Monday, August 18, 2008

What a Weekend!

I am back from CKC - tired - but happy! I had a wonderful time at the Creating Keepsake Convention. Spent money, ate well and saw lots of wonderful goodies. Here's a run down on the weekend.....

Friday morning came bright and early as was the plan to leave by 7:00. A couple of hiccups occured with other riders (there was a total of 8 of us going) so we didn't actually get on the road until 7:40. We arrived in Charlotte and headed straight for the Hilton as we were allowed an early check in. Got the SUV unloaded very quickly and headed to the convention center a block away. Down the big escalator and there is was.....scrapbook heaven! I hit the hot spots first (Scrap-Mart, Spellbinders, Technique Tuesday, Powder Keg, Embellish It) and went ahead and got rid of some cash since it was weighing me down. Hooked up with my buddy Cathy and we shopped, encouraged each other to spend more money and then headed down the street to have lunch at UNO's. I had the best in the world clam chowder there. Went back to the convention center and made sure there wasn't any vendors I had overlooked and made those final purchases of the day. Hooked up with two of my roommates, Betty and Lynn and we went back to the room to wait on our other roommate, Melinda who was in class. Later that evening, we met the other group and headed back to UNO's for dinner. Wasn't as tasty as lunch but that happens. We turned in (but not before we saw Michael Phelps win that gold medal by 1/100th of a second) and got our rest because we still had another day to go.

We slept in Saturday morning, except for Melinda who had a couple of classes. We were leaving the hotel at 11:30 and decided to just go ahead and have lunch there. Had a nice she-crab soup with hushpuppies. We then got on the road and headed out to shop. Found a nice "mall" in a very NICE section of Charlotte. This "mall" was not your typical mall. It looked like a prestigious college campus and it sits in the middle of this neighborhood that has BIG mansion style homes. We went around a nice, lush bend and there it was.....the Cheesecake Factory - OMG!!! We about died!! Now, I had not had dessert so far this weekend and I had done quite a bit of walking, so I felt I should treat myself and boy did I! I had my favorite which is the vanilla bean cheesecake. It was great! We then went into this "mall" and it was just as unusual inside as it appeared outside. You would see Neiman Marcus and right beside it would be The Gap. You would see Godiva and right down the hall would be Orange Julius! Too funny. I bought some spooky glass marble eyeballs and a cool frosted glass votive with black gothic style skeletons/bats on it from Illuminations. We left there and went down the road a bit to a Trader Joe's, which is a grocery store that carries all organic type products. Lynn swears by their cornbread mix so of course, she came home with 8 boxes. We then headed back to the convention center to pick up Melinda, who was out of class by now, and then it was on to Concord Mills to have dinner and do a little more shopping. We ate at On the Borders, a mexican style cantina. I had a VERY yummy carne asada with grilled shrimp. OMG! It was fantastic! It came with mexican rice and grilled vegetables. So good with chips and cheese dip! LOL! Then we hit AC Moore's and back to the Hilton we went.

Sunday, we got up and decided to check out Dale Earnhardt Jr's new restaurant, Whiskey River. It was only three blocks from the hotel, open on Sunday, and it was Dale Jr's place - who wouldn't want to go?! Now, to give you a little back ground information. Charlotte loves to renovate their city. There is ALWAYS a ton of construction going on. In fact, they are building the new Nascar Hall of Fame in the middle of downtown Charlotte!! Not a small task. So, we are headed to Whiskey River and after driving around for what seems like an eternity (did I mention all of the one-way streets) we finally stop and ask two gentlemen standing on the sidewalk where this place was. They pointed, we looked in disbelief, asked the question again, and they continued to point........they were pointing at an entire block that was nothing but a construction zone. We head to the constructin zone, none of us with a hard hat or steel toed boots, and find a parking space and set out to find this place. We are going through sheetrock dust and finally we go around a corner, we look up and there it is. Now, it is about 1:00 by this time and we get to the door and discover this is NOT a restaurant but a geniune bar. A very nice bar, but not a restaurant. We go inside, take a few pictures of the counter tops (which btw have lights in them that change colors), the counter top edges that are made with belt buckles, etc. and decided we needed to just go ahead and get out of Dodge! We leave the city and find a Chili's where I have a nice burger with a shot glass filled with cheesecake (again!) and then it's home......home sweet home. A place to lay my head, a place where I can snuggle with my kitty, kiss my husband and pal around with my child.

I do love to go away but it is always so nice to come home too. Hoping CKC will continue it's venue in Charlotte next year. Nothing is ever set in stone and especially with the economy, you hope that the vendors will still want to come and put up with us crazy scrappers. I had a nice time and do look forward to going each year.

Well, it's back to the Real World here. Have a nice week and chat back with you soon!

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