Friday, July 07, 2006


Here's the beginning of our vacation stories.... Mom and I just returned from a week at Huntington Beach with my aunt & uncle...

Saturday. July 1, 2006.
6:30am. Hit the highway headed for Charlotte! Mom drove the Ohio and West Virginia portions of the trip. We made a stop in Ripley for breakfast and in Beckley at Tamarac for some shopping. Tamarac is such a good time... GREAT shopping. I got a ceramic wall pocket for our house. (Just in case the perfect souvenir eludes me at the beach!) It has a maple leaf on it. It should go nicely in a grouping with the photos and pressed leaves I am working on putting in a collage at home.

We made a stop for lunch somewhere in North Carolina. We went to a flea market that was about as horrible as horrible gets. But to save that stop from being a complete waste of time, we had lunch at Arby's, where one of the employees entertained us in a chicken costume. Not every day you encounter a life-size chicken.

Back on the highway, we were in Charlotte before 3pm. We checked into the Doubletree Guest Suites, which was indeed right next to the Symphony Park. Folks had already covered the park with picnic blankets saving spots for later that night. We got hot chocolate chip cookies at check-in. Yum! Incentive to stay at Doubletree more often!

It's amazing how tired sitting in the car makes you. I was so zonked! We napped for an hour or so and watched tv in order to pull ourselves together for a night out. Then we hit the mall. Ooops. It was a great mall... one store after another full of cool stuff. We each bought a couple clothing items. And we kept on shopping right through the start of the symphony concert. So we swung by the car and put away our shopping treasures and picked up our lawn chairs.

The park was jam-packed! The stage was in the middle of a pond in the center ofthe park. There were people sitting on every side. We squeezed in just behind the stage on the back side of the park. We nestled in between some shrubbery. The music was fantastic. It was a beautiful moonlit night. And then... fireworks at the end!

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