Mr. K's Soft Serve



Mecklenburg County has so much to offer, you can’t possibly cover it in one day or even two. The kids considered past trips when ranking. Cobey said the Whitewater Center was the only reason that the county made it to the top. Previously, we have been to NASCAR Hall of Fame, Raptor Center, Latta Plantation, Discover Place, and Rural Hill.  Our first stop was Mr. K’s Soft Serve which has been family owned since  1967. The kids both got ice cream which they said was good but not the best.  The place was very friendly and great atmosphere.  The rest of the menu looked good also.




The Mint MuseumFor the rest of the day we got to tour with the Browns which always makes exploring a county more fun.  The next stop was The Mint Museum on Randolph Road.   The museum has history of the mint in Charlotte, and a variety of art. Claire was very interested in the fashion exhibit and the conservation of the clothing items that was taking place.  They have many interesting decorative art pieces including wedgewood and pottery. We were all interested in the political pottery pieces.  Many of the galleries at activity bags to make the museum more interactive for kids and they also had an interactive room.  We really rushed through the museum and Claire wants to go back as soon as possible.

We then went to Brook’s Sandwich Shop for what is said to be the best burger in Charlotte. Brenda agreed that it was the best burger in Charlotte but Cobey said it was not the best burger in the state.  Claire had a BLT which she loved!


Charlotte Museum of HistoryWe then went to the Rosedale Plantation.  We had a great tour where we learned about the family that lived in the house and interesting features of the house. The last stop was the Charlotte Museum of History.  The museum is also home to the largest bell in the country. It is also home for the   1774 Hezekiah Alexander House who was a signer of the Mecklenburg Declaration of Independence. This is the largest surviving house in Charlotte. We toured the house, small garden, kitchen and springhouse.  We saw lamb’s ear in the garden which they used for toilet paper.  The museum also houses a large interactive display with a replica stone house and garden.  We ended the day with the First Annual Baby Bundle project hosted by Susan Tillis. These baby bundles go to new babies born at Fort Bragg for E4 families and below. It was a perfect ending to a wonderful day.

Baby Bundle Shower

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NC Museum of Art Camp 2012

Posted by Carmen Ledford on Saturday Jul 14, 2012 Under Art Museums, Claire, Homeschool, Kid's Corner


Claire went to a week of Art Camp at The North Carolina Museum of Art.  The theme of the week was Egyptian Art. She had a great week and wanted to get there first each day and stay as long as possible. She made pyramids, a sphinx, and cobras out of clay. She painted an Egyptian scene on papyrus. Her favorite project  was an adventure pouch that she sewed and painted.  The last day of  camp parents were invited to see an art show where each of the students displayed their work. Claire was also very excited to show her dad another piece she made a few weeks ago that is now on display at the museum. She made it at one of the museum’s Family Fun Saturdays. We toured the special traveling exhibit- El Anatsui- When I Last Wrote to You About Africa.  Claire and I really enjoyed the exhibit. He used a variety of medias and many pieces were made from trash. Claire created the sculpture piece from wood and metal scraps. It represents our Disney cruise with the four of us on the ship and the Statue of Liberty behind us. The Family Fun Saturdays are always great and I encourage you to go on their website and check them out. Their summer camps usually post in February and fill up fast so sign up early.

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Family Fun Saturday at NC Museum of Art

Posted by Carmen Ledford on Friday Dec 23, 2011 Under Art Museums, Claire, Homeschool, Kid's Corner

I am a little behind on my blog so I hope to catch up on a few things over the Christmas Break. I am actually not traveling for an entire month. I think it is my longest time at home all year. WHEW! I needed a break. Off topic, I learned the other day in Claire’s language arts lesson that words like whew, boom, zing, oink,  and pop are called onomatopoeia words. That was a new word for me. I don’t think they had that word when I was in school.

Well back on track,  Claire is my artist and  has been wanting to go to  the Family Fun Saturday at the art museum. Since we are actually in town, I thought it was a great opportunity. We ordered tickets online for only $3 per person for members. The topic was The Shape of Things. We first went to the gallery and  talked about several different pieces of art. She did a great job talking on the kids level. We then went to the studio were she went over some art vocabulary like geometric, opaque, translucent, etc. After our brief lessons and instructions we started our projects. We chose a picture of a famous piece of art and we made our own interpretation of the art using shapes. Claire had a great time! I highly recommend the class and hope it does not become so poplar that I can’t get in when we are in town.

If I don’t get to post again before Sunday! I hope you all have a VERY MERRY CHRISTMAS!!


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I really am being to love New England. I was having a great trip but I have really loved the past two days. Maine is so beautiful with the rocky coast and the mountains of New Hampshire and Vermont are breathtaking. We just happen to go past the longest covered bridge this morning. I had to stop for a photo.

Our first stop was at Saint-Gaudens National Historic Site. I gave them some choices and Claire wanted to go learn about the sculptor. This national park is excellent and in a beautiful setting. We started with the movie and Claire was excited to see that Saint-Gaudens had done the Shaw Monument that we had seen in Boston. I love when they make the connections.

The volunteer was not very positive about us finishing the Junior Ranger and although it was a longer one it was not impossible. The program is very well put together. It trains them to pay attention to detail.  There is also lot of sketching of things that they see. The kids would not have gotten near as much out of it without the program. If you are going, take the time and do the program so they can get something out of it and they get a cool patch at the end.

There is lots to see and do here. You can have a tour of his house and an art tour which we did not do. There are Horse Stables, Gardens, a studio, gallery, a working studio, and trails. I think we ended up spending three hours there without any tours. The kids sketched a lot and we did do a short trail which is beautiful!


After we finished there, we headed for Vermont. I could not believe how beautiful the drive was. I kept telling the kids to look out the window. Claire said she wanted to come in the fall and so do I. I can’t describe it but they are different than our mountains. Maybe I have been away from ours too long. I really loved the ride.

We stopped at Ben and Jerry’s Factory to take a tour. I could not believe how many people where there. It was like going to an amusement park. The tour is three parts- a movie, description of what is happening on the factory floor and a free sample. The kids enjoyed it but I was not that impressed. I really don’t even like the ice cream. (I hope the Ben and Jerry’s mafia does not come after me for that.) I got the kids more ice cream outside and myself a smoothie. The smoothie was pretty good. We walked up to the Ben & Jerry’s graveyard for retired flavors. The kids loved seeing that because they had seen it on the website. After that we took the long way to Burlington on purpose. I wanted to see more of the beautiful mountains.

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We started the day at St John’s Church. This is where Patrick Henry gave his famous- Give Me Liberty speech. The colonial leaders met at the church to avoid Lord Dunmore in Williamsburg, Va. in March 1775. We paid for the tour which includes a map with explanations of the buildings on the the grounds and tombstones. For the guided tour portion, you sit inside the church as he gives you history of the church. Cobey was disappointed in the talk and said he already knew all of it. The church is beautiful and with it’s rich history is  still worth the admission price. You will only  need to plan to spend an hour or so there. I think it would be even better to go to during one of  the reenactments that they do in the summer.

We had extra time so we stopped into the Chimborazo Medical Museum. This is one of the thirteen sites of the Richmond National Battlefield Park.  It has a small visitor center with one room of artifacts, a model of how the site looked, and a movie.  The story of the Chimborazo Hospital was very interesting. There was only one volunteer who had to start the movie, answer the phone and give the talk.  It was very busy while we were there and he could have used some help but  he did an excellent job. The kids did the Junior Ranger Program here which I thought was okay. The page where they had to label the map using the model was the best. Overall, I think it is a good stop because it gives you a different aspect of the war than just the battles.

We then made our way to the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts. It is the final days of the Picasso Exhibit so it was quite crowded. I had prearranged a group tour on America’s Beginnings. I found enough people to make a group through homeschool yahoo groups in the area. I was so pleased that everyone showed up and they were very well behaved. Jan Carroll was our guide and she was awesome. She was very knowledgeable and you could tell she loved her job. The tour gave a great variety and taught about history and art. After the tour, we went through the museum. I forgot how much I love this museum. It has so many great pieces. Claire loved the section with all the horses. I would love to go back without the kids and spend some time there . I hated not to go the Picasso Exhibit but I knew the kids would rush me so I did not want to spend the money. And he is not my favorite anyway.

After we left the museum, we headed to Bottoms Up 1700 Dock Street for a early dinner/late lunch. It was recommended by a FB friend- a great place to get tips. This place was awesome. It had a friendly staff, great food, cool atmosphere and was reasonably priced. I had the salad supreme which was huge. Cobey had a slice of the Chesapeake which had crab meat on it and Claire had cheese.  I saw a plate of Nachos going out as we left that was huge and looked great. Cobey liked it  even better than Y Not? in Norfolk. We will definitely be back.

I will be home for a few days so I hope to blog on some trips in our recent past and on the book I just finished.


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