Happy + Hale

Ron joined Galloway with me and we had a great 8 miler on the Black Creek Greenway.  We ran with the 12:30 pace group and they did 1.5 minute of running and 1 minute of walking.  It was “Just Right” which happens to be the group’s name.  The course was very hilly but when we made it to the 4 mile mark, we got to see this pretty view of Crabtree Lake. 10450047_839349916077528_8642070104883620688_o The humidity was down and the temperature was perfect for running.  For the 5th of July in Raleigh, North Carolina, we were very lucky indeed. After the run, Ron wanted to check out a new juice bar that our friend Dan had told him about. We set off to downtown Raleigh in search of Happy + Hale. IMG_1437 Ron was in heaven! This business was started by 2 NCSU students who began by peddling juice off a bicycle.  Click here for a very good article of how their business was born.    They sell salads, smoothies, and cold pressed juice.  IMG_1434 IMG_1435

We both got smoothies.  Mine was City of Oats and Ron’s was Green No Envy.


City of Oats had strawberry, banana, steel cut oats, peanut butter, almond milk, cinnamon, and dates. Green No Envy had coconut water, spinach, mango, avocado, ginger root, pressed lemon juice. City was delicious but Green will only be loved if you are a true connoisseur of juice like Ron. Downtown Raleigh is such a pretty place to me.  We had a very nice time walking around.

IMG_1438   IMG_1439 And how did they come up with the name Happy + Hale?      Take a look. IMG_1433

Here’s to you and wishing joy and health always!

Run with God

Thinking back on our day hike / run, it will always hold a very special place in my memories.  It was absolutely perfect.

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The drive up to Deep Creek from Bryson City is a very short 10 minute ride.  All along the way you will see tubing companies galore.  If you want to tube, Deep Creek is the place.

We were looking for a place to run and with one look down the trail, I knew our waitress at Cork and Bean hadn’t led us wrong.


We began on Deep Creek Trail and that path was wide and not very hilly at all.  It was graved for most of the way and lead us past the beautiful Tom Branch Falls.


I totally paused my Garmin and stopped to just breathe in this beauty and snap some pictures.

When we got 1.7 miles in, we went to the right and ended up hiking straight up for .6 miles and then straight down for .5 miles.  My Garmin had us at 2000 feet for most of the way but when we got to the top we were at 2400 feet.   It wasn’t a hard hike at all and I’m sure some experienced trail runners would have loved it.  Ron and I chose to hike and concentrate on our footing.

(Who am I kidding?  No way I was running up that mountain for a half mile!  I would have died!Smile)


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When we got back down, the trail widened up again and was graveled.

It lead us past Indian Creek Falls.


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The roots of that tree that we were standing on were so cool.  The creek was flowing right under them.

It wasn’t long and we were back at Tom Branch Falls and I stopped again for another picture.


We covered 4.5 miles in 1 hour and 11 minutes.  It was a perfect workout!  I loved all the beautiful flowers we saw along the way.




Click here for a nice YouTube video of the area.  I so want to go back since we missed the Juney Whank Falls.  They look awesome!

I hope everyone had a great weekend.  I ran 7 miles on Saturday and was happy with my time of 77 minutes.  Today I ran 10 in 2:16 and had a good run but I ended up walking a good bit.  I listened to my new app, Zombies Run and it was really cool.  Totally liked the mission and loved that I had to run fast at certain times to not get caught by the Zombies.  (Thinking back now, that might have been why I tuckered out early and ended up having to run / walk at the end.)

Hope you all have a wonderful week ahead.

My goals are to eat clean, cross train, and to complete all 4 of my planned runs.  I’m going to go ahead and let everyone know that I’ve been bitten by the full marathon bug again.  I’m thinking about doing Thunder Road in Charlotte, NC.  I’ve got 9 weeds.  I know, I know.  I’m CRAZY!  Smile

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Night All!

River Country

On our 2nd day at Yurtopia, we began with an awesome breakfast at The River’s End Restaurant.


This gem of a restaurant is located not 2 miles down the hill from Sky Ridge Yurts.  It’s right beside the Nantahala Outdoor Center and is the rafting headquarters in this neck of the woods.


This morning Ron and I sat out on the porch so we could listen to the river.  We had some delicious veggie omelets, grits, biscuits, and coffee.

Our waitress was so nice.  We’ve been here one other time and that time it was for lunch.  Everything about this place is perfect to me.  Absolutely my kind of place.  Click here for a peek at their menu.  I had the Veggie Sherpa last time.  We were all there together celebrating Mother’s 81st birthday and between all of us, I think we sampled about everything on the menu.  Scrumptious!

Here’s Mother and her birthday cake last year.


After a hearty breakfast, we were off to tour downtown Bryson City.



The Great Smoky Mountains Railroad is one of the highlights in Bryson City.  We haven’t ridden yet.  I’m saving that for when Mason is 4 and we can take him.  Mason is crazy about trains and I just know that this is going to be so much fun.

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Two of my favorite things I saw in and around Bryson City.  I was “this” close to buying that shirt.  So funny!



We were scoping out a place for dinner and Pasqualino’s caught our eye. It is a superb Italian eatery but since we had been there before we picked Cork and Bean on the other side of the street.


We slipped inside and Ron got a cup of coffee while I checked out the menu.


It was settled.  Cork and Bean it was.

The morning slipped away and then it was time to raft.

My niece suggested Rolling Thunder.


What a nice rafting company.  We were there on a Tuesday and things were pretty quiet.  I could tell that this place would be a busy place on the weekends in the middle of the summer.  But for us, at the end of August on a Tuesday proved to be a very low key experience.

We decided to raft with a guide.  We didn’t need to though.  The Nantahala was very calm and so relaxing.


A quick van ride to the drop in spot and then about 2.5 hours on the river and we were all done.


There was only one class 3 rapid and it was right at the end.  Next trip, I think we’ll get a funyak and try a trip on our own.

After rafting we were itching to run and tried to find a place that our raft guide had told us about.  We never could so we ended up back at the NOC and watched some kayakers for a while.



The NOC was hosting the Freestyle World Championships beginning on Labor Day and many of the kayakers were already there practicing.  It was cool walking around and hearing all the different languages being spoken.

Check out the red kayaker in the middle.  That’s what they were all doing.  Just flipping over and over again and again.


Since we couldn’t run, we decided to hike.

The AT is right there by the NOC so we hopped on the trail and hiked straight up a mountain for about a mile.


And then back down.



Ah the AT.  Love that trail!  Those white rectangles leading the way are magical to me!


We had worked up quite the appetite by then so we headed back to the yurts to shower and get ready for dinner.


For our appetizer we chose these delicious spring rolls.


And my entrée’ came with soup.

Spinach and mushroom.



Ron got tuna.


Perfection.  That green stuff was a puree of cucumbers and sweet peas.  Looks disgusting but was actually very tasty.

I chose the mountain trout.


I would take a bite of the trout and be like wow!  Nothing could taste better.  Then I’d take a bite of the rice and swear I’d never tasted rice better than this.  It was just rice but wow!  Seasoned so beautifully.  Then I’d take a bite of the asparagus and couldn’t believe how perfectly it was cooked.

And, it wasn’t because we were so hungry.  We were hungry yesterday at Plant and I didn’t react that way at all.

The dessert menu held many sinful pleasures and I really should have gotten something more interesting but I was craving chocolate.

We went with the double chocolate brownie with ice cream.


I loved Cork and Bean so much.  Our waitress was just as good as the one we had at Plant but in a much better way.  She talked to us.  That’s what I like.

She actually told us all about the Deep Creek day hike that we ended up going on the next day.  She said if we wanted to run, that was the place to go.

After dinner, we walked around Bryson City a little more and made a quick stop at Ron’s favorite micro brewery.





Their growler collection is a bit larger than Ron’s.  Smile

Next up will be our last adventure of our trip.  The Day Hike in the Smokies.


It was my favorite!  Details coming soon.


Ron and I have been planning a little getaway vacation for a while now. We knew we would be heading to Yurtopia but weren’t quite sure what we were going to do.

I happened upon Navitat and decided this was the one!

Today Ron and I went flying!


We zipped at heights up to 200 feet high and 1100 feet long. That’s as long as 3.6 football fields!





We had the time of our lives!


Our Baby is a Mountaineer

Today was the day! We traveled 205 miles Northwest from Clayton to Boone. Elevation a lucky 3333! And now our baby girl is a Mountaineer.



Lydia packed pretty lightly and barely filled up the back of the XL7.

ASU had the stop drop and roll program and move in was a breeze. Literally, just pull up to your dorm, stop, drop off you stuff , and then roll away.

We had everything set up and unpacked in no time. Check out Lydia’s view from her dorm window.

We had a nice dinner at our favorite Boone restaurant, Coyote Kitchen.
I had the Taos and this beauty was out of this world! It won the best thing to eat in all of North Carolina in 2009.

After a quick trip to Wally World to pick up a few items, it was back to the dorm to say our goodbyes.


Good luck baby girl and take care of Yosef!






Our grandson, Mason, is crazy about trains!


So, since his birthday is in a couple of days.  And since I found this cool train set and table on Craigslist.  I just couldn’t help myself!  Happy Early birthday Mason.  Grandpa and Grandma love you so much!


Mason and Andie came home last night and he played with it for several hours straight.  He had to sleep with some of the trains and then this morning he went right back to it.


Mason loves trains so much I’ve had a Pullen Park trip planned for quite some time.  Today was the day!


Pullen Park is the very first public park in all of North Carolina!  It’s nestled right next to the NCSU campus not far from downtown Raleigh.

Pullen was closed in 2009 for extensive renovations but re-opened in November 2011.

First order of business was to ride the “real train” as Mason put it.


Jonathan met us there and we all had a blast!  (Notice the wooden train in Mason’s hands.  He is never far from one.  Ron says it’s his security blanket of sorts.)

Next up were the boats!



He loved the boats dare I say it, maybe even more than the train.

Then we moseyed on over to the carousel.


This Dentzel carousel is a wonder.  So Beautiful!







A little time on the playground and then one more ride on the boat rounded out the day.




What a glorious day!

Fiction Kitchen

Ron and I try to go out to dinner at least once a month.  Last Friday was it.  After a long hard week, we both wanted some good ole’ Remedy!

However, after noticing my post about going to Remedy, my good friend Rebecca, recommended Fiction Kitchen.

I hadn’t heard about FK, but I knew if Rebecca recommended the place, it had to be good.

So, FK it was!


FK is located at 428 S. Dawson Street in downtown Raleigh.  They cater to Vegans and Vegetarians but I’m sure Omnivores would love it too.

We got there around 7:30 on Friday night and the nice hostess alerted me that there was an hour and a half wait.  Ron had slipped to the restroom and didn’t hear the time so I fibbed to him and told him it might be an hour or so.  The hostess took my cell number and told me she would text me when a spot opened up.

It was First Friday downtown so there were many people out and about.  We slipped around the corner to the Raleigh Depot.


The Tasty Beverage Company caught Ron’s eye right off the bat and I knew right then there would be no fussing about the wait for FK.

If you are a beer lover, Tasty, is the place for you.  They had so many different beers it was mind boggling.  They also were serving some great ones on tap.  I got the Weeping Willow Wit from Mother Earth Brewing.  It was very mild just like I like it.  Ron’s was an Imperial Stout but I can’t remember from which brewery.


We sat outside and sipped our beers.  The trees all had lights in them and it sorta felt like Disney World.


Just after we finished our beers and were walking to one of the galleries, my phone buzzed.  Only 30 minutes in and they has a spot for 2 at the bar.  Woot!  Woot!

The staff at FK were all so friendly and efficient.

We started off with their Tasting Plate appetizer.


Starting from the crackers and going clockwise, you have the tempeh pate, cashew cheese, candied nuts, and apples with apple butter.  My favorite was the cashew cheese but Ron loved the pate.

Next came our entrees.


Tinga Tacos for me.


And Sweet Potato Sushi Rolls with Sashimi Tofu for Ron.

Oh man!  Words cannot describe these dishes.  Absolutely delicious.

Ron’s was very spicy.  So spicy in fact, he didn’t even go for that little green ball of wasabi.  And if you know Ron, he always goes for the wasabi.

Mine was spicy too.  The cilantro slaw really packed a kick.  I loved it.  In the cup were savory black beans and seasoned grains.  They were very yummy too.

We ate every single bite!

I couldn’t try a new restaurant and not get the dessert.


I forgot what they called it but I know it had Salted Caramel in the name.  It was vegan.  It was chocolate.  It was pure heaven!

The prices were very reasonable and I just loved the cute atmosphere.  FK is a winner in my book.

I can’t wait to go back and try the “Chicken” and waffles and the BBQ Pulled “Pork.”

The reason for the quotes around chicken and pork gives you a hint about where they came up with the name Fiction Kitchen.  Yeah, you guessed it.  Not a chicken or a pig in the house.  It’s just soy and tempeh pretending to be the real thing.

Go try FK soon.  And walk around the block and have your cocktail at Tasty.  I promise you.  You will be pleasantly surprised.

Remedy for the Wednesday Night Blues

Tonight was date night!  Lydia was working at Bo Jangles so Ron and I slipped away to The Remedy Diner in downtown Raleigh.

It was SO good!

Ron’ started with a local IPA from The Aviator Brewery in Fuquay Varina.  We toured that brewery last year so Ron already knew he loved that one.


I tried this Ginger Ale.


Boy was it spicy!  We Googled Blenheim and learned that it is made on the grounds of the  famous South of The Border tourist attractions in Hamer, South Carolina.  I drank most of it but asked for a glass of water about half way through my meal.  Not sure why it is so spicy.  I guess it’s the ginger but it was more like jalapenos if you ask me.

I ordered the Eastern Carolina BBQ which was shredded vegan BBQ made from soy in a classic eastern NC vinegar based sauce and homemade cole-slaw.  They served it on a delicious Kaiser roll with kettle chips on the side.


Tasted just like real BBQ.  So delicious!

Ron mulled over the menu for the longest time but finally settled on his usual; the Veggie Reuben.  It was a marinated tempeh grilled on rye topped with avocado, sauerkraut, thousand island dressing, dill pickles and melted Swiss cheese.  He chose to add a side salad.


Ron loved it.  He gave me a taste and I concur that it was scrumptious.

Another Aviator arrived and I got this shot of the other side of his glass.


For my poison, I chose the vegan sopapilla cheesecake.


No earthly idea how they made this vegan.  It was heavenly!

The Remedy Diner is located at 137 E. Hargett Street just down from the Marbles Museum.  There was plenty of parking on the street and we enjoyed the short walk in this beautiful Fall night air.  They have foods for everyone and have many vegetarian and vegan entrée’s to choose from.  The pricing was moderate but next time we go, we’re taking cash.  You can earn a $20 gift card after you spend $100 and pay in cash.  I’ve heard that it helps small businesses if you pay in cash because the credit card processing fees are so high these days.


Night all!

Getting to bed early so I can get my run in BEFORE work tomorrow.

A Garden of Eden

Ron has been super busy at work and since I tend to be so busy too, we decided last week that we needed to schedule a date.  This afternoon was our chance.  I Googled vegetarian restaurants near Smithfield and happened upon Eden’s Vegetarian Dining and Catering Services.  What a lucky find!

Eden’s is located in the Dupree House at 709 S. 3rd Street, Smithfield, NC.  They specialize in International Vegetarian/Vegan Cuisine and have been in business since 2003.




Chef Alex greeted us and started us off with a special fruit punch that he made.  It had an orange juice base and was exactly what I was craving on this 101 degree day.



Next came our salads.  Fresh and crisp and the perfect start to our brunch.  The dressing that was on the salad was a very light vinaigrette of some kind and also had an orange juice base.  It complimented the delicious raw veggies perfectly.


A slice of cornbread was served alongside the salad. Now I can make a mean batch of cornbread but this stuff was amazing.  I’m sure Alex’s was way more healthy then mine that is made with oil and sugar.


The entrées are served home-style so Ron and I got to sample everything.


The dish in the back was mock barbeque ribs.  This is made with soy gluten and seasoned with barbeque sauce.This was my very favorite of the entire meal.  Everything was very good but I loved the barbeque the most.  Continuing around clockwise were some awesome sweet potatoes, brown rice and field peas, summer squash / broccoli / carrots and onions, and  lastly the mock chicken Marsala.  Chef Alex asked Ron how hot on a scale of 1-10 with 10 being the hottest he wanted it.  Ron requested a 7.  This was delicious too.  My second favorite.  It was pleasantly hot but next time I think we’ll ask for a 9.

Here’s what my plate looked like.


We both had more than enough and were able to bring leftovers of everything except the sweet potatoes home for Lydia.  I know she is going to love it!

For dessert, we had our choice of a pound cake or a vegan pudding cake.  We went with one of each and shared.



For the vegan dessert, Chef Alex told us that just this morning, he whipped up some tofu with a sweet potato and then blended in some coconut, raw sugar, spices, and nuts.  The pound cake was delicious but nothing could compare to the vegan concoction.  I implored Chef Alex that he just had to write down the recipe immediately so he wouldn’t forget this dish.  He just smiled and smiled and promised that he would.  It was SO good!





We learned that Chef Alex is a neighbor of ours.  We couldn’t believe it when we realized we live only about 2 miles from each other.  Alex has been a vegetarian for 35 years.  He is originally from the Caribbean but was trained as a chef in New York City.  We didn’t get to meet his wife but we did learn that she was the main motivator for getting Alex into cooking.  She always enjoyed his dishes and encouraged him to pursue his dream.  She serves as #1 taste tester and if it gets her seal of approval, Alex knows he has a winner.

Even though we just popped in today without calling first, we did learn that all parties of 4 or more require reservations.  He also encouraged us to call ahead next time.  This way he can accommodate our personal preferences.  I’m not positive but I don’t believe all things on his menu are always available.

I can’t wait until the next time I get to go to Eden’s and visit my neighbor and now my friend!


Happy Eating Friends!