Come on in. Stay for a few days. I’ll show you around and you can experience North Carolina from a local perspective.
Two days ago, I posted on Facebook that I was interested in visiting the Grand Cayman and within the hour a reader offered for me to stay at her condo on Seven Mile Beach, Grand Cayman! It was a dream situation and I sat there shaking my head at the kindness of others. I’m going to do it and it’s going to be awesome. And the unbelievable part, I’m staying there for free. The situation left me thinking on a grand scale. Continue reading →
You got me; I admit it! I don’t know much about “Good Guys”, at least not the Goodguys Rod and Custom Association. Goodguys promotes and produces some of the world’s most dynamic automotive events, but I couldn’t tell you what’s under the hood of a custom car or what would make a car stand out for an award. So why did I want to go to the Goodguys Annual Southeastern Nationals at Charlotte Motor Speedway this weekend? Well, I don’t have to be a car expert to appreciate their beauty. Strolling along pit road looking at the top cars in the “Builder’s Choice” corral, I thought about the type of person that owned each car and the care they put into making it so special. I imaged what cars would make it to the top ten. But I’m not an expert; you tell me which cars are “top ten worthy”. Why would one make the cut over another? Use these photos as clues. Are there any “goodguys” car experts out there? Don’t blow a gasket, but I based my choices on a similar scale for judging hot men. I looked at the body, the muscle under the hood, the originality, its performance, and the overall maintenance.
It’s hard to believe how quickly time passes. My baby is turning into a little girl who understands me, talks to me, and listens to me. My baby is turning into my best friend who I share everything with on a different level. She has taught me that the world is our playground and to see beauty in everyday life. When I look into her eyes and see me looking back, I know that my life will never feel empty. I love her more than all of my greatest accomplishments combined.
To all other parents out there, we are blessed. Enjoy!
Striking, angry workers and sultry ill-fated passion are the backbone of Carmen, a North Carolina Dane Theatre production in Charlotte this week. I’ve left the ballet filled with awe plenty of times before, but I never left feeling like I needed to take a cold shower. Carmen is hot, hot, hot! Continue reading →
20 acres of 16th century European style art and entertainment combining outdoor theater, circus acts, charming cottages and castles, an arts and crafts marketplace, a jousting tournament, kitchens and pubs, a petting zoo, and an unusual collection of people-powered rides and games of skill come together to form The Carolina Renaissance Festival. We went last year for the first time and now we’re lifers. As a family, we took advantage of the character interactions, animal encounters, and a jousting tournament. The festival was both unique and entertaining with enough “bizarre” to keep us guessing what was going to appear before our eyes next. Continue reading →
The Lazy 5 Ranch, just north of Charlotte, North Carolina, offers a unique 3.5 mile tour of over 750 animals from all over the world. We explored the ranch on a horse-drawn, open-air wagon and went eyeball to eyeball with a Texas Longhorn cow as well as dozens of other animals. Lazy 5 Ranch was the most unique animal ranch that I’ve ever experienced. Have a look at a few of my up-close encounters below. Continue reading →
Stepping into a world where science is brought to life through interactive exhibits and explosive experiments sounds like a fun day for me. I love science and exploring how things work, but making that exciting for a 1.5 year old is difficult. The Discovery Place in Charlotte, however, manages to do just that. Yesterday, we spent the day immersed in a world of wonder where there was something for everyone… even Athena. Continue reading →
As parents of a toddler, at least I think our 14 month old is considered a toddler, we still want to experience life to the fullest without being restricted to kiddie rides, swing sets, and play-dates. Not that I mind hanging out with my daughter and taking her to explore new places and things, but we do enjoy adult experiences as well. I spend the better part of my day listening to Toddler Radio on Pandora, teaching Athena the new word of the day, today was “blue”, strolling through the neighborhood, and watching Athena attempt new feats like climbing on the Joovy trike and standing on the seat (I kid you not; that was the challenge of the day). So when an opportunity arises to have an adult day, we take it. Although amusement parks might not be considered “adult”, we couldn’t think of a better way to spend Father’s Day. Darren and I love the rides more than most teens and the whole park is one big adventurous playground with 13 coasters, Drop Tower, and Xtreme Skyflyer. Is it possible, though, to visit an amusement park with a toddler and still have fun? At Carowinds, heck yeah! They have programs in place to make the entire experience more enjoyable. With a Parent Swap Program, a Baby Care Center, plenty of shaded areas, and tons of dining choices, we stayed from open to close and everyone had an enjoyable day. Continue reading →
Holes in the wall, lifting heavy boxes, scratches on the floor, packing, unpacking, misplacing screws… moving is stressful. My new house is absolutely beautiful and during the evening when I can look up at the stars from my bedroom window, it’s all worth the hassle but I needed a break. There’s no better place to get away from it all than Neverland. Jean-Pierre Bonnefoux’s gravity-defying Peter Pan tells the story of the mischievous boy who never wants to grow up, his spunky sidekick Tinker Bell, and the frightful Captain Hook. Last night, I escaped to Neverland with this whimsical ballet and my imagination took flight. Continue reading →
We wanted to build our first home as a family in Charlotte, North Carolina; why try to fit into someone else’s mold? We made a list of “must-haves” and wants and began our search. With tons of new houses and builders in the area, we had lots of options. A loft, 4+ bedrooms, a 3 car garage, 2.5+ bathrooms, walk-in closets, a fireplace, granite counter tops, lots of windows, high ceilings, hardwood floors, a community pool, walking trails, sidewalks, trees, a short driving distance from work, groceries, shopping, and food… the must-have list was hefty. Was it unrealistic? Of course. But a bucket list life comes with big dreams. And we’d left a life on the beach in California for a family environment and a roomy home for Athena. After searching north, south, east, and west over and over again, we found a builder. Ryan Homes offered a house in a community that had every detail we had listed on both the “must-have” and the “want” list and the life of our home began. Continue reading →