QC Adventures

Well.  School is officially out and I’m on vacation.  It’s been nice so far.  Last week I was able to spend some quality time with my cousin Erin who came down from Connecticut to visit.  We had quite the adventure.

She arrived on the 19th and I introduced her to Qdoba and we walked around the park a bit before heading back to let her rest.  Saturday she had a friend come visit while I was at a meeting.  Afterwards we went out and got some food to make dinner and rented Defiance.  What a GREAT movie.  I was preparing myself before even watching it to become depressed halfway in considering the movie was about the holocaust.  Most movies about the holocaust are so depressing due to the subject matter.  Horrible stuff, especially considering it was a reality for so many people.  However, this movie surprised me.  They had three great actors in Daniel Craig, Liev Schrieber, and Jamie Bell.  It was a wonderful story about family, the human spirit, and a group of people who refused to let things just happen to them.  Very inspiring and I highly recommend it.  I actually went out and got the book to read more about the Bielski brothers and learn more about their story.

Sunday Erin joined me at church and unfortunately after the 11:30, I started feeling awful, so we ended up getting lunch and lounging around the rest of the day.  Not a bad thing all things considered – it IS vacation, time for rest and relaxation.

Monday I introduced Erin to the magnificence that is the french press.  I had another meeting and afterwards we headed up to the mountains for the night…or so we thought.  We had fun listening to each others’ ipods and once we put our stuff down at the house, we went into Blowing Rock to walk around and we ate at the Mellow Mushroom.  Love that place.  The Caribbean Jerk Chicken…amazing.  Erin got the same and I guess I forgot exactly how spicy it was and my minor warning that it was just “a little spicy” didn’t suffice.  haha.  It was a bit more spicy than I let on and I kind of forgot.  But we enjoyed it and went back to the house for the night.

We had some visitors on Tuesday and then we headed out.  I was going to show her the Linville Viaduct.  Or so I thought.  Somehow I got all turned around, but oh well.  We ended up heading to 105 toward Valle Crucis and we were going to visit the Mast General Store.  Again…so we thought.  It was then I noticed that the battery light was flashing on my car when I pushed on the gas.  Then my steering wheel started shaking like crazy.  Ah…cars.  How I despise them sometimes.  Please…consider my past when it comes to cars.  What did I EVER do to them??  We stopped and I called AAA to see if they could get me to a garage because I did NOT want to get stuck on one of the steep hills or curves on 105.  BAD idea.  AAA couldn’t help…no AAA recognized garages in Boone.  So, I was irritated enough and quite frankly too scared to want to even try driving 105 with the possibility of my battery dying and well…the result of that would have been just bad news.  So, Erin drove…no fear, no prior experience with 105.  Perfect candidate.  We got to a garage that would finally take care of the car but we’d have to wait to get it back on Wednesday.  They were nice enough to drive us back up to the house and we chilled out for the rest of the evening.  God must have really known what was coming because Tuesday I’d heard my name called while we were walking and what do you know?  The after school program director at my school was there working at a camp!!  And there were some folks my parents and grandparents know who were up.  Thankfully on Wednesday we were able to get a ride with them back down to the car.  We walked around Boone for a bit and then headed back to Charlotte where we stopped and ate a LOVELY meal at Carabbas.  Delicousness.

Thursday we were tourists visiting Charlotte. I’ve been here three years and never really walked around the center city that much.  I’ve visited Uptown for church and shows (saw Phantom of the Opera on the 18th!!!!), but I’ve never explored it really.  We were adventurous and drove to the South Boulevard station for the Lynx, Charlotte’s lightrail transit system.  Cheap tickets and NO hassle with traffic OR paying for parking.  Loved it.  I would definitely use it again.  We got off the train and started walking around, checking out the buildings.  Not too many stores, but it was still fun.  We found the new Epicenter with the theater, bowling alley and various food/retail stores.  We sat down at the top level and relaxed a bit, checked out the view.  It’s a nice place.  We continued walking and ended up at Discovery Place.  We went in and had some fun watching rats play basketball and doing other fun stuff.  By the time we left, we were going to hit rush hour traffic on 485 so we just stopped at Carolina Place to get some dinner and walk around.  We ended up in Barnes and Noble several times…making several purchases.  We both love books.  Erin+Lindsey+coffee+books=a long visit in the bookstore.  We finally left and headed back to my apartment where we proceeded to have a really entertaining evening due to all of the caffeine we’d consumed that day.  Wow.  We also learned of Michael Jackson’s death and watched some classic MJ videos they were showing.

Friday we kept trying to attempt a visit to the pool, but they were cleaning it and we decided to just take a trip up to Jetton Park at Lake Norman.  We walked for a while, explored a bit and enjoyed the lake and the quiet.  After returning to Charlotte we were FINALLY able to visit the pool to sit and read and hang out.  Later we went to Cracker Barrel where I introduced her to some serious southern cooking…  Fried okra, sweet iced tea (that was introduced earlier in the week too, of course), country fried steak, etc.  We returned to my apartment so she could pack and we watched 13 Going on 30 (such a great movie!).

Saturday she left me.  ‘Twas sad but also great knowing we’d been able to hang out with each other for a prolonged period of time.  It’d been a while since I’d been able to see her or hang out with her for longer than a few hours.  I’m glad she came to visit.  I spent the rest of the day working on my “homework” for the Ekidz lead team summer school project.  We were all given a book and a blog to read.  We had to do a book report and tell whether or not it would be a good leadership resource to use with other volunteer leaders. Same with the blog, except we had to choose the top 3 posts we’d most want to share with a volunteer leader.  I read Tony Morgan’s book Killing Cockroaches and Gina McClain’s blog.  They were very insightful and made me think a lot about the decisions I make and how I approach being a leader as the Quest coordinator.

And now here we are at the end of June!!  More fun to come, I am sure of it.  Here are a few pics of Erin’s visit…

Waiting for the train


View from the top of the Epicentre



Erin and I


Flowers at Jetton Park


No idea who this person is…


Texting…in the water



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