I was a little nervous about our first fourth of July in Charlotte.
My apartment was packed to the brim with boxes
and I was worried I wouldn't be able to feel the spirit of the fourth.
Lucky for us, a few friends from the ward invited us over for a delicious breakfast.
We got to know some incredible new people and it really made us feel welcome.
I then convinced James to hit a parade that was going on Uptown.
I am determined to get out and experience this incredible city despite the hot sticky weather.
Miracles do happen.
Annie zonked out in her carseat.
Meanwhile, I was sweating to death (as is evidenced by this photo)
and a nice man (in the ball camp behind me) gave us the 411 on the Shriners.
The charitable worldwide group of men has deep roots
and now dedicates itself to the medical care of children.
Thousands upon thousands gather each year to parade with their unit.
This year - Charlotte was the spot.
Clearly these men are all invested in the well being of children...
which led them all to stop me so they could ooh and ahh over Annie.
I happily obliged.
Stopping for a snowcone.
Tastes like America to me.
And yes, we braved the stand with Winnie the Pooh and Simba on the side.
So far we are still alive.
According to the friendly Shriners, these hats cost around $500 a piece.
When I asked these men if I could snap a pic they were thrilled.
Note the tunnel we are standing in.
Charlottes indoor walk ways = a gift from heaven during hot humid days.
I need to do a little more research on the history of Charlotte but these signs sure do help.
They are seen throughout the city.
I am loving living in a place with such deep rooted history.
My little mini James.
I know I am bias, but boy is she the cutest.
That night we headed to a Stake BBQ in Rock Hill, South Carolina.
I'll admit - I had no idea Charlotte was so close to the boarder.
Geography never was my strong suit.
Apparently several decades ago the LDS missionaries were driven out of Rock Hill.
The local indian tribe was nice enough to take these missionaries in for the night.
Turns out most of the tribe was baptized into the LDS faith - including the chief.
The missionaries and the church were so highly respected that the tribe deeded over 100 acres of their land to the LDS church for a whopping $1.
Needless to say, the church has some incredible land in the area.
According to our bishop, this is one of the only LDS churches that also has a cemetery in the back.
We had fun learning the history
(which I hope I got right)
and meeting lots of new people at the stake event.
I was dying over the mass amounts of chips, coleslaw and macaroni 'n' cheese at the event.
Definitely not in healthy Cali anymore.
We also learned how to play Corn Hole.
I have seen it done at various events throughout my life but never heard it called Corn Hole.
James was of course up for the fierce competition.
I think we played several games of Corn Hole in our first few weeks here.
It is a hit in the south.
Stripping Annie down to her diaper out of fear that she would overheat.
Have I mentioned it was hot?
Record breaking heat here in my first week.
And I thought St. George was hot.
Our fun new friends, the Moss family.
Henry was not a fan of the fireworks - and neither was Annie.
James and I quickly jetted out after waving farewell to avoid the big bangs.
I am loving this view.
The Duke Building has quickly become my favorite.
Not only is it my hubbies home away from home
but it also lights up in brilliant colors.
On the night of the fourth it would change between red, white and blue in a matter of seconds.
Now if that isn't all-American, I don't know what is.
I must admit, our first holiday in Charlotte was an absolute blast.
I think I'll stay.