I was in North Carolina for a wedding exactly three years ago (Abe and Kathleen’s), so it seemed only natural returning for the same last weekend (Patrick and Laura’s).
We flew out late Thursday night (technically Friday morning), but the plane was delayed in leaving, which meant we missed our tight connection in Dallas. So they routed us through Washington, and we arrived at RDU five hours late. Luckily we didn’t have anything planned for Friday afternoon, besides a hankering for some NC BBQ. Alice called just as we arrived, asking if we wanted to meet up then, rather than Saturday morning before the wedding. She took us to the Q-Shack near her house in Raleigh for a little barbecue “quatre heures“.
Then we zipped over to Phill and Susan’s house in Chapel Hill, where we’d be spending the night, in time to make a 7pm dinner reservation at Cypress on the Hill, one of the many new restaurants on Franklin Street. The food was lovely, but the best part was just catching up and talking travel. Afterwards they took us on a driving tour of some of the new developments around town and campus. It’s amazing how much growth has taken place in the last 5 years when I moved to California.
Saturday morning we bid farewell to Phill and Susan, and headed off to the mall so I could pick up a new shirt and tie for the wedding. We also stopped for a quick bite to eat, before heading down to Sanford, about an hour away. We changed our clothes in the car a few blocks from church, not an easy feat, and arrived at the ceremony with seconds to spare.
The reception was at the Carolina Trace Country Club. We sat around a table with a big group of familiar faces: Abe and Kathleen, Jean and Dave, Bev and Clark, Charles and Owen. Maybe it was the indoor light, or perhaps the conversation regarding our trip, but I was horribly negligent with the camera. I didn’t even get any pics of Laura and Patrick! But I did manage to take a nice one of me and Stephanie, her in a new dress, and me in a matching tie, during a quick break from the festivities.
Late that night we drove back to Raleigh to crash at Abe and Kathleen’s place. The next morning we stopped at the nearby Raleigh Farmers Market for a quick bite to eat, before heading back to Chapel Hill for a brunch/meetup with Anton and friends at Sandwhich. Anton, Lenore, Bob, Bora, Paul, Sally, Tucker, Brian, Ruby, and Izzy, all came out to say hi, catch up, and hear about the trip. A good time was had by all. Big thanks to Anton for making it happen.
We had a few hours before we needed to get back to the airport, so Stephanie took a nap in the car while I surfed the web on her iPhone. Later we took a walk around McCorkle Place on the UNC campus, which now has the effect of filling me with a deep sense of nostalgia. Then it was time to leave once again. We drove back to RDU, returned the rental car, had dinner at Brookwood Farms BBQ in the airport, and caught our flight to Minneapolis. We were not surprised (or amused) to discover that our flight to SFO was delayed by two hours, which meant we didn’t crawl into bed until 2am Monday morning.