Fractured Facade


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Monday, June 15, 2015

A Weekend in Raleigh

When my 22-year-old son told me his company was moving from Roanoke, VA to Raleigh, NC and they had made him an offer he couldn't refuse, my emotions ran wild. Although I was thrilled he would be advancing in his career, I was worried about him fleeing the nest so soon, and so far away. Deep down inside I knew Roanoke would not be the place for him to carve out a career, but it's hard letting go of your first-born. Well, after spending an extended weekend in Raleigh with him and his girlfriend I am so happy he jumped ship!

Although busy, he seems very content with his work environment, and I absolutely love his home environment! Besides the affordable, clean, safe, amenity-filled apartment complex they live in, I found Raleigh itself to be so much nicer than Roanoke. Frankly, since it was further south, I expected it to be filled with confederate flag waving rednecks. Nope, not at all. Ok, so the drivers stink, and much like Roanoke drivers, do not know how to use a signal, and come to practically a complete stop when making a turn, that's not enough of a reason to dislike Raleigh.

Pretty much everyone I met was friendly, although Roanokers were as well, before I actually moved here, so that's not a reason to love Raleigh. What I really was impressed with was the amount of culture that is available in Raleigh. Of course my son and his girlfriend hadn't been to any place I wanted to visit, so the out-of-towner, me, showed them what's right under their noses.

The museums rock! We visited the science museum first, and didn't spend nearly enough time to see the entire complex because I wanted to visit the history museum right across the street before it closed. The North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences puts our science museum to shame. Four stories high with a bridge to another building it has so much to offer, especially for kids of all ages. Without going into everything I highly recommend it to anyone who has children. Oh, and did I mention it was free? Here's a couple of pics...








You are allowed to go inside the butterfly exhibit, it was cool


Right across from it is the North Carolina Museum of History. It's not as large as the Science Museum, but I found it quite interesting as I stumbled upon some exhibits regarding slavery that will come in handy for my book. The reason I was so gung-ho about going was I had seen a Pharaoh sign and assumed they had Egyptian exhibits, but no, they didn't, that was a misleading sign for the restaurant inside. It was still worth the price of admission, which was free!



We parked in a lot downtown that charges $2 per hour...very reasonable for a downtown lot. And had it not been, 97 degrees out we would have done some more exploring. I'll save that for the next visit.


I did find my Egyptian art the next day at the North Carolina Museum of Art. I couldn't even begin to list all they have in the two buildings and the 160 acre outdoor museum park, which again, was way too hot to explore. After visiting this museum, in case you already haven't, you will realize what a joke the Taubman is. Oh, and did I mention the admission was, yup, free!

Many Rodin works of art were on display





A Nick Cave creation, yes that Nick Cave
I think this was called Bridal. Something similar happened  to me with my first wedding bridal gifts

There is no shortage of restaurants or shopping centers in Raleigh. We hit a Trader Joe's,  passed numerous Ross's (my favorite) and every other department store you can think of. If the girl was with me on this trip I imagine we would have entered Sak's, Nordstrom's, and the malls. Instead, I brought my husband to this antique-type farmer's market/village right down the road from the apartment. He found four different metal bases that he is going to re-finish to make either granite tables or wooden ones. What a score! When we had gone to Black Dog a couple of weeks ago they wanted $185 for he most rusted piece of crap you could imagine. Yeah, no. Here's a couple of what we could fit in the car. Had we had the van we would have brought even more back. Can't wait to see what he will do with them.


I also saw a sign on the same road for a Durant Nature Park so I talked them into checking it out. We drove down a dirt road to a parking lot and walked through the woods on a trail and found this lake. It was so peaceful, and once again, if it wasn't 97 degrees I would have loved to walk around it. I'm sure it's gorgeous in the spring and fall.






Raleigh has a lot of natural parks, lakes, trails, etc. My son is not the outdoors-type, but I plan on checking them out next time I go. And what was great after a hot day of sight-seeing was taking a dip in his complex's pool. Nope, neither he or his girlfriend have used it. Crazy! I wouldn't leave it!



I couldn't believe how quiet it was by him. You couldn't hear the neighbors at all. No screaming kids, no power tools 24/7, just the sweet tweet of birds. If it all works out and my son decides to stay in Raleigh (he's waiting to see which neighborhood Google is going to lay its fiber optics in before deciding where to buy a house) this could be my future hometown. Although the beach house was always the dream house, I don't think it's doable. So...I told my husband that I would settle for an in-ground pool instead.


I think my daughter would really like the area too and perhaps she will ask for a transfer to the television station there in a couple of years. I think I prefer her to be in Raleigh before heading to Manhattan. Only time will tell if Raleigh is "the" place, but as long as my son is happy, I'm happy. Leaving Roanoke was the smartest move he could make. Now, when am I going to be able to do that????

Father and son reflecting...

2 comments:

  1. Thank you my friend. Your perspective has reassured me as nothing else has. My son loves Raleigh so far. His fiance has found a job as a vet tech making much more money than she did in Roanoke too. I think they will be happy there too.

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