Thursday, August 20, 2015


Have you ever done a staycation before?  Wikipedia defines a staycation as a period in which an individual or family stays home and participates in leisure activities within driving distance, sleeping in their own beds at night. For some unplanned reasons, our plans changed and we embarked on a staycation but first, let me tell you what our original plans were....

Joe and I had been wanting to take an end-of-summer trip since June after we got back from the beach.  We thought one more trip would be good for us both.  Our original plan was to go back to the beach but after 2 Bachelorette Weekends and our own trip to the beach, I was a bit burned out on the beach and looking for something different.  So, on a spur moment, I cancelled our beach trip and we began to look at different locations for a vacation away.  We thought about Atlanta, Charleston, and Asheville to name a few places.  I posted a Facebook question if anyone had any recommendations for trips and someone mentioned Natural Bridge Caverns and the Drive-Thru Safari.  I haven't been to the Natural Bridge in years and I thought what a perfect trip for us.  Outdoors, hiking, animals.  All our favorite things.  After doing some research I came across a lot of tours in the area about Stonewall Jackson and Robert E Lee.  First, let me say, Joe loves anything Stonewall Jackson and Robert E Lee, then I saw ghost tours and he is a major history buff.  I found a hotel called Robert E. Lee and booked us a stay for 2 nights.  We were both really excited about the getaway.  And then, Joe calls and says, "I feel like I'm getting sick."  His throat was hurting and his body was achy.  I was so bummed to say the least but I felt bad for him as well.  So, we decided to cancel our reservations and ALL our Lexington, VA plans to enjoy our first-ever staycation.

Day 1
I could tell Joe wasn't feeling too good.  Coughing, sneezing, runny nose just typical summer cold symptoms.  He was feeling so bad that we both took the time off from work and didn't want our vacation days to go to a waste.  So, after going back and forth of where we could go that was close by but yet we still could sleep in our own bed, we decided a day trip to Boone would be perfect.  From my house it normally takes me 1.5 hours to get to Boone, it took us almost 2.5 hours, so I wasn't used to the longer version of driving to Boone.  I was getting ancy at about 2 hours especially when you start going up the mountain.  On the way there, I asked Joe if he had ever been to Howard's Knob and he said "no."  So, first stop was taking Joe up to Howards Knob.  We rode all the curves up there with our ears popping but the view was gorgeous.  The temperature was a bit "chilly" that day for Boone so I had a jacket on.  After we enjoyed the scenery we headed to downtown Boone.  I've always loved all the shops there, even when I was a student at App State so you know I had to some shopping.  We enjoyed lunch at Macado's and made our way out 105 towards Banner Elk.  Joe wanted to ride the Blue Ridge Parkway some, so we hopped on the parkway near Banner Elk and came across Linville Falls.  Neither of us had even seen those falls before, so he hiked to see the falls and took some pictures.  God's beauty is absolutely breath-taking.  After the hike, which I could tell did Joe did in.  The elevation was not helping his breathing and head congestion.  We decided to head off the mountain towards Hickory, both our old stomping grounds.  Both of us were in a Mexican mood, so we decided to go to "El Tap" but much to our dismay, they changed the name.  The food was still delicious.  We headed home after dinner and Nyquil put us both out for the night.

Howards Knob

Selfie at Howards Knob

Linville Falls

 Day 2
Another day of Joe not feeling well yet he trooped through and we decided to enjoy our 2nd staycation in Charlotte.  I live a little over 1.5 hours from Charlotte and Joe lives about 30-45; however, both of rarely go or visit because it's so congested and we despise the traffic.  We were hoping most people would be at work and traffic wouldn't be so bad.  We started off eating at a deli place and I hate I can't remember the name of it because it was delicious.  After the deli place I had been talking about going to Discovery Place.  I haven't been to Discovery Place since I was a child, so I thought it would be something fun for us to do.  I just knew Joe wouldn't be up to walking around that place for hours upon hours so we opted to seeing a documentary at the IMAX theatre.  We watched a documentary about "The Great White Shark."  Great story and very interesting.  We bought really enjoyed ourselves during the 45 minute clip.  After the IMAX show, we walked around downtown Charlotte a bit and came to this corner where this guy was filming a music video.  I kept telling Joe, that's Thomas Rhett, I just know he is.  Take a picture of him so I don't look like a creeper.  Well, we never got the picture because Joe didn't believe me and was googling his name to see what he looked like.  After we pulled up the picture, he's like yea, that's him.  Bummer, we don't have a picture to prove it.  We left downtown and Joe was like, how about I take you to SouthPark.  I was like yea, I can window shop, we have no money because we are planning a wedding and doing house renovations.  We held hands and walked around SouthPark for a bit and then decided to walk into Brookstone and sit in the massage chairs.  We both about fell asleep.  So relaxing! Steaks followed at Texas Roadhouse to finish up our summer vacations.

Downtown Charlotte
IMAX Theatre
Thomas Rhett

Massage Chair

I highly recommend a staycation to anyone who wants to get away yet sleep in their own bed when they get home!  We had an amazing time and I loved spending every moment with my sick handsome fella.
Until Next Time,

Thursday, August 6, 2015

July Shenanigans

Hello to all my blog readers.  It's been awhile since my last post.  July has been a busy month with July 4th Weekend, Tim McGraw concert, Wedding Planning, my Best Friends Wedding, and our one year anniversay. My last blog was about our July 4th weekend so I'll be sharing the rest of July with you all.  Can you believe we are halfway to Christmas?  Time needs to slow down.

Tim McGraw Concert

Several months ago Joe and I bought tickets to the Tim McGraw concert at PNC in Charlotte.  After we bought them we got to thinking, this would be a fun group outing.  We texted our friends Jonathan, Lindsey, Hurd, and Courtney to see if they would be interested in going.  They said YES!  Come to find out several more friends had tickets so it was great to see them and all of us be able to tailgate.  What we didn't know was that we would end up with upgraded lawn seats to seats under the pavillion awesome.  Check out some of the pictures below.

Kappa Delta represent!

My handsome date

New friends!

Mollie Ollie and I
Wedding Planning
I've been quite busy planning our upcoming wedding which makes me giddy every time I think about it.  I've had so much fun during this planning process.  All our big items minus our food menu are secured.  I can't wait to share in the upcoming blogs about all our vendors.  We have an awesome photographer and videographer.  Love our florist and oh my, the cake is going to be delicious.  I absolutely love my dress and I can't wait to walk down the aisle to Joe in it. I'm so excited about all the upcoming pre-wedding events (Engagement party, Bridesmaid dress shopping, bridal showers, and Bachelorette party).   We still need to add more things to our registry and I seriously need to get busy designing our wedding website. More blogs to come in the upcoming months on all the wedding festivities.
My Best Friend's Wedding
So excited for Mr. and Mrs. Manuel.  Let me tell you, being the Maid of Honor is quite the duty.  My hat goes off to anyone who has been in that role before.  From helping decorate, to running errands, to assisting in anyway I can, I will say it was completely worth it to see my best friend happy on her wedding day.  Friday, July 24th was the rehearsal practice and dinner.  Dinner was on point.  They did a taco bar which couldn't have been more appropriate for their rehearsal dinner, as they both eat Mexican about two times a week if not more.  Rehearsal dinner was at The Long House in Stokesdale which is a gorgeous venue for anyone looking for a wedding location or reception.  After dinner, Joe and I headed home to get some sleep for the big wedding day.  The wedding was held in Holly's hometown and the reception was at WinMock at Kinderton, another gorgeous location for a wedding or reception.  The bridesmaids arrived at WinMock at 9 am to get ready for the big day.  We gave the Bride-to-Be gifts, got our hair/makeup done, enjoyed a great brunch, and even got to watch Holly and Jason during their first look.  Around 2 pm we headed to the wedding location in a limo, which was fun to just hangout with the wedding party before the ceremony.  After the ceremony, we danced and ate and celebrated Mr. and Mrs. Manuel.
My handsome date at the Rehearsal Dinner

Joe and I with the Manuels

All the bridesmaids in the limo

Our 1 Year Anniversary 
Honestly, all we did was relax.  July was a busy month and we just wanted to have some quality time with one another.  We had dinner in and just watched tv together.  Completely perfect for me.  We went hard the month of July.  I will say that we did somewhat celebrate our one year a weekend earlier because we went to Sullivans Steakhouse in Charlotte during Restaurant Week.  Let me tell you, the best filet mignon and I have ever put in my mouth.  We can't wait to go back again! 
As you can see, July was a busy month and I can't wait to see what the upcoming months bring about!


Tuesday, August 4, 2015