Wednesday, January 6, 2010
Our New Year's Day trip to Charlotte
Last year right after the Christmas holidays, Doug and I took the boys skiing in Virginia. They had a blast! We decided it would be our new "family tradition" to try to go snow skiing every year a few days after Christmas as a family.
So, we planned our trip this year for about one week after Christmas. As Doug and I were looking up places to go we stumbled upon the fact that Sugar Mountain has a new 10,000 square foot outdoor ice skating rink. Bryson LOVED this idea - skiing and ice skating! So, we started making plans... and then checked the weather for Banner Elk, NC last weekend. The HIGH was 28 degrees! The HIGH! Needless, to say, all the skiing locations were about the same - freezing! So, we have postponed our ski trip until later this month with the hopes that the weather might at least get back up to around 40 degrees for a high!
But, as many of you moms know, once you have promised children something and then you have to change it, it might not always go so well. Doug and I felt like we needed to do something fun since we postponed skiing. We bought tickets to Discovery Place in Charlotte and the IMax theatre. The movie currently showing is "Under the Sea." That was right up Cameron's alley! And so, we were off to Charlotte for the day New Year's Day!
Discovery Place was great for the kids and the IMax movie was incredible. After a few hours there we headed outside for a little "sightseeing" and then walked to a restaurant/brewery for and early dinner in uptown Charlotte. I have to say this "sightseeing" and walking to dinner part was the highlight of my day! Cameron walked with me and he was so into the buildings and the "city" feeling of Charlotte. Even though I have been there before, many times, it was like I was seeing it again for the first time through HIS eyes. Amazing! He could not stop staring at the buildings and the skyline. I handed him my camera and let him "go at it" photographing the architecture in Charlotte. His photos are captivating to me considering they were taken by an 8 year old. It made me truly want to take him to New York, or DC, or even Charleston to check out all the architecture waiting to be discovered. These are his photos.
I have to also include this one little side story.... when we were leaving Discovery Place, I noticed that there was this long glass wall as you walked out. Of course, to me it was the perfect place for a few photos because you were actually street level when looking out the glass wall and you could see all the buildings in the background. The wall had this ledge you could also sit on. So, we put Noah up there to let him look out the windows. All of the sudden, I saw this homeless man walking up to the window where Cameron and Noah were at this point. He appeared worn and tattered riding his ornately decorated bicycle with what was probably all of his belongings attached to the back. He saw Noah and just headed straight for him at the window. His smile could have lit up all of uptown Charlotte and beyond. It radiated as he looked at Noah. Noah was pushing his chubby little hands at the glass, so the homeless man did the same. Then the man took off his thread barren glove so he could have his skin against the glass too and they were touching hands. I have no idea why this touched me in such a way, but I started crying (as I am now!) just watching what was happening. It was as if this man was just longing for human interaction and the touch from a chubby little baby's hand, even through a glass wall, was just enough for him. I wondered where he had spent New year's Eve and where he would be spending the rest of his New Year Eves. He just appeared so sweet and so longing for human warmth.
I just had to share that because it really touched me. Of course, Doug laughed at me and could not understand. I guess you just had to really look in his eyes to see what I was seeing.