Sunday, May 25, 2014

US National Whitewater Center, NC

What a fun day!

Initially, we were supposed to be participants in the annual Memorial Day event at the Center. Unfortunately, it didn't work out but we wanted to check out out anyway. We were not disappointed.

We started with some whitewater rafting, during which none of us fell out of the raft. We did 'both sides' giving us an upgrade from a 'family' trip to 'advanced!' It was really fun.

Next it was time for zip lines and ropes courses! Though I'm not afraid of heights, I decided the courses made me too aware of my mortality for my personal comfort. So I won't be seeking that out. ;)
Didn't get to try kayaking or paddle

Saturday, May 17, 2014

Tour de Food - Uptown Charlotte

So, other places I've been must have food tours, right? Why have I never thought about them before?

In celebration of my sister's birthday weekend with me in Charlotte, we bought tickets to a walking food tour of Uptown Charlotte.

3 or so hours, 7 restaurants, plus some fun facts and history about the city. Our guide, James, was great! The other people on the tour were fun, too.

The coolest part, I thought, was sampling at Amelie's... The pastries they eat on the train to Capital City in the Hunger Games AND the salted caramel brownies the Obamas order in to the White House!

Also, the chef at The Wooden Vine was so passionate and excited about the x restaurant it made me want to eat there.

So fun! I'm going to look into doing these in our other cities (and maybe at home too!)

Monday, May 12, 2014

Cheerwine: a North Carolina Classic

Okay. Today we're going to talk about Cheerwine.

Back before this opportunity was even confirmed, I started planning all the regional things I had to do/eat/drink. For North Carolina, it was Cheerwine.

From the Cheerwine website:
Created in 1917 in Salisbury, North Carolina by a general store owner named L.D. Peeler, this singular soft drink with a hint of wild cherry and a bubbly effervescence became an immediate hit. Folks from all around the county came to LD's store to give it a try.

Soon cold cases all over North Carolina were filled with the "Nectar of North Carolina." It was known to put a smile on everyone's lips who gave it a try, and the Legend was born.
The kicker is that you can't find it everywhere. I snagged this bottle from a vendor at the 7th Street Public Market. At the time, I picked the glass bottle for its added nostalgia. After the fact, I learned the glass bottle version is sweetened with cane sugar instead of high-fructose corn syrup. Win!

Anyway, this is totally my dream beverage. Part cherry soda, part cherry cola... sweet and not overly carbonated, it's a rich experience. And it was SO GOOD.

Cheerwine will ship its wares anywhere in the country -- but I sure hope it doesn't come to that.

Update 5/20/14: I just found Cheerwine ice cream bars. Heaven.

Sunday, May 11, 2014

Well, DUH.

I'm sorry. Am I on an adventure that requires me to spend approximately 30 days in various new cities experiencing new things?

And is this blog called "30 Days Of..."?

I can't believe I didn't put that together before now.

SO... Here we go!

To be honest, I just wanted a place to complain about hotel living for a moment. We just moved in to our hotel in Charlotte, and I was cooking my lunches for the week. (More on that recipe later!) Anyway, I had the water on the cooktop for over an hour and it didn't boil. I had to cook my pasta in the (teeny) microwave!

Lunch for this week: Mushroom Stroganoff! I decided to make it with noodles instead of rice, and I had to be creative with the types of mushrooms, but it was delicious.

I'm going to try to go back and post a few things in the past... but hopefully there will be some fun posts going forward!

Bar Cocoa is right up the block from the hotel.
Definitely could be dangerous!
Carrot Cake Cupcake in celebration of Mother's Day!

Thursday, May 8, 2014

Last Night in Atlanta!

Our last night in Atlanta was spent at Taste of Alpharetta. A couple hours working the IKEA booth, giving stuff away... and then the FOOD!
So, I ordered sushi but didnt know that was what I ordered
until I got it... but it was tasty.
I also scored a great slice of cookies-n-creme cake.
Then, chicken nachos and wildberry tea!!!

Sunday, May 4, 2014

A Brush with Fame!

Okay... so, I was going to go to Big Sky for lunch after my adventures at the Cyclorama and the Puppetry Center. BUT, the Varsity was super tasty so that's okay. Anyway, they are open on Sundays for brunch, and I had already picked all the delicious things I wanted to try.

Unfortunately, they were serving a limited menu for Cinco de Mayo... but I tried some great things anyway! I *loved the pork bun, and would definitely have gone back for more given the chance.

So, I was sitting on the empty patio, waiting for my food. I heard a family come in and they were seated a few tables to my right. I looked over... AND IT WAS VERN YIP! Because I'm not that guy, I didn't ask for a photo or autograph or anything (or try to tell him all about Home Tour) but I did call my mom on the sly and text everyone I know and try to covertly take pictures.

I'm such a creeper.

Saturday, May 3, 2014

A Great Day of Freebies!

One of the first things I was told to see in Atlanta was the Cyclorama. What is a cyclorama, you might ask? An amazing 360-degree oil painting. It took 11 master artists over 2 years to complete, and it depicts the Battle of Atlanta. If it was laid out, it would be 42 feet tall, and 358 feet long. (Think football field!)

It was amazing. AND when I went to buy my ticket, I was told it was complimentary thanks to the Atlanta City Council. What a great start to the day!

Yeah. That's a cannon.

My second stop for the day was the Atlanta Center for Puppetry Arts. I never thought I'd get to visit it, so this was a big deal! As I was paying for my admission to the museum (I had decided not to stay and see 'Charlotte's Web' - the current performance) a woman was getting tickets for her group, using vouchers they'd won from their library. They had an extra and she asked if she could leave it for someone else to use, since they weren't.  Then she turned to me and asked if I was planning on going to the show! SO - I got to go for free! (I still gave my admission price as a donation.)

Star struck!!! The Center is planning a major expansion
that will house a huge donation of puppets from
Jim Henson's family. Guess I have to come back.

 At the recommendation of the Jumps (the nice family
who bought my admission) I went to the Varsity for lunch!
It's billed as the world's largest Drive-In... and it was tasty!