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RaleighLover

A Day with my Second Cousin

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I have a bit of a story for everyone.

Last week I spent a day with my 2nd cousin Rachael. She's 9. I had agreed to watch her while her mother was out of town (my first cousin, of course). I needed to go pick something up so I figured we'd take a trip to the mall. Now, normally I would have went to Crabtree but her mother is really protective of her and she had wanted me to watch her at their house (which is in Louisburg) instead of just letting her spend the day with me at my apartment. I didn't argue with her. I don't get to spend enough time with Rachael as is so I was willing to stay there. Anyway, I'm getting off topic, the point is since I was north of Raleigh instead of going to Crabtree I decided to go to Triangle Town Center in North Raleigh (read: Sprawleigh). I asked Rachael if she had ever been there before and she replied "yeah" and talked about how much she loved Raleigh. As she talked I realized something from what she said: That she had never been downtown. The Raleigh she knew was not the Raleigh I knew. The Raleigh she knew was the sprawling wasteland that is North Raleigh. She didn't even know downtown existed. She had never seen the real Raleigh, the skyscrapers, the Capitol, the heart of Raleigh... I suddenly got depressed because I realized how many children are growing up around here without seeing downtown like her. Without experience the magic I felt when I was a kid, riding in the car with my parents and seeing those skyscrapers get closer and closer.

The reason is that people don't need to go downtown anymore. Everything they need is in North Raleigh. That's the reason downtown has taken so long to develop--because all the growth was outward (sprawl) and not inward.

Well "not this kid" I thought. "This kid will experience downtown" and suddenly I blew off the plans to go to the mall and told her I was going to show her the real Raleigh -- downtown. As we drove I told her all about downtown and she seemed really excited. As we continued down Capital Blvd Two Hannover came into view. She hadn't spotted it yet and I pointed to it. "Hey Rachael, look" I said. She gasped and smiled.

I think I smiled more. As we got closer to downtown and eventually drove into downtown her smile got bigger and so did mine.

I gotta say, getting to share something that means so much to me with someone who's never experienced it before, especially a child, was an awesome feeling. I enjoyed the day as much as she did.

I showed her all the buildings and pointed out what they were. I showed her the Capitol and the Museum of Natural Sciences. We ate a late lunch at Char-Grill.

It was a great day. I even managed to convince her mom to let us spend another day together this weekend. Not sure what we're gonna do yet. Any suggestions?

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I have a bit of a story for everyone.

Last week I spent a day with my 2nd cousin Rachael. She's 9. I had agreed to watch her while her mother was out of town (my first cousin, of course). I needed to go pick something up so I figured we'd take a trip to the mall. Now, normally I would have went to Crabtree but her mother is really protective of her and she had wanted me to watch her at their house (which is in Louisburg) instead of just letting her spend the day with me at my apartment. I didn't argue with her. I don't get to spend enough time with Rachael as is so I was willing to stay there. Anyway, I'm getting off topic, the point is since I was north of Raleigh instead of going to Crabtree I decided to go to Triangle Town Center in North Raleigh (read: Sprawleigh). I asked Rachael if she had ever been there before and she replied "yeah" and talked about how much she loved Raleigh. As she talked I realized something from what she said: That she had never been downtown. The Raleigh she knew was not the Raleigh I knew. The Raleigh she knew was the sprawling wasteland that is North Raleigh. She didn't even know downtown existed. She had never seen the real Raleigh, the skyscrapers, the Capitol, the heart of Raleigh... I suddenly got depressed because I realized how many children are growing up around here without seeing downtown like her. Without experience the magic I felt when I was a kid, riding in the car with my parents and seeing those skyscrapers get closer and closer.

The reason is that people don't need to go downtown anymore. Everything they need is in North Raleigh. That's the reason downtown has taken so long to develop--because all the growth was outward (sprawl) and not inward.

Well "not this kid" I thought. "This kid will experience downtown" and suddenly I blew off the plans to go to the mall and told her I was going to show her the real Raleigh -- downtown. As we drove I told her all about downtown and she seemed really excited. As we continued down Capital Blvd Two Hannover came into view. She hadn't spotted it yet and I pointed to it. "Hey Rachael, look" I said. She gasped and smiled.

I think I smiled more. As we got closer to downtown and eventually drove into downtown her smile got bigger and so did mine.

I gotta say, getting to share something that means so much to me with someone who's never experienced it before, especially a child, was an awesome feeling. I enjoyed the day as much as she did.

I showed her all the buildings and pointed out what they were. I showed her the Capitol and the Museum of Natural Sciences. We ate a late lunch at Char-Grill.

It was a great day. I even managed to convince her mom to let us spend another day together this weekend. Not sure what we're gonna do yet. Any suggestions?

Very cool story RaleighLover...I expect to see Rachael on this Forum posting soon !!! :D

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I could see that happening, lol. She's only 9 but is a computer whiz. If these kids keep this up I'm gonna be out of a job, lol.

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For this weekend, rain looks to be in the forecast so the museums -- NC History and Natural Sciences are free/donation, NC Museum of Art is a bit out of downtown, but it sounds like she has never been there either, and Exploris/IMAX if you have the money -- would be a good "inside" thing to do. Or Playspace in the Creamery, near the non-glenwood entrance to Stool Pigeons. There seems to always be something going on there... Cameron Village Library's extreme makeover could be fun if she is into reading.

If the rain misses, there is a parade on Saturday down Hillsborough to Dawson to Nash Square for the NC Fireman's memorial. Capitol Square is nice with the statues and view down Fayetville.

Pullen Park and the Rose Garden (Pogue street a few blocks north of Hillsborough) are a little outside of downtown proper, but still neat places to kill some time.

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