family in NC

As if it wasn’t fun enough getting a whole week up in VA with my mom and sister, then I got them down here with me in NC! Mom to visit, Malindi to STAY!

We began with a festive meal at Top of the Hill, where the views of Chapel Hill are splendid (we ate outside on the patio that overlooks Franklin Street). We decided to embrace the South and order fried pickles to share 😀 They were grand.

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Then we spent the next few days alternating tedious activities and super fun activities. See if you can guess which was which!

  • waiting for Malindi to get a driver’s license
  • waiting for Malindi to get interviewed for a job (which she got! yay!)
  • waiting for Malindi to register her car
  • waiting for Malindi to get fingerprinted for the new job
  • raiding Target for furniture and hooks and so on
  • hauling furniture and hooks and so on to Malindi’s new apartment
  • unloading things in Malindi’s new apartment
  • assembling furniture in Malindi’s new apartment

(JK those were the tedious things. I bet you got that!)

Then there was… going to Goat House cat refuge and playing in A PILE OF KITTENS! The Kitten Cabana is pretty out of control this time of year. When I took this picture I was slacking.

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They like attention. This one was BEST FRIENDS with Malindi!
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I spent a lot of time in one corner, because there was a kitten with tummy troubles who’d been placed in quarantine but she was all miserably, “PEEEEEEEET MEEEEEEEE!” so I had to tend to her. Then there was a kitten huddled in the corner looking miserable and sniffly, so I went and told the staff there that there was a sick kitten. And then I discovered that they didn’t speak English so we had a fun back and forth in Spanish and miming and so on where they conveyed to me I should put him in one of the quarantine cages with two of the other kittens, and I picked him up and he gave me such a nice cuddle, and then I put him in the other cage and he looked relieved and happy to be with his friends and away from all the stimulation of the mob of kittens out on the floor. Little love.

We also ate a lot of great meals at all my faves including

  • Brunch at Guglhupf
  • Sandwiches at Sandwhich
  • Sushi at Sushi Nikko
  • Lucha Tigre (actually at that point I had a weird stomach bug so Malindi and mom did that without me)
  • Monuts Donuts (again, mom and Malindi went without me, which is both a tragic and ultimately better-for-my-health fact. Though my mother is insane and ordered a salad at Monuts. Though she did say it was delicious.)
  • My favorite tea house which I’m actually starting to get scared to tell people about because it’ll get crowded and ruined
  • Brunch at Elmos
  • (Local) meaty dinner at Venable (Malindi was settled in her new apartment and my mom was staying for one more night at my place so we did that without Malindi)

With this trip I think I can officially say I have shared all my current favorite places with mom and/or Malindi. Yay food 😀

And I also did a little cooking, and on Friday night I hosted a party with so many of my friends! I wanted everyone to meet my mom and welcome my sister to town. I was tickled pink when I invited some of Steve’s buddies and they actually came. We played Celebrity and ate good food and talked and laughed.

Once we’d zoomed through the frenetic activity of the week, we got to enjoy a weekend at the beach!

We stopped at the most beautiful rest stop in the history of rest stops:

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Seriously, there was a plaque that this rest stop had won North Carolina rest stop awards. (Though none of them first place, so somewhere there is a rest stop even nicer than this!)

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Then it was time to hang out with my friend, the ocean.

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Someone told me this summer to enjoy the beach, not the ocean. So I did. Long walks and selfie taking.

Gah it was so great to have the whole family together!

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We met my cousin in Wilmington and swapped amusing stories with her five year old daughter (<3<3). The view where we had dinner was RAWTHER nice.

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Then a pit stop back at my place and my mom went back on her way :,( But my sister is here to stay! More fun things, I’m sure, to come!

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fun at home

After my NC staycation, I headed back to my family home. We had MANY THINGS TO CELEBRATE!

  • My sister’s imminent move and job prospects (she has subsequently been offered and accepted an Americorps position, yay!)
  • My mothers new job (!!!)
  • Me surviving my internship and thus completing my first year of grad school!

It was REAL NICE being able to recharge. The last few weeks of the internship had been a little cray… due to problems of an interpersonal nature that it’s pointless and nonconstructive for me to rehash on the Internet. I’m all about being constructive these days.

So, I was really happy with the constructive activities I did with my time!

I hung out with family members.

I worked on my South Africa self-created curriculum (though truthfully a lot of the books were so depressing it’s been hard for me to keep going).

I worked out.

I hung out with my old high school friends, and we talked about their BABIES! And hung out with little Owen 😀

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I watched the entire Lord of the Rings trilogy with my sister.

I got my awesome cat baked.

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A highlight was all going out for a dinner to celebrate the aforementioned good things (particularly since mom finished her last day at work! After working, a conservative estimate, 70 hours over the week).

So, uh, funny story: I went to look up the menu of the lovely restaurant where we ate this lovely meal… and discovered they had abruptly and mysteriously closed like a week later. Whatttt?! Guess I’ll have to drudge up from memory a proper description of what we had!

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Smoked tuna dip with squid ink baguette.

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Grilled apricots, mm. They had this stuff that was bacon-y but not bacon (I forget what it was actually made of) and lots of other… things… on it.

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Grilled octopus with a lot of lemon peel on top of what I want to say was cauliflower puree.
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And the special, and the highlight of the meal, SOFTSHELL CRABS WOOHOO! I love softshell crabs and almost never get to eat them. There were three to this order- perfect! One for my mom, one for my sister, and one for me. The crab was served on this INCREDIBLE corn and lima bean succotash that contained a ton of butter and a secret, delicious and tangy ingredient- capers!

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Finally, the most creamy and decadent creamed corn in the land.

Then I got in my car to go back down to NC… but I brought my mom and my sister with me! My mom to visit, my sister to LIVE! YAY!