Hi Friends! So it has been officially 2 weeks and 2 days since my last day of work. I apologize in advance for this long and random post, but we’ve been super busy since then and have a lot going on and a lot to share. 🙂 In a nut shell, we moved out of our apartment in Hoboken, moved all of our belongings to my aunt’s place in Baltimore and have been road tripping all of NC visiting with friends and family.
Since this post is going to be bit all over the place, I am just going to dive into it with some pictures from each place we’ve been over the past couple of weeks.
NYC and Hoboken:
In preparation for our big trip, I decided to cut my hair off. It is still long enough to put in a pony tail, but much shorter than usual. My initial thought was I did not like it, but it is growing on me and will definitely be easier to deal with when we are traveling.
For our last hurrah before the move, we had a party at our place in Hoboken and I put together a mini bar crawl so our friends could also try some of the Hoboken staples plus a few places I wanted to check out before leaving. We printed out mini “treasure” maps and had a lot of fun! The majority of us did the entire crawl with the exception of salsa dancing at Havana Cafe and Lounge ($20 cover = no go). Hoch did pass out early in true Hochul fashion and only made it to Willie’s!
Hoch and I usually prefer Grimaldi’s Pizza, which is a must try if you’re in Brooklyn or Hoboken, but I had also heard about the pizza at Benny Tudino’s and wanted to try it for this bar crawl. They claim they have the largest pizza in NJ, the pies are the size of a small table! And not only were they huge slices, but the pizza was pretty delicious too.
Also if you’re ever in Hoboken, you have to try the frozen strawberry margaritas from East LA! They are sooo good!
The rest of our time in NY was spent running last minute errands (like getting our Vietnam visas!), packing and we did go into NYC for some last time food requests, including Halal guys and Artichoke Pizza (gah I am getting hungry thinking about both of those places).
We moved out of our apartment on April 28th and had a little hiccup to start our trip. Driving a 15ft U-haul on Hoboken one-way streets is not easy! We had a little collision with a parked Mercedes Benz (aka effed up the front bumper). We called the police and the girl walked up as we were talking with them. She was nice about it all, but it did suck and set us back that morning (and financially). But I am sure there will be more hiccups along the course of this adventure, so if that is the worst of it, I will take it!
We had a couple friends come help us load up the truck and afterwards we took them to lunch and were soon on the road to my aunt’s place in Baltimore. We unloaded the truck there and ate a well earned pasta dinner. We only stayed in Baltimore for one night and were on our way to NC for a little road trip the next day.
I went to school in Raleigh, made some great friends there, and love going back to visit. Hoch had never been before either so I wanted to show him my old stomping grounds as well. Every time I go back to Raleigh, there are always new and upcoming places to check out along with visiting some of my favorites from back in the day. Raleigh really has changed so much since I lived there, sometimes it feels like a whole new city!
We stayed with one of my best friends from college, Sherry. She bought a new house recently and had plenty of room for us! We got there on Friday around 6:30pm and she had a martini waiting for me (and whiskey for Hoch)! We used to always have martini nights when we were in school, so it was a nice throwback. Though I am sure our “martinis” in college consisted of cranberry juice and vodka and were not legit. Well when in college. 🙂
That evening we went to dinner at a new empanada and tequila restaurant. Another college friend, Mike, met up with us and then we grabbed some drinks on Glenwood South. We checked out a couple newer bars that are now on our old stomping grounds.
The next day, we met up with my cousin who is currently a student at NCSU, Jael, for lunch. Afterwards she gave us a little tour of some of the newer buldings on campus and I tried some of this icecream!
If you didn’t know this about me, I love icecream. Moosetracks is a favorite of mine and the Wolf Tracks version was just as good!
After lunch and our mini campus tour, we went back to Sherry’s to relax a bit and ended up watching the movie Frozen (yeah that is how we roll). We made dinner reservations for later in the evening and started getting ready for the night, which of course involved a little pregaming.
We had a large group for dinner, including Sherry and Mike, another friend and previous co-worker Lydia, and my cousin Jael and her friend. We ate at a tapas style restaurant called Humble Pie and everything was delicious. We especially loved the brussel sprouts and ended up with 3 orders!
After dinner, we said our goodbyes (my cousin and her friend are not 21 yet) and went to a couple of bars for some drinks before calling it an evening. Of course, you cannot come to Raleigh and not eat Gumby’s! We called in our order in advance and had the uber driver stop so we could pick up some late night pokey stix!! They.were.everything. We inhaled them as soon as we got back to Sherry’s in true college form.
The next day, we were up and on our way to Wilmington, NC to see my grandma for the day. We had to stop at Bojangles for breakfast (can you tell we like to eat?).
We only had a few hours to visit with my grandma and her boyfriend, Wilson. We needed to be in Charlotte that evening to pick up one of Hoch’s good friends who planned a long layover to visit us there. So while in Wilmington, we all went to lunch for her birthday at a place called Casey’s Buffet. I had not been there before, but it was pretty freakin’ good. They have southern comfort food, including macaroni and cheese, collard greens, blackeyed peas, fried okra, ham, fried chicken and so much more.
After our fabulous meal, we hit the road so that we would be in Charlotte in time to pick Dan up from the airport. The weather was pretty rough for the drive, it rained a lot and as we got closer to Charlotte, we saw several lightning bolts which was not a good sign for Dan’s arrival. There was quite a delay, but we just waited at my sister’s house, which is 10 minutes from the airport, until he was on the ground. Finally, we were able to pick him up and head to my mom’s house in Dallas, NC.
This is Dan’s first visit to Charlotte, so we wanted to show him a good time. The weather was looking a bit iffy that Monday, but we decided to try out the U.S. National Whitewater Center anyways. My mom and sister had to work, but David was able to join us for the fun. We tried one of the ropes courses (which was pretty scary for me at first!), whitewater rafting, and the zip line! It did thunder and rain a bit in the middle of the day, but we just waited it out and ate lunch during that time. I left my phone in the car, so I don’t have any pictures from the day.
Afterwards, we decided to go into downtown Charlotte for a Charlotte Knights Baseball game. Again the weather was looking iffy, but we lucked out and it did not rain until we were on our way home from the game!
Dan flew back to NY the next day (after Bojangles and a brewery stop, of course) and Hoch and I were able to run some more errands in preparation for the trip the rest of the week. We had some shopping to do and I needed to close out and transfer funds from my old bank account along with some other miscellaneous things. Wednesday we decided to cook dinner for everyone at my mom’s place. We tried this stuffed pork tenderloin recipe which was pretty delicious. I also got to hang out with this snuggle bug.
Thursday we decided to do something we had never done before. Shoot a gun! David has a few and so does our friend Norman. We went to Norman’s house (he owns a lot of land), set up some targets and received a lesson from Norman and David on safety and how to use a gun! It was definitely intimidating and scary, but I am glad we did it. Seriously the recoil on some of those guns is crazy, I kept trying not to close my eyes and just took long, deep breathes leading up to shooting.
David also took this video of me hitting one of the cans!
Afterwards, David, Hoch and I made it out to Alive after 5 at the Epicentre in downtown Charlotte. A few friends, Miller, Charlie and Holly met us out for some Thursday night fun. We ended up eating Libretto’s pizza and bowling at Strike City and Charlie ended up winning a really cool cooler!
Friday we slept in, ran some more errands and then picked up some burgers and sides to grill out at Stephanie and Jaisen’s house. Grandma and Wilson ended up coming into town for the weekend and we all ate dinner together. After dinner, Hoch and I headed into Charlotte to see Hannah! Hannah was my college and post-college roommate, one of my best friends, and she lives in Boston now. She was in town just for the evening and was flying back to Boston the next day. Some other good friends, Train, Greg, Walter and Holly also came out and we had a great time catching up with everyone. Unfortunately, I have no pictures of this evening (like I need any more in this post).
Saturday, I had planned a going away thing during the day at VBGB Beer Hall and Garden, but at the time did not realize there was also a wedding that evening that a lot of my friends were going to. We still decided to have it and ended up having a pretty decent turnout. Friends just stopped by through out the day to say hi when they could. It was a beautiful day as well. Here are a few pictures from the party (check out Stephanie’s post for more pics from this day!):
OK, if you’re still reading this, thanks for getting this far! We are currently driving back up to Baltimore to (you guessed it) eat some more fabulous food (AKA blue crabs!) and hang out with my aunt Delina and her family before we fly out to San Francisco on Tuesday.
And last but not least, I want to say Happy Mother’s Day to all those mothers out there, especially my mom, sister, grandmothers, aunts, and girlfriends. I love you all!
Until next post (I promise it will be shorter),