Wednesday, August 5, 2015

Since it had been 5 years, I went to see the POTUS on his bday

Just like me, the city is home improving
Man! A habit has obviously been forming. Charlotte is down to an annual trip vs. a few times a year. D.C. -- a place I visited annually for years -- has not seen my face since 2010 when I was secretly pregs with D. No wonder I keep randomly thinking about cherry blossoms.

This visit was a quick biz trip and I was fortunate enough to spend time near the Smithsonian and in Logan Circle, an up-and-coming historic neighborhood. Nail Saloon (trendy nail spa with the best light fixtures I've ever seen), Donovan House (renovated Kimpton hotel with a fun rooftop pool & bar) and the seasonal small plates restaurant Lincoln (bacon-infused bourbon!) were great spots in Logan Circle.

Rooftop pool bar view at Donovan House
Although I could have spent days visiting my favorite museums, I focused on the Freer Gallery of Art, one of my all-time favorite museums, known for its harmonizing collection of American and Asian art by a Detroit collector. There was an interesting exhibit on display that dove into all of the dirt between Whistler and a collector (not Freer) about the Peacock Room, an over-the-top dining room and living work of art, which was shipped to America in something like 27 crates. Although I've visited the museum many times, today I learned a bit more about Freer himself, who grew up with modest means, and the artists he commissioned. Fascinating as to how he created enough wealth in order to retire at 45 and then travel to collect enough art to partner with Teddy Roosevelt to build and establish the first art museum as part of the Smithsonian. Give me that life!

Hoping that I make it back to D.C. before I am schlepping my children there on a Spring Break years from now to help them appreciate our nation's history. :)

Lake Norman revival + hot yoga

Well hello there! It's been a while. I haven't been on a legit trip in over a year in my new job, which is a far cry from the travel I did on the reg during my last gig. But, with starting a new job and moving twice in the past year, I think it's been a blessing since our family has been craving stability.

So, just like last year, we kept our family vacay chill and spent some time with friends at Lake Norman near Charlotte. It's been surprising to me the frequency of endearing sighs of familiarity I've encountered when mentioning our trip. Seems like lots of folks love that lake.

Our days were spent rotating between the pool and the lake, and I finally broke down and tried hot yoga. I didn't hate it, but I also think I would do just fine with intensive yoga and no extra heat thank you very much.

Certainly didn't turn down the extra help with the kiddos for a day date spent getting couples massages. Phil and I fell asleep not only during the massage but also in the waiting room beforehand. Haa!

A couple more trips planned this year, so I won't be totally dark. Till then...

Monday, August 11, 2014

Squeezing in a summer trip to Charlotte

Fam portrait downtown
I am woefully behind in writing this post since we got back from Charlotte almost two weeks ago. I have a good excuse though – in the past two weeks, I started a new job and we’ve been packing up our house as we prepare to move at the end of the month.

Before we left for Charlotte, Phil told me I had no business going on the trip since we were in the midst of so much upheaval, but I really wanted to squeeze in some family and friend time before I started my new gig, particularly since Jen has been encouraging us to come down for summer boating fun for years.

We had a great time! Our friends were so hands on with the kids, and Phil and I even had an afternoon to ourselves getting massages (!!!). Jen and I shopped for some last-minute work wardrobe finds and Dylan got to drive another boat, this time on Lake Norman.

Sienna finally warmed up to pool time
Strolling/swinging around downtown Charlotte during restaurant week
Captain Pickle with Big Tom (Jen's dad)
Touring the children's museum while mom & dad get massages
Ah, well. Back to packing.