Event Recap | sip + savor A Wine, Food and Music Experience #sipsavor18

On Sunday, October 14, 2018, SobeSavvy.com joined wine and food lovers for an experience known as Sip + Savor, which was held at DPAC in Durham, NC. Good Food, Good Wines, and Good Times is how I would summarize this event! It was quite the experience for foodies, wine lovers and anyone who enjoys learning and discovering more about culinary scene in the Triangle.

Last year I attended their inaugural event and was pleased to see this event return and sell out! This year in addition to food sampling from 30 of the area’s finest restaurants, paired with wine from around the world, guests could also attend a wine seminars.

Each year, Sip+Savor helps to raise funds and awareness for a local non-profit. The 2018 festival helped to raise funds for the Inter-Faith Food Shuttle and Band Together partnership. Band Together is a Raleigh-based nonprofit that uses live music to raise $1 Million dollars for a different nonprofit each year. Their 2019 fundraising partner is Inter-Faith Food Shuttle. The Food Shuttle’s mission is to “pioneer innovative, transformative solutions designed to end hunger in our community”.

New this year was the Lexus Lounge, which included plush seating, cigar rolling station and a Mixology Bar with Sean Umstead. I tried the ‘Bee Amazing’ made with Durham Beeswax, honey roasted NC Squash, Svedka and local ginger soda! Very refreshing!

This event was well organized and gave guests the option of taking wine notes and placing an order from the Wine Feed to pick up and pay for it later. How convenient!

Many of the Chefs used locally sourced ingredients to create some delicious dishes to pair with some amazing wines. The following Restaurant and winery pairings were found on the Second /Third Floors:

18 Seaboard + Bear Flag/Sonoma

Acme Food & Beverage Co. + Orin Swift Cellars/Napa and Sonoma

La Residence + Louis Martini/Sonoma

City Kitchen + Votto Vines/Mediterranean

Clouds Restaurant + Napa Cellars/Napa Valley

COPA + Viña Pomal/Rioja

Counting House + Kim Crawford Wines/Marlborough

Crossroads Chapel Hill + Saint Clair Family Estate/Marlborough

Cuban Revolution Restaurant & Bar + Le Morette/Italy

Elements + Domaine Saint Landor/Loire Valley

The Fearrington House Restaurant + Jermann/Friuli-Venezia Giulia

Glasshalfull + J Vineyards/Russian River Valley

Gocciolina + LaMarca/Prosecco DOCG, Italy

Guglhupf + DAOU Vineyards/Paso Robles

It’s A Southern Thing + Chalk Hill/Sonoma

Pickle Jar Cafe + Freemark Abbey/Sonoma

Kipos Greek Taverna + Pascual Toso / Argentina

Local 22 + Fess Parker Winery & Vineyard/Santa Barbara

Locals Seafood + The Hess Collection/Napa Valley

Lula & Sadie’s + Robert Hall Winery/Paso Robles

Mandolin + The Prisoner Wine Company/California

Mateo Bar de Tapas + Browne Family/Columbia Valley

Nanasteak + Banfi/Italy

Old North Meats & Provisions + Hope Family Wines/Paso Robles

Parizade + Elouan/Oregon

Pittsboro Roadhouse + B.R. Cohn Winery/Sonoma Valley

Saint James Seafood + Gérard Bertrand/Languedoc-Roussillon

Tylers Restaurant & Taproom + Biltmore Winery/North Carolina

Vimala’s Curryblossom Cafe + Talbott Vineyards/Monterey

Washington Duke Inn & JB Duke Hotel + Franciscan Estates/Napa and Monterey

Live Music, cheese, desserts, bubbly and coffee were found at the On-stage experience, which featured the following vendors:

Carrboro Coffee Roasters (Official Coffee Sponsor)

Saladelia Café

The Mad Hatter’s Cafe & Bakeshop

Durham Toffee

Boxcarr Handmade Cheese

Afters

Rise Biscuits Donuts

Neomonde Mediterranean

👀WATCH my recap video of sip + savor and make sure to visit their website and follow on Facebook and Instagram. Here are some of my favorite moments from #SipSavor18! Hope to see you there next year!

Event Recap | Brunchfest in #CaryNC @drinkeatrelax @BoothAmp #Brunch #SobeSavvy

On Saturday, October 6, 2018 , SobeSavvy.com joined Brunch Lovers in Cary at Booth Amphitheatre for an ALL-YOU-CARE-TO-TASTE Brunch Extravaganza known as BRUNCHfest!

From 11am-3pm, here is what guests experienced:

• A souvenir glass that will facilitate their ALL-YOU-CARE-TO-TASTE drinks

Brunch samples from 15+ of the Triangles hottest brunch spots + taste the sausage and bacon griddles (food served until 2pm).

The Almost Famous Bloody Mary Bar featuring all of your favorite toppings and fixin’s to build your own masterpiece!

The Boozy Coffee Bar, where attendees enjoyed hot and iced coffee drinks!

• Dueling Mimosa Bars featuring fresh squeezed juices and lovely sparkling bubbles for your pleasure.

Rosè Wine Garden featuring Rose’s from around the World.

• Great selection of 60+ beer, spirits and wine.

• Hot beats from one of the Triangle’s best DJ

Lawn activities and games

If you believe that “Brunch Is Love” then this is your kind of event. Here is where BRUNCHfest is coming to next:

For more information, please visit www.drinkeatbrunch.com and WATCH MY VIDEO to see more of the fun!⤵️

What is your favorite thing about Brunch..the boozy cocktails or food?

Event Recap | The Art of Cool Festival 2018 – 5th Yr Anniversary @aocfest #AOCFEST | by SobeSavvy.com

The Art of Cool Festival 2018 has come to a close, but we here at SobeSavvy.com was fortunate to attend and share with you some of the magical moments from #AOCFEST. There has been so much growth since we attended the Art of Cool Fest in 2015, and I am so glad to be apart of highlighting this amazing festival. This past weekend, we celebrated the 5th Anniversary of this great music festival that brings jazz-inspired music, artists and all the Cooligans together in Downtown Durham, NC. Trust me, you don’t want to miss next year!

This year the AOCFEST experience was expanded to include Jazz, R&B, Hip Hop and Soul performances by renowned artists from around the world! 20+ artists, 6 venues, 1 price to enjoy: Live Music Concerts, shop from local vendors at the Urban Street Market, dance, mingle and network at the various Day Parties, savor Durham cuisine from the featured Food Trucks and quench your thirst at the Beergarden. The AOCFEST 2018 truly had something for everyone. It’s an amazing sensory experience you must see, taste, hear, and feel!

DAY 1- SEPT 28

The fun began on Friday with the arrival of music lovers to Downtown Durham. Festival goers could shop for some official merch at Wristband City, grab a cocktail, and listen to live music at various pop ups and attend free Innovate Your Cool seminars / workshops focused on Innovation, Music and Culture. I caught at DJ set on the rooftop at Unscripted Hotel where The Lux Blog held a meet-up mixer to welcome everyone including bloggers/social media influencers to the Art of Cool festival. It was a vibe!

Downtown Durham is a walkable city and the perfect place to host the AOCFEST because all the venues are conveniently within walking distance to each other. Just a couple of blocks over from Unscripted, I was able to catch MeShell N’degeocello at the Carolina Theater. She is a talented singer and musician who reminded us in the audience that although the lighting was not ideal, MUSIC. IS. SOMETHING. YOU. FEEL. She took us down memory lane by singing her funky smooth renditions of Lisa Lisa & Cult Jam “I Wonder If I Take You Home”, Al B. Sure “Night & Day” and TLC ‘s “Waterfalls” along with her classic song “Grace” from her album Bitter.

Maxwell headlined at Durham Bulls Athletic Park, which is new on this list as an official AOCFEST stage. Everyone who was either seated in the stadium watching his concert from the jumbo screen or on the field could see his moves and feel his groove! There were so many favorite songs by the incomparable male singer that turned into a sing-a-long, such as “Pretty Wings”, “Bad Habits” and “Fortunate”.

Watch Video Highlights of Photo Recap from Day 1 As Seen on the Scene by SobeSavvy.com! ⤵️

Day 2 – SEPT 29

Downtown Durham was the place to be for the second and last day of music and festivities. Even if you were not going to the concerts, there were so many ways to support the community and enjoy the amazingly cool city of Durham. A 90’s style vintage pop up party hosted by The Key to Style was my first stop before heading to the heart of the Bull City. CCB Plaza, near the iconic bull statue, is where emerging artists performed cyphers and Hip Hop radio station K97.5 held a block party showcasing local talent.

From there, I took a short walk to Pinhook, an iconic live music venue in Durham perfectly sized for intimate performances. Durham’s own Zoo Cru were up first. This quartet of musicians jammed out to their own unique sounds that is really beyond description. Not electronica and not R&B but a subtle blend of both. I love to support local, so I enjoyed my first listen from this popular band.

Next up at Pinhook was renowned trumpeter Keyon Harrold. He has done music and horns for A listers such as Beyonce and JayZ over the years. In addition, Mr. Harrold did the music for the hollywood movie “Miles”, so his resume is unmatched. Wynton Marsalis has called him “The Future of the Trumpet”. He did not dissapoint. His breath control and range were simply amazing. He was paired with a female vocalist which added a different angle to his horn. Unique and dynamic music is just one of the many things you will always experience at AOCFEST.

What’s a festival without the opportunity to shop from a variety of vendors? The Urban Market, set up on Blackwell Street, was the answer for those of us who like to shop local. Vendors were on hand selling quality products such as clothing, artwork, accessories and natural body care products, like my favorite Nailah Shea. Enthusiastic and stylish crowds took advantage of the warm, sunny afternoon in the Bull City. It was fun for the whole family!

My AOCFEST experience ended with seeing the one and only Erykah Badu, who is the first female to headline the Art of Cool Festival. Nas had just rocked the mic and said goodnight as i was entering the stadium. Before Ms.Badu came to the stage at the Durham Bulls Athletic Park, the crowd heard from the new President and VP of The Art of Cool Festival, Sulaiman and Lesleigh Mausi, Founders of The DOME Group, LLC. They thanked the sponsors and all the fans for a fabulous Art of Cool Festival weekend.

Ms. Badu came to the stage with her big hat, her big hair to match her big voice and asked..”Brothers, how y’all feel? Sistahs, y’all alrite” ? She really needed no introduction because her energy fills up any atmosphere. Erykah Badu almost single handidly created the genre called “Neo Soul”. Her music, style and delivery of colorful lyrics has made her one of the most unique talents of our time! Fans filled up Durham Bulls Athletic Park and joined together to celebrate her greatness which like her song, goes “On and On”.

Watch Video Highlights of Photo Recap from Day 2 As Seen on the Scene by SobeSavvy.com! ⤵️

Electric ending to another exciting and informative Art Of Cool Festival. The AOCFEST is one of the best music festivals that gets better every year. Be sure to check out aocfestival.com • #AOCFEST and make plans to visit Durham, NC to experience the Art of Cool Festival next year! Congratulations again to Art of Cool Festival for 5 years strong!

Event Recap | Tacos ‘N’ Taps @DrinkEatRelax @BoothAmp in #CaryNC 🌮 #Tacos #Beer #Fun 🍻

🌮 Tacos and Beer🍺? They go together like, well Beer and Tacos! You know the saying..if you don’t like TACOS, then I’m NACHO type!? Well all the taco and beer lovers found their tribe this past Saturday at the first annual “Tacos N Taps” held at the Booth Amphitheatre in Cary,NC. This one of a kind event gave foodies a chance to experience over 60 Craft Beers, Mezcals, Tequilas along with tasty Mexican Tacos.

SobeSavvy.com hosted a #SobeSavvygiveaway on Instagram as well as attended this fun,foodie event where guests enjoyed the following:

Souvenir Glass for an All You Care To Taste Experience of Craft Beers, Mezcals, Tequilas, Ciders and Wine

Taco Trucks, Taquerias and some of the best Mexican Restaurants, like Cantina 18 were featured along with all you can taste chips & salsa!

VIP Taco & Beer Tasting session ticket holders got a chance to experience exclusive food and beverage tasting in the VIP area for the first 2 hours. Advance entry allowed guests to get a jump on lines!

Music from the Mariachi Bands and Triangle’s hottest DJ’s kept the mood festive.

Fun and prizes at the Pinata Playground and lots of Lawn activites and games gave guests something to do in between eating a drinking.

Tacos n Taps was a day of sunshine, great people, great food and great fun! It was super hot out but the festival event planners had a nice treat for us to cool off with…an Exotico Tequila Snowcone!

👀 Watch more highlights as seen on the scene by SobeSavvy.com here ⤵️

SobeSavvy Tip:

If you missed the Tacos N Taps event this past weekend, fret not. It moves on to Wilmington, NC on April 27, 2019. Coming up next to Koka Booth Amphitheatre is BRUNCH FEST on October 6th. Get 15% off tickets by using code “EGGS”. For more details go to drinkeatbrunch.com

Do you like attending food festivals? What’s the next foodie event on your list? Find one to go to near you at www.drinkeatrelax.com

Event Recap |#NCWineMonth September 2018 Kickoff, A Celebration of #NCWine + Featured Wineries To Try!

North Carolina Wine and Grape Month | 2018 Kick Off Event | Norris House-Raleigh,NC | August 28,2018

Hey Wine Lovers! It is time to raise a glass and support your favorite NC wineries because September is North Carolina Wine and Grape Month. This is the time of year vineyards and local wine makers are celebrated and recognized for helping North Carolina become the 7th highest wine producer in the nation!

Leslie H., Founder of Lifestyle Blog- SobeSavvy.com with hosts NC Wine Guys! Follow NCWineGuys.com as they share their knowledge of all things NC Wine

The NC Wine Guys hosted their invitation only kickoff event at the famous Norris House in downtown Raleigh. This historical home was the perfect venue to promote the upcoming month and feature some regional wineries.

Norris House | Raleigh,NC – Beautiful location for the North Carolina Wine and Grape Month 2018 Kickoff Event

After the presentation of the Governor’s Proclamation which officially sanctioned the month of September, guests had the chance to network, and eat from a spread of spectacular breads, cheese and meats provided by local favorite La Farm Bakery.

La Farm Bakery eats are the perfect pairing to NC Wines!

Guests also had an opportunity to taste wines from different wineries across the state, showcasing what North Carolina Wine is all about. Got To Be NC wine glasses were provided to sample over 25 wines from 8 wineries. Want to know how to effectively taste a number of wines and appreciate them all at an event? Here is a Pro Tip to Wine Tasting provided by NC Wine Guys!

Pro Tip

Swirl – take a moment to swirl the wine in your glass to get some air into it.

Smell – stick your nose right into the glass and sniff.

Sip – take the wine into your mouth, swish it around, and see how it tastes.

Spit – this is important as you’ll be tasting about several wines. *Spit cups, dump buckets, and water were provided.

I was quite impressed by the variety of the wineries that we had the pleasure of tasting yesterday. Most have tasting rooms and winery tours on their property that I look forward to visiting! Be sure to check out their websites for more details.

Banner Elk Winery, Banner Elk, NC http://www.bannerelkwinery.com/

One of my favorites was the High Country Rosé~a dry seasonal wine that would go great with baked salmon. Their use of French-American hybrids of grapes and the elevation to which they are grown is what gives thwir wines a unique taste!

Childress Vineyards, Lexington, NC http://www.childressvineyards.com/

I just loved their Starbound Dessert Wine. This blueberry wine is fortified with Brandy and aged in Oak Barrels for at least a year. It was my first time trying it but will not be my last. It retails at $19.99 at selected Harris Teeter.

Jones von Drehle Vineyards and Winery, Thurmond, NC https://www.jonesvondrehle.com/

Their Petite Manseng wine is simply fabulous. Grown on their 85 acre vineyard, this award winning white is something to behold. If you like dry, European styled wine, then I would recommend wines from this family owned winery. As reviewed by Epicurean Magazine in Charlotte, watch my video and hear more about why red wine lovers enjoy this full bodied white!

Biltmore Wines, Asheville, NC https://www.biltmore.com/visit/village-winery

Located on the iconic 8,000 acre Biltmore Estate grounds, their Chardonnay is aged in both steel and oak barrels which gives it a distinct finish that I enjoyed. Their winery is mostly self sustainable. So much that the winery vehicles actually run on used oil from their operations instead of gas!

Raylen Vineyards, Mocksville, NC https://www.raylenvineyards.com/

No matter if you are a wine expert or novice, I find there is always something to learn from sales/marketing managers and tasting room managers of wineries. We spoke with Micah Habershaw, Assistant Tasting Room Manager of Raylen Vinyards, who gave us ideas for food pairing choices with their fruit forward wines. For example, their 2016 Petit Verdot would be great with lamb chops and grilled salmon with 2017 Rosé of Cabernet Franc.

Laurel Gray Vineyard, Hamptonville, NC https://www.laurelgray.com

I tried their Scarlet Mountain Red Table Wine, which is their best seller. If you like a red that is not too sweet and straight down the middle, this would go well with any red sauce dish you could think of!

Also in attendance was Cybress Bend Vineyards from Wagram,NC , Junius Lindsay Vineyard from Lexington,NC and Sanctuary Vineyards of Jarvisburg,NC. From the mountains to the coast, wines from every region were represented at this kickoff event. These featured wineries truly exemplify the diversity of wines found here in our great state of North Carolina.

This was the 2nd year of this event hosted by NC Wine Guys and North carolina Wine and Grape Council. What a great introduction and celebration for North Carolina Wine and Grape Month. Help spread the word about North Carolina wines and be sure to go check out these wineries and buy their wines for yourself or as a gift! Follow #NCWine and #NCWineMonth on social media for information and to join the conversation about North Carolina Wineries throughout the month of September and beyond!

Do you have a favorite NC Wine that you enjoy? I ❤ 2017 Pearl Albariño from Santuary Vineyards as it pairs well with seafood. Share in the comments below your faves!CHEERS 🥂🍇🍷

Cheers to North Carolina Wine And Grape Month – September 2018

#WineWednesday Spotlight on @VIK_Wine Available at Fogo De Chão @fogorestaurants #VIKWine #Fogodechao #wine

Disclaimer: Thank you to Fogo de Chão for the invite to your exclusive VIK Wine Dinner media event. Recap by blog contributor, Taylor Mcghee @cutecouplewithababy

Most people would say Bordeaux wine is with out a doubt the best red wine blend but VIK Winery is dispelling that myth. On August 16, 2018, Fogo de Chão invited SobeSavvy.com along with other media guests as they celebrated its partnership with VIK Winery. We enjoyed finely cooked meats while experiencing world class wines from the vineyards of Chile.

We started off at the salad bar which is phenomenal, with an array of cheeses and meats. The salad bar also featured a number of sides like rice and beans, salad, fruit and do not I repeat do not forget to try the caramelized bacon!

The first wine offered was the Milla Cala now being served at Fogo de Chão nationwide priced at $13 (3 oz. glass); $25 (6 oz. glass); $93 (bottle) was very dry with a medium body and a fruity after taste. It went great with the Filet Mignon.

The final wine was the best in my opinion because it was so smooth and also a bit fruity. It was sweeter than the others which is something I like in red wines. The VIK priced at $22 (3 oz. glass); $42 (6 oz. glass); $164 (bottle) I believe to be VIK’s signature wine was absolutely divine. You can tell the patience and dedication they put in to making this blend. The VIK representative also mentioned they make the VIK with grapes from only one part of the vineyard and the other wines we had from another part. Which was interesting to me to think that grapes grown from three different areas could taste so different.

Fogo is offering two of the three VIK varietals sampled at the event in all of their Fogo restaurants nationwide – Milla Cala (Red Blend, Millahue Valley, Chile, 2013) and VIK (Red Blend, First Growth from Chile, 2013). Pricing varies by market, but those listed above are for the Miami region

All in all the experience is one you must try for yourself the combination of the amazing Brazilian meats by Fogo de Chão and the exotic taste of the Chilean wine by Vik is a pairing you don’t want to miss out on!

SobeSavvy Tip: Now thru August 30, enjoy FOGO RESTAURANT MONTH for $39 Dinner/person. Join FOGO Eclub👉HERE to receive this special offer and more!

Do you enjoy Chilean wines? Have you ever dined at FOGO DE CHÃO? Let me know in the comments below and thanks for reading! Cheers 🍷

FOGO DE CHÃO
836 1st St.
Miami Beach, FL 33139

*Find a location near you: http://fogodechao.com/locations

Event Recap|5th Annual Chesapeake Crab & Beer Festival @DrinkEatRelax #Baltimore #Crabs #Beer #Fun

You know it’s summertime in Baltimore when steamed crabs are celebrated at festivals all around Charm City! I recently attended Drink Eat Relax’s “Chesapeake Crab and Beer Festival” and had a crabby good time! This is the 5TH ANNUAL Maryland Tradition and compared to the past years of this fun foodie event, it just keeps getting better! The Festival is an ALL-YOU-CARE-TO-TASTE extravaganza complete with over 30,000 crabs, lots of beer, arts & crafts, live music, family fun and so much more! Take a look at what over 30,000 people have come to enjoy.

•LOTS OF SUMMERTIME FUN FOR THE WHOLE FAMILY!

Families and Friends came out in fun hats and custom made tees to enjoy this festival. There is a beach area for kids to play in the sand, yard games for everyone to enjoy, live music to dance to and so much more! This family friendly event is popular because KIDS 3 AND UNDER ARE FREE! However, there was a KID’S CRAB ONLY PACKAGE (AGES 4– 20): $29 Advance (plus taxes & fees) This option offered guests ages 4 -20 an ALL YOU CARE TO TASTE experience of Crabs, Corn on the Cob, Cole Slaw and Potato Chips. (Ticket purchasers with VIP ticket holders will be GUARANTEED communal seating under a tent.)

•ALL YOU CARE TO TASTE BEER/WINE

Over 50 beers and wines and a few spirits were available for unlimited tasting during the festival! All of your favorite craft beers and some great wines were served to highlight summer. Nothing says summer like a glass of rosé and I especially enjoyed sampling the variety of rosé wines that were offered.

•ALL YOU CARE TO TASTE CRABS.

Enjoy all the crabs you can handle during the four hours of the show. The crabs vary in size from medium to large and will be offered at 6 crabs at a time, per person. ALL CRABS ARE SEASONED! *ALA CARTE CRABS OPTION WILL BE SOLD 6 CRABS (1/2 dozen) AT A TIME PER PERSON FOR $35 (WHILE SUPPLIES LASTS)

I attended the ALL YOU CARE TO TASTE VIP experience. Guests received a souvenir mug and mallet, unlimited tastes of the beer and wine on-site. This includes ALL YOU CARE TO TASTE Crabs, Corn on the Cob, Cole Slaw and Potato Chips.* Ticket purchasers are GUARANTEED communal seating under a tent.

•BEER MUGS.

Beers are served in our mug so you can sit and enjoy the day. If you are not a crab lover you can opt to buy a ticket for the ALL YOU CARE TO TASTE BEER experience. Guests will enjoy a souvenir mug, unlimited tastes of the beer and wine on-site. Any food will be purchased ALA CARTE.* Ticket purchasers cannot enter the VIP Crab & Beer Tents, but some limited seating is available first come, first serve.

OTHER GREAT FOOD.

There are Crabs and MORE CRABS and MORE CRABS and even MORE CRABS – but there will be other great food options as well available for purchase. There are no vegetarian options available. Unless outlined – all food is sold ala carte. I got the chance to finally try Urban Oysters. This creative pop up restaurant is the brainchild of a young entrepreneur Jasime. Thanks to her dad, she grew up with a love for oysters. I had been following her on IG and was excited to finally try them out. Chargrilled is their preferred way to make them. Using creative yet familiar toppings makes them very accessible for those who may be trying them for the first time. Just look at these beauties!

•LIVE MUSIC.

Sit back or get up and dance to the fun summer sounds from area bands!

THOUSANDS OF TABLES AND CHAIRS AND HUGE TENTS

Plenty of seating for crackin’ to your heart’s content. They even ordered enough crab paper to stretch all the way across the Harbor and back. ALL SHOW FEATURES are undercover – so Rain or Shine – we were all fine.

All in all, we had a crackin’ good time! If you missed the event it is coming back in August at the National Harbor in DC. For more details go to www.mdcrabfest.com!

Do you enjoy MD steamed crabs? Let me know in the comments below!🦀

Thanks Trigger Agency for hosting SobeSavvy.com! I really enjoyed my dining experience and looking forward to next time!

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Event Recap |Carnival Horizon’s Naming Celebration + More #FunontheHorizon @CarnivalCruise

#FUNONTHEHORIZON

If you read my previous blog, I shared My Top 5 Must See Features On Carnival Cruise Line’s Newest Ship, Carnival Horizon. Well, I just got back from seeing it in person at the naming ceremony and US inaugural celebration in New York on May 23, 2018. This momentous occasion has left me so inspired to cruise with my family this summer!

Photo Credit | Carnival Cruise Line

Officially named by its godmother Queen Latifah, Carnival Horizon was celebrated by invited guests aboard the ship for an evening full of festivities. My time with Carnival Cruise reminded me that having fun is a daily choice and if I had one word to describe the event it would be FUN! Just take a look at my #FunOntheHorizon recap and you’ll see why:

MEDIA BRIEFING

Prior to the event, Carnival hosted a media briefing with Carnival President Christine Duffy, where St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital was presented with a $100,000 donation check from Carnival representing monies raised from various fundraisers, both onboard and ashore. The funds continue the line’s ongoing support of St. Jude with more than $16 million raised in the fight against childhood cancer since the partnership began in 2010.

EMBARKATION

After the media briefing, it was time for the fun to begin aboard the Carnival Horizon! Check In/Boarding was a smooth process thanks to Carnival’s wonderful staff and The Cat in the Hat was even there to welcome us. When I boarded the ship, the first thing I noticed was the Dreamscape, a stunning three-deck-high LED sculpture in the ship’s atrium. It will showcase the artwork of the talented young artists from St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital. It’s a beautiful sight to see and such a cool collaboration!

TOUR

Before the naming ceremony, my husband and I took a self-guided tour of Carnival Horizon. We started in our outside stateroom which was spacious, modern and comfy.

We could not wait to see the dozens of new innovations on this ship that makes it different than other Carnival cruises! Carnival Horizon has:

* Dr.Seuss Waterworks, the first-ever Dr. Seuss water park

* a new teppanyaki venue, Bonsai

* Pig & Anchor Smokehouse Brewhouse, a unique dining concept that combines real deal BBQ favorites created by Food Network star and longtime partner Guy Fieri, along with four craft beers brewed on board by brewmaster Colin Presby.

Carnival Horizon is the second in the line’s Vista class series so it includes features like the following:

*the bike-ride-in-the-sky attraction called SkyRide

*a Havana section with its own Cuban-themed bar and pool

NAMING CEREMONY

Christine Duffy, president of Carnival Cruise Line said “Carnival Horizon’s naming ceremony was one of our best yet, with Queen Latifah carrying out her duties as godmother then battling it out with Super Bowl champion Jake Elliott of my hometown Philadelphia Eagles in an entertaining Lip Sync Battle. We were also delighted to showcase the wonderfully talented children from St. Jude whose artwork on the Dreamscape will be forever associated with this spectacular ship.”

Photo Credit | Carnival Cruise Line

Added Latifah, “My time aboard Carnival Horizon was nothing short of incredible. In addition to having the honor of serving as the ship’s godmother, meeting the amazing kids from St. Jude and their families and squaring off against Jake in an all-out Lip Sync Battle is certainly something I will always cherish.”

Photo Credit | Carnival Cruise Line

LIP SYNC BATTLE | #LSBCarnival

Photo Credit | Carnival Cruise Line

Following the ceremony, we headed into the Liquid Lounge to see Queen Latifah square off against Philadelphia Eagles Super Bowl champion Jake Elliott in Lip Sync Battle: Horizon modeled after the hit Paramount Network TV series and rolling out across the Carnival fleet.

Photo Credit | Carnival Cruise Line

Latifah rocked the house with her incredible interpretation of the Weather Girls classic “It’s Raining Men,” while Elliott had a chance to live out his rock star fantasies performing Whitesnake’s arena anthem “Here I Go Again,” all performed with back-up dancers from Carnival Horizon’s Playlist Productions to a packed house who were given light up microphones and foam banners to wave in support of “Queen” or “Champ”.

DINING

Dressed in our “cruise elegant” attire, [if you are like me and not quite sure what that is, find definition here] we headed to dinner in the Meridan Dining room. Being the seafood lover that I am, I ordered and enjoyed the oysters as a starter, the Lobster/Shrimp entree while my husband got the lamb chops. We also sampled food from the Seafood Shack,various dishes from the buffet at Lido and Guy Fieri’s Burger Joint!

There are so many dining options and amenities to satisfy any traveling foodie! The quality of the food was great and everything we tried was fresh, and flavorful. After dinner drinks are available at the many bars on the ship. If you enjoy craft cocktails, definitely try Alchemy Bar, where they take a scientific approach to Mixology.

ENTERTAINMENT

So much to see and so much to do if you choose aboard the Carnival Horizon. Sports Fans can hang out at the SkyBox Sports Bar, Comedy Lovers can catch at act at the Limelight Lounge, check out the DJ and party on the deck. Catch a movie at IMAX or watch a Dive-IN Movie at Seaside Theater.

There really is so much to do and I had so little time. However, this overnight stay gave me just enough glimpse into how entertaining a cruise on Carnival Horizon would be!

BOOK YOUR CRUISE


Carnival Horizon kicks off a summer schedule from New York with a four-day cruise to Bermuda departing May 24, 2018. The ship will operate four-day Bermuda and eight-day Caribbean departures from New York through September then reposition to Miami for year-round six- and eight-day Caribbean cruises beginning later that month.


To learn more about Carnival Cruise Line or to make a reservation, visit Carnival.com, call 1-800-CARNIVAL, or contact any travel agent. Follow Carnival on: Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, Twitter and YouTube.

GIVE BACK #HOWICHOOSEFUN

Thanks again Carnival for giving me the opportunity to explore Carnival Horizon to get a first look at your 26th ship and share the #FunontheHorizon!

As part of their “Choose Fun” for a great cause campaign, Carnival invites us all to share a selfie on social media with the hashtag #HowIChooseFun and Carnival will make a donation to St.Jude Children’s Research Hospital!

Leslie, Founder of SobeSavvy.com and her daughter #outandaboutAva says Carpe Diem! Wake Up and Choose Fun! #HowIChooseFun

I choose fun by embracing my inner child while playing with my own kid. Everyday she reminds me to get some laughs and fun in before my Mom/Wife/Life daily duties begin!
HOW DO YOU CHOOSE FUN?

EVENT RECAP | Great Grapes Wine & Food Festival 5/5/18 @GreatGrapesFest @drinkeatrelax @BoothAmp #CaryNC #UncorktheFun

This weekend there was a whole lot to celebrate: The Kentucky Derby, Cinco de Mayo and …. Wine + Good Times at the GREAT GRAPES WINE & FOOD FESTIVAL! This ‘drink.eat.relax‘ event is held at the Koka Booth Amphitheatre in the Town of Cary and as a wine lover, I have enjoyed coming to this event each year! [*ICYMI, check out my 2015/2016/2017 past event recaps of this event, here.] I must say, just like fine wine this event keeps getting better with time. These are some of my favorite moments from this year’s GREAT GRAPES WINE & FOOD FESTIVAL!

HUNDREDS of WINES

Yes, HUNDREDS of wines available from over 22 wineries to taste. Everyone gets a souvenir tasting glass to have and stroll from tent to tent and table to table, tasting and sampling the rich heritage of North Carolina vines. Did you know that all NC wine is not made from sweet muscadine? In fact there was some of everything to try from sweet to dry!

GOURMET BITES

If you bought the VIP Ticket option, you not only got early entrance into the event, but also a souvenir glass & bag and access to all the show tastings. Plus you got access to the VIP area which featured specialty higher-end wine selections not available elsewhere, free water and soft drinks, and featured food tastings (served Noon – 3pm).

People ready to UNCORK THE FUN

Wine Lovers from all around come out to the GREAT GRAPES WINE & FOOD FESTIVAL, the largest and most fun casual NC wine festival in the Triangle. I loved seeing all the matching outfits, hats and groups celebrating birthdays. Some couples even turned this festival into a wonderful day date idea!

IT’S FAMILY FRIENDLY!

My favorite thing about this festival is that it is kid friendly. That means we can enjoy the event as a family and not worry about finding a babysitter! Kids 12 and under are FREE and they even have a dedicated area for kids to play. Guests are welcome to bring lawn chairs and blankets to enjoy the festival picnic style. Our daughter loved meeting “The Sauce Boss”, relaxing on the lawn and listening to Live Music!

Beautiful GREEN SETTING of the Town of Cary’s Booth Amphitheatre

Although this festival happens rain or shine, thanks to Mother Nature we had a picture perfect day! I love going to events at Booth Amphitheatre because of the scenic setting. You are surroundes by nature, gorgeous trees and a lake that you may even see ducks in!

SobeSavvy Tip: The fun is happening here again on May 19, 2018 at the BEER & BACON FEST. Tickets to this festival is ON SALE NOW!

Also GREAT GRAPES WINE & FOOD FESTIVAL maybe coming to a city near you. Here are some upcoming dates:

For more information go to www.uncorkthefun.com! Hope to see you there next year! CHEERS 🍷

Event Recap | EXCLUSIVE VIP GRAND OPENING of @AlamoRaleigh + @videovortexbar in #Raleigh #AlamoDrafthouse

Event Recap | Grand Opening Alamo Drafthouse Raleigh + Video Vortex | SobeSavvy.com

On Saturday, April 21, 2018 guests were invited to “GET WEIRD” and join Alamo Drafthouse Raleigh for a night of fun and games with a side of 80’s Flair at their EXCLUSIVE VIP OPENING EXTRAVAGANZA. I love a theme party so when I read the instructions on the invite to: “..dust off your leg warmers and that neon outfit you’ve been dying to wear again”, I was so there! My style paid homage to different 80’s looks. I wore a huge bow, Run DMC tee, denim vest, tutu, pearl chain belt, animal print leggings, fishnet gloves & stockings and a big smile because I was happy to have a Mom’s night out and ready to party!

‘Lovely’ Leslie , Founder of SobeSavvy.com in 80’s attire at Alamo Drafthouse Raleigh Grand Opening Party

I first learned about Alamo Drafthouse in March when I attended ‘a Night With Alamo Drafthouse Raleigh’ event at VAE. This movie theatre offers “the best film, food and drink all in one seat”. You can also sit outside on the patio, enjoy a drink, play a board game and order appetizers from the Video Vortex Bar, which is also video store the offering FREE rentals!

The fun and friendly staff at Video Vortex Bar inside Alamo Drafthouse Raleigh

I am definitely going back to get the full experience but this event was all about celebrating the Grand Opening! 80s attire was encouraged but by no means required. They had prizes for the best costumes of the night and guests had a chance to win more awesome prizes by participating in a series of scavenger hunt challenges. I was one of the winners of this board game after doing all the challenges!

Winning! Thanks Alamo Drafthouse Raleigh!

I am glad I brought my competitive side along with my appetite because we got to feast on their scratch-made delicious food and enjoyed a full open bar featuring a wide array of local beverages.

Alamo Drafthouse Raleigh provides food, drink, film and fun!

I had so much fun as a party of one until I ran into more NC blogger friends sporting their 80s style and ready to celebrate the Grand Opening of by Alamo Drafthouse Raleigh!

Check out tagged photos posted from the event @AlamoRaleigh

For more event fun, watch my video recap.. as seen on the scene..by SobeSavvy.com!

I can not wait to return for more fun, film, food and drinks all at Alamo Drafthouse in Raleigh. Be sure to visit Drafthouse.com/Raleigh , like on Facebook and follow on Twitter. More photos from Grand Opening can be seen here. Thanks Alamo Drafthouse Raleigh for a fun night! Congrats on your Grand Opening and I look forward to seeing you again.

*HAVE YOU EVER BEEN TO SEE A MOVIE AT ALAMO DRAFTHOUSE? WHAT WAS YOUR EXPERIENCE LIKE?*

Alamo Drafthouse Raleigh

2116-D New Bern Ave

Raleigh, NC 27610