Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Impromptu Family Outing

This past Saturday, around 4:30 pm, Danny and I decided it would be a fun little outing if we ventured to Charlotte for the second round of the NCAA tournament to see UNC take on Washington.  We have a friend who just helped open the Hotel Sierra in Charlotte and is the Food and Beverage Director there.  Hotel Sierra is conveniently located right next door to the Time Warner Cable Arena where the Heels were playing.   After a few phone calls and texts to secure tickets and a hotel room, some quick showers, and even faster packing; we were on the road by 5:30 pm headed to Charlotte for the evening.  We stopped for dinner at Mimi's Cafe in Burlington and were in Charlotte by 9:15 pm.  Emerson was excited to stay in a hotel and Adam hooked us up with a really nice room, so Emerson was even more in awe of the surroundings included the view from the 15th floor.  I got Emerson dressed for bed and laid down with her around 9:40...she was sound asleep by 9:45.  So much for worrying that she'd have trouble falling asleep in the hotel room.  Danny headed down to the bar to catch up with Adam and I enjoyed the solitude of a one bedroom suite with control of the remote, my MacBook in hand, and nothing to do but surf the internet and blog.  Although the hotel is very nice, it is right next to the Charlotte bus station and I wouldn't say the best clientele is walking around outside.  Danny and I got to see this first hand when we heard sirens around 11:00 pm and we opened our curtains to see about 8 cop cars surrounding four men.  We later found out from Adam there had been a fight.  After assessing the situation for awhile, we got the fold out couch ready, moved Emerson to the living room, and headed to bed ourselves.
On our way to Charlotte Emerson enjoyed a few episodes 
of Handy Manny!
I spoke a little too soon when it came to Emerson sleeping.  Although she slept through the night, she woke up at 6:00 am calling out for me.  She assumed I was sleeping with her since I was there when she fell asleep, but when she woke up and I wasn't there, she got scared.  So I went to get her (she still won't get out of bed on her own - AMEN!!) and brought her back to bed with Danny and I.  Needless to say, she didn't fall back asleep, so after about 20 minutes of tossing and turning, Emerson and I went out to the living room and let Danny sleep.  Emerson watched some cartoons and I was back on my computer for a bit.  Around 7:30 Emerson said she wanted some milk, so we got Danny up, got dressed and all headed down for the free breakfast.  I've stayed in a Hotel Sierra in Richmond for work and had a great experience; this hotel was no different.  The service was great and Adam has put together a great team of chefs...the breakfast was YUMMY!!  Adam actually made it in time to join us for breakfast and then gave us a quick tour of the hotel, including a roof top tour of his soon-to-be greenhouse for fresh herbs.

Breakfast at Hotel Sierra

Tour of Hotel Sierra

Skyline from the roof top
(On the way into town the night before, Emerson kept calling these buildings the castles and loved them all lit up.  She was really excited to be this close to them and see them from the roof!!)

Roof top

Love this picture!!!  I am a sucker for silhouettes!!

Being very patient in the lobby!!

Emerson and Adam

After our tour, we headed upstairs to shower, get ready for the game, and pack.  We checked-out and put our stuff in our car.  Major score that we didn't have to move our car to a different location for the game.  So, we literally, walked 100 yards to Time Warner Cable Arena and got in the very long line to get into the game.  We had great seats for the game!!  I guess you could call them Club Level seats, with nice full back swivel chairs and long bar in front of every seat.  It was a great seat to have when you have a 3 year-old that isn't the best at sitting still.  There was no one sitting immediately (except for the mof of our friend Mary) next to us and the other side was a set of stairs...you couldn't have asked for better seats.      

More silhouette shots right outside of our room, before heading in to get ready for the game!!



Our seats - some people even had TV's at their seats


After getting situated in our seats, and singing the National Anthem, Danny went and got us all lunch and we settled in to watch the game.  It wasn't the best first half for the Heels, but surprisingly the game kept Emerson's attention.  She had a great time eating, cheering, watching the cheerleaders and Ramses, sitting in my lap, and Danny's lap and playing with Fisher, who was lucky enough to tag along.




Sights from the game!!



I loved the Charlotte skyline on the top of the scoreboard.



As I said, the first half kept Emerson's attention but during the second half, she lost interest FAST.  So the next set of pictures are of what-I-would-like-to-call....Emerson's Game Time Positions!!!
Cheering
Eating
Sitting with Daddy
Sitting with Mommy
Paying no attention and writing/drawing
(at least she practiced writing her letters - Tar Heels)
Playing on Daddy's Iphone
Under the bar
Back to watching the game but LOUNGING
On the stairs
The last final seconds of the game, Emerson got back into it... 
Watching in her last position by standing 

The Heels pulled out a win, but it was by the skin of their teeth.  As our friend Jen would say, "A win's, a win!"  The Heels now move on to the Sweet 16 and will play in New Jersey on Friday night.  We had a great time at the game and are so fortunate that we have the friends and family that can help us make outings like this possible.  Combined with all the cheering, the different positions, and being up since 6:00 am, Emerson was exhausted and I knew she needed a good nap on the way home.  Fisher was sitting with Emerson and all Emerson was doing was talking non-stop to her, a sure sign of exhaustion with Emerson.  I plotted my strategy and got Fisher away from Emerson.  In a matter of two minutes, Emerson was OUT and Danny and I drove home with silence and adult conversation.  The perfect ending to our little impromptu Dever family outing!!!

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