This past weekend I packed up the car and drove down to Charlotte, North Carolina to enjoy the NBA All-Star festivities. However, I’m not crazy. My mom rode along with me. As it got closer to the trip I was wondering why in the world I decided to drive and not fly. I guess I figured it would be easier to travel by car with Ryan, all the bags, stroller, car seat and whatever else we were planning to bring along. Dealing with all that at the airport may have sent me to King. King Jesus that is. LOL.
The drive really wasn’t that bad. It took longer than the six hours it was supposed to take to get there but it didn’t seem to matter. We got on the road about 5:30 Wednesday morning. First stop — about a couple of hours in — was good ole Cracker Barrel for breakfast. Second stop — Walmart. We wanted Target but we found a Walmart first so it was just as good for what I needed to get. With all the bags we packed can you believe I forgot diapers? I had a few in his diaper bag but that wouldn’t be enough for the week.
The Walmart stop turned into not only shopping for pampers, but anything else we thought was a good idea. You know how it is. You go in for one thing and then you come out spending a hundred dollars. But I needed to get some cleaning stuff for the hotel as well. I don’t know if you guys do this but I always bring cleaning products to clean the bathroom and whatever else needs a wipe or spray down in the hotel. From the Courtyard Marriott to the Four Seasons — no hotel is exempt. Especially with Ryan. Although I try to use more natural cleaners at home I don’t think they would do the job I need them to do in a hotel.
Because it was a Super Walmart we also picked up some snacks and a few groceries. The time we spent in there also gave Ryan a chance to stretch out a bit. Riding in a car seat for hours at a time I’m sure is uncomfortable. But my baby did really well on the ride. So back on the road we went. By this time we were only an hour and half away. I was tired but a quick stop at Starbucks got me back in gear and up the road in no time. My mom offered to help me drive but no thank you Daisy. LOL.
We didn’t do a whole lot that day. I guess driving down was enough. After getting me and Ry’s bags in the room I did a quick turn around to take my mom to her best friends house where she would be staying. She lived only twelve minutes from the hotel so it was perfect for the times I needed her to watch Ryan. Thursday, I planned to meet up with my dad who lives about forty-five minutes away. We met up at my friend Kim’s house. She hosted lunch for my dad, his friend and me and Ryan. Kim and I used to work at Fox 5 in DC together. Which means we’ve been friends a long time. Since about 1998 to exact. We all really had a good time together. Good food and a lot of laughs. It was really good to see Dad. He didn’t make it up for holidays so he hadn’t seen Ryan since last summer.
My husband got in town the day before but he was working most of the time. So Ryan was all on me for the most part. Thank God mom was able to travel down with us. It worked out well because she was able to spend some time with her bestie who moved to Charlotte from the DC area twelve years ago. On Friday we spent time in the Nike suite which was in our hotel. The suite is set up for NBA players, V.I.P.s and their families to come through, kick it, eat, get a hair cut and/or pick up some swag. The space was set up really cool with a golf simulator, table hockey and a smoothie bar. Because it was pretty spacious Ryan was able to run around like a wild child.
Honestly, when I got in on Wednesday I was a little overwhelmed. I had second thoughts about driving — because I had to also drive back — and about bringing Ryan. But Wednesday was a long day and the exhaustion took over. Day two I was refreshed and ready to go. With somewhat of an agenda for each day, the trip as whole went pretty smoothly. I did get to go party on Friday. Momma needed a night out. But I swear as soon I got back to the hotel after dropping Ryan off I wanted to go back and get him. LOL. But I needed a break. I didn’t have as much fun as I anticipated but it was still good to get out and shake my booty for a bit.
Saturday, my good girlfriend and her cousin drove down from Greensboro, NC. I hadn’t seen her since my wedding in 2016 and this would be her first time meeting Ryan. As most everyone does, she fell in love with the kid. LOL. We swung by the Nike suite and then headed to the other end of the hotel to the NBA Suite. Same concept somewhat, but they had a basketball arcade, ping-pong table and DJ. There were also more kids in this suite which made it a little more exciting for Ryan.
The All-Star events started Friday night with the Celebrity Basketball Game and the Rising Stars Tournament but I decided to skip both. I needed to save my energy for the party I was attending. The girls and I went to All-Star Saturday night where certain players compete in the skills, three-point shoot and dunk contests. Afterwards we went back to my hotel to catch up over cocktails. We can always pick up where we left off no matter how long it’s been since we’ve seen or talked to each other. A couple of hours later we said our good-byes and I went to bed. I had to pick up Ryan in the morning.
All-Star Sunday was here and I was excited to take Ryan to the big game! This was my fourth All-Star but I’m usually working. This would be my first year as a spectator and I had my little man with me. He probably won’t remember it but I was creating memories. Unfortunately, we would not see the game in its entirety. This little boy did not want to sit still. He kept touching the man in front of us — putting his shoe on his little boy’s back. OMG Ryan. LOL. He was all over the place. But with a full week of activities — he was tired. Keeping busy was his only way to fight sleep. So hubby and I decided to jet out early. I wasn’t even mad I missed J Cole’s half-time performance or the rest of the game. There’s always highlights and YouTube right? I was just happy I got to catch up with friends and family and spend this time with my baby boy.
Cause at the end of the day — he’s the real All-Star.