Stepping Out of the Chaos

It’s not even Noon on Saturday, yet my weekend of unexpected discoveries has already begun.

My main objective for this blog has always been to capture the sense of adventure that I get when I travel. It’s such a fulfilling experience for me and the best moments are when I discover something new and take myself out of my day-to-day experiences. That is easy to do when you are traveling to a place you have never been to before. However, the last 24 hours has reminded me how easy it is to do that in your own backyard.

Last night, we had a last minute meet up with friends at a new brewery in North Raleigh. The Compass Rose Brewery describes themselves as “a modern take on the classic beer hall” and that is really a perfect description.

The wide open beer hall was packed when we arrived, but what struck me the most was the complete mix of people that were enjoying the ambiance. There were adults, kids and even dogs all hanging out together chatting, enjoying the very good beer on tap and just chilling out on a Friday night. There were huge tables and benches where folks were playing board games and the teenagers in our group dove straight into a two-hour game of Monopoly. It was a fun evening and discovering a place with a cool vibe 10 minutes from home was an unexpected treat.

This morning I dropped my boys off for a pick-up game of soccer and decided to go get a coffee. I was heading towards the local Starbucks drive thru wishing that my favorite coffee shop was just a little bit closer to this side of town. I remembered that there was another place – Jubala Village Coffee – that I had heard about from many friends, but had not yet visited. Boy, was it worth the stop.

There were about 20 people in line when I arrived which is always a good sign. I was reading through their chalkboard menu when the seasonal latte caught my eye – Coconut Cream Latte. Sold! I have no idea what they put into that coffee, but it was delicious. Sorry Starbucks Eggnog Latte, but a new favorite has arrived in town. It’s probably a good thing that this is just a seasonal drink. It tasted so rich and creamy, with just the right hint of sweetness, that consuming too many of them is probably not good for my 40-something-year-old waistline.

While I am not the first person to discover these cool places, they were new to me and a change in my day-to-day routine. Weekdays have been hectic and my weekends without kids soccer activities are quickly dwindling as the new season is almost upon us. These last 24 hours were a great reminder to step out of the chaos and into a place that both recharges me and inspires me. Both locations touched a part of me and made me excited to tackle the week ahead. You can’t ask for more than that.

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