the opportunity to cook if we needed, at the very least it gave me a convient place to tend to all of my pumping equipment and Autumn’s bottles.
The house was so much bigger than we anticipated, which was a real treat. It was in a great location with some shops across the street and a pond with a walking trail just a bit further. It gave us the space, privacy, and everything we needed for an affordable price.
We were looking for something to do and discovered that there was the Annual Apex Jazz and Music Festival was happening that very weekend. The town shuts down a bit of their main street (North Salem Street) so that musicans can set up along the sidewalk and play. As the night goes on the music goes indoors to the restaurants, bars, and tents.
I enjoyed the atmosphere and the opportunity to listen to the music while we checked out stores and drank some beers.
Grabbed some dessert for later from Buttercream Bakery.
After the jazz festival we headed over to Rite Aid for some forgotten incidentals. Did you know that they sell beer and wine in pharmacies in North Carolina? OMG! The best!! Sure, I really, really do love to support my favorite locally owned stores, but there is just something so nice about getting to 1 some one stop shopping as you pick up some Bud’s and Barefoot. You just can’t do that in Mass, so this was a real treat. Corny, I know.
Bevies in hand we went back to the house to get settled for the night. We just kept things low key with take out pizza Marco’s Pizza (similar to Domino’s). I called then just ran across the street to a small shopping center (with a cance studio- all the little girls in their ballet outfits… awww!!!) located across the street from the rental house.
We continued to enjoy some bevies outside after Autumn was asleep. It made me realize how we didn’t take enough advantage of our little yard and patio table this summer. Next year, baby, next year.
While Autumn gets up early, it doesn’t mean we are always ready to start our day then. So we had a leisurely morning walking around the house searching for raspberries and Scuppernong grapes that were on the property and the owners said we could enjoy. It was our first time trying Scuppernong grapes so it was a pretty cool experience. They reminded me of cotton candy. We would nip our teeth into them and pinch out the seeds and then give the flesh to Autumn. She was quite excited about the whoel routine.
I had read all about the State Farmers Market in Raleigh and couldn’t wait to go so once we were packed up for the day we headed over there to check it out.
The 30,000 square foot Market is reason enough for me to move!
The lovely woman who was making BEAUTIFUL floral arrangements told us that the flowers pictured on the left were Asclepia Pods. They might just have been the coolest flowers I’ve even seen.
Typically, we would have done some shopping there to make dinner but we were far too scattered and didn’t want to have to head right back to the house, especially when we were so looking forward to brunch. But the bread was calling my name. And the apples. And the beans. Shoot, I don’t know what I even would have done with them but I wanted them.
While everything looked so good at the Farmer’s Market, we were determined to get to brunch. We decided to go up to Chapel Hill to go to Top of the Hill. This brewery was actually suggested to us by one of the nice folks at Alamo when we rented our car.
We arrived shortly after they opened for brunch at 11, so we were unable to enjoy any fun drinks like Bloody Mary’s since they can’t serve alcohol until noon. Either way, I am never going to not have a sweet tea so it was stll a win.
The food was incredible. We stuffed ourselves silly on biscuits. eggs benny, and pancakes. I highly suggest checking out Top of the Hill.
Post Brunch Bliss.
Again we drove around checking out different neighborhoods while we snaked our way down from Chapel Hill back to Apex.
This is my favorite photo from the trip. Autumn is wearing a mermaid shirt (win) and is giving that head over heels smile to Price, who had just walked into the yard (win win).
Since we hadn’t really yet been in Raleigh, we decided to head to the downtown area and have dinner at The Pit. While Autumn was wonderful out at brunch, she let everyone know that she was NOT in the mood to be there for dinner. So Price and I took turns eating and taking her outside for a walk. Well, we sorta ate. Mainly we took a lot of it to go.
We happily packed up our dinner and left so that we could enjoy the best pumpkin cornbread in peace. I’m still dreaming of it, and its maple butter. So good. Our waiter said we could find it online so I’m going to be making it really soon because pumpkin.
As well, the ribs (Price’s) and the fried chicken (mine) were awesome. I, and Autumn, loved the mashed potatoes but the corn was really lacking. But really, the hushpuppies and pumpkin cornbread made up for it. #carbs
The rest of the night was pretty relaxing as we caught the end of the New Hampshire NASCAR race and lounge around a lot once we got Autumn to bed.
Autumn didn’t sleep well. At all. Most likely since it was a new place, in a new bed (pack & play, not her crib), change in the routine, etc. She decided that being WIDE AWAKE from 1.00- 2.30 was a good use of all of our times.
And then she got up really early and decided that gnawing on Price’s leftover ribs at 6.30 was a good plan. It was an interesting way of kicking of Price’s birthday.
Well, not to worry, Price’s 9.30am beer made up for the rough night. ha!
Once we were ready to go for the day we were off to get some donuts at Baker’s Dozen Donuts in Cary.
These donuts rocked my world. No fuss, no frills donuts that were executed perfectly. I don’t think you can beat that.
We filled our morning by driving through Raligh and up towards Wake Forest to check out nieghborhoods and houses there.
I had read some amazing things about Poole’s Downtown Diner but it is only open for dinner during the week so we went to another local Ashley Christensen restaurant instead. Beasely’s Chicken and Honey was a good pick as well. Christensen was the James Beard Award for “Best Chef: Southeast” in 2014 so her food is top notch. I think I am a convert to having a mushroom gravy with meatloaf now. The real deal!
We had been eating pretty heavy (hello fried chicken and donuts!) so I insited on walking around the pond across the get some steps in and to help burn off some of the good food we had been inhaling.
We wrapped up Price’s birthday by eating out take out from Danny’s Bar-B-Que in Cary. Price put autumn to bed so I got to blast some T. Swift on the way to dinner. As silly as it was it felt like a fun little adventure to get us dinner.
I brought us back a briskey meal that came with 2 sides and texas toast for us to share. And, of course, I grabbed a few different styles of BBQ sauce that they offered. The dinner and the sunset were fantsatic.
We had to check out of the house at 11 so we hung around there for the morning so we had time to get up, have breakfast, get Autumn to nap, pack up, and let me pump a few times before we left.
To change things up a bit we had lunch from Chubby’s Tacos. Not that we could really tire of greatSouthern food but we wanted some tacos. And, boy, these tacos were really good. They offered a large selection of salsas at a self serve salsa bar.
Super cute moment- Price went to get us a seat and I wet to the bathroom. I stopped by the salsa bar on the way to our table outside and grabbed 2 salsas, a verde for me and a pico for Price. When I sat back down Price went to the bathroom and he can back with the same salsas, the verde for me and the pico for me. Awww.
After lunch we went to the Marbles Children’s Museum. As Autumn was under a year old she was free, and Price and I were each $5, so it was a really affordable way to spend a few hours that afternoon.
The museum offered a great selection of things for kids to do. Most of the things were too old for Autumn to do but she just enjoyed checking things out and crawling around. There was a room for really young kids that looked like a forrest, which she did enjoy. The big mirror in there and stuffed animcals were huge wins!
Oh, that face!
The Marbles Children’s Musuem really wore Autumn out so she quickly fell asleep in the car. This gave me the chance to run into Videri Chocolate Factory. I had seen Videri while walking Autumn outside when we were having dinner at The Pit the other night. They roast, grind, process, and package their chocolates there. I grabbed 2 truffles, a chocolate bar, and a frozen hot chocolate for us to enjoy then and later on.
We decided to scope out some more neighborhoods while Autumn slept so we drove towards the Airport and scooted around some neighborhoods around there.
Ultimately it was really interesting to check out all the different nieghborhoods in the different towns we visited over the weekend. It was fun pulling up houses on the Trulia app on our phones and then checking out those houses. Maybe not a real practical use of time for the trip but it really did help us come up with some must haves for the house and neighborhood that we ultimately end up moving to, no matter what town or state that is.
We grabbed some dinner at the airport, which mighthave been some of the worst food I’ve ever eaten- correction, not eaten. I should have returned it but I didn’t have the engery to deal with it. Made me wish that we had scooted back to Elevation Burger before going to the airport. Dang.
It was not a fun flight home. Nope.
We had purposefully selected that flight as it was right around Autumn’s bedtime. So we had hoped that she would settle in and sleep in my arms, like she had done previously when the 2 of us went to Miami. She had different plans, which involved, screaming, yelling, and crying. She didn’t want to sit still so sleeping was out of the question. It was so bad that people moved away from us. The only thing that entertained her enough to quiet was raking her hand through my hair which made me want to cry out but you gotta do what you gotta do. (which reminded me of this A Cup of Jo post.)
While the flight home was down right frightful, the trip was so much fun. I always enjoy getting to explore a new place with Price, so it was so much more fun to do it with Autumn now. It changed the pace at which we did things but I think it was just as wonderful as our previous pre-baby trips.
I hope to go back to Raleigh in the future. Shoot, we might even end up living there!