5 Date Ideas To Enjoy The Arts This Fall In The Triangle |@nctheatre @ncsymphony @ncartmuseum @UnscriptedDurm @AlamoRaleigh

Raleigh, Durham, Chapel Hill aka The Triangle is a tri-city region in North Carolina that has a thriving art scene! If you are a lover of any of the seven categories of arts: painting, architecture, sculpture, music,literature,performing and cinema, then there is always something interesting and fun to do in the area. I made this list of date ideas inspired by a conversation with a mom friend who asked me for recommendations of places to go.

Performing Arts|See A Production by NC Theatre

If you or your loved one enjoys musicals or plays, then take them to see a production by North Carolina Theatre, the region’s nonprofit professional theatre. NCT kicks off their 2019-20 season opening production of the timeless musical, WEST SIDE STORY, running Oct. 15-20. With a cast including talent straight from Broadway plus some of the best regional talent, North Carolina Theatre opens their season by telling such a poignant story with the best artists in the industry. Learn more about this production here, which takes place at Duke Energy Center for the Performing Arts in downtown Raleigh.

For more info go to North Carolina Theatre‘s website at www.nctheatre.com and find them on all social platforms @nctheatre, and the show hashtag is #NCTWestSideStory! I look forward to attending Sunday’s matinee at 2pm, and check out more of what is coming this season!

Painting, Architecture, Sculpture|Day Date at North Carolina Museum of Art

Ok art lovers, my favorite place to go on an artsy day date in Raleigh is at NCMA. Whether you are sitting outside and admiring the architecture of the building, taking a stroll while enjoying sculpture in the park or admiring paintings inside, there are many ways to immerse yourself in art. Mark your calenders for a special exhibition: Frida Kahlo, Diego Rivera, and Mexican Modernism from the Jacques and Natasha Gelman Collection, opens October 26- January 19, 2020 at North Carolina Museum of Art.

Frida Kahlo, Diego Rivera, and Mexican Modernism showcases the couple’s portraits, murals, politics, and personal lives. Kahlo is best known for her strikingly honest self-portraits, often depicting her dreams. Rivera worked as a large-scale muralist in Mexico and the United States, taking a larger look at history and cultural revolution. Both artists pursued their distinctive visions while forging the way for Mexican artists in the 20th century and beyond. Few artists have captured the public’s imagination with the force of Mexican painter Frida Kahlo and her husband, the Mexican painter and muralist Diego Rivera. The myths that surrounded them in their lifetime arose not only from their significant bodies of work, but also from their friendships (and conflicts) with leading political figures and their passionate, tempestuous personal relationships. There are so many interesting events surrounding this series such as film screenings of Frida, a special dinner and coffee with the curator. Check out the calender for the exhibition events: here.

For more info, go to NCMA‘s website: http://ncartmuseum.org/ and get your tickets for October 26, 2019–January 19, 2020, Frida Kahlo, Diego Rivera, and Mexican Modernism and Scott Avett: INVISIBLE are ticketed together. October 12–24, 2019, and January 20–February 2, 2020, Scott Avett: INVISIBLE will be open on its own. Tag your photos when you visit #NCMAFrida #ArtNaturePeople

Music|Enjoy a Night Out at the NC Symphony

Plan a perfect ‘parents night out’ or date night and attend a concert performed by the North Carolina Symphony. That is what hubby and I did recently when we stepped out to see Broadway Mega-Hit Hamilton Star Leslie Odom, Jr. join the North Carolina Symphony with Broadway and Jazz Hits on Friday, October 18 and Saturday, October 19. This highly anticipated show, which opens the Symphony’s 2019/20 Pops Season, was the perfect way to spend time together and experience the power of live music! Whether you are into classical, Broadway, movie music, rock, or swing or whether you live in the Triangle, Wilmington, Southern Pine, pick a date or two and plan a night with NC Symphony.

For more info go to North Carolina Symphony‘s website at www.ncsymphony.org and find them on social @ncsymphony. I look forward to attending Saturday’s night show, and congrats again to the winner of my Instagram giveaway who will also enjoy a night out at the NC Symphony!

Music|Sounds of the Studio Early Saturday Date Idea at Unscripted Hotel

Saturdays are a popular date night and here is an idea for someone who loves LIVE MUSlC, SMALL PLATES, and COCKTAILS. Check out UNSCRIPTED HOTEL| Sounds of the Studio every Saturday from 5:30-7:30pm. Go jam out to diverse music brought to you by local performers in the Durham community featuring Hip Hop Instrumental, Jazz, and Latin.

All small plates are buy one get one free, and free parking will be offered to those with a food or beverage purchase (must show receipt).

This is a FREE event that takes place in the hotel lounge every Saturday until Nov. 2nd. Here is the upcoming music schedule:

OCT 19 (SAT) – Wiley Fosters

The Wiley Fosters (instrumental hip-hop quartet edition)

Jay Parker – Turntables
Luis Rodriguez – Guitar
Jack Fleishman – Bass
William Dawson – Vibraphone

OCT 26 (SAT) – Alexandra Valladares & Viajeros Melodiosos

NOV 2 (SAT) – Jazz Harp Trio

Be sure to follow @unscripteddurham for more exciting events! And follow my IG instastories @SobeSavvy where I will give you an inside look of Sounds of the Studio at Unscripted Hotel. #livelifeunscripted #unscripteddurham

Cinema|Drinks+Dinner, Movie Date at Alamo Raleigh

I love one stop shop dates. That’s when you can go to one place and have like 3 dates in one! Want to enjoy a good cocktail and coversation, have dinner before or while watching a movie? You can do all that at Alamo Drafthouse Raleigh! I recently went to one of their speciality screenings for HUSTLERS starring Jennifer Lopez, Constance Wu, Cardi B, Keke Palmer, Lizzo,etc and had a blast! We got to enjoy a special themed menu and even had play money to make it rain in the movie theater!

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DATE NIGHT | ALAMO DRAFTHOUSE @drafthouse Opening weekend for HUSTLERS Why choose @alamoraleigh to see this movie? They offer: * A Special Menu * Special "Rowdy" Screenings in the evening ** Also, the ladies from @aradiafitnessnc are here this evening Friday 9/13 & Saturday 9/14 from 7pm-11pm providing on pole fitness classes and doing demonstrations Swipe 🔙 to get a peek 👀, Plus check out my #instastories for more! **DO YOU PLAN TO SEE THIS MOVIE?** . . . #alamodrafthouse #Hustlersmovie #alamoraleigh #rowdyscreening #openingweekend #nowshowing #moviedate #atthemovies #datenight #datenightideas #polefitness #thingstodoinRaleigh #SobeSavvy #LifestyleBlogger #RaleighBlogger #blackgirlsblog @hustlersmovie

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From game nights, to free events, to rowdy screenings, Alamo Drafthouse Raleigh will turn an ordinary movie date into a full cinematic experience!See the list of all the fun events happening at Alamo Raleigh>>here and be sure to follow @alamoraleigh.

I hope you are inspired to plan a fun date while supporting the arts this fall! Tell me in the comments below, which one would be your ideal date to support the arts?

RECAP| Art of Cool Festival 2019 @AOCFest Ft. Jill Scott, Ari Lennox, Big Daddy Kane, RUN-DMC and more! #AOCFest

Art of Cool Festival 2019 | Recap by SobeSavvy.com

Art of Cool Festival 2019 | Recap by SobeSavvy.com

Durham, NC was the place to be this past weekend (Friday, September 27-Sunday, September 29) for the 6th Annual Art Of Cool Festival also known as the AOCFest! This festival, which features great music, good food trucks,community engagement and sponsor activations, has quickly become the premiere late summer cultural experience that should not be missed!

PLAN YOUR STAY

Since SobeSavvy.com was there to provide local media coverage for the weekend, I decided to make it a workcation and checked into one of the official hotels of the AOCFest. The Aloft Durham Downtown proved to be an excellent choice with its urban style and comfort amenities PLUS it is the closest hotel to the festival’s main venue, Durham Bulls Athletic Park. Guests attending the festival were provided a special group rate if booked in advance. I definitely would plan ahead to stay here next year or anytime you want to Stay & Play in Durham!

https://www.instagram.com/p/B27LTcWn-oO/?igshid=turue3rlqx73

2019 LINEUP

Produced by The Dome Group LLC, AOCFest 2019 featured 20+ R&B, Neo-Soul, Hip-Hop, Jazz, alternative and spoken word artists at multiple venues in Durham.

FRIDAY

The Masonic Lodge is where various DJ parties were being held all weekend in one of their event rooms. DJ RNB was spinning and there was also a bar sponsored by Durham’s own Bedlam Vodka, who I had the pleasure of reviewing and sharing recipes >> here on my blog!

Later that evening, “Cooligans” were seen at the 2019 AOCFest Urban Vendor Market being held on Blackwell Street. Food Trucks along with a variety of vendors lined the closed down area. We had a few delicious shrimp tacos from @shrimptrucknc to fuel us up for the headliners at the Durham Bulls Athletic Park stadium next door.

We also did a little shopping at the 2019 AOCFest Urban Vendor Market and I purchased some organic Shea Butter products from Nailah’s Shea. I also ate chicken and waffles from Big C’s Waffles food truck. We also spotted “Thelma” from Good Times, Bernadette Stanis who had her books for sale and was taking pics with fans!

We arrived in time to see the group Black Violin were on the stage. A duo from Florida, this group takes classical violin training and combine it with a hip-hop twist.

https://www.instagram.com/tv/B272CFWHcSW/?igshid=1hg7apvp2u5s5

Next up was artist Ari Lennox. She is the first female signed to J.Cole’s record label. Fans got to hear and see her perform hits from her successful album entitled “Shea Butter Baby”. Her creative singing style and bold lyrics energized the crowd. Her future is limitless and as bright as her smile!

Up next was the the incomparable Miss Jill Scott. She has been an entire industry upon herself over the past almost 20 years. Album upon album of iconic poetry tinged R&B songs captured the attention of an entire generation. Her catalog is deep and she did not disappoint. Her stage presence is simply unmatched. She had the crowd in the palm of her hand. We sang the songs with her and just showered her with love and affection for all her music means to us. Great night to kick
off the festival.
https://www.instagram.com/tv/B3DlpUVnDKt/?igshid=1x3mddvoqahze
SATURDAY
A stay at the Aloft Downtown Durham allowed for me to wake up to an awesome view of Diamond View Park at the American Tobacco Campus where Power Yoga, a free community engagement event hosted by The Art Of Cool Festival, was held at 10am & 11am on Saturday. Such a great way to start the day!

DJ Fatz took us back with a “2Pac vs Biggie” during a day party at Masonic Lodge. He did an awesome job blendiing two titans of rap by mixing their hits back to back. Every lyric to every hit record was sung by the festive crowd. Realizing how we lost both so young was sobering but celebrating their music was inspiring.

https://youtu.be/oO966ZzVbZY
We headed back to the Durham Bulls Athletic Park stadium for a night full of legendary hip-hop featuring
Big Daddy Kane, Whodini and RUN- DMC. Before they took the stage DJ
Skillz showed some amazing work on the 1’s and 2’s. He played everything from old school hip to new school R&B. This man truly is in a league of his own in the DJ world.

Big Daddy Kane feat. The Symphony took the stage looking and sounding amazing! Back like he never left, he
performed as if he has not lost a step. His rapping skills go from fast to slow and he rocked the mic no matter the tempo. He was joined on stage by his Bboy dancer, his little son showed of his moves too, and the legendary Cool G Rap was there for an epic performance of The Symphony. If you ever get a chance to see Big Daddy Kane live you will see there Ain’t No Half Steppin EVER with him!

https://www.instagram.com/tv/B2-kFNQnAJ6/?igshid=cs8y664hxoo5

Next up was the group Whodini, who blazed the stage performing hit after hit such as “Big Mouth”, “One Love”, “The Freaks Come Out At Night” and “Friends”. Lead rapper Jalil did come out in his signature Zorro style hat and the ladies went wild!

By the time RUN-DMC took the stage, the electricity of anticipation was in the air. Rap was still in it’s infancy during the mid 80’s and RUN-DMC almost single handidly was responsible for rap crossing over to
mainstream America. Every successful rapper owe them a debt of gratitude. Time stood still during their set. It was as if they transported all of us back to the 80’s. Their catalog of hit records is immense. They only performed a sampling of them with “King Of Rock”, “It’s Tricky”, “Peter Piper”, “Run’s House” and many more! The crowd showed their love by coming dressed in Adidas, or rocking RUN DMC tees. Even AOCFest was selling “RUN AOC” tshirts to honor the group and he festival. RUN DMC are true icons that are rightly revered as some of the founders of Hip-Hop.

The festival ended on Sunday with a VIP Brunch featuring The Hamiltones that took place at the Durham Convention Center.

If I had one word to describe the Art Of Cool Festival 2019 it would be DOPE! Amazing weekend and phenomonal performances. The AOCFest once again proved that with the right mix of artists and audience, you can expect a dope cultural experience. 👀 Watch my full recap video for more fun highlights

For more information on the 2019 Art of Cool Festival (AOCFest), visit aocfestival.com.

Twitter: @AOCFest #AOCFest

Instagram: @AOCFest #AOCFest

Facebook: Facebook.com/AOCFest

Spotify: AOCFest Playlists

********Read previous AOCFest recap coverage >>>here

Did you attend AOCFest this year? If YES, who did you enjoy most? If NO, which artist would you have been most excited to see?

My #HeighPartyof3 Family Visit to @NMAAHC


As the newest jewel on the National Mall, The National Museum of African American History and Culture stands as a beacon of hope and pride to not just African Americans but to our nation as a whole. Opened on September 24, 2016 by President Obama, this Smithsonian Institution owns a collection of over 40,000 pieces. With almost 2 million visitors a year it has enthralled domestic and international visitors from all over the planet. Years later since its doors opened to the public, my family and I came here to celebrate its 3rd year!

Let us Rejoice! NMAAHC and its 3rd year | Photo Credit: SobeSavvy.com with #outandaboutAva

My family and I visited here in March 2017 during our stay in Arlington, VA and we were just as amazed as others upon visiting this special place for the first time. My little one was just 5 1/2 yrs old then, so this weekends visit opened up the history of Africans in America a little more to her than the last time we came. To quote Beyonce’s latest song “Bigger“..I wanted my daughter to leave the museum knowing that…

If you feel insignificant, you better think again
Better wake up ’cause you’re part of something way bigger
You’re part of something way bigger
I’ll be the roots, you be the tree
Pass on the fruit that was given to me
Legacy, ah, we’re part of something way bigger

Mother and Daughter visit NMAAHC ~ Legacy! | Photo Credit: SobeSavvy.com

This beautiful museum takes visitors on a journey started in West Africa in the lower 3 levels to Barack Obama and beyond on the upper 3 levels. In between we are fed the wonders of our people. We started at 10 am and stayed until about 2pm with a lunch break in between. Even though we explored all 6 levels, here are just some of the hightlights from our #HeighPartyof3 Family Visit to NMAAHC!

#HeighPartyof3 Visits NMAAHC | Photo Credit: SobeSavvy.com

C1-C3 | History Galleries

During our previous visit with our daughter, we chose to move swiftly through the 3 levels in the history galleries as it includes more graphic and violent past history {almost 400 years of that right?}. However, this time, I wanted her to have deep questions and comments and appreciate her 8 year old mind attempting to process what human beings are capable of doing to other humans, It was sobering and yet ultimately hopeful.

The opportunities for modern virtual interaction throughout this facility are endless. You can sit at a mock Greensboro, NC diner counter and use the touchscreen and pick from a ” join a movement” menu, which gives you all sorts on facts regarding sit in demonstrations and videos.

This museum also has docents {museum guide experts} stationed in some of the more emotionally difficult areas to give out facts and perspective. I truly appreciated one taking my daughter under her wing and explaining to her 8 yr old level what being sold “on the block” meant to families being torn apart and never seeing each other again. At 8 years old some of these facts still seem like science fiction to her and in a way that is progress. The inhumanity of slavery is quickly coming into focus for her and that is a good thing. History is not to be sugarcoated, it is simply fact.

Lunch | Sweet Home Cafe

When you come up the final 3rd ramp of the History Galleries, you will arrive to the Concourse level where you will find a wonderful cafeteria dining area called “Sweet Home Cafe“. Get ready to feast on all major foods credited to African Americans. Ribs, catfish, greens, red velvet cake just to name a few. Great place to take a break and fuel up to continuing your visit to this world class facility.

SobeSavvy Tip: Be sure to stop by the NMAAHC Museum store on L1-Heritage Hall. You will find free fact cards about the museum, books, jewelry and more! Plus, your purchase helps support the educational mission of the Smithsonian Instituition. Shop Online at smithsonianstore.com and join maiing list for special discount offers!

L4 | Culture Galleries

We rode the escalator to the very top level where the culture galleries are. On this level you will find the many contributions African Americans have made as artists. From music, theater, tv, dance, film, we have created and shared our cultural expressions to the world! Much of American culture is owed to the African Americans. Whether clothing, music or food, African Americans have always been the trend setters and the golden standard in the experiment of a nation we call America.

The music section is it’s own black rock and roll hall of fame. Chuck Berry’s Cadillac, Parliament’s Mothership and clothing/artifacts from almost every major artist in every genre is represented. You can also be a sound engineer or DeeJay if you like! We particularily enjoyed the “Neighborhood Record Store“, where we explained to our daugter about a time when music was not digital and you went to the store and found your favorite artists’ album.

This museum ultimately stands for triumph against all odds that African Americans have not only survived but we have been examples of excellence in every manner shape of form for the world to see just how unbreakable our spirits and indeed souls truly are.

L3 is where you can find the Community Galleries featuring The African American Military Experience and our contributions to Sports. Here is where we took a nice break to sit down and watch a film about Baseball Intergration.

L2 , the second floor is where you can Explore More! Get interactive in the gallery and have fun by taking a “stepping” lesson in HBCU fashion in a virtual reality dance game.

You could easily spend an entire day here and not see it all. I have found multiple visits of a few hours each time is a wonderful way to digest all that it has to offer. I look forward to coming back again in a few years and doing it all over again!
👀WATCH highlights from my #HeighPartyof3 Family Visit to @NMAAHC here⤵️

Have you been to the National Museum of African American History & Culture yet? Share a memory from your visit below!

Smithsonian Institution

National Museum of African Americn History & Culture

1400 Constitution Ave NW

Washington, DC 20560

Top 3 Reasons to Travel to DC and Stay in VA at Hyatt Place Arlington/Courthouse Plaza

I am back from a wonderful weekend in DC where I covered a food festival event (The 9th Annual Chesapeake Oyster, Wine and Beer Festival) at Dock 5/Union Market DC, revisited the National Museum of African American History and Culture (which I shared our family visit highlights>>here ) and enjoyed some family fun at the only attraction in DC where you can see all 45 US Presidents, Madame Tussauds DC!

Although my agenda mostly involved being in DC, I opted for our lodging to be in VA, which is just a 4 hr roadtrip from NC. Since hubby and our 8 yr old daughter were with me, the hotel of choice had to be somewhere comfy, clean(..of course!), in a convenient location, and with a free breakfast to fuel our fun days exploring Washington,DC. So, we decided to return to a hotel property that was featured in my Family Travel Guide to Arlington, VA, which is the Hyatt Place Arlington/Courthouse. Although our last stay was in 2017, my hope was that everything that was excellent then had remained the same in 2019. Indeed it was!

Here are my Top 3 Reasons to Travel to DC and Stay in VA at Hyatt Place Arlington/Courthouse Plaza!

1. PROXIMITY

Less than 4 miles from the National Mall, The Hyatt Place Arlington/Courthouse Plaza has all the advantages of staying in Washington DC with non of the cons like traffic, noise and lack of parking. A short drive on 66 East brings you straight to the Capital. Visitors often name traffic and congestion as their main gripes when finding a lodging, this property has neither. After 6pm Arlington reverts to a mostly residential area devoid of tour buses and tourist traps.

2. PRICE


Hotels in Arlington are on average almost 25% less per night than staying in Washington D.C. proper. Snag a great price being a World Of Hyatt member. This allows them to offer you exclusive member rates and discounts over the normal rack rate.

3. PERKS

The Hyatt Place Brand means casual comfort and smart places to work and play. This property does both very well. Large modern guest suites come with a sofabed and endless television choices. They also have a USB connector island for today’s multi-device charging needs. This Hyatt Place also has a business center and a 24 hour fitness center.


Their morning breakfast has quickly become legendary. Rotating daily choices of farm fresh eggs, steel cut oatmeal and all natural bacon just to name a few. Become a World Of Hyatt Member and the breakfast is complimentary.

Whether you are visiting Arlington, VA or planning a next trip to Washington DC, I recommend this property for all the reasons listed here. There are a variety of restaurants/bars within walking distance and we enjoyed the cozy comforts of this hotel especially after a day of sightseeing in our nation’s capital.

HYATT PLACE ARLINGTON/COURTHOUSE PLAZA

2401 Wilson BoulevardArlington, VA 22201

Arlington, VA 22201

http://arlingtoncourthouseplaza.place.hyatt.com

Event Recap | 10th Annual Chesapeake Crab, Wine & Beer Festival at National Harbor @drinkeatrelax

On Saturday, August 24, 2019, SobeSavvy.com joined over 35,000 people at the 10th Annual Chesapeake Crab, Wine & Beer Festival at National Harbor, MD. featuring live music, food, and “all you can taste” crab, beer and wine. Because I was born and raised in Baltimore, MD., I am a Maryland Blue Crabs lover. I like them hot,fresh,steamed & seasoned and this event by Drink.Eat.Relax serves them up just the way I like it!

If you’ve never been to the Chesapeake Crab,Wine,Beer Festival, here is what you can expect at either of the two ticketed four-hour sessions [ 11am-3pm or 5pm-9pm] :

Summertime fun for everyone!

Over 30 beers and wines and a few spirits.

A souvenir BEER MUG

ALL YOU CARE TO TASTE CRABS. Enjoy all the crabs you can handle during the four hours of the show. Both female/male crabs were served and varied in size from medium to large and will be offered at 6 crabs at a time, per person.

Other GREAT FOOD options as well available for purchase. There are no vegetarian options available.

A LA CARTE CRABS option will be SOLD 6 CRABS (1/2 dozen) AT A TIME PER PERSON FOR TBD (while supplies last)

LIVE MUSIC. Enjoy fun summer sounds from area bands.

THOUSANDS OF TABLES AND CHAIRS AND HUGE TENTS for crackin’ to your heart’s content. They even ordered enough crab paper to stretch all the way across the Harbor and back.

👀WATCH my YOUTUBE video to see more recap highlights from this wonderful event! ⤵️

Follow @drinkeatrelax for future event details and information!

Thank you for reading and I hope you are inspired to go next summer!

Recap of #TheLionKing Family Party at @AlamoRaleigh + Alamo Kids Camp August 2019 Lineup @alamodrafthouse

One of our favorite family fun activities is going to the movies. So when we learned that Alamo Drafthouse Cinema in Raleigh was hosting a family party for THE LION KING, we could not wait to go on this family movie date to see my all-time favorite Disney Movie! If you asked my husband he would tell you how I watched it all day, every day, 3 times a day with my daughter when she was born. Prior to her being born, I have always loved the movie but becoming a mother to my own cub (we are both Leos/team August babies) gave me my own circle of life moment. I even gave her a Lion King themed birthday party when she turned 3 and she stll loves her Simba plush doll that she got as a gift back then. Now she is almost 8 and we could not wait to celebrate with Alamo Drafthouse.

Hakuna Matata 🦁 Y'all ! My #HeighPartyof3 ..Then (2014) & Now (2019) at The Lion Kiing Family Party at Alamo Drafthouse Raleigh

Hakuna Matata 🦁 Y’all! #HeighPartyof3 Then (2014) & Now (2019) at The Lion King Family Party at Alamo Drafthouse Raleigh

Family Party |The Lion King

What is a “family party”? It’s a fun and super-unique way for kids to partake in games/activities before seeing the movie. There was no better way as a family to celebrate the biggest Disney live-action remake than with Alamo, where you can enjoy dining while watching the movie in the comfort of your seat. The party begins at 9:45am in the Video Vortex lobby, with screening at 10:30am. They had a karaoke setup along with some arts and crafts stations. I enjoyed getting on the mic and singing “Hakuna Matata” and my daughter loved decorating a crown for her King Dad. The party was such a fun experience and we enjoyed The Lion King movie! Check out my photos I shared on Facebook>>here and Instagram ⤵️ to see some of what we did at the party, plus follow on Facebook facebook.com/AlamoDrafthouse to see when the next #AlamoParty event is in your city!

https://www.instagram.com/p/B0JG_V7BW1n/?igshid=qa5k0b6oa8vu

Alamo Kids Camp

Alamo Kids Camp

Alamo Kids Camp | Photos provided by Alamo Drafthouse

Did you know that during the summer, Alamo is hosting Alamo Kids Camp, where families can choose the price they pay to see their favorite family-friendly films on the big screen and give back to the local community all at the same time! Guests choose their ticket price of $1, $3 or $5, with all of the ticket sales donated to local nonprofits designated by each Alamo Drafthouse location. Since 2015, the Alamo Kids Camp program has sent nearly $500,000 back into local communities, with more than $150,000 raised last summer alone!

Alamo Kids Camp movies are shown daily, Monday through Friday, during matinee hours. Most Alamo Kids Camp screenings are for kids ages 3 and up, but some locations are All Ages. Check drafthouse.com/family for all things #AlamoFamily – local policies, full Alamo Kids Camp schedules, fun activities, and more!
ALAMO KIDS CAMP Summer 2019 Lineup for August

THE GREAT MUPPET CAPER
CASPER
THE LEGO MOVIE
TEEN TITANS GO! TO THE MOVIES
🎉 More August fun at Alamo Drafthouse….
THE IRON GIANT Movie Party
Per Alamo: “This is one of the greatest movies ever made, and you’ve gotta come to this interactive 20th anniversary celebration.

ALAMO KIDS CLUB

In addition to Alamo Kids Camp, kids between the ages of 3 and 13 can join Alamo Kids Club. Members of Alamo Kids Club receive a sticker each time they see a film at Alamo Drafthouse and earn prizes such as free snacks, plush toys, and more as they collect more stickers. To join, visit the theater box office or ask a server for an Alamo Kids Club prize book. Then visit drafthouse.com/family to register the book.

Here are more ways to stay in the know and get info about Alamo Drafthouse, follow:
Alamo Family drafthouse.com/familyGo for yourself and see why Alamo was voted:

“One of the 10 Best Theaters in the World” – CNN International
“Coolest Movie Theater in the World” – Wired.com

“Best Theater in America” – Entertainment Weekly

#outandaboutAva and her Mom, Leslie of SobeSavvy.com

Thanks again to our friends at Alamo Drafthouse Raleigh for hosting me and my #HeighPartyof3 family+ baby Simba on behalf of SobeSavvy.com!

CONNECT WITH ME
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Have you ever been to the movies with or without kids at Alamo Drafthouse? What movie from the Kids Camp lineup would you go see in August? Let me know in the comments below!

Opening Night Review | ANNIE @nctheatre #NCTAnnie

Opening Night Review |  ANNIE @nctheatre #NCTAnnie

Opening Night Review | ANNIE @nctheatre #NCTAnnie | SobeSavvy.com

On July 23, 2019, I joined NC Theatre for their season finale of ANNIE, running July 23-28 at Duke Energy Center for the Performing Arts in Raleigh, NC. My daughter shared the news and her excitement on Instagram:

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Hey Y'all..it's @outandaboutava with SobeSavvy.com I am so excited to go to the opening night of ANNIE presented by @nctheatre at @decraleigh ! Annie will be showing from July 23-28 in #Raleigh. Want Tickets? Go to nctheatre.com for details and stay tuned for @sobesavvy 's #theatrereview for #NCTAnnie 💕~ See you soon! . .WHAT'S YOUR FAVORITE SONG FROM ANNIE? ***[ "Tomorrow" is ours, let us know yours in the comment below!! ]*** . #outandaboutAva #SobeSavvy #soNCsavvy #nctheatre #annie #performingarts #theatre #openingnight #decraleigh #thingstodoinRaleigh #Raleighkids #Raleighmoms #kidinfluencer #browngirlblogger #brownskingirl #Raleighmomblogger #igkids #familyfun #momblogger #lifestyleblogger #ncblogger #raleighblogger #avadorable #almost8 #blackgirljoy #girlmom

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Needless to say, we are ANNIE fans! We have watched both the movies and sang all of the songs but had never seen this beloved musical on stage before. Fun Fact: Did you know the movie and musical ANNIE is based on Harold Gray’s popular comic Little Orphan Annie?

Harold Gray’s popular comic Little Orphan Annie

Harold Gray’s popular comic Little Orphan Annie | NCTheatre.com

For those of you who may not be familiar with ANNIE, here is the description of this musical:

Molly ( played by Emily Jewel Hoder) & Annie ( played by Alexa LaSanta) | production photo provided by NC Theatre

Molly ( played by Emily Jewel Hoder) & Annie ( played by Alexa LaSanta) | production photo provided by NC Theatre

With equal measures of pluck and positivity, little orphan Annie charms everyone’s hearts despite a next-to-nothing start in 1930s New York City. She is determined to find the parents who abandoned her years ago on the doorstep of a New York City Orphanage that is run by the cruel, embittered Miss Hannigan.

Hannigan ( played by Karen Ziemba) +

Miss Hannigan ( played by Karen Ziemba) + “Little Girls” | production photo provided by NC Theatre

With the help of the other girls in the Orphanage, Annie escapes to the wondrous world of NYC. In adventure after fun-filled adventure, Annie foils Miss Hannigan’s evil schemes, befriends President Franklin Delano Roosevelt, and finds a new home and family in billionaire, Oliver Warbucks.

Annie ( played by Alexa LaSanta)  & Oliver Warbucks ( played by John Eric Parker) | production photo provided by NC Theatre

Annie ( played by Alexa LaSanta) & Oliver Warbucks ( played by John Eric Parker) | production photo provided by NC Theatre

Opening night of NC Theatre’s season-ending production of ANNIE was a SMASH HIT! From the live orchestra, the star-studded cast (especially the young and talented orphans who sang and danced their way into our hearts), to the adorable Broadway pup who played Sandy, this is a musical the whole family would enjoy! In fact, my daughters favorite moments involved Sandy since she loves dogs so much.

ANNIE will feature an adorable Broadway pup as Sandy

Have you heard? NC Theatre’s production of ANNIE will feature an adorable Broadway pup as Sandy! | NCtheatre.com

We had great (and comfortable) seats inside of the Duke Energy Center for the Performing Arts and no worries for the younger theatre goers as they do provide booster seats. My daughter, who is almost 8, was happy to see so much “girl power” on stage from the wonderful mix of young girl actors. I appreciated the diverse cast and representation of talent showcased in this production. The set designs were spectacular and provided the perfect backdrops of everything from the streets of NYC to Daddy Warbucks’ mansion on Fifth Avenue. Elaborate choreography was on on display that had us all in awe. The entire cast was amazing and we all song along to all the familiar songs like “Tomorrow”, “It’s a Hard Knock Life”, “Easy Street” and many more! This play was paced very nicely and never slowed down much throughout both sets between intermission. It was a magical night watching a magical timeless story.

Me and my #HeighPartyof3 enjoyed opening night of ANNIE

**SobeSavvy Tip: College students get an exclusive discount! Enjoy $25 tickets with a valid college ID to our season ending production. Learn more and get your tickets>> here

ANNIE will be showing from July 23-28 in Raleigh for 8 performances only! WANT TICKETS? Go to nctheatre.com for details and follow on IG @nctheatre #NCTAnnie !

WHAT’S YOUR FAVORITE SONG FROM ANNIE? ***[ “Tomorrow” is ours, let us know yours in the comment below!! ]***

Thanks for reading and supporting the arts!

Summer Fun Day Trip Itinerary for Families Visiting #WilmingtonNC River District & Island Beaches @wilmingtoNCoast

Living in Miami for almost 20 years meant falling in love with the ocean and the beach. So for Fathers Day I thought it would be great to take my husband and our daughter for a Sunday Funday in Wilmington River District & Island Beaches for Fathers Day.

Depart Raleigh, NC | 9:00 am

Beach chairs ? check. Towels and cold water? check. Beach snack? check. Gas tank full and we were off. A quick 2 hour straight drive on I-40 East puts most Triangle residents in downtown Wilmington. Another great thing about the ride is it cuts thru farm country and there are many opportunities to pull of the highway to a farmers produce stand and pick up some ripe plums, peaches or berries to snack on! The beauty of a day trip is that you really don’t have to pack or plan much. Just get up and go!

Arrive Wilmington,NC| 11:00 am

We headed to the Wilmington riverbooth information center on Riverwalk at the foot of Market Street to pick up maps, guides, coupons and more from the Wilmington and Beaches Convention & Visitors Bureau. They have 2 locations conveniently downtown.

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WHERE is your fave destination to take a Day Trip? For a memorable family getaway from Raleigh, NC, we ❤ Wilmington's River District & Island Beaches. @wilmingtoncoast Besides being an easy, 2 hr + drive, it is a cool place that has historic Southern charm and a beach life vibe! ————————– We have been coming here at least once a year ever since our daughter was 4, but not matter how many times we visit, it is always a good idea to stop by to see what's new and get information on fun things to do at The Riverfront Booth, which is located at the foot of Market Street and Water Street and operates on a seasonal schedule; daily, 9:30am-5pm (June-Aug.). ————– Watch for highlights from our fun day on my instastories exploring #WilmingtonNC, enjoying the walkable River District, visiting @ncaquariumff 🐠, playing on Pleasure Island [Kure/Carolina Beach], dining at @michaelsseafood and more! Plus stay tuned for my #familyfun #DayTrip itinerary on the blog, SobeSavvy.com! #visitNC #exploreNC

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Stroll River District | 12 pm

We spent some time strolling and window shopping in the historic River district. They have everything from vintage clothing boutiques, restaurants and we particularly enjoyed a little Italian food store. As is tradition we took a pic of our little girl by the fabulous fountain! It was Sunday so the Artisan street market was in full swing. Local vendors and artists had booths with unique art and gifts for sale.

Lunch Downtown Historic Wilmington| 1 pm
Strolling had us all hungry but we also wanted to make our way to the beaches. We ended up at this great spot called The Reel Cafe. They let us order some fish and chips to go. It was plenty for us all to snack on during the quick drive to the beaches.

Visit NC Aquarium at Fort Fisher | 1:30 pm

Who doesn’t love an aquarium? Not just any aquarium but the famous NC Aquarium at Fort Fisher. This world class aquarium is adjacent to the beach so after exploring all of the wonders of the natural oceans we strolled took a dip in one !! From Albino alligators and a majestic Bald Eagle, this aquarium allows visitors to experience the wild close up. Sharks and giant groupers can be right around the next turn! My daughter loves the hands on areas where she can touch horse shoe crabs and real stingrays. How exciting! They have a cute outdoor patio cafe and kids play area. This aquarium also gives visitors some outdoor experiences. Behind the main building is their now famous Lorikeet Landing habitat. You can walk inside with pre made nectar for purchase and the happy Lorikeets will actually land directly on you and eat from your hand. Some can be a little aggressive so I laid my nectar on the ground for them to feast. Make this a must do activity on your trip to this wonderful facility.

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#Didyouknow…#June is #NationalAquariumMonth & #nationaloceanmonth? Celebrate both at @ncaquariumff #ncaquariumff and have fun going on an under the sea adventure at this landmark attraction, which was named TOP 20 U.S AQUARIUMS by @tripadvisor + BEST AQUARIUMS in the US by @travelchannel .com ———- Located at the southern tip of @kurebeachnc , the North Carolina Aquarium at Fort Fisher is just a short drive south from @wilmingtoncoast and aprox 2.5 hrs away from #RaleighNC, making it an ideal place for families to visit for a day trip & it is right next to the beach! ——- Some must see highlights are: ▪Luna, the albino alligator ▪Touch/Feel stations ▪Adventure Reef, an outdoor interactive play area for kids ▪Visit the Lorikeet Landing exhibit and feed them too! …and over 2,500 animals to see and have fun learning about! ——- No matter how many times we visit, there are always new and fun discoveries! 🐠 . . . #SobeSavvy #soTravelsavvy #soNCsavvy #NCblogger #LifestyleBlogger #FamilyBlogger #TravelBlogger #tuesdaytip #traveltuesday #familyfun #aquarium #daytrip #summertravel #daytripideas #WilmingtonNC #KureBeach #attraction #landmarks

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Play at Kure Beach | 2:30 pm
Kure beach is a local favorite. There are many beaches to choose from along this portion of the coast and each has their own different flavors. Kure beach lets dogs get their chance at a ocean dip so my daughter {who is a big dog lover} was delighted at the happy hounds. The surf was not too strong so we did some body surfing and playing with the incoming tides. A great couple of hours just relaxing enjoying the ocean.

Explore Carolina Beach Boardwalk|4:30 pm
Next up was Carolina Beach Boardwalk. This beach has some traditional carnival like rides and small roller coasters. It reminded me of a small Coney Island. Pizza and ice cream shops were everywhere. When you visit the Boardwalk make a beeline to the world famous Britt’s Donut Shop. This is siimply the lightest most delicious glazed donut ever. They only make one kind so don’t worry about having a problem choosing one! Made fresh on premise and dropped still steaming warm in your bag. Simply the best. After all the eating, we wanted to work off some calories so we hit up Wheel Fun Rentals. We rented a fun double pedal bike and went off on a self guided tour of the area. Great exercise and a wonderful way to see more of the area.

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For Family Friendly Fun at the beach..head to Carolina Beach Boardwalk >@carolinabeachnc ! During our Day Trip to @wilmingtoncoast , we stopped by the award-winning boardwalk which features: amusement rides in the summer, sweets and eats from Beach Bunny Ice Cream @beachbunnyicecreamcoffee + Frank's Pizza @frankspizzacbnc and Britts Donut Shop @brittsdonutscb @brittsdonuts . Lastly, we rented a surrey bike from Wheel Fun Rentals @wheelfunrentalsofficial which allowed us to work off all that good eating, have a fun, unique bike riding experience together and see more sights around CB Lake Park! • What is your fave thing to do at #CarolinaBeachBoardwalk ? ————– Stay tuned for full Day Trip to Wilmington, NC Historic River District & Island Beaches coming soon, on the blog SobeSavvy.com

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Dine at Michael’s Seafood Restaurant in Carolina Beach | 6:00 pm
No trip to Wilmington and the Beaches would be complete until we have a early dinner at Michaels. This venerable seafood restaurant never dissapoints. The chowder is amazing. A bowl is never enough! The main even was the seafood platter. Crab legs, shrimp, corn and mussels oh my! As always the service was great as was the food and drinks. We love this place. Make sure you make this your place too.

Depart Wilmington,NC| 7:30pm

On our way back to 40-W, I heard ” I want Pelicans” from the back seat. Pelicans is our favorite snoball/snowcone spot back in the triangle so we were happy to see them in Wilmington. We grabbed 3 of them for the road. A sweet ending to a sweet day in Wilmington & The Beaches.

For more info on the happenings in Wilmington and Beaches go to www.wilmingtonandbeaches.com

#FamilyTRAVEL | Where to Stay in ATL,GA – Loews Atlanta @Loews_Hotels #LoewsLovesFamilies + Family Road Trip Package

This past weekend my family took a road trip to Atlanta from our home in Raleigh. After a 6 hour drive, we were happy to have the comforts of luxury accomodations at the Loews Atlanta Hotel. I was in town working as media to cover the Atlanta Food and Wine Festival, and Loews Atlanta Hotel was the official host hotel for the event! It had been about 3 years since our last stay at Loews Atlanta, so returning here felt familiar yet still inviting.

Located in the heart of Midtown, this sleek, modern 26-story tower offers 414 guest rooms and 44 suites, more than 40,000 square feet of meeting space, the state-of-the art exhale Spa & Fitness Center and on-site restaurant, Saltwood Charcuterie & Bar (which I will share more delicious details later in this post). Besides these wonderful amenities, there are 2 more reasons why families should stay at Loews this summer: Loews Loves Families program and the Family Road Trip package.

Loews Loves Families

The launch of the new “Loews Loves Families” program focuses on kids of all ages, from infants to teens. For the last two decades, The Loews Hotels brand is known for catering to children but now has revamped their program to elevate the experience for the entire family. The “Loews Loves Families” will focus on the three pillars of Comfort, Imagination, and Exploration, aiming to provide engaging experiences that can be shared among different generations. It can now be enjoyed in the Southeast at Loews Atlanta, Loews Vanderbilt (Nashville) and Loews New Orleans Hotels.

Check out this video to see how Loews Loves Families here⤵️
https://bcove.video/2W23tEe

One of the program perks in Atlanta was Milk & Cookies as a special welcome amenity when kids arrive at their hotel. This undoubtedly was a sweet way to be welcomed to Loews Atlanta.

Family Road Trip Package

Starting from today until September, 30, 2019 families can save money when they book a stay and experience the Family Road Trip package. When you stay 3 or more nights, you get:

•Complimentary parking
•Free breakfast for up to 2 kids
•$30 food and beverage credit per stay
•2nd guest room at 50 percent off

My husband appreciated the convenience of complimentary parking and valet especially after our road trip!

We were met at the driveway by the valet and bell hop who promptly took our luggage and showed us to registration. Check in was efficient and we were warmly welcomed. We stayed in a Premium Double type room on the 17th floor. Looking out of the floor-to-ceiling windows at the gorgeous views of Midtown Atlanta was something we all enjoyed!

Modern, and stylish is how I would describe our room. It had ample seating areas and a spacious bathroom with both stand alone shower and tub with a tv in there as well. I had a fun yet busy day at The Atlanta Food & Wine Festival, so it was very nice to come back, wrap myself in a cozy Loews robe and relax in a comfortable room such as this. Watch my brief room reveal video to see for yourself! ⤵️

Saltwood Charcuterie & Bar

After a wonderful night in their comfortable beds, all three of us were ready to enjoy breakfast at their restaurant, Saltwood Charcuterie & Bar. They have a Saturday & Sunday brunch that is amazing! Order a la carte from the menu or for $30, the unlimited buffet option has so many tasty choices including made to order omelets, salad bar, assorted pastries, carving station and more!

While I got a little bit of everything off of their brunch buffet, the little one chose pancakes and fruit + whipped cream from their kids menu. Crayons were given as well which always are a great idea to encourage kid’s creativity.

Hubby ordered a la carte off the breakfast menu and went with the Saltwood Burger. We all were drooling when it arrived to the table hot, fresh and topped with an egg. So yummy! No matter if you want something sweet or savory for breakfast, brunch lunch or dinner, Saltwood Charcuterie & Bar at Loews Atlanta hotel offers locally-inspired food for everyone!

For reservations or more information about Loews Hotels, call 1-800-23-LOEWS or visit: www.loewshotels.com.

Like Loews Hotels on Facebook: www.facebook.com/LoewsHotels

Follow Loews Hotels on Twitter: www.twitter.com/loews_hotels

Watch Loews Hotels on YouTube: www.youtube.com/LoewsHotels

Read our Wish You Were Here Blog at www.loewshotelsblog.com

Thanks again to our friends at Loews Hotel Atlanta for hosting me and my family! Your hospitality and committment to quality service will have my #HeighPartyof3 coming back again & again. Until next time…..

Jumpstart summer family travel and celebrate #LoewsLovesFamilies | photo credit: SobeSavvy.com

Where are you planning to travel this summer? Have you ever stayed at Loews Atlanta, Loews Vanderbilt or Loews New Orleans before? Let me know in the comments below ❤


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Event Recap |9th Annual @ATLFoodandWine Festival #AFWF19 @Old4thWardPark #LoewsAtlanta #KnowTheSouth

Food and Wine, Wine and Food. Has there ever been two things that go together better? If you think the answer is no, than take a look at The Atlanta Food and Wine Festival, now in it’s 9th year, the festival is an ode to southern cooking and libations. It took place this past weekend, May 30-June 2, 2019, at the Loews Atlanta Hotel in Midtown and at the Historic Old 4th Ward Park.

👀 TAKE A LOOK at their preview video⤵️

This festival truly has it all… from special dinner presentations, informative learning seminars and the epic tasting tents where you can indulge in an all you can taste experience! The Midtown community of Atlanta served as the perfect backdrop for the festivities and the mother nature gave us all beautiful weather to enjoy ourselves at the festival! The event was well organized and put together with such detail and care that it really felt like a fun, family affair!

OFFICIAL HOTEL | LOEWS ATLANTA

One of the many unique features of this world class festival is the fact that the vast majority of events take place all under the roof of the gorgeous Loews Atlanta Hotel in Midtown. This was the official host hotel and the festival basically does a weekend takeover. All of the event rooms, spaces and lounges are occupied by various tasty seminars, beverage mixing classes and much more. We made the Loews our base camp for the weekend and it was the best decision ever. *Stay tuned for our review of our stay at the Loews Atlanta Hotel soon!

TASTING TENTS | HISTORIC OLD 4TH WARD PARK

The tents were located at a new location at Historic Old Fourth Ward Park, which is adjacent to the Ponce City Market Food Hall and the Beltline. Crowds arrived early and stayed until closing. They came to eat, drink, explore the south and party! Guests got to enjoy live music, a DJ, fun photo booths, and gift swag. The thoughtfully curated Tasting Tents allowed guests to take a culinary road trip through the South and discover new food/beverages to enjoy.

FOOD | #PNCBestoftheFest

When guests arrived at the Tasting Tents, they received a tasting glass and a chip to vote for their favorite bite (or sip) at the festival. The entire food lineup was impressive, so it was really hard to chose just one! Oysters on the half shell and lobster rolls were my favorite seafood choices. Hot chicken sliders were amazing as were the prime rib tacos. The Visit Mississippi tent had an amazing beef and mushroom burger topped with a fried oyster. It was so good! I also loved the fresh tuna from the Visit Aruba exhibitor. There also were dessert options to satisfy your sweet tooth. With so many delicious choices, both regional and global to try, the festival is designed to take your tastebuds on an epicurean journey.

LIBATIONS | Wine, Spirits, Beer, etc.

Cheers to the Atlanta Food &Wine Festival for having libations of every sensation: Bourbon, Vodka, Gin, Whisky, Tequila, Beer, and Wine for all to enjoy! Guests who have chosen not to consume alcohol could still enjoy creative drinks thanks to The Mocktail Project, which celebrates and allows an inclusive drinking culture. There also was an effort to support sustainability by using AARDVARK paper straws!

Some of my favorite sips were from Bedlam Vodka and Knob Creek, who not only served craft cocktails but both had great vendor setups. Bedlam had a lounge and Knob Creek were actually “smoking” their Old Fashion cocktail. We even got to witness how the smoke was infused with the drink! (I captured a snippet of the process for you and uploaded in my YouTube video below). Every varietal of wine was on hand from whites to reds and of course rosé were available to enjoy each festival day!

LEARNING EXPERIENCES

More than 50 learning experiences, dinners and events were offered by #AFWF19 for guests to get Off the Eaten Path and get to #KnowtheSouth. Dozens of food and drink topics were covered at the Loews Atlanta Hotel, where guests could choose between which hour long seminar to attend throughout the weekend. I attended the Cast Iron Chronicles: Evolution Of Soul Food sponsored by Butter Pat Industries and presented by Tiffanie Barriere[@thedrinkingcoach], Jennifer Hill Booker, and Deborah Vantrece.

These three women not only educated guests on the true history of soul food but also prepared communal dishes for us in the ‘smooth’ cast iron pan from Butter Pat Industries. Did you know that the seed of black eyed peas were smuggled from Africa by slaves who then grew them here and from that a dish called “Hopping John” was born?! We got to try an updated and elevation version of that dish. The Chefs reminded us that soul food is more than grease and gravy and should be celebrated! We also were served two cocktails ( one was rum based, the other is named Cab Calloway made with sherry) and as a bonus, we got to try some of the best peach cobbler I ever had!

I also enjoyed The Other Cuts sponsored by Big Green Egg, which was held on the beautiful outdoor terrace at Loews. Chefs served samples of lesser known meat cuts from Porter Road, a meat delivery service, and how to best grill them for maximum flavor and tenderness. There were so many other interesting seminars but alas I could only be in one place at a time. Where was my clone when I needed her?!

👀 WATCH my video recap of The Ninth Annual Atlanta Food & Wine Festival below and hope to see you there next year MAY 28-MAY 31, 2020!! Follow @atlfoodandwine for details

🎉🎉🎉🎉CONGRATS to Chef Kristian Wade of Beau Rivage Resort & Casino as this year’s winner of the #PNCBestoftheFest competition! The ‘Landmass Burger’ satisfies both burger fans & seafood lovers with it’s combination of beef + fried oyster!


The 9th Annual Atlanta Food & Wine Festival took my tastebuds on a fun, foodie journey that I will never forget! I got to sip & savor, discover amazing flavors, and taste cuisine from the South and beyond. I also enjoyed the education received from culinary talent and the celebration of community during the entire weekend. Can’t wait until next year!

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