Weekend in NC

Here’s a recap of our weekend in NC visiting my parents in Hillsborough and sneaking away for an overnight in Durham! 

It has been decided: we need to take more weekend trips to NC! This past weekend we went to visit my parents in Hillsborough and the boys had a blast!

Dad had a hip replacement a little more than two weeks ago, so we went to give him some family healing. He is doing great and walking with a cane. He can’t bend to pick up kids, but kids can climb onto his lap! 

Friday in Hillsborough

We arrived on Friday afternoon after a 3 hour drive down. 

Mazen brought all of his North Carolina-themed clothes – Hillsborough and Eno River shirts. 

Dinner hour

Mom gathered food from Strong Arm Baking Co. who she knows from their farmer’s market. We had Summer Tomato Pie and Mac and Cheese – plus rolls and kale salad. And rosé!

Cake Tins from Cville

And I surprised her with dessert!

Cake tins from Caked-Up Cville!

She LOVED them! Red Velvet, B-day, and Oreo Chocolate! 

Daffy Snuggles

Mazen and Birch had a lot of fun playing with Aunt Laura’s duck collection, the biggest of the bunch being Daffy! She came to tuck in Thomas :mrgreen:  

The boys played hard all weekend!

Grammie has unlimited vintage toys that came out one after another. 

Oatmeal + Rainy Day Breakfast

Blue Apron Appearance!

Mom has been ordering Blue Apron for a while (the plan with 2 meals per week) and she raved about the new add-ons. The add-on servings were perfect for her and dad to stretch their meals. She loved the green beans side and this Spiced Peach Crumble. I haven’t tried their desserts yet, and I need to! There’s a new promo that launched this week: 14 free meals or $110 off across your first boxes. 

Thomas and I left the boys playing hard and headed down tobacco road to Durham! 

Overnight in Durham, NC

Thomas had never been to Durham before and was excited to explore the Bull City. 

Unscripted Hotel

We stayed at the Unscripted Hotel which had Jonathan Adler prints all over and a cool rooftop pool (that we never had time to get in!). It was a bit more “party pad” than “romantic getaway” but we still enjoyed our stay. Our main complaint was just that we didn’t bring earplugs because a group of drunk guys thought 3AM was a good time to have a battle of the bands drumming contest right outside of our window :/ Not the hotel’s fault, but note the location was very lively! 

Downtown Walk

After settling in, we dressed for dinner and went for a walk downtown. The cloudy skies were a bit of a bummer, but we were actually very thankful for temps in the 70s so we could stroll nearly sweat free!

We walked to the Durham Bulls stadium – an icon of my childhood! So much so that if you look in the Snorting Bull square you’ll see my name engraved into a brick!

Well-weathered after 20+ years!

We saw teams warming up and almost bought tickets for later. We can’t wait to take the kids to a game. 

American Tobacco

Our walk continued through the American Tobacco warehouses. 

kath at American Tobacco

kath at American Tobacco

The Rooftop

At 5:00 we went to the Rooftop of the Durham Hotel to meet two of my best friends from high school (and middle and elementary school…!) Becca and Lydia. We had drinks and great views!


If you’re wondering if we are worried about Delta, the answer is most definitely. My friends are vaccinated too, and we sat apart from each other outdoors. Thomas and I also wore masks all weekend whenever we were walking through our hotel or indoor areas. Lots of other people did too, luckily, including all of our servers. 

Dinner at Counting House

Becca recommended Counting House for dinner in the 21C hotel. It’s part museum, part restaurant, part hotel! 

The Bathrooms

Mom could not stop telling us about the bathrooms, which have windows for walls until you lock the door and they go opaque. I love the creativity! (Thomas may have had a user error making his go opaque – we aren’t sure if anyone saw him go but I definitely saw him wash his hands from our table – eek!) 

The tiger above our table was surrounded in swarming bees and lit up with a flash!

9 > 6

The restaurant had 9-ounce pours of wine, which I thought was so smart! It was also perfect for me since one glass usually goes down too fast and I want a second glass with my entrée, but if I’ve also had a cocktail hour glass then we are getting into the “too many” zone. All that to say: a 9-ounce pour was perfect, and this Zinfandel was outstanding. 

Summer Salad

We shared a huge summery salad to start with shaved manchego and peaches. 

Pasta Cravings

I rarely order pasta in restaurants, for a number of reasons. But this evening I was totally craving a warm pasta dish, and this Rigatoni with Vodka Sauce and Chicken Sausage totally hit the spot. Thomas also rarely orders pasta, and his creamy corn and bacon pasta was equally as good!

Cotton Candy!

We were surprised with this lovely puff of cotton candy with our check. It had been years since I had fresh cotton candy! 

The Future is Female

We browsed through the Future Is Female art exhibit after dinner.

And ended the night with these local treats from the urban market across the street!

Breakfast at Jack-Tar

After the previously mentioned poor night’s sleep, we woke up over strong Counter Culture coffee and the world’s biggest pancakes! (Which we shared along with the world’s smallest omelet….)

‘Twas a beautiful, crisp morning!

Back to Hillsborough

I found Grammie on a walk with the boys looking for copperheads! Looks like they found one! (Also lest you think Mazen wore the same shirt all weekend, Grammie did laundry on Saturday – haha!) 

I think they played so hard they were totally worn out. 

We said goodbye and headed home! It was a lovely short weekend in NC, and we are ready to go back and do and see more soon : )