NC Triad Adventures (COVID-19 Take)
Hi, friends! If you follow me on Instagram, you know I took a day trip to Winston-Salem a few weeks ago. I went to college in Winston and would frequently visit pre-COVID. Welp, 2020 was weird, as we all know. It was my first time visiting in Winston since January, meaning I hadn’t been to WSNC for 10 whole months, which was definitely a record for me since I started at Salem College 8 years ago (WHAT). Anyways, I figured I would share all the fun things with did in the light of COVID since I find it helpful to see how businesses are operating with social distancing in mind. We actually ventured outside of WSNC for a little bit as well so I am calling this blog Triad Adventures!
Anyone who has lived any amount of time in Winston-Salem will agree that Camino Bakery is more than a bakery or a coffee shop; it really is a place of gathering and a place of community. I have so many fond memories at Camino’s, including the time when I went to Camino’s three times in one day (I have an explanation for this). Naturally, my first stop in the Triad was Camino’s on Fourth Street. They are open for to-go orders only at this time. There are several tables outside, but it was so freaking windy the day we went so we headed back to our car to finish our drinks.
For lunch, we went to Krankie’s because I had my eyes (and stomach) set on the Texas Pete & Honey Chicken Biscuit after Christina from NC Tripping told me it’s one of her top two biscuits in the entire state (the other is the Best Bird Biscuit from Grub Durham–you’re welcome). Krankie’s biscuit totally satisfied the craving—simple but delicious! As I write this blog, I see on their menu that you can get sausage gravy, Texas Pete, AND, honey. I might have to try that next time! If you remember Krankie’s being very crowded, it was quite different this time! It is spacious inside with plenty of room for social distancing (though there isn’t a great separate area to wait for pickup), and they have a good amount of tables outside!
The next stop on our list was the main event of the day aka the Moravian Stars on Heritage Bridge in Old Salem, NC. I recently posted on Instagram that this has been a personal tradition since my senior year of college, and it’s true! This day trip basically happened so I could take my annual photo with the Moravian Stars, but who can blame me?! Alex and I printed our first joint Holiday card together with one of the photos from this trip, so it was all worth it! (Limited number of people are getting these cards possibly after Christmas, because we were very late on ordering, and I had no idea how not cheap these were lol.)
On our way back to our car, we took a short stroll through Old Salem. They had some stations set throughout and around the Square. My guess is that they had some special event related to the Candlelight Service, but had to do it differently because of the pandemic. Due to COVID, Salem College is completely closed off so I couldn’t spend any time on campus, but I had to take a photo fo Main Hall. Also, I ran into my Ecology professor who was going into the College Library and I stopped my car in the middle fo the road to honk at him and we chatted for a few minutes!
Sadly, that was the end of our time in Winston, but not too sad because we headed to Divine Llama Vineyards. This was my second time at Divine Llama (all three Shinsters went together the first time!), and I definitely noticed the changes due to COVID-19. They have closed off their indoor tasting room and are not offering tasting at this time. You can order certain wines by either glasses or bottle, and they have outdoor seating and picnic tables. They do have two actual bathrooms (in addition to a couple of porta potties) so that was appreciated. I am not sure if it’s a change due to COVID or a change due to time, but when I went a couple of years ago, they brought the llamas out to us whereas this time, we walked down to where the llamas are (they have plenty of room to spread out)!
On our way back to Raleigh-Durham, we stopped by Pho Hien Vuong, which is where I had pho for the very first time back in college. This time though, we didn’t get any pho! My sister Jiyoung had recently tried their Thai Basil Chicken wings and had not stopped talking about how they were the best wings ever so we got two orders of those and a few entrees to share. If you haven’t been to Pho Hien Vuong, you need to go and get those Thai Basil wings. They are literally the perfect amount of crispy. I want to go back and try their other wings too! There is no outdoor seating at Pho Hien Vuong, but they have plexiglass between tables and you can also get their food to go!
This is something we did not do because I forgot but if you’re going to be in the Greensboro area before the end of the holiday season, you MUST go to the Sunset Hills Neighborhood just West of downtown Greensboro. Ever year, the whole neighborhood is decorated with Christmas light balls(?). It’s so different from the decorations you usually see, and it really is the most enchanting experience to drive around! I love that it’s a whole neighborhood-wide tradition too.
What is your favorite place/business in the Triad?