I am happy to announce that I will be hosting a panel at Ichibancon in Concord, NC on January 12th, 2019. The convention is held at the Embassy Suites Hotel Concord from January 10th through the 13th. My panel will start Saturday at 10 a.m. in the Events 2 room. I will cover Japan travel tips, planning basics, fun facts, and a sushi etiquette crash course. The full convention schedule can be found here. If you plan to attend the convention and would like to meet up, send me a message. I plan to be a Ichibancon most of Saturday wearing my full kimono outfit.
Get Some Game is a locally owned and operated collectibles store and Esports center located at 1224 Commercial Avenue. They offer a large selection of board games, card games, collectibles, figurines, models, and much more. In addition, they have two large play spaces for games such as Magic: The Gathering, Yu-Gi-Oh! Trading Card Game, Cardfight! Vanguard, and Dungeons & Dragons. If tabletop gaming is not of interest to you, there are a number of other options available for entertainment. GSG has a few arcade games, a VR (virtual reality) room, and the newly opened Esports gaming room. Their Esports gaming room houses 12 computers where two teams of up to 6 players can battle each other. Popular Esports games include Fortnite, League of Legends, and Dota 2. Customers can rent the space for birthday parties, overnight events, or by the hour. Various rental rates are offered for the VR equipment and PC gaming computers.
As you walk in the front door of GSG, the room to your left is full of tables and arcade machines. This room is primarily used for non-Magic: The Gathering trading card games, board games, and Dungeons & Dragons. Often, you will find people playing Yu-Gi-Oh! or participating in a Dungeons & Dragons campaign.
Heading to the right-side room from the front door takes you to the second gaming room. This room contains tables primarily used for Magic: The Gathering along with a counter to make purchases. The television on the wall often shows gaming and sports events. There is a coffee shop called Comic Girl Coffee located adjacent to the game room. They sell a variety of beverages and small bites.
GSG hosts a multitude of weekly and monthly events for various trading card and tabletop games. Their schedule of events and hours can be found on their website. GSG often participates as a vendor at comic and Japanese culture conventions around the state. Stop by the store or vendor booth to see what GSG has to offer.
Bistro La Bon is a Modern European restaurant located in the Plaza Midwood neighborhood of Charlotte, NC. A second location is opening soon in the Cotswold Village Shopping Center. Bistro's menu offers an array of small plates and signature dishes that are sure to delight. Gluten free and vegetarian options are available for anyone with dietary restrictions. Brunch is available on the weekends with slight differences between Saturday and Sunday. Saturday's menu offers brunch favorites you would expect to see. However, Sunday is a fantastic brunch buffet containing meats, pastries, fruit, and other great options. In addition to food, Bistro offers a large wine menu and other alcoholic beverages for any occasion.
I recently went to Bistro with my wife and a few friends for the Thursday wine special. We ordered a variety of small plates and signature dishes to share. The Seafood Mac & Cheese, Madras Mussels, and Lamb Kofta were some of the group's favorites. I also ordered the Hickory Nut Gap Port Belly that was quite tasty. For anyone dining at Bistro for the first time, I would recommend ordering multiple small plates to try more of the menu options.
My wife, friends, and I had an enjoyable evening at Bistro. Gino, our server, was fantastic and fulfilled all of our requests quickly. The General Manager, Miguel, is an outstanding gentleman and stopped by our table to say hello. I would recommend Bistro for a girls' night out, date night, dinner with the friends, or brunch gathering.
Many people in the United States decorate for the Christmas holiday. Some families start the day after Thanksgiving by picking up a Christmas tree or purchasing decorations. This year, my wife and I started Thanksgiving weekend by picking out a tree. We visited Simpson & Family N.C. Christmas Trees on Sharon Road across from Homewood Suites. They sell North Carolina grown Fraser Fir trees along with stands, bows, and garland. We liked the idea of supporting a family business in our state. My wife purchased 10 yards of Fraser Fir garland in addition to the tree and stand. The gentleman helping us put the stand on the tree and secured it to the roof of our automobile. The whole experience was very pleasant and we will definitely return next year.
Acquiring a real or fake tree is only the beginning of decorating for Christmas. Putting up stockings, hanging lights, and decorating a tree are all part of the process. My wife wanted to decorate for Christmas in a big way. We enlisted the help of our friend and experienced Christmas decorator, Kevin. After a successful trip to Michaels, Kevin and my wife were ready to bring holiday cheer into the home.
Kevin's skills with wiring and ribbon transformed our tree into a work of art. Gold leaves, pine cones, holiday ribbon, and beautiful ornaments encompassed our North Carolinian tree. After putting the finishing touches on the top of the tree, Kevin beautified the Fraser fur garland. The mantle that typically holds our gallery wall was turned into a Christmas landscape. We are very thankful for Kevin's help in transforming our home for the holiday season.
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