The Friends and Family Plan…Durham Version.

Most of our trips have been structured around events with specific dates such as Mardi Gras, the Kentucky Derby, a family reunion, or an out-of-town wedding.  The events give us a place to be and a time to be there, so we just fill in the rest and voilà, we have our itinerary.  This particular trip was built around the Ali Rittenberg and Alex Gilmore Wedding, October 7th in Durham, North Carolina.

We arrived in Durham a few days ahead of the wedding so we could visit with my cousin Amy (an actual first cousin), her husband Andy, and another second cousin once removed, Katherine Lee (whose wedding we attended in Chapel Hill this past April, sister to Jenna who we visited in Minneapolis, sister to Amanda who we visited on trip #1 this year in Lexington, daughter to second cousin Debbie Lee who we just visited in Chicago, and a fourth year med student at UNC). This has really been a great trip for seeing family and friends!

After checking into the Residence Inn, we met Amy and Andy for dinner at Goorsha, an Ethiopian restaurant, where I had the best Zilzil Tibs ever!


Thursday morning we met Katherine for a really nice morning 5k walk through Duke Forest and then had lunch at Foster’s Market.  It was so nice having Katherine all to ourselves for a couple of hours and getting to know her better.  She’s going to make such a great family practice doctor!


Friday was bath day for Wilma at “You Dirty Dog” (something old….we bathed her at the same place in April),



and get your very wrinkled suit pressed at Men’s Wearhouse day for me.


Wilma recovering from her bath while I wait for my suit

Friday afternoon we walked the Duke East Campus with Amy (in a vain attempt to find a coffee house with a patio in the shade), and then met Andy for dinner at Gonza Tacos Y Tequila, which has a wonderful outdoor patio and great food!


This is the only picture we have from dinner…..thanks Amy! I love it!

Saturday was wedding day… with much trepidation (after our last dog sitter debacle in Denver), we drove about 30 miles outside of Durham to drop Wilma off with a dog sitter we had found and carefully vetted.  Fortunately Alison turned out to be the perfect fit for us and we happily returned to Durham knowing that Wilma would be well taken care of.


I have mentioned the Rittenbergs many times in prior posts but here is a quick review:  Buzz (Gerard) and Sue Rittenberg and their twin daughters Ali and Lexie lived in San Ramon many, many years ago.  Emily played soccer with the girls and Robin and Sue became close friends.  Even though the family moved to Marietta, Georgia about 20 years ago, Robin and Sue have managed to stay in touch.  Since Robin and I started our road trips, we have met all the Rittenbergs…in various places…several times. In 2014 we stayed with Buzz and Sue a few days at their home in Marietta, had dinner with Ali in Asheville (she was doing a rotation as a third year med student….also at UNC) and met Lexie and her husband Nick at the Kentucky Derby.  In 2015 we met Buzz and Sue in Atlanta for dinner, and on our trip to Chapel Hill last April, we met Ali and her then fiance Alex for breakfast.  So coming to Durham for the wedding was an easy decision for us.

The wedding was held in the American Tobacco Historic District, once the home of the American Tobacco Company (started by James Buchanan Duke……the university was named after his father).  We had a great time, met some really nice people, and enjoyed our time with the Rittenbergs.


Buzz and Ali


American Tobacco Campus


Sunday morning Robin and I took advantage of our time without Wilma and actually had a meal inside a restaurant!


Breakfast at First Awake……inside!  Forgive the missing pieces of pumpkin spice pancake…

After picking up our happy dog, we went to visit (one last time) with Amy and Andy, where we had a nice time reminiscing, looking at old family photos, and venting about current world events.

Thanks again guys for feeding and entertaining us!  It was so nice to see you and hopefully we can do it again soon!

Oh…….still waiting on that kidney stone. Guess it’s a shy one!

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1 Response to The Friends and Family Plan…Durham Version.

  1. Emily says:

    Jealous of all your friends and family time but glad I got to join in via FaceTime with Aunt Corie and Amy!

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