We recently returned from our week-long family vacation visiting my brother Sean and his beautiful family in Chapel Hill, North Carolina. It was just the trip to take before school starts and we have to get back into routine. The Chapel Hill/Durham/Raleigh area is truly amazing, and we had the best time. Here are a few photos of our family affair…
My brother thought it would be fun to have the kids start out their vacation with piñatas. He was right! You can tell this went over very well!
Chapel Hill smells like camp did when you were a kid…with the enormous pine trees seeping through the screened in porch.
Have you ever played cornhole? It’s very addictive! I found that drinking lime-a-ritas with my sister-in-law improved my game. My son (who loves corn dogs) misunderstood the name of the game and anytime someone would make it in the hole, he’d shout “corn dog!”
One of the most beautiful day trips we took was to the Museum of Life and Science in Durham. We spent a long time observing butterflies. We loved the Magic Wings Butterfly House most of all but visiting the “into the mist” at the end was probably the highlight for the kids. Mist is mysterious and magical…it also cooled us off!
My brother’s favorite hotel, The Carolina Inn is known as UNC’s living room. Built in 1924, it has been compared to Washington’s Mount Vernon and is a Tar Heels dream stay. It’s one of those places you wish that the walls could talk. The walls do talk with the many old photographs of celebrations and milestones covered all over the inn’s walls.
When my brother told my kids that they had an awesome pool we could walk to every day with a big slide and diving board they couldn’t wait…neither could my sister. I think a big slide turns everybody into a kid again.
Before touring UNC we ate at Top of the Hill. The lizard chips (sliced dill pickles and jalapeno chips fried in their house beer) were a hit at our table and so was the beer. Top of the Hill is a unique restaurant that has a full-time cask-conditioned ale program that you can watch while you eat. My son waved at the men brewing and got a friendly beer-sprayed hello back! He was thrilled!
My sister Paige and her boyfriend Steven also came with endless fun. What kid wouldn’t want to wear an animal mask?
My brother truly thought of everything to make sure our stay was fun-filled…board games, water balloons, toys… He even stocked the bar with Aperol to make my favorite cocktail.
The very best part of our trip was meeting my niece…smelling, squeezing and kissing her was the greatest!
Our last evening there the power went off and we played board games like hedbanz and Despicable Me Operation until it came back on. It’s always those things you think would make the vacation a disaster that actually end up making it the most memorable and fun. When the lights did come back on, my sister Paige decided to braid all the girl’s hair into crowns…the braided sisters!