Classic cars to crazy creations at the Altus Rockin' Rumble, Oklahoma! | Teaspoon of Nose

Life in Altus: Rockin’ Rumble

In Altus, Oklahoma, one of the biggest events of the year is the Rockin’ Rumble.

It’s talked up for months. People plan their schedules around it.

What is it? It’s a car show, folks.

Classic cars to crazy creations at the Altus Rockin' Rumble, Oklahoma! | Teaspoon of Nose

Continue reading

Advertisements
Exploring Mangum's Rattlesnake Derby in southwest Oklahoma!

Life in Altus: Rattlesnake Derby

Within a month of getting back to Oklahoma, there were TWO somewhat-hilarious cultural events. Today I’m sharing one of these, the Mangum Rattlesnake Derby.

 

Imagine a small town carnival meets flea market. Now add any rattlesnake-related activity, wise idea or not. What you’re picturing is the Rattlesnake Derby.

Exploring Mangum's Rattlesnake Derby in southwest Oklahoma!

Continue reading

Quartz Mountain's rocky beauty stands out against the Oklahoma sky.

Quartz Mountain in Winter

Our first weekend in Oklahoma, some friends invited us to go hiking. We weren’t sure what that would be like, since everything you can see is farmland. But Lauren & Austin grabbed their dogs and took us to Quartz Mountain State Park!

Quartz Mountain's rocky beauty stands out against the Oklahoma sky.

Continue reading

Hiking in the Wichita Mountains Wildlife Refuge in southwest Oklahoma gets even better in the snow!

A Snowy Hike in the Wichita Falls Wildlife Refuge

My brother came for a long weekend recently! As our first guest we got to do all sorts of firsts with him: take him to the local museum, play in our first snowstorm, try Braums. He even helped Logan build a kitchen table, which I’m thrilled about and will share more of that later.

Our part of Oklahoma is a little funny, because it’s very very flat. For miles and miles. There are a few large rock formations (locals call them mountains, but even compared to the Appalachians they’re more like hills), but they’re few and far between.

There’s options, though an hour away sit the Wichita Mountains, which provide more proper mountain hiking. So when Ben requested a hike, we piled in the car to Cache, home of the Wichita Falls Wildlife Refuge.

Hiking in the Wichita Mountains Wildlife Refuge in southwest Oklahoma gets even better in the snow!

Continue reading

Chapel Hill on my #trianglebucketlist

Triangle Bucket List: a conclusion

Over the years following my study abroad in Australia, several of my international friends visited me. I was thrilled to see them but always struggled with where to take them. After taking them on a tour of my campus, feeding them North Carolina barbecue, and introducing them to my local friends, I was always at a loss for what to show them about my hometown. It’s a fantastic place to grow up, but what here appeals to someone just stopping through?

It took me a few years, but since graduating I’ve really grasped what this place has to offer. The idyllic college campus is only the beginning: the variety of fun, the arts presence, the scope of restaurants and the access to nature only scratch the surface of what makes the Triangle special.

I love my city.

Continue reading

Getting classic Napoli pizza at IP3!

Italian Pizzeria 3

Do you want really good pizza? As in classic Napoli-style cheesy goodness?

When Logan and I made our final list of the last few Triangle Bucket List places to visit one more time before we move, IP3 hit the top of his list.

Getting classic Napoli pizza at IP3!

Getting classic Napoli pizza at IP3!

Yes, it’s name is Italian Pizzeria 3. I have no idea where Italian Pizzerias 1 and 2 are, but they’re not in Chapel Hill.

Continue reading

This way to He's Not Here!

He’s Not Here

This weekend UNC hosted Homecoming!  Our friends Lucy and Ian organized a game day party, it was so great to get together and cheer on the heels with so many people we love. Plus the Heels won, so it felt like the a perfect send off for our leaving!! So in honor of the weekend I want to share another Franklin Street favorite: He’s Not Here!

If you asked a Carolina student to name the bar that most connects with students, odds are they’d pick He’s Not Here.

At first glance, it’s not much: a big outdoor space with picnic tables and corn hole, and a dark grungy inside that only sees students when its raining. A dive, for sure. But it’s our dive, and Carolina students & alums can’t get enough of this place. It’s casual, it’s low key, and that atmosphere makes it endearing.

This way to He's Not Here!

Continue reading

Shiki sushi for the win!

Addicted to Shiki

Today I’m sharing one of those restaurants that I adore and eat at regularly, yet somehow never got around to sharing with you! It’s the type of place I’m equally likely to go for a nice work lunch or for a date night – any excuse to eat my favorite sushi!

Shiki sushi for the win!

Shiki Sushi is around the corner from Southpoint mall, within 10 minutes of Chapel Hill, and Shiki sushi for the win!only 10 minutes from my house. One of those places that feels close to everything.

It’s also a very popular place. Any given weekend night, you’d better make reservations or be prepared to wait 30+ minutes. It’s worth the wait though!

Everyone has a slightly different take on sushi, but there’s something to fit every taste. If you want the classic flavors, they’ve got it. If you want creative twists, there’s something for you. If you want rolls stuffed to the brim with as much seafood as possible, you’re covered too. Tempura fried roll? Check. Sushi run under the broiler just before serving? Done.

Here’s a few of my favorites:

  • Tokyo Sunrise roll: Start with a classic California roll, but with piles of salmon, crab, and roe. So good. I pretty much ALWAYS pick this one.
  • Fabulous roll: Great subtle fish flavors, topped with a kick of Sriracha!
  • Sumo roll: Not for the faint of heart. It’s tempura fried and a bit of sweet eel sauce. Very rich.
  • Blue Devil roll: Much as it pains me to order something Duke-themed, its a great roll with spicy tuna and a touch of wasabi.
  • Volcano roll: Most unusual of my favorites – it’s  baked! I’m not entirely sure on the exact compilation, but it’s a roll topped with scallops and spicy mayo and served warm. An unusual preparation, and I’m in love with it.

Shiki sushi for the win!

There are a TON of other choices, those are the ones I typically land on. Bonus: grab 3 friends and order the boat! We did that for my birthday and it made my WEEK. So fun.

Shiki sushi for the win!

Forgive the blurriness, there’s only so long you can hold people up from digging into sushi.

They serve other non-sushi dishes, but no one should be surprised that I’ve stuck to sushi. I could eat sushi twice a week and not get tired of it.

all images copyright Teaspoon of Nose

 

 

Having a ball at the 2016 N.C. State Fair!

My favorite fall tradition: The State Fair

Having a ball at the 2016 N.C. State Fair!

Growing up in the Triangle, the biggest harbinger of fall wasn’t sweaters or Halloween costumes or even the leaves changing. It was the NC State Fair!

I grew up in a household that believed the fair was a MUST every October, and each year I often ended up going more than once with various friend groups. The fair at night is magical and  has a special allure to teenagers eager to spread their wings a bit. Then in college, one of my favorite things every fall was to take friends who’d never been, especially if they’re from up north (or anywhere that things aren’t constantly fried) to watch them experience deep fried twinkies or oreos or bacon – whatever was the new fried thing that year. Yes, the state fair has a new fried thing each year. This year, I think it was jello.

Having a ball at the 2016 N.C. State Fair!

This year, Logan and I went during the day for the first time in I-don’t-know-how-long, mostly because I wanted to see the animals. Yes, I am actually an 8 year old girl still and can’t get over the baby animals. That’s me.

First, food. Surprisingly, my favorite fair food is actually corn on the cob. It’s grilled, drenched in butter, and there’s lots of seasoned salt options. It makes me happy. And I’m that local kid who has a specific corn booth that’s my favorite – the big one near the Village of Yesteryear (yes, that’s a thing. We’ll get to that.) right next to the rabbit exhibit. Best corn at the fair, hands down.

Having a ball at the 2016 N.C. State Fair!

Having a ball at the 2016 N.C. State Fair!Don’t misunderstand me – just corn is not a true fair experience. Over the course of the afternoon, we cobbled together “lunch” at about 5 different booths. Need protein? There’s burgers, BBQ, ham biscuits, turkey legs and lots of other options. Try a weird fried thing, it may surprise you. Our favorite is the bacon-wrapped Reese’s cups, but we ALWAYS have to get a funnel cake. It’s a classic and not to be overlooked. Like all the best things in life, its better when shared.

There’s also fantastic ice cream. N.C. State University always has a booth with a 30 minute line, but it’s that good. Every third booth has soft serve if that’s your thing, and we discovered a new homemade ice cream place with strawberry, so that attracted our spoons this trip.

Backing up a bit, I’m sure you’re wondering about the Village of Yesteryear. It’s such a quintessential thing at the fair, but I get how it’s strange to first time visitors. There’s this corner of the fair, away from the rides and the midway, that’s got semi-permanent buildings. One is an old mill, another details the history of the fair. They used to have a working blacksmith, but I couldn’t find it this time. There’s musical and clogging performances throughout the day – I had a friend who clogged competitively and we always went to see her at the fair. The costumes are AWESOME. It’s also where you can find the petting zoo, handicrafts for sale, and things like that. Definitely worth browsing.

Having a ball at the 2016 N.C. State Fair!

Having a ball at the 2016 N.C. State Fair!

The main reason I wanted to go during daylight this year was the animals. There are competitive animal shows, which for some reason I find fascinating (have you ever watched a “best in show” style goat competition? It’s ridiculously cute!) and next door is the Ark, which has the prettiest cows and tiniest piglets you’ve ever seen! Seriously though, these are the best-groomed farm animals I’ve seen in my life.

Side note: it made me laugh to realize that my husband took the bar three months ago in the exact spot that we saw the goat competition. A whole new level of mixed-use facilities, right?

Speaking of animals, my absolute favorite thing at the fair is the pig races. Yes, you read that right. A farmer and his wife set up a mini track where they race pigs, geese and goats for a cheese doodle prize! It’s not to be missed. They do this every two hours or so, so make sure you check it out!

Having a ball at the 2016 N.C. State Fair!

Having a ball at the 2016 N.C. State Fair!

There’s so much to do at the fair! I haven’t even touched the rides; there’s something for everyone, from the ferris wheel and kiddie rides to gravity defying contraptions my mom doesn’t want to know I ride. There’s concerts every night in Dorton Arena, usually with a few up-and-coming artists you’ll hear more from in a year or two. There’s also random performances scattered throughout the fairgrounds – one year, I came across a hypnotist show and it was the funniest thing I think I’ve ever seen at the fair.

Having a ball at the 2016 N.C. State Fair!

We ran into my college roommate, Taylor and her husband!

Having a ball at the 2016 N.C. State Fair!

This year, we discovered a wolf exhibit too! Their “show” is educational, focusing on conservation and their natural behavior in the wild.

A note about parking: there is free parking! You just have to know where to go. Carter-Finley Stadium offers free parking and the walk to the fair isn’t too bad. They had a park-and-ride situation, but we decided we were going to eat enough to merit the extra 100 yards to our car.

My favorite fall tradition is only around 10 days every year, but that makes it all the more special. The state fair wraps up today, but mark your calendars for next October!

Having a ball at the 2016 N.C. State Fair!

What’s your favorite fall tradition? Let me know in the comments below – I’d love to hear from you!

The links above contain affiliate links, which means I get a few cents (at no extra cost to you) if you book or buy something via that link. This helps me keep costs down and posts up! All images copyright Teaspoon of Nose.

Celebrating UNC's powerhouse basketball program at the Carolina Basketball Museum!

The Carolina Basketball Museum

In honor of UNC basketball season kicking off tonight, I wanted to share one of Chapel Hill’s hidden gems – the Carolina Basketball Museum!

Celebrating UNC's powerhouse basketball program at the Carolina Basketball Museum!

I say hidden only because I’ve grown up as a Tar Heel fan and lived near the campus my whole life, but I’d never been! So we decided we had to check it out before we moved.

Celebrating UNC's powerhouse basketball program at the Carolina Basketball Museum!

My first impression was that it had way more paraphernalia than I was expecting.  Game balls, rings, uniforms, and even ticket stubs in addition to press clippings and medals.

You first walk in to a trophy room. They’re bigger than I expected, and it’s cool to see the ways the design changed over the years. They’ve also got rings from each championship – they’ve definitely gotten more blinged out recently.

Celebrating UNC's powerhouse basketball program at the Carolina Basketball Museum!

The main room has a floor painted like the court, and stations throughout highlighting major players, coaches, positions, or some other aspect of the game. My favorite display was the one showing all the buzzer beaters on a loop.

Some of the stuff in there made me laugh, like the letter from Coach K responding to Michael Jordan after he made his decision not to attend Duke. The envelope had even been saved!

Celebrating UNC's powerhouse basketball program at the Carolina Basketball Museum!

Celebrating UNC's powerhouse basketball program at the Carolina Basketball Museum!

Seeing the size of players’ shoes was almost unbelievable. The photos don’t do it justice. Eric Montross’ shoes were at least double the size of mine, seriously!

One of the great things about UNC basketball is that there’s such a tradition of excellence. I know, those of you who aren’t UNC fans are probably rolling your eyes, but you can’t argue with 5 national championships spread over 60 years.

As someone who’s grown up on UNC basketball, it was so much fun to see uniforms from players there in my college days as well as names I grew up hearing as Woody Durham commentated. I spent countless winter evenings as a high schooler working the concession stand at the Dean Dome, and have fond memories of rushing Franklin Street as a student celebrating the 2009 National Championship.

If you follow college basketball, it’s worth checking out. If you’re a Carolina fan, you have no excuse. The hours are a bit weird (weekdays and Saturday mornings), but I think they open it before home games too, so build in some time next time you’re in town!

Celebrating UNC's powerhouse basketball program at the Carolina Basketball Museum!

The links above contain affiliate links, which means I get a few cents if you book or buy something via that link. Feel free to use or not use! All images copyright Teaspoon of Nose.