Taste of Charlotte

Happy Friday! Today is actually one of my favorite Fridays of the unofficial summer because it marks the first day of the annual Taste of Charlotte festival. I’ve been taking the kids for years as it’s a great way to try several different area restaurants … even though they get the same thing every year, Fuel Pizza and Dippin Dots … while getting some good steps in to make me feel a bit better about my food choices … I’m looking at you Mert’s Heart & Soul Banana Pudding.

Every year, as soon as the map is available online, I print off a copy and go over the options with the kids. This allows me to not only devise a plan on where we should park and start out, it helps me budget in terms of how many coins to get. Actually, I usually do that in reverse, getting 30 coins … they’re $20 for 15 or $10 for 7, so $40 for our clan of 3 … and giving everyone 10 coins a piece. This method helps us pick out the places we really want to go to before we end up standing around, in the way, confused on what to get. This year, with the kids being a bit older and having their own money, we’re doing things a little different. Everyone got their own map to highlight the places they want to go to, but unlike previous years, everyone will be purchasing their own coins … I gain 5 coins AND spend $20 less … excites.my.life!

I’ve been working with the kids a lot on money management and making sure you save your money in order to be able to do fun things you want to do, such as go to a festival and try lots of yummy foods. V is pretty good with money and always seems to have some, but C will lose it as soon as he gets it. The money he doesn’t lose, he spends on massive quantities of Pop-Tarts. I digress … I haven’t seen the kid’s maps yet, but I’m quite curious to see how they go about using their coins and if they’ll have any left over for next year.

With my new found coins, check out the food tents I’ll be hitting up this weekend:

Tru Taco: Miss Piggy Asian Pork Bowl (3 coins)

Fidelli Kitchen: BBQ Chicken Cone (3 coins)

Essex Bistro & Bar: Butter Chicken (3 coins)

North Kitchen & Cocktails: Sweet Corn Hush Puppies (3 coins)

All that and I’ll still end up with 3 coins left in my cup. Will I get something from one of my trusty favorites … like the Newk’s Express Café Newk’s Q Sandwich (3 coins) … split them with the kids and have enough each for a Sunflour Baking Company Fresh Baked Cookie (1 coin), or save them for next year?