Saturday, January 08, 2011

slow on the uptake

eye of the hurricane

i had a blast enjoying a lovely meal (details on the cuisine to follow) in chapel hill with kara, a friend i've had since elementary school! we were having fun reminiscing over little shared details from our pasts, such as:

lying in bed desperately waiting to hear 455 -- our school district's snow emergency number -- called out on the news channel to indicate a snow day

fabulous birthday parties at radnor rolls (my personal favorite), the ardmore Y's pool, the skatium, and the miniature golf course

ridiculous cheers from our high school football games (i was in cheerleading, kara in band)

'whatever happened to . . .' <-- this game is much easier than it must have been in years past, thanks to facebook! anyway, kara moved back here about a year ago (she's a UNC alum x 2) and i am so impressed at how she's managed to explore the area and find great things to do in raleigh. we were both marveling over how much free-er we are now than in years past, and a lightbulb sort of went off in my head with a bit of an overdue epiphany:

i am really not that busy anymore.

this is such a novel concept to me after years of rushing around and cramming things in, that i can understand why it's taken me several months to make the realization. i know things will change big time if when this little project comes to fruition, but right now i'm sort of in a calm-before-the-storm period.

i chose a field that is not all that lifestyle unfriendly, but my high strung nature hasn't really let me take much advantage of that yet. even though i've had more time, i haven't been fully cognizant of it, and i don't think i've appreciated it as much as i should have.

since i can't do what i really wish i could do with that time (which is MARATHON TRAIN, obviously . . . ugh!), i am going to work on really taking resolution #3 seriously.

because guess what? despite the role that 'busy-ness' plays in our culture, i'm taking a cue from my 2011 muse leo b.: DOWN with busy! i have free time and i'm not afraid to admit it!

what to do?
i haven't decided on this weekend's adventure quite yet, but i found some great inspiring resources that may also be useful to those living in the triangle

this list actually comes from the UNC medicine residency program website . . . which is laughable, considering the amount of free time most residents have to play with. nonetheless, it's a pretty great list!

here are some of my favorite suggestions from the list:

hike at the Eno River Park in Durham
rent a canoe at University Lake in Chapel Hill (well, maybe not in this weather . . .)
check out an exhibit at the NC Museum of Natural History, Raleigh
see a show at the Cat’s Cradle in Carrboro
sign up for the sprint triathlon at Meadowmont in the Fall, Chapel Hill (well, not right now, but maybe someday.)
shop at the Smithfield Outlets just outside of Raleigh
picnic at the Duke Gardens, Durham
eat eastern NC BBQ from Allen & Sons, Hwy 86 Chapel Hill
pet the belted cows at the Fearrington Farm, Chapel Hill
listen to renowned authors read from their books-Quail Ridge Bookstore, Raleigh
wait in line for the best biscuits of your life at Sunrise biscuit kitchen, Chapel Hill [check!]
see an exhibit at the Nasher Art Museum, Durham
see a touring Broadway show at the Broadway Series South, Raleigh
see local artists featured at the 2nd Friday artwalk, Carrboro
catch a play at Playmaker’s Theater on UNC’s campus
free live music festival last Fridays of the month in Hillsborough 6-9pm
watch independent movies at the Varsity or Chelsea in Chapel Hill or the Carolina Theater in Durham
play with lions and tigers at the Carnivore Preservation Trust, Chapel Hill
pore over a non-medical book at Café Driade coffee house/art gallery, Chapel Hill

durham always gets the shaft, but i do have a special place in my heart for the triangle's red-headed stepchild!

[this just in: minutes after pressing publish, i had to strike through the above after seeing #35 on the NYT "places to go in 2011": OMG! i'm pretty jazzed for #41, as well.]

there are a number of interesting suggestions on this list of free things to do, although i'm not sure i'm ready for to this one:

adventures aside, it's time for some leisurely weekend errands and another trail run (this week's challenge: the al beuheler cross country trail in durham). i know the hills on that course are crazy (i've done it before), but i'm hoping for it to feel a little bit easier than last week's off-road experience!



workout: 35 minutes dave farmar yoga podcast + 30 minute walk outside during a lull at work (i've never in my entire medical career gotten to do this, and it was glorious!).

[one] x 2: this was our second experience dining at [one] restaurant in meadowmont, and i am happy to report that once again we had a great time! the service was on the slower side, but with the conversation topics as detailed above, none of us really cared.

[one] has clean and modern decor, which i love. interestingly, this style is not super-common in the triangle -- other places with a similar design vibe are revolution and guglhupf, but i can't think of too many others.

we hung out at the bar for a while, contemplating the delicious-looking menu:

josh enjoyed a st. supery cab while kara chose a pinot noir; i had an alcohol-free night out (i've decided to really cut down on the etOH even while TTC as i read in this book that it may impact fertility). initially i was a little sad not to be imbibing, but honestly as the night wore on i was sort of glad, because i think it just would have made me sleepy (we didn't get home until after midnight!).

once we got seated, we were presented with an iPad for further perusal of the wine list:

as you can see, josh was enthralled by the device

while we didn't end up ordering a bottle, i could see how it could be a fun way of making an informed choice! and the 'pad certainly matched the restaurant's decor.

after the iPad came some warm focaccia, which was good:

babe, i told you you'd regret making that face!

however, looking back on my previous review, i would say i preferred the prior version, which was doughier and less crispy.

the three of us shared an eye-catching appetizer, which was delectable:

rock shrimp and pork belly “croutons” + marinated eggplant + braised cannellini beans

this was my first pork belly experience, and i have to say it was a good one!

we diversified with our entrée orders.

lovely kara posing with her ginger-soy salmon with coconut rice, snap peas, mint, and cilantro

i tasted her dish and it was excellent! next time we go back, i may order it for myself (sans cilantro, because i'm a hater).

josh chose to go carnivorous, and he chose well:

red wine braised beef short rib + bacon, beet & turnip hash + roasted squash

so flavorful and melt-in-your-mouth good!

my entrée was actually my least favorite (and this rarely happens to me! i pride myself on usually choosing well . . . but i guess you can't win 'em all!). i went vegetarian and chose the cassoulet, which our server had said was new on the menu and very good.

10 bean cassoulet withsmoked sweet onions ∙ black garlic ∙ beet roots ∙ eggplant

maybe it was just too similar to the bean-based recipes we've been dining on all week, but i just found it a little boring, plus the breadcrumbs were a bit dry. i'm sure it was far healthier than the meat-filled cassoulet at vin rouge, but i think i prefer the traditional version!

dessert was also not my favorite, but that was sort of my fault. i really wanted to try the macaroon with pistachio croutons and strawberry balsamic sorbet because i thought it would be a pillowy, french-style macaron, which i've never gotten to try (but i really, really want to!).

but, it wasn't.

instead, it was a cakelike creation with marzipan-type filling and a layer of chocolate ganache, and it just didn't wow me. i did really enjoy the bright-tasting balsamic-strawberry sorbet served alongside.

despite my criticisms, it was a lovely meal overall and i would go back in a heartbeat!


  1. I am really going to miss all your local eats and local lists when you move!! You keep me connected for my always rare days off, when I try to cram it all in!

  2. marlow: we're not moving (unless you count to durham!) until 2013! there's plenty of time :) and if you want to meet up for local eats anywhere we're always ready!

  3. I was just about to write you when I read your post this morning (then patient care got in the way) about Durham being on the list - and Revolution was, too, and I got SUPER excited :)

  4. Anonymous3:57 PM

    "I'm not that busy anymore"

    so you're giving up victimhood?

    one piece of advice i once read that revolutionized my life

    "you can be a victim just as many minutes as you like" its your choice the point is we waste so much time lost in negativity, where is the future in that?

    I think you are making great progress in your life

    one other thing if josh is thinking about a tablet think about the samsung galaxy tab. I bought that instead of the ipad and am so happy with the more portable form factor and lighter weight

  5. Anonymous5:27 PM

    Yum! I will have to drag hubby out to dinner soon. There are so many great places I want to try! BTW, I picked up the awesome pens at the staples in CH and I'm SO EXCITED! They're fantastic. I got the pack with five colors.

  6. if you ever want to double date and knock some things on this list, let me know! we'd especially be up for a hike at the Eno River Park in Durham, a picnic at the Duke Gardens, Durham, eating eastern NC BBQ from Allen & Sons, Hwy 86 Chapel Hill, or seeing an exhibit at the Nasher Art Museum, Durham