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North Carolina Part I: Thursday and Friday

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Mar. 13th, 2016 | 03:14 pm

I'll even resurrect my oldest profile photo for the occasion.

My North Carolina trip was great, definitely less about nostalgia than prior trips and more about new experiences there with old friends. After some last minute logistical changes, I decided to drive down on Thursday night instead of Friday morning, to avoid forecast snow. The upside is that meant I could drive down with Blake, who was heading to Salisbury to spend a week with his family. Win-win because I had company on the drive and he didn't have to buy a last-minute plane ticket. There was some snow flying in a few places, but nothing too bad. We stopped at a Chick-fil-a for dinner behind a busful of high school kids ordering every milkshake in existence, and got to Carrboro around 12:30 am.

Memorial Audtiorium.

I don't think I'd made it to Chapel Hill or Carrboro at all in my last two trips so it was nice to spend some time there. Our hotel was super new and had an enormous parking garage behind it. Very un-Carrboro! But it's growing, and at least they aren't building such things out on the periphery. In the morning Blake and I went across the street for coffees from a place he remembered; it was under new ownership and super busy but fine. Also, the barista certainly could have guessed who grew up there and who didn't based on our orders. Blake = bacon and egg biscuit. Jonathan = everything bagel with butter.* Then we both took conference calls, which was a pretty unfortunate commentary on how work follows one everywhere. Such is life. After that I met his mom, we checked out of the hotel, and they went off on their way while I went to pick up Luke P. (my former broworker!) to have lunch.

Luke and Kelly both seem to be doing well there (they moved from DC/Baltimore last year to do graduate degrees at UNC)! Their townhouse is adorable and they could live for months on their canning projects. We went to lunch at a burger place and caught up on his potential summer plans and various office/coworker gossip. I think I said diplomatically enough that the long-running projects he handed off to other people are not going as smoothly as when he was there. Heh. From there he went off to pick up his parents at the airport and I drove to Raleigh.

Fancy glowing stoop on a new storefront in Raleigh

I arrived at Tyler's house around 3 and he toured me around his also-gorgeous house. You'll see a recurring theme here. He and Luke B. share what is technically a 3 bedroom, 2.5 bathroom house, but there's also a separate office, a living room, and a den, so they each have their own offices as well as a room that's just being used for storage. I believe that is jealousy I am tamping down. Anyhow, after I got mostly unpacked we went to happy hour at a lovely bar down the street where the bartender momentarily couldn't find the Jameson and we all panicked had a good laugh about it. It also sounds like he is doing well, though his work just transitioned to a very unpleasant-sounding "open" office layout where they have to work on tables that barely fit their monitors instead of desks. No drawers and almost no flat surfaces mean the home office is very important, evidently. Plus we talked about his new boyfriend (that I would meet later in the weekend) which was exciting! New stuff happening all around, as I said.

A lovely parklet in Raleigh

Eventually we returned to the house, talked to Luke B. a little and got him interested in our Saturday plans. So we got him and his boyfriend signed up for our distillery tour and then we drove off to Durham for dinner. There were a few potential places I wanted to try, but first we had to navigate the ancient parking garage across from City Hall. We and various other parkers got very lost in the stairwells because who would guess that Level 2 was actually the street level. Anyway, then we got ramen and afterward met up with Matt and Harper. They took us to a house party in a lovely bungalow that had been completely redone with shiny mid-century everything, right down to the books. The owners also have a super old "barn" (more of a loft, I guess?) in the backyard that they want to use for summer parties and they took everyone out to show it to us. But it was very horror movie-like to be sitting in the living room when suddenly the din of a dozen partygoers stops completely. We met many of the gays in attendance, had some drinks, and played Crabs Adjust Humidity**. A very random but lovely night.

Please look at this den (my drool puddle on the floor not shown).

Next entry will be Saturday and Sunday, and the food photos are so numerous they may all have to go in their own post.

* Yes, I order bagels even in the South. Just livin' my life.
** If you've ever thought to yourself that Cards Against Humanity is just too polite, I'd recommend this. Hilarious and so, so wrong.

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Comments {4}

Tan Gnat

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from: pundigrion
date: Mar. 14th, 2016 08:25 pm (UTC)

K has one of those open offices at work. It looks so distracting! They have cubbies to store stuff, but then nothing it actually near your desk.

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from: silverthief2
date: Mar. 15th, 2016 04:42 am (UTC)

I have nothing positive to say about the open office trend, so I am going to say nothing at all. :)

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