Hello everyone – Joanne here! We are having a wonderful time here in Raleigh…so much fun that we haven’t had time to post anything on the blog! So I’m going to attempt to wrap up the last week in a few paragraphs.
Birthdays: Margaret and Dennis both had birthdays this past week. We had a great time celebrating Margaret with a bunch of her friends and then Dennis and I went out with Rob and Margaret to celebrate his birthday. Both times, the kids enjoyed cousin time at home!
State Fair: We had a blast at the NC State Fair! Many rides and lots of greasy, fried foods!! Growing up with State Fairs, Dennis and I enjoyed watching the girls soak it all in!
Beach: Dennis and the girls and I went to Wrightsville Beach and Wilmington. We were lucky to have gorgeous weather and just play in the sand, collect shells, and of course, shop a bit! Abby was excited to see and touch the Atlantic Ocean!
University Campuses: We had the chance to visit some Universities in the area: UNC-Chapel Hill, Meredith College, and NC State. It was extra special to Dennis as his dad (along with many other family members) are UNC Alumni and his mom went to Meredith. The huge trees and old buildings were incredible. And Lydia enjoyed her new found love of collecting acorns and chasing squirrels!!
Pullen Park: This park was nothing short of amazing! It had a huge playground, kiddie boats, a pond to feed geese, fish and turtles, a carousel, a train and Dennis’ favourite – a statue of Andy Griffith and Opie! It was fun for the girls to play and Dennis and I caught up on a little reading. Lydia met a friend and soon we were introduced to her mother and grandmother. Emma, Keira, and Keisha were a joy to visit with and we feel so blessed to have met them. Keisha chased after us when we were leaving to give us 4 tickets to the Atlanta Botanical Gardens! Such kindness! We continue to enjoy the people we are meeting along this amazing journey!
Church: We attended 2 churches while here. We went to Trinity Baptist Church with Margaret and Connor last week. What a gorgeous church! It was much more traditional than I’m used to but it brought back many memories of church growing up. I loved the choir, hand bell choir and the pastor’s sermon very much. I had to laugh when we left as we told the greeter we were from Canada and she said, “Oh! Do you know the Wyatts?” I’ve always heard that joke, but it was hilarious to experience it!! Today Dennis, Abby and I went to Summit Church in Raleigh. This was closer to what we experience at LFC, though it was much larger. We really enjoyed this church as well. It was nice for Dennis as he wanted to hear JD Greear speak and we were lucky enough to hear him today.
Food: Oh My Goodness!! We have been in food heaven since we have arrived here! Southern BBQ, Mac & Cheese, Fried Okra, Hush Puppies, Sweet Tea, Fried Chicken, Grits….the list goes on and on. We have experienced a lot of different restaurants as well – many of Dennis’ favourites growing up as well as many new ones! Let’s just say while we’ve loved it ALL, we will be eating salad for the next week or so!!
Family: While we’ve done a lot of fun stuff while we’ve been here, the best has been the time spent with family! Rob and Margaret have been so gracious to let us stay in their home and have made us feel so welcomed here. We’ve spent a lot of time together talking and laughing and truly loving the chance to catch up and get to know each other better. Connor has been awesome and has been so great with the girls! He took us creek walking, built us bonfires, played with the kids at the Life and Science Museum, carved pumpkins with us and played many games at the house with the girls. Jax was able to come home from East Carolina University for the weekend so that was great! We didn’t get to spend much time together, but the time we did get was fun. Let’s just say the next Gulley Family reunion with the WHOLE family is already in the works!!