A very quick jaunt through the “best city in America”

Just to clarify, I didn’t use quotations in the title out of snarkiness or anything. So if you were hoping for a biting skewering of Raleigh, North Carolina, sorry. I’m going to be nice today.

Last week, B and I realized that it was high time to take a little break from our Gopher Prairie-esque town and get the heck back to civilization for a day or so. We had planned on returning to Wilmington but when we both noticed that Raleigh, NC – home of UNC Chapel Hill and Duke University – had just been rated the Best City in America, we decided that we should check it out.

B and I are an easy pair to please. All it took was a visit to Whole Foods and the North Carolina Museum of Art to please us for the day. I realize that we are kind of lame to drive to a completely different city to visit Whole Foods, but guys, you have to understand how much we love this place. When we were semi-trapped in Memphis over the summer and got sick of trying to prepare meals in our parents’ kitchens – while they tried to prepare their meals at the exact same time – we got used to just going to Whole Foods and eating there.

And yeah, their prepared food is SO FLIPPING GOOD. Samosas to die for, amazing creamy kale salad, pizza, fantastic vegetarian baked goods. So we had lunch there in Raleigh despite the fact that there are doubtless many, many great local places in Raleigh where we could’ve dined. Oh well, next time (and there will be a next time!)

Then we went to the North Carolina Museum of Art which was FREE! Yaya! We love free things! It was a great museum with an interesting exterior and some cool outdoor art installations. Having spent two and a half weeks in Paris earlier in the year and probably ten percent of our entire vacation budget on repeat admission to some of the pricier museums of the world (Louvre, I’m looking in your direction), we had pretty much exceeded our museum spending for, oh, the next decade or so, so we were glad this fantastic museum was so economical for us.

It was kind of a bleak day weather-wise. Although the sun did come out for about five minutes, it was generally humid and cloudy, as it seems to have been for the last week and a half. Blech. (I wish fall would just come already! And people wonder why I miss Chicago.) However, I think that the dire-ness of the weather complemented this metal tree parked outside the museum.

I wish I had taken more pictures inside, but the battery on our camera went dead almost immediately after we arrived. Our camera seems to have a vendetta against us because almost every time we enter an art museum, its power source immediately depletes itself. (Ergo multiple trips to the Louvre while in Paris.)

However, we did get a shot of B and a Rauschenberg. There are about a trillion reasons why I think B is adorable and sweet, and one of them is his penchant for getting me to take pictures of him and pieces of art that he likes. He never asks me to take a picture of him for any other reason at all except for this. He just gets cute around art. I dunno.

When you first walk in the newer facility, there is a restaurant that is just kind of there. It was really echo-y and kind of distracting since it was packed, but once we moved on into the galleries, all was right again. The museum had a nice collection of modern and contemporary art. The galleries were very airy, naturally lit, and peaceful – all the things that make a me feel like I’m in my element when I visit museums.

One of the last artworks that I had a chance to snap before the camera died was this upside-down Mona Lisa “mosaic” made out of hundreds of spools of thread. You had to look through a crystal to make it upright.

I eventually started feeling extremely tired due to Bebe so we decided to depart for the homestead, but it was a great day in what seems to be a great town. We can’t wait to return and explore the city even more.

Actually, I just want to move there, but what’s new?


  1. The pic of crystal Mona Lisa is so cool!

    1. It was cool! This photo I took doesn’t do it justice!

  2. Raleigh is a cool town. I had to go there to get visa paperwork in order for Korea and totally took advantage of the free museums. Both the natural history museum and the natural science museum are free too, and they’re right across from each other, you should definitely check those out the next time you’re there!

Now you can hold the magic talking stick.

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