ACC Championship & NASCAR

This past weekend, Taylor really wanted to travel up to Raleigh, North Carolina for the ACC Baseball Championship game because Clemson was playing against Florida State. He also wanted to drive to Charlotte to see the Coca Cola 600 Race…so we did both!

It was a VERY long day! We left the house at 6am Sunday morning in order to make it to Raleigh on time for the baseball game. We also picked up two of his friends along the way! Raleigh was experiencing really bad weather so we were nervous that they would cancel the game as we were driving up. Thankfully, they just delayed the game an hour, which worked out fine.

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thumbnail_IMG_3342We were able to purchase 4 tickets under the awning! Although we were able to stay dry, it was still hot and humid.

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This was one of the best baseball games we’ve ever been to because Clemson was playing SO well against Florida State. By the fourth inning, the score was 18 to 1. We even made it on TV!

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Due to a downpour of rain, they had to delay the game for almost 2 hours. Since we wanted to see the race later that evening, we couldn’t stay to finish the game.

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On our way to Charlotte, we stopped for some Chipotle! YUM!

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The drive was a little over two hours because we had to stop and pick up our tickets. Taylor bought 4 from someone off of Craigslist.

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Since we arrived about 20 minutes before the race started, we didn’t hit any traffic. AND Taylor found us FREE parking right at the entrance because the ladies managing the lot were about to leave when we pulled in. The lot was normally $30. Taylor is the best at finding great parking spots…just like my dad!

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For the race, you were aloud to bring one cooler or backpack per person into the stadium. Your cooler couldn’t be larger than 14 x 14 x 14, so Tay picked one up from Target the day before.

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I was not prepared for how loud the race would actually be! About 100 laps in, Taylor went and bought me some earplugs because my eardrums felt like they were going to explode.

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Surprisingly, the race went really smoothly and there were no major wrecks. This made the laps fly by!! We ended up leaving around 10:30pm because we were exhausted from the day and wanted to beat traffic.

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With Clemson winning the ACC Championship and then watching my very first NASCAR race, I would say it was a successful day!!

Destin Recap

As said in previous posts, our trip to Destin was filled with relaxation and enjoying time with family. We spent most of our days sitting beside the beach or pool and our nights eating way too much food and laughing until our stomachs hurt.

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One morning, we all decided to sleep in and make a huge breakfast! We had eggs, grits, toast, bacon, sausage, hash browns, and biscuits!

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This may be the only table that can comfortably fit all of us! We spent the rest of the afternoon lounging on the beach and soaking up the sun.

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For dinner that night, we ate at a family favorite, Red Bar!! IT WAS AMAZING! Since we went during the middle of the week, we only had to wait 45 minutes. Honestly, 45 minutes may seem like a long time, but we had a group of 20 people! The restaurant is pretty small and during the summertime it can become very crowded. The fact that we only had to wait 45 minutes was very impressive. While we were waiting, we took some pictures by the beach.

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Look Mom! I found a coconut! 🙂

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Romper: Dottie Couture Boutique

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The best part about Red Bar is that there are only 5/6 items on the menu each night. It makes it easy to decide what you want and your food is delivered a lot quicker. Our waiter did an incredible job taking care of us and everyone really enjoyed their dishes.

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thumbnail_IMG_3201About midway through the week, the boys wanted to spend the morning playing golf. Those of us who weren’t playing, decided to hit the outlets for some shopping and a lunch at McGuires Irish Pub. We decided to split a ton of delicious appetizers! The portion sizes were massive so we had plenty of leftovers to take home to those who played golf all morning. I think we had about 8 boxes total!

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Before we headed out for the night, we swam in the pool!

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Several evenings, we walked around the pier while trying different foods and drinks! That way, everyone got a little of something they really wanted.

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Romper: Dottie Couture Boutique

The ENTIRE time we were in Destin, we would always check to see if the Krispy Kreme Donut “Hot Now” sign was on. (We had to pass it to get back to our house.) To keep an eye on it, I downloaded the Krispy Kreme app, which let me know exactly when the sign was on! The only time it was on was when we were on our way to get ice cream…so we did both!

We ordered a dozen of the Hot Now donuts and 3 cups of milk! Like always, they were divine. After, we chose to get ice cream at Kilwins, which is an amazing place to get anything sweet! I was already extremely full from dinner and donuts, but I can’t turn down ice-cream, so I stuck with one scoop of cookie dough ice-cream. Taylor was half asleep and decided not to get anything.

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Out of the entire week we were visiting, there was only one rainy day and it was our last! We didn’t mind because most of us were burnt anyway! We started the day by eating breakfast together at the Donut Hole. Then, we all split up and spent the day packing and doing last minute activities.

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As everyone continues to get older, it’s nice to spend quality time together without the distractions of life. I’m very thankful to have been given the opportunity to travel along with Tay!

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Thank’s for following along! 🙂

Crab Island

During our time in Destin, we did a lot of relaxing while enjoying great food and company. On our first full day, we all got together, rented two boats, and sailed out to Crab Island. Crab Island is a MUST when visiting the area. The island has been featured on Good Morning America and been published in several magazines, making it one of Destin’s top attractions!!

thumbnail_IMG_3143Crab Island used to be an actual island, but over time it slowly disappeared and now it’s just a giant sandbar within the golf. 

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Because this is such a large attraction, they’ve assembled different restaurants and bars that you can swim up to! Instead of eating there, we ordered 60 pieces of chicken and biscuits from a local restaurant and ate it on the boat.

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There were several other boats already anchored down when we got there and even more came as the day went on. I’ve been told it can get really packed during the summertime.

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After we were on the island for a couple hours, we decided to drive the boat around until we had to return it. We even spotted several dolphins!

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It was a great day with friends and family with some much needed relaxation!

Destin, Florida

On the Saturday that Taylor and Kendall flew back from Thailand, I picked them up at the Charlotte Airport around 8:45pm. Since they were living in a different time zone for the past two weeks, we contemplated driving straight through the night to Destin, Florida. However, they were both pretty exhausted from a full day of traveling so we decided against it. Instead, we ordered food at Chick-fil-A and headed back to their house to get some rest.

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Early the next morning, we started driving at 4. The trip would take us about 8 hours to reach our destination and we didn’t want to hit any traffic, especially around Atlanta. After we had been driving for a few hours, Taylor ordered me Bojangles and Starbucks for breakfast to hold us over until we arrived.

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When we finally arrived in Destin, I was completely in shock at how beautiful it was! Taylor and his family have traveled here several times before, but this was a first for me. I was not expecting the water to be so crystal clear with soft white sand. Destin is located on the gulf and it really felt like we were somewhere tropical.

 

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The house we were renting accommodated the entire family nicely and was super convenient being across the street from the beach and so close to all the best restaurants. Taylor’s family arrived the day before, so the first thing we did was eat some lunch and hop into the pool with everyone!! The weather was gorgeous and we spent all afternoon catching up on sleep and relaxing.

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For dinner, we all decided to eat at Dewey Destin’s, which was a family favorite. They have a great outdoor seating area and amazing food. Taylor ordered the blackened mahi and I ordered the parmesan encrusted grouper. I can easily say it was THE BEST grouper I’ve ever eaten in my life! Everyone else agreed!

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Although the food was great, the service wasn’t. Our server disappeared on several occasions and wouldn’t refill any of our drinks unless we asked. Bummer!

After we paid our bills, we went straight back to the house. Taylor and Kendall were extremely exhausted from their trip and jet lagged. It was a struggle keeping Taylor up so long, but we made him stay awake for as long as possible.

The Grand Palace

While we were in Bangkok, we really wanted to visit the Grand Palace. Our hotel offered a free ferry ride that took us across the river to the central pier where we would catch a connecting riverboat. The ride was a short 10 minutes.

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When we got off at our stop, the locals kept telling us that the Grand Palace was closed. They did this when Ash and I were here, so I did some research and apparently the locals like to lie to get tourists to leave. We also made the mistake of asking someone where the entrance was and they sent us around the ENTIRE palace when we could’ve just turned the corner and been there. While we were walking, they kept stopping us since Kendall was wearing shorts and telling him that he wouldn’t be allowed in. They would also try and convince us to buy pants from them.

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Lucky for us, we knew they rented pants in the palace for FREE. All you had to do was pay a 200baht down payment that would be fully returned when you gave back the pants. So, if you’re ever trying to find the Grand Palace and people keep telling you that it’s closed, you’re going the wrong way, or telling you to buy their pants ignore them.

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When we finally got to the entrance, Kendall rented a pair of pants for FREE and we went to the ticket counter to purchase our tickets for 500 baht a piece. This was pretty expensive for an attraction in Thailand, but it’s worth it to do it once.

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We spent several hours walking around looking at different temples, throne rooms, and artifacts. The only places we couldn’t wear shoes or take pictures was in the throne rooms and at the emerald Buddha.

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After walking, it was super hot so we returned Kendall’s pants and we flagged down a tuk tuk driver who offered to take us to the Standing Buddha and back to the grand palace for 20 baht altogether if we would go into 2 tuxedo shops that he was an ambassador for. The standing Buddha is a 20ft, golden Buddah and we’re glad we saw it. It was also really nice to ride around town and sightsee.

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When we got back to the Grand Palace, we hopped on the sky train and went to pick up our custom suits that we order at the beginning of the trip. We both tried them on and they made some minor last minute alterations. They did an incredible job and really paid attention to details. I’m very satisfied with the outcome and cannot wait to wear it.

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When we were done, we headed back to our hotel where we could clean up and get ready for dinner. We rode the ferry to Asiatique, which is a really nice area on the water with a ton of different shops and restaurants to choose from.

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There was an excellent Italian restaurant we decided to try out and we really enjoyed it! We ordered 2 personal pizzas that were both delicious.

Afterwards, we headed straight back to our hotel so we could get some sleep. We would have an exhausting day flying back to the states the next day.

Thank you so much for following us along on our journey through Thailand! 🙂

 

 

Last Day in Phuket

For our last day in Phuket, we had to check out of our apartment at 12. Before then, I drove into town to pick up some canvas paintings that Kendall and I had ordered a few nights before. We couldn’t pick them up the night they were purchased because they had to dry. Kendall bought a painting of a tiger and I bought one of an elephant.

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Once we checked out, we  went down to the pool until we got hungry. For lunch, we decided to eat at the Only Cheese restaurant that we ate at our very first day since we liked it so much. While at the restaurant, we looked up a good beach to go to so we could soak up our last minutes at the beach before our flight back to Bangkok. We decided on Nai Yang Beach. It was a beautiful day!

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We enjoyed our last day on the beach and stayed to watch the sunset. Of all the beaches we went to this week, this beach was the least crowded. The views were amazing and you could walk everywhere. The sun setting over the water was an incredible sight to see and topped off our trip before heading to the airport.

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IMG_2288The airport was only a five minute drive and you could see the planes landing and taking off from the beach. This was super convenient since we had all of our bags with us at the beach. We got to the airport a little before the check-in counter was open so we grabbed dinner, found wifi, and waited to check in our bags. Once we got our bags checked we made our way to the gate for our short flight back to Bangkok. It only took about an hour.

IMG_2272When we landed in Bangkok, we got an Uber (yep, they have that in Bangkok) and checked into our hotel. We stayed at the Baan Sathorn Riverfront hotel and it was perfect! It was located right on the river, which came with amazing views, easy transportation, and was super close to everything. There was free wifi, an outdoor pool, and airport transportation. We were very satisfied with our stay and would recommend staying here to anyone.