When your longest running friend is getting married, you definitely fly wherever to be there for her first wedding shower...right?
Well, I think so anyways. So I flew to Charlotte, NC, last Thursday night for Kelsey's wedding shower weekend.
(Kels and I went to the same babysitter when we were babies, grew up playing sports together, and were roommates in college. It's hard to have a friend any longer than that!)
Leaving KC ^^ and Landing in Charlotte^^
I got in kind of late, the airport was under construction (ie it was a total zoo) and Kelsey lives a ways north of Charlotte, so by the time we got to her place, we just chatted for a bit and went to sleep.
Friday morning, I got a better tour of the place...and the ridiculous view they have! Lake Norman is right outside their back yard! Literally!
This is the view from their deck! ^^
Now, Lord knows I can't go anywhere and not have my morning smoothie! I made Kelsey drive me to the closest grocery store so I could load up on fruits (and spinach).
I cut up cantaloupe and pineapple, washed the strawberries and blueberries, and made a pretty delicious smoothie that Kelsey was a fan of -- even with the spinach. Maybe she'll get addicted to them like I have now!
Once we got moving and ready for the day, we set off for Crowders Mountain State Park for some hiking. The word "Mountain" in that title should be taken lightly. It's more like a really big hill, but whatever.
It started raining lightly on the drive there, but we decided we were going to hike no matter what, so we kept going.
The whole area was beautiful and very green/wooded.
We wanted to hike all the way to the top -- to the view point -- and Kelsey seemed sure she knew which way to go and which trail to take to get us there. So I just followed her lead and we took off.
After miles and M I L E S of this (hiking through the trees), I realized we had definitely gone further than the 2 miles it was supposed to be to the view point. Turns out Kelsey did NOT know which trail to take, hahaha. Still cracks me up. We ended up hiking 5 miles and didn't make it anywhere close to any viewpoint! We did, however, see some deer, which was cool. And it was cloud and rainy anyways, so the view wouldn't have been that good. I was just happy to get some exercise in!
We were slightly under-prepared for that long of a hike. With the added humidity from the rain, I was a sweaty, hungry mess by the time we made it back to the car. An immediate stop at the closest food establishment was definitely necessary.
Subway for the win. I ate that sandwich in under 2 minutes. For real.
On our way back to her house, we decided to stop for a little shopping: Marshals, Target, a little botique, a shoe store...
We both found cute new dresses for the shower on Saturday...and then we had to have shoes and accessories, of course.
We got stuck in some pretty bad traffic before we made it home, and I had to think of Shannon out in San Fran. She always sends me these pictures with dark red lines as far as you can see. I don't know how she does it. This little stretch was bad enough for me!
We didn't have too much time to clean up and head out to meet her fiance's family for dinner...but we definitely had to take a couple of pictures before!
|Too dark on the deck :(|
Dinner was at Zapatas - a Mexican place. I thought I would try and be "healthy" and order the fish tacos.
They were fried.
After dinner, I got a little more tour of the area they live in, and we stopped by the whole-in-the-wall karaoke bar where they first met. The picture on the right (below) is actually the exact spot they met!
I was having a craving for ice cream, so we went to this super cute area called Birkdale Village and had frozen yogurt at TCBY. We were having a contest to see who had the heaviest bowl and still eat it -- and Kelsey dominated us! She won by a couple of ounces!
We were really enjoying the nice summer night out on a lawn, but we couldn't stay long. It was getting late, and we had wedding shower prep to do back at home: Trial run on the hair and I painted her nails :)
Saturday morning was the big day! Kelsey was pretty nervous, but she looked great with her hair curled and in her new white dress!
She went over to Dustin's parents house early to take picture and see the whole shebang. I stayed back at her place and got ready myself. (I did her hair so I wasn't ready early.)
I'm glad I stayed behind though, because I got to FaceTime with my adorable nephews who were back in Great Bend for the weekend!
|(Clearly they weren't as excited about it as I was.)|
Bathroom mirror selfies for my new dress:
Dustin (Kelsey's fiance) took my over to the house before all the guests showed up, and...wow. On top of just a gorgeous house in general, the decorations were unreal. Like, I don't think I will ever go to a wedding shower like this again in my life. They went way above and beyond on this thing:
Mimosa bar on a cute little cart, cupcakes shaped like a wedding dress, cakes, cookies, casseroles, biscuits, jams, heart shaped bacon, waffles in little cups of syrup...and that's not even all of it.
The decorations were ALL OVER and seriously too cute. I can't even imagine how long they spent doing all of it. Even the bathroom had wedding decorations in it! And they had a little tray with wedding dress shaped boxes with nailpolish in them for the guests to take home! Such a cute idea!
The shower was great. After we all ate until we were stuffed (southern food is the best, I've decided), Kelsey opened lots and lots of presents -- and I did my best to write down what she got and who it was from.
Kelsey with her fiance and his mom/sisters ^^
The shower really couldn't have been more perfect. I was SO glad I took the time to come to Charlotte for it. I loved all the girl time we got and would have been so sad to miss this big day!
After everyone left (that took awhile), Kelsey tried on her wedding dress! Just a little sneak peak from the back, but it's beautiful! Dustin's aunt is a seamstress and is doing the alternation work on it for free. (Oh, and his sister is a hair stylist so she did a trial run on her hair, too!)
|I think she stood on that box for a couple of hours while they pinned and re-pinned the dress!|
Sunday morning, I woke up fairly early (8-ish) and I knew Kelsey wouldn't be up for awhile. So I put on my running shoes and went for a jog. Finally, it wasn't raining and had cooled off a little! I made it a little over 2 miles and ended on a nice path along the lake.
Kelsey still wasn't up by the time I got back, so I made a list of some things I thought she could use around the apartment, and took her car to Target!
$150 later, her place was looking a little cuter! I got her a new kitchen rug, kitchen towel, and drying mat (all in turquoise), a big rack/cabinet thing for over the toilet in Dustin's bathroom (the poor guy's bathroom has been neglected - and it's the one I was using so I thought I would help it out), some lightbulbs for the bathroom (Dustin said he let them go out because he doesn't like looking at himself!), some art work for the kitchen, a paper towel holder...I don't remember what else. But it was so fun to surprise Kelsey with it all! And she loved it all, thank goodness!
Once we put all that stuff up and went through some of the shower gifts, we decided to take off for some more shopping for the rest of the afternoon. We started out in Birkdale Village again (it's seriously such a cute area with fun little shops).
I broke down and bought a pair of LuluLemon workout pants. They really weren't THAT much more than the ones I buy anyways, and if they really are that great and last for 5 years, then it will be worth it, right?
I was so excited that I wore them out and the rest of the day!
My only other purchase was a cute pair of sandals from some little boutique (see below).
|(I couldn't find a mirror in the little store so Kelsey had to take a pic so I could see how they looked!)|
I couldn't leave Charlotte without seeing Kelsey's work place: Fox Sports (which used to be Speed TV).
I got the grand tour and saw some pretty cool production rooms.
The second best part of the tour was the break room, where almost everything in the vending machine was only $0.25!
The best best part of the tour was seeing this picture up in Kelsey's office!
|13 years ago. Somehow she talked me in to being on the KSU Women's Rowing team with her in college.|
Next stop for the day of shopping: IKEA.
I was SO excited for this. I hadn't been in an Ikea store since...probably when I moved to Beijing in 2008 and we furnished our whole place in one stop there.
Needless to say, I want one of everything in that store and can.not.wait for the Merriam store to open up here in KC in just a few months!
We even ate lunch there, and it was surprisingly cheap AND good!
The shopping continued with another Marshalls downtown -- followed by a tour of the downtown area (which they actually call UPtown?) and stadiums down there. For some reason, I didn't take one picture of any of that!
Kelsey dropped me off at the airport about an hour before my 8pm flight, and let me tell by you, the TSA Pre-Check line is definitely the way to go. SO much shorter and quicker. Taking stuff out of your bags and shoes off is such a pain, so avoiding that makes the security line a breeze!
I grabbed some sushi for dinner (it's turning in to my Sunday travel meal I guess after two weeks of it in Tahoe), and waited for my flight home.
Leaving Charlotte ^^
The flight was easy and non-stop. I watched Bad Words and definitely laughed out loud a couple of times.
Got home around 9:30 -- so much better than the 1:30 in the morning thing -- and made it home right in time for bed!
Another fun-filled weekend -- and my first trip to the "south" in the books!
Can't wait for Kelsey's REAL big day in October on the beach in Charleston!