It’s interesting, but I think I spent the better part of my 20s wanting to be somewhere else other than North Carolina. You see, I was born in North Carolina. I thought London, New York, or Hollywood would be the place I would want to call home.
In my 30s, I put those big city dreams behind me. I decided to make Raleigh, North Carolina, my home. As a Chapel Hill graduate, I was very familiar with Blue Heaven, but didn’t know a thing about the capital city.
Those were the foundation-building years for me in my new city. I married and started a family here in this city, but my personal life was so busy that I didn’t really soak up the true cultural atmosphere that the Triangle area offers its residents.
Sure, I ate in our local restaurants, but that was about it. The other times we were so consumed with nap schedules and feedings that our day was over by the time we figured out we had a short window actually to do something fun.
Never miss a local story.
But, now in my 40s, it is a different story. I often click my heels and declare that there is no place like home. I truly consider the Raleigh-Durham-Chapel Hill area my home now, and I’m so smitten with the area that I cannot imagine living anywhere else.
Seriously! I’m that much in love with the area.
It’s a great place to raise a family, and there is so much to do here. The choices for family activities are endless.
If a family sits around every weekend at home as couch potatoes, then it’s by their own choice. It’s certainly not because of a lack of things to do in the area.
Sometimes there is so much to do in the area that you feel guilty if you do want to be a couch potato one weekend.
Well, I take that back. I don’t feel guilty, but you don’t get any peace at home with two kids in the house, so you might as well get out and enjoy yourselves.
In just one weekend, we tackled the North Carolina State Fair and free concerts at downtown Raleigh’s Red Hat Amphitheater for a special family day. Raleigh’s children’s band, The Sandbox Band, opened the festivities for the free concerts.
Yes, I think you could call us Sandbox Band groupies. This is the second time we’ve seen the band in the span of a month. It’s just fun. The kids dance, burn off energy, and now that they are old enough to act decently in a good restaurant, we eat a very early dinner in downtown Raleigh. And that makes mommy very happy.
And you may gasp, but this past weekend was also my first time at the N.C. State Fair. I covered county fairs for many years as a TV Journalist and really had no desire to go to the State Fair to fight crowds, ride rides, and eat fattening fried foods after I got out of journalism.
But things change when you are a parent and your 6-year-old finally learns that there is a BIG FAIR in town.
Guess what? I’ve been missing out all these years. We had a blast, and we’re already talking about next year!
What’s your favorite activity in the Raleigh-Durham-Chapel Hill area? Let me know; I may have to experience it, too.