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publisher’s note I hope everyone had a happy Thanksgiving and with Christmas and the New year only several weeks away, it seems like 2010 has flown by. With the holiday season in full force, opportunities abound to celebrate and enjoy your time with friends and family! Elevate Lifestyle would like to wish everyone the best and safest of holiday, and would like to welcome all the holiday visitors into town as well. With new Year’s Eve, there are always lots of fun parties and events to consider attending, so we hope you’ll find this issue helpful in determining your plans for that special evening. Some of our hospitality partners have tailored their messages this month to tell you about their New Year’s Eve events going on at their restaurant and bars. Plus, we will have them all listed plus many more on our new event calendar at For those who are looking to travel for the holiday’s, we have you covered as well. December is our “Travel Issue”. From places to spend your New Year’s Eve around the world, to some of the world’s top restaurants, winter escapades and a lot more! The vote begins December 15th for the 2011 Elevate Lifestyle Awards. You are able to choose your “best of the city” in these seven different categories: Culture, Dining, Entertainment, Fashion, Fitness, Lifestyle, and Nightlife. By simply registering a vote for your favorite will enter you for a chance to win some of the many great prices which will be given away at the huge party in April when all the winners are announced. Happy New Year! We will be back in February the start the beginning of our eight year! Steve


team Publisher: Steve Caldwell Editor: Edy Hinson Creative Director: Greg Smith Design and Production: Greenspon Advertising Cover Photography: Jim Merrill, JMT Photography | Model: Brittany Kerr, Makeup Artist: Casey Nelson “The Bright Eyed Gift�: Photographer: Jerry Litaker, Carolina Premier Photography, Stylist: Lee Taylor, Carolina Talent - Models, Brian Knoll, Brandy Holsinger, Courtney Hollifield, Darrin Catoe, Denise Wells, Jenna Petraglia, Joel Canino, Li Lun Chen, Melissa Eberhart, Marc Soper, November Joy, and Stephen Soper Advertising, Sponsorship, and Website Sales General Advertising Sales Information: Christine Younghans, Dempsey Gibson, and Steve Caldwell Contributing Writers: Dining Editor: Ryan Self, Entertainment Editor: Denise Gregory, Fashion Editor: Debra Kennedy, Fitness Editor: Monique Douglas, Nightlife Editor: Sean Flynn, Alex Wilhelm and Sumanah Khan Event, Article and Web site Photography: Eun Park,, Steve Caldwell, & Trip Bye Intern: Alex Wilhelm

TRAVEL ISSUE 40 48 54 60 64 66

3, 2, 1 . . . Happy New Year! Winter Festivals Abroad! Dive On In! World’s Top Restaurants Travel Apps to Download Now The Snack to Grab Before You Board

TRAVEL ISSUE 68 70 76 82 92 96

The Right Food to Eat While Flying Top Pick Destinations For 2011 Winter Escapades The Bright Eyed Gift The Indoctrination Experiment Cardinal Gin

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CULTURE best theater company best historical site best art gallery

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DINING best bbq restaurant best low-carb lunch best chips and salsa

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ENTERTAINMENT best comedy club best bowling alley best club dj

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FASHION best loungewear best nail salon best spa

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FITNESS best bike shop best golf course best intramurals

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LIFESTYLE best antique store best pet grooming best cooking school

best wedding registry best fabric store best exotic florist

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NIGHTLIFE best “in crowd” bar best college hangout best girl’s night out

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top ten new years places 3, 2, 1 . . . Happy New Year! Whether counting down to 2011 at tried-andtrue celebrations like New York’s annual Times Square extravaganza, or by eating a grape for every stroke of midnight in Barcelona, your adrenaline is sure to be racing as 2010 winds down in our favorite places to ring in the new year. We love the ultimate party city, Vegas, for its most over-the-top show of the year; partying hearty in Berlin’s massive open-air fiesta; schussing the slopes of the majestic Rockies; and even standing under the breathtaking fireworks cascade over Sydney’s harbor. Should you agree that one day of feting simply won’t suffice, experience the celebration Scot-style, with merrymaking in Edinburgh that lasts four long days, or head to bustling Hong Kong to experience what’s billed as the world’s largest Chinese New Year celebration, spanning more than three weeks of festivities. Beach-lovers can also experience sandy revelry with a twist on December 31 in Rio or Miami. Aspen Snow bunnies will use any excuse to hit the slopes, and a New Year’s celebration is better than most. But, there’s way more than soft, wide mountain terrain to lure reveling holiday travelers to Aspen’s legendary runs. This fabled, fabulous resort has long played host to the free-spirited and the Forbes/Fortune crowd who can’t get enough of the sophisticated action on

and off the slopes. Whether schussing down the slopes of Snowmass or Aspen Highlands, dining on gourmet cuisine, or savoring martinis with the well-heeled, Aspen makes for a glittering Alpine getaway and a stylish end-of-year send off. Barcelona Don’t miss your siesta – Barcelona’s all-night New Year’s fiesta requires some stamina! The Spanish version of año nuevo kicks off with family and friends sharing a sumptuous meal and mucho vino at a private home or restaurant – the more exceptional restaurants, like Catalaninspired Ca l’Isidre and upscale Jaume de Provença – must be booked well in advance. The onset of 12am means a frantic race to stuff your face with 12 good-luck grapes – one for each stroke of midnight. You’d be wise to concentrate on the task at hand – if you succeed at this long-standing Spanish tradition, you’re ensured a year of prosperity and good luck (otherwise, it’s said you’ll have a month of bad luck for every uneaten grape). Once the last one is downed, crowds spill out into the Gothic Quarter and Las Ramblas, drawn by the pulsating music and chatter emanating from numerous bars and nightclubs. The action stays pumping until dawn – just in time to catch the first sunrise of the year on the beach, with some hot chocolate and churros in hand! Berlin Sure, winter in Berlin can be downright frigid, but the city’s schedule of adrenaline-pumping New Year’s Eve activities warms spirited revelers right up. Kick off the festivities long before the stroke of midnight at the Berlin New Year’s Eve Run – whether you lace up your sneakers or just join ranks to watch, this is guaranteed to be a race unlike any other (the trophy goes not to the fastest runner, but to the most outrageously costumed!) Afterwards, follow the crowds to the mile-and-a-quarter-long Silvester (New Year’s Eve) party, which unfolds between the iconic Brandenburg Gate and the Victory Column. Join over a million people


at this mind-blowing bash complete with DJ towers, laser light shows, party tents, video screens, live bands, and a fireworks show that brings in the New Year with a bang. Edinburgh This Scottish capital boasts one of the world’s biggest New Year bashes: Hogmanay. At the close of each year, a 4-day fête counts down to the big kahuna on December 31, complete with parades, concerts, carnivals, dog races, firework shows, and a slew of hedonistic events and parties. Major international artists perform in the city center during the Edinburgh’s Hogmanay Street Party on New Year’s Eve, while age-old national customs, like “first-footing”, are practiced all over town: Right after midnight, neighbors bring luck – and gifts of coal or shortbread – to their friends and family by being the first to set foot in their household in the new year. Hong Kong What’s better than celebrating New Year’s once? Celebrating it twice! Enjoy traditional December 31 festivities at home, and then jet off to Hong Kong several weeks later to do it all over again – only bigger and arguably, better. Already the leading event on the lunar calendar, Hong Kong earns accolades for hosting the world’s biggest Chinese New Year celebration, with 2010 festivities set to run from January 20 through February 15. During this time, visitors can welcome the Year of the Tiger by taking part in specially-planned events and activities like browsing colorful flower markets, attending horse races, or ogling massive fireworks displays. Don’t miss the free “fiestas,” featuring elaborate floats and performers, or the International Chinese New Year Night Parade (held on February 14, Chinese New Year’s Day), when Hong


Kong will be bursting at the seams with costumed revelers, musical performances, and an overall sense of jubilation. Las Vegas

Viva Las Vegas is never more vivacious than when the noholds-barred party capital of the world hosts the biggest party of the year. Throwing down in Sin City has become a consistently bigger and better New Year’s phenomenon in recent years, as partiers are lured by dazzling pyrotechnics, wild street parties, super-chic nightclubs, gourmet restaurants, big-name performers – and hundreds of thousands of fellow revelers with whom to enjoy it. The main action unfolds on the Strip, which is closed to traffic and transformed into a viewing platform for a fantastic fireworks extravaganza that’s blasted into the night sky above the city’s neon lights. “America’s Party” also takes place downtown where the Fremont Street Experience becomes a huge block party complete with confetti, a massive wine toast, concerts by big-name rockers, and a five-block-long illuminated canopy 90 feet overhead, on which state-of-the-art sound-andlight shows are shown. Miami While the winter chill keeps many of us bundled up and indoors on the big eve, South Beach is as hot as ever and we’re not just talking about the weather. Miami’s trendy Art Deco neighborhood buzzes with a sexy scene that’s even more energized than usual when the year comes to a close. Cool and well-dressed hipsters bounce from bar to club, not to mention scads of Hollywood A-listers who flock south for some of the year’s most exclusive and unabashed fiestas. Don’t have


an invite? You can still nab tickets to an array of party hot spots like The Delano, The Setai, or Gansevoort South to hobnob and people watch. For something a little less velvet rope, Miami’s Bayfront Park hosts South Florida’s largest on-the-house party – with a free concert, a countdown to midnight with the big Orange drop (the New Year’s ball that slowly descends the side of the InterContinental hotel), and a dazzling fireworks display over Biscayne Bay. New York

For the ultimate New Year’s experience, there’s no better place to be than in the center of the City that Never Sleeps. Times Square has been home to the renowned “ball drop” celebration for 103 years (it debuted in 1907); today, millions of visitors flood New York City’s confetti-covered streets to partake in an all-night, oversized street party filled with live music, celebrity visits, and tons of Happy New Year paraphernalia. For those wary of late-December weather forecasts, have no fear – you can always join the excitement without bundling up, as local bars and night clubs buzz with their own private parties, many of which last until the wee hours of the morning. Plus, if you’re looking to join the festivities from home, tune into the live TV coverage of the annual event along with audiences worldwide. Rio de Janeiro Sure, Carnival might get all the glory, but New Year’s Eve in Rio de Janeiro is memorable in its own right. An extravagant beachfront spectacle, known as Reveillon, sees an eclectic blend of traditions unfold along Copacabana, attracting some 2 million faithful practitioners of the Umbanda religion and the Candomblé religion – and a lot of curious tourists. Sure, you’ll get your no-less-than-spectacular fireworks, de-


lectable Brazilian food, and pulsating samba music to enjoy during the warm summer day’s festivities, but you’ll also see ritualistic offerings to the sea goddess, Iemanjá, made by a group of white-clad, candleholding, revelers who rush to the surf to release small wooden boats. Tradition holds that if the goddess is pleased with a boat’s inner offerings (normally flowers, perfumes, or other similar trinkets), it will be carried out to sea and the bearer bestowed with blessings. As night falls, Brazilians prove that they sure know how to party as DJs start up their sound systems and dancing and drinking lasts til dawn. Luxury beachfront hotels host private balls and parties, to boot – they’re also a great spot for tuckered-out revelers to enjoy champagne breakfasts as the first light of January 1 approaches. Sydney

Sydney is renowned across the globe for hosting one of the ultimate New Year’s Eve bashes. Indeed, this Aussie capital pulls out all the stops, with an array of glamorous citywide celebrations and stellar pyrotechnic presentations over the harbor. Bursts of dazzling colors explode over the Sydney Harbor Bridge and dance on the water and over the Opera House’s scalloped roof. Plenty of New Year’s Eve cruises sail around the harbor to provide unparalleled views of the spectacular extravaganza. And since it’s summer Down Under, you can delight in sun-drenched spoils the next day. With a chic urban vibe, gorgeous surf-swept beaches, rocking nightlife, and an edgy art scene, there’s plenty to soak up after you recuperate from a champagne-filled night you won’t soon forget.



winter festivals abroad! Thanksgiving was a blast, wasn’t it? I’m sure you’ve got your Christmas and New Year’s Eve parties all mapped out and ready to go with friends and family … awe! But wouldn’t it be better had you planned for trips abroad, to see something new and different? I don’t know about you, but this time next year, I’m planning on festivals abroad. From floating restaurants to the fire festival, I’m sure I can find a festival fitting.

Hornbill Festival | Nagaland, India In Nagaland, northern India, the Hornbill Festival, a celebration of the indigenous warrior tribes of the region, takes place each year from November to December. With more than 16 major tribes residing in this wonderland of mountainous beauty and scattered sub-tropical rain forests, the tribes come together exhibiting their own colored costumes, jewelry and art that distinguish their culture from the others. There are food sales, religious stalls, and much more. For more information about how to plan for this event, visit Hornbill. (November – December) River Kwai Bridge — Light and Sound Show Kanchanaburi, Thailand Venture on a floating restaurant under the River Kwai for a face-to-face, live experience of the Light and Sound Show that recaptures the building of the Death Railway, a bridge built by 49

prisoners of war and laborers, from 1942 to 1943. The series of these events are dramatized through an orchestra, centered on the bridge, and a slew of lasers and fireworks. Here’s the storyline below. (November-December) The Light and Sound show entitled “The War is Over� Episode I: Before the War: Our Happiness This episode tells the story of Kanchanaburi, one of the key cities of a region known as Suvarnabhumi, the golden land, its culture and civilization. Scenes depict the slow-paced daily life of local villagers who live a simple but beautiful and peaceful life. Episode II: The Wartime: Dehumanized The start of World War II. A beautiful land is turned into a battle field. It reveals how people can become dehumanized as they fight to survive and strive for victory. The losses caused by this are not only devastating, but also break the spirit and bonds of love. This becomes an utmost tragedy in history. 50

Episode III: The War Is Over. This is a Time to Celebrate. The war ended, peace and happiness return to mankind again. The celebration begins, but memories of the loss are still deeply rooted in the minds of those who survived and those who lost their loved ones. Of course, there are all kinds of stalls for shopping jewelry, art and apparel. For more information, visit Up Helly Aa Festival | Shetland Island, UK The ‘End of the Holy Days,’ is the largest fire celebration where the Viking Jarl Squad marches with torches and axes, burning things and getting the locals amped up for the climax, which is a Norse longboat set afire to remember the death of the Viking king. The locals really get into character as they are known to grow their beards in preparation for the event. It is said to be the biggest calendar event in the country, despite Christmas and New Year’s Eve. Unlike the other events, it isn’t advertised for tourists, making it that much better. There’s a hotel that hosts 24-hour whiskey parties. Two words: liquid lunch. A 12-hour ferry from Aberdeen takes you to this festival on the last Tuesday of January. Denise Gregory, Entertainment Editor 51

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dive on in! While traveling and taking in famous landmarks, you have no choice but to be as one with the tourists. But after a long day of snapping pictures and hanging with the Griswolds, I want to belly up with the locals, which luckily always ends up at a local dive bar. The term ‘dive bar’ holds many definitions. Some patrons are turned off by a dive bar, and some owners can even get offended being classified as one. I take it as a compliment, little drunken treasures that I pray and anticipate the QC having more of. The darker, dirtier and louder a joint, the better for me! Let’s face it, I know people aren’t booking flights solely to belly up at dive bars. However, they are certainly the perfect places to take in the real scene of where you are, hear legendary stories about the town, and even a story about someone who once sat in that bar stool. Dive bars can also be utilized as a personalized travel guide -you’ll find the locals’ favorite spots that aren’t featured in the free

pamphlets handed to you. That’s right, when traveling abroad or in a new city, my main tour guide is the bartender at the local dive bar. I’m going to run through my top three destinations that have the most dive bars, and also some of my favorites. New York City -- a nightlife lover’s wet dream -- is a long drive yet only a quick flight. Choosing a few of my favorite dives here is just about as hard as watching my Panthers play this season. While in Little Italy grubbing on some classic macaroni and gravy, Mulberry Street Bar is a must. Classics from The Sopranos to Donnie Brasco all have been shot in this small acquaint bar. Old sailor hats covered with dust from the 1940s hang on a clock along with pictures from all decades of celebrities that have bellied up in this dive. There is no Lady GaGa pumping in this bar, strictly Sinatra here my friends, fooget aboouut it! Greenwich Village is … how can I say it – divelicious. The Village is blocks after blocks of dives and not mediocre dives but Triple Lindy Dives! Doc Holidays, believe it or not, is a country bar dead smack in the E.Village. Put it this way: the first time I stumbled in, outlaw country was blaring, I tripped on an empty can of PBR, and then was greeted to a free shot of wild turkey -- ‘nuff said. McSorley’s Old Ale House, NYC’s oldest operating saloon having been established in 1854, should be on the bar hopping menu while here. Light or dark beer are your only two options 55

served, so please don’t go if you are a picky drinker. Be sure to soak in all the d_cor from the chandeliers that haven’t been dusted in God knows how long, to the sawdust strewn floors. Screw the Statue of Liberty, McSorleys needs to be the New York landmark to visit! Without name-dropping 100, here a few more of my favorites in Manhattan: Down The Hatch, Rudy’s Bar & Grill, The Library & Mars Bar. R.I.P CBGB’s! Just about everything in Europe is extremely old and filled with history which means so are their bars! If you’re traveling abroad and are thirsty, you have no choice but to wet the American pallet at a Dive Bar. A normal pub in Amsterdam or Dublin would probably be considered a Dive Bar here in the states, but not there. Of course, the first two things that come to one’s mind when thinking about Amsterdam, Netherlands is the Redlight District and coffee shops. Sure, they are widely known for the two but there is plenty of other nightlife to encounter while here. Having a cop help light your doobie while you hand-pick a lady of the evening is pretty dang cool, but so is taking in the Van Gogh museum, and getting hammered bar hopping around Anne Frank’s attic. 56

The quality of musical artists that blaze through this town is remarkable. Plan a trip around a show at Melkweg or the Paradiso, and bar hop around the mass variety of dives at Leidseplein Square. And if you need a little reminder of home, the Americanthemed rock ‘n’ roll dive bar Waterhole is a perfect breather to get a quick American jolt. A lot of dive damage can be done here at the ‘Dam, I can’t wait to go back to do more damage myself. Note: When heading to the coffee shops, steer away from The Bulldog which is more of a Wal-mart of all shops. Head to the White Dolphin and other independent dives where you will find their signature blends -- the best in the ‘Dam! With a name like Sean Flynn, you can guess traveling to Dublin, Ireland would be in my radar when in Europe. And it is exactly what I anticipated it to be, only better. The party starts early here and actually ends early, right around midnight (which is fine by me, considering my Jameson/Guinness combo started early in the morning). With that being said, I cannot give you specific bar names to go to. For one, there are way too many to choose. And two, I don’t remember any of them! I know to head to the Temple Street area, which can be considered the city’s nightlife district and is always packed with people from sun up to sun down, filled with epic pubs, music and food. Temple can get a little touristy but who the hell cares, it’s Dublin, just walk the opposite direction of the crowd and pop in any pub and have a blast! The wise man James Joyce once wrote, “ A good puzzle would be to cross Dublin without passing a pub.” He wasn’t lying. Hopefully one day I will be able to quote the same about Charlotte. Cheers! Sean Flynn, Nightlife Editor


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world’s top restaurants Since this is our “Travel Issue,” it seems like the perfect time to talk about some of the world’s top restaurants. Every year WorldPress. Org creates their list of the top 50 restaurants around the world. Below is my selection of the top five, as they originally appeared in the article, published May 19. DE JOEL ROBUCHON | Rue de Montalembert, Paris Joel Robuchon doesn’t have tables in his restaurant, diners sit on bar stools around the open kitchen. So, one of France’s best restaurants is a long way from the haughty haute cuisine you might expect. Le Figaro was in no doubt: “C’est une revolution!” www.

Bookings: You don’t. You turn up with crossed fingers, put your name on the list and wait at the bar. Where to stay: The restaurant is attached to the historic Hotel Pont Royal or, 15 minutes away, try Hotel de la Tulipe, hidden in an ancient convent. EL BULLI | Montjoi, Spain

With sweeping views of the Costa Brava and an unprecedented approach to food, El Bulli is a great adventure for the traveling gourmet. Ferran Adria opens his restaurant from March to September; the rest of the time, he’s in his workshop, experimenting with new tastes and techniques. Be his guinea pig and sign up for the 35-course taster’s menu. Bookings: Don’t hold your breath, but it’s worth the phone call to see if there are any availabilities. Where to stay: Nearby Roses is packed and touristy. Head in the other direction to Cala Joncols for a fairly modest 25-room hotel in its own gardens behind the beach. THE FAT DUCK | Bray, Berkshire, UK This is the place that does bacon-and-egg ice cream, snail porridge and sardine-on-toast sorbet. So you can safely say you’ve never had a meal like it. Run by chef Heston Blumen61

thal since it opened in 1995, it already has three Michelin stars under its belt. Try the spectacular eight-course tasting menu. Bookings: Reserve two weeks in advance for weekdays and at least a month ahead for weekends. Where to stay: Make a gastronomic weekend of it and stay at the Michelin-starred nine-room Waterside Inn. PIERRE GAGNAIRE | Paris, France El Bulli’s Adria has been dubbed the Salvador Dali of cooking. Gagnaire should be its Matisse: a bold, experimental chef cooking up a storm in the chic eighth arrondissement. If you want to venture to the frontier of luxe cooking today—and if money is no object—a dinner here is a must. Chef Pierre Gagnaire’s work is at once intellectual and poetic, often blending three or four unexpected tastes and textures in a single dish. Ultra fresh and exotic ingredients include prawns flown in from Madagascar. Leave room for the famous Grand Dessert, seven mini delights such as rum baba, roasted rhubarb and buckwheat pancake. The service is great, as you would expect for the money. The wine list is competent and the wine service very good. Bookings: Reservations are essential and are taken up to a month ahead. 62

Where to stay: The 1920’s Hotel Elysees Matignon, which is also in the eighth arrondissement. FRENCH LAUNDRY | Yountville, California “Is it possible that the best French restaurant is not in France?” asks the critic from Le Monde. Well, it certainly appears so. Thomas Keller’s Napa Valley French country restaurant is unforgettable. The 10-course tasting menu is incredible. Open with bagaduce oysters and ossetra caviar, then wing through variations on truffles, tuna nicoise, sweet butter-poached lobster, chicken and dumplings, spring lamb and so on, finishing in triumph with the delice au chocolat et caramel. www.

Bookings: Reserve up to two months in advance. Where to stay: Continue the French-California theme at Maison Fleurie, five minutes from the restaurant. It has 13 rooms set in a peaceful landscaped garden. Bicycles are provided to help tick off the surrounding Napa wineries. 63

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snacks to grab before you board What you eat in the air so you’ll feel sharp when you’re back on the ground Almonds, walnuts, or cashews: “All are rich in monounsaturated fats, so they’re more satiating than pretzels and good for the heart.” Roasted edamame: “Low is saturated fat and high in fiber. Plus, research suggest they can help lower cholesterol.” Fruit: “Always bring a piece of fruit to get some high fiber carbohydrates that will give you energy.” Yogurt: “Instead of sugary yogurt, buy low fat plain yogurt and toss in some fresh fruit.” Energy bars: “Don’t exceed 200 calories, because otherwise you’re getting a lot of fat and sugar.


the right food to eat while flying HOW TO ORDER THE HEALTHEST MEAL Nothing is worse than empty calories at 30,000 feet. Most health experts will tell you to brown-bag it, but if there’s no time to pick something up, you’ll need a smart strategy for choosing from the in-flight menu.

FROM THE EXPERTS AMERICAN (Lunch/Domestic) SKIP: Flatiron steak topped with rich sauce of mushrooms and pearl onions, served with broccolini PICK: Teriyaki-ginger-glazed salmon with taro mash and julienned carrots WHY: “Both are proteins, but salmon has omega-3s, while the steak is higher in saturated fat.” UNITED (Dinner/Domestic) SKIP: Fresh seasonal greens; hearty vegetable chili in a sourdough bread bowl PICK: Shrimp cocktail; lemon grass chicken with Thai barbecue sauce, brown rice, and stir fried vegetables WHY: “The salad won’t satisfy you the way the shrimp will, and the chili gives you a lot more fat and carbs.” VIRGIN AMERICA (Anytime Meals) SKIP: Artisanal cheese and fruit PICK: Bavarian roast-beef sandwich WHY: “You get more protein and less fat with the sandwich.”



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debra’s top pick 2011 destinations Planning your next vacation or weekend getaway is the ultimate climax to the start of a great new year! The goal for some is rest and relaxation, while thrill and adventure is what others have in mind. The common goal for all of us is a time to journey away from our everyday responsibilities and have fun! I will share a few of my favorite destination spots that you can enjoy while saving a few dollars. Most definitely Top Picks for planning your next vacation.

Life is good on Carnival’s Dream Ship. The new 130,000-ton ship is quite the dream. With the biggest movie screen I have ever seen (12’ X 22’ jumbo-sized LED screen) and easy to hear sound system that you can enjoy while lounging at the pool, to the Serenity Adult-Only retreat with two hot tubs to kick back and relax with a glass of wine – this is pure relaxation at its best.

After a day of island hopping and exploring, you return back to the ship and delectable dining awaits your arrival. The highlight was not only the delicious food, but the super-friendly and entertaining wait staff led by Emiliano for our nightly table. We were treated like royalty with a different selection nightly. Carnival Cruise Line most definitely offers the best value for the money. Book your cruise early and you will get the best prices as well as cabin upgrades.


BUENA VISTA PALACE - FLORIDA’S HIDDEN TREASURE With sunny weather, miles of beaches and Disney World, Florida is one of my favorite yearly destinations. Florida’s hidden treasure is Buena Vista Palace Hotel and Spa adjacent to the Downtown Disney area. The recent renovation totally transformed the award-winning hotel into a chic, sophisticated resort. Enjoying Walt Disney World Theme Parks (Park transportation is provided) and returning to a relaxing massage in the spa is my perfect vacation. Definitely one of my favorites and it will be yours too when you visit, I promise. VIVA LAS VEGAS – PLANET HOLLYWOOD IS THE TICKET Looking for a little fun and adventure? Vegas is the ticket. Each year I meet up with my West Coast Girls and hit Vegas for Miss America and so much fun. Planet Hollywood is centrally located amidst the most popular hotels in Vegas. This makes it easy to visit many other hotels within minutes. Each room is decorated in a separate movie theme. As you are strolling through the casino, keep your eyes open because you may run into many celebrities. An extra bonus is the Miracle Mile Mall that is connected to PH featuring more than 140 stores and 15 restaurants. Definitely the best location and price in Vegas – and play your cards right and it could be on the house if it is your lucky day. www. Happy Travels, Debra A. Kennedy, Fashion Editor



7:00 PM

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winter escapades It’s the holiday season, a time of year known for being spent with family and loved ones. My family is fairly spread out throughout the East Coast and some are still living in Jamaica, so typically a lot of traveling is made this time of year. I find that if I’m not with my family then it’s the most opportune time to do some vacationing with loved ones or friends. I’ve never been to Vegas so I would save that thought for New Year’s Eve. Though for Christmas, I tend to prefer a trip to a warmer climate like Jamaica’s for some fun in the sun! But let’s face it, unless you’re Vince Vaughn and Reese Witherspoon in Four Christmases, you’re probably not going to a Caribbean island for the holidays, instead venturing to log cabins or ski resorts. Gone are the times for jet-skiing and zip-lining, here are some ideas for winter vacationing activities.

If you’re staying in North Carolina, be sure to visit www. for a listing of resorts and their activities. Most resorts have beginner’s classes for the novices, before jumping on the big girl slopes. Some popular slopes can be found on Sugar Mountain and Beech Mountain due to their high elevations, as well as in the Great Smoky Mountains and the Appalachian Mountains ( SLEDDING Sledding is a fun activity for all ages and is popular in this area as well as in neighboring states of Tennessee, Virginia and West Virginia. Some resorts even offer free sledding for adventurists who are less than 12 years old. TUBING Having graduated from Western Carolina University, I’ve frequented several nearby towns like Maggie Valley, which is home to “Tube World!” Tube World opens in December and continues throughout the winter. Depending on the weather, some of the snow may be manufactured but is still fun and functional! 77

ICE SKATING The Charlotte area has an indoor skating rink called The Ice House in Pineville that has been local since 1995, There is also an outdoor skating area that transforms The Green in uptown Charlotte! Skating rental/admission is a total of $10 and is available from Thanksgiving Day through January 8.

However, should you decide to skip the snow for some sun tanning on a Caribbean resort, here are some previously listed activities I mentioned in my September issue: Windsurfing Sea kayaking | Snorkeling | Biking | Tennis | Water Aerobics Beach Volleyball | Table Tennis | Archery | Rifle Shooting. Whatever you choose to partake in during your winter travels, be sure to have fun and be safe! Til next time‌ Monique Douglas, Fitness Editor 78

Multiple studios on-location Green Screen Studio Casting Studio Sound Recording Studio Warehouse Studio

Features / Amenities: ·Oversized “Green Screen” ·Separate control room (overlooking set) ·Private on-set dressing rooms ·Drive in Stage (warehouse studio) ·Set / Prep Area (Break room) ·Private studio entrance ·Wireless Internet ·Equipment rental available

Sam with Marc and Melissa


d e y E Bright Gift

Berlin with Stephen and Courtney

Luna with Li lun and Denise

L uke with Darrin and Brandy

Metro with Brian and November

Odin with Darrin and Denise

Diego with Li Lun and Brandy

Special Thanks To The Charlotte Human Society Donna Canzano, Director of Development 2700 Toomey Avenue, Charlotte 28203 704.377.0534 Gift certificates for adoptions are available. Carolina Talent: Models & Stylist, Lee Taylor 1230 West Morehead St., S210 Charlotte www.Carolina 704.332.3218 Photographer: Jerry Litaker, Carolina Premier Photography

Ninja with Joel and Jenna


the indoctrination experiment On November 19th, 2010 at Butter NC, over 800 people decided to attend an event called SHE. Many didn’t know what to expect, but the creative energy that flowed through the room gave individuals a small taste of what they were about to take home with them that evening. Everyone watched with intent as Carlos Robson recited masterful poetry that literally transcended through the air and into peoples’ hearts and minds. Next to him, Matt Moore spray painted inspiration on canvas. Larger than life paintings of beautiful women interwoven with stimulating words hung from the ceilings and walls as ‘The Indoctrination Experiment (T.I.E.) came to life.

A couple of years ago, a slam poet and a visual artist joined forces and harmonized. The end result – a creative movement that mixes just about any medium of art existent with another. “Our goal is to inspire and spread creativity”, says Moore, “and if

we’re going to do it, we’re going to do it big. You miss 100% of shots you don’t take, and SHE is just the beginning. We’re going to experiment with an insanely wide spectrum of mediums, which is what’s beautiful about art -there are no rules”.


With a future as bright as theirs, Robson and Moore remain humble, and what lies next for this exceptional pairing of artists starts with New Year’s Eve and stretches for months. “We’ve go t some opportunities coming our way”, says Robson, “ but really it’s about what statement we can make next. We’re trying to be something more than just a live art performance, we’re trying to tell stories and flesh out concepts and really give someone a hybrid of the best of both our worlds ”. SHE was just the start of a creative force that will undoubtedly touch the inner artist in anyone who ever has the good fortune of being a part of “The Indoctrination Experiment”. More information on T.I.E: Facebook: the indoctrination experiment Sumanah Khan 94


cardinal gin From the beautiful altitudes of Kings Mountain, something is brewing … or should I say distilling? Kings Mountain was the first community in the United States to vote itself legally dry (October 1874), and in the latter half of the nineteenth century many distilleries were located in the same county as Kings Mountain. Gin originates in Holland back to 1550 when professor of medicine Franciscus de la Boe was trying to concoct a cure for stomach complaints using the diuretic properties of juniper berries, and stumbled on this wonderful infusion which he named Genever. It soon became popular as an approachable alcoholic drink. The migration back to the UK with this new style liquor came from troops returning from The Thirty Years War, who were given rations of gin to keep out the cold before battle. The love affair had started, and the product termed ‘Dutch Courage’ was enthusiastically brought back for consumption at home.

In tropical British colonies, gin was used to mask the bitter flavor of quinine, which was the only effective anti-malarial compound. The quinine was dissolved in carbonated water to form tonic water, the resulting mix becoming the origin of today’s popular  gin and tonic  combination, although modern tonic water contains only a trace of quinine as a flavoring.

Today there is only one distillery in the state of North Carolina and only ten different gins are distributed in North Carolina. Southern Artisan Spirits is dedicated to the revitalization of the lost art of craft distillation, with the utmost attention given to every small batch where perfection is created. Southern Artisan Spirits has hit North Carolina and produced a top shelf gin called Cardinal America,which won the Silver medal at the New York International Spirits competition. As Americans, we like to buy American-made products, it’s just the pride in us right? Well, Southern Artisan Spirits can do one better, they distill their product right outside of Charlotte for your local, delicious, distilled drinking pleasure.


It all started with two brothers, Alex and Charlie Mauney, who baked bread and found an interest in the correlation between yeast and alcohol. It took two years to get through the permit process, one family owned mill, 11 organic herbs/botanicals and one hot looking bottle to produce this delicious non-piney gin. The owners of S.A.S. suggest just mixing in a little tonic and a lime for the perfect cocktail. Cardinal America has already hit the shelves of North Carolina through a distributor in Raleigh. ABC stores can request cases through the distribution center if your local ABC isn’t carrying this product yet. No other distillery in the United States uses the same methods that Southern Artisan Spirits uses. The botanicals are all organic and are the freshest in the world, which creates a floral taste not found in other gins. Gin Recipes for your Holiday Season: The Cardinal Cran 1.25 oz. Cardinal America Gin 3 oz. cranberry juice 1 wedge lime(s) Gin Toddy 1.25 oz. Cardinal America Gin .75 oz. lemon juice 2 oz. boiling water 1 teaspoon(s) sugar 1 stick(s) cinnamon Add Tanqueray London Dry, lemon juice, boiling water, and sugar to wine goblet and stir. Garnish with cinnamon stick. To Contact Southern Artisan Spirits: 704-297-0191 | Alex Wilhelm


ted to revitalizing the lost art of craft distilSouthern Artisan Spirits (SAS) is dedica were and Alex Mauney. The Mauney family lation. SAS is managed by Charlie great tain. Charlie and Alex are the great pioneers/industrialists of Kings Moun in and his son’s started the first textile mills grandsons of Jacob S. Mauney. Jacob . d in a mill owned by the Mauney family Kings Mountain. SAS’s distillery is locate the and na Caroli North in ting opera ry in SAS is only the third commercial distille prohibition. Cardinal American Dry Gin first to manufacture small batch gin since bont organic or wild harvested herbs and is the flag ship product. Eleven differe ed Cardinal gin. Cardinal Gin is manufactur tanicals are used in the production of ction of an ultra-premium gin. in small batches, ensuring the produ ic pot SAS has acquired a 130 gallon Alemb Combining technology and tradition, The r and was imported from Portugal. still. This still is hand hammered coppe batch spirits of quality, not quantity. SAS goal of this distillery is to produce small distilling. plans on becoming a leader in microInternational Spirits Competition. won a silver medal in the New York ies in 47 categoCardinal American Dry Gin recently med 187 submissions from 28 countr welco etition Comp Spirits l ationa $50 was judged The New York Intern at pricing parity.  A gin that retails for ries catego their within spirits te price category. ries. Judges evalua l was the highest winner in Cardinal Gin’s meda silver The . range price that in conferred on panel with other gins The finish. and feel, mouth rance, aroma, taste, ting in the San Each spirit was sampled for appea compe be will Gin Dry can Ameri al decision. Cardin their choices and came to a unanimous tition in March. Francisco International Spirits compe for two months and hopes that na with Cardinal American Dry Gin SAS has been supplying North Caroli Southern Artisan Spirits rt craft distillation in North Carolina. suppo will rants restau and bars , ABC stores . spirits craft tional excep with oring communities looks forward to supplying our neighb



$10 TILL 9PM | $20 AFTER 9PM DOORS OPEN AT 8PM FREE CHAMPAGNE TOAST | PARTY FAVORS BALLOON DROP WITH CASH Call 704.488.6806 To Book Your Table Now, They Are Selling Fast! Table Includes Cover & Champagne Live Music from BLING CROSBY ** Always FREE Parking ** PRE AND POST PARTY HEADQUARTERS ALL BOBCATS ARENA EVENTS 201 E. 5th St. / Corner of 5th and College Sts.


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Wok Bar Wok on the Wild Side Saturday, November 27th

HAPPY ENDINGS New Years Celebration

Holiday Parties Book your corporate or private Holiday Party now until Christmas.

$150 a couple $100 per person Tickets are Limited

Food & premium Open Bar Starts at 9:00 Dec. 31, 2010

Sake Bomb Toast @ Midnight 704-887-9720 127 N. Tryon Street (corner of 5th & Tryon Street)

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Whisky River Bret Michaels Rock Wednesday, November 24th

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Dixie’s Tavern Getting Crazy Saturday, November 20th

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Strike City Letting Loose Saturday, November 27th

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SUITE Guys & Dolls Fundraiser Friday, November 19th

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Kazba Upscale Partying Saturday, November 27th

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Kennedy’s Premium Pub Weekend Kickoff Party Friday, November 19th

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Gin Mill Moonshine, Music & Mayhem Thursday, November 11th

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MEZ Elevate Lifestyle 7 Year Anniversary Party Friday, November 19th

Kelly Meyers

The “O” Show


Ace & TJ

December 2010 Travel Issue and NYE Guide  
December 2010 Travel Issue and NYE Guide  

Elevate Lifestyle December's Travel Issue and New Years Eve 2011 Guide