#InstabeerupCLT: Why you should be there

I attended my first #instabeerupCLT in March, and I’ve been every month since (kicking myself for not going before then!). I am incredibly excited for next week’s #instayearup at Unknown Brewing.

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Instabeerup is more than just an opportunity to have beer at one of Charlotte’s many craft breweries. You can do that any day of the week. It is a chance to casually network and an even better opportunity to make new friends. In fact, one of the “rules” is to meet at least one new person. I’ve been fortunate to meet journalists, funny guys, Kristi of @FeastFoodTours, other people in my field of work, and a few ‘friends’ from Twitter. Being friends IRL is way more fun.

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I look forward to these monthly gatherings because they aren’t stiff networking events where everyone is walking around with name tags, business cards and a personal agenda, it’s more everyone is walking around with name tags, a pint and a friendly smile.

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While I personally haven’t made connections for my career, I have enjoyed meeting new people and hearing about their exciting ventures in Charlotte. Also, there’s beer. And sometimes the first beer is sponsored by someone awesome like Yellow Cab of Charlotte.

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So unless you hate beer, don’t want to make any connections for future jobs or new friends, and are basically a recluse, you SHOULD be going to #instabeerup. My husband is an introvert and he went, so you can, too. Again, unless you are a hermit, I expect to see you on Thursday, 6/25 at Unknown Brewing with a smile on your face, beer in your hand and talking to at least one new person.

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PS – let’s give it up for Corri Smith (@corriasmith) and Amy Herman (@VTGCLT) for putting this together. Charlotte is a big place, with so many smart people and so much potential, so we need to be getting together more often. Share your ideas, make new friends, taste good beer, do big things in our city.

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Queen City Helicopters: Birds Eye View

Everytime I log into Instagram, I see tons of pictures posted of Charlotte’s skyline. No shame there. It is a pretty skyline. The sunsets have been magnificent lately, only making it prettier.

The only thing better than staring at the skyline from your balcony, is taking a gander of it from above.

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Last week, I took a tour with Queen City Helicopters and got to see Charlotte from a totally different perspective. We took a 20-minute ride around the 277 loop and saw the top of the Duke Energy building, down into the Panthers and Knights stadiums, and even got a good look at the pool on top of the ‘Pink Building.’

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While the ground-view shots of the skyline are nice, you can see miles beyond that from inside the helicopter. You can see all the way to Crowders Mountain!

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I was in the helicopter that fits two passengers plus the pilot (they have bigger ones if you have more passengers!). While small, it was completely comfortable. At first, I was a little nervous because there were no doors (don’t worry, Mom, I wore a seatbelt), that quickly went away. Going up in a helicopter is about a million times more smooth than going up in an airpane.

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The company is run by a father/son duo. The son was our pilot and was incredibly informative as we flew over the city. Everything seemed so professional, yet casual, which is exactly how it should feel.

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In addition to aerial tours of the city, they offer charters to get you to and from where you need to be in the city, aerial filming and even flight training if you want to be the pilot!

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This was one of the most exciting experiences I’ve had since living in Charlotte. If you want to get a new perspective on the city, live on the edge a little (no doors!), or surprise your other half with a special adventure, give Queen City Helicopters a call: (704) 629-4677. I guarantee you’ll be talking about it for months to come after you get back on the ground. If you mention that you saw the article in When In Charlotte, you’ll get 10% off of your aerial tour! There’s no other place you’ll have views this good of the Queen City!

At the Summit

In my best Chris Traeger voice, I literally loved everything about The Summit Room. We arrived 45 minutes early for our reservations and decided to grab a drink at the bar.

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That quickly turned into two drinks because they were so smooth.

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The Summit Room’s Cucumber Collins is the ONLY gin drink that I have ever liked. And by liked, I mean, I downed this drink in a matter of minutes. Then I had this Mango-Strawberry Splash which included a prosecco topper. Always say “yes” to prosecco toppers.

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My husband went with the Chocolate Old Fashion, but he assured me it was not like dessert, and I would not like it. He, however, liked it so much that he got the same thing twice.

IMG_5412To keep us from getting tipsy before dinner, we decided to order an appetizer to accompany our drinks. My husband, the expert food selector, picked the grilled zucchini flat bread. Definitely one of the more filling appetizers you could order but it was so delicious that I think we could have ordered a few more and called it a night.

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Because the first appetizer was so amazing, we ordered a second. Both the bartender and our waitress recommended the BBQ Shrimp, so we figured they had to be good.

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And boy, were they good! The shrimp were served over a corn pudding cake and were DEFINITELY a good choice.

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We got a quaint corner seat inside, and even though there was a big party sitting close by, it was still quiet enough for us to enjoy ourselves and to hear each other over dinner. There’s also a darling outdoor seating area and the cutest rocking chairs on the porch.

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My husband ordered the duck for dinner and it came with delicious blueberry grits and spinach. I had the salmon, which was thick but cooked perfectly.

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Since we over-indulged in appetizers, cocktails and our entrees, we decided to skip dessert, but not before at least taking a peek at the dessert menu. We decided then and there that we’re going back for drinks and dessert very soon.

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If you’re looking for a fun and semi-fancy place for dinner, I definitely recommend The Summit Room. They have a cool backstory and their tables were created from local landmarks. Plus, the cocktails… amazing… smooth… yum.