SB2k14 or whatever the kids are calling it these days.

12:08 PM

Tuesday was the day! We were all packed up and ready to head to North Carolina to spend the week visiting family and celebrate my 21st birthday on Thursday.

Instead of flying or making the 12 hour drive, we decided to take the train. It’s seriously one of my favorite ways to travel.
It takes up longer than both other methods, but we usually get a sleeper car and are able to have a private room. It includes a full sized bed and a twin sized top bunk, a tiny closet, and a full bathroom… well, it’s got a toilet, sink, mirror, and shower, but honestly, what else would you need?

My fist train ride was years ago. My mother assured me I’d like it, but I was hesitant. Trains are so [when the first train was run]. As a child, my faber was a conductor and would let me ride with him and blow the train horn, but that was years ago and I was too sophisticated for that. Or so I thought. All of that changed when the attendant showed us to our room and I got seated. The train pulled away from the station and I knew I was in love. “I feel like I’m on my way to Hogwarts!” My mother laughed, but she was happy I liked taking the train as much as she did.

Fast forward to this year and our plans to make a trip home for my birthday. I was a little sad when we decided to drive. It’s a long ride, it’s very cramped, and I worry about my dad driving all that time without a break. Apparently my parents felt the same way and I came home from school one day to the surprise of taking the train. Best spring break ever!

The train ride itself was pretty standard and when we arrived in North Carolina, it was rainy and cold. It was great seeing family again. It had been at least two years since I'd seen most of them and even more (like 10+) for others. The main event was my 21st birthday on the 13th and my birthday dinner on the 15th.

I spent my actual birthday in my dad's hometown with my parents. We really didn't do anything fancy, but I had my first legal drink with lunch at Chili's! I hadn't intended to order anything, but my mom convinced me to give it a go. On a whim I ordered a glass of berry Sangria and holy moly... was that a big glass of alcohol! Much to my parents surprise (and probably horror as well), I finished it and had my wits mostly about me.

Nailed it!
After lunch, we explored and found ourselves at an old mill that was repurposed into an antique shop. It had some of the COOLEST antiques. If I could buy everything in there, I would have. I walked through half the mill before I realized i could take pictures. Silly me! 

Here are some of the photos I took!

The next big event was my birthday dinner. Almost 30 of us gathered at Kanki, a Japanese steakhouse located at the Crabtree mall in Raleigh. Our server was hilarious and it was great to get together with people I hadn't seen in a number of years. I finally got to taste Sake, which has been a dream of mine forever. I'll admit that it was pretty gross. It reminded me of the smell of rubbing alcohol, but that was just plain Sake, so I'm not closing myself off to it just yet. There was a Fuji apple flavor and a peach one that I would like to try and perhaps I'd like it more if it wasn't warm. Sadly, my mom didn't get a picture of me drinking the sake... she didn't realize her phone was set to video and she cut away right as I lifted the cup to drink (oh moma!).

The rest of the day and the day following was simply spent with my brother and his family. While it wasn't a super eventful spring break filled with trips to the beach and partying with friends, this was probably the best spring break I've ever had. I got to spend time with my family and enjoy a relaxing week in a small, sleepy town. Now that break is over, it's back to the hustle and bustle of Tampa, but I look forward to the next trip I can take up to Carolina... or maybe even a permanent visit!

What did you all do with your spring breaks? I'd love to hear from you!

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