Category - Whitney the Weekender

Once my husband and I started a family, we knew we wanted to turn seasonal activities into family traditions.

Traditions are special. They create dates on our calendars to look forward to, and they make memories that generate nostalgia.

The day after Thanksgiving, my husband, daughter D and I headed to The Durham Museum for holiday fun and the community countdown to the lighting of the region’s largest indoor tree. D saw Santa, decorated a cookie and sipped milk before we made our way to the Great Hall along with legions of other

Surprise Concert at Hotel Deco

Tuesday, July 18, 2017 1:00 PM by Whitney the Weekender

I stepped inside the chic Hotel Deco XV and was met with piano music. Then the music dissolved.

“Is the pianist returning?” I asked. Nope; he’d left after his volunteer shift.

I asked if there was a piano player on staff. A valet driver volunteered, “My coworker Brandon plays for his church, and he’s really good.” Was Brandon available? He would be after parking a car.

He emerged, hesitated, but made his way over to play. As a few guests came from right and left this mid-afternoon, I found a spot to enjoy the music. It was as if he was

When Molly at Fontenelle Forest excitedly recommended we explore a forest hidden gem, we headed east.

On the other side of 19 miles of trails and 1,400 acres of land are the wetlands, where a triangle of trails takes visitors “in the know” on a unique journey.

A quarter-mile long boardwalk leads to a double-decker observation blind overlooking a sprawling marsh. We crossed a former dumping ground on a path ingrained with centuries-old brick and earthenware. We crossed a bridge ingeniously made of a downed cottonwood tree, completing our trek

While at The Durham Museum, a National Historic Landmark, I had a question.

“Where is Truman’s press car?” I asked Dick, a volunteer. His face lit up. The restored 1924 club car, used during President Harry Truman’s 1968 “whistlestop” campaign tour, is his favorite.

We crossed the forward compartment (pictured) to the back dining area, where he recollected waving with his wife from the back platform on a train ride out of Minneapolis in the 1960s. The car was donated to the museum in 1974.

Dick regaled me with more history until I regretfully