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It's a Family Affair: Chapel Hill, North Carolina

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 pines 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 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! 

Traveling in the company of those we love is home in motion. ~Leigh Hunt  

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Happy Birthday to my Tar Heel Dad!!

Happy Birthday Dad!!
FIJI, up for anything, athlete and more.

Last week my family visited my brother and his family in Chapel Hill, North Carolina. We all had the pleasure of walking in my Dad's footsteps visiting the campus where he got his undergrad at UNC Chapel Hill. It is a gorgeous campus full of history and TREES! 

My Dad proudly informed us that UNC was chartered in 1789 and opened its doors for students in 1795 as the nation’s first public university. UNC has earned a reputation as one of the BEST universities in the world. Holding majestic memories, he rarely goes a day without wearing Carolina blue. 

You can tell from these photographs why he has a love for trees AND that he had a great time! Even before my brother and his wife moved from Texas to North Carolina, my Dad made several trips there to visit his lifelong college friends.

I dated a Phi Gamma Delta in college at the University of Alabama for a while and loved it when my Dad met the guy...they did their secret FIJI handshake! 

My Dad walking my son up to his fraternity house to show him where his old room was. 

My brother and my children drinking from the Old Well (the most cherished drinking fountain in North Carolina). Legend has it that drinking from the Old Well the first day of classes will bring students good luck. It was some of the sweetest water I have ever tasted.
The UNC campus trees have survived the Union army's occupation during the Civil War, hurricane winds and ice storms. They are the treasures of the campus. 

My Dad took this picture of the South Building over forty years ago. It was such a good feeling to see him reminisce. 

Tar Heels on Hand,

To steal the Thunder from the Sky:
Then take our stand,
As every man does right by Blue and White,
We'll give the Tar Heels a Hand,
And cheer them on to do or die (Yeah!)
All of us are for U.N.C.
and you can betcha we're proud to be
the Tar Heels on Hand!

Happy Birthday to my Tar Heel Dad!! xx

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