Thursday, April 15, 2010

Crosswinds Cafe at RDU

If you read previous blogposts, you know that Sarah C.'s son, D, is obsessed with planes. Therefore, we decided to try out the Crosswinds Cafe at RDU airport. From this location you can see planes taking off, watch those fortunate enough to own private jets driving up in their Escalades and being loaded on, and see military men coming and going.

Located in the General Aviation Terminal (go PAST the terminals you fly out of, and follow signs to General Aviation), Sarah C. and I were quite distressed when we first showed up since the only parking was pay parking. But after some incredibly impressive sleuthing (aka driving up close to the sign), we realized that it is free for the first 4 hours! Huzzah!

So the cafe section of the building is incredibly small, and not impressive food-wise. It is more employee cafeteria (although the onion rings looked phenomenal). But it was decent and they had plenty of options. The part that is impressive is the view and the space. The entire second level of the building is open with lounge chairs and tables, and it is ceiling-to-floor windows looking out over the airfield.

We found a high chair (only 2 available total) and pulled up to the windows. As we ate our sandwiches from the cafe, the boys laughed, clapped, and giggled at the planes taking off. It was a relatively quiet space upstairs (which was nice for letting the boys roam), but there were also other kids and families doing the same thing we were doing (which was nice camaraderie). And the staff was so friendly and helpful.

There is an outside observation deck, too, if you want to get even closer to the noise.

Bring your umbrella stroller if you can since it will be easier to maneuver. And no changing tables in the restrooms that we could find. But that didn't seem to put a damper on our enjoyment.

Crosswinds Cafe
Location: General Aviation Terminal
Hours: 8:00 a.m. –
2:00 p.m.
Phone: (919) 840-7625

Also, while you are there, check out the Observation Park.


At July 1, 2010 at 1:03 PM , Blogger LauraC said...

Hey, LauraC again. I am reading through your archives making a list. I wanted to let you know there IS free parking at the airport playground at RDU. When you circle around past Terminal 1, before you get to Terminal 2, you take a right. That loops around to Observation Park, which is an outdoor playground with an outdoor observation deck.

At July 1, 2010 at 1:10 PM , Blogger chapelhillmom said...

That is great information to have! We knew about the outdoor playground, just weren't sure the best way to park for the indoor observation. It turned out pay lots right there are free for 4 hours anyhow, and we definitely didn't stay longer than 4 hours. But great to know that there is a free lot.

Keep the helpful comments coming, I really appreciate them!!

At August 6, 2010 at 8:50 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

I wanted to mention I was there on monday early afternoon and a bunch of little ones were running around the opening on the 2nd floor and a two year old fell down the large open staircase and an ambulance was was pretty horrifying to witness. I wouldn't recommend having the kids playing on the 2nd floor as the staircase has a very wide opening and accidents can happen easily.

At August 6, 2010 at 8:54 AM , Blogger chapelhillmom said...

Ugh, this makes my heart stop. I hope that everyone was okay, very, very scary.

YES YES, big open staircases are dangerous! Good word of caution. The entire second floor is not toddler proof. So parents should be careful. Kids in high chairs looking out the windows at the planes are great, but take heed of letting the little ones wander and run.

Thanks for the note.


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