North Carolina

July 6, 2021

It’s hard to believe that I’ve lived in North Carolina for a full two weeks. I feel like I JUST said my goodbyes to Rochester and packed the UHaul to head south. Where has the time gone, you ask? Well, I’m not sure. But, one of the great things about blogging is that is provides me time to reflect and figure that out.

Our wonderful friends have certainly helped the time go by faster. With their help, it only took two hours to translocate all the earthly belongings Tim and I own from our apartment to the truck. Not sure what we did to deserve such good humans in our lives.

Packed boxes
Our empty apartment. It looks smaller, somehow.

We left Rochester at 10am and arrived at the new place at 11:30pm. The drive down went by fast, thanks to hours of podcasts. We caught up on Ezra Klein, The Weeds, and Short Wave (my favorite) as we went. We passed through the rolling hills of rural New York and Pennsylvania and crossed a short stretch of Maryland as well as a sliver of highway in West Virginia.

Entering West Virginia

When we got to Virginia, the hills turned into mountains. A detour sent us snaking down the mountains along skinny roads with no shoulder and some pretty steep cliffs. Now is probably the best time to say that I was towing my car behind our UHaul on a tow-dolly.

Photo taken while weighing the loaded truck plus tow dolly

I maintained a speed between 25-30 mph the whole way down, much to the chagrin of every truck and motorcycle trying to enjoy a ride through the mountains on that beautiful evening. We made it (HUGE relief) and got finally back on a normal highway to continue south. We ultimately got in at 11:30pm and were passed out on the air mattress in our new home by midnight.

The next morning, we relished in the fact that we made it, and we were living in our new home at the end of a quiet little street. It felt pretty darn great. Unpacking was basically a breeze, thanks to Tim’s best friend, Spencer; he lives in Chapel Hill and drove over to help in the morning.

There was only one casualty during the entire process of packing and unpacking: our pour-over coffee maker. It was accidentally dropped… and shattered. R.I.P. For a brief moment, we thought we would have to forgo coffee on our very first morning in our new home. However, Spencer (and his wife, Lindsey) are ANGELS and bought us a house-warming present that included a new Chemex coffee maker! Again, what did we do to deserve such good friends?

We’ve been getting settled since then, getting on routines, new schedules, trying new places, etc.

I adjusted my running schedule from whenever-I-feel-like-running to heading out before 7am. It gets pretty toasty and humid down here, so the earlier runs are more enjoyable. I might even try to run before 6am *gasp* when I start doing more 2+ hour long runs. The Boston Marathon is less than 100 days away, so my weekly mileage is starting to increase. I haven’t run over 16 miles since the Turk-a-thon (our unofficial makeshift marathon) in November with Erin and Laura. I’ll get used to it again!

I’ve been doing most of my runs along the American Tobacco Trail (ATT) due to its proximity to our house. The ATT is a shared-use path that runs north/south, is shaded by beautiful, tall trees, and has water fountains every few miles. Like most of the other spaces to run around here, I find myself always running uphill or downhill. Rochester was comparably very flat, so I’m definitely still getting acclimated to the grade changes.

Besides running, I’ve been exploring my new home! Here some additional spots I’ve found and already love in the area:

  • Carrboro/Chapel Hill:
    • Beer Study
    • Mediterranean Deli
    • Open Eye Café
    • Weaver Street market on Saturday mornings
    • The Chapel Hill public library
    • Wegmans
    • The woods around Carrboro (I now dream of living in a house that backs up to this beautiful botanical space)
  • Durham:
    • Triangle Coffee House
    • Dos Perros (Mexican food)
    • The downtown Durham YMCA
    • The Glass Jug
    • Our backyard
Our backyard!
What a looker 💕😍

Since I turned in my thesis document yesterday (related post to follow), I have more time on my hands…. I guess that means I will have plenty of time to explore more!

“Home is where the heart is, even if you can’t remember which box you packed it in.” 

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Toxicologist & marathon runner

8 thoughts on “North Carolina”

  1. So excited for you, Ash! Incredible to be loaded on the moving van in 2 hours, with a little help from your wonderful network of friends in Rochester! Glad you’re getting settled into new routine and exploring a new city. Serious congrats for turning in your thesis as well, a huge step!!!!!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, Kel! I was so amazed, grateful, and much less tired than I would have been without the help. I hope you’re settling into your new home too!

      And THANKS! The thesis was another huge relief.


  2. This looks wonderful – so happy for you guys!!! Congratulations on turning in your thesis and exploring your new home! ❤

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Hi Ash! I enjoyed reading about your journey from NY to NC and new places you discovered nearby. Congratulations on your new home! Wishing you happiness, success with your goals, and many fun adventures in your new state! Love, Laura C

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