Friday, April 25, 2014

PULLEN PARK: A (Local) Trip Down Memory Lane

Thursday was Job Shadowing/Take Your Child to Work Day for the 8th Grade Team at our middle school. My daughter chose to shadow me and we started at Cup A Joe where we spent about 2 1/2 hours posting social updates, researching projects and creating blog posts for some of my clients. After a productive morning, we went to Pullen Park, one of my favorite places to visit in Raleigh but I hadn't visited for many years since the kids were small and before the recent renovations. It has been on my list of places to revisit and write about and since it was such a pretty day and the park was close by, we decided to visit.

I chose to hand over this blog post today to my 14 year old daughter and I am really pleased with what she turned around for me. Here are her thoughts...


"Today I revisited Pullen Park for the first time since I was a little girl. I barely remember the park, but I do recall having great times there! I remember everything seeming so much bigger and scarier and different. Sitting on a carousel horse and looking down felt like looking over the edge of a fifty foot railing! when it began moving it was like riding a stallion into the wild. But when I rode the carousel today it was more of an exciting trip of nostalgia and good memories rather than a wild adventure.

Seeing so many young kids with wide smiles on their faces made me think maybe they had wild adventures too, maybe to them riding a paddle boat was like steering a sailboat through the vast sea, or climbing the playground set was a trip to the top of a mountain. There have been so many cool things added to the park since I last came and that makes me so happy! While walking through the tall oaks in the park, I heard a little girl hugging a tree whisper, "I am the queen of the trees" and I can only imagine what kind of magical kingdom she had dreamed up in the gathering of these towering oaks. Pullen Park is, was, and will always be a place of thousands of imaginations and adventures and I can't wait to go back! Maybe one day I'll return with children of my own." - Julia, age 14
Recently renovated and such a Raleigh gem.

Facts: First public park in NC, contains a carousel, tennis courts, picnic shelters, playground, paddle boats, train and theatre in the park. Free admission. 66.3 acres. Near NC State Campus. Recently renovated. Good for families. Good cafe. Concession stand with healthy food.

Always fun to cruise on these boats at the park
The new carousel house
The beautiful carousel at Pullen Park. Ride it for a $1.

Pullen Park Food: Fresh and delicious, snacks well priced ($1-$4), well priced food ($4-7), fresh squeezed lemonade, local food, advocates for Health in Action, fresh seasonal food, fresh ingredients from local farmers, and catering.

Supporting local businesses all over the state of NC
Fresh food offerings at the park
Thank you Julia for a lovely day

Monday, April 21, 2014

Raleigh Holiday: What to do When Family is in Town

This past weekend was a holiday weekend and like many Raleigh folks, we had family in town. The weather wasn't cooperating with us, with rain, wind and cold temps keeping us from any outdoor activities. However, we did find some fun places to explore over the weekend despite the weather and had a great weekend showing off Raleigh to our family.

Friday we went to dinner at Moonlight Pizza Company on Morgan/Boylan Streets. Great pizza, great beer and we had no problem getting a big group in and seated and served quickly. The atmosphere is fun and casual and I can't believe I had never been before! We will be back. Great outdoor seating available as well even though the weather was not allowing us to enjoy being outside!

The pizza was a light pastry like crust and fresh ingredients with plenty of cheese. (Gluten free crust option offered as well!) We ordered a medium and a large for six people and it was the perfect amount.

Saturday morning was more rain and more cold temps. My daughter had a dance class in the morning so I enjoyed an absolutely delicious traditional latte with two shots of espresso and a stolen few minutes to catch up with a close friend at New World Coffee House on Pleasant Valley Road.

Saturday afternoon we decided a Museum day was in order so we went to the NC Museum of Art to see the brand new exhibits, Estampas de la Raza/Prints for the People on exhibit through July 27th, featuring over 60 vibrant contemporary screen prints from Mexican American and Chicano artists exploring social, political and economic issues. The exhibit only costs $5 for nonmembers (members and college students are free). Plus also on exhibit next door is Tall Tales and Huge Hearts. The work of children's illustrator Raul Colon. Beautiful charming and bright illustrations for viewing (FREE).

We decided to keep it local in North Raleigh so we had dinner at Gonza Tacos y Tequila off Leadmine Road. The place was packed and very lively and dinner was delicious. Such a warm and fun place on a still rainy and very cold Saturday night (the hammock out front is a hit with the kids!)

After dinner we walked across the parking lot to Sola Coffee Cafe for a coffee and a little live Bluegrass music. Great crowd and great music!

Sunday afternoon after our Easter festivities, we road tripped out to Wake Forest to meet up with additional family at White Street Brewing Company. The sun was finally out and we enjoyed some great family time catching up over a couple of amazing local NC beers. What a great weekend!! Never a lack of fun things to get out and do in Raleigh!

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

30 Days of Insta NC Beer!

Every day in April, in honor of #NCBeerMonth, I will be featuring one of my many INSTAGRAM shots of a unique #ncbeer! Check back to see what beer is featured each day! Maybe you will find one you never had and can add it to your NC Beer list!

APRIL 30: Wrapping up my 30 days of INSTA NCBeer on the Mother Earth back patio in Kinston. I am excited to be spending Mother's Day this year with my mom and my sisters at Mother Earth!! Go Sisters of the Moon! Thanks for following along!

APRIL 29: Grabbing an NC beer downtown at Centerline during an SEO session.

APRIL 28: Looking forward to warm days and Trophy Beers!

APRIL 27: Amazing day out at Brewgaloo Saturday in Downtown Raleigh. Lots of #NCBeer love!

APRIL 26: The view from Boylan Bridge Pub overlooking the Raleigh Skyline! It's Brewgaloo today! Time to get downtown and enjoy NC Beers!

APRIL 25: Inspiration to travel and drink local! Hanging out (again) at Wicked Weed Brewery in Asheville!

APRIL 24: Drinking a local NC Beer at Five Point's Crafty Beer Shop. Soon to have a second location at Lafayette Village.

APRIL 23: Have you tried Fullsteam's Collaboration beer, Beasley's Honey White? It's on draft at Beasley's Chicken & Honey!

APRIL 22: Drinking a Bed of Nails Brown Ale from HiWire Brewing of Asheville, at BottleMixx. Thursday nights you can usually sample and meet a local NC brewery from 5-8pm.

APRIL 21: Wicked Weed upstairs bar. The delicious Sovereign Belgian Stout. Asheville.

APRIL 20: Sampling some food and drink at Chestnut in Asheville. Drinking a French Broad Brewing Co IPA. Love Asheville food and beer!

APRIL 19: Sipping Sisters of the Moon IPA at Cafe de los Muertos after a little First Friday in downtown Raleigh.

APRIL 18: Enjoying a local NC brew at The Flying Saucer during Raleigh Beer Week.

APRIL 17: Just visited Fortnight Brewing Company for the first time last night. Sampled a Porter and it was smooth and delicious. We were also just in time for bingo!

APRIL 16: Tasting a refreshing Triangle Brewing Company IPA at Big Mike's BBQ blogger "meatup" at the View Bar on Glenwood. Delicious BBQ and other fabulous dishes being served up now regularly by Mike's BBQ. Add it to your list to tryout soon!

APRIL 15: One of my favorite places to hang outside in downtown Raleigh and have a beer has got to be Boylan Bridge Brewpub. Great patio seating, fabulous view of downtown Raleigh and beer! Usually you will find me sampling a We Support Public Transportation By Rail Pale Ale

APRIL 14: PERFECT COMBO! Pairing Mother Earth Old Neighborhood Oatmeal Porter and Slingshot Coffee!

APRIL 13: Sipping on a delicious Mother Earth, my favorite Sisters of the Moon IPA at Herons outside patio at the Umstead Hotel.

APRIL 12: IPA's are my favorite, especially from Foothills Brewing! Seeing Double IPA!

APRIL 11: Sipping on an American IPA known as Rocket Science at one of my favorite breweries for afternoon fun, Fullsteam Brewery in Durham.

APRIL 10: Checking out the awesome Steel String Brewery in Carrboro drinking a Rubber Room Session.

APRIL 9: Sampling a delicious, crisp and light White Street Kolsch-style Ale at White Street Brewing in Wake Forest.

APRIL 8: Enjoying a fun Friday evening stop at the Lonerider Hideout! Drinking one of my favorite NC beers,True Britt.

APRIL 7: National Beer Day! Spotlight on one of my favorite beers in Raleigh! Drinking The Trophy Wife by Trophy Brewing!

APRIL 6: Trying out a Good Deal Pale Ale from Appalachian Mountain Brewery in Boone.

APRIL 5: Drinking a Belgian Pale Ale at Blowing Rock Ale House & Inn. Pretty cool that you can stay here too!

APRIL 4: Drinking a Pumptrack Pumpkin Porter Seasonal by Crank Arm Brewing Company at Crank Arm!

: Enjoying a Ponysaurus IPA at Wine Authorities new location in Raleigh.

APRIL 2: Snap of Raleigh Beer Guide event at Tyler's Taproom.
Drinking a White Street Kolsch.

APRIL 1: In Asheville at Wicked Weed Brewing drinking an Abundance IPA.