Tigers on The Road: Raleigh, NC

 

 

Taylor and I left for Raleigh, North Carolina last Friday to see the Tigers play NC State. We live about an hour and a half away from the Orlando airport, so we had to get up around 4am to make our 7am flight time. Thankfully, we have TSA Pre-Check and don’t need to worry about standing in line at security. TSA Pre-Check has been a lifesaver for us, especially because we fly out of a very populated airport! The line is always wrapped around and full of Disney Tourists with their multiple kids and strollers, so investing in TSA Pre-Check has been a lifesaver.

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This flight was special because we got to bring Maybelle! She has only flown one other time, and she was still a little puppy. She whined a little when we first took off, but after a few minutes she went to sleep. There were two little kids in the seats in front of us and they LOVED her. They kept turning around to check on her.

 

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Maybelle lives in Florida with us, so she wasn’t used to the cooler weather!

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Once we landed, we met up with our great friend Rachel and headed to her place to change for the Clemson game! I was shocked at how beautiful Raleigh was at this time of year. I’ve only visited the city one other time, and it was during late summer. I’ve never seen such beautiful leaves before in my life! If you love fall and all the colorful leaves, then you’re going to love this post because it’s jam packed with red, orange, and yellow!

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Like every other Clemson game, we tailgated with friends and family before the game started. The weather was much cooler for us Floridians, but we loved it!

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The NC State stadium is one of the best I’ve been too! It was smaller in size, but very clean. Their fans were ROWDY during the game, and the school did an amazing job at pumping up their fans.

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This was such a close game, which made things tense. NC State put up a good fight, and we barely pulled out a win.

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Once the game was over, we stopped at Cookout (because we can only get this when we’re in the area) and we crashed back at Rachel’s. The following morning we went to the State Farmer’s Market for breakfast.

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If you’re in Raleigh and need a good breakfast/lunch place, the State Farmer’s Market is the place to go! The line was out the door when we got there, but we only had to wait an hour for a table. It looked extremly busy from the outside!

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Our Server, Daniel, was so good to us and made the wait enjoyable. He brought us biscuits and hush puppies, while keeping our coffee full.

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Taylor enjoyed seeing all of his friends!

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Once we were done eating, we walked through the Farmer’s Market.

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We don’t get all the colorful leaves in Florida, so I made Taylor take a picture of me with the leaves.

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The face of pure happiness ūüôā

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Once we got back from the State Farmer’s Market, we checked in on the pup and took her for a long walk. We were driving back up the following weekend, so we left Maybelle with Taylor’s mom for the week. This way we didn’t have to buy her another plane ticket.

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We sat around on Sunday afternoon, thinking about what we wanted to do during the day, and we decided to grab some coffee at Cocoa Cinnamon, then walk around the gardens at Duke.

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Walking through the gardens was the best way to spend a Sunday afternoon. The weather was perfect and the grounds were breathtaking. It was a relaxing Sunday and we were glad to see Duke’s campus!

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Going to the gardens and walking around Duke was the best decision we made on Sunday! It was difficult choosing which photos to use for this post, because they were all so beautiful.

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To end the night, we drove into the city and ate dinner at Trophy Brewing Co with Rachel and Ben. We were flying out early the next morning, so we needed something quick and filling.

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They had indoor and outdoor seating available, and the service was quick but relaxed.¬†It wouldn’t make sense for us to travel somewhere and not order some pizza, so that’s what we did! I ordered the Margarita and Taylor split the Most Loyal with Rachel and Ben.

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I’m so glad we travelled to Raleigh to see Clemson play and meet up with friends and family. It can be exhausting living in Florida with all the heat and humidity, so this was a nice break from it all. ‚̧

 

Rough Ridge Mountain

Summer is in full swing down here in the south! I love summer because there are so many ways to spend the¬†day after being cooped up all winter long. One of my favorite¬†ways to spend my time outdoors, is by going for a hike!¬†Not only is it free, but it’s also a great way to get your body moving, while enjoying some fresh air.

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My friend Lacie and I decided to drive to Boone, North Carolina on a beautiful Saturday morning so we could hike the Rough Ridge trail. Before we left, we stopped for coffee and walked through the market in Hickory.

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We each ended up buying a bundle of lavender and Lacie bought a bouquet of flowers for her apartment!

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Can you believe this entire bouquet was only $12!?! It was so heavy too!

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The drive up the Blue Ridge Parkway is always stunning. Currently, everything is super lush and green and in full bloom! They say the best time to visit the parkway is in the fall when all the leaves are changing colors.

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The Rough Ridge trail¬†is just under a mile long each way and is one of the Parkway’s¬†most popular! You’ll immediately understand why once you make it to the top.

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This was a simple trail and I would recommend it to anyone looking for a light hike. Most of the trail is shaded by trees, which is a saving grace in the middle of June.

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At some points, you will have step up onto some large rocks, so if you have any knee problems this may not be for you. Because this trail is so popular, they’ve added steps in some areas to make it a little easier.

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For me, there is something so rewarding about making it to the top of a mountain and taking a moment to appreciate the view.

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I can’t wait to spend the rest of the summer exploring new trails along the Parkway!

ACC Championship & NASCAR

This past weekend, Taylor really wanted to travel up to Raleigh, North Carolina for the ACC Baseball Championship game because Clemson was playing against Florida State. He also wanted to drive to Charlotte to see the Coca Cola 600 Race…so we did both!

It was a VERY long day! We left the house at 6am Sunday morning in order to make it to Raleigh on time for the baseball game. We also picked up two of his friends along the way! Raleigh was experiencing really bad weather so we were nervous that they would cancel the game as we were driving up. Thankfully, they just delayed the game an hour, which worked out fine.

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thumbnail_IMG_3342We were able to purchase 4 tickets under the awning! Although we were able to stay dry, it was still hot and humid.

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This was one of the best baseball games we’ve ever been to because Clemson was playing SO well against Florida State. By the fourth inning, the score was¬†18 to 1. We even made it on TV!

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Due to a downpour of rain, they had to delay the game for almost 2 hours. Since we wanted to see the race later that evening, we couldn’t stay to finish the game.

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On our way to Charlotte, we stopped for some Chipotle! YUM!

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The drive was a little over two hours because we had to stop and pick up our tickets. Taylor bought 4 from someone off of Craigslist.

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Since we arrived about 20 minutes before the race started, we didn’t hit any traffic. AND Taylor found us FREE parking right at the entrance because the ladies managing the lot were about to leave when we pulled in. The lot was normally $30. Taylor is the best at finding great parking spots…just like my dad!

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For the race, you were aloud to bring one cooler or backpack per person into the stadium. Your cooler couldn’t be larger than 14 x 14 x 14, so Tay picked one up from Target the day before.

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I was not prepared for how loud the race would actually be! About 100 laps in, Taylor went and bought me some earplugs because my eardrums felt like they were going to explode.

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Surprisingly, the race went really smoothly and there were no major wrecks. This made the laps fly by!! We ended up leaving around 10:30pm because we were exhausted from the day and wanted to beat traffic.

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With Clemson winning the ACC Championship and then watching my very first NASCAR race, I would say it was a successful day!!