No one was more surprised than I was that I fell in love with Raleigh, NC.
Our first visit to the North Carolina state capitol was in 2004 when Steve and I went on a 6 week road trip and stopped there for one night. It was a Sunday and we stayed at a hotel in the government center. Everything was closed and the best restaurant we could find was a sports bar. We decided at that moment we would probably never visit Raleigh again. But one should never say never! Fast forward to 2016. Our son and daughter in law moved from Charleston, SC to a North Carolina suburb of Raleigh. And since they have moved away from South Florida we have traditionally spent Thanksgiving with them.
Though they have raved about their new home town we were quite skeptical. Of course I should have trusted them I still was wary about what there would be to do for an entire week. Oh boy was I ever wrong. The area is just gorgeous and late November was the perfect time for our visit. We got to see the glory of fall foliage and the beauty of rolling hills, beautiful homes and fabulous farms all intermingled. Even the weather was pretty much perfect, for up north that is. Most days were in the 60’s with chilly nights but Thanksgiving Day was in the 70’s with virtually no humidity and bright sunshine.
Many parks offer well marked hiking trails and we spent one of our mornings exploring one of them. Nothing is more peaceful than walking alongside a babbling brook. The crisp air smelled so fresh and the sun streamed through the trees just enough to keep us warm but not hot. Unlike Florida the terrain is hilly which made our mile and a half hike seem a bit more strenuous than it would have at home. It was wonderful and exhilarating. It also made us quite hungry so we headed to our new favorite breakfast spot at the State Farmer’s Market.
Since we were also hungry for more of Raleigh we thought we would explore the North Carolina Museum of Art. To our delight there was an Art Deco Car Exhibit featuring the most amazing cars from that era circa 30’s and 40’s. We were certainly wowed by how modern the cars looked. Some were even futuristic by todays standards. In all there were 14 cars and 3 motorcycles that proved that elegance reigned supreme. The Art Deco period is synonymous with luxury and glamour and is know for blending industrial design and decorative arts. It is probably my favorite period for art, jewelry, cars, decor and architecture. And this exhibit reaffirmed my love for this era with cars of bold sensuous shapes, hand crafted details and luxurious finishes. They were stunning examples of car design at its peak.
When we finished ogling the cars we wiped the drool from our chins and headed to the main building to view more traditional art. We were blown away by the scope of the museum. With art through the ages the works were divided into smaller galleries which included a fabulous Rodin exhibit and an exhibit that touched our hearts because it was filled with Judaica.
Though we look forward to returning to Raleigh to visit family we also can’t wait to return to see more of what the North Carolina State Capitol has to offer!