Published: August 17th 2010December 24th 2009
Predictably, a snowstorm has caused me a terrible delay in my winter getaway. I was supposed to leave Chicago for Raleigh last December 23rd, but was given another boarding pass for the next day. Well, better delayed than sorry!
Maret picked me up from the Raleigh airport which is very small! I realize how huge Chicago airports were. In the same day, we went grocery shopping for ingredients. We have spectacular dishes to bring for that night's Christmas Eve: Seafood Paella
and Brazo de Mercedes
. The last thing missing was an electric mixer so I can make the meringue for the Brazo de Mercedes
. But despite a visit to a few superstores, there was not one available! I repeat, there was not one available!?!?! They practically ran out of electric mixers! Unbelievable! So I whipped the meringue by hand. I remember doing the same thing last year in New York, but atleast I had my sister to share the whipping task.
Christmas Day - Driving in the storm, again!
What an unusual way to spend Christmas Day. We were on the road for a 5 hour drive to Washington, DC. It would be Maret's first
time, and my second time. What else? We did not bother to check the weather so Maret was driving in the storm! All 5 hours, it was raining so hard! Her coworker Gary had plans of driving to another state too, but when he learned about the storm, he cancelled his plans. Us? Well... we are too stubborn and too carefree when we get together! Hahaha! We had a blast though. I love how we spent the time just chatting and bonding. Ofcourse, I am a good driver's co-pilot. I never sleep!
We checked in at a good hotel which I learned how to book for at Hotwire, thanks to Maret. Now, I'm a fan too. Our tour around Washington DC was uneventful except for lunch at Ben's Chili Bowl, a popular hotdog and chili place. It was cloudy and drizzling. We drove around and Maret didn't find it easy following the crazy signs. The streets are confusing! I didn't help drive, and I wasn't a good use of a navigator too! I admire Maret for her patience, her humor, and how she handles stressful situations like that. Even that long drive in the rain from Raleigh -- she's
so cool with it.
We left DC and passed by Falls Church, Virginia where we decided to have dinner at Eden Center, a popular Vietnamese-Town which Anthony Bourdaine visited.
Back in Raleigh
Back in Raleigh, back to many many trees. I really have nothing to say about Raleigh. I can't say anything about it's character. Maybe I just haven't seen enough of it, or maybe Maret and I just didn't know where to go to experience what Raleigh is about. But as of this writing, Raleigh is nothing but a patch of a city with so much land and trees. But I had fun watching Avatar again. The unusual part though was when everyone in the theater clapped their hands at the end of the movie! Oh my gosh!!!
Oh, they have Saffron, a decent Indian restaurant. I would go back there if I had the chance.
We went to Carolina Premium Outlets at Smithfield, NC where everyone speaks with a southern accent!
There are more photos below