When I threw caution to the wind ten years ago and moved to North Carolina - there was some culture shock to say the least. After spending about eight months living with Mom & Dad, they sent me packing for the big city of Raleigh. As a 'just outside Philadelphia' transplant, I initially spent a whole lot of time looking for the 'big' part of the 'big city'.
I did find it - and fell in love with it.
The thing about Raleigh is that while it is one of our state's big cities (hey, it's the state capitol, after all) - it has a very small town vibe.
It is easy to get around - and easy to get unlost if you should you find yourself in unfamiliar territory. Traffic exists, but on a scale where it is not extremely annoying or dreadful. And on the days when it is - it serves as a reminder to how easy most days are.
One of my first quandaries upon moving here was why no matter where I went were complete strangers smiling at me - if not starting a full blown conversation. It felt funny. And stalkerish. I wasn't used to having sales associates follow me around stores wanting to help. I was used to them standing next to the register with a cell phone to their ear and a look in their eyes that said, 'don't you dare interrupt this phone call to my boo'.
And, of course - there is the weather. I won't point out TOO much on that end as I know three quarters of our nation is currently under some sort of winter weather debacle (SnOMG 2011) while we sit here watching the temps climb up to the 70's. I won't dwell too much on the fact that I came to work today sans coat while wearing a skirt, sleeveless shirt and short-sleeved cardigan. It wouldn't be right to throw that in.
Yes, I do love my city. I'm wrapped up in glee for Raleigh right now because we just put on a show like no other.
And when Raleigh opens its doors to the world - we do it in style. I'd been waiting so long for All Star Weekend to arrive - and when it finally did...it was beyond my expectations. I somehow missed at least two of the items on my punch list (going to the actual indoor portion of Fan Fair and hitting the North Hills area where all the players were staying).