it’s always sunny in DURHAM

Haha like the play on words??  You know the TV show “It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia”??  Well, it’s not always sunny in Philadelphia (in fact, the radio on my drive to the airport reported Philly as one of the most miserable cities in the US…awesome), but the first thing I did when I got to Durham this weekend was text Allie to say, “The sun is shining in Durham!!”  Because let me tell you…it was.  And it was warm and no snow was to be seen on the ground!!

In case you’re a little behind (it’s okay, we all are), I spent this past weekend in Durham, North Carolina to visit my college roommate, Sara, who is in a clinical psych graduate program at Duke.  It just so happens that Allie and Sarah are local to Durham as well, so of course we had to meet up since I haven’t seen them since the Healthy Living Summit in August!  What a wonderful weekend it was!  Here’s the recap:


I woke up bright and early (6 am is bright and early for this evening shift girl!) to catch a 9:30 flight to Durham.  After battling rush hour traffic and being convinced that I was going to miss my flight (nightmare…), I made it and boarded my plane to sunny North Carolina.  I have a “Fear the Turtle” luggage tag on my bag and one of the men in first class commented on what a funny statement it was.  I always tell people that terrapins are ferocious, and he agreed!  “They eat birds, didn’t you know that??”  Well, no, I’m usually kidding when I say they’re ferocious, and I don’t think they actually eat birds, but it was funny for someone to note my luggage tag.

After an uneventful flight (apparently I can fall asleep after drinking coffee?), I arrived in sunny, sunny Durham and my roommate picked me up from the airport!  She had the death cold this past week and could barely talk, but she survived picking me up from the airport and we had a pretty low-key day.  We went out to lunch and then I got a driving tour of Duke before heading back to her apartment (it’s a cute one bedroom place!) and watching the Olympics (who knew curling was so exciting??) and bad TV (Say Yes to the Dress…AWESOME) for most of the night.  Some of her grad school friends came over (one armed with candy…love) and we talked and watched more Olympics.  It was fun seeing as I don’t really have many (any??) friends in Pennsylvania so it was fun to be around people.  Yay!


Ahhh what an amazing day!!  We started off by sleeping in (that’s the Sara I know and love!) and then heading out to brunch in Chapel Hill.  Chapel Hill is soooooo cute!  We ate at Ye Olde Waffle Shop (I got blueberry pancakes…yum) and then walked around Chapel Hill.  I was excited to be in flip flops and a tshirt…goodbye snowy Pennsylvania!  She showed me the UNC sorority houses which were GORGEOUS.  I was in a sorority for a little bit in college (that’s how Sara and I met), and our houses at the University of Maryland had nothing on the UNC houses…wrap around porches!  Yes, we were in the south!  I forgot to take pictures of them, but here is a cute place we walked by:

Durham (1)I just liked the name of the place…any Maryland Alum would agree!

image Okay, I lied…I stole this picture from online.  How cute are those rocking chairs??

As you might know, Allie and I always talk about opening a bakery, and she’s going to shadow at one of the bakeries in Chapel Hill called Sugarland.  Well, of course I had to find it if we were going to be in Chapel Hill, so Sara and I hunted it down.  It’s an adorable bakery/cafe and definitely something I could see myself opening!  They have baked goods and gelato (anyone who has been to Italy better know how AMAZING gelato is), as well as coffee and drinks (beer/wine/martinis??).  A bunch of tables are in the cafe as well as a big flat screen TV that had the UNC game on.  Hello, awesomeness.  I ended up buying a French Vanilla cupcake (I’m boring, I know), but they had many goods that looked quite delicious!

Durham (2)I love the tagline.  :)

Durham (3)Okay, only if you insist!!

Durham (4)They had an ACC cake…GO TERPS!!  <3 Testudo

Durham (7)My vanilla cupcake.  :)

I can’t wait to hear Allie’s report about being “behind the scenes”…I’m a wee bit jealous.   

After our little stroll around Chapel Hill, we headed back to Durham so Sara could do some work/nap and I could get in a run.  The two runs I had left to do this week was a 17 miler and an 11 miler, and I wasn’t sure how I felt about running 17 miles in Durham…especially since I didn’t bring any Honey Stingers or anything with me!  I decided to head out and see how I felt and then decide if I wanted to run 11 or 17 miles.  I mapped out a path that would let me shorten if need be.  I ran 2.5 miles to the famous (?) Washington Duke Trail (aka the Al Buehler Trail, aka the WaDuke Trail).  It’s a just-under-3 mile loop around the Duke golf course, and I’d heard lots of things about it from the Durham runners.  I did NOT hear how hilly it was!!  I ended up doing four loops (two clockwise, two counterclockwise) before running 2.5 miles back to Sara’s apartment for a grand total of 17 miles.  That trail, my friends, is no joke!  Allie called it a roller coaster and she is not kidding!  Let’s just say I got a good workout in…even a good workout for running 17 miles!  My time was pretty good and I felt awesome running out there.  Sooooo many people were out on the trail and it was fun to pass lots of them. :)  I could definitely get used to running on that trail for a good workout, but I’m sure I’d get tired of the three mile loop if I ran it alllll the time, but for my purposes it was perfect since I didn’t get to get lost in the streets of Durham!

Saturday, February 20
17.21 miles in 2:15:05, avg pace of 7:51
Splits:  7:42, 7:28, 7:39, 7:44, 8:04, 8:07, 7:59, 7:58, 7:49, 7:39, 8:03, 7:42, 7:41, 8:11, 7:30, 8:23, 7:48, 1:30 (7:20 pace)

Not a bad run…I didn’t really feel tired at the end, although my legs definitely felt it.  I immediately chugged some water, scarfed down a banana, and did some stretching.  After showering, I got ready for dinner with Sara, Allie, Sarah, Sarah’s husband Josh, and Sarah’s nurse friend.  We all headed to Milltown for dinner and drinks!  It was so fun to meet up with Allie and Sarah and to meet Josh and Sarah’s friend who is a nurse and doesn’t hate her job…imagine that!  I’ve been reading Sarah’s blog for a long time and we finally met at the Healthy Living Summit.  I met Allie through Sarah at the Healthy Living Summit, and although we only talked for a super short time at the Summit, we’ve been blogger buds ever since…I feel like I know her (and can tell you what she ate for breakfast!  haha).  The Olympics were on a giant TV next to us and the beer/wine menu was quite impressive.  My first beer was an Allagash White (from Maine!), recommended to me by Sara.  Gatsby helped with the modeling:

Durham (11)Yum!  And that’s Josh’s hand in the background making his Nurse on the Run debut!

We chatted and watched some speed skating and ate some soft pretzels which were sooo good!  I love me some carbs, but I definitely needed some protein post-long run.  I rarely cook myself meat, so I jumped at the chance for a burger…it certainly hit the spot!

Durham (12) French fries!!

I tried another beer which was pretty good, and I don’t even remember what it was called!  The beer menu was overwhelming because I’m not really sure what the descriptions will equate to in taste.  You may tell me it has hints of clove, but I don’t know what that means!  Tell me it tastes like Blue Moon and we’ll be good to go.  As we filed out for the night, we needed some pictures to capture our meet-up:

Durham (15)Roomies!  S^2 REUNITED!

Durham (13)With Sarah and Allie!  Health Living Summit reunion!

Durham (14)Sara(h) sandwich!

Durham (16)This could be the picture for the “About Us” section of our bakery website…Stay tuned!

This was a fun night just hanging out and chatting with friends, which I rarely get to do anymore.  Visiting Durham was definitely refreshing and Sara (and then Sarah and Allie!) spent the weekend “selling” Durham to me.  I looked at jobs at the Duke Hospital…pondering a move to Durham??  Sarah’s nurse friend said I could come shadow on her unit and see that not everyone hates their job…yes!!  The weather was fantastic (60 degrees??  I could get used to this), and while I understand it’s not like that all the time, I would be okay with considering 35 degrees “cold.”  Things to think about for sure.

After we parted ways with the bloggers of Durham, Sara and I watched some more Olympics and chatted before heading to bed.  A Saturday well spent!


Sunday was a PERFECT day in Durham…sunny and 60 degrees!!  I love it.  We got up and then headed to the Mad Hatter, one of Sara’s favorite coffee houses.  I ordered a breakfast burrito with some fruit on the side, which was quite tasty!  It was so pretty…I should have taken a picture, but I’m not always in food blogger mode.  :)  After brunch-ish, we headed to Duke’s campus for an official walking tour.  A women’s basketball game was going on and a men’s game was scheduled for the night, so finding a parking spot was a pain!  We soon found one and Sara gave me the walking tour of Duke, which is a much smaller campus than Maryland!  Duke is very pretty, so check it out:

Durham (17)It was warm enough for flip flops…also, check out my missing toenail…

Durham (19)Tenting for the UNC game…and me booing Krzyzewskiville like any proper Maryland fan.

Durham (20)These kids are crazy.

Durham (18)I was in the band so I never even had to get tickets to Maryland games…take that!

Durham (21)The quad.

Durham (24)Duke Chapel!

Durham (25)Sign in a bathroom stall (doesn’t that just scream college??)…but what does “PILF” stand for??

Sooo that was my mini-walking tour of Duke…perhaps I should have gotten more pictures?? Oh well.  Sara had a sorority meeting from 2-3pm so my plan was to do an easy run while she was at her meeting.  I got all changed (and ran into Allie in the library in my running clothes!) and attempted to head out, but, um, my IT band hurts!!  Noooooooo!!!  I am NOT a happy camper!  I took about ten steps and decided I was going to continue my own walking tour.  I really hope that it is nothing and that I just need some rest after my 17 miles yesterday…with eight weeks until Boston I don’t think I can handle taking another month off like I did last time.  Gahhhh.

Anyway, I continued my own walking tour in the Duke Gardens, which are pretty now, but I imagine they would be GORGEOUS when not brown.  Lots of people were out walking and little kids were playing on the lawn so it was cute to walk around.  I didn’t take any pictures because I was planning on running and left my camera with Sara.  Oh well…I’ll be back sometime.  :)  Walking around campus on a Sunday afternoon reminded me of when I would call my parents on Sunday afternoons at Maryland and wander around campus while talking them.  Fun times!

After Sara’s meeting, we went back to her apartment quickly before meeting up with some of her grad school friends for some Local Yogurt (aka LoYo), as recommended by Sarah.  It’s basically a frozen yogurt bar where you pick your yogurt flavor and toppings…so good!! One of Sara’s grad school friends actually graduated from Maryland the same year as us and we have some friends in common…small world!  Here are our tasty yogurt creations:

Durham (26) My creation:  peanut butter frozen yogurt with bananas and M&M’s.

Durham (27)Sara’s creation:  Chocolate froyo with Oreos.

Durham (28)Side by side.  :)

I love the combo of peanut butter + banana, peanut butter + chocolate, and banana + chocolate, so it was perfect!  It was also fun to sit and chat with her friends…sitting outside in the warm weather.  Ummm I really need local friends!!

Too soon it was time to head back to Sara’s apartment to pick up my stuff to go to the airport.  :(  So sad!!  Time flies when you’re having fun and totally drags with you hate your job (haha), and this weekend just flew by!  Sara dropped me off at the airport and left me with some famous last words of “You need to get out of [the town you live in].”  So true.  I’ll be looking for a new job soon, I just don’t know what my plan is yet!


I’m currently typing this in the lovely Washington Dulles airport, as my connecting flight is seriously delayed…it’s 11pm currently and I’m supposed to be landing now…ugh!  I’m not even sure what the delay is since the weather appears to be perfect up and down the east coast.

Okay, just as I typed that last night, we boarded the plane!  I ended up getting home at 1:45 in the morning…I was supposed to get home around midnight…boo!  I literally cried all the way home from the airport because I didn’t want to be back here.  I’m icing my knee/IT band and taking the day off of running.  Hello, Monday…


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  1. says

    COME BACK!!!! I took the SAME 2 photos of Sugarland yesterday….and behind the scenes too :) We are on the same wavelength–as if we haven’t said that 15 times now.

    Glad you stopped by Loyo too and got your m&ms fix.

    WaDuke does a number on your legs that’s for sure. Ice ice baby.

  2. says

    Hah, did you actually see the miserable cities list from Forbes? The methodology is pretty skewed. My first clue is that *we’re* not on it. And the local media is all over because Buffalo is. (I don’t think you’ll like it – it has Chicago at #10! )

    More importantly though, I like your Krzyzewskiville picture and am totally jealous you got your long run in in nice weather. 😉

  3. says

    I’m glad you had a great trip. So jealous you got to wear flip flops!!!! Ahhhh! I know what you mean about loving trips to see your friends. I have no friends where I live also. Makes life frustrating…

  4. says

    omg, what a fun mini weekend vaca you had! looks like it would definitely have high potential as a new place for you to live. :) makes me want to have a weekend of girl friend fun!

  5. says

    Who knew so much fun could be had in Duke land? Glad you had a great weekend and happy to see you hating on the Krzyzewskiville sign.

  6. says

    loved the recap — it was so great to hang out again! i hope you feel better painwise SOON! and i’m happy you got to try loyo :)

    oh, and don’t think we’re all about the flip flops. this weekend was our first nice one in AGES . . . you got lucky!

  7. says

    Haha ok call me lame, but I had a lot of fun reading this post!! Always nice to live vicariously through friends. Speaking of friends, my dear, what say you on Grandma’s?

  8. says

    Your weekend sounds so awesome! I’m happy you had such a good time. Can I just say that your picture of your froyo has given me the WORST craving for Twist right now?! What I wouldn’t give to re-create you delicious sounding yogurt! I absolutely LOVE Chapel Hill, I fell in love with it the two times I was down there. Did you know that Chapel Hill was planned after Princeton (or so I hear)? Maybe that’s why I like it so much, Princeton planted in the South, can’t get much better!

  9. says

    Aww how fun! I LOVE Duke! I had a few friends that went there for undergrad back in the day :) Did you eat at Madhatter’s?!

    All the food looks delicious. I swear, everytime i come to your blog i get either a) hungry or b) a MAJOR sweet tooth!

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