I finally decided to experience its allure for myself. I wanted to start with the city's nature preserve that a friend had spoken so highly of. I'll admit, I began my stroll into Hemlock Bluffs with a trace of skepticism. As I ambled into the canopy of trees and came upon my first overlook, however, my doubt vanished. I felt small, like one of the chirruping birds, as I peered down the steep bank from the treetops. Here, the bustle of the city went mute and I relaxed under the murmur of the trees.
As I was getting hungry, I took the shortest trail that followed the creek, recognizing how wonderfully Cary maintained the preserve. Signs were incrementally posted along the trail to provide insight into the Preserve's ecosystem. As I rounded the last overlook, I realized that path would provide the perfect outdoor lunch break for anyone working nearby.
Renewed from the fresh air but still hungry, I set my sights on Waverly Place (just a few minutes away!), an outdoor collection of shops for any taste. I decided to cool off (i.e., find an excuse to eat dessert before dinner) with a cup of Donatella gelato from Fresca Cafe.
I sat by the fountain, watching the stream of people flow in and out of Whole Foods, and realized I needed to pick up a bottle of wine for a friend's soiree that evening. David at the Triangle Wine Company, was not just helpful, but committed, and I left with the perfect one.
I crossed the promenade to Taziki's Mediterranean Cafe, passing boutiques lined with soft blouses, spa-like salons, a kitchen shop filled with fragrant herbs, and an innovative Montessori. With my friend's get-together fast approaching, I reluctantly decided to call an early night after devouring my favorite meal (their salmon seriously melts on the tongue).
As I drove past Koka Booth Amphitheater, which hosts the mesmerizing Chinese Lantern Festival each year, I envied the line of neighbors wandering over there. I thought about how lovely it would be to join them on this balmy evening, to walk from our neighborhood, Renaissance at Regency, just a few blocks away and enjoy the delicate, flirty notes of the symphony. "Next Friday," I promised myself, "I'll be here."
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