Tag - south carolina

Fury 325 – World’s Tallest Gigacoaster Coming to Carowinds

Fury325 Carowinds MommyB

Carowinds Amusement Park (Charlotte, NC) announced that they’ll be building a massive new roller coaster for 2015. Dubbed Fury 325, the ride will be the tallest gigacoaster (roller coasters between 300 and 399 feet tall) and the 5th tallest roller coaster overall. The ride’s theme has a local tie-in with a hornet logo and colors similar to the Charlotte Hornets NBA team colors. The exciting path is said to resemble the daring swoops and dives of a hornet.

Here’s a teaser video for the new ride:

How Big is Fury 325?

Fury 325’s insane height is right there in the name. It will be 325 feet tall. That’s more than 30 stories and nearly 100 feet taller than Carowinds’ Intimidator. Intimidator is already a notable landmark that’s visible from a few miles around. According to the Carowinds, Fury 325 will be so tall that it will be visible from Uptown Charlotte.

Fury 325 will surely draw some long lines, but it should be worth the wait thanks to a lengthy, 3 minute and 25 second ride. It’ll boast 6,602 feet (more than a mile) of teal and yellow track that’ll carry riders from South Carolina into North Carolina, passing above and then below the entrance, and then back to the Palmetto state.

What Can Riders Expect on Fury 325?

Fury 325 Coming to Carowinds - World's Tallest Gigacoaster - CharlotteRiders can expect highs, lows, and lots of speed. For the vast majority of guests, Fury 325 will be the tallest roller coaster they’ve ever encountered. There are only three rides in the U.S. that are taller. And, Fury 325 will have the distinction of the tallest traditional lift hill anywhere. So expect an impressively long climb to the ride’s lofty high peak.

The 81-degree first drop will be nearly straight down and will produce quite an intense free fall feeling. Then, Fury 325 will deliver blistering speed. At the bottom of that first drop, the trains will rocket to 95 mph. Throughout the ride’s course you’ll be treated to exciting climbs and dives. The highlight of the ride looks to be the underground dive beneath a plaza bridge near the park’s entrance.

Thanks the ride’s design the speed, twists, and turns, should be glass smooth. The designers of the new ride also designed the popular and easily ride-able Intimidator. If you enjoy that ride, then you should like Fury 325. Expect more speed and swooping turns instead of the straight-forward ups and downs found on Intimidator.

Carowinds’ New Park Gate & Entrance Plaza

Entering the park next year, will be an entirely new experience. A new parking gate is already under construction. Also in the works is a more open plaza at the front gates where guests will be greeted by Fury 325 passing above and then below the new entrance. The ride will pass over guests six times encouraging gasps from onlookers.
Fury 325 - New Carowinds Entrance - Underground Dive
The station for Fury 325 will be in the Thrill Zone section near Hurler. Guests will need to be 54 inches or taller in order to ride. The ride is scheduled to open in the Spring of 2015.

Learn more at Carowinds.com/Swarm. Or hop in the front seat and take a virtual ride here.

What do you think of Fury 325?

We’re excited that this huge new ride is going to be built in our backyard. What do you think? Are you planning on visiting Carowinds next year so that you can ride it? Let us know what you think. Leave a comment below.

 

As a member of media I received admission to this media event for information regarding Carowind’s newest park features. 

Tips for Visiting the Georgia Aquarium {Giveaway}

Planning your summer trips and family vacations? Might I suggest a trip to Atlanta, Georgia to visit to the world’s second largest aquarium, Georgia Aquarium.

Tips for Visiting Georgia Aquarium MommyB Collage

Daddy B, Miss A, Lil’ C, and I were able to make a weekend trip down to Atlanta thanks to the Georgia Aquarium and Hilton Garden Inn Atlanta Downtown. We had heard from some of YOU and friends how amazing the aquarium was, and are happy to confirm all of the rave reviews were spot on. We really enjoyed our visit and would love to go back again soon.

For those of you thinking of making a visit to the Georgia Aquarium here are some tips:

Tips for Visiting Georgia Aquarium MommyB

Take your time.

If you are visiting Georgia for attractions other than the aquarium I would highly recommend setting aside an entire day (times vary depending on the day of the week), to enjoy the aquarium.

Get to events/shows early.

Especially on weekends, the shows and special events fill up quickly, if you don’t like large crowds or want to be proactive plan your schedule around the shows giving about a 15-30 minute leeway at least.

 

Eat meals at off times.

You’d be surprised at how many people were in the cafeteria (which has some really yummy/healthy options too) right at noon for lunch. If you plan accordingly you can miss the mad rush, find a table, enjoy your meal, and end up enjoying the aquarium while everyone else is eating.

Take lots of pictures and video.

With many of the animals and fish being species we don’t often see, be sure to take lots of pictures and video to commemorate your trip and reminisce in the memories. Sometimes we get caught up in seeing the sites but forget to document it too.

Skip shows if you have sensitive children.

Both of our girls are a little sensitive to things that seem to be scary including movies, bugs, large animals. While I understand not all children are affected there are some things for parents of sensitive children to be aware of.

In Deepo’s Undersea 3D Wonder Show certain children may be bothered by 3d (the film or the glasses), air blowing under seats, and non-harmful objects falling from the ceiling. If your child has a sensory processing disorder or is sensitive in this manner you may want to skip this attraction, however if your child loves movies and doesn’t mind the sensory features this is a great, wholesome video even though there is some commercialism (Home Depot), there are lots of laughs and learning showcased.

Georgia Aquarium Deepo Review MommyB

In Georgia Aquarium’s other large attraction; AT&T Dolphin Tales show, your family gets to watch a live dolphin show with a pirate tale. This show is held in an amphitheater type setting so if someone in your family is claustrophobic or afraid of heights you may want to skip out. Also we loved the dolphins so much that they canceled out the “bad guys” aka dead fish pirate ship/bad pirates, but the girls did mention how that part of the show bothered them. If your children do not like “bad guys” in movies/shows you may want to consider skipping this attraction.

Allow yourself to be amazed.

With the media and accessibility that we have these days it’s often hard for us to fully realize the wonders of the world. Try to remember these are real creatures and animals that you have the privilege of seeing up close. Encourage your children (and yourself) to learn at least 5 new things about sea life.

Amazing Georgia Aquarium Pics MommyB

Look for discounts.

Often times you can find attraction discounts with memberships you are a part of, or if you are a credit card holder, be sure to check also with travel bureaus for discounts to attractions. Georgia Aquarium is also offering an amazing Southern Hospitality Discount for residents of Georgia, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Alabama and Florida. Visitors receive discounted admission of $29.95 +tax when they show a valid ID verifying residency at the ticket window only, now through June 13, 2014.

Enter to win tickets.

My last piece of advice for visiting the Georgia Aquarium is to enter to win your family a 4 pack of Total Tickets with a Behind-the-Scenes Tour, and a 1 Day Parking Voucher. How awesome is that?!?! If it’s not a great fit for you feel free to enter to win for someone else or tell your friends/family about this giveaway and all of the great things Georgia Aquarium has in store for families.

Enter here to win:

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Plan your trip.

Start your planning by checking out information on the Georgia Aquarium website. The site offers hours of operation, parking information, ticket package details and is sure to get your family excited about the trip!

 

 

My family and I were invited to Georgia and the Georgia Aquarium. We were not compensated for a review nor did we pay for admission or lodging. Thank you to Georgia Aquarium and Hilton Garden Inn Downtown Atlanta for hosting us.

La Tagliatella Restaurant – Charlotte Food Review {Giveaway}

It isn’t often that we visit the Epicenter in Charlotte, NC as a family even though we only live about 15 minutes away. I’ll admit sometimes I’m intimidated by parking or the thought of huge crowds, but as we ventured out on Sunday evening to visit La Tagliatella Charlotte, my fears were quickly whisked away. We found paid parking pretty quickly and realized there weren’t masses of people at the Epicenter. (We also chose a little earlier dinner in case it did get busier later.)

The last time I had been at the Epicenter was for the review screening of Oz, and it was neat to see so many new restaurants in the area including La Tagliatella.

La Tagliatella is a restaurant that specializes in….you guessed it, Italian cuisine. They have 6 locations in the US and over 100 restaurants globally. My family and I had the opportunity to visit their new Charlotte location for this review. Here are our thoughts:

The decor was outstanding. If you’re looking for an authentic-looking Italian restaurant La Tagliatella is that. Here are a few pictures I took of the map of Italy, the open kitchen, and restaurant:

La Tagliatella Charlotte Decor MommyB

We had the awesome opportunity to try a sampling of the menu which for us included:

La Tagliatella Review by MommyB

Appetizers

Focaccia bread This dish was layered to resemble the Italian flag, green olives, white onions, and red sun-dried tomatoes. This appetizer was crispy, but not dry. I don’t know if I’d normally order it off of the menu, but would love this included in the table service, maybe even one of each cut into smaller bites for guests to try out while they wait.

Carpaccio Pepe Nero – Beef tenderloin seasoned with black pepper, finished with shaved Parmigiano-Reggiano.

The carpaccio was fresh and nicely seasoned. DaddyB had another first since his sushi experience when he tried this dish and he enjoyed it. I loved the dish, it melted in my mouth, and I would totally order this with friends next time I visit.

Entrees

Napoletano Brochette – Skewered pork tenderloin, solé di Puglia tomatoes, balsamic onions layered with fresh whole leaf basil and served with a special Tagliatella sauce and fried gnocchi.

This dish is a favorite on the La Tagliatella menu and we completely agree.

I am not a huge fan of pork but DaddyB loves it and we both found this dish to be impressive the way it was displayed but more importantly the pork tenderloin was beyond flavorful and so tender. Well done and we both agreed we loved the pork. The pork is skewered with tomatoes, onions, and basil, I personally would have prefered mushrooms and smaller onions that were easier to eat, but again the pork was outstanding. Dining tip: We let this dish sit a little while we ate our other dishes and wished we would have eaten it as soon as it came out so it was a little warmer.

We had never tried gnocchi, but it reminded me of a mini breadstick. I don’t think any of us loved the gnocchi, but it wasn’t bad either.

Tagliatella Pizza – Tomato, mozzarella, fried eggplant, Parmigiano-Reggiano drizzled with honey and aceto balsamico.

I’m not going to lie, when this first came to our table I was a little nervous about trying it. I did notice and love how thin the crust was on this pizza and do enjoy balsamic, and much to my surprise, (really) this pizza was DELICIOUS. Even DaddyB tried and liked it. The flavors of the honey, Parmigiano-Reggiano, eggplant and balsamic really play off each other and combined taste amazing. I would definitely get this as my first choice for pizza when we go again. Definitely one to try on the menu if you visit.

Kids Food

The kids menu offers a good selection of kid-sized portions and child-friendly foods like pasta and pizza among other dishes.

Our girls are very different when it comes to food preferences, Miss A (6.5 years old) prefers plain foods (ie no sauce, mild flavor), and Lil’ C, (4 years old) couldn’t be more different, she prefers bold flavors and likes more vegetarian based foods.

We ordered the kids pasta and cheese pizza for our kiddos and both of them respectively loved their food. Even DaddyB enjoyed some of Lil’ C’s pasta and really enjoyed the pasta sauce. If your child does not like mild spice make sure you mention that to your server when they take your order.

Dessert

Of course every meal needs to end with dessert. Funny story – when we were done with our meal our server, Sergio {who was beyond friendly}, asked if we needed anything else, and our outgoing Lil’ C promptly, but with manners, said, “Yes please, can we have dessert.”

I know most parents of kids that aren’t shy have experienced this moment when all they can do is laugh nervously. Of course La Tagliatella was more than happy to accommodate her sweet tooth and of course I wouldn’t turn down a delicious dessert, especially seeing they had my favorite, Tiramisu on their menu.

The girls enjoyed Mascarpone Ice Cream with Cioccolato and DaddyB and I shared the Tiramisú Mousse. Dining Tip: If you order the Tiramisú Mousse, make sure you scoop to the bottom of your dish. The first 10 bites of my dish were “okay” because I didn’t realize I wasn’t experiencing the full dish with espresso and lady fingers, but once I realized that this dessert was right on par to enhance my love for this italian dessert favorite.

Favorite Dishes at La Tagliatella

Overall our visit was great and while we found some dishes we didn’t love, we liked everything we ate and did find some dishes that we absolutely loved. We noticed the restaurant seemed a little slow, but the entire area seemed a little quiet in general. My husband called it “sleepy Charlotte”. But next time you avoid the Epicenter because you think it will be masses of people and you’ll have to wait hours to get a table, think again, unless of course it’s Queen’s Feast or another big event.

I would recommend La Tagliatella for families wanting to dine out, sit down, enjoy a meal and an experience. Portions are large enough to share, and depending on what you order pricing can range but in my opinion well worth the price and similar to our typical dining out bill.

Check out La Tagliatella online: www.latagliatella.us and on Facebook: www.facebook.com/LaTagliatellaEpicentre

La Tagliatella Charlotte wants you to try out their food and is offering 2 lucky MommyBKnowsBest.com readers a chance to win a free pizza from their restaurant (I suggest the Tagliatella pizza). Enter here to win:

a Rafflecopter giveaway

We received a complimentary meal in order to review this restaurant. This is not a paid post and all thoughts expressed in this post are our honest opinions, yours may vary.

 

Tips for Trying Sushi for the First Time and Experiencing New Things at The Cowfish Sushi Burger Bar Charlotte

DaddyB and I were invited to check out The Cowfish Sushi Burger Bar in the SouthPark area of Charlotte, NC last weekend. Yes, you heard right, we had a date night. Though in the past there have been years between our dates out of the house now that we have an amazing babysitter and the girls are older we really enjoy a great night out.

The Cowfish Sushi Burger Bar Restaurant Review MommyB

This was a very interesting visit for us as DaddyB has never tried sushi, ever, and I am allergic to shellfish so have to be selective about what I can and cannot eat. We were excited for the challenge and fully embraced it and had confidence that a restaurant loved by so many in the area would not disappoint.

The Cowfish Sushi Burger Bar Charlotte Review MommyB

When we first walked into The Cowfish we noticed the fun atmosphere immediately as familiar music from our young adulthood played, and conversation filled the room. Once we were sat at our table we were able to soak in the eclectic hints of decor in the room. I personally loved the giant sized bento box:

The Cowfish Sushi Burger Bar Charlotte MommyB

Be forewarned, the menu at The Cowfish Sushi Burger Bar is HUGE, both literally and in content of menu items. If you’re someone who takes a long time to order you may want to check out their menu ahead of time online. Our waiter Brandon however, really knew the menu and was able to tell us quickly about items and was amazing at answering all of our many questions about ingredient dishes, and his recommendations.

We shared delicious truffle fries {a must order}, but when it came to our entrees we decided to try a little bit of both worlds that The Cowfish offers. As I mentioned DaddyB has never tried sushi at all so he got the famous Fusion Specialty Bento Box that includes sushi, a mini burger, and awesome sides including my favorite thai cucumbers. I decided to go with a diner favorite The Deliverance Roll – Southern Style Bar-B-Q-shi, which included delicious bbq pulled pork, a really cool potato wrap and was topped with bacon coleslaw.

The Cowfish Restaurant Charlotte MommyB

If you’ve never eaten sushi, here are a few tips for trying sushi for the first time:

1. Start with a “beginner roll”. Consider starting with a roll that doesn’t include raw fish like the California Roll {Daddy B started his meal with an intermediate roll and liked it, but wasn’t ready for the texture.}

2. Choose a roll that offers a tempura {light batter} or a flavorful drizzle to enhance the flavor of the roll.

3. Consider a fusion restaurant like The Cowfish, that offers familiar ingredients alongside new ingredients. This will give more confidence in experiencing new foods.

Speaking of experiencing new foods, this truly was our night for doing just that! Not only did DaddyB try sushi for the first time, but we were also able to sample some of the unique ingredients that The Cowfish has to offer. Check this out, we had flavor infused Masago {fish eggs}, with wasabi, citrus, soy, and sriracha. {My favorite was the citrus flavor.} We also got a “sneak peek” at the newest wasabi-infused micro greens. I must say this was one of the coolest things I’ve eaten in a while. They taste like micro greens at first but then as you chew a burst of the wasabi flavor comes out. I’d love to see this paired with a dish.

New Foods at The Cowfish Charlotte MommyB

Our experience at The Cowfish Sushi Burger Bar was filled with fun, new experiences, unique and tasty food. If I had to change anything about our night out I would have loved my food to be a little hotter {I like my food on the warmer side of the spectrum (ask DaddyB, he thinks I’m funny)}. Other than that, seriously the ambiance, outstanding service, and price of our date night were just as sweet as our yummy fortune cookie-crusted dessert.

Thanks The Cowfish Sushi Burger Bar Charlotte MommyB

Have you ever had fusion sushi before??? What are your favorite sushi dishes?

This is not a compensated post, we received a complimentary meal in order to give our honest thoughts on the restaurant, services, and food offerings. These are our opinions based on the above experience, however your experiences may vary.

Myrtle Beach – First U.S. Beach Destination to reach 1 Million Facebook Likes

MommyB Visit Myrtle Beach Bloggy ButtonThis weekend the B Family is headed to Myrtle Beach! We are excited to visit the beach one last time this year.

We plan on visiting a lot of family friendly locations and making sure we post our thoughts and experiences here for you.

In the meantime, did you hear?? The Myrtle Beach Area Convention and Visitors Bureau has surpassed 1 million “likes” on its official consumer Facebook page, Visit Myrtle Beach, South Carolina. It is the first U.S. beach destination to achieve this distinction.

To celebrate, Myrtle Beach kicks off a year of appreciation to recognize the individuals that helped reach this impressive milestone: the fans.

One lucky entrant will be chosen to win a Million Dollar Beach House Vacation Getaway for a week-long stay along the pristine Myrtle Beach coastline. The contest ends TODAY so be sure to submit your entries through the Visit Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, Facebook page: www.facebook.com/VisitMyrtleBeachSC

Visit Myrtle Beach will be giving away more prizes in the months to come, so make sure you are following them on Facebook, and feel free to congratulate them on their awesome accomplishment.

Of course stay tuned in September for our Visit Myrtle Beach post series.

 

Myrtle Beach

This is not a compensated post, however I do look forward to working with Visit Myrtle Beach, and can’t wait to share my honest thoughts and opinions with you! 

The Beach Music Festival in Myrtle Beach

Traveling families: I am excited to be heading to Myrtle Beach with my family in September, but for those of you traveling this summer, and more specifically those of you either planning a trip this weekend or if you’re already in town, the City of Myrtle Beach and the Myrtle Beach Area Chamber of Commerce will be celebrating their 75th anniversaries THIS Saturday, July 20, with beach music, cupcakes and more.

Myrtle Beach

The Beach Music Festival aka grand birthday party, will be held Saturday, from 5:30 to 10:30 p.m. on Ocean Boulevard, between Eighth and Ninth Avenues North. All anniversary related events are free and open to the public. Attendees are encouraged to use the hashtag ‘#myr75’ to follow and join the conversation during the anniversary celebration activities.

Saturday’s events include, The Catalinas performing on the main stage at 5:30 p.m., followed by The Original Drifters at 7:30 p.m. and the Temptations Review featuring Dennis Edwards at 9:15 p.m.

Katherine Kallinis Berman and Sophie Kallinis LaMontagne, both featured in TLC’s hit series “DC Cupcakes” and owners of Georgetown Cupcakes, will attempt a world record by building a giant pyramid with 7,500 of their best cupcakes. Meet the sisters between 5:30 and 6:30 p.m. and enjoy their delicious cupcakes starting at 7 p.m.

DC Cupcake

The weekend fun continues on Sunday, July 21, with The Salt Games, presented by Native Sons, at Plyler Park in downtown Myrtle Beach.

For more information on The Salt Games and the entire anniversary weekend, head over to www.visitmyrtlebeach.com

What activity/event would be your favorite??

 

I currently have a working partnership with Visit Myrtle Beach, but this post was written as a way to inform readers and is not a compensated post. Any opinions in this post are my own honest thoughts. Your opinions may vary.