The first thing we heard were the waves crashing against the sand; we knew our luck, and vacation, had turned for the better.
We (understandably) felt refreshed and recovered from our previous days, and it finally seemed like we are on our mini-vacation (woo). Today’s agenda included a variety of places and things, all of which would be brand new.
We left our condo, and the first stop was to get a coffee, of course. We found (The East Coast doesn’t seem to have the same coffee scene as the Western states) just one coffee house near us and decided to try it out; just so happens we stumbled upon the cutest place of all. It is a small little cottage back in some trees (straight out of Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs), and covered with vines. These vines were literally growing into the house, all over the ceiling and walls. Awesome. It was also decorated with strings of lights, jars of coffee and tea, and tons of unique artwork. We got our coffee and tea (wasn’t too bad, really), then happily hit the road.
Our first real stop of the day was Raleigh, NC. This was about a three hour back country drive from our condo. Once arrived, we decided to take downtown by storm. Our walk downtown offered lots to see, and best of all there weren’t any dull moments: between the horse policemen, local farmer’s market, buildings of history, and the architecture were all just stunning. Perhaps our favorite part, though, of Raleigh was finding a place for lunch (food is always the top priority). A little place we walked by called “Beasley’s Chicken and Honey” looked like a good one to try, and apparently had the best chicken and waffles around. This had been my (Caleb) dream: find and devour the best chicken and waffles. And boy, did we ever.
The two of us ordered the chicken and waffles with honey, a side of mac and cheese, and the fresh buttermilk biscuits. Naturally, we shared our meal as always.
TIP: Sharing is caring. We feel this is a good way to try a few things, while spending less, while also not overeating. So keep in mind sharing when you are abroad. Food for thought.
I, Brittany, also ordered their signature draft beer called Fullsteam Beasley’s Honey White (only 8 more days until Caleb’s ordering drinks with me!). This was probably one of the best lunches we have ever had, and should definitely be a “must go” (maybe we’ll start a post about “must go” places we’ve been) for anyone who is ever in the area.
We were also able to visit the North Carolina Museum of History while in Raleigh. Being the capital, there were many museums and historical monuments to see in this city, with all of them seeming quite awesome. Best of all, they’re all free! This museum in particular was the only one we stopped at, but it was pretty amazing. It was cool to see all the history in an older state like this one.
After we finished up, we were on to the next spot: the city of Durham. This was only about a 20 minute drive away, and being a college town, had a much different feel. We had fun walking around the area and seeing all the different buildings and bars. We stopped in a really neat tea house and got some really neat tea. We loved this place in particular because not only did they offer a large variety of loose leaf teas, but they also made their own syrups, as well as offered Chemex brewed coffee (all things of which we would like to offer in a coffee house we have considered opening up).
Next stop: Dinner. A short drive away on Chapel Hill we found a unique restaurant called Guglhupf (say it with us: goo-ghol-hoff). We chose it for its “German food with a Southern twist”. We knew we would like this place just by the atmosphere; it was dark outside and we saw a candle-lit outdoor dining terrace, with tons of green foliage over growing on top of the roof, with lights strung along the wooden beams as well. Oh and we can’t forget the amazing aroma from the bakery (bread is one of the best foods to smell, period). Then, just through the building’s doors was a two level seating area with all sorts of lanterns and chandeliers for a gentle lighting. We chose to sit out on the beautiful terrace in the warm night breeze.
We ordered a sausage plate served with a german potato salad and cabbage slaw. Our meal was shared, so we also ordered a cup of soup each (tomato bisque, which was to die for, and a pretty good split pea) and enjoyed the complimentary house made bread (homemade sourdough or rye? Yes please).
From the huge drink list, we chose a nice red wine from Germany to compliment our meal. This was actually the first time having wine with food (you know, like an actual pairing) and it was amazing how well they went together. We left full and happy.
Finishing dinner is our favorite part of the day because that means it is time for dessert. We decided on a place called “Sugarland” (which happened to be located right on the UNC campus, so we got a little look at that amazing place) that offered a variety of desserts. Our choice? Gelato. Brittany went with Key Lime Pie, while Caleb chose the Cookie Dough. A great ending to (what will be known as) our first official day of vacation.
We are excited for another day in another new city, Wilmington, tomorrow!
C + B