TRU Deli & Wine Bar

In my quest for finding everything good that Chapel Hill has to offer and exploring new places, I came across TRU Deli and Wine Bar. TRU features gourmet build-your-own sandwiches in a relaxed environment. You can sit inside at one of several reclaimed wooden tables or go outside and sit on the patio for comfortable couch seating, perfect for drinking a glass of red wine and eating one of their cheese platters.

I have since come to TRU several more times and each time has been as good, if not better, than the last. The relaxed environment is also very fitting for the college atmosphere. You order/create your sandwich on an iPad, which is both fast and convenient and the options are endless. They have a variety of vegetables, meats and cheeses to make sandwiches with, but also give you the option of creating a wrap a salad – all of which are completely customizable and affordable. The sandwich I created had turkey, cheddar cheese, avocado, cucumber, lettuce, tomato, and cranberry sauce on toasted sourdough. It was delicious!

I look forward to going back to TRU and trying something new!

Gonza Tacos y Tequila

I have always loved Mexican food, but it wasn’t until recently that I called a Mexican restaurant my favorite restaurant. I went to Gonza Tacos y Tequila in Raleigh for the first time the other day with my family and I loved it. However, it was not just their amazing food and friendly staff that I liked, but the incredible atmosphere. The music is fun and upbeat and the staff is energetic.

Walking into the restaurant you immediately are enveloped in the warm and colorful glow that comes from dozens of star lights hanging from the ceiling. These stars are the sole source of light in the restaurant except for a few others over the bar and hostess desk, which creates a very inviting space. The entire time at dinner I felt my eyes wandering up to the ceiling to look at the lights because no two stars are the same and it is impossible to ignore them.

The menu is fairly small and simple but all dishes boast uniquely blended flavor. I ordered the Chile Relleno, which was a poblano pepper stuffed with black charro beans, mexican cream, pico de gallo, cheese, avocado and chicken tinga. It was an authentic dish bursting with taste and flavors that melded together perfectly – and certainly one that I would order again.

Overall, Gonza Tacos y Tequila is a must-try for everyone in the Raleigh-Durham area. Its great atmosphere and food are sure to please and be unlike anything you have experienced before!

North Carolina Museum of Art

I have loved art for as long as I can remember. I find beauty in all forms of it and appreciate different perspectives. When I first visited the North Carolina Museum of Art I was astounded by how many different collections they had. The museum’s permanent collections includes American, Eygptian, African and pre-columbian art – to name a few. However, they also host a variety of traveling exhibits.

When I visited the Museum in January it was to see The Worlds of M. C Escher – the most comprehensive exhibition ever shown in the United States. Escher combines nature, science and imagination in his art work, much like the museum itself.

After walking through the inside exhibits, you can venture outside into the gardens and reflecting pool, or eat lunch in the cafe. The Museum provides space for relaxation and is a great spot to go for both entertainment and education.

Bald Head Island

Accessible only by ferry, Bald Head Island is located to the East of the Cape Fear River. Although fairly small and remote, it is a perfect vacation spot. Picturesque and relaxing, Bald Head Island is a place that has something for everyone.

I went last summer with my mom and it was a day trip unlike any I have had before. The islands unique geography allows the sun to both rise and set over the Atlantic Ocean every day. Beaches surround its eastern, southern and western shores, and 10,000 of the islands total 12,000 acres are set aside as wildlife preserves. Bald Head Island is also home to the oldest lighthouse in North Carolina – Old Baldy, which was built in 1817.

We started off the day with a 20 minute ferry ride from Southport over to the island where we rented a golf cart for the day because there are no cars allowed on the island! I loved this because it gave the island a peaceful feel, no one was in a hurry – just there to enjoy themselves and the surrounding environments.

Driving around the island we were able to see the abundant wildlife, especially birds – over 260 species – that the island is home to. The Bald Head Island Conservancy monitors the wildlife very closely and ensures that the people of the island live harmoniously with nature.

We spent most of our time on one of the pristine beaches, walking along the shoreline, collecting shells and enjoying each others company. When the day was finally over, I did not want to leave because it felt as if I had spent time in another world, one in which time stopped and people were at peace. I look forward to the day when I can go back and spend even more time there.