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Sunday, May 15, 2016

Great News & A Birthday


Hello, dear friends.  I hope that you are enjoying your weekend.  These are a few snippets from mine.  







Who do you think had more fun outside?



We met Annie and her Mister for a movie.  Money Monster is simmering with suspense and not just because my boyfriend, George is in it.  Both men and women will enjoy this one.  We all agreed - it deserves 5 stars.  I'd give it a "6" because of the eye candy.  But that's just me. And probably chubby Amal.

*****


This post will cover my first day back to my former home-away-from-home, the great state of Texas.

My #1 picked me up in Dallas, and we hit the road to Austin where we were to meet my Sista and two handsome nefs.  Our mission was to celebrate my father's 98th birthday.  Yup, you heard me correctly - 98-years-old and going strong.  


On the way, my #2 called us with the great news that she was accepted to her number 1 choice for her Masters.  



Good bye... Generals
Hello ... Blue Devils





Dear readers, if you live in or know the area of Durham, and can give me the heads-up on favorite restaurants or shopping, please leave me a note.



Speaking of shopping, we made a little pit stop before Austin.  I will share my photos and initial impression at a later date.  I had a fabulous lunch with Chip and Jojo.  OK, I lied.  Just wanted to make sure you are paying attention.




We met Sista and nefs in the hotel bar for a little pre-gaming.



We stayed at the Westin Domain.  I love this hotel.  Outstanding service with a smile and lovely rooms.  It has the fastest Room Service in the world!  Twelve minutes from my call to a knock on the door.  The best part, though, is that the Westin Domain is located within minutes of a beautiful outdoor mall with great shops and restaurants.




Nef #2 is thinking how impressed all the babes are going to be when they see him cruising in this cool ride with his family.



Destination: Flemings



The birthday boy and his darling sweetheart, Norma.  She is pure Southern class and loveliness.

My Dad is a Blue Devil and started to get weepy when he got the news that his #2 granddaughter is on her way to Duke.



Sista and Miss Barbara, who is a close friend of Sista's from college and the epitome of a Southern charm and humor.



Nef #2 chatting it up with Barbara's beautiful daughter, darling Lilly.



Miss Barbara's niece, Sweet Caroline. 



If you don't know who these two are, you weren't paying close enough attention.  Go to the back of the classroom.   



Here I am trying my new casually cover the waddle pose.
Thoughts?





Nobody loves his birthday more than my father.  I don't think that there was a person in the restaurant that didn't know that a 98-year-old was in their presence.

If you know Durham...
talk to me!


Until next time...






While we were at the movies this afternoon, these two hooligans were having a much-needed spa day.  Chow got an A+ for his behavior ( I think he bribes them) and Chili still is in the needs improvement category.  And she doesn't care.  At all.


Katie Clooney
Katie Clooney

I'm Katie. Thanks for stopping by my blog. I am an empty nester meandering through my middle-aged years while entangled in the never-ending process of renovating an antique home on the South Shore of Massachusetts. I love to write about books, movies, TV, celebrities, decorating, and weekend adventures. My favorite writing material is derived from my family: the Mister, my girls, #1 and #2, and my two untrainable, rambunctious pups, Chowdah and Chili.

51 comments:

  1. Oooh...love all the garden goodness. Congrats to #2. Contact my BFF, Jennifer through her blog Beaufort Belle...she went to Duke and lives in NC!!!!! She will tell all. I'll make sure to let her know you will be contacting her.

    And, congrats to your sweet dad. My MIL will be 98 in August!!! AMAZING.

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  2. Congratulations to your beautiful #2! You must be SO proud of her! And....WOW....your dad is blessed to be celebrating his 98th birthday with his beautiful family! That is such a gift! So very happy you all celebrated in style! The Domain is a great place to visit Thanful you had safe travels and enjoyed being back in the great state of Texas! Hugs from Betsy @ Estelles!

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  3. Katie,
    what a fun trip you had! Your daughter looks gorgeous as usual and those "nefs" how handsome are they! Your Dad looks absolutely amazing for being 98, you'd sure never know it! I lived right outside Charlotte NC. for 10 years but don't know much about Durham. You will have fun exploring, loved NC. Looking forward to your post on your visit to Waco!
    Rebecca

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  4. So glad your dad had a birthday and you were here to celebrate! ;-) Your family photos are fun to see. What a wonderful celebration! Your dad looks like he is going to celebrating many more birthdays. Hip-Hip-Horray!
    Oh, and I like the looks of the back of that SUV. Can't wait to see photos of the garden.

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  5. OH MY!!!! What wonderful news for #2!! Sorry I do not have 411 on the Durham area. What an awesome birthday celebration!!!!! Thanks for sharing all the great and happy photos. Can't wait to see all those flowers planted. Have an awesome week!!!

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  6. This sounds totally glorious! What a wonderful time, what a marvelous celebration! A handsome batch of family members to be sure -- and a fun looking gang at that! Eagerly awaiting more!

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  7. Oh, my goodness, I know you are certainly hoping that you have inherited your sweet Dad's genes. He looks amazing and what a fabulous celebration. Those dogs are just too cute!!!

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  8. Blessings...celebrating the 98th birthday of your father, spending time with your extended family, and your daughter's acceptance into Duke. We are from NC and a Duke family. Our youngest graduated from Duke a year ago from their Physician Assistant program. If you enjoy delicious food, Durham and the surrounding area will be right up your alley. Be sure to dine at Antonia's in Hillsborough. They serve authentic Italian food and you might even dine in the presence of Duke's Coach K. Downtown Durham has a wealth of places to dine. We particularly enjoy Rue Cler, a French-style bistro; Cupcake Bar - don't miss the yummy, rich hot chocolate; Parker & Otis, serving fresh sandwiches and salads, plus cute gifts and a great selections on wine; The Piedmont, imaginative, seasonal cooking - just a few of the great restaurants in downtown Durham. Be sure to visit DPAC, the performing arts center in downtown Durham. Not a bad seat in the house. In the Southpoint area of Durham, we enjoy Deluce Cafe - great desserts. Chapel Hill has Foster's Market which has a country store feel with a great breakfast, as well as lunch and dinner. So many great places to eat, shop, eat and shop some more. Birthday wishes to your father and congratulations to your daughter!

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    1. Angela... thank you so much for all you great suggestions. I can hardly wait to hit Durham to check all these places out. Hope you have a wonderful week!

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  9. You come from some good genes! Happy birthday to your sweet father. What a wonderful time you must have had. Everyone looks so happy. -Jenn

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  10. Congrats to your daughter. I just took my middle schooler there for a sports tournament on Mother's Day weekend. We toured all areas and found Durham to be the least pleasing. The other area's and new one's popping up like Cary make up for the disappointment. Our favorite restaurant in Cary (and worth the drive) is Le Farm Bakery. We loved everything and it was the best coffee I have had in a long time. In Downtown Cary, we found a cute boutique that had some very nice bohemian dresses and jewelry called Paisley. There was not much else I could find. Do venture to Martha Stewarts longtime friend Sarah Fosters little restaurant called "Fosters Market" for delicious breakfast treats and you can sit outside on her lovely porch area to enjoy. On the weekends it gets crowded so leave early., Good Luck!

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    1. Thank you so much Heather, for taking the time to tell me about Durham and the surrounding areas. I will definitely use your note as a reference point when I head to NC. Any friend of Martha's is a friend of mine - I will definitely not miss that one!! Hope you enjoy your week, and thanks again Heather.

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  11. Happy birthday to your dad!! Looks like a great party. And super congratulations to #2! It doesn't get much better than getting into your #1 choice of schools. Bravo!

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  12. Oh, I almost forgot. Southern Living wrote a article about the trendy "Brightlieaf Square" in Durham. The shopping was nice there but the food was average. It is worth the trip. At night the bar scene was lively!

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  13. So many congratulations to go around! Duke...great school and you will have fun visiting the area. Been many years since we were there with our daughter but was fun. My dad celebrated 87 years recently! And your pups...I always love seeing those two. Since we lost our Mikey I just stalk other's fur babies. I can enjoy the cuteness without the cleanup and fur everywhere. Ha! Have a great week! Sheila

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  14. YOUR FATHER's JACKET!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    WHAT GORGEOUS WELL GROOMED YOUNG NEPHEWS..............I don't think YOU WOULD SEE THAT IN CALIFORNIA ANYMORE!!!!!!!!Looks like a GRAND TIME HAD BY ALL and CONGRATULATIONS to DAD and DAUGHTER!!!!!!!

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  15. You have me laughing out loud. Yes, I can guess which dog had more fun...too cute! Happy Birthday to your dad! He looks adorable and like quite the character. I am thinking you got his personality! Congrats to your daughter as well. Have a great week!
    Shelley

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  16. Your daddy is an adorable man!! And so happy for you all that your daughters going to Duke! Makes me want to pull out my Duke sweatshirt tonight, my cousin went there!! Your posies are going to be so beautiful! Looks like the back of my vehicle this time year. Have a wonderful and beautiful week!

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  17. Happy birthday to your dad! He sure is going strong at 98 - WOW!
    Congratulations to your daughter, too.
    Have a great week!

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  18. Your father looks amazing and full of personality! Looks like a fun family weekend. And, big congratulations to your daughter on her masters program acceptance of her choice :-)

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  19. Hi Katie! Sign up for e-mails from The Scout Guide Raleigh Durham Chapel Hill edition. They've got great stuff. http://triangle.northcarolina.thescoutguide.com/

    Kind regards,
    Joelle

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    1. Thank you, Joelle. Will do and will also advise #2. Thanks for taking the time to leave me a note. Have a great week.

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  20. Your Daddy's adorable and I love his blazer! Duke is a great school, but I don't know much about the area. Glad you had a fun trip, and I can't wait to hear all about the Fixer Upper duo!

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  21. http://www.designsponge.com/2016/03/durham-nc-city-guide.html I hear Duke is a great school, will send further info as i get it.

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  22. Love your Dad's jacket...what a styler! Happy birthday to him...you are so lucky to still have him around! thanks for sharing this special day with all of us.

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  23. Great post...your Dad looks like a charmer. As for Durham, I have been to Raleigh...if you are ever in the area during the Junior League Spree...usually the fall, check it out, totally worth it. Very preppy shopping...as far as restaurants, sadly mostly chains when I have visited. I am sure someone will pull through for you.

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  24. How fun! Happy birthday to your dad and congrats to Daughter2! Hubs office is based in Raleigh which is in that same general vicinity. If you're on Instagram follow @Rdubaton...it's a different person every day posting about their day in the Triangle and they share favorite dining and shopping spots. I think they have a website by that same name too.

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  25. Happy 98th to your dad, and congratulations on your daughter's acceptance! Thanks so much for your visit to Best of the Weekend party!

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  26. Your father is precious, what a handsome young man! Congratulations to your #2! We are about 30 minutes from Durham, but spend more time a few miles away where the blue is lighter. ;-) You must visit DPAC, excellent shows there. You will also be about 40 minutes from Replacements, Ltd.

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    Replies
    1. Wow... Replacements, Ltd??? Now we're talking!!! Have a great week, dear Dee.

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  27. Katy,
    So much fun... all over the place...Dallas, Austin, Waco, birthday party, restaurants, hotels, garden store... Your flower-filled car makes me want to buy an SUV just to haul plants around. Congratulations on your daughter's acceptance. Your trip was at a perfect time weather wise. Today was another stellar day... blue skies, low humidity, and temps in the 70s. I made a note to myself to remember this day come July.

    Judith

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  28. Your father is as cute as can be and happy birthday to him! Looks like you all had a fabulous time celebrating his 98th! Wow!

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  29. Katie your sweet dad is a real looker and I can tell he is the life of any party! Congrats to #2 on her new academic endeavor. Have never been to Durham but hear tell it's lovely!

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  30. Wow -- what a great update! Congrats to #2 -- that is so exciting! Your Dad looks fabulous -- happy No. 98 to him! My Dad turns 93 in August! Your nephews are so adorable and looks like everyone had such a great time!

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  31. Awe happy birthday to your dad! 98 amazing years that is a life well lived and I love how happy he is in the photos. :-) So many great pictures, congrats to your daughter... she also looks so much like you! :-) Enjoy your day.

    Blessings,
    Jill

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  32. Hi Katie, Just got back from my son's undergraduate graduation at Duke this past Sunday! Here's my recommendations: stay at the Washington Duke Inn (WaDuke). If you think you'll be visiting at least once a year, join the Executive Club. It pays for itself as you get 2 free nites (certain dates are blocked, like home basketball dates, parents' weekend, etc, but I was always able to use my 2 nites). Plus you get discounted room rate even when you can't use your free night plus food discounts. Very traditional, hospitable southern charm, good food, great bar. Best location of any Durham hotel since right across the street from football & basketball stadiums. There's a lovely 3 mile nature trail around the hotel too, very nice walk. If you can't get in there, try 21C Museum hotel. We stayed there for graduation since didn't win the "lottery" for the WaDuke. Very hip "W" type hotel that just opened last year. Restaurants - wonderful southern cooking - Foster's Market, perfect for breakfast or lunch, very casual, but everything delicious. Nice dinner (ie more pricey) -- Nana's. pretty much books up 30 days in advance, so plan ahead. They also just opened Nana's Steak this year although I haven't tried it. Next door is Nana's Tacos, a casual eatery. I'm from Cali so wasn't that impressed by the tacos, but it was a fun atmosphere with good margaritas. My son & his friends love it there. Those are my 2 go to eateries, but I was always happy with my dining experiences when visiting. Fresh local products, charming friendly service, diverse cuisines to choose from. Congratulations to your daughter. I know she will love her time there. My son did and so did I!

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    1. Ruth... thank you so much for all the information!!! I am filing your note for the occasion our #2 ever lets us visit. From what I hear Foster's Market is very popular. Thanks for all the accommodation info. Will definitely make note of it. Ruth, I appreciate you taking the time to give me the 4-1-1 on Duke. I hope you have a great week.

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  33. Happiest of birthdays to your handsome dad! seriously your whole family is gorgeous. happy you're back in texas, if only for a little while. big hugs from houston :)

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  34. Your dad is one good-looking 98 year old! How wonderful you got to celebrate with him.

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  35. Happy, Happy, Happy to your Dad! And congrats to Miss Dukie!

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  36. I love your dad's jacket, still a dandy at 98. Congratulations on #2 graduation and acceptance at Duke, thrilled for all of you. The hooligans clean up well, perhaps Chili needs a wider choice of spa treatments? Love the bows.

    annie g

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  37. What a fun and happy post full of beautiful people, great news and celebrations..does it get better!! WOW your dad looks AMAZING! Good for him.....he looks like he is very much enjoying life. We are soon to celebrate my grandmothers 99th and had to change a vacay plan for it...but hey that doesn't' come along every day! Loved this post...perfect reading material on a sick day! Congrats to your daughter #1 how exciting...go Blue Devils!

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  38. Sis, man alive. Is my mom ever going to get a kick out of this. 98? She just had lunch with a good friend who's a 102. Man alive we should get the three of them together. Oh the stories they could tell. Congrats to #2. Off to check out Duke and find out where the heck this Durham is ...

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  39. Sis, man alive. Is my mom ever going to get a kick out of this. 98? She just had lunch with a good friend who's a 102. Man alive we should get the three of them together. Oh the stories they could tell. Congrats to #2. Off to check out Duke and find out where the heck this Durham is ...

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  40. You really can't beat the food at this place; they have the best vegetarian meals and the most adorable dishes for the kids. The service at event space also was impeccable. The salad I had for dinner was delicious as well as the scallop appetizer. The main course of filet mignon and dessert soufflé was also awesome!

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  41. Hi Katie. I left a huge dissertation on all things Durham. Live 20 minutes from there. Did you get it?

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  42. Live in Raleigh... The Triangle is a great place to live, eat and shop! The food scene is the area is growing in stature.. Venture to downtown Raleigh for Beasley's Chicken+Honey...or any of Ashley Christensen' restaurants. She's the 2014 James Beard Best Chef in the Southeast. I would recommend shopping in Cameron Village or North Hills in Midtown. Sola's for coffee.... And Tupelo Honey Cafe for brunch! Welcome to the South!

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  43. Hi Katie! Love your blog and love seeing that you will be in our "neck of the woods" more often. I live in Chapel Hill (lighter shade of blue!). You have so many great recommendations from people - sign up for Scout Guide, Nana's, Ashley Christensen restaurants in Raleigh, Foster's Market, DPAC. I would add Bin 54 in Chapel Hill or Angus Barn in Raleigh for great steak, Antonia's in Hillsborough (already mentioned too), Squid's or any of the Chapel Hill Restaurant Group restaurants. Bano is a great boutique in Durham. Would love to meet you some time when you're in the area! Congrats to your beautiful #2!

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