My Dad taught me that sometimes you have to roll up your sleeves and do what must be done when it comes to work. In my career I've had some challenging assignments, and some where people can't believe that my job "allows" me to have such fun.
This assignmnet was like nothing I'd done before, my mission... to head down to Williams Brice Stadium and cover a tailgate. Simple enough, but there is nothing simple about tailgating if you are a guest of the Gourmet Gents.
The Gents make an artform out of Tailgaiting, it is a cross between fine dining and a fun nightclub atmosphere. I grew up religiously going to games and being part of impressive tailgates thrown by my family and friends but nothing to this extent.
This is the part of the story where I should point out that those games and tailgates were for the "other team" in our great state of South Carolina. I am in fact a Clemson Graduate and on top of that it was my Grandmother Hammond's Uncle Sam that gave "The Rock" to Frank Howard.
As a journalist I remain fair in my coverage and being raised by a proper Southern Mama I know to be respectful in someone else's house. Not a tiger paw in site when I went to meet the Gourmet Gents, I was even sporting Garnet and Black, two colors that look better on my skin tone, but that is besides the point. I came dressed to impress and ready to experience the day and the company. The Gents tailgate is one experience that I will never forget.
It was a who's who of the Gamecock Nation, from lifelong fans to graduates, students, family members of staff and players. I had a lovely time talking with Summer Elliott and Marcus Lattimore's mom. Everyone was warm and welcoming and it felt like you were catching up with family. You know, the family you want to see and can't wait to spend time with. Thank you Gourmet Gents for welcoming me into your fold.
I have video confirmation that I have an invite back for the "Big Game" after Thanksgiving, just no orange allowed. I can handle that if it means I can have a few more of those RumChata Cheesecake Delights.
You can follow the Gourmet Gents through social media:
My children are growing up in an age where the video camera is always on them. So much so that they avoid the camera at times ...I have no idea where they get any form of shyness!
I'm so glad that I was able to capture this sweet video five years ago. My sweet little Austin was merely three years old and still singing his heart out.... Love this song and love this stolen moment of him of his final days as an only child.
This video was taken 4 days before my mini-me Bennett made his big arrival.. and by big I mean.... BIG!!! He weighed in at 11lbs. 3 oz. and measured 22.5 inches long.
Sooo.. you don't know where to go trick or treating this year but you do know that you don't want to be at home stuck answering the door every five minutes?
Now that I have two little ones of my own, we have a tradition of going to Halloween Carnivals or Trunk-or Treats (I had to look that one up myself-- the first time we were invited.) My seven year old has his own tradition of choosing to wear too many costumes. For each of the past four years he has had no less than three per Halloween. A little indulgent? Yes! but you are only a kid once. This year he plans to just be a Clemson Football Player but the month is still young. My three year old Mini-Me is insistant on being "Darvf Bader". We shall see how that goes.. I'm afraid of facing a possible "Darvf Bader Force Choke" if I do not go with his wishes.
Here are some of their adorable costumes through the years.
What are some of your Halloween traditions? Do you go "Trick-or-Treating", go to a carnival or just visit friends or relatives? Do you know of any "must go" neighborhoods or festivals?
We would love the hear about them. Drop me a line at email@example.com or leave a comment below.
We want to congratulate Mrs. Debbi Long of Mauldin Middle School on being our September Teacher Making Magic.
Here is why we picked Debbi. First I must warn you... that you will need tissues before you read this because Debbi was nominated by her daughter Kat.
Submitted Story: Mrs. Long is not only a teacher; she is an incredible person. I am honored to be able to call her my mother. I have seen her as a teacher, a mother, a best friend, and a boss for years now. She inspires me, and countless students. I am told on a daily basis how she has caused children to love science and school in general. She has always encouraged children to believe in themselves. She doesn't push the idea that grades and college are all that matter. However, she pushes children to be their best. That is the most important aspect to her. She constantly talks about the importance of learning and not grades. She does the work of a small basketball team. She runs multiple organizations, and even uses her summer to teach educators so that children throughout the state can have the best school experience.
Ever since I saw that sweet face on Silver Spoons, I have been a Jason Bateman fan. Yes, I know he was one of the kids on Little House on the Prarie but I was far more a fan of Derrick than Rick on Silver Spoons. Regardless of what role he has been cast in... I love the guy. Then you pair him up with Tina Fey and Jane Fonda plays their Mom? Shut the front door... I am there.
I grabbed two female friends to go along with me last night.
Great movie for some laughs and a few tear up moments. Worth seeing.
Magic Road Trips are all about a weekend getaway destination where you can enjoy and experience the city and be exposed to the city like a local.
With our multitude of restaurants and drive thrus all across this great land of ours, we are no strangers to dining. Fine dining, yes we have all done that. How about adventuresome dining?
Let's say perhaps a restaurant comes to life for one night, brining with it local grown foods and entertainment. Now do I have your attention? Let me introduce you to phrase you will be hearing a lot about, "Pop-Up Restaurants".
They are the latest rage and I was recently invited to be the guest of JimiHatt. Once you meet Jimi you will never forget him or the adventure ride his dinners will take you on. He is a ball of energy that single handedly spearheaded the Pop-Up Restaurant Revolution with Guerrilla Cuisine. After the amazing dining experience that I enjoyed, all of Charleston will be shouting viva la revolution.
The menu was the creation of the very talented Amanee Neirouz, known around Charleston as a pastry chef but she is one talented lady to watch. She put together an amazing menu that began with a delicious fruit salad consisting of cantaloupe, blackberries, local artisan feta cheese all topped with fennel.
The second course delighted with a coastal delicacy of pickled shrimp and fresh local grown vegetables like roasted corn, tomatoes, carrots and red peas. Just when you think it couldn't get any better they followed with delicious buttermilk biscuits. Maybe I should refer to them as butter infused buttermilk circles of goodness... that found a match made in heaven, when paired with the homemade white peach jam.
The main course was all the rage and like nothing I have ever seen before. Admist the oooh's and ahhhs--- we were presented with a local slow roasted hog and an alligator wrapped in bacon, paired with roasted cauliflower and red eye grits. If you are southern... you know what red eye gravy is, if not then BLESS YOUR HEART!
On to dessert, what could possibly top this meal fit for low country royalty? Slow churnned homemade ice cream made of local white peaches and tomatoes served up in an adorable mason jar.
It was a evening that will live on in the mind of the attendees. The menu was amazing and the night's entertainment was provided by a talented family trio named Volcanoes in the Kitchen. Their father was the brave gentleman in the top picture who wanted to animate the main course by opening the gator's mouth for the paparazzi.
Expect big things from everyone involved with this evening.
I have been asked by friends, family and coworkers about the meal and how they too can experience it. You can find Jimi on Facebook, Twitter and a list of his upcoming events at www.guerillacuisine.com . You must visit Charleston and of course do the touristy thing, it is Charleston after all, but make sure that you schedule your trip around one of Jimi's dinner experiences. You will love it!
Part two of Magic Road Trips Charleston will feature another Pop Up Dinner inside the city complete with Geechee Cuisine at the popular downtown establishment Proof.
Just a few more days and I'll have my toes in the sand...here is the countdown for those keeping track (or is that just me?)
1.) Downtown Alive Appearance
1.) Show/Promotion Meeting
2.) More Giveaways & Promotions (total of 12)
2.) More Airshifts
3.) Lucky Contestants to Interview for "Magic Street Peeps"
1.) Special evening cuddling with my two favorite boys
4.) Hours Drive to Charleston
A whole bunch of filming and location, location, location scouting for Magic Road Trips.
This girl could not be any more "pleased as punch" to be getting away this weekend to ocean breezes, sand between her toes and nestled gently in her hand a chilled drink topped with a festive piece of fruit.
Although I will be in my favorite city of the South, it is a working "vacay". I will be hitting the highlights of the Holy City for Magic 98.9 as well as attending a dining experience on Saturday evening for Guerilla Cuisine. It is the hotest dining experience in Charleston, an underground supper club hosted at a hush, hush location with a menu sure to delight. My sources tell me the featured chef is female-- so go girl power!!!
The fun continues on Sunday with a trip to another exciting "pop up restaurant" at Proof Bar with Gullee Geetche Cuisine and we will finish it off with a trip through Charleston's Nightlife.
Just call me your tour guide for what is hot in the south.
In the words of Niecey Nash now let's get to getting, we've got packing to do and a road trip to experience.