So I Finally Went on Vacation

As I've noted approximately 8,000 times on this here blog, I recently left the dirty Jersey for a couple of days to play in the South. One of my best friends, L, a Jersey girl at heart, relocated there a couple of years ago and a visit to her new home was very long overdue. Both because I've missed my friend, who can only make it back to NJ a few times a year, and because this girl {I'm talking about me now} hasn't had a real vacation in.. er.. um... a long time.

In short, it was a lovely weekend and a nice escape. I love New Jersey, but I knew I would love Raleigh too. {I was right.}

I flew in on Saturday morning after a 4 a.m. wakeup call to make my 6 a.m. flight. I landed at RDU and waltzed right out into the sunshine. L got me settled over at her place, I said hello to my fur-niece Sadie and fur-nephew Ryker {who are incapable of being still for long enough for me to take photos, unfortunately}, and we headed out to caffeinate my tired little body.

When what to my wondering eyes should appear... a used book store. {Heart-eyed emoji face.}

L and I met during college in a class called Women Prose Writers. One of the first titles we spotted at the bookstore was one we read together in that class! A sweet little moment of fate.

I walked away with Dubliners, which I haven't read yet, and I Know This Much is True, which has always been due back at the library before I've had a chance to get all the way through it. {You'd think I'd learn to just check this book out on its own then, but no. Always carting out a barrel-full.}

Next we headed downtown to check out the North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences.
Where of course we took a selfie with the T-Rex checked out some other dinos

and I controlled the weather.

Basically only posting this because my hair is ON POINT.
And we took some more selfies because we're actually 14.

The rest of the afternoon was spent meeting her boyfriend {he got best friend approval, no worries!} and going for a run around the Raleigh Art Museum. It's so nice to run in the warm sunshine after months of training through the cold!

We had dinner at Lilly's, a pizzeria with gluten-free dough! Major win, Raleigh. Then we took a stroll through a neighborhood full of beautiful historic homes before watching Frozen calling it a night.

Are you still with me? That was just Saturday!

On Sunday we were up early and out the door to fuel up at Cup-a-Joe, her regular coffee joint, before heading out to see downtown Raleigh. L wanted to show me her "happy place," a vintage/antique/thrift shop called Father & Son, right in the heart of downtown. It was.. amazing.

Going through shops like these is like being transported in time. And because everything is secondhand, you know it's rich with history. Someone sat in this chair to rock their baby to sleep, or played that record on repeat while getting ready for a date, or hung that painting in her very first apartment.

Maybe it's because my maternal grandmother was an antique dealer {and still is a collector} and my paternal grandfather is... well, a junk collector, if I'm being honest, but I so very much appreciate the history of things. You know what I mean? It's impossible for me to look at a little cat-faced knick-knack and not think about the type of person who made it.. the type of person who bought it.. and what led the person who bought it to sell it.

I try not to get tied up in materialism, which can be hard when you're as emotional as I am and naturally inclined to associate a memory or a person or a feeling with items that remind me of them. I'm currently in a progression toward a more minimalistic lifestyle {at least, I'm trying — I'll never be a minimalist, but I'm trying to adopt some of the mentality}, and I was quite proud of myself for being able to walk out of Father & Son empty-handed.

Those story-soaked antiques and memory-laced knick-knacks are better off in someone else's home.

And then there was this, written on the wall inside Father & Son.
Next we headed over to a farmer's market near N.C. State campus and picked up some fresh asparagus, which I included in the dinner I cooked that night.

The reddest, ripest, most delicious strawberries ever.
Then, as L and I tend to do when we're together, we popped into a thrift shop in Durham where I scored a couple tops, hot shorts, and these leggings I raved about last week.

Monday morning was slow-going, and L had to pop into the office for a bit. In the afternoon we could only muster enough energy for a coffee stop and a quick hour-long peruse through another secondhand bookstore, where I grabbed a BEE novel to add to my collection.

My flight was supposed to leave around 7:30 Monday night, but was cancelled and replaced with ANOTHER 6 a.m. jetset. At least I got a little more time with Ryker and Sadie :)

Old Lady Sadie
Whew... Sorry about the photo dump! I tried to keep this as brief as possible, but if you know me at all you know how difficult that is for me. I'm sorry! I'm a writer by profession and passion. My life revolves around the little details that fill a story to the brim.

Have you ever been to Raleigh/Durham? What are your favorite parts of the cities?

I hope you all had lovely weekends! Mine was wonderful but don't worry, we're done with the recaps for today :)  Let's go and have a great week now!


  1. ohemgee. first? that bookstore? i want, please. i love love love second hand book stores they are my fave!! i like to just smell the old books. #weirdo.
    anywho. gluten-free dough?! freaking awesome? was it yummy? i had some last weekend and VOMIT it was so gross, i ended up eating a slice of hubby's normal because i was so hungry. either way i was gonna be sick, lol.
    boo about your flight being cancelled, but what a score with the thrift store! ive seen the leggings but i demand a hot shorts fashion show, haha! they are seriously cute.
    aaaand that father son store looks amazing. i am the same. i love old things. i love things. i love thinking about the things life and now its in my life. im very emotionally attached to stuff. it was hard moving overseas and not being able to take my whole life, but i thought i would use it as a clean slate and be a kind of minimalist, nope. that didnt last long either.
    anywho, hope you had a good weekend!

  2. you definitely packed in a lot over that weekend!!! I so would have done everything you guys did looks like a great time!! :-)

  3. I've never been to Raleigh but its on my list of places to visit for sure!

  4. Sooo jealous! I feel like everyone is in NC but me :( I haven't spent much time I Raleigh, but I love all the cute shops and bookstores! Sounds like a ton of fun. I'm glad you had a good vacation!

  5. Looks like you had a blast. I would have gone absolutely crazy in that bookstore! I have a kindle and I do use it regularly but man nothing beats a real used book!

  6. I've never been anywhere in the South (except some touristy parts of FL, which I don't really count)! Looks like so much fun. And I LOVE thrift shops- I just wish there were more in my area! Looks like a fun filled trip!

  7. I bought a skirt this weekend with a print similar to the tropical one on that tank top you found! And that book? Is it like a series kind of thing? There's a book I've been wanting to read called "Doing Psychoanalysis in Tehran." Seems like too much of a coincidence for it not to be a series... Anyways, cute cute pics! North Carolina looks pretty charming.


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