Category Archives: Raleigh

A Bike Ride on Raleigh’s Neuse River Greenway

Neuse River Greenway

Jennifer and I are big fans of Raleigh’s greenway system but hadn’t yet explored the newly added Neuse River Greenway. This section is 28 miles in length from Falls Lake and goes all the way to the Wake/Johnston County line. You could actually keep going into Johnston County for a few more miles as they have added more greenway that connects to the Neuse River Greenway.

Naturally, this greenway follows the Neuse River and this Spring weekend had the perfect weather for a ride.

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There’s a section of the greenway that goes off the river path and weaves through some farmland. It a very unique, scenic section that probably nowhere else on the greenway system goes.

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Party Like a Rock Star

I went out Friday night with the girls. Dinner, drinks, dancing. Although some might use Girls’ Night Out to think nostalgically back upon other nights out, I am pleased to report that age has its perks. For example:

Dinner
21: Pizza in your dorm room or crappy apartment.
31: Tapas at a nice restaurant with your girlfriends.

Buying Drinks
21: You look for the specials and complain loudly about the “high” ($5) cost of a Red Bull and vokda.
31: $5? That’s cheap!

Solas, a club in Raleigh. Photo by Leo Suarez.

Solas, a club in Raleigh. Photo by Leo Suarez.

Dancing
21: Too shy.
31: Who cares what other people think? I want to shake it!

Drinking
21: Shots, shots and more shots, plus well liquor, cheap beer and no water.
31: A shot or two, top shelf liquor and water with everything so you won’t be hungover the next day.

Getting Hit On
21: Depends. Is he cute? Is he creepy?
31: Flattered! But sorry, guys, I’m taken.

The Night
21: Someone in the group ends up crying or vomiting in the bathroom. Or both.
31: Everyone ends up laughing and saying what a good time they had.

Getting Home
21: You can’t afford a cab, which results in A) waiting for one of you to sober up, B) calling someone and crossing your fingers that he/she isn’t also drunk, C) bumming a ride home from your new guy friend D) risking the drive yourself.
31: You take a cab and tip well. Or your sweet husband agrees to stay up and come get you. 🙂

The Next Day
21: You drag yourself out of bed in search of Bojangles or some other fast food.
31: Your husband brings you waffles in bed.

What would you add to this list?

Living Near The Greenway

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One really nice thing about our newest place near Five Points is how close it is to Raleigh’s Greenway. We’re literally a few hundred feet from a trail entrance and it is so easy to start a walk or bike ride from this point.

We’ve taken numerous walks, short and long, and because this trail, the Crabtree Creek Trail, is so central to the entire network we’ve been able to explore it in different directions. If you follow us on Runkeeper, you can see a great ride that’s mostly by greenway trails around Raleigh.

The Raleigh greenway is a real nice piece of Raleigh and in the next few years is going to be expanded even more. More than 100 miles of paved trails will exist by 2016.

Bring on more exploring!

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Moving: A Bittersweet Goodbye

I will miss so many things.

But not the cockroaches.

Leo and I are moving next week, leaving the first place we called home together. We’ve rented this small house for more than two and a half years and it many ways it feels like home. Here, we realized that yes, we were truly right for each other. Here, Leo hid a ring from me for a month, waiting for the right time to propose. Here, he got dressed in his tuxedo on our wedding day.

Our first house together. Photo by Leo Suarez.

Here, I walk 10 minutes to downtown, doing work at the courthouse, out of coffee shops and out of two offices I use. Here, he and I stroll the downtown streets in the evening, meet friends for dinner and drinks and never worry about who will drive or where to park. Here, we’re part of a community of downtowners, with whom we socialize, network and discuss Raleigh’s latest civic issues. Downtown is our “third place,” our home when we’re not at home.

I wish we could stay. I try to look at the good things about leaving. We leave behind cockroaches, who have survived chemical warfare for the past year despite my strongest and most strategic efforts. We leave behind an irritating neighbor. We will gain more space, upgrading from 860 square feet to more than 1,100. Our new apartment is right next to a greenway entrance, which means a new place to stroll and an easy place for my morning jogs.

We leave with a purpose: our new apartment is cheaper. With the extra rent money we save, we will reach our goal of a 20 percent house down payment around this time next year.

So we leave our first home with dreams of our future home.

A worthy sacrifice, I’d say.

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Finding My Inner Kermit

I have had two old license plates sitting in my trunk for months. Ok, years. Illinois – 2005. Tennessee – 2007. My boyfriend recently added an NC-2009 plate to that pile.  And when my sister moved here last week, she handed me one from Texas.

Time to recycle some metal!

I hated to throw those in a landfill, so I headed over to the license plate agency near my office.

“We don’t accept out of state plates,” she told me, handing three out of four back.

Really? You don’t want metal that can be recycled into new plates? She suggested I mail them back to the state where they sprung. Sure, I’m paying that postage.

I set off in search of a solution. And as Kermit says, It A’int Easy Being Green. I found a place that recycles scrap metal and pays you money for your items. Score!

The place is on Garner Road, not far from my downtown home. However, it’s on the less-than-nicer end of town. I arrived in gray capris, a black shirt and black high heels — having just come from a business meeting. That expression “sticks out like a sore thumb” doesn’t even cover it. Sticks out like a dressed up girl among a bunch of hard-working people wearing work boots, jeans and dirty T-shirts.

I stepped up to the scale, my meager offering looking sad compared to the prior refrigerator-sized loads. But he took them, weighed them, and in the end, I got $3.75 for my green efforts.

If you have some metal to recycle, check out Raleigh Scrap Metal Recycling.