travel

Another Trip Delayed

I’m so frustrated: with this week’s increased work activities, I had to postpone my Charlotte trip once again! I’m almost concerned that I won’t be able to get down there before November, which is unacceptable – I’ve been wanting to do this trip since the middle of the summer!

I’m reminding myself – constantly – that everything is working out just as it should. I believe that any perceived “delays” are generally for the best of all involved, and nothing good comes from “forcing” anything. So, while I’m frustrated, I’m also remaining optimistic. After all, there are several things that have worked out in my favor thus far, and I’m grateful for them.

frustration

Embracing the frustration and moving forward in due time

First off, I haven’t lost any money on reservations, so it’s not like this has cost me anything financially. Also, forcing a trip right now would leave me exhausted, which is no good, considering the fact that my mind has to be especially sharp at the end of the fiscal year. I mean, it needs to be sharp every day, but this is not the time where I want errors or issues to “slip by me” . . . When I travel to Charlotte, I drive myself, and spending 10 – 12 hours on the road is not exactly the kind of trip I want to “squeeze in” during stressful times at work.

So, tentatively, the travel dates have been pushed to the first or second weekend in October, after work has calmed down a bit and I’ve caught up on my sleep. It’s not what I wanted, but it’ll be okay. I’ll make the best of it!

travel

Upcoming Travel Plans – September and October 2018

You all may recall a few weeks ago, when I mentioned that I was planning a trip to Charlotte to visit my family. However, that trip was supposed to happen this past weekend . . . the same weekend that Florence decided to pay the Carolinas a visit. As a result, I had to cancel my plans and reschedule. It looks like I am all set to travel to Charlotte at the end of the month, which works better for my overall schedule.

However, that is going to be a small trip, and it’s not the trip that I’m most excited about (though I’m always excited to spend time with family!) No, what I’m really excited about is that I’m going on a cruise in October! I generally go on a family cruise every other year, and this is the year that we’re due for another family vacay. So we’ll be cruising to the Caribbean and spending 7 days on the water together with a few thousand strangers LOL!

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I’m usually not too excited about cruises, because I’ve done a lot of them and they tend to become indistinguishable from one another. But I’m more excited about it this time for a few reasons. Firstly, we’re going to Honduras, which I’ve never been to before. I’m always more excited about visiting a new country than I am about cruising in general. Secondly, this is the first cruise I’ve been on with my favorite cousin in about 4 years (she skipped the cruise we took in 2016). Finally, there’s something so soothing about being on the water: I can really think clearly when I’m sailing. So, I know that this cruise won’t be any different: I’m looking forward to using that time to relax and think through some things.

Those are the trips I have planned for the next 6 weeks. I’ll post travel updates as the dates get nearer: there’s always so much prep involved with these things (though that part is always fun to me!).

travel

More Travel Plans . . .

Hey friends! I hope you all are having a phenomenal start to your week. Yesterday was a bit tough for me (had some unresolved “junk” come back up) but other than that, I’m feeling well and looking forward to some better days ahead.

It looks like I’m going back to Charlotte in a few weeks. I’ve been wanting to visit my grandmother but I think I’ve finally found a weekend that works for a short trip. I don’t enjoy the drive – over 4 hours one way – but it’s worth it to see family, right?

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I’m still checking out hotels and trying to narrow down what side of town I want to stay in, but while I’m there, I’m hoping to stop at a local museum. You know I do what I can to make sure I have something new and fun to share with you all. Which museum should I visit: the Bechtler Museum of Modern Art? The Mint Museum Randolph? The Harvey B. Gantt Center? We’ll just have to wait and see . . .

Well, time for me to get back to my travel planning. I’ll talk to you all tomorrow!

life curation · travel

Review: Drury Inn and Suites Charlotte Arrowood

During my last trip to Charlotte, I stayed at the Drury Inn and Suites in Charlotte’s Arrowood neighborhood. This location is conveniently located directly off of I-77 and is close to lots of Charlotte’s great restaurants and shopping.

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Photo from the Drury Hotels website

There are so many “pros” and only one or two “cons” from my stay. Firstly, the restaurant location is convenient and it has plenty of amenities (indoor AND outdoor pools, whirlpool, 24 hour gym and fitness center, hot breakfast and happy hour, free wi-fi, ample free parking, etc.,).

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The bed, so comfy, and there were plenty of pillows, too.

The room was comfortable and immaculately clean. I really enjoyed the product dispensers in the shower: no more mini-bottles slipping through your fingers when your hands are soapy. For curly girls, the conditioner dispenser is a godsend: you can finally use the hotel conditioner without having to ask housekeeping for extra bottles (ask me how I know about this struggle!)

Photos from the bathroom

The breakfast was tasty and had a lot of variety. Kudos to this hotel for having more than two waffle irons available for customer use. Also, the smell of fresh popcorn in the lobby (it’s available until 9 PM every night) was heavenly.

Now, I did mention that there were one or two “cons”. We contacted housekeeping to receive a few extra clean towels and it took nearly two hours to receive them. To the hotel’s credit, it was earlier in the day, so I’m assuming that the housekeeping staff was just busier than normal. Also, it’s a lower-cost hotel, so don’t expect super luxury. That’s not a true “con” in my opinion: after all, the hotel exceeded my expectations for the price point.

Overall, I loved staying at the Drury Inn and Suites. I recommend them and will stay again in the future!

life curation · travel

Another Weekend in Charlotte, NC

Happy Monday, beautiful ones! I hope your week has gotten off to a pleasant start.

I just returned from a girlfriends getaway in Charlotte, NC. I told you all about a trip that I took to Charlotte a few months ago, but I just visited again over the weekend. It was a good weekend for a trip: St Patrick’s Day festivities and warmer weather were just what I needed.

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We had plans of getting out into nature and spending some time on the trails, but we couldn’t quite get things to work out as we planned. As you know, plans are great but the decider is fate, so we rolled with the schedule changes and still had a blast. After all, it’s really about the COMPANY, and not the activities. And the company I enjoyed on this trip was superb!

We had a fantastic weekend and I can’t wait to return! I’ll post more specifics about our trip in a few days (including a hotel review) but, in the meantime, enjoy this video about Charlotte, the Queen City, that I found on YouTube. Talk to you all soon!

international · music

Currently Listening To . . .

A few weeks ago, I went to Charlotte, NC to visit one of my friends and to attend a kizomba weekender. You may have seen that in my post and wondered when the follow-up would be posted . . . Well, here you go.

I love kizomba and, while I’m a beginner, I really enjoyed learning the history and technical aspects of the dance. It’s sensual, elegant and so much fun. Not to mention, it made me very aware of some areas where my life could stand some improvement. More about that in another post. . .

So today, this is technically a “currently listening to AND watching” post. I found this kizomba tutorial and I’ve been using it to practice my moves. The position and fluidity of the female dancer’s body is what I’m watching closely: I want to make sure that I’m holding my body correctly while doing moves. I can already tell that I’m improving!

Are you all familiar with kizomba? Let me know in the comments below!

culture · travel

Review of the Hilton Charlotte Executive Park

This past weekend, I stayed in Charlotte, NC to attend a kizomba weekender and to spend time with one of my best friends. We stayed at the Hilton Charlotte Executive Park on Westpark Drive.

The hotel is easy to locate; it’s less than two minutes from the Tyvola Road exit on I-77. It’s a 3- star, moderately priced property that’s conveniently located near lots of attractions and is a short drive from downtown Charlotte.

If I haven’t mentioned it on this blog before, let this be the first time I tell you all this little fact about me: I love fountains. So seeing the fountain right in front of the building was a good sign for me:

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The room was lovely and comfortable. The only drawback was that there wasn’t a microwave in our suite. No worries – we used the microwave in the Market, where guests could purchase snacks and beverages. The hotel staff was understanding and even joked that our reheated food had the lobby smelling delicious! Here are some view from the lobby:

 

And naturally, here’s the obligatory bathroom toiletry shot (seems to be a “thing” with me):

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The suite was spacious and pristine. Aside from the microwave issue, I only had one other tiny “complaint”: I couldn’t connect to the wifi all weekend! It was a blessing in disguise, though: I was able to really focus on connecting with people offline. And who couldn’t use more face-to-face connection? For that reason, I didn’t even bother asking the hotel staff for assistance with the wifi.

I really had a great stay! I’d definitely return, uncooperative wifi and microwave oven and all!