Welcome to Raleigh, NC

I was heading to Raleigh for work, which is a typical theme for my travel. I was pretty excited since this was my first trip ever to the state of North Carolina – let’s just say I checked another state off my bucketlist!

It’s very green and reminds me of the Ozarks except there are a lot more pine trees than can I find in the Ozarks. We have mostly hard woods. Traffic is atrocious depending on the time of day so just be prepared but in comparison to LA it’s nothin’. Why is it bad? Raleigh is part of the triangle which is made of of Durham and Chappel Hill as well. Lots of people moving between three of them heading to and from work. We of course land right at the best time to catch rush hour! Google maps and I chatted many times about her total lack of knowledge of traffic flow. Pretty sure the bitch lied a couple of times. That’s what me and my other road dog thought anyway and we’re sticking to it.

Since I was there for a competition and work took up lots of my time I’m going to sum it up rather than go day by day. You really don’t need to see the inside of the convention center for the days I was there – this is a travel blog not a convention center blog. I do have some fantastic foodie delights to share and I’m pretty exicted about those so lets get this party started.

We had a team building activity the required everyone to load up on a bus with a Tobacco Trail Tour Guide. The day I was with him he was amusing but I heard reports back that he turned into an ass on another. Maybe that’s part of his comedy routine – going to suggest he change that part quickly. Bless his pea pickin’ heart. 

We arrived at Deep River Sporting Clay’s to do some skeet shooting. We were in hog heaven. I did terrible because I don’t normally  shoot moving objects. Snakes tend to be coiled up waiting which is perfect. Sorry for the snake lovers but I’m shooting it.

I had some foodie finds that I recommend highly:

The Cowfish – it’s a fusion of Japanese and American. So good! We took time out to go celebrate my birthday at this place! I would definitely come back. Loved the sushi!!! The atmosphere is festive and unique so it’s a fun place day or night!

The Second Empire – it’s amazing. In an old home near the convention center. It is beautiful inside and out. The food is exceptional. My first course was pork belly and scallops – AMAZING! Entre was lamb chops with a casserole. My first time ever to eat lamb chops and they didn’t disappoint. Medium rare is the way to go. I also taste tested my neighbors duck confiet…it was my favorite. It melted in your mouth. It would’ve been rude to take his dish and eat my own…really. I had the Empire Chocolate Souffle for dessert and it was another first for me. It was so pretty I didn’t want to eat it but I did!

The Angus Barn – delicious steak! There are a few unique things about this place. You must check out the bathroom it’s amazing. It’s the best looking barn I’ve ever seen in a bathroom setting. They also have a beautiful wine cellar that you can get a tour of as well. Remember no touching – only look!

Fun times with some great folks!

Circa 1888 – A great little bar that used to be a depot for the railroad. Beautifully refurbished with a patio area outside and a billard tables that will keep you hanging out for hours inside.

Mostly food because I was so busy working, but food and drink should be considered nectar of the gods!

-G.

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Cruising Taneycomo

My job provides some fun experiences and this was one of those opportunities. After a long day of meetings we all loaded up on the Princess to cruise up and then back down Lake Taneycomo. It’s a small lake that sits between Table Rock Lake and Bull Shoals. Because it’s so small and the water coming off of Table Rock it stays cold all year long. I’ve actually taken a boat ride up the Bull Shoals Lake to where the water spills over from Taneycomo. Brrrrrr comes to mind but we all jumped in and took a quick dip. I will not call it a swim because it didn’t last that long. Obviously not this trip but when the water is high on Bull Shoals it makes for an interesting day out on the lake.

It was a beautiful evening and as we went down to board the fountains were shooting up sprays of water. Just had to capture the moment.

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This was a dinner cruise that was being catered so no great foodie find. The meal was good but it was the views that really captured your attention. The water was pristine, big fluffy white clouds in the sky, plus the reflection on the water equals amazing!

I just couldn’t resist snapping a few pics as we moved up the lake. The scenery is so classic of the Ozarks.

 

We finally got to a turning around point and as we were coming back you could see an open field behind a stand of trees. It’s right at dusk so there were several deer in the glen. It was so peaceful looking just made for a relaxing end to the day.

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As we were coming into the dock I stepped out the back door and took this pic. Just thought the water churning and the low light made a beautiful shot. If you are in Branson and want something fun and relaxing definitely take a ride on the Princess. You can find her on the Branson Landing.

Here I am with one of my besties! We had fun cruising up and down the lake. Great end to a long day!

-G.