Humor Travel Life
As someone who loves travel, it’s especially exciting when you can combine travel and work. In mid-July, I had the opportunity to travel to Raleigh, North Carolina for a work conference. Not only was I excited to meet many of my colleagues in person, but I was also looking forward to seeing Raleigh for the first time. Furthermore, I had never been to North Carolina, so it was a brand new experience in both the state and city. Though the trip would be short and primarily focused on work, I would have a little time to see some of the city.
Despite having two layovers to get there – a potential issue in this busy summer travel season – I had a relatively smooth trip getting there. I did have a three-hour delay on my second layover, but since it was to my final destination and wouldn’t get me in super late, it wasn’t a major inconvenience.
Since it was summer in the southeastern U.S., I expected hot and muggy weather, and true to form, the weather there was just that. To be fair, though, I’m someone who enjoys the heat, and we’ve had a milder summer in LA, so I didn’t mind the higher temps.
My main time to explore was the evening of the day I arrived. I walked from my hotel, the Aloft, toward downtown Raleigh. The Aloft is a boutique hotel, and it’s right next to North Carolina State University, making it a great spot for families coming from out of town to visit students there. Another perk to the Aloft is that it’s next door to a local coffee shop, as well as some restaurants, but more on that later!
As I walked toward downtown Raleigh, I definitely found that the city has this feeling of where the East Coast meets the South, as I saw hints of both in the architecture. Raleigh is definitely a quieter city than I expected but still very pretty and clean.
I made my way back to the hotel, which is when I decided to stop for dinner at a local spot called The Player’s Retreat, which serves as both a bar and restaurant. I sat outside and ordered a sandwich and fries, along with a Bell’s Two-Hearted Ale (a nice treat for this OG Michigander). The food was great, but the service was even better. Honestly, the staff was super nice, and I learned this was one of the few places around town that required Covid-19 vaccine cards if you decided to go inside.
After a great time with my colleagues, it was eventually time for me to travel back to Los Angeles. I had an early flight and was nervous that I’d have difficulty trying to catch a Lyft to Raleigh airport at 3:30 in the morning. Surprisingly, I found a Lyft right away, so no issue there. Despite the early morning hours at Raleigh airport, the place was packed with travelers. I gave myself extra time, but I will say the TSA line was pretty long, so don’t let yourself be short on time if you can help it. Currently, airports are busier than ever, and many are also understaffed, so giving yourself extra time is a good idea. Better to wait in the terminal than miss your flight, right?
One thing about the Raleigh airport – and really airports in general – is that they get cold. Even if it’s 90 degrees outside, it’s an igloo inside. Pack a sweater, even if it’s just for the journey. I had to buy one at one of the airport stores, so I could be comfortable.
I had a fantastic time seeing Raleigh for the first time and eventually hope to see more of North Carolina someday.
Up next, I’ll be sharing my birthday trip to the one and only New Orleans!
About the author
Jill Zwarensteyn is a writer and comedian who has been featured on Amazon, truTV, The New York Times, Matador Network, BUST Magazine, Sleep Advisor, Tiplr, ARTRPRNR Magazine, YourTango, Thought Catalog, GoMad Nomad, Mashable, The Daily Mail UK, the Cannes Film Festival, LaughFest, Women's Lifestyle Magazine, and the Funny Women Festival LA. For more info visit: http://www.jillzwarensteyn.weebly.com