Okay I know this is super delayed....but better now than never right. So I spent Thanksgiving with my cousins on my Dad's side (the Valeros) in Charlotte with my mom. It was really nice to have my mom with me considering the last time I spend Thanksgiving in NC it was with Alice's family. I carried on one of her family's traditions: Martha Washington Candies. They were a huge hit this year at Linda's and I ended up sending Linda's daughter Jen (for her sister-in-law Drennan) the recipe for a holiday party. If you have no idea what I'm talking about check out the link!
My rookie rugger Sharyn needed someone to house her hamster. When
her boyfriend came over a few days before the break to give
me the hamster I had to test it's ball contraption. It was thoroughly amusing!!!
Before we went to Linda's for most of the break we connected with my good friend Hillary. We spent the day cruising around Charlotte: visited Discovery Place (discoveryplace.org/) which made me feel like a little kid :) ate a hearty lunch at the Diamond Diner (owners had a place around the corner that Guy Fieri visited on an episode of DDD) and had a relaxing tea-time at Amelie's French Bakery (OMFG baker's heaven) get this its open 24/7!!!!
SO TASTY Macaroons
Linda's beautiful home
Webster the dog
Thanksgiving feast...Thanks to Jen's husband Stephen
It was so great to hear all the Valero stories I've never heard before especially the one about Pater's (my great grandfather who died a few years ago at 106!!) great grandfather's affair with some forest mistress. Technically we're all bastards! haha gotta love this stuff...We also shared our traditions and had a blissful bonding experience. I was so happy to finally meet one of Debbie's children (Kim and her husband Johnny). I'm definitely planning a trip to FL very soon!!! Go Gaters! lol
One of the last days we were together we took the light rail into "uptown" (my equivalent of downtown) Charlotte. Since everyone was hungry with the exception of mom and I we decided to venture on our own. We went to the tourist office for a map then walked around on the historical tour. It was so nice to finally see the city other than a drive-by sighting in years past. Eventually we caved and went back towards the tourist office for coffee and a treat at Amelie's second location. It was the perfect day.
Lady Charlote (yea one t)
Amelie's second location
Ice skating outside the convention center
That night before Debbie, Kim and Johnny left for their trip back down to FL we went out to the xMAX speedway in Concord for the Christmas light show. Linda, Debbie, Mom and I literally drove on the speedway!!! It was the coolest set-up especially with little Bethlehem and fun holiday activities in the center of the track. It was so magical despite the chillness on my bear toes -- yep I wore flip flops. womp womp. I didn't expect to walk outside...
Southern twist on Funnel Cake: Red Velvet flavor
Our last night in Charlotte we took Linda to the Christmas Spectacular hosted by the Piedmont Community College. It was such a treat especially the ballet dances from the Nutcracker and Hallelujah chorus. I started to feel nostagic thinking about Frances' H.S. performance last December. I wondered how her experience out in Irvine has been, remembering what it was like to be a freshman in college. (Frances and her mom Ellen are mutual friends of ours; went to the same church in Montclair, NJ)
Could not have asked for a more relaxing and perfect Thanksgiving!