Timeless Escape: Grove Park Inn, Asheville

When I added Grove Park Inn to my 2013 bucket list, I had no idea the extent of relaxation Grove Park Innand resort luxury I was going to experience or how much I truly needed it. Just a two hour drive from our home in Charlotte brought us to another world; a world filled with spacious accommodations, superb dining, unbelievable views, and endless amenities.  We marveled at the spectacular view during our breakfast experience, escaped to a world-class spa, and stepped into a world of glamour inspired by the great American author F. Scott Fitzgerald in The Gatsby theme room. Grove Park Inn was the relaxing weekend away from it all that we desperately needed. Rather than posting, texting, Tweeting, and sharing on Facebook, I turned off my phone, put away the computer, and forgot the camera… most of the time. It was a weekend for us as a family – the perfect relaxing, mountain getaway. Sometimes even extreme adventure seekers need a rest. Continue reading

Independently Wealthy, Right?

You’re rich, right? You travel around the world at your leisure and don’t worry about a thing.Skydive Fiji You don’t have a day job, do you? You’re playing and living and indulging your “bucket list” in luxury. Are you really in need of anything? These are the comments I receive on a regular basis and I’d like to take just one post and one post only to discuss it and then dismiss it because I don’t feel like I need to give it any more of my time. Continue reading

What Makes a Bucket List Day?

A bucket list day doesn’t need to be an extreme adventure or traveling around the world.Freedom Park, Charlotte No… we had a bucket list day today. I spent the day with my family at Freedom Park in Charlotte, NC. We strolled along the pond and played with Athena on the swings. Athena is 10 months old so I obviously feel like a mother every day, but some days I realize that I am the world to someone. I am the most amazing, spectacular, beautiful, and caring person to another tiny human being. Athena loves me completely, without restriction or reservation. I am a mother, making every day a bucket list day. Continue reading

It’s Your Choice: Bland or Orgasmic

We like to dine out. With a 9 month old and work and laundry and cleaning and getting Print Works Bistro Settingready for a new house and life, we like to dine out. It’s easy to say, “Darren I’ve been home all day. Let’s go out for something to eat.” But going out for dinner every other night of the week can be costly so we usually end up at fast food restaurants and eating unhealthy food, continuing the cycle of bland dining experiences. A chef recently said to me, “You can waste your money eating out regularly to fill the void or you can dine out once-and-awhile and make it an occasion. A celebration of food and life.” I liked that philosophy and I’ve been trying to incorporate it into our lives ever since. This past weekend we celebrated dining at Print Works Bistro. We ordered appetizers, entrees, and dessert; we had extraordinary flavors in a vibrant surrounding, making dining a true celebration.   Continue reading

Proximity Hotel LEEDS to Success

Proximity Hotel, GreensboroProximity Hotel in Greensboro, North Carolina was the first LEED Platinum Hotel in USA. LEED is the U.S. Green Building Council’s rating system for designing and constructing the world’s greenest, most energy efficient, and high performing buildings. This weekend we were able to experience what it means to be in the LEED. Continue reading

Family-Friendly Charlotte, NC

Charlotte is full of family-friendly attractions that will entertain all ages, including infants. Charlotte, NCFrom educational attractions to interactive, hands-on environments to fine dining experiences, a day in Charlotte can be packed with fun. We decided to test the “Charlotte’s Got A Lot” philosophy and see what family-friendly adventures we could have in one Saturday. Our line-up included: lunch at the EpiCenter, the NASCAR Hall of Fame, Discovery Place, and Harvest Moon Grill. Let me warn you though, both the NASCAR Hall of Fame and Discovery Place could each take an entire day, but that’s not the way we do things. We like to make each day as fun-filled as possible. Continue reading

Cirque Dreams Holidaze – Where Even Seeing is Still Too Hard to Believe

From the moment the curtain goes up until the last bow, Cirque Dreams Holidaze is tooCIRQUE DREAMS HOLIDAZE amazing to believe even when witnessing it with your very own eyes. It’s a dreamland of tinsel and glitter and candy cane flair. Acrobats twirled. Reindeer skipped. Gingerbread men flipped. Penguins teeter-tottered atop endless cylinders. And I sat in continuous awe while constantly saying, “oh my god!”, “wow”, “oh no they can’t be about to…”, and “holy sh**”. Cirque Dreams Holidaze makes the impossible, possible. Continue reading

Home for the Holidays: Biltmore Estate, Asheville, NC

Darren and I moved to Charlotte, North Carolina to live in a community that feels like Biltmore Estatehome. We want to be surrounded by friends that eventually feel like family in an environment that celebrates values, traditions, and life. We decided on a community in Hunstersville and our house is in the process of being built. This Christmas will be spent in our apartment and as much as we decorate and try to give it a “home” feeling, it is still lacking. The grandeur of a real Christmas tree freshly cut from a field or stockings hung from a mantel that is illuminated by the fireplace flames is not possible just yet. Rather than missing out on the glory of elaborate Christmas decorations this year, we drove to Asheville to experience it all at Biltmore Estate. Continue reading

Visions of Sugar Plums: North Carolina Dance Theatre’s The Nutcracker

Oh, the magic of it all. Living dolls. The Sugar Plum Fairy. The Snow Queen. Worldly The Nutcracker
dancers. It’s The Nutcracker, in all its magic, beauty, and holiday charm. With music by Piotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky performed live with the Charlotte Symphony Orchestra and stunning costume design by Bjorn Winnbald, Jean-Pierre Bonnefoux’s production has something to delight every family member. It’s not everyday you have a chance to create a new tradition, a custom, of enjoying performing arts, but The North Carolina Dance Theatre has found a regular in their spectacular production. There are few things that personify Christmas like The Nutcracker and I can’t wait to share that experience with my family for years to come. Continue reading

No Preparing for The Ultimate Christmas Show (abridged)

There are no words to describe The Ultimate Christmas Show by The Reduced Ultimate Christmas Show Shakespeare Company that would truly prepare you for what’s to come. The slapstick interfaith holiday variety show and pageant sounds cute and family friendly, but the level of inappropriate social irreverence was extremely shocking yet absolutely hilarious. Continue reading