I think I owe you guys an apology for all the Instagram photos that I posted over the weekend. Hate to be “that girl,” but I just couldn’t help but overshare our mini getaway to Winston-Salem, NC. The reason for our trip? My sister is a grad student at Wake Forest University and, alas, her winter break has finally come to a close…Time for her to pack up and head back to school – But mom and I weren’t ready to say goodbye yet and decided to invite ourselves along for the ride, turning it into a mini girl’s weekend.
First stop after the two and a half hour ride? Simply Yummy – A simply yummy place to grab some lunch. Mom and I split a delicious panini - We’re talking procuitto, sliced apple, cheese, YUM. Oh and pasta salad too. And coffee…
Feeling officially revived (I’m not a big fan of long car rides), we set out on foot to tour the local shops in the area. We randomly decided to check out an inconspicuous record store, where I unearthed a clearance Christmas compelation that can only be described as “perfection.” The Carpenters, Judy Garland, Bing, Frank, Barabara - It was worth my $1 and THEN some. But beyond that, the store was jam packed with limited edition records and original movie and band posters. I felt like I was in the ultimate man cave.
After departing from there, we strolled over to a specialty olive oil and vinegar shop – Quite a departure from the records store, that’s for sure. We were able to sample all sorts of delicious oils and vinegars, from butter and tangerine to mushroom and even chocolate! I ended up buying a bottle of lemon olive oil because I absolutely adore any meal with a citrus flavor. My stomach is grumbling just imagining what it will be like to dump fresh chicken and penne pasta over a sizzling pan of my new olive oil…
When my parents moved my sister in at the beginning of the semester, they were able to squeeze in a little exploring. While on said maiden voyage, mom couldn’t help but notice the white building below. It’s no surprise that, with a name like “Nekkid Dave,” she was intrigued, but the windows are hardly inviting or even offered any inkling as to what the store contained. She did a little researching when she got home and was a little taken aback at what she found. Knowing that I would flip head over heels for what turned out to be a super unique home goods store, we made a bee line from the olive oil shop and, as predicted, I fell hard.
So hard, that I barely took any photos I was so distracted. You would have found me running from that big beautiful gallery wall shown above, to a luxurious seating area complete with vintage-inspired couch and animal fur rug. There was a giant, life size horse sculpture made from discarded wood and tables and tables of mirrored trays, dainty bird cages and round pieces of carved wood the size of bowling balls. And then there was the ceiling…
Yeah, those are architectural drawings. On the ceiling. It was incredible and I can’t wait to go back. Although I wanted EVERYTHING and the prices were surprisingly reasonable, my practical sister shooed me away from the register and I left empty-handed. I don’t really need anything at the moment, but I sure wanted something…Maybe next time.
Speaking of those architectural drawings, did I mention that the homes and historic buildings in Winston-Salem are captivating? Check out the hotel/conference center below. My mom is thinking about booking a room NOW for Kat’s graduation in a year and a half. I’m certainly not going to complain if I can come as a guest. I would feel like royalty driving up to this place for the night.
But that wasn’t our only stop to admire building perfection. We also made a point to save room in our day for a tour of the Reynalda house. This sprawling estate was the home of the town’s most influential family back in the day. You’ll have to forgive my lack of explanation as to this particular family because my mind was wrapped so closely around the incredible art collection, that I hardly had time to think about the people who owned it.
Once inside, we toured opulent room after opulent room, pausing to admire the original woodwork, furniture and decor (and, as big fans, imagine for a moment how similar the lifestyle was to an American version of Downton Abbey). They even still had Christmas decor up for us!
Please forgive my iPhone photography…But I had to make a point about this one painting. As you can clearly see, it’s the portrait of a woman, but look closely and you’ll see a second hazy portrait of a young boy beside her. Apparently the boy died and his face was painted out, but how eery that he is still visible through the pigment.
The art history buff in me was doing back flips when we discovered this painting by Martin Johnson Heade. I don’t think it will ever get old to come across paintings in the flesh that we studied back in school so many years ago. It’s like stumbling upon an old friend, as cheesy as that may sound. I know all its secrets…
My sister was more than affronted by the modern art displayed in the house, but I was like a kid in a candy store. I love this stuff. Love it SO much that I was taking photos of it with my phone when I got yelled at by the guard because there was no photography allowed. So sad…But at least I had already snapped a good bit of the home to share here today.
Despite breaking the rules, I couldn’t help but grab a secret shot of the indoor pool and the basement hallway of framed original Vogue covers, circa 1920. Probably my favorite parts of the tour.
Exhausted and hungry from the tour, we eventually made our way dinner (at the Village Tavern) and later to bed. But the next morning we were up and at em again, this time for breakfast at some place I can’t remember downtown, and then a tour of Old Salem and Wake Forest campus.
We had an absolute blast visiting my sister and I’m super jealous of all the history surrounding her. Can’t wait to visit again soon – I miss her like crazy already.
Have you guys ever been to Winston-Salem before? Live nearby? I’d love some recommendations on where to go on our next visit.