My grandfather that lives in Charlotte turned 93th in the middle of January. My mom & her two sisters concocted the idea for them to plan to go spend a long weekend with him in February to celebrate his birthday & to have his grands & great-grands arrive Friday to surprise him with a big family visit & dinner Saturday. & it worked!
Tine & her family were the first grands to arrive late afternoon taking Papa by surprise. We left after work Friday & after a bunch of traffic leaving town, made it through north Charlotte without a traffic blip & arrived just after dinner. We snuck as quietly as two super excited 5.5 yr olds can sneak down the hallway & yelled surprise! My cousin Preston & his family showed up not even 5 mins after us. Just in time for the 5 great-grands to help Papa blow out his candles on cake #1!
All the family stayed at a nearby hotel with the cousins & kids being 3 rooms in a row making for lots of little cousin fun & late nights! We had breakfast together Saturday morning, all headed uptown to ImaginOn then Mom kids & I had lunch at the nearby 7th St Market.
Saturday afternoon, Jason & I took off to NoDa Brewery while the grandparents watched the littles.
We all met back up to get ready for dinner complete with lots of “look at my twirls” from the little girls & try my drink & hair wand from the bigger girls. Then it was dinner time. We had our own dining room but 5 kids 5.5 & under meant lots of Clubhouse shenanigans!
Followed by another late night at the hotel with kids running & bouncing from room to room before finally crashing at 11p! So much fun! So tired Sunday morning! We all decided to head back towards home in the rain Sunday morning. & thankfully all got home uneventfully.
Lucy & I even had time to make it to her first girl only birthday party for a classmate. Spa themed & Lucy left with make up on! This was such a wonderful weekend!
I received an email last week with a fun local opportunity I wanted to share with my readers. The new Disney film MOANA opens nationwide on November 23rd, but YOU my dear, sweet, fun, local to the Raleigh-Durham area readers have the opportunity to be able to come see the advanced screening of MOANA (& me & Lucy & Zach) THIS Thursday 11/17 at 7p in 3D at Southpoint AMC.
From the creators of Zootopia & Frozen & featuring Dwayne Johnson as the voice of Maui & Auli‘i Cravalho as Moana, this sailing epic adventure film looks fun for all ages. It’s rated PG so I’m thinking Lucy & Zach will love it too.
If you’ll be around this week & want to join us, I was kindly given a good number of first come, first serve passes. Please comment here, email me with the contact me form, Facebook message, text or call me if you’re interested!
Did y’all hear?! The highly anticipated sequel to Kung Fu Panda & Kung Fu Panda 2 released in theaters last Friday! Have you seen it yet? What did you think?
We were honored to be asked to go to the Raleigh/Durham premier showing a couple weeks ago & it was Lucy & Zach’s first in theater film!
Zach & Lucy wandered the red carpet, enjoyed pre-show crafts, munched on popcorn bags bigger than their heads then sat so still as Kung Fu Panda 3 took over the screen.
Jason & I loved watching the wonder in their eyes as some of their favorite characters were on a really big screen! In 3D!
After it was over, as L&Z played around the fountains, I asked what they enjoyed about Kung Fu Panda 3 the most. Lucy’s favorite was the Rhino villians & Master Shefu. I’m surprised she didn’t say the popcorn; pretty sure she ate close to 1.5 bags of it! Zach loved all the pandas, especially the cute little ones. I loved seeing Po as the hometown hero & what his encouragement brought out in his new friends!
Speaking of hometown heroes, I had the pleasure of being on the media side of the red carpet to welcome some of Raleigh’s own hometown heroes to view the film.
We actually walked in with the family of Johanna Colon & they’re are all so nice. Easy to see that she gets her glowing personality honest. She’s been dancing since she was a toddler & ruled the stage in her dance recital performance which has led to YouTube fame, talk show appearances & her mom might’ve alluded to us being able to see her in prime time beginning in March. Look for her y’all, Johanna’s going places!
A south east Raleigh hero is Erin Dale Byrd, winner of the INDY Citizen Award & she’s also the founder of the Fertile Ground Cooperative. She shared with us the highs & some hardships of leading a cooperative that’s community volunteer ran. With her spirit, drive, laid back style & spunk, I know it will help thrive in the SE Raleigh community.
We also got to meet Sunny Lin & Sophia Woo, winners of season 6 of Food Network’s Great Food Truck Race. These ladies were funny, stylish, business-savvy & humble. I haven’t seen their truck yet, but I can’t wait to track down & try eating from their Pho Nomenal Dumplings food truck!
Like Kung Fu Panda’s Po, these local heroes are funny, spunky, talented & charming. I loved the chance to interact with them & look forward to watching what they continue to do for Raleigh area in the future.
Who’s your hometown hero? Have you seen Kung Fu Panda 3 yet? What’d you think?
Thanks to DreamWorks & Twentieth Century Fox for presenting the Kung Fu Panda premiere in Raleigh & for inviting me as well as my family. While we did see the film & enjoy popcorn & drinks for free, I was not otherwise compensated nor do that effect my review of the film.
We were in VA this past weekend to celebrate our good family friend Emily’s wedding Saturday night. The wedding was at Lewis Ginter gardens at 6p, gorgeous timing for flowers, sunset, dinner & dancing.
Emily looked radiantly beautiful & so happy! I enjoyed catching up with family friends, & enjoying a night out with the husband, my brother & SIL & my parents.
Before the wedding festivities, we had a full day open. My family, not one to let a full day go by unplanned, decided we’d go to the Metro Richmond zoo for the first time.
There are so many animals there & the best part is that they are so close!
We fed goats, sheep & deer, & saw flamingos, prairie dogs, a tiger who loved walking right by Zach, a muddy rhino that was more Lucy’s nervous style, an alligator, camels, two buffaloes & more monkeys than my monkey-loving little guy (& me too!) could keep count of. Big chimpanzees & orangutans to tiny little monkeys who leaped & flipped & swung from their branches. The “waddle waddle” penguins were adorable & also a favorite.
But the giraffes won our hearts & were definitely about who Zach & Lucy ran inside to tell their Pops (who hadn’t joined us)! My mom aka Cici & Zach fed giraffes out of their hands while I snapped photos & Lucy picked up the fallen food off the ground to hand to Cici & Zach (we didn’t pay for the cup of food). It was amazing to see them so close! (& yes they had hand santizer stations all over as well as bathrooms soon after the giraffe’s area.)
At the advice of friends, we arrived soon after they opened so the zoo wasn’t super crowded & my mom had packed a picnic lunch so once we finished up, we were able to go back to the car to grab our coolers & then eat on picnic tables there within the zoo.
If it hadn’t been nap time, I’d have loved to go back to get another peek at the tiger & also see if the lions had woken up from their naps!
We’ll definitely be going back to the Metro Richmond zoo, I’d say it’s great for all ages ~ my 90 year old Papa enjoyed it as much as my almost- 3 year olds did! Going from 10am-1pm worked well for us but you could take your time more or easily go back for a second look at your favorite animals & stay there all day long.
My parents came to Raleigh Friday morning surprising Lucy & Zach at daycare quickly followed by Jason & I arriving there. After items all piled into our mini-van, off Cici, Pops, Lucy, Zach & I went to Charlotte!
I love when dual event plans work out ~ I was able to split time with my Papa & also gave my good buddy B (aka Classic Annie) a baby shower!
We made it to Charlotte in time for dinner at the clubhouse Friday night, went back to the condo for dessert & playing with Papa. Saturday morning, Mom & I (with L&Z strolling along for the ride) were among the first at South Park mall for maybe the speediest shopping at 3 stores ever before dropping me off to get Papa’s car to dash to Whole Foods & the baby shower. Cici, Pops & Papa entertained L&Z for the day!
B’s shower was so fun! It was a blast to catch up with her & her family & friends, see her gorgeous house & hug on that lil baby bump. And make sure that baby G will be appropriately spoiled come July!
I arrived back at Papa’s condo in time for dinner. (& thanks B, the leftover cake pieces were a shared hit between the 7 of us!) Then back to hotel for baths, books & bedtime.
Thanks to snoring (Dad & Mom!) I was awoken at 3:09 am. Usually, that’d mean roll over & go back to sleep but not on 4/19/15, it was #LillyforTarget morning! I managed 3 quick check outs (& lots of cart drops) & am so thankful a couple toddler pieces, 2 women’s tops, shoes, scarfs, a tote bag & a bracelet are on their way to me now. I snoozed through my alarm but made it to a Charlotte Target at 8:12am. Only to see all but one pair swim bottoms (in my size!) gone from the rack. I traded a XL girls top for a XL swim top, grabbed a put back dress for me & was handed a part of shorts for me that didn’t work for someone else. I did a quick sweep of the store & found juice glasses & a flask. I check out quick & made it back to the hotel in time to pack up & get all dressed & ready for church.
Papa’s church was a great service as usual then we enjoyed brunch at the clubhouse (where L&Z ate their weight in berries & loved sneaking off to say hi to the birds). Then just like that, we were back in the mini-van, this time in the pouring rain back to Raleigh. Whirlwind trip, but so much fun mixing family, friends & a lil bit of shopping!