4th of July Weekend Recap…finally!

14 Jul

First, sorry for the delayed post! I know I promised a 4th of July weekend update way over a week ago, but life (i.e. WORK) just got in the way. C’est la vie!

So here we go…

Friday I got my hair done at Serenity Salon with the fabulous Mrs. Regina Cox. It has taken me no less than 6 hair stylists to finally find someone who can do what I want and as luck would have it I found Regina just a few months before moving to Atlanta. Again, C’est la vie, right? Good thing there are 23891283 salons in Atlanta…fingers crossed I’ll find someone as good as Regina.

After that, Ben and I grabbed a quick bite to eat at the downtown Mellow Mushroom. It was our first night back in the apartment since the family we were house siting for came home from London so we were happy to come home early and enjoy being in our own space again.

Saturday I volunteered at The Children’s Home for a few hours (AMAZING place that can always use volunteers… hint, hint!), took a walk with Rocky and Ben around Reynolda Village and enjoyed the gorgeous weather.

Saturday night we ate at a Winston-Salem staple, The Old 4th Street Filling Station. They have everything from burgers to salads to one of their signature dishes, Shrimp & Grits. And let me just tell you…I’ve been living in the South for 3 years now and this is no ordinary Shrimp & Grits. I’m told the dish (which consists of sauteed shrimp, spinach and andouille sausage served over grilled grit cakes topped with a spicy chipotle cream sauce…uhhh, yum!) has been featured in Southern Living magazine. If that doesn’t prove it’s Southern street cred I don’t know what will!

Behold it’s greatness!

This is one of the many times when I know this quote is 100% true.

Story of my life, folks!

We got to bed early that night because we had a BIG Sunday planned. I woke up way too early to do my Tracy Anderson video, showered and headed out to the U.S. National Whitewater Center just two hours away in Charlotte, NC.

From their website: The USNWC is the best place for family and friends to play outdoors and have fun. Home to the world’s largest man-made whitewater river and with many different water and land activities, the USNWC is Charlotte’s ultimate playground.

It also happens to be the training site of the U.S. Olympic Team. Not to shabby, Charlotte!

There are so many things to do there besides whitewater rafting including flatwater kayaking, stand-up paddle boarding, whitewater kayaking, rock climbing, mountain biking, zip lining, eco trekking,  and hiking.

Not only is this place filled with the best outdoor activities all in one place, it also has amazing food and features lots of local brews.

End of the day soaking wet after our 2nd time rafting! Do NOT make fun of the crocs!

After spending a solid 8 hours here, we headed off to Lake Norman to visit one of Ben’s fraternity brothers. He rents an amazing house literally on Lake Norman and was nice enough to invite us over for the night. The owners of the house throw a HUGE party every year complete with a ginormous fireworks display off of their dock. They live in South Carolina where REAL fireworks are sold and holy S were they crazy. It was impossible for me to get good pictures with my POS camera at night, but I did manage to take grab some after pictures from the curb.

Seriously?! Please note the warning.

There is definitely something about being on the water that makes me feel so calm. We sat in the yard, drank beer, watched fireworks, listened to someone at the party play acoustic guitar and we absolutely loved every second of it.

Ryan, Ben and I on the lake

Monday morning we did one of the coolest things I’ve done in a while. Ben’s friend Ryan recently bought a Cessna 182 and took us up for a flight around the lake. Ryan grew up in an aviation family and his brother is a Blue Angel! AMAZING!

The boys checking out the plane before takeoff!

Is this the back seat or the back pit?

View of Lake Norman from above

After the flight we grabbed a quick bite to eat, drove home and picked up Rocky from the most amazing doggy daycare/boarding place I’ve ever been to, Ruff Housing. Rocky got to play all day and even got a surprise 4th of July treat…doggy ice cream! Ruff Housing has cameras in all areas on 24 hours a day so neurotic pet parents like me can rest assured that their furry babies are getting the same care as they would at home. They offer early drop offs at 5 AM and late pick ups at 9 PM which makes it easy to get away for a night or two and not have to worry about rushing back to pick up the baby.

When we got home we decided to whip up some home cooking in honor of America’s Independence and we were clearly inspired by the Nathan’s Hot Dog Eating Contest we watched earlier that day. When we took these out of the oven Ben actually said “Take that Joey Chestnut”!

A true American dish - Pigs in a Blanket (or if you're Ben you call them Weenie Tots)

We had a wonderful weekend, but MAN were we tired! I’m still tired reliving it all to be honest!

Sleepy baby

The next few weeks will bring lots of studying as Ben prepares to take the Georgia Bar. Everyone wish him good luck! We’re heading to Nashville right after the Bar to visit Ben’s cousin Bailey who just opened the first female owned brewery in Tennessee, Jackalope Brewery. Can’t wait!

– BGD –

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