My Mountain Expedition

A couple of weeks ago my friend Stephen and I decided to not only go camping in the mountains but to hike one of the toughest sections on the Appalachian Trail.

I have never camped before and I am not one to rough it but Stephen is military so I figured if I had any questions or feared being trampled by a deer then this guys would help me through it.

We drove Friday night up to a hostile in Tennessee after work. We got there very late and found a camping spot by the river to set up our tent. We built a fire to keep warm and quickly fell asleep.

The next morning we walked up to the owners house where we were feed a great breakfast that included homemade from scratch blueberry pancakes, hash brown casserole, egg soufflé, and sausage and gravy biscuits. I of course had to have my coffee. Breakfast was well greeted by great conversation with the locals.

After packing out backpacks with much needed items and a couple of beers we got in the shuttle and headed up to the mountain to begin our climb to Carver’s Gap.

The moment we begun hiking on the trail we were in awe of the great views.

We met some people on the trail and had some great conversations and people gave us advice on how to proceed and where we needed to get the freshest water. We then made the plan to camp on Big Hump Mountain that night and then head back down the mountain in the morning.

We finally made our journey up Big Hump Mountain which was a hard climb. I had to stop a couple of times to rest but the views at the top made it worth it.

Once we made it to the top we got out of sleeping bags, changed into some dry less sweaty clothes and took a rest. The sunset was amazing. It was so quite and peaceful that nigh. The stars were so bright and close it felt like you could reach up and pull them out of the sky. The hours I did sleep I was awaken by the sound of deer walking by and then running off quickly when they realized I was watching them.

The next morning we awoke to an amazing sunrise before packing our stuff and heading back down the mountain. The views coming down the mountain were awesome.

After walking about 6 miles we finally got back to highway and to our car.

My first camping trip was awesome and I can’t wait to plan the next one at another location.

Up To The Top Of Chimney Rock!

Last week I blogged about how my wife has caught the fitness bug and has been watching what she eats and working out every day. It has been nice to spend time with her and that we have something we can do together and be there for one another. It has brought out marriage to another level.

This past weekend my wife decided she wanted to go to the mountains and hike up Chimney Rock, which is near Lake Lure. It is about 2 hours from us. So we packed a cooler and a backpack and loaded the kids up and headed that way early on Saturday morning.

We got there before lunch and just before the crowds came in. We strapped Everly to my back and started to make our way to the top.

My wife did great. She and my oldest stopped a few times to catch their breath. They were a ton of stars. I think I heard someone say about 27 flights and 515 stairs total.

When we finally made it to the top I was very happy for my wife. It was a huge accomplishment for her. She is just starting her journey and I am looking forward to seeing where it takes her. She said she wanted to come back next year and do it again for some before and after photos.

Also the view is stunning…


After we hiked the rock we got some lunch at Medina’s and then played in the river before heading home. It was an awesome day and we will be back I hope really soon.

Another Beach Day

I can’t believe it is July! Wow! Where has the year gone? We have spent much of our time in the car this year as you  could tell. We have been asked by a lot of our family where are we going this weekend? The answer this past weekend was the beach…again.

When my wife and I were dating we spent a lot of time on the beach. We love it. We don’t go down to eat at fancy restaurants or to shop. We go down there and plan our butts in a chair and stick our feet in the sand and relax. That is a real beach trip. This past weekend was no exception.

We decided to head down to Holden Beach. Its our families beach and we love every minute there. It is nothing special but very special to us. We came down and dropped our stuff off at Nana’s and headed to the beach.

It was crowded, being July Fourth weekend but we managed to find a great parking spot and walk to the beach access. The beach was crowded but we did not mind. We set up camp and let the kids go wild. The water was rough. VERY rough. It was so rough that it knocked you down. We still had a great time.

After changing in the parking lot we headed back to Nana’s house.

We went to the Seafood Barn because I wanted fish.

You also can’t come to Holden Beach without getting some ice cream.

I love these little trips of ours and I hope that even though our Nana is selling her place that we can continue this tradition of being little beach bums.

Our Little Family Beach Trip

This past weekend we headed down to Holden Beach for a little family vacation. Nothing fancy but us and the rest of BrittWhitFun’s family. We really had no choice cause of all the renovations going on we could not be at the house.

The first day we were there we had a great breakfast over at Nana’s house. We then headed to the dock and got on my FIL’s boat. There is just something great about being on a boat in the summer time. We rode around for a while and found a great spot on the inlet and set up camp.

We spent the entire morning and afternoon playing in the sand, swimming, fishing, and just relaxing. It was great. The beach is one of my favorite places and it is awesome that my in laws share the same joy.

After we got done we loaded up camp and came back to the dock. We went back to the motel we were staying and got showers. After we got cleaned off we headed back over to Nana’s house so the kids could have some alone time with their Pop and Nana while the adults went out to dinner.

We had a great dinner at Provision Company which included a couple of cocktails and seafood. It is always great to get away without the kids and enjoy some adult laughs and conversation.  After dinner we went to a local ice cream shop where my SIL just can’t seem to eat an ice cream cone the right way. I mean who bites the end of a cone with ice cream still in there?

After some much needed rest we ready for day two. We went back to Nana’s house and ate breakfast again and then headed down to the beach.

We spent another long morning and afternoon on the beach swimming, digging holes, looking for seashells, and eating burgers from the local pier. Its was an awesome day. My kids got disgusting, especially Evie, and had to be rinsed off before heading home.

I must say I love my in laws and my little family. Our beach trips are always so much fun. I hope that even though our Nana is selling her place that we can continue these trips and enjoy each others company.

#MedalMonday Hit The Brixx 5K

This week I am talking about Hit The Brixx 5k and 10k from September 17, 2016. This race was awesome and left me so full….more on this later.

This race was in Uptown at the Brixx Pizza. This is one of my favorite places to eat cause their food is out of this world. They also have a great selection of beer.

We got to this race early just like we always do. When I say we I mean my wife and kids came also. Of course when we arrived my oldest had to pee. What we did not count on was that the line was out the door for the bathroom and there were no port-johns anywhere as they were late to arrive.

By the time my wife got done in the bathroom the 10k had already started and I missed it as I was suppose to run Bothe the 10k and the 5k back to back. I was not mad but a little disappointed.

So we waited out in Uptown for the 5k to start which was fine cause it gave me a chance to hang with my kids and take some cool photos.

As for the race itself. It was very hilly. There were so many hills but it was a fun course to run. I love running in Charlotte anyways. I push harder and harder and made it through the hills. When I arrived at the finish line I saw my daughter and she wanted me to pick her up. Just like the Charlotte Marathon, I picker her up and carried her with me over the finish line.

Afterwards we fed our faces with unlimited pizza and beer. It gave me the opportunity to try some of the cool local brews. Man are they good.

If you are looking for a fun race and some good pizza and beer then be prepared to Hit The Bixx!

#MedalMonday- 2016 Charlotte Half Marathon

This was one of those races that did not end very well for me. We all have these types of races. When we wish we did better or if there was something we could have done differently to prepare. I actually never talked about this race on the blog before but better time then today.

I got my stuff ready the night before like I do with any race. I got up and got dressed and headed to the train station. It was a cold November morning but the closer I got to Uptown the more excited I was getting.

This was my last race of the 2016 season before I took a break. It was my 10th race of the year overall. I was ready to be done before it even started. The truth is that the Charlotte Half Marathon is my favorite course ever. The beautiful neighborhoods of Myers Park, Dillworth, and then the home stretch through South End. It is also challenging with the big hills.

One of the cool things about this race was all the people on the sidelines cheering you on. That was incredible.

I was doing fine. Running at a steady pace. I stopped at the water stations and got some Gatorade. Nothing was going to stop me. I was going to finish this race.

Everything was fine from miles 1 to 11 and then it took a dark turn. When running through South End my legs started to cramp. I never had this happen to me before. It was the most intense pain I have ever experience in my legs. So here I am on mile 12 limping to the finish line.

I made it and I was so glad. It was a good race all things considering. I even got another medal for completing this and the Rocktoberfest Half Marathon but we will talk about that one later.

I love this race as it holds dear to my heart. I did the complete marathon the year before. If you are looking for a fun race in Charlotte in November then sign up for The Charlotte Half Marathon cause it will not disappoint.

Happy Monday Guys!

 

New Beginning, Something New

Anyone that has had a conversation with me over the past couple of months knows that I have been looking to do something else career wise. I have been doing a lot of soul searching, praying, and talking to my wife but I could just not seem to make up my mind what I wanted to do.

I have been at the local paper here in Charlotte for over 2 years working in the Advertising Department. I am in charge of all legal classifieds, weddings and celebrations, worship directory, backing up obituaries and classified call center for not only Charlotte but multiple surrounding  papers also. I love what I do. I am really good at managing so much on my plate at one time and I never miss a deadline, however I was getting burned out and I did not know how much longer I could keep going.

An opportunity crossed my path recently and I had give it a try. The magazine staff was looking for a new account and layout coordinator. I had no real expectations but decided to throw my name in the hat to see what would happened. Soon my name spread like wildfire on the 11th floor and everyone was super excited for me so naturally, I got excited also.

Two weeks later I was called in for an interview. The manger made me feel comfortable like I was talking to a friend. I explained to her why I was looking for a change and I left thinking it went very well.

Monday I was called in and… I GOT THE JOB!

So now I will be moving into a new role at paper working with the amazing magazine staff. I am so excited to start and look forward to what the future holds for me and my little family.

Finally A Date Night

My wife and I never get to have a date night. It has been really hard to schedule one. We are usually decide last minute to have a date night and find it hard to find a sitter. So we don’t get to go out together very much.

When we do get to go out we often find ourselves at one of our favorite little secrets in Charlotte. That is this little place in the Metropolitan area called Dressler’s. Now it is on the pricey side but they usually have a Groupon out there to purchase. The Groupon is dinner for two for $69, which includes two appetizers, a salad to share, two main courses, and a desert to share. It is a lot of food but the food is what makes the trip.

One of my favorite items on the menu is the blackened ribeye. It is so good with the blue cheese butter and the side of fingerling potatoes and asparagus really complment the dish. I know this is not a restaurant review but you have to try it.

I love spending time with this girl. She is so funny and I smile when she talks. I just love it when she talks. We had some drinks before dinner and just sat and relaxed with no kids grabbing our legs and saying “Mommy”, “Daddy”. It was very refreshing to just sit with your spouse and have a real conversation about something other then nap schedules and diaper rashes.

Our dinner was so good and the conversation was uplifting. This was short lived when we got a call from our sitter to say that the dogs got a hold of the trashcan with dirty diapers in it and the whole house smelled like crap. Straight up crap. So we headed home and cleaned it up. It was a not so good end to a great night but at least I got alone time with my bride.

Operation: Danger Ranger

This past weekend we headed back to Carolina Beach to get the truck from the auto shop. I was a great chance to have a little day trip and enjoy each other’s company. It was a perfect Saturday morning.

After we got the truck, we headed down to the boardwalk and ate at Shelby Jean’s restaurant. It was a cool place with some really good food. The girls had a blast eating and of course chasing each other around the whole place.

After finding some grub for our bellys, we headed to the beach for some fun in the sun.

We built sandcastles and watched the girls get coated with sand. I have never seen Evie get so disgusting. It was fun to hang on the beach with them.

After playing in the and and beating the ocean up for the second time, we changed our clothes and headed home but not before grabbing doughnuts from Britt’s and Wake and Bake. What can I say? Saturdays are meant for doughnuts and coffee. I love them both.

We had a blast on our day trip and have discussed to do more of them in the future.

I am so glad to have my truck back. I missed it!

Operation: Rescue Daddy

This weekend I was very excited. I was going to have my first guys weekend in a while to spend some time with brother down at Carolina Beach. I was going to drive my truck that I just had lifted and got new mud tires installed. I was going to be a great weekend of camping, fishing, and just enjoying each others company.

Fate had a different idea. I was on the way down Friday night when just when I got into Carolina Beach my truck started to shake and my truck started to smoke. It turns out my drivers side front axle broke and my drivers side tire was slanted.

So my brother came and picked me up and I stayed the night at the camp site. In the morning I called around some auto shops only to find that most were closed for Easter holiday. I finally found one that was opened. I called my wife to tell her what happened and she stopped everything and said she was on the way.

After a couple of hours I was greeted by her and my beautiful girls. She helped me get the car towed to the auto shop. What started as a guys weekend ended up as a little family vacation. We played on the beach.

Me love to beat up the ocean!

We go doughnuts at the famous Wake and Bake Doughnut Shop.

We stayed the night at BrittWhitFun’s grandma’s house at Holden Beach and then got up Sunday morning and played a little on the beach before heading home.

I honestly would not know what I would do without my gals. I love them so much and I am thankful to be a husband and father in this little family of mine. I am a lucky man.

I hope to hear back from the auto shop this week. It looks like this Saturday we will be making another impromtu trip to the beach to pick up the truck… and maybe to a little beach bumming.