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Breaking Free BREAK- To force one's way out of; escape from; To overcome. FREE- Not imprisoned or enslaved; Not controlled by obligation or the will of another, able to act or do as one wishes.

Exploring Raleigh: Part Two

USA | Sunday, 27 May 2012 | Views [571]

I'm constantly surprised by the kindness of the people in Raleigh (including Cary and Apex). While exploring or working or even just going to the grocery store I consistently see small acts of kindness, opening of doors, waves and smiles. Even this morning as I sat out on the porch reading Frances Mayes, A Year in the World, drinking my coffee, listening to the birds chirping, and dreaming of far away lands... I was interrupted by my neighbor who I've only seen this once. With a smile and a wave he says, "Good morning! How are you?" I respond with "I'm fine, how are you?" "Good, good," he answers back as he walks into his garage and wheels out his lawnmower. There goes my quiet time I think to myself, my smile quickly disappearing. Then my neighbor yells over, "I'm so sorry to be interupting your quiet time, I really need to mow the lawn before it gets too hot today. I thought I'd start in the back so you could have a few more minutes." I say, "Oh no sir, don't worry about it, go ahead!" I walk inside and the biggest smile returns to my face, wow! How amazing :)!

Who am I that he felt the need to apologize for mowing his own lawn? But the people here are like that! I have had countless random conversations with complete strangers since moving here. Several customers at work have given me their email addresses, wanting to be kept in the loop for my future travels. I spent about an hour talking to a woman named Teresa in a little shop across the hall from Common Grounds, the coffee shop located in downtown Apex. She is the manager of the store, who sells local artist's jewelry and art. We talked about everything under the sun!

Some other cool places to visit that I have found:

The Carolina Ale House- It's THE place to go especially for age 20 to 30 somethings. Their food is great, the atmosphere is beyond fun, and the drink specials outstanding! There is an outdoor area containing a second bar and games of cornhole are always going on. Pool tables and video games inside, sports themes throughout with lots of tvs, and even a sound proof, British style, phone booth for people with cell phones to escape the noise if needed!

Sweet Tomatoes- Directly from their website: Let's just say within 24 hours of being in the ground, it's on a refrigerated truck on its way to us. Our food is made from scratch every day. Our salad bar buffet features over 50 fresh ingredients, including specialty tossed and prepared salads. In addition to salads, we serve original recipe hot pastas, hand-crafted soups, scratch-made muffins, and Focaccia breads in our hot buffet. Create. Indulge. Enjoy.-- So you may have one of these in your area but I've never heard of one until I moved here and let me just say I fell in love the very first time I went! And Oh My God the strawberry lemonade is devine! I crave it daily! It's around $12 a person and everything is unlimited.

Sushi Nine-- They feature BOGO (Buy one get one) sushi rolls everyday. We go as a group after work once a month and everyone gets 2 rolls and we trade back and forth. I'll give you one American Dream for a piece of your Philadelphia! Everyone leaves with extremely full bellies and smiles! Not bad for $12!

Adventure Landing-- Go Karts, putt putt and an arcade. My friend Learmond and I just went for the Go Karts and it was super fun. Price for 2 people and ten laps, $15.

Alright now on to some trip planning stuff. I have been reading some books to help inspire and inform me for my upcoming trip. So far these 2 are my favorites.

Female Nomad and Friends, Tales of Breaking Free and Breaking Bread Around the World. By Rita Golden Gelman and 40 other authors. I was particularly drawn to this book because of the words breaking free in the title. I had chosen the same for my blog title well before even hearing about the book. The stories are heart-warming and heart-breaking, stirring, quirky, and just plain amazing. I laughed hard and cried harder. It is now in my top 3 of favorite books of all time!

A Woman's Path, Women's Best Spiritual Travel Writing. Another book with several excerpts and authors including Maya Angelou. The stories take place all over the world and the authors come from many different backgrounds. It's beautiful and inspiring.

I can't wait to start my trip! In my dreams I'm already there, I can smell the lavendar fields of France, I can feel the heat in Africa, I can see the green in Ireland. Every morning I wake up with a smile on my face dreaming of my far away lands. I have filed for my passport this past week... I'm so close to living my dreams, instead of dreaming my life.

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