There were tons of positives, but I'll keep it to three groupings: activities, food, and baseball cards. If you have the time let me give you a pictorial summary of our trip!
Top Three Activities
#1: Hiking the Cedar Point Trail
The picture on the left shows the waterways when the tide was out.
#2: Attending the Tennessee Smokies Game
Laura, my beautiful wife, loves to make me happy. Check out the view from out hotel room:
#3: The Escape Room
While in Charlotte our friends, Mike and Rhonda, took us to an Escape Room. This was completely new to us, but it seems to be a big thing on the east coast in the major cities.
|I'm the guy in the back row on the far left.|
Top Three Foods
#1: Fried Bologna Grilled Cheese with all the vegetables
#2: Kunafa at Olea Mediterranean Kitchen
#3: Mellow Mushroom
|Picture stolen from the interwebs|
I love me some pizza and for a second time Laura and I were not disappointed at the Mellow Mushroom. This eclectically decorated restaurant offers plenty to look at while you wait for your order of deliciousness to be baked and delivered. We would go back . . . again . . . and again . . .
Top Three Baseball Card Purchases
#1:Lew's Rod & Reel
I found this card shop on-line before we started our trip. It's located deep in the heart of the Croatan National Forrest and it easily had the most diverse offerings I've ever seen for a card shop... um, I mean, fishing depot . . . no, no, no... sushi restaurant.
1997 Metal Universe set build. The owner, Lewis, was going to give them to me for free, because I guess he doesn't run into many set builders and he just wanted to help me out. I refused and gave him all the paper money in my wallet (four bucks) and he gave me half of it back. Cool. Two dollars? Sold!
#2 AAA Collectibles
As odd as an experience Lew's was, AAA Collectibles was everything I picture in a LCS. Glass cases of high-end cards, a bin of discounted autos and relics, a nice selection of packs to purchase, well organized, and a very knowledgeable husband and wife tandem ownership. The wife was upstairs sorting cards and the husband chatted up the customers.
The length of one entire wall, up to about three feet high, was covered in 800-count boxes with labels on them. Some had singles, dating back to the 1950's and others had a simple letter of the alphabet on them. I asked for the S boxes, but only had time to sift threw three of the seven. I pulled a dozen or Ryne Sandberg cards, and I feared the worst when a couple of selections had prices of $9 and $3 on the sleeves. The owner assured me that wouldn't be the price any longer... Each of the Sandberg cards cost me about a quarter on average. Score!
#3: Tennessee Smokies Team Sets
Discounted team sets of baby Cubs? Sign me up! My favorite was finding a 2 for $1 special on the concourse during the game which netted me a pair of 2009 team sets.
One for my Sandberg collection and one to keep in the wrapper!
It was really nice to get away. Summer baseball just ended and the fall softball season I coach starts in two days. Squeezing in a vacation between coaching duties was just what was needed. I was able to enjoy the outdoors, even though I wasn't on the baseball or softball fields, as we rented stand up paddleboards and kayaks in Swansboro, NC. While in Charlotte we squeezed in a round of disc golf, and Mike's seven year old son tossed one in from about sixty-five feet. Pretty amazing.
We ate out a bunch, but we only ate at one national chain the entire trip. I tried lots of new food, and probably should have made the food listing at least five deep as it was difficult leaving off the milkshake from Cookout and the surf and turf burger from the Swansboro Food and Beverage Company. That's right, shrimp and jalapeno cream cheese on a burger. Mmmmm...
When we returned home I found one of our neighbors mowed our yard AND get this... our cats actually seemed interested in us being home. That never happens.
That should just about do it as far as wrapping up our trip goes. Now I have some unwrapping to do, in the form of five trade packages. Stay tuned, my loyal readers, because I have plenty of baseball card blogging material sitting on my desk! Thanks for reading!