Grandfather Mountain

The highest peak in the Blue Ridge Mountain range (elv. 5,946 ft), Grandfather Mountain is a globally recognized nature preserve that gets its name from looking like the silhouette of a mans face. It is home to beautiful scenic views, a mile high swinging bridge, miles of hiking trails and unmatched ecological diversity.

I distinctly remember the first time I visited Grandfather Mountain. To say that it was awe inspiring would be an understatement. Taking in all of the magnificent scenery is a task that could go on forever and the crisp mountain air is refreshing after even the most strenuous of hikes.

Walking across the Mile High Swinging Bridge is an experience unlike any that I have had before. It makes you feel as if you floating in the clouds and the 360 degree view of the mountain scenery that it gives you is nothing less than breathtaking. While traversing the bridge I could see down to the natural habitats that are home to over 7o rare and endangered species.

The mountain can never be experienced the same way twice, which is what makes it so unique, beautiful and interesting.


First in Flight

I am a firm believer that impromptu trips can be some of the best. Spontaneity can lead to adventure in ways that only the unknown can. Over Fall Break, one of my friends invited me to go with her to the Outer Banks. I have been to the Outer Banks countless times in the summer with family but never just with friends, and never in the Fall. We left the next morning.

The beach in the off-season is a beautiful thing. The long stretch of sand is peaceful and calm and the ocean seems to move at a different speed. The few people there are locals and enjoying long walks on the beach is part of their daily routine. Our first stop was the Airbnb that we had rented. It was a quaint little house tucked away in Kill Devil Hills and filled with all the comforts of home.


The next few days we explored the barrier islands, had some amazing seafood and saw some of the icons of our great state. The Bodie Island Lighthouse was closed for the off-season but we were still able to walk on the boardwalk around it. We also ventured to Jockey’s Ridge State Park and watched the sun set on Hatteras Island near the Graveyard of the Atlantic.

The Outer Banks are truly some of the most beautiful beaches that I have been to. They prove to be a great destination during all times of the year and new experiences can be had every time you visit.

Open Eye

Every college student knows the importance of a good cup of coffee. It can help you stay focused throughout the day, but can also provide a much needed break to re-energize. I am not a coffee connoisseur by any means, though I do appreciate a good brew – but more importantly, a good atmosphere to enjoy it in.

When I first visited The Open Eye Cafe in Carrboro, I was surprised by how cozy it felt while still being spacious and airy. There was gentle background music playing, eclectic seating options and of course, delicious coffee and pastries. Walking into the shop, immediately I was immersed in the intricate aroma of freshly ground beans and baked goods.

On my first trip to the Open Eye I did not branch out much. I had a simple coffee with cream and sugar but it was perfect. Open Eye supports local businesses by buying their beans from Counter Culture Coffee in Durham. This helps me to appreciate their coffee even more, as I grew up in Durham and support it any way that I can.

The overall environment makes Open Eye an inviting and friendly place to study, converse with friends or just relax. I anticipate going there for many coffee breaks in the future and look forward to trying more of their menu.

“Branding of Me”

Hello! My name is Caralyn and I am a student at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, majoring in communication studies. I have always wanted to start a blog but never knew what I would write about, so when my class “Branding of Me” gave creating a blog as one the main projects, it became the perfect opportunity.

I have lived in North Carolina my entire life and grew up in an adventurous family. Every summer we would go on different vacations and during weekends we would explore the beautiful state, every trip learning more about the area and having new experiences. These great experiences have inspired me to create this blog about some of my favorite places, as well as the new places that I go and the adventures that I have along the way.

While some of the most fun and alluring places I have been around the state have been in nature, I am a firm believer that beauty can be found anywhere, even in the most simple of places- be it a coffee shop or book store on Franklin Street. Throughout the course of this blog I hope to document these places and inspire others to explore and embrace the beauty around them as well.