Taking Time to Smell the Roses….Sort Of

If you read yesterday’s post, you know I’m fighting a summer cold.  I don’t want to belabor the point, but I remind you of this so you can understand why I had much more trouble than usual getting moving yesterday morning….and I did!

I woke up between 8 and 9, but felt absolutely ghastly.  I thought about spending the day in bed, ordering soup from room service and feeling sorry for myself; but that thought was fleeting because I’m in a new place and there is much exploring to be done!

So I indulged my inner child and stayed in bed long enough to write yesterday’s post and watch a few episodes of NCIS, but then I got up and decided I’d try to sweat the cold out.  I threw on some workout gear and a baseball hat, brushed my teeth and headed out in search of a nice, safe neighborhood to take a walk and gawk at southern-style houses.

I decided to try the North Hills area, which was a short drive from our hotel.  I explored the area and finally decided on a beautiful neighborhood called Reedham Oaks.  Since there was nowhere safe to park in the neighborhood, I found a nearby church with an empty lot, parked the car and walked from there.  It wasn’t too hot and although there was rain in the forecast I had time to get in some steps and sweat out some of this cold.

While I was walking I listened to a podcast that Jeff and I recently discovered.  It’s called Marriage to the Max (MTTM) and is about healthy marriage – something to which Jeff and I certainly aspire!!!  Not that we have an unhealthy marriage; but anyone who has been married for 24 years (last week was our anniversary – happy anniversary, baby) understands that if you aren’t working toward improving your marriage, you may be giving satan a foothold.  I find MTTM very informative and encouraging.  There are some ouchy moments listening to it, but those are the moments I really need to pay attention and adjust my course.

I worked up a good sweat and a little bit of an appetite, so I started to head back to the car.  And incidentally, it was just in time as it began to sprinkle as I was making my way back to the church parking lot.  Next stop, Target.  Our cooler leaked on the way down so I wanted to replace it and I thought I’d pick up something other than the Sudafed I’d been taking since Saturday night – since it didn’t seem to be helping.

My quick stop at Target included a brief conversation with the pharmacist, who – after asking about my symptoms – steered me toward a quick release, extra-strength pain reliever rather than the Sudafed. And boy was she right.  I feel oh so much better taking the pain reliever rather than the Sudafed.

The long walk and shopping trip to Target turned ‘my bit of an appetite’ into a ‘wow, I could east something substantial.’  Knowing that Jeff was having dinner out I decided to get some takeout to bring back to the room so I could eat in comfort and then get a shower.  I opted for The Cowfish Sushi Burger Bar.  Although I love sushi, it was not calling to me in the moment, but a burger was.  Sitting in the Target parking lot, I pulled up The Cowfish menu online and began the difficult task of choosing a burger from their extensive list of burgerliciousness.

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After much deliberation, I opted for the The Local Yokel.  The menu describes The Local Yokel as follows:

“Half-pound beef burger.  Goat Lady Dairy goat cheese, fresh basil, fried cherry peppers, Abbott Farms F.R.O.G. (fig, raspberry, orange, ginger) jam reduction, brioche bun.  Choice of side.”

I used ChowNow (an online ordering system) to order my food and then put The Cowfish into Waze and navigated the late-afternoon traffic to The Cowfish.  I parked in their convenient 10 minute parking and waited for my food at the bar.  In no time, my order was ready and I was on my way back to the hotel.

I dug into my food and was treated to a taste explosion.  The beefy burger was nicely balanced with the tanginess of the goat cheese, the slight sweetness of the F.R.O.G. and the occasional spiciness of the peppers.  The fries were well seasoned and, had I not transported my meal for 15 minutes, would likely have been just the right crispness. I must confess, I was so hungry when I got back to the hotel that I didn’t take any pics of the food…….so sorry!

After I ate, I decided that I didn’t want to be holed up in a hotel room for the remainder of the evening so I set off for the JC Raulston Arboretum at N.C. State.  Parking was easy and there is no admission per se – but donations are appreciated. And you’ll want to make a donation when you see how pretty the grounds are.

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I wandered through the arboretum for about an hour – taking this windy path and then that.  And as I wandered, I realized it is true what THEY say….”not all who wander are lost.”  It was so relaxing just soaking in the beauty of nature.  After walking the grounds, I took some time to sit on a glider near a lovely fountain wall and listen to the water as I watched the evening light change my surroundings by degrees.  Evening light is my favorite – it’s golden and what I call “juicy.”  At this point in the post, I wish I could tell you about the epiphany I had or the philosophical thoughts that went through my mind; but in truth I enjoyed a few moments of NOT thinking.

Finally, as the light began to change from golden and juicy to fading, I made my way back to the hotel and to a well-deserved, much-needed shower.  Although it had felt good to sweat out some of the yuck, it felt even better to wash it away and slip into clean pj’s.  By the time I was done drying my hair, Jeff was returning from his dinner and we spent some time talking about our respective days and just enjoying one another’s company.

I got my pics into yesterday’s post and published it.  And I got my pics ready for this post too – even though I hadn’t written it.  Then we climbed into bed with our books.  I pretended to read for about 5 minutes and gave into the heaviness of my eyelids.  I don’t know how long Jeff stayed up and can only assume he left this morning around 7:15 a.m. since I wasn’t up to say goodbye (sorry honey).  But I did get up around 9:00 and got ready for my day.  First stop, BREW….stay tuned for more!

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