Monday, June 29, 2015

Houses I have Known: Special Homestead Edition

When you're remodeling your home by hand you don't have a lot of time or money for vacationing so you have to get creative. This weekend we took a quick trip to Charlotte, NC after G got done at his NCSU engineering camp.

Here he is with "Team Swagbots" presenting about the robots they made during the week.

Right after camp we hopped in the car and headed to Charlotte. This trip was all about the dealz. When we go places I like to do my research to make sure we're getting good prices on things. I used a gift certificate for dinner our first night, named my price on Priceline to get an insane deal on our swanky hotel, used my state employee discount to book the boys Carowinds tickets and saved money on my massage upgrade. I was proud of G too! When the hotel charged for WiFi (crazy) he found a way to sign up for a free rewards account to get free wifi and then went down to talk to the front desk about a refund. 

The first thing we did was meet some friends at Great Wall of China South. The best Chinese restaurant this side of China. Of course, I may be biased since I went there every Friday night with my family from age 4-13. We even knew the owner. Despite all of the crazy, constant changes in Charlotte the interior of the restaurant has stayed the same.

We were so full after dinner that we walked into the famous Amelie's....and walked right back out!

The title of this post makes you think it is going to be about houses and not all the marvelous places we ate at in Charlotte (Ru Sans, The Diamond...omg yum.) On Saturday night during our scheduled pool time we had a big storm and a temperature drop so we were out of sorts and decided to go visit my childhood home. We've had a lot of houses before and after this one but this is the house I "grew up" in. This is the last house I lived in with my brother and so it feels the most like my family home. We had some great times here. Luckily it had just sold and was vacant so we got to snoop!

My mom's clematis is still on the mailbox! 

And her plaque is still by the front door...because dad bolted it in!

I'm sure some of this is because of the age I was when we lived here but I kind of hold this house up as the gold standard of houses that we've lived in. The lay out was great for a family home. The inside is dated now sure, but the bones of this house will always be good. When we visited the neighborhood I was struck by how much bigger the houses seem now and how much smaller our back yard seemed when viewed through my grown up eyes. When I was little that backyard was the whole world. I told the boys, "This creek is why I'm a geologist."

The outside color palette for our new house is loosely based on this house. We're going to have yellow paint, dark green shutters and a red front door with white trim.

Saturday night we had a late dinner because we were all so full from lunch. On the way to the restaurant G said,  "I'll just have a salad and whatever you guys don't eat." Famous last words! We had about a 40 minute wait for a table because Ru Sans was hopping. "I've never been to a night club but I'd imagine it's like this," said G as some girls doing sake shots started chanting, "USA! USA!" to the Canadian World Cup final.

The menu at Ru Sans is overwhelming. It's page after page with a million items. We picked a bunch of sushi at random and submitted our order. The waitress came back at one point and said, "Um. This is a lot of food. Is that ok?"


When she brought out our order it covered the entire table. We were in awe...and then she told us that TWO MORE PLATES were coming. It was delicious and we ate all of it. G did eat that salad though!

Sunday we hit IKEA on the way home to pick up the pooch from Gramma and Grampa.

When we pulled up to the house I was like, "Ugh. This house. This house is terrible."

But then we went on a walk and saw two baby bunnies, the goats, the horses and a nest full of baby hawks. 

Ok house. You win this time. 

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