Matt, Riese, and I spent the weekend in Raleigh, North Carolina visiting family!
It was fun to head back to North Carolina – I miss that gorgeous Carolina Blue sky so much. For newer readers: Matt and I lived in Chapel Hill, NC for a couple years (2010-2012) while I was getting my Masters of Public Health in Nutrition at UNC. We loved it there!
Sadly we didn’t get the chance to pop by Chapel Hill this weekend, but seeing the Carolina Blue sky again was excellent. 😉
We were in Raleigh to visit Matt’s older brother Chris, his wife Jess, and their 3 boys (one of whom was born in September, so this was our first time meeting him)! Matt’s younger brother Drew and his wife Morgana also came down from NYC, so we had a big crew!
We arrived on Friday in time for dinner, and had a low key night at their home with some yummy enchiladas and tacos.
I went back for one more hard shell taco after the below pic. As you can see in the background, Riese was at the kid’s table with her cousins – she had THE best time with them this weekend! So fun that she’s old enough to play with them a bit more now.
On Saturday morning, we had a chill morning at home with some almond butter toast, fruit, and hard boiled eggs.
Then we headed out for an adventure! We all went to Shelley Lake Trail and walked the 2 mile lake loop, then hit the playground for a bit, too. Riese mostly walked/ran, but she also borrowed her cousin’s cool pushable bike and had fun getting a ride with us pushing!
It was gray out on Saturday but still warmer than DC. 😉
Lunch was at a really delicious fast casual Lebanese spot called Sassool. I forgot to take a picture because we were running up on nap time and things were pretty chaotic, but Matt, Riese and I shared a whole bunch of their prepared salads, hummus, and a couple pita sandwiches.
The gang watched a movie while Riese napped, and I got some work done (perpetually behind!). After she was up and had a snack, Matt stayed back with Riese and I went out for a quick jog before dinner.
As a social runner, I’m always really proud when I make it out for a run on my own without the accountability of someone else! I did a big loop around Chris and Jess’s neighborhood and it was perfect – ideal temperature, I felt good, not too long, not too short.
On Saturday night, we had a big treat: a dinner out at Brewery Bhavana in downtown Raleigh! It’s an Asian dim sum restaurant that was actually voted the #10 best new restaurant in America by Bon Appetit magazine in 2017! Whoa.
I loved it from the moment we walked in – super cool vibe, and really unique in that it had a big brewery/bar area, a trendy restaurant area, AND a bookstore and a flower shop. There was a lot going on but it weirdly really worked.
And more importantly, the food was phenomenal! Seriously one of the best meals I’ve ever had.
We basically just ordered half the menu and shared it all, which was perfect because we all got to try a bit of everything.
For dessert, we all shared the fried ice cream (!!) and an unpictured key lime pie, which was from a local bakery and also phenomenal. I’m not normally a huge cake person (I find it too sweet), but it was soooo good. Really great texture!
Such a great night out. And in case you’re wondering, the kids were not with us – Jess’s family that lives in the area very kindly babysat!
On Sunday, we had a little birthday breakfast for Chris with some delicious almond croissants (from Trader Joe’s).
And then we all headed out to another great trail/playground area – Blue Jay Point County Park.
It was sooo nice out on Sunday – such a treat! Something I really miss about living in North Carolina is not only the gorgeous winters (lots of random 60 degree and sunny February/March days), but also the access to lots of trails/lakes/wooded areas!
It was so pretty, and the kids had a blast exploring and running around the trails. The first photo in this post was from this hike, too – the trail was a short loop that took you down to beautiful views of the water.
We came back and had some leftovers at the house before hitting the road back to DC. It was so hard to leave with such beautiful weather – wish we could have stayed and played longer! Such a fun weekend.
Once we got home and got Riese to bed, Matt watched the Super Bowl, but I decided my time would be better spent taking a nice hot epsom salt (affiliate link) bath and then reading in bed. It’s my favorite bedtime routine!
Did you watch the Super Bowl?
Have you ever been to North Carolina?
Please note there are affiliate links in this post.