• 30 BEFORE 30 Archive •

30 Things to Do for 30 [ Billy Joel at Madison Square Garden ]

Welcome to the year 2015. My parents were right. Time flies by so much faster the older you get. It’s really unfortunate we can’t push a pause button on life. With every new year comes a sense of reflection, refreshment and revitalization. But don’t worry, I’m not going to waste my breath or your time by posting any of my resolutions. I am, however, making some impressive progress with my 30 Things to Do for 30. Like seeing Billy Joel in concert. The real Billy Joel playing his real piano in New York City at Christmas. It sounds too good to be true and in all honesty, it was almost exactly that.

My cousin and I took a really quick trip to New York City before the holidays for the sole purpose of seeing Billy Joel in concert. It didn’t frighten me that we were in the cab on the way to our hotel and didn’t yet have tickets to the show because I almost feel like scouting out the best ticket deals on StubHub and online is my second profession. During the 45 minute drive, I found an individual on Craigslist selling the exact tickets I wanted for significantly less than what I had been able to find. Now I know that immediately sounds sketchy and trust me, I had my reservations. So I stalked the guy. Before I sent the money via PayPal, I knew when this guy graduated college, where he worked and his favorite TV shows. If he tried to scam me, I was going to hunt him down Catfish-style.

It wasn’t a scam. Within minutes, I had legitimate tickets on my phone and excitement in my bones. Our hotel was right across from Madison Square Garden so the night of the show, we got all dolled up and headed to the bar next door for a quick pre-concert adult beverage. The show started at 8pm so at 7:40pm, we left the bar and started the exhausting process of getting through the two security lines to enter the venue. I know this totally sounds like a police report but details are extremely crucial in order for you to fully appreciate this story.  After searching our purses and then scanning our bodies for metal, we made it into the arena. And then we enjoyed a blissful night of listening to all of our favorite Billy Joel songs. The end.

Just kidding. This story wouldn’t be good if I didn’t pull a total Priscilla. After passing through the second security line, I retrieved the tickets on my phone to prepare for the final leg of the entrance process. It was in that very moment, at 7:55pm that I realized the tickets I had purchased for Billy Joel were for 2/18 and not 12/18. Are you comprehending that? I flew to New York at the busiest time of year to see one of my favorite artists only to realize five minutes before the show that I had bought tickets for the wrong month.

Cut me a little slack. I was only one (very important) number off and in my excitement must have totally overlooked the date. So at 7:58pm and in a matter of one minute, I got on StubHub and bought the first set of tickets I could find. The new and correctly dated tickets were on my mobile by 8pm which is the exact moment StubHub closes all sales. After a mild panic attack, we were finally in the last line and had the correct tickets only to be told by the attendant that for that particular show they wouldn’t accept mobile tickets and that we would need to have ours printed.

I would now like for you to picture the two of us running out of Madison Square Garden, into the crowd of people trying to get in, across the street, into a wrong locked building where the security officer thought we were crazy, back across the street, into the right hotel, searching aimlessly for the business center, finding the business center and having to enter a card into a machine to get a card to then enter into a computer in order to use the internet. And might I add, all of this while wearing 3-inch heels and the most fabulous glitter jumpsuit you’ve ever seen.

After going through the entire security process again, we grabbed a drink for each hand and planted our sweaty butts in our seats before the opening act finished. And for the following two hours, I watched an idol and reminisced about the impact Billy Joel had on my life at such an influential time. Such an impact that my love for his music will outlast the very reason I listened in the first place.

Was it the most amazing show I’ve ever seen? No. Was it one of the most memorable concert experiences? By far. Am I a total blonde? Absolutely. In the words of the Piano Man himself, “And so it goes.”

In case you’re a Billy Joel fanatic like me, there’s presently an amazing set of tickets on StubHub for his February 18th show in New York City. Not to be confused with his December 18th show. And just as a selling point, hearing him sing “New York State of Mind” while in New York is pretty surreal.

  1. See Billy Joel in concert.
  2. Visit a theme park I’ve never been to.
  3. See Garth Brooks in concert. Garth’s concert ranks as one of my all-time favorite shows. It could have something to do with the fact that the drummer gave me both drumsticks at the end of the show. 
  4. Go to a hookah lounge. 
  5. Step out of my comfort zone for an experience.
  6. Take piano lessons.
  7. Go camping.
  8. Pay off my credit card.
  9. Take pole dancing classes.
  10. Volunteer.
  11. Start a journal.
  12. Indulge in an unusual spa service.
  13. Go fishing.
  14. Own a Louis. Happy Birthday to me! By far, the best present Chase has ever given me. (Runner up was the three oil change coupons he gave me one year.) 
  15. Go have an eye exam. 
  16. Attend an aerial class. I’ve never been so sore from a class. It was incredibly fun and one I’ll definitely want to go to again. In Raleigh? Give Cirque de Vol a try!
  17. Send my grandmother flowers unexpectedly. 
  18. Go to church.
  19. Get in crazy good shape.
  20. Go to hot yoga.
  21. Write a letter to myself to open in ten years.
  22. Plan a fun trip with my close friends. 
  23. Pay a stranger’s restaurant bill.
  24. Go skinny dipping.
  25. Swim with dolphins.
  26. Transfer old home movies from VHS to DVD.
  27. Host a dinner party.
  28. Ride a train. 
  29. Create a family recipe book.
  30. Dance in the rain.

NC Wedding Planner - Orangerie Events

Garth Brooks Greensboro Concert - Orangerie Events

Raleigh Wedding Planner - Priscilla Erwin

Billy Joel Madison Square Garden - Priscilla Erwin - Orangerie Events

xoxo, Priscilla
30 Things to Do for 30 [ Update ]

Where do I even begin? To say things in my life have changed would be a drastic understatement.  Don’t get me wrong, it’s no excuse for the massive length of time stretching between my last post and this one, but it does at least offer a little insight into my negligence.  Evolution. The only word I can think of to describe the last few months of my life.

The most pressing and impending change happens in a mere few days when I shed the “2” before my age and pencil in a “3.”  30. Years. Old. How is that even possible? When I mention it to people who ask, especially those older than I am, they look at me as if I have no idea what’s in store.  Like I’m oblivious.  Like I’m overreacting.  And maybe I am.  But all I can really compare it to is how different I am than a decade ago. How a lot happens in the span of ten years. People get married and divorced. Babies are born and loved ones depart. Career paths divert and twist and turn. Houses are sold and homes are built. Bed times get earlier and eye circles get darker. Life happens the same as it did when I was twenty, only my risks are a bit more calculated, my decisions more selfless and my rose-colored glasses a little tarnished with experience.

Contrary to the underlying tone of fear, I’m extremely excited about my birthday and facing a new decade head on. I just also feel a strong sense of pressure. Pressure to grow up. “When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I put the ways of childhood behind me.”  It keeps replaying in my head. As if 30 is a wake up call that some tough decisions need to be made because wasting time is a waste. As if it’s time to put away the childish games and foolishness, focus on what’s important, create a tangible future and stop pretending that I don’t know any better.

That picture of the future has changed dramatically now that we sold our house. That’s right folks. I no longer live in the middle of Egypt. We sold our oversized house, a lot of what we owned and simplified our lives down to a one-bedroom apartment.  A concept we intend on carrying into our next transition which will be building a tiny house. Not like a smaller house but an actual tiny house. 700 square feet of purposeful and intentional space filled only with the things we use and need. No wasted rooms. Environmentally efficient. Not too big. Not too little. Just right.

But for the foreseeable future, I plan to celebrate the dawn of a new age.  Set aside my fears about outgrowing my twenties. Stop worrying about the changes that have happened and the changes to come. Instead, I intend on surrounding myself with the people I love dearly, escaping the formalities of every day and indulging in all of the things that make me happy. And live in those moments. Soak them up like a sponge. And yes, I’ve already started celebrating and will probably spread it out for at least a few weeks.

And remember my “Thirty for Thirty.” Wait. You thought it was “Thirty before Thirty?” My bad. You were probably under that impression because that was my grand plan before my life got tossed into a blender. So I spent some time the other day and went through the items on my list, made some necessary modifications and decided completing the thirty items while being thirty was just as good as completing them before November 5th. So below is the revised list with some additional strikethroughs such as:

  1. See Billy Joel in concert.
  2. Visit a theme park I’ve never been to.
  3. See Garth Brooks in concert.
  4. Go to a hookah lounge. Go to a hookah lounge? Let’s take it up a notch and create one at a wedding! While I still want to go to an actual establishment, designing a lounge for a recent wedding was equally as gratifying.
  5. Step out of my comfort zone for an experience.
  6. Take piano lessons.
  7. Go camping.
  8. Pay off my credit card.
  9. Take pole dancing classes.
  10. Volunteer.
  11. Start a journal.
  12. Indulge in an unusual spa service.
  13. Go fishing.
  14. Own a Louis.
  15. Go have an eye exam. 20/20 baby!
  16. Attend an aerial class.
  17. Send my grandmother flowers unexpectedly. I recently decided to suprise my grandparents with a visit and took my Nana flowers. That time spent with them exploring their garden and checking on my Paw Paw’s bees was invaluable.
  18. Go to church.
  19. Get in crazy good shape.
  20. Go to hot yoga.
  21. Write a letter to myself to open in ten years.
  22. Plan a fun trip with my close friends. November 13. November 13. November 13. I just keep repeating that date beacuse I cannot wait for a weekend of no-thinking, genuine fun and stupid shenanigans.
  23. Pay a stranger’s restaurant bill.
  24. Go skinny dipping.
  25. Swim with dolphins.
  26. Transfer old home movies from VHS to DVD.
  27. Host a dinner party.
  28. Ride a train. I spent this past weekend in Gatlinburg with my family and we celebrated Halloween on the Great Smoky Mountain Train. It was definitely an experience I will always cherish and remember. Especially my future step-father’s dance moves.
  29. Create a family recipe book.
  30. Dance in the rain.Priscilla Erwin - Raleigh Wedding Planner
    P.S. – With all the changes happening, I have an extreme itch to change my hairstyle. I’ve done the color thing and I know I’m better a blonde. I’m done with the bangs. I’m wildly attracted to the “Lob” trend right now and I need you fine folks to talk some sense into me because I have appointment on Friday and the temptation is real.  And yes Mom, I already know your opinion. To cut or not to cut?
xoxo, Priscilla
30 Things to Do Before 30 [ #12 - Fire Cupping ]

I like trying new things.  It’s okay to color outside of the lines.  To put a splatter of paint where it doesn’t belong.  To be adventurous and wild and impulsive and crazy.  I like fads and trends and fall victim to copying what the celebrities are wearing, eating and doing.  I have a poster in my office that says “Life is a beautiful ride.”  It’s definitely a ride.  And it’s beautiful if you choose to make it playful and pretty.  Easily done by focusing more on the color and not than the lines.

I included on my 30 before 30 list my desire to try an unusual spa service.  And I figured I should take that as literal as possible and try one of the most unusual ones I had ever heard of.  Last year I was getting a massage and struck up a conversation with the owner who was singing the praises of fire cupping.  I was halfway listening until she said, “All of the stars are doing it.”  And that stuck with me.  Because let’s be honest, have you seen the picture of Elle MacPherson in a bikini on TMZ today?  She’s 50 and is absolutely gorgeous.  So those stars must be doing something right and although I’m pretty sure it’s not just fire cupping, I’ll still give it a try.

I had an appointment last week.  It’s very similar to getting a massage.  You’re escorted into a room and told to get undressed and lie down on the massage table.  I won’t lie. I was nervous. I wasn’t sure if it was going to hurt or burn or pinch but there was no turning back.  And because I’m sure you have no clue what I’m talking about when I say fire cupping, I’ll give you the technical definition.  Cupping therapy is a form of alternative medicine in which cups are placed on the skin to create suction.  Supporters of cupping therapy believe the suction of the cups mobilizes blood flow to promote the healing of a broad range of medical ailments including stress relief.  So basically a technician starts a fire inside of a glass globe and then suctions the glass globe onto your body.

I know you think I’m crazy and I probably am but I absolutely loved it.  And I’m sure you have questions.  So below are a few questions I assume are rattling around in your head and then feel free to shoot more my way if my alternative stress alleviating methods intrigue you.

Does it hurt? It’s a good pain.  Like when you get a deep tissue massage and it hurts so bad as they’re rubbing a knot in your back but it feels so good at the same time.  Or like scratching a mosquito bite when you know you shouldn’t.  On a scale of pain that I’ve endured in my life, it’s a 3 on a scale of 1-10.  A Brazilian wax was a 12.

How long does it take?  The entire process took about an hour.  It starts with an upper back and neck massage.  From there, the cups are applied one at a time onto your back, thighs and even your bare bottom.  While the cups are suctioning, the massage therapist uses reflexology to pretty much make you forget about anything in your life other than how happy your feet are.

Does it leave marks?  Yes. And they look really bad.  Like really bad.  A lot worse than they feel.  And I don’t recommend you partake in fire cupping the same week you plan on attending a birthday party and wearing a dress that showcases your back.  But the marks are progress.  Where there is dead, static blood, lymph, cellular debris, pathogenic factors, and toxins present in the body, cupping leaves marks which indicates that the stagnation or disease has been moved from the deeper tissue layers to the surface.

How long do the marks last? Mine have lasted a little over a week which I’ve read is fairly standard.

Why are some spots darker than others?  The color and pattern of the marks depend on the level of stagnation in the area, and range from a bright red to dark purple.

Would you do it again?  Absolutely.  In the winter when having circular hickies all over my back isn’t such an issue.  But it was relaxing and rejuvenating and I honestly felt relief in the areas on my body that had produced the darkest spots.

There’s a chart I’ve posted below which explains the colors and patterns of the marks.  I laughed and assumed those darker spots on my back weren’t really “moderate stagnation” but Sun Drop circles.  Wouldn’t surprise me.

Do you have any weird or unusual treatments that you’ve tried?  I’d love to hear about them.  I’m onto the next thing to check off the 30 before 30 list and hopefully it will involve crazy coloring all over the page.

Fire Cupping - Orangerie Events

  1. See Billy Joel in concert.
  2. Visit a theme park I’ve never been to.
  3. Take a hot air balloon ride.
  4. Go to a hookah lounge.
  5. Step out of my comfort zone for an experience.
  6. Take piano lessons.
  7. Go camping.
  8. Pay off my credit card.
  9. Take pole dancing classes.
  10. Volunteer.
  11. Start a journal.
  12. Indulge in an unusual spa service.
  13. Go fishing.
  14. Own a Louis.
  15. Go have an eye exam.
  16. Attend a professional baseball game.
  17. Send my grandmother flowers unexpectedly.
  18. Join a church.
  19. Get in crazy good shape.
  20. Try acupuncture.
  21. Write a letter to myself to open in ten years.
  22. Plan a fun trip with my close friends.
  23. Pay a stranger’s restaurant bill.
  24. Go skinny dipping.
  25. Swim with dolphins.
  26. Transfer old home movies from VHS to DVD.
  27. Host a dinner party.
  28. Stomp on grapes to make wine.
  29. Create a family recipe book.
  30. Dance in the rain.
xoxo, Priscilla
30 Things to Do Before 30 [ #2 ]

Welcome to July.  If you’re in North Carolina, you’re probably hot.  There’s a heat haze lingering that instantly scorches your body the minute you step outside.  I can’t convince myself that two showers a day are enough because I still feel sticky.  Thank goodness my slush machine is fixed and back in service.  Nothing is as refreshing on a hot day as a Sun Drop slush.  Feel free to stop by and ask for one if you don’t believe me.

The only thing that screams “It’s summer!” louder than the temperature is a country concert.  I recently had the thrill of seeing Mr. Tim McGraw live and in flesh.  In total tanned and toned flesh.  Homeboy has some muscles, chops and some rips in his jeans that left very little to my imagination.  Years ago, I was at the Pizza Hut in Granite Falls, sliding dollars into the jukebox to play my dad’s song requests and I knew my life had changed the moment I heard the words “I’m an indian outlaw.”  That was 1994.  I was ten years old and probably eating my weight in cheesy breadsticks.  Goodness time flies.

Everything about the show was amazing aside from the girl I almost punched near the end.  Since I’m sure you find that so hard to believe, I’ll paint the picture for you.  She’s drunk – I’m not. I’ve been in the same spot the whole show – she shoved her way to the front.  I sing the songs at a normal level – she yells random words that don’t match the lyrics or fit into the English language.  I took one picture with my brother at the beginning of the show – she insists on taking selfies every thirty seconds.  I asked very nicely two separate times for her to stop pushing me and to stop waving her beer over my head.  I’ve honestly never punched anyone and I can’t really imagine myself doing so but I’m not going to lie, I did envision it happening inside my brain as she was quickly ruining the conclusion of my concert experience.  She should be thankful my knuckle sandwich and I didn’t have to ask her to stop a third time.

The last few weeks of June were productive and I was able to check another item off of my 30 before 30 list.  My dad, brother and I visited King’s Dominion in Virginia which is in fact, an amusement park I had never been to.  Going to a theme park at age (almost) 30 is entirely different than going at 20.  I had to take Ibuprofen before I even stepped foot inside the park in fear of what was about to happen.  The thought of riding a water attraction and then having to walk around in drenched jean shorts did not appeal to me at all.  I was flabbergasted that a pizza lunch for three people cost $40.  I had bars squeezing inappropriate parts of my body and I swear I felt my brain shift as my noggin’ rattled back and forth between the headrest constraints. By 3pm, it was as though I had just lost a boxing match with Mike Tyson.

So there you have it.  A physical beat down I almost handed out and the one I took.  Are you ready for the 4th?  I am.  I’m ready for a quick little getaway back to the mountains for a refresher after an extremely intense spring wedding season.  Side note – know all of those people you hear who say, “I’ve always wanted to be a wedding planner!  It seems like such a fun job.  I bet you’re just like Jennifer Lopez in the movie!”  Tell them the story about how a bridesmaid handed one of my assistants a bag of puke and told her to find a trashcan for it.  Good times.

I hope you have an amazing 4th of July with your friends and family.  If you happen to see an abnormally large and totally illegal fireworks display, that’s just my mom’s boyfriend setting the Virginia sky on fire since he apparently loaded up on enough ammunition to compete with Disney World.  Have a happy and safe holiday you crazy American kids!

  1. See Billy Joel in concert.
  2. Visit a theme park I’ve never been to.
  3. Take a hot air balloon ride.
  4. Go to a hookah lounge.
  5. Step out of my comfort zone for an experience.
  6. Take piano lessons.
  7. Go camping.
  8. Pay off my credit card.
  9. Take pole dancing classes.
  10. Volunteer.
  11. Start a journal.
  12. Indulge in an unusual spa service.
  13. Go fishing.
  14. Own a Louis.
  15. Go have an eye exam.
  16. Attend a professional baseball game.
  17. Send my grandmother flowers unexpectedly.
  18. Join a church.
  19. Get in crazy good shape.
  20. Try acupuncture.
  21. Write a letter to myself to open in ten years.
  22. Plan a fun trip with my close friends.
  23. Pay a stranger’s restaurant bill.
  24. Go skinny dipping.
  25. Swim with dolphins.
  26. Transfer old home movies from VHS to DVD.
  27. Host a dinner party.
  28. Stomp on grapes to make wine.
  29. Create a family recipe book.
  30. Dance in the rain.

Tim McGraw - Raleigh Wedding Planner - Orangerie Events

Tim McGraw Concert - NC Wedding Planner - Orangerie Events

Kings Dominion - NC Wedding Planner - Priscilla Erwin

xoxo, Priscilla
30 Things to Do Before 30 [ #7 + #13 ]

I have officially scratched through two items on my list of “30 Things to Do Before 30.”  And I must admit, I chose two really awesome activities to tackle first.  A few weekends ago, my mom and her boyfriend planned the perfect camping trip in a little town in Virginia.  The night before we left, I wandered the camping aisle at Target for at least an hour trying to figure out what we needed because this was a whole new territory for me.  Instead of thinking about temperatures dropping drastically and waking up frozen, I was concerned with how to repel snakes and how to divert bears.

I’ve learned recently, and this trip only confirmed it, that my family and I either communicate too much or not enough.  We never communicate just the right amount.  What do I mean by too much?  I had 16 exchanged calls between my brother and me on Friday.  Too much that when my brother didn’t answer my dad’s multiple calls and texts on Saturday morning, my father assumed the worst, packed to drive three hours to Hickory and called the police to file a missing person report.

What do I mean by not enough?  The only information I had for where we were meeting the family the day of the camping trip was an address.  40 minutes away from the destination, I lost all cell service with no way to call my mom to ask pertinent questions like what the property looked like or what time they were going to arrive.  After waiting for more than an hour at the mailbox of 61 Red Fox Lane, which happened to be the wrong address, I decided we needed to drive to a gas station to find a phone and hope I could call someone who knew where we were should be.  As we drove about two miles the direction we came, the good Lord stepped in and intervened.  Without a second to spare, my car met Darius’ 6-wheeler at the top of a random gravel road.  I don’t know what we would have done if we both wouldn’t have been at the exact same spot at the exact same time.  Probably should have had better lines of communication before we got to that point.  Lesson learned.

I can’t lie. Going camping was one of the most rejuvenating things I’ve done in a while and I totally never expected that.  I felt like my senses were awaken. I was tucked away among a fortress of trees with only nature and the people with me to occupy my time. It was refreshing to be without my cell phone or internet access. To not gage the worthiness of what I was doing based on the number of likes on Instagram. To check myself for ticks instead of mindlessly checking Facebook. To be present and engaged at every meal instead of distracted by a text or electronic screen.

To be honest, it was spiritual. There was something quietly humble about casting a rod, catching a fish, prepping it, cooking it over a fire and then eating it. I felt a sense of reverence that this living thing had just been sacrificed to nourish my body and satisfy my hunger. I know I sound like a fruit loop or wanna-be tree hugger, but sometimes we completely take for granted the beauty painted around us. The smell of honeysuckle. The allure of a wild animal. The sensation of running barefoot through the grass. The sound of a crackling fire. The purpose of that very fish we caught and ate.

I think more than anything I was reminded of how very small I am.  I sat in complete darkness, staring upward at a midnight sky full of thousands of stars staring back at me. In this world, my existence is so tiny and yet still meaningful and purposeful.  How could the same being that created the canopy of constellations above me still have an interest invested in my purpose and who I am?  That’s love.  I fell asleep that night not to the noise projecting from the app on my iPhone but the real live version of rippling creek water next to me.  I fell asleep happy.  I also fell asleep shivering. That was my own fault.

I do advise that should you decide to go camping and perhaps wade through a creek, do so in water shoes.  Wearing normal tennis shoes will cause your laundry room to reek for days, even post-wash.  I’m hoping the next 28 items I cross off of my list are as meaningful and memorable as the first two.

  1. See Billy Joel in concert.
  2. Visit a theme park I’ve never been to.
  3. Take a hot air balloon ride.
  4. Go to a hookah lounge.
  5. Step out of my comfort zone for an experience.
  6. Take piano lessons.
  7. Go camping.
  8. Pay off my credit card.
  9. Take pole dancing classes.
  10. Volunteer.
  11. Start a journal.
  12. Indulge in an unusual spa service.
  13. Go fishing.
  14. Own a Louis.
  15. Go have an eye exam.
  16. Attend a professional baseball game.
  17. Send my grandmother flowers unexpectedly.
  18. Join a church.
  19. Get in crazy good shape.
  20. Try acupuncture.
  21. Write a letter to myself to open in ten years.
  22. Plan a fun trip with my close friends.
  23. Pay a stranger’s restaurant bill.
  24. Go skinny dipping.
  25. Swim with dolphins.
  26. Transfer old home movies from VHS to DVD.
  27. Host a dinner party.
  28. Stomp on grapes to make wine.
  29. Create a family recipe book.
  30. Dance in the rain.

NC Wedding Planner - Orangerie Events

North Carolina Wedding Planner - Priscilla Erwin

30 Things to Do Before 30

Priscilla Erwin - 30 Things to Do Before 30

Raleigh Wedding Planner - Orangerie Events

 

xoxo, Priscilla
30 Things to Do Before 30

Beyond coordinating weddings and events, I’m pretty much a planner in every facet of my life.  I am frequently the one arranging meet ups with my friends or mini-getaways with my family.  It has a lot to do with enjoying organization but probably a lot more to do with the fact that I want to be in control.  I assembled a binder for our trip to Europe earlier this year that was color coded, divided by day and included all of our tickets, reservations and a six-page itinerary detailing where we should go, eat and sightsee.

As evident by this past weekend, no plan is foul-proof.  I had a Saturday full of meetings for a client who is getting married in Asheville in August.  I decided since I would be in the mountains and it was Easter weekend, it would be the perfect opportunity to spend some time away with my family so I invited my mom and her boyfriend to join me.  We rented the cutest little cabin in the woods about twenty minutes outside of Asheville.  I had read online that if you were going to be in Asheville on Easter Sunday, you had to go to Chimney Rock for their sunrise service.  I didn’t read online that there is a cut-off time as to when you can arrive at Chimney Rock and still participate in the service.

We woke up at 5am on Sunday, hopped into the car with our sleepy eyes and drove an hour to Chimney Rock.  There were some people congregating outside of the gate, waiting for the shuttle that takes you to the top we assumed.  Wrapped in a blanket, we stood among the group of visitors waiting for our chariot to transport us to the most magical mountaintop sanctuary and thus fulfilling phase one of my grand Easter day plan.  It wasn’t until a random car stopped in front of us and asked in a foreign accent “Are you waiting until they open?”  “No. We’re waiting for the shuttle,” we replied.  “There is no shuttle. It stopped at 6am.”

And he was exactly correct.  We confirmed with the park ranger that although the service begins at 6:30am and technically we were on time, the gate closes at 6am and doesn’t re-open until the celebration is over.  We hopped into the car with our sleepy eyes and drove an hour back to the cabin.

The morning certainly didn’t go as I had planned but the rest of the day was pretty much perfect.  We had Easter lunch at the Deerpark Restaurant at Biltmore and then spent the remainder of the day exploring the grounds, indulging in a wine tasting, admiring the tulips, watching a week-old goat trying to stand on a bucket and basking in the warm sunshine that we all know I need on my moon glows that I call legs.  I’d do it all again in a heartbeat while wearing Pharrell’s hat.

NC Wedding Planner - Orangerie Events - Raleigh Wedding Planner

Raleigh Wedding Planner - NC Wedding Planner - Orangerie Events

North Carolina Wedding Planner - Orangerie Events - Priscilla Erwin

There’s a quote that says “If you want to make God laugh, tell Him your plans.”  I’m an avid believer of that statement.  Living proof actually because I’m certainly not an elementary school teacher living in a house built on my family’s 11 acres on Lee Pearson Road.  Those were my plans.  Plans that are unimaginable now.

I have some more plans.  And they will probably be laughable too.  I turn thirty this year and in my typical planning plus list-loving manner, I’ve created thirty things that I would like to do by the time I’m thirty.  At this rate, I’ll need to accomplish at least four goals each month which is totally doable.  Some of the things on this list are things I’ve never done or things I’ve done but not in a long time.  Some are elaborate while others are quick and easy.  I wanted to make this list obtainable yet memorable.  Silly yet significant.

Sometimes the things we don’t plan like making a friend, landing a new job or falling in love are the things we end up treasuring more than the blueprints we had designed.  And maybe these thirty little seeds will grow into even bigger and better plans.  You’ll never know if you never try.

  1. See Billy Joel in concert.
  2. Visit a theme park I’ve never been to.
  3. Take a hot air balloon ride.
  4. Go to a hookah lounge.
  5. Step out of my comfort zone for an experience.
  6. Take piano lessons.
  7. Go camping.
  8. Pay off my credit card.
  9. Take pole dancing classes.
  10. Volunteer.
  11. Start a journal.
  12. Indulge in an unusual spa service.
  13. Go fishing.
  14. Own a Louis.
  15. Go have an eye exam.
  16. Attend a professional baseball game.
  17. Send my grandmother flowers unexpectedly.
  18. Join a church.
  19. Get in crazy good shape.
  20. Try acupuncture.
  21. Write a letter to myself to open in ten years.
  22. Plan a fun trip with my close friends.
  23. Pay a stranger’s restaurant bill.
  24. Go skinny dipping.
  25. Swim with dolphins.
  26. Transfer old home movies from VHS to DVD.
  27. Host a dinner party.
  28. Stomp on grapes to make wine.
  29. Create a family recipe book.
  30. Dance in the rain.
xoxo, Priscilla