Last week I shared with you the first part of our road trip to Charlotte, NC. Today I’m sharing how we spent five days in and around the city! Buckle up – it’s a LOT of pictures! Sorry! I promise I really tried to narrow them down!
My last post ended on Christmas Eve. I’ll never be able to go to a hotel without taking twinkly lights!!!
We were pleasantly surprised when the kids slept till 8:30 am on Christmas morning!
Sisters are the best!
And brothers aren’t so bad either!
We leisurely opened gifts and then went downstairs to have brunch. I helped the advance crew prepare for the rest of our staff to arrive and then we took the girls ice skating.
Just a block away from our hotel was the best little ice skating rink. Nevermind that it was freezing outside!
Yes, there were a few spills but at least she’s still smiling!
We convinced Colby to walk over for a picture (even if he does look photoshopped in this picture! haha).
Tuesday morning we woke up to the prettiest sunrise!
After working for a few hours, we loaded up for a day trip to Chimney Rock State Park located 25 miles southeast of Asheville, NC.
499 stairs to get to our destination – Chimney Rock!
Worth every step!!!
Hope climbed every step (with minimal whining!)!
This is what I like to refer to as a Christmas miracle!
And 499 steps back down! But, we weren’t through! We also decided to hike the 3/4 mile Hickory Nut Falls trail to see the 404-foot waterfall!
But first a silly pic!
Hope’s legs were a little tired after climbing all those stairs!
Ta Da! The Hickory Nut Falls waterfall! It was so cold that some areas were frozen!
As we hiked back to our car, the moon was coming up and it was so incredibly beautiful!
Be still my heart!
These three are really the best road trippers! I would travel anywhere with them!
As we were driving out of the park, we caught of glimpse of Hickory Nut Falls. Crazy to think we were that far up there!
It was late but we decided to drive to the Omni Grove Park Inn for dinner – and found a place that we definitely want to return to!
The Omni Grove Park Inn is home to the National Gingerbread House Competition and we were blown away by all the creations! These gingerbread houses definitely don’t look like any gingerbread house we’ve ever made!
Look at all those details!
This was the grand prize winner! I’m still not quite sure where the gingerbread is located! This looks more ceramic than edible!
The hotel lobby had two ginormous fireplaces and people were congregating everywhere. Colby fell in love with this place and said he wants to come back. And when your 16-year-old wants to vacation somewhere, you make it happen because you realize just how quickly said teenager will be leaving for college and not wanting to vacation with his family.
The next day started much like the day before – I worked for a few hours and then we loaded up for another day trip. While this was considered a “work trip” it was important to me for us to spend time together as a family. This day we ventured out to Chapel Hill to see the University of North Carolina.
We stopped for a quick picture at the Old Well. For years, it served as the sole water supply for the university. Now it has a water fountain supplying city water and tradition states that a drink from the Old Well on the first day of classes will bring good luck!
Fun fact: this is the largest statue of a ram – in the world!
Another day, another college football stadium!
This is one of my favorite pictures! This bell tower is absolutely gorgeous!
This picture I would entitle “muddying the waters” – Colby is a die-hard Aggie and would love nothing more than to go to Texas A&M but…he really did like visiting all these other universities!
Holden loves art so anytime we can find a mural it makes her so happy!
Visiting during the holidays means hardly any traffic around campus – but it also means that everything is locked up tight. But, now we have a list of places we want to come back and visit!
We hustled back from Chapel Hill because – their besties were in town!!!
So we grabbed Carly and headed to the ice rink at the mall! These girls skated for nearly 2.5 hours while Mike and I froze!!! It got to be a joke but every time we looked at the temp, it was 39 degrees and this night was no different!
While the girls ice skated, Colby and Dillon were at the Hornets versus Celtics game. They had third-row seats and were in heaven!
So fun falling asleep to this view!
The next day was the Belk Bowl where our Aggies were playing the Wake Forest Demon Deacons.
Yep, you guessed it – 39 degrees. Brrrrr!
Our Aggies didn’t win but the girls made the jumbotron and they thought that was fun!
And this one got loved on by two 16-year-olds so the girls called the day a win. #girlmath
And, how else would we wrap up our last night in Charlotte? By ice skating, of course! Holden skated 4 out of the 5 days we were there!
Phew! You made it till the end! I told you there were lots of pictures!!! Thanks for stopping by and come back next week for my final post of our drive home. More SEC stadiums, a zoo, and impromptu celebrations – you don’t want to miss it!
You can read more about our trip here:
Charlotte road trip part III