Travel

reunited

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ADVANCE WARNING: this post will consist of an excessive number of random photos obtained by Ye Olde Trusty iPhone during our 10 year college reunion weekend a couple weeks back at Duke University. While the weather did not cooperate to its fullest (it’s called “Carolina Blue” for a reason, Mother Nature….) we had a blast and made a whole bunch of new memories to add to 4 unforgettable years of hijinks. There was sightseeing and campus tours, porch sitting and plaza lounging, window shopping and chapel gazing, and as usual, a truckload of eating. Now if only I’d gotten more design knitting done sigh. Anyway, behold and enjoy!

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Hey, I used to live there! How come these young whippersnappers get window air-conditioners? Weak!

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I always wanted to live behind that clock, but not in a creepy Quasimodo way.

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Andrew smiling broadly, now that his many hours in Perkins Library are behind him. We tried to find his favorite study hideout, but that floor of the stacks has been reorganized. And although the library looks the same on the outside, it’s also getting an astonishing overhaul inside.

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Here’s just one change to the library – a gorgeous light-filled pavilion for eating while in the library. That’s right, you can eat AND study. No more excuses! Meanwhile, the little windowless cafe where I used to hold tutoring sessions exists no longer. (Moment of silence for The Perk.)

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The Chapel needs very little introduction from me.

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Meanwhile, Duke’s world-famous gardens on campus were a little more subdued under the grey skies, but the azaleas, on their last leg, were still showing off:

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A new staircase added to the gardens that, despite being something as prosaic as a staircase, showcases its multihued local stones and fluid railings beautifully.

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My archnemesis, no doubt waiting for me to (a) obtain a piece of fruit; and (b) turn my back. If I haven’t already regaled you with the story of my near-death at the filthy clutches of a brazen hussy of an airborne squirrel during my freshman year, then consider yourself lucky.

Now we come to the portion of the tour that I call “compare and contrast.” This is what the current engineering students have:

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and this is what I had:

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Hey, nobody puts Hudson Hall in a corner!

(I kid, it’s not quite as stark a difference as that (although they long ago took the engineering library collection out of Teer Library, causing our student tour guide to exclaim “oh, now that explains why this building is called a library!” headhitsdesk). We had fantastic facilities and a world-class faculty. It’s just that now those things are fantastic x 1,000.)

Ok, enough with the culture. Let’s get to the food. First stop: Elmo’s Diner, one of my all-time faves, for sweet tea and a heart-stopping meal of biscuits and gravy. (The former: mine. The latter: his.)

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As for the next day, I was not going to wait for my Chick-Fil-A any longer. (“Mom, what IS that place? Chick-fill-uh?”)

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Admit it: you’re hungry now.

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Durham is undergoing a seriously overdue, but incredibly welcome, shopping/dining/living/gentrification overhaul in its downtown area. We had a blast at a number of places, like Alivia’s (above) with its firepit tables on its outdoor patio,

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Fullsteam brewery, with several delicious local options, and the scene of our complete Thursday night trivia domination (through halftime, anyway….at least I was able to identify the theme song to “MacGyver” out of thin air….)

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and a delicious dinner with creative cocktails at Piedmont, a farm-to-table restaurant that reminded us a bit of our fave, Blue Hill.

Despite all these fab new destinations in downtown Durham, sometimes…the old haunts are the best.

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As you can see, Cosmic Cantina has had no renovation. Who would dare?

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One word: Bruegger’s.

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The Regulator bookshop, an independent gem. And, admittedly, the place where I used to buy more iced mochas than books.

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(I just had to photograph this – I heard this author speak in the city two weeks before our trip. I felt pretty smug when I saw his book on the shelf ha.)

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and the Mad Hatter bakeshop, still churning out cookies that can fuel even the biggest sugar craving.

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Mom – look! Whole Foods ate Wellspring! (Color me unsurprised.)

One of the cutest discoveries on our trip was the boutique Ox and Rabbit on Ninth Street, a fabulous and vintage-y collection of gifts, paper wares, baby items, and even a soda counter! I love the wall color and the natural light coming in from the old-fashioned streetfront windows.

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Finally, on a stopoff to Brightleaf Square in serious need of my favorite mocha latte after a luxurious appointment at Posh Salon (loved it! check it out if you’re in D-ham!), I was surprised to find that my old hangout, Fowler’s Market, had been replaced by another market/gift shop/specialty store, Parker and Otis. P&O was very cool and funky (coffee mugs with Pantone colors! the yummiest dessert-themed wrapping paper ever!), but I miss you, Fowler’s!

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Well, that’s all she wrote, folks. (Besides, that was a lot of pictures, wasn’t it? I’m exhausted 🙂 )

Carry on, Class of 2002!

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3 thoughts on “reunited”

  1. Oh, my goodness, dear…!!!!! So many changes, but such fun and warm memories of those “fabulous four” years when you graced Duke University…and our “weekend” trips down to see you when we were on the road twice as long as we were actually with you in Durham, and always, ALWAYS listening to Garrison Keillor and The Prairie Home Companion on the way home through Virginia…gentle, wonderful years…! I am so happy that you had such a nice opportunity to relive them…XO..!!!

  2. Well thanks for that trip down memory lane and more…sounds like you two really enjoyed yourselves, and that’s what counts! What, no cheesy grits at Owen’s? the gardens look wonderful, even the railings are sublime! Might have to consider meandering down south ourselves sometime in the near future. So glad you have shared your weekend with all of us. xoxo

  3. Very impressive campus, and obviously you had a wonderful time. Mmmmm, sausage gravy on bisquits. Pour it on! My late hubby could really put that down. 🙂

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