Flowers at the NC Museum of Art

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The glorious flower fields are in bloom at the NC Museum of Art! The NCMA is one of our very favorite spots in all of Raleigh, and though the museum itself is still closed, the spacious parks, greenways, and fields are wide open for use. We go to the NCMA all the time, and in more normal times, we love visiting the art museum, taking visitors from out of town here, and enjoying movies in the park on summertime weekends. Thankfully, we can still enjoy the copious amounts of outdoor space, and the NCMA was our very first destination in mid-July when we finally left our neighborhood.

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Last summer, the NCMA planted thousands of sunflowers, and it was the perfect spot to enjoy the bright blooming sunflowers away from too many crowds (as opposed to Dorothea Dix Park, which I adore but was so much more crowded!). It felt like our own secret sunflower field when we went a couple times last summer!

This summer, we’ve enjoyed a few long walks around the greenways and paths, and we’ve been anxiously awaiting any blooms in the flower fields. I was so, so pleased to see that the NCMA planted not only sunflowers but zinnias and cosmos, as well! The colorful, towering flower fields are a sight to behold and such a beautiful burst of color. I adore sunflowers in the summertime (and has been hoping we’d get to see some this summer), and cosmos are a lofelong favorite flower, as they always remind me of my grandpa, since he had an abundance of cosmos in their garden every summer. Seeing the vibrant cosmos and zinnias juxtaposed with the yellow, orange, and red sunflowers just takes your breath away and is even more impressive in person!

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We have gone a couple times already over the past two weeks, and I can’t recommend a trip enough! It feels so good to get some fresh air, admire such simple and sweet beauty, go for a walk, and bonus: it has been so, so quiet and empty when we’ve gone! When we went for the first time, there was one other person in the entire field, and he was still at least a hundred yards away. Butterflies were flitting around everywhere, which makes it even more magical. Bring a picnic to enjoy in the spacious park, put on your running shoes, take your dog for a walk, and enjoy some time in beautiful nature… just minutes from downtown Raleigh!

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You can easily find the flowering fields when you arrive to the NC Museum of Art. Basically, find the main walking paths that lead down the big hill by the open fields. There are the three towering terracotta-colored rings (we jokingly call them onion rings), and the flowering fields are just past the three massive rings down to the right. You can’t really miss it!

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Fall 2017 To-Do List

September is here, which means Fall is just around the corner! I have long adored making seasonal to-do lists (my summer 2017 + fall 2015, fall 2014, fall 2013 to-do lists!), and this year in clearly no exception! It’s our first married fall, and we’ve really excited to embrace ime here in town to seek out new adventures, explore our area, revisit old favorites, and soak up all this season has to offer.

Fall is definitely one of my favorite times of the year, and there is much to look forward to with the changing seasons. I adore the crisp air and crunchy leaves, the vibrant trees and leaves, anything and everything pumpkin and apple, constantly being outside enjoying the season, wearing scarfs and boots and layers again, festivals and fairs, trips to the mountains…

Fall 2017 Checklist

  • visit the mountains for a getaway weekend and see the fall foliage
  • go apple picking
  • visit a pumpkin patch or two
  • host a chili & cornbread dinner party
  • host a blind wine tasting party
  • go to an Oktoberfest and/or the NC state fair
  • visit a winery, cidery, or brewery (or all three)
  • go hiking amongst the autumn leaves
  • make “thankful” treats for friends & family for Thanksgiving
  • celebrate Thanksgiving in Charlotte with my side of the family
  • bake an apple or pumpkin recipe from Southern Living
  • make mulled red wine

Whew! I think that’s more than enough to include on this year’s edition of my annual Fall Checklist! We are so lucky to live in an area that has so many fun activities going on, and I love getting out an exploring new-to-us areas and events, seeking out adventures, and spending time with loved ones.

What are you most looking forward to this autumn? Do you have anything new you’re itching to check out or try? And if you have any local favorites (in the Triangle of NC), you know I’m all ears to hear more suggestions and ideas!

If you want to host a fall dinner party or cook my favorite fall recipes or throw a chili + cornbread party – then don’t miss these wonderful posts from years past!

NC Mountain Weekend Getaway

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One weekend in August, the stars magically aligned (or, well, our calendars) and we were able to escape to the mountains of North Carolina for a weekend getaway with many of our close friends. Six married couples, four babies/toddlers, and one mountain house = an incredibly relaxing, fun weekend with lots of laughter and new memories!

Here’s a peek at our weekend in the mountains, if you’d like to see…

We ate lots of Mexican food, went star gazing in the middle of nowhere late at night and saw a million stars, rode horses, waded in a mountain stream, ate a picnic lunch, had lots of great conversations, played cards and chess, enjoyed the hot tub on the deck, drank margaritas, played with adorable babies and toddlers, laughed a whole lot, ate a traditional Romanian breakfast, stared endlessly at this stunning vista, and enjoyed the rustic mountain life. It was blissful and happy!

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I’m so very grateful for these wonderful people and our friendships with them! And a huge thanks to the Senters for opening up their family home to all of our for the weekend.