Posts Tagged With: today show nbc

Simply Carolina: My Favorite Things about NC

June 26

North Carolina-one of my favorite places in the world. Trust me, I could make you fall in love with all things about the Tarheel state and here’s why:

1. We have the best of both worlds-beautiful mountains and beaches.

2. UNC v. Duke basketball rivalry is a can’t miss.

3. The Wright Brothers and the gift of aviation.

4. We have all four seasons.

5. BBQ–need I say more?

6. There is a city for all types of people.

7. There are TONS of places to have fun for a day-trip, such as Carowinds, The Biltmore Estate, and the Outer Banks.

8. We all know the wonderful taste of Cheerwine.

9. North Carolina is known as “The Hollywood of the East Coast.”

10. You can’t beat the music and musicians from the state. James Taylor, Scotty McCreery, Ben Folds….(the list goes on and on 🙂 )

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Winter in Europe



“Oh, the weather outside is frightful.” These song lyrics are never more true than when you are in Europe during the winter. While the temperatures are chilling and snow covers most of the ground, there is also no better time to travel to this continent. The scenery of the different countries is beautiful and you’ll leave with tears in your eyes, wanting to stay. Here are your top tips for planning your trip for winter in Europe.

Where to Go:

  • Finland
  • Sweden
  • Denmark
  • Germany
  • Hungary

When to Go: 

  • January
  • February
  • March
  • April

What to Pack:

  • Fleece Jacket
  • Insulated Coat
  • Warm Pants
  • Gloves
  • Hat
  • Wooly Socks
  • Winter Shoes
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Simply Carolina: Holidays in Winston-Salem



It’s the most wonderful time of the year! During the holiday season, there are lots of things to do, including cooking, decorating, shopping, and wrapping presents. But, there is also another important part to the season – participating in some of the traditions throughout Winston-Salem. Growing up, some of the events below were must-dos to complete the holidays. Here are the can’t miss events for the holidays in Winston-Salem.

  • Holidays at Old Salem- As an alumna of Salem College, the holidays at Old Salem was always one of my favorite times of the year. I loved the decorations in the Square and buildings. Some of the events at the historic site include Saturdays with St. Nicholas, Christmas Lovefeast at St. Philips, and the Candle Tea. My favorite, the Candle Tea, is sponsored by the Women’s Fellowship of Home Moravian Church. The event is held in the Single Brothers’ House and is made up of singing Christmas carols, learning how the Moravian beeswax candles are made, enjoying Moravian coffee and sugar cake, and hearing about the history of Salem. Visitors will also experience what life was like in early Salem through hearing stories and viewing the putz, which is the miniature replica of the town. Lastly, the meaning of Christmas will be shared through the lighted Nativity putz.
  • Tanglewood Festival of Lights- Open nightly from November 18th to January 1st, the Tanglewood Festival of Lights is now in its 25th season and is one of the largest light shows in the Southeast. The 4 mile route has over 100 light displays that you can drive past. In addition, attendees can shop the festival’s gift village, have a visit with Santa and Mrs. Claus, and warm up by the fire at S’moresville. Hayrides and carriage rides through the Festival of Lights are also available.
  • The Winston-Salem Jaycees Holiday Parade and the Downtown Winston-Salem Partnership’s Annual Christmas Tree Lighting- For many, the holidays don’t begin until this evening occurs. This year, the Winston-Salem Jaycees will host it’ 26th holiday parade through downtown Winston-Salem. Businesses, organizations, school groups, Boy and Girl Scout troops, and many more will march down the parade route as we welcome the holidays and you guessed it, the guy in the big red suit, Santa Claus! Many parade go-ers will then attend the next event, the annual Christmas tree lighting, hosted by the Jaycees’ event partner, the Downtown Winston-Salem Partnerships. The tree lighting will take place directly after the parade. This year, the event will be held on Saturday, December 3rd at 5p.m. with the parade route starting on Fourth Street on Poplar Street and ending at the intersection on Liberty Street.
  • UNC School of the Arts Presentation of The Nutcracker Ballet- the University of North Carolina School of the Arts (UNCSA)’s performance of The Nutcracker has been a holiday staple in the Camel City for decades. Each year, students from the university put on 10 performances of Tchaikovsky’s world-famous ballet, complete with the Sugar Plum Fairy, Nutcracker Prince, Clara, and the Mouse King. The matinée and evening shows will be performed daily December 9-10 and 14-18. Tickets are currently on sale.
  • A Bethabara Christmas- Venture back in time to the 1753 Moravian settlement of Bethabara. On Saturday, December 3rd, visitors can experience holiday traditions of the historic site. There will be music by Downtown Sounds, beeswax candle demonstrations, and other Christmas traditions.
  • Fox8/Old Dominion Holiday Concert- This Winston-Salem holiday tradition is a musical way to spread holiday cheer and get in the spirit of the season. Fox 8 news anchors hosts a concert by the Winston-Salem Symphony, filled with a carol sing-along. This year’s concert is Saturday, December 17th at 7:30pm and is free with a canned or non-perishable food donation. The donations will be given to the Salvation Army Food Banks throughout the Piedmont Triad.
  • Handel’s Messiah– Another musical way to ring in the holiday season with the Winston-Salem Symphony is their annual performance of Handel’s Originally written for Easter, George Handel’s classic musical work made its debut in Dublin in 1742. Now, known as a Christmas piece, Messiah is performed throughout the world, including right here in Winston-Salem. This year’s productions will be on December 13th and 14th at Centenary United Methodist Church with conductor Robert Moody and special guests.

Article originally published in Forsyth Magazines. 

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Giant’s Causeway – Northern Ireland

  
Known as one of the most beautiful sights in Northern Ireland, Giant’s Causeway is made up of more than 40,000 interlocking basalt columns, which are a result of volcanic activity. However, people believe the site was a bridge built for giants.

Legend has it that Finn MacCool was an Irish giant, who was challenged to a fight by Scottish giant, Benandonner. MacCool accepted the duel and built the causeway to travel the North Channel to meet Benandonner.

As for the rest for the story, there are different versions. One states that MacCool defeated Benandonner. Another says he disguised himself as a baby and hid once he saw how big Benandonner was. Benandonner went looking for MacCool, but when he saw the baby’s size, he ran thinking the real MacCool must be even larger than him and destroyed the causeway.

However the legend ends, we can all agree on one thing – Giant’s Causeway is absolutely breathtaking and a must-see.

Some little known facts about the location are:

  1. It is located in County Antrim on the northeast coast of Northern Ireland.
  2. In 1987, it became a national nature reserve by the Department of the Environment for Northern Ireland.
  3. The column’s tops form stepping stones that lead from the cliff foot to under the sea.

 

 

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What NOT to Do in Washington D.C.

  
When planning a trip, you probably focus on what to do while at your destination. However, it is just as important to know what NOT to do. 

Every now and then, I’ll take a look at various places and give you the insider’s scope on the do not’s, starting with Washington D.C.

  1. Don’t spend all your time on the mall. Venture into other areas of the city and go where the locals go for shopping, dining, etc.
  2. Don’t drive or take taxis. Instead, use D.C.’s metro and be sure to purchase a SmartTrip card if you are making multiple rides.
  3. Don’t be afraid to cross the Potomac River into Northern Virginia. Arlington National Cemetery is there, as well as, the Iwo Jima memorial and Mount Vernon.
  4. Don’t skip the Mall at night. At night, the monuments are lit, adding a powerful and historic feel to them. The monuments are open 24 hours and park rangers are on duty until 10pm.
  5. Don’t visit in the summer. This is one of the busiest and most crowded times, especially around the 4th of July.
  6. Don’t try to visit every museum in one trip. There just isn’t enough time. 
  7. Don’t dine at chain restaurants or tourist traps.
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Simply Carolina

North Carolina and South Carolina are two of my favorite states. As a traveler and lover of history, I always like to learn about the places I’m visiting. For this week’s Simply Carolina, here are five quick facts about each state. Did you know the Carolinas originated as one colony?

North Carolina:

  1. State nicknames include the “Tarheel State” and the “Old North State.”
  2. Krispy Kreme Doughnuts was founded in Winston-Salem.
  3. Babe Ruth hit his first home run in Fayetteville on March 7, 1914.
  4. North Carolina is the nation’s leader in furniture, tobacco, brick, and textile production.
  5. The state’s motto is: Esse quam videri, meaning to be rather than to seem.

South Carolina:

  1. The state dance of South Carolina is the shag.
  2. The Palmetto state is leading the nation in peach production and shipper east of the Mississippi River.
  3. South Carolina entered the Union as the 8th state on May 23, 1788.
  4. The Civil War started at Fort Sumter.
  5. Duncan Park Baseball Stadium in Spartanburg is the oldest minor league stadium in the nation.

Don’t forget YOU can join in the Simply Carolina fun!

If you live in either state, I want to hear your stories, recipes, etc. about the Carolinas. Simply fill out the contact form on the contact tab at the top of my blog with your information and story

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My Travel To-Do List

We all have bucket lists. Lists of things we want to do before our last day on Earth. But, I don’t like calling them “bucket lists.” Sounds as if you are counting down the days. So, instead, lets call them “to-do lists.” My to-do lists consist of making memories, spending time with loved ones, and traveling. Here is my travel to-do list.

  • Visit all 7 continents
  • Visit all 50 states
  • Go on a Route 66 road-trip
  • Visit and hike Machu Picchu
  • Hike Mount Kilimanjaro
  • Camp under the Northern Lights
  • Visit Brazil during Carnival.
  • Dive through the Great Barrier Reef in Australia
  • Walk across the Trift Bridge in the Swiss Alps
  • Swim in Iceland’s Blue Lagoon
  • Kayak through Caddo Lake in Texas
  • Go on a hot-air balloon ride in Turkey
  • Go fly-fishing in Montana’s Glacier National Park
  • See the floating lanterns in Thailand
  • Watch the Changing of the Guards in London
  • See the Fairy Pools in Scotland
  • Tickle whales in Mexico
  • Walk the Great Wall of China
  • Helicopter over a volcano in Hawaii
  • Hike to the bottom of the Grand Canyon

Dreaming a little big, aren’t I? That’s the fun of it- dream and LIVE big!

What is on your travel to-do list?

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The Real ‘Downton Abbey’

  
My Sundays are spent at Downton. Downton Abbey, that is.

The Masterpiece PBS hit show, Downton Abbey, has taken the world by storm. In six short seasons (yes, I will cry watching the series finale), this show has triggered viewers’ emotions with stories of love, joy, and sadness as the lives of the British Crawley family household, both upstairs and downstairs, unfolded. But, do you know the real history of the Downton Abbey estate, Highclere Castle?

Highclere Castle and Gardens is located in West Berkshire, United Kingdom. The estate’s history dates back to 749 AD, with written records of the land. During the late 18th and early 19th centuries, Highclere Castle was renovated from it’s original structure as a medieval palace into a castle and garden under the Carnarvon family. In 1878, the inside structural work was completed. The estate has flourished during the Georgian and Victorian times, as well as, the 20th Century. Some interesting facts are below:

  1. During the First World War, Almina, the 5th Countess of Carnarvon, turned the Castle  into a hospital and patients began arriving in September 1914.
  2. It was the center of political life during the Victorian era.
  3. Politicians, innovators, aviators, soldiers, and Egyptologists all visited the home.
  4. In 1922, the 5th Earl of Carnarvon and Howard Carter discovered the tomb of King Tutankhamun.
  5. Today, the 8th Earl and Countess of Carnarvon live partly in the Castle and nearby.

For more information, visit: http://www.highclerecastle.co.uk/history-highclere-castle-gardens

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Beating Cabin Fever

Snow day #4 for kids here in North Carolina. If you are like me and most of everyone else, you are probably starting to get cabin fever. Here are a few ways to combat this “disease” and have fun!

  1. Start a new hobby- pick up knitting, cooking, or reading a new book.
  2. Tackle a home improvement project- we all have that closet we keep meaning to clean out.
  3. Go outside- take a walk, have a snowball fight, or shovel that snow away.
  4. Have a movie night- add popcorn and snacks to make the night complete.
  5. Research your family history and make a family tree- see where your ancestors came from and find out whether you are really Greek, Italian, or English.
  6. Write letters- grab that pen and paper and reconnect with old friends and relatives.
  7. Scrapbook- take a walk down memory lane and finally put those pictures in the books.
  8. Play games- pull out board games or a deck of cards.
  9. Try a new recipe- Pinterest! Need I say more?
  10. Plan a new trip- whether it be for summer vacation or just a weekend away, plan an exciting new adventure!

Happy Travels!

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Travel Dreams for 2016

dec 31

2015 was a year full of new adventures and several trips were made to new places. As I prepare my schedule for the 2016, there are many dreams I must include:

  • Travel to 5 new cities, towns, and places
  • Visit another country
  • Talk with a local in a new place
  • Try new food while on a trip
  • Make time each day for an adventure, whether it be in my city or another.

What is on your 2016 travel list?

Here’s to another new year of beautiful traveling!

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