Raleigh Redux

We had such a great and fun and awesome weekend in North Carolina.  It kind of made it difficult to come home!

On Friday, we headed down to Raleigh bright and early to hang out with my family before heading to the Capitals/Hurricanes game later that night.  We met my cousin, Regan for lunch at a Raleigh tradition, Char-Grill.  Shortly after, my aunt and uncle stopped by and we decided to take Chris out to Duke University since he had never been to the area.  As a sports fan, Chris really just wanted to check out the historic campus, so off to Durham we went.

Obviously if you know me, you know I hate all things Duke.  However, I’m not a liar, so I can’t say the campus is hideous and the people are stupid because it’s simply not true.  The campus is beautiful and just walking around the campus, we knew we were surrounded by people who would really make a difference in the world.

We headed over to Cameron Indoor Stadium and on our way, saw tents already up in Krzyzewskiville!  We talked to a handful of students who told us that they were camping out for the Duke/Carolina game on March 3rd.  Seriously, these kids have to camp for three months to get tickets in the first 1-2 rows of the game.  Crazy, but they loved telling us about their experience.  The school has internet setup so they can study while they’re camping, and during the day, only one person has to be present and accounted for so it doesn’t have an impact on their schedules.  Pretty cool to see in person, I’m not going to lie!

Yep, I'm still a Carolina fan!

After our little detour over to Krzyzewskiville, we thought we’d try to get into Cameron Indoor Stadium, and we lucked out and found an unlocked door.  Literally, within seconds of being in the building (it’s tiny, not like an arena at all), we heard basketballs bouncing and I whispered “no way!”  We ran up the stairs and were presented with the team practicing, with Coach K in the middle of it all.  Unreal.  A few moments after we realized they were in the middle of practicing, we also realized it was a closed practice (no signs until we went around the corner), and were kicked out about 30 seconds later.  Who cares – it was radical, and I got a few pictures before we got caught.  Clearly we were sent from Carolina to spy on them!  :)

Sigh.  Chris was elated, I was in shock and we were all kicked out (nicely, by a ball boy I might add – still have no idea where he came from), but it was pretty great as a sports fan in general.  For the rest of the day, Chris greeted everyone (including the staff at our hotel and the staff at RBC center) with “I saw Coach K today!”  Too funny.

Later that night, we met up with our friends Niki and Karl and Jeff and Kristina to go to the Caps game at the RBC Center.  Our seats were great, the Caps sucked (and lost), but it was still great fun.  I’d definitely go back.

Saturday morning, we had breakfast with the friends and then Chris and I headed east to the coast to visit my family including my grandmother, cousin (and her kiddos) and my uncles.  On the way down, we stopped at a gas station and Chris surprised me with $7 in scratch off lottery tickets and we won $55!  So fun!

We arrived in Carteret County around noon and hung out at the house for a little while before running some errands with Nicole (my cousin) and the kids.  We got Logan (he’s 5) his first lego set and then went back to the house and built it in the kitchen.  It was really fun to see him working on his first legos, even if he didn’t want to follow the step by step instructions.  :)  The finished result seemed to be a hit, though.  He carried it around the house bragging about how he built it, and when he dropped it and it exploded into pieces, he immediately wanted to put it back together.  As a lego lover, I’m so proud.  :)

We visited the beach while we were there, too.  It was super cold and the ocean was furious, but beautiful.

After a pit stop at El’s for dinner, we headed back to Raleigh for the night and said bye to the family til April.

On Sunday, we met up with my cousin Regan and her husband so they could take us out to see Carolina to wrap the weekend up.  Jason, Regan’s husband, graduated from Carolina, so that made them the perfect tour guides.  :)  While nothing nearly as exciting as stumbling across practice in action happened, we did get a pretty good tour.

We saw the new baseball stadium which is beautiful and almost reminiscent of a minor league baseball stadium,  drove through campus, walked alllllllllll the way around the Dean Dome (trying to sneak in again), made our way into the swim + dive center adjacent to the Dean Dome and DID find the practice basketball facility.

We couldn't turn the lights on in the practice facility, so this picture came out dark.

We also drove by the football stadium and when I noticed the gate was unlocked, we hopped out of the car to get a closer view.  But then, I wanted to get closer, so we ran down to the field.  I mean, how often do you get an entire football stadium to yourself to run around?!

After our tour of Chapel Hill, we made our way over to this hole in the wall restaurant that Chris had seen on Man versus Food called “Time Out.”  They’re famous for their “chicken cheddar biscuit,” which Chris inhaled in about 2 seconds flat.  I took a small bite and wasn’t a fan.  Rumor has it, you have to be ridiculously drunk to truly enjoy the sandwich in all of it’s glory.  :)

We finally hit the road to head home around 5pm and got home late last night around 10.  Did I mention it was hard to come home?  I love North Carolina so much.  :)

Hope you all had just as great a weekend as we did!

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