Smile #52 – Best Roommate Roulette Result

Two unlikely people randomly selected for roommates.  Five years later, here we are chatting, laughing, thanking the mysterious housing staff for putting us together.  🙂

Before miss future doctor flies out of the country to pursue her dream, we have to grab our last dinner and chatted up on life.  Even greater surprise, C joined us as well!  🙂

We decided to meet up for Party in the Park at Romare Bearden Park Uptown.  This quaint little area gives a very nice view of Charlotte.  Sometimes I forget Charlotte got its beauty too!  🙂

IMG_20150729_202918

How could we resist snapping a photo or two!?

20150729_201717_mh1438221770447

The park was rather crowded.  For this evening, Rick Strickland Band was playing.  The slow melody encouraged couples to show their moves.  It is super sweet to see older ladies dancing in their partners’ arm even after all these years.  🙂

IMG_20150729_202329_mh1438221686093

It is a great place to be on a random Wednesday evening. Congrats to my roomie on going to Med School!!  Until next time, good luck with everything!  🙂

Smile #51- Girls Night Out

Now that my ego thinks I am the new Van Gogh, I spent the evening painting with JB and my sister.  Girls Night Out. 🙂

Our class conveniently took place at Mellow Mushroom.  Of course, sis and I took this opportunity to order our favorite pizza – Holyshitake Pie.  It is the best pizza on the menu for mushroom lovers like us.  🙂

With three brushes, a cup of water, a large canvas, and a paint pallet, let’s get started!  This time we will be painting the night skyline view of Charlotte. 🙂

50211-img954361

Starting with the big round moon in the center of the canvas.  Molly, our instructor, joked that drawing a perfect circle is like trimming your bangs. It only gets shorter and shorter.  LOL!

The remaining white canvas is painted in black and a hint of blue.  Enhanced with a few stars and the night sky is completed.

57bae-img956624

I got a bit too creative by painting my horoscope star sign.  Wasn’t the best attempt, but it was worth a try!

20150728_200444
Can you guess which sign this is?

The toughest part comes with painting the buildings and outlining each building.  Famous Charlotte skyscrapers – Duke Energy Building ahte Bank of America Corporate Building proudly stood at the center of my canvas followed by smaller buildings.

Our masterpieces are finished!  🙂

fc195-img956630

Smile #50 – Annual Adult Dress Up

Twice a year, a number of fancy restaurants open their door and welcome the masses with an economical pre-fixed menu.  It is a great way for all to experience the varieties of foods.  Bubble and I always have a great time dressing up and pretending to be adults.  🙂  I even wore my heels!

This time, we decided to look for a French restaurant to refresh and challenge our previous French food experience.  We were thrilled to know Lumiere is participating in restaurant week.

Located in a strip mall, Lumiere blended in with the uniform white exterior.  Don’t be fooled — The compact interior is modern, paired with chic decors and an open kitchen setup.

Started the night with fresh-baked gougeres, an airy cheese puffs.

Although the menu has been reduced to cater to restaurant week, we had a tough time picking.  With the exception of the main course, it was a no brainer for me to pick the one option that was not a salad.  Jumbo Shrimp “Bouillabasisse” – with brunoise vegetables, red pepper rouille, toasted country bread and saffron-tomato broth.

Bubble opted for a unique plate – Grilled Watermelon Salade – with roasted Magalista porta belly, creamy Feta cheese compressed cantaloupe, watercress, Belgium endive Banyuls vinaigrette.  The man loved it so much, he would have licked the plate clean!  🙂

For the main dish, Bubble chose Beef Short Rib “Bourgouignon” with grass-fed beef, pomes puree, carrots, pearl onions, trumpet mushrooms and black truffle beef jus.  It was just so colorful!  🙂 The rib was sooo very tender, it just melts in your mouth.  🙂

I toyed with two options, finally decided to go with the morning catch.  The waiter explained the dish in details, but I forgot most of the details.  It was a fish dish with lima beans and scallops.  First chef to get me to eat lima beans. 🙂

Dessert, AKA the best part of any meal, was the hardest choice to make of all.  All the options sound très bien.  I opted for the Classic Profierole (That’s a big word, I couldn’t pronounce this word even if I tried) – with French vanilla ice cream and chocolate ganache.  It looked amazing and has just the right balance of sweetness.  🙂

Bubble’s Roasted Peach – with lemon thyme, vanilla bean, white peach sorbet and poppy seed cake is certainly one of a kind.  The peach was still steamy when it came out.

Lumiere is certainly the venue for special occasion.  Each plate was exquisite.  The food was delicately crafted.  We had a delightful time at our special date night.  🙂

Smile #49 – There Would Be A Riot

Due to unforeseen circumstances, I was offered a ticket to the Rascal Flatts Riot Tour.  I was exposed to Rascal Flatts some years ago.  The lyrics tell stories and embed great lessons.

Give it a listen – What Hurts the Most – one of their most iconic songs (and one of my favorite songs). 🙂

Although country music is not my ‘jam’, I decided to attend with an open mind.  We waited patiently for Rascal Flatts’ arrival.

Shortly after 9am, all lights shut down.  The pitch dark surrounding was interrupted by stage lights and the trio took the stage.  The night kicked off with two upbeat songs, “Stand” and “Me and My Gang.”  The crowd roared in excitement.

The concert played a mix of both new songs and old classics.  Aside from Riot, the main tour theme song, both of my favorite songs, What Hurts the Most and My Wish were played.  🙂  How could they not?!  🙂  They surprised the audience with a short cover of Hozier’s Take Me to Church.

I was surprised at the lead singer, Gary LeVox’s voice.  His ability to hit the high notes truly impressed me.

Between songs, LeVox joked about how the band loves coming to our city each summer because girls’ clothes gets shorter and shorter each year, so more boobs and butts.  LOL!  Looking around, I couldn’t agree more.

At a country concert, clearly a cowboy boots were a must.  Girls with cowboy boots kept throwing their shoes on stage for autographs.  They was all over the stage.  During the last song, LeVox was balancing both singing and signing shoes.   Haha, guess you can really autograph anything.

The night carried on with plenty of sing-a-longs.  Despite my voice getting a bit raspy after the concert, it was all worth it.  🙂  It was a good choice to come to the concert.  🙂

Smile #48 – Transatlantic Reunion in the Desert

Exciting news arrived when I was walking my laps at the gym.  🙂

Surprise surprise, I went to the gym on a Saturday!  I woke up ahead of schedule, I figured simply circulating the track beats spending endless hours on my laptop.

Time seems to slip by quickly when I am at the gym.  The next time I looked up, an hour had passed.

As I checked my pedometer on my phone, a message from my travel buddy popped up.  He has booked his ticket and will be joining me in my trip to Dubai!!!  We will be reunited and travel once again!!  YAY! 🙂