I am still not ready to travel out of state but I have been taking cautious jaunts here and there in my home state where I feel “safe” from COVID and angry people. That really does not leave many places in North Carolina but we have been making do. This past weekend my husband and I decided to do an overnight stay in downtown Raleigh and have a couple’s getaway not too far from home. The teen daughters happily pushed us out the door. LOL
It may seem a waste of time and money to get a hotel only 30 minutes from your home, but you would be surprised what you can discover in your surrounding area. You don’t have to drive for hours to do something fun or feel like you had a mini vacation. My husband and I started doing this when the daughters were little. My sister would watch the kiddos and we didn’t want to be too far in case of emergencies and now it’s kind of a tradition. We do it on our anniversary sometimes and just spontaneously other times.
We stayed in a Residence Inn by Marriott in downtown Raleigh. We used the points we had saved up so the room was free AND we were upgraded to a bigger suite. It was too much room for just the two of us but we enjoyed having a mini kitchen, a living room and a door to the bedroom. We had a lovely view of the Art’s Center and a small balcony. I am not sure if I would choose to stay here again with $12 parking but it was fine enough for our needs.
We walked around downtown and had brunch at Parkside Restaurant. We were being spontaneous and had no idea this little place took reservations but we got lucky and was seated right away. The tables were nicely spaced so I did not mind sitting inside. No one was wearing masks and that made me edgy but I tried to just deal with it. We shared pimento cheese and “fried” saltines because we were curious. I don’t think the crackers needed to be fried. LOL I had a chicken and waffle sandwich that was very tasty. The waffle was a savory rosemary-onion waffle. I thought it could use a bit more flavor but the texture was perfect. The friend chicken breast filet was perfectly seasoned and fried. The harrisa maple syrup was a fantastic sweet/spicy addition to the sandwich. I knifed and forked it because of course I put syrup all over everything. It was not the southern chicken and waffle I was used to but I enjoyed it. The accompanying fries were fine. Nothing exciting. Samuel had a pepperoni bloody mary with his meal. All in all a good fine. Not sure if I would be in a hurry to return but I would not avoid it.
After lunch we continued to walk around and saw some really cool street art:
We meandered around until the humidity started drowning me. So we headed back to the hotel, took a bathroom break and decided to drive to the Raleigh Museum of Life and Science. We go there often with our kids but it was nice to stroll at our pace and read placards and look at displays WE were interested in without interruption. It was not too crowded and about 50% of the people were wearing masks. I certainly did.
Then we headed back to the hotel for showers and enjoyed some adult beverages. There were a lot of adult beverages had during our getaway. We also brought some from home so we enjoyed being able to drink together. Normally we have a rule at home that at least one parent must be cold stone sober. We don’t want to end up on the news as “those” parents. LOL
It was nice to be inside with AC. We decided to tour the rest of the area from our balcony.
On Sunday we were up by 7am not because we did not want to sleep in but the day wore us out and we went to bed early. We are no longer the partiers we used to be. The hotel put out a nice hot breakfast bar so we enjoyed breakfast around 8:30 am and than sat around the hotel watching a bad comedy movie. We packed up and headed to lunch at Morgan Street Food Hall. It was like mall food court but nicer or like a food truck rodeo but with no food trucks if that makes sense. There was a lot to choose from but I could not sit indoors because it was too crowded. So we ate outside in the sweltering heat. I would not mind returning in the fall when the weather is more tolerable. I chose to try a friend seafood shack which turned out to be a mistake. The lobster was great but the scallops were terrible. Samuel wanted Wicked Tacos but we got our wires crossed so he ended up with a burger which he didn’t seem to mind.
On Saturday we walked about 7000 steps, we watched several movies, drank a generous amount of adult beverages, slept great and participated in “reindeer games” without interruption. =) We only had to drive 30 minutes and we were familiar with the area. If you have never done a local getaway, I highly recommend it. It is far less stressful than traveling far away and you still fill like you had a getaway.