While growing up, we are in school. But there are still memories not even connected to school at all. Below I will list non-school memories that happened when I was a student at Fletcher and Gardner Webb.
Fletcher: 6th-12th Grade
New York City- in August 2006, my mom and I went to New York City alone. That was the special thing about it. We went to the Central Park Zoo, The Balto Statue, Natural History Museum, American Girl, Hershey’s, and Broadway. That was my first experience seeing a show on Broadway: part of why Wicked means a lot to me.
Alaska- In Summer 2011, I went with my extended family to Alaska through Tauck Bridges. Think of it as a cruise, but instead of a boat, a bus instead. From panning for Gold, meeting sled dogs, hiking, geocaching, Glacier Cruise, etc… all made Alaska such a special trip.
Sea World/Disney- one time during Spring Break in Florida, just out of the blue my family decided to go to Sea World and Disney World. At Disney, my family spent time at Epcot- best part was the ride, Soarin’. That ride made you smell things like oranges, you felt like you could touch the water- it was like you were flying in some way.
Montreat- This place is similar to Kanuga- a conference center as well. One summer, one of my next door neighbors invited me to spend time at Montreat. I made some pottery- two breakfast plates, a bowl, and a cup.
Kanuga- so much can be said about this Episcopalian Conference Center, which is in Hendersonville. In the years at Fletcher, my family went up to Kanuga for both Parish Weekends and Thanksgiving. In addition, I attended Winterlight, a high school youth conference from Dec. 27th – Jan 1st. That event gives high school students a break from the stresses of high school. Singing three times a day, dorky dances, a service project, a banquet, and a New Years’ Dance. Winterlight was when I really truly fell in love with Contemporary Christian music.
Mamma Mia- I first fell in love with the musical through the movie. What was interesting is that I first fell in love with this musical in 2008, and saw the stage show a year later.
Gardner Webb: Spring 2015-Summer 2018
Chicago- well it really was five years ago. Summer of 2015 was a pretty exciting year. I wanted to go to Chicago since elementary school (I believe). This was another extended family trip. The Bean to The Art Institute to Pizza are some of the things I did on that trip. I actually am thinking that Lizzy will somehow make it to Chicago.
Bristol Pilgrimage- there is so much more to be said about the importance of this pilgrimage. My family left Charlotte for London on July 28th, 2015- which was two days early. From Les Mis to three castles to Stonehenge to Bath to 10 church services to the fellowship to the looking for Shaun the Sheep to fallen love with Bristol. Will have more on this pilgrimage later- as in closer to July 28th.
Pippin- Pippin was the first of two dates my mom and I had together in 2015. Pippin happened in May of 2015, which almost didn’t happen. When my mom bought tickets, she could only find one day with two seats together. Those seats just happened to be five rows back from the stage. This took place at Belk Theater- so Pippin almost did not get to exist in my life. Good thing my mom found tickets.
Newsies- my entire family and I saw Newsies August of 2016. I first discovered Newsies through Pandora. I only enjoyed the songs, but enough to want to see the stage show. Once I found out that the musical won best Choreography, I purposely did not look up at the dance. When I saw Newsies, I saw mind-blown by the dance. In addition, I really fell in love with Joey Barreiro, my first and favorite Jack Kelly. Joey was a dreamer, romantic, and innocent- literally I felt that innocence in both “Santa Fe” and “Something to Believe In”. In addition, I really saw the intimate and special bond found between Jack and Crutchie- Joey and Andy Richardson were incredible as those two: Jack and Crutchie are my favorite Newsies. Now, I love the songs more than ever.
Sound of Music- Sound of Music was the final musical in 2015. This was a girls night out in November. When I say girls night out, that means it was a theatre date with both my mom and sister. I become more vulnerable and emotional this time around, which made me love the musical even more.
Rent- I saw this musical September of 2017. It was a five year wait, but worth it. Seeing Rent live made me more vulnerable and emotional. Power of live theater. In terms of emotional wreck, Rent almost makes me just as emotional as I do in Les Mis: just one level down.
The memories below are other Charlotte memories.
Great Wolf Lodge- think of a hotel with an incredible waterpark and where parents can just relax and let their kids run free when playing MagiQuest. MagiQuest is basically a scavenger hunt where you buy a wand, and you select a quest, and by the booklet you are running up and down stairs to get to the next place: sometimes you have to get somewhere in 20 seconds. If you finish all quests and the hardest ones, you officially become a Magi. I have a sparkly pink wand, and finished the entire game. This happened summer of 2011.
Asheville: my family has gone up to Asheville a couple of times. Kiliwin Ice Cream, Malaprops, and love the artistic nature of Asheville. Malaprops is an independent bookstore I love- there is this blind date book section where books are wrapped up in brown paper with adjectives on them, and you choose a book based on the wrappings.
MacAdenville Lights- every couple of years, my family sees the beautiful Christmas lights in the town of Mcadenville. The same is true for Hillside- it is a road filled with lots of colorful balls: last year, my neighborhood did something similar, but with stars instead
There are some annual memories my family does. At one of our malls, there is a symphony band stand. Every year, outside, there is a Symphony in the Park. We sit with family and friends enjoying a picnic. Every week there is a theme: examples are movies, Star Wars, Broadway, and Celebrate America. That couldn’t happen this year thanks to the pandemic. The only place I have actually heard the Charlotte Symphony Orchestra is at Symphony in the Park.
Last, but not least, I will bring up graduation phots from both Fletcher and Gardner Webb. Graduated from Gardner with a Sociology Major and with a Spanish Cultural Studies Minor and Theater Minor. Never thought I would graduate university with two minors. There is a reason why GWU’s graduation hat is Les Mis-themed: for starters, a lot of students knew about my massive love for that musical. So, I decided for the bolder to be yellow and gray representing the tragic and inspiring part of that show. The words were harder, but eventually figured it out: I do have “A Heart Full of Love” for Gardner Webb- the blue and red represents France.