Wednesday, November 27, 2013

3eb & football.

what i listened to: third eye blind
shocker! i went to another concert. but this time i took a field trip back to sixth grade at the third eye blind show. let me start by saying the venue was by far the best venue i’ve attended.
it’s a small venue and up until dating lee all i knew were huge concert venues like time warner cable arenas and verizon wireless amphitheaters where the performer is an inch tall and the best picture you can get is a semi-blurred one on the huge screens. but not here.
the fillmore is located near the nc music factory in charlotte.
unlike amos in southend, there is no u-shape second level balcony section, so you get to know the person standing beside you reaaaaaaaally well throughout the show. third eye blind performed a lot of songs i didn’t know, but even so the theatrics they put on kept me entertained. i even tweeted @3eb about my excitement of the show and they favorited it! it’s something that means so much to fans to be noticed even though thousands tweet them love every day.
my favorite performances were obviously the well-known songs such as “jumper,” “never let you go” “graduate” and ended with “semi-charmed life.” i think this was the closest i’ve ever been to a mosh pit { as g-rated as this “mosh pit” would’ve been}. no there weren’t people climbing on people/crowd surfing or throwing random punches (isn’t that what happens in mosh pits?), but regardless, the place was thriving and jumping up and down screaming every word.
and of course, not to be outdone, so were we.

{this guy in front of me was doing a taylor swift heart.}
where i tailgated: nc state vs. ecu; raleigh, nc.
if there’s one thing i looove about the fall is tailgating for football. if you do not share this love, being friends is going to be an issue. after eating dinner with lee and his family this past friday, we headed up towards raleigh where a ton of our friends were waiting to kick off the morning early on a saturday.

{lee and i}
and when i say early, i don’t mean 10am saturday morning early. i got up at 6:20am to prep for the day. i don’t even get up that early for work! we met up with everyone and laid out our tailgating spread full of delish foods ranging from breakfast to cupcakes and of course 7:30am beers and champagne.
{cheesy bread, breakfast casserole, sausage balls}

{champagne on ice}
it was straight freezing. the morning started out at 55 degrees and although everyone kept saying it would get warmer, i think that was a wish rather than a reality. the only thing keeping us warm were the random closeness during pictures, my scarf that became a hat, the bathroom building we kept sneaking into, and shot-gunning beers like we were in college {which i am epically terrible at}.
the picture doesn't do it justice, but basically Hannah and Audrey killed it, meanwhile i drank all most of the beer and slammed it down like a champ...... only to splatter about the remaining 1/6 of the beer on the ground. hey, at least i tried.

{it also was this lady's 28th birthday. happy birthday stephanie!}
{walker brothers & myself}

{crew: shawn, drew, hannah, jared, audrey, sean, lee, myself, taylor, stephanie, henry, catherine}
after kickoff since we didn't have tickets, we decided to pack up our things and go to meet a long time friend of mine, corey. i've known corey since college at uncg and living 3 hours from here completely sucks, for a lack of a better term. her fiancé, adam, and lee hit it off last tailgate, so we decided to meet up with them at carolina ale house to watch the bloodbath on the field and enjoy catching up.
{corey and i}

{because we had not had enough already}
{adam's party fail}

{festive beer}

{magan showed up as well! another great girlfriend i got to see this weekend.}

afterwards, another close friend of mine, taylor, invited lee and i over to their house for more drinks, as if we needed it, and games! i was so excited i got to see three of my bests in one weekend. i've known taylor since 6th grade so catching up is always a blast.
{taylor & i}

{katie, me, taylor}
we spent all night playing taboo and this other fun game that was like telephone and pictionary in one. betting on football games with tequila shots and eating some late night pizza later, we ended the evening teaching each other copperhead road.  we've danced to copperhead road a million times, but trust me after that much fun in one day even the most well known dance steps won't be found in your memory! lee got it on video. no i will not share!
it was a great weekend of seeing old and new friends.
happy thanksgiving week! i wish you all the best time with your friends and families.

Thursday, November 21, 2013

tell them i sent you.

where to eat: soul gastrolounge.
one thing i’ve learned is that charlotte has a slew of cool places to eat. i wanted to try something different and after asking around to a few friends, they recommended soul. soul gastrolounge is a quaint dimly lit relaxed restaurant located in the plaza midwood part of charlotte. it’s got a more eclectic feel and serves up their small plates tapas style. they have everything from hummus, dips, flatbread, sushi, tacos, meatballs and lord knows what else i can’t remember.

oh and they had $2 PBR’s. that’s pretty noteworthy.

{my date}

i was told by numerous people that if i went, the pork belly tacos were a must.  it was a perfect place for date night and definitely a place i’ll go again. see below for what we ordered.

{spicy feta dip}

{white flatbread with arugula, goat cheese, pesto and garlic; definitely recommend!}

{soul roll: salmon, curled, jalapeño, tuna, spicy mayo}

{pork belly tacos; do not go here without ordering these. oh my.}

so this past weekend  lee and i took a day trip up the mountain. chimney rock is a little under two hours from charlotte, and simply for yolo reasons, we decided to head up to make the climb. i had never been to chimney before and really enjoyed the easy (for the most part) hike. this place has several trails, but we mainly went for the view and the 0.7 mile loop to the top – once you take the elevator up 26 stories that is.

yes you read right. i said elevator. in a flippin mountain. humanity never fails to amaze me with laziness, but the hiking trail to get to the top was actually closed due to a rock slide earlier in the year, so this was our easiest  bet. however, once getting to the top, the views were nothing short of amazing. check them out below.



i also caught this woman taking a straight up no shame selfie where she didn’t even smile. i hate selfies so this just did it for me. i couldn’t help myself for snapping a pic of this and nope, lee and i weren’t the only ones snickering.


we decided to then take the small hike to the highest point of the mountain – exclamation point. this sits elevated at 2480 feet and even though it was a bit chilly, the weather felt nice after we broke a sweat with the climb. theres a few hundred (thousand) steps to climb so go on a day where you feel like getting in your workout for the next month.

i also got to climb into a mini cave because i am a five year old and saw this really creepy looking rock they like to call “devil’s head.” hey see it for yourself. it freakishly looks up to its name. chimney rock was a nice little day trip and has cute little lodges and shops if you want to spend more time.

{devils head}

what to do on a monday: go to a panthers game where they BEAT THE PATRIOTS.

a lovely friend of mine, allyson, has season tickets to the panthers home games and although i love her for many, many other reasons, getting to tailgate and attend some home games with her is definitely one of them. if there’s one thing i know (and everyone else should know) about allyson is she’s pretty much the biggest panthers fan and has been a supporter and a lover of the team even during their not so pretty seasons. she even has a twitter account she runs called “miss purr” where she tweets odds and ends about the team and sometimes live tweets when the team is away (damn the no signal in the stadium!). the account has actually gotten some attention by sir purr and even members on the team! you can follow it here.

anyway, the kickoff was after 8pm so right after work we scrambled to get the cooler packed, get on our BACK IN BLACK gear since the game was a blackout and head to tailgate. with us was allyson’s mom (another huge fan) and her boyfriend chris.

{beast mode}

we tailgated on the corner of graham & trade where one of allyson’s friends had a complete set up of chili, hotdogs and cornhole. we made friends and ended up taking shots of crown (yikes!) with people we didn’t know. it was awesome.

{allyson and I at the tailgate}

however, once inside the stadium, things took a turn for the awesomER, even though that’s not a word. cam and the panthers got the crowd pumped as the score went back and forth before the panthers finally scored a lead touchdown in the 4th quarter and held the patriots from scoring down to the last seconds. if you think watching this game at home was cool, you have NO idea what i experienced. it was hands down the best nfl game i’ve been to. we had no voices later that night.

{your carolina panthers!}


heres to the panthers getting another W against the dolphins this weekend!


Tuesday, November 12, 2013

two days in nashville.

there's something about country music that just feels like home to me. i wasn't one of those kids who got to grow up listening to rap or rock; my parents were too strict for all that. i actually remember the first "rap" song i heard on a radio station i wasn't supposed to be listening to - it was shaggy's "it wasn't me." i remember thinking omg this is so dirty...what are they doing on the counter? or the sofa? shower? what? ew bathroom floor?! ... yeah i was that kid. 

shania twain, faith hill, and trisha yearwood's jams were my jams. there were countless times i battled my mom on who could sing "any man of mine" better. she usually won. i even named my childhood cat trisha yearwood, but that's a whole other story and sneak peek in to my weirdness. 


recently i got a chance to visit nashville for a conference for work and i live by the "work hard, play hard" motto. after the opening reception at the sheraton nashville downtown hotel, i went out with a friend i had met there, rachelle.

{rachelle & i}

the strip of nashville bars are booming with their neon lit up signs, cowboy boots, and my favorite part - live music. rachelle used to live in nashville i found out, so she was the perfect person to meet who could show me around the city. i don't think there was a bar we went to that didn't have some act on stage praying for the big break. typically, they just play cover songs of mainstream country artists which, after a few drinks, you tend to sing at the top of your lungs right along with them. 


we started at the stage - where rachelle taught me how to dress up your beer in a napkin tuxedo! 

{the stage}

{fancy beer}

after the stage, we walked down the strip and i ran into elvis. naturally the kid in me got thrilled and had to snag a pic. not 100% sure why i decided to go all rocker on elvis, but hey - when in nashville....

{elvis; 1 of 3}

we then landed at honky tonk central, which very quickly became a favorite place of mine. the next time i visit nashville, and yes there will definitely be a next time, i'll make sure to return to this place. on the stage was a sounds-like jason aldean accompanied by a band. he played plenty of songs we all knew including will smith's theme song from the fresh prince. the one guy who was on the fiddle KILLED his performance during the devil went down to georgia. he was jammin' out so hard the strings from his fiddle actually shredded. i got to see this because i was first row, naturally. they were a very talented band taking requests from the audience all night.



the next morning was rough. i mean the struggle was real. thank you to my hotel room at loews hotel for saving my life with a mini first aid kit that had tylenol! one thing i'd like to share about this hotel where my conference was held is this beautiful mason jar light structure that was located in their hotel bar. it was so simple and seemingly inexpensive to make. i'd love to make one for my house someday! 

{mason jars}

the other thing was the old time ballroom feel where the conference was held. it was an eclectic feel with touches of modern and vintage pieces. 

{event space}

after the event, my body was all amanda, go to bed. you're exhausted. but rachelle sent a text to meet up and downtown nashville was whispering in my ear you know you wannaaaa. so we decided to do round two. 

{rachelle & i}

i brought out the red lipstick and we hit up the some of the same bars as the first night and i'll let the pictures tell you the rest of the story.....

we found the second of three elvis's! it's to my understanding they move these statues all around downtown. after this i was dead set on finding the third. ps it was like 50 degrees outside so i wouldn't have been too heartbroken had we not.

i straight up stalked this guy to get a picture of his horse. i flippin love horses. he actually was very nice about it. this horse was named grace. he showed me her teeth and i attempted to get a picture. the horse wasn't a huge fan of the flash. fail.

we had apple pie moonshine shots. i repeat, we had apple pie moonshine shots. we literally walked into the bar where three old men sat watching some game on tv. rachelle said "we're just here for the apple pie shots." the bartender poured them up, we took them back, winced a bit because uhhh it is moonshine and walked out. because that was necessary. 

elvis number three baby! thankfully it was on the way to another bar.

this building is so the batman building and i believe it's known as that. it was so cool being near all the landmarks from the show, nashville! if only i could have ran into some of the characters...... or taylor swift. either would've worked.

the apple pie moonshine shots made me decide that it was a good idea to buy this ring for $5.99 and pretend i was engaged to the city all night because that's normal....

music city was a blast. never underestimate this city.

and i can say i was very happy to see this final view - meaning i was heading back home, sweet home, to charlotte. it's always nice to get away, but i always find pleasure in returning to a place that's comforting.