Jenny Bell- Go Fayetteville Blog, Fayetteville Area Convention and Visitors Bureau

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Fayetteville, NC-

It was only natural my first post of the new year would be an interview with a delightful and brilliant woman who shares a mutual love of Fayetteville, North Carolina.

The same woman who welcomed me with open arms nearly a year ago to be a part of Fayetteville Bloggers Network, a highlight for me in 2019 as it has allowed me to embrace my community and grow in new contacts as well as friendships with creatives and business owners who share our vision— and respect of this All-American City we call home.

Members of Fayetteville Bloggers Network and FACVB

Jenny Bell , Communications & Social Media Specialist for the Fayetteville Area Convention & Visitors Bureau (FACVB), prides herself as a displaced Texan who proudly calls Fayetteville, NC her “adopted hometown.”

Jenny Bell proudly displaying her WRAL Voter’s Choice Award for her blog GoFayettevilleBlog.com

In her role with FACVB, she promotes Cumberland County as a tourism destination by leading the Fayetteville NC Blogger Network, managing the FACVB’s multiple social media outlets, and writing for the award-winning GoFayetteville.com blog (a fabulous resource for all individuals living in this area as well as potential visitors to our community).

https://www.gofayetteville.com/

Jenny Bell along with FACVB team members out promoting Fayetteville Woodpeckers at Segra Stadium Downtown Fayetteville (photo courtesy of Jenny Bell)

I have witnessed firsthand her passionate advocacy for our beloved community, where she also serves on boards and committees for area nonprofit organizations.

When Jenny isn’t busy working or volunteering, she is adventuring about Cumberland County highlighting the vast recreational opportunities, historic sites and businesses folks should be placing on their “to visit” lists.

http://www.visitfayettevillenc.com/

Listen here to our fabulous podcast interview where we discuss all the awesome things happening in the Fayetteville Area.

It will surely make you say, “GO FAYETTEVILLE!”

👂 👉: https://anchor.fm/jalisonpaulyahoocom/episodes/Jenny-Bell–Go-Fayetteville–Fayetteville-Area-Convention-and-Visitors-Bureau-e9mqtv

 

– Alison Paul Klakowicz

Host and Creator of Hodge Podge Podcast and Blog

Author of the Award-Winning Children’s Picture Book Mommy’s Big, Red Monster Truck

https://www.amazon.com/Mommys-Big-Red-Monster-Truck/dp/1525530178

http://www.alisonpaulklakowicz.com

Alison Paul Klakowicz is an Eastern North Carolina native, children’s book author, blogger, podcaster and creative writer. She is a military spouse who resides in Fayetteville, NC with her husband, Adam, and son, Mak.

A Haunting We Will Go In Cross Creek Cemetery In Downtown Fayetteville, NC

-Fayetteville, North Carolina

Along Cool Springs Street— one of the most notable historic lanes in downtown Fayetteville, North Carolina— sits Cross Creek Cemetery, established in 1785.

The cemetery is one of the oldest and most iconic graveyards in Fayetteville, NC— a city famous for its significance in ratifying the United States Constitution and it’s colonial era namesake, Marquis De Lafayette.

Cross Creek Cemetery holds pieces of the past and is part of the Civil War Trail which connects with nearby Linear Park.

You can hear the rushing waters of Cross Creek steps away from the wrought iron fencing that encases the cemetery filled with so much history and possibly a ghost or two.

My mom (who is visiting from out-of-town), my son and I decided to go walk the grounds of Cross Creek Cemetery this week for some ghastly fun— to take in the sights of old graves and headstones as well as fall foliage scattered about the mature landscape of the resting place.

I admit… I have a thing for old graveyards.

I find them eerily beautiful and poignant. I love to read the headstone carvings about the people buried beneath the land.

Who are they?

What was their life like way back when?

Are we related somewhere way down the lineage trail?

Many notable North Carolina politicians, dignitaries, and artists are buried in Cross Creek Cemetery. Some of which are listed here on Wikipedia:

For as long as I can remember I’ve enjoyed walking in graveyards. There is a peace there… a sense of respect and wonder.

Call me morbid.

Call me weird.

I’m perfectly okay with those labels because I understand the significance of preserved history graveyards provide us.

Plus it’s kind of spooky and fun to walk about the grounds and ponder if an apparition lurks in the shadows.

Civil War Memorial

If interested in an organized tour to learn more about the history of Fayetteville and Cross Creek Cemetery— along with some fabulous ghost storytelling, check out Downtown Fayetteville’s plethora of guided tours!

https://downtownfaytours.com/

https://www.facebook.com/events/621070681650855/?ti=icl

https://www.facebook.com/Hauntingsatheritagesquare/

If you enjoy a hands-on haunting experience, join the fun TONIGHT at the ZOMBIE WALK which is one of our favorite Halloween events!

https://m.facebook.com/events/699055680599266?ti=icl

– Alison Paul Klakowicz

Host and Creator of Hodge Podge Blog and Podcast

Author of Mommy’s Big, Red Monster Truck

https://www.amazon.com/Mommys-Big-Red-Monster-Truck/dp/1525530178

http://www.alisonpaulklakowicz.com

Alison Paul Klakowicz is an Eastern North Carolina native, children’s book author, blogger, podcaster and creative writer. She is a military spouse who resides in Fayetteville, NC with her husband, Adam, and son, Mak.

From UNC to World Travel, Hurricanes, Surfing CA, Saving the World— to Marriage

Chapel Hill, NC-

My family and I attended a very special wedding ceremony this past April at the whimsical and enchanting Chapel Hill Carriage House on Jones Ferry Road in Chapel Hill, North Carolina. We were ecstatic to support my cousin, Matthew Duarte, (son of my mom’s sister Fran Austin Duarte) as he celebrated his marriage to his lovely bride, Ellie Bolas.

You see back in Fall 2018 the two planned to wed, but Hurricane Florence had other plans for North Carolina (and their special day). The day the two spent a year planning from their California home— dreaming of beautiful memories to be made with dearest friends and family back home in North Carolina— would have to be postponed.

True to the couple’s fifteen year partnership, commitment and independent spirit, the two fled Raleigh out of the hurricane’s path to the North Carolina mountains and eloped— as not to let Florence ruin the special union between these two strong, love-filled souls.

However, they promised their families to return from their home in California in Spring 2019 to celebrate and renew their vows among their loved ones. They held true to their promise and on Saturday, April 13th, 2019, their special day finally arrived like a dream come true.

This is a very happy Ellie being escorted by her brother Jack.

This is Matt escorting his sweet mom and my aunt Fran down the grassy aisle.

Cutest little flower girl!

Joyful couple!

It was a…

lovely day,

lovely day,

lovely day,

LOVELY DAY!

The ceremony was conducted by a dear friend of the couple who knows them in and out. There was meditation, reflection, laughter, memories, poignant handwritten vows— and passionate kisses.

Not to mention, the most gorgeous setting!

PSA- Anyone looking for a wedding or party venue should seriously consider Chapel Hill Carriage House for a multitude of reasons:

https://www.facebook.com/Chapel-Hill-Carriage-House-Farm-Gardens-231260380267235/

1) They have baby goats 🐐!

2) You get to feed the resident Alpacas 🦙😃!

3) Children absolutely LOVE this place: games, grounds to play and run, and lots of charm and whimsy!

So fun!

But let me place my focus back on the special bride and groom.

YES, I am biased because they are family. BUT, their journey is an incredible one and I’d like to brag on them just a bit.

The two began dating fifteen years ago while attending undergraduate studies at UNC-Chapel Hill— Matt, a student of Psychology and Ellie, always the over-achiever, a double major in Environmental Studies and Religious Studies. A UNC couple with dreams of the world ahead of them.

Upon graduation, Matt earned a travel scholarship which allowed him the opportunity to travel to Japan 🇯🇵 for a solitary pilgrimage across the country to visit and study Buddhist Temples and Japanese culture.

Ellie studied abroad as well and spent time in Tibet. After graduation she would go on to travel to Turkey and Japan to teach English as a second language.

Following their international journeys the two settled back in the United States and found themselves at home on the West Coast in California where they have blossomed and embraced the state’s natural beauty to include surfing those awesome California waves.

Matt has worked for Student Conservation Association, where he led young adult teams doing service work such as trail building and habitat restoration in wilderness settings. In addition, through REI’s Outdoor School, he has taught outdoor adventure classes.

Currently he teaches First Aid for backcountry enthusiasts with NOLS Wilderness Medicine. He is also a certified yoga instructor and is working toward a Masters Degree in Marriage and Family Therapy.

And if his plate isn’t already full, he carves time out to volunteer at a local prison in California where he is part of a horticultural inmate rehabilitation gardening program.

Ellie, a Graduate Group in Ecology, Master of Science Candidate, at University of California, Davis, is researching two rare carnivores, island spotted skunks and island foxes, that live on the California Channel Islands.

Prior to graduate school she performed research on wildlife living in and around Los Angeles (such as mountain lions, bobcats, and coyotes) with the National Park Service, a project she is returning to for her PhD.

Ellie has also worked as an outdoor science educator and currently works with initiatives to increase diversity in science.

https://vanvurenlab.weebly.com/

These two people are amazing.

Amazing!

When asked what the secret is to their incredible journey and relationship, Ellie answered, “I don’t know any secrets to a long lasting relationship, for us, it’s just that we really like being around each other and we like to make each other laugh. Also, we both love being outside, which is part of why we love living in California- there are so many great opportunities to adventure outside and we love it all, from surfing on the coast to hiking in the mountains to wandering in the desert.”

How fortunate the world 🌍 is to have two mindful, intelligent, fun-loving, and holistic souls to share their passion for betterment of the planet and humanity as well as a sincere commitment to each other.

I’m proud to call them family.

Here’s to many more years of happiness, adventure, and travel!

Cheers to y’all, Matt and Ellie!

– Alison Paul Klakowicz

Author of Mommy’s Big, Red Monster Truck

https://www.amazon.com/Mommys-Big-Red-Monster-Truck/dp/1525530178

http://www.alisonpaulklakowicz.com

Host and Creator of Hodge Podge Blog and Podcast

Alison Paul Klakowicz is an Eastern North Carolina native, children’s book author, blogger, podcaster and creative writer. She is a military spouse who resides in Fayetteville, NC with her husband, Adam, and son, Mak.

Cape Fear River Trail: Part of the East Coast Greenway

Fayetteville, NC:

While North Carolina is enjoying a dip in sultry July temps, head out to the beautiful Cape Fear River Trail in Fayetteville, NC (conveniently located near I-95) to take in some fresh air and natural scenery.

https://fcpr.us/parks-trails/trails/cape-fear-river-trail

Map of CFRT

The shaded, paved trail is perfect for walking 🚶‍♀️, biking 🚴‍♀️ , and running 🏃🏻‍♀️ anytime of year— and is part of the East Coast Greenway.

https://www.greenway.org/

My son and I, along with dear friends, hit the trail this morning and had a blast.

With the exception of a couple of minor meltdowns toward the end of our hike from tired little people— the affects of video game 🎮 detox setting in.

Poor Things. 😂

Overall, the hilly trail provides lots of outdoor fun, and challenging hiking and biking.

Not to mention the lovely scenery to include a waterfall!

Dragonflies, lizards, butterflies, caterpillars, and salamanders met us at each curve in the wood’s edge.

As well as a pretty pond decorated with seasonal blooming lily pads inhabited by birds, turtles, frogs, and all types of other wildlife.

CFRT is a great place to walk your dog!

Our canine companion for the day, Major, sniffed out all the sights and scenes 🐕.

We even got to meet an officer with Fayetteville Police Department 👮 monitoring the trail to ensure the public’s safety. Thanks #FayPD ❤️!

According to the Cape Fear River Trail Website, here are some things you should know before you hit the trail:

I will note you should probably bring along bottled water 💦, a small backpack and a cell phone in case of an emergency (and/or a camera to take pictures 📸).

CFRT will be expanding into Historic Downtown Fayetteville in the near future— and connect with Linear Park. This will be an exciting update highlighting the many charming and picturesque sights and scenes in Fayetteville.

Get outside and enjoy this FREE Fayetteville treasure.

Then, treat your sweaty self to a delicious burger and milkshake at Freddy’s across from the Jordan Soccer Complex entryway to the park off Ramsey and Tree Top Drive:

Enjoy your adventure to Cape Fear River Trail!

-Alison Paul Klakowicz

http://www.alisonpaulklakowicz.com

Podcast: anchor.fm/jalisonpaulyahoocom

Instagram @alisonklak

Twitter @KlakowiczAlison

Alison Paul Klakowicz is an Eastern North Carolina native, children’s book author, blogger, podcaster and creative writer. She is a military spouse who resides in Fayetteville, NC with her husband, Adam, and son, Mak.