Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Gone to Carolina in My Mind...

I love so much about the east coast and the southern U.S. I love the heat, the culture (everyone is polite!), the food, the music, the history and the football. So last week was incredible - I flew back to North Carolina for 5 days of fabulous family time! It doesn't happen often that me, my brother, sister and parents are all under one roof.  My sister flew in from Chicago, my brother drove up from Greenville and he brought his wonderful fiance with him, Silvia. They are getting married in October and she is the perfect match for John - and I could not imagine welcoming a kinder, sweeter and such down-to-earth person into our family. We had a little McKenna shower for her, which was great, since I live so far away and can't make it to a lot of wedding activities.

I feel so lucky to have had even just a long weekend with everyone, it was fantastic!

I flew in to Greensboro and got one-on-one time with my my mom, which was awesome. My parents love the mountains and recently built a new cabin in West Jefferson, NC (in the Blue Ridge Mountains), and I hadn't seen it yet so I begged her to bring me up there. It was amazing!! They named it "Carolina GEM," the GEM stands for Gerard, Elizabeth and Meredith, all of the kids' middle names. It's no secret I'm not a nature girl, but the area is spectacular - great, breathtaking view, and such a quiet, peaceful area. Happy hour on the back  deck with my mom was the perfect way to kick off the long weekend :)

We made our way back to Chapel Hill, to meet my sister and Dad who both flew into town that next day. NOTHING is better than walking into our house and feeling HOME :) We of course found time for the pool...

And on Friday we hit downtown Chapel Hill for one of our favorite traditions, Fridays on the Front Porch at the Carolina Inn. The Carolina Inn is a historic, beautiful, southern hotel right in the cute, quaint little downtown area. To say I am obsessed with it would probably be an understatement! It was built in the early 1900's, and is just full of charm. Mark my words, I will be married there some day :) On Fridays during the summer, they bring in blue grass bands, set up tables on the front lawn, and have drinks for anyone who wants to come and listen to the music. It gets PACKED and is such a fun time, and our family loves to go whenever we get the chance.

Lucky for us, John and Silvia came up for the weekend and met us there - it was perfect!

October 22, 2011 :)

Lastly, this is my favorite place to be (besides the beach!) The screened porch at my parents house is the ultimate southern retreat - coffee, wine, family time - it's all perfect out on the porch!! That's where some of our best conversations happen, no doubt.

 Early morning coffee time on the porch = bliss!