The recently updated North Carolina Museum of Art is a huge asset to the greater Raleigh community, with outdoor performances and movies, expansive new galleries, innovative spaces, and trails that weave past a number of sculpture installations and picnic spots. I had been wanting to visit since it re-opened last year, and although I don’t know what it looked like before, the end result of their renovations proved to be impressive! The only downside is that the light & modern East Building makes the temporary exhibits in the darker, older West Building seem a bit dingy in comparison.
The best part? Everything is free, excluding a few special events. Second best part – dogs are allowed in Museum Park, where you can walk through forests and fields to view large-scale outdoor artwork. We’ll have to take Noodle here so she can expand her cultural horizons while going for a stroll.
Last Friday, Harold and I went out on the town and made our first stop at Southern Season. Every week they have some sort of tasting event between 5-8 p.m., and this time it featured hard ciders. What we love about this set-up is that you can normally stroll in at any point during those three hours, squeezing in a few drinks before dinner. Plus, the staff takes the time to explain what you’re kicking back while still keeping the vibe casual.
The verdict? European ciders aren’t nearly as tasty as their much sweeter American counterparts, the accompanying Cabot Clothbound Cheddar is my new favorite cheese, there are glasses specifically designed to handle quick-fizzing drinks (that we got to keep!), and it’s not too shabby an evening when your company includes a former White House pastry chef. Roland must have been there to teach a class and decided to stick around to enjoy the bounty. This article will give you an idea of his capacity as an entertainer – we found out lots of fun facts, including Bill Clinton’s allergies & dietary restrictions. No chocolate for Bubba!
Unfortunately, the combination of drinks with the Thai dinner we had next (Hurray! The new place in town is decent!!!) made staying awake for the Chick Corea concert difficult. Now I’m beginning to understand why the elderly can barely keep their eyes open, since I’m already struggling at 30. Major props to the drummer who was touring with him, though – his beats kept us partially in the game!
Some other local favorites I’m looking forward to this fall – along with a few road-trips:
Somewhere in the middle of all this, I suppose I’ll keep going to school, too.
Only a few more weeks until my first year as a doctoral student ends and I head to DC and internship-land for the summer. Before I take off, here’s what I’m attempting to squeeze into my calendar:
- Checking out the newly updated North Carolina Museum of Art, which has a grand reopening on April 24th-25th. Their preview pics of reflecting pools & sculpture gardens look absolutely stunning. The night of the 24th, festivities include musical performances & fireworks. I’ll be out of town for the kickoff event itself, but you should go online for free tickets!
- Heading into some rapids at the U.S. Whitewater Center in Charlotte – a $50 day pass includes ziplines, kayakking, climbing and rafting. Tempted to try the Rodeo whitewater course!
- Re-living college quad concerts as Pat McGee rolls into Raleigh.
- Walking my booty off at UNC’s Relay for Life efforts to support the American Center Society as my team creates, “Hope for the Ta-tas”.
- Catching up on local foodie recommendations: Lantern for high-end Asian fusion, Watts Grocery for brunch, Toast for paninis, Only Burger for grease on the go, and Sawasdee in our quest to subsist soley off pad Thai and curry.
- Consuming as many Locopops as possible. You have to love a popsicle chain that makes charoset flavored treats for Passover.
- Lying in the sun in the Outer Banks. Any recommendations for pet-friendly lodging?
- And…finishing all my final projects. Sigh. Can’t we fast-forward past that part?!?
If I click my heels three times, can I end up by the ocean?