fort bragg

Bloom Where You are Planted: Fourth Friday

When my husband and I lived in the Fayetteville area during our first round at Fort Bragg we never went to downtown Fayetteville outside of the day we were married and to pick up our boy’s birth certificates. Back then we were always told to avoid the area. I can remember hearing about how they were trying to revitalize the area and every now and then I would hear about something that was going on. After being away eight years things have changed and I can safely say that staying away from downtown is NOT advice anyone should take. Downtown Fayetteville is full of places to explore, eat and shop! It is an area of Fayetteville I am still exploring so I was disappointed I missed part of the adventure my fellow bloggers went on during the Fayetteville Familiarization Tour. Luckily though I was able to check out the Dogwood Festival and Fourth Friday with them and check out some areas I really need to go back and explore!

Fourth Friday has been held in some way or form for the last about 15 years. Every Fourth Friday of the month part of downtown is closed where you can walk on the streets. There are exhibits, all sorts of free entertainment as well as food and drinks that come to together in historic downtown Fayetteville. It is a very  relaxed and fun atmosphere.

On the Friday that we went we first came across a set up by the Climbing Place, where you could climb and race to the top of the rock wall. It was busy and we watched as father’s raced their children up the rock wall to see who would be first.

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Next we came across the Fayettevillains. Check out the great video that Angela from Mommy PR took of them HERE

 

and finally we reached the Market House where Air Born Aerials was set up. Here is some video that I took:

They were amazing! Aerial silks have always amazed me.
Bloom Where you are Planted- Fourth FridaySimply the upper body  and core strength that is needed to do this amazes me! 

Bloom Where you are Planted- Fourth Friday

I learned afterwards that there was even an exhibit inside of Market House. Honestly there is so much to do it is very easy to miss things with everything going on.
Bloom Where you are Planted- Fourth FridayJust exploring I was making a mental list of all the places that I needed to come back to and visit. Fourth Friday was definitely a good way to get out and explore downtown Fayetteville!

In addition to Fourth Friday the Dogwood Festival was going on. The Dogwood Festival has been around since the early 80’s. Much like Raleigh is the city of oaks Fayetteville is the city of dogwood’s, giving the festival it’s name. The festival which is held every 4th weekend in April, hosts local and national music artists, arts and crafts,plenty of food and of course fun! Friday night’s featured artist was country singer,Craig Campbell.

Bloom Where you are Planted- Fourth Friday

As part of the blogger familiarization tour we were given the VIP treatment and hung out at the VIP tent but not without first walking the red carpet.

Bloom Where you are Planted- Fourth Friday

I have to say that red carpet sure can make a girl feel special.

#FayTour15

We were able to sit back and relax while waiting on the night’s headliner.

#FayTour15

While remaining close but somewhat far away from the stage

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There are concert’s at Festival Park several times throughout the year and  having been in the VIP section before I can say  the set up varies. I was happy to find this up close video of the flash mob the Fayetteville Police did. Their video is much better than the one I posted on instagram so here it is:

While in the VIP area they served a buffet dinner from Hilltop House, another great local restaurant that serves contemporary southern food. One of the best buffets I have had since I became gluten free. The tiny potatoes I had were my favorites!

Bloom Where you are planted- Fourth FridayHere is what everyone else ate:

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The food was great!

All that was left was to wait on Craig Campbell’s  who eventually came out after 9:30. He started off his set with Brooks and Dunn’s, Play Something Country and the crowd loved it! His concert closed out an eventful day.

Check out Fourth Friday in Downtown Fayetteville North Carolina!

Are you interested in Fourth Friday and want to check it out?

Check out their Facebook page HERE

Want to learn more about Downtown Fayetteville?

Check out their page HERE

 

Airborne and Special Operations Museum

It’s that time of the year again, it is time for Memorial Day. Memorial Day for many is the long awaited weekend that welcomes summer. A time to head to the beach, pool or fire up the grill for a BBQ. There are those who confuse Memorial and Veteran’s Day and for this I kindly ask please do not Thank a Veteran on Memorial Day. That’s not what Memorial Day is all about. Memorial day is the day to remember all of our soldiers that have fallen while in the line of duty. My husband has lost several brother’s at arms, I know those who lost their spouses, children who have lost their father. I don’t know many in the military community that do not know someone who gave all.

With Memorial Day on us I want to urge people to do something a little different this year. Find a way to remember those who gave their all so you do not have to. An easy way is to look and see if you have any military history museums in your area. Living in the Fort Bragg area we are blessed with several great museums but if I could only pick one it would be the  Airborne and Special Operations Museum.

Bloom Where You Are Planted- Airborne and Special Operations Museum

The Airborne and Special Operation’s Museum has been in Fayetteville since August of 2000 and tells the story of the Airborne and Special Operations Soldier from the 1940’s until present time. Since it opened in 2000 I have gone several times but it wasn’t until I went on the blogger familiarization tour with the Fayetteville Area Convention and Visitors Bureau that I was really able to get a deeper look into the museum. We have gone on our own and taken family in the past but I have always had a little one or two so while I was able to walk through the museum I never was able to really give it the full attention it deserves. Even with the blogger tour I would have loved more time. There is just so much to see and learn.

When exploring the museum there are two routes to go, explore the outside first or the inside. Outside you have the original Iron Mike statue from Fort Bragg. There are also memorial stones and pavers lining the walkways up to the museum. There is also something outside that you won’t find elsewhere, a memorial to the K-9 Soldier. On Memorial Day (Monday, May 25,2015) at noon they will be holding a special memorial day ceremony to honor the bravery and dedication of the special operations K-9 Soldier.

Since we were visiting on a rainy day we went straight inside. Upon entering you see 2 paratroopers hanging from the ceiling. Here is one of them:

Bloom Where you are Planted : Airborne and Special Operations Museum
Once you have signed in you are set to explore the museum. Inside they have a temporary exhibit, the main exhibit and a simulator ride. The current temporary exhibit is, Task Force Ranger And The Battle of  Mogadishu. This is better known to many from the book and movie, BlackHawk Down.

Bloom Where you are Planted : Airborne and Special Operations Museum

This exhibit just received the John Wesley Powell Prize, an award that is typically given to museums such as the Smithsonian! It really is a great exhibit and thanks to receiving the award we get to keep the exhibit a bit longer than planned. You have until October 2016 to check it out.
Here are a couple highlights from the exhibit:

Bloom Where you are Planted : Airborne and Special Operations Museum

and this:

Bloom Where you are Planted : Airborne and Special Operations MuseumThere are no words to describe this note.

Moving on we go onto enter the Main Exhibit hall.

Bloom Where you are Planted : Airborne and Special Operations MuseumWalking through there is something to look at at every turn.

Bloom Where you are Planted : Airborne and Special Operations Museum

I loved looking at the uniforms and how much they have changed but also have stayed the same. The unit patch for the 508th is exactly the same logo today!

There was honestly too much for me to include in this blog but here are some of the bigger exhibits:

Bloom Where you are Planted : Airborne and Special Operations Museum

Bloom Where you are Planted : Airborne and Special Operations Museum

Bloom Where you are Planted : Airborne and Special Operations Museum

Bloom Where you are Planted : Airborne and Special Operations Museum

Bloom Where you are Planted : Airborne and Special Operations Museum

Bloom Where you are Planted : Airborne and Special Operations Museum
You walk through the 1940’s to present day with close attention to detail in an attempt to not miss a thing. I saw pictures that were similar to those of my grandfathers from World War II, you can read about how the Pathfinders began and why they were important, learn about different weapons and gear that was used. The tour is self guided so you can spend as much time or as little as you would like!

When you finish looking at the exhibit there is one more experience waiting for you. The Airborne and Special Operations Museum also has a simulator ride! They just updated it and it was to debate during Armed Forces Weekend but I have something for you. Here is a sneak peak of the ride:

I’m sorry but if you want to see how it ends you will have to go to the museum!

The museum is located at:

100 Bragg Boulevard
Fayetteville, North Carolina

The museum Hours are:

Tuesday-Saturday 10am-5pm
Sunday 12pm-5pm
Closed Mondays and Federal Holidays.
The museum will be open on Memorial Day, Independence Day, and Veteran’s Day.
We are closed on Federal Holidays, including Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Years Day, and Easter.
The Exhibit Gallery closes at 4:45.
They recommend allowing 2-3 hours to tour the museum grounds.

Admission is free to the museum but they accept donations.
You do have to pay  to ride the Motion Simulator, it is $5; half price for those under 36″. Tickets are available in the gift shop.

If you check out the museum from May 16 thru June 27th 2015 you will also have the opportunity to check out the North Carolina Field of Honor. Hundreds of American Flags are flying honoring those who serve, who have served and those that have paid the ultimate sacrifice. The Field of Honor You can read more information about the North Carolina Field of Honor HERE.

ALL GAVE SOME. SOME GAVE ALL.

Fairfield Inn

Whether you are PCS/moving  and need someplace to stay while you are house hunting, have family coming in from out of town or are just looking for a local stay-cation, I have the place for you in Fayetteville. The Fayetteville Area Convention and Visitors Bureau started our blogger familiarization tour at the Fairfield Inn by Marriott on Ramsey Street and we were given a brief tour of the hotel. Every person has their own reasons for picking a hotel, the rooms, the amenities, the breakfast and this place has it all at an affordable price.

When you first walk into the lobby you are greeted by it’s open floor plan and a small seating area directly to your right as you walk in. To the left is check in as well as a small shop (Corner Market) where you can buy snacks and alcoholic beverages.  We decided the wall behind check in was an awesome wall to take selfies! To the back was a large seating area what is used in the evenings and in the morning s for breakfast.

Bloom Where you are Planted: Fairfield Inn
Taken by Mrs Tee

Moving on to the hotel rooms they are very nice and looked just like Fairfields pictures on their website. We were shown a room with a king bed as well as a studio with a king bed. Both rooms were quite roomy with plenty of space to maneuver around.  The regular room  had a space saving cubby hole built into the wall with your typical amenities- microwave, fridge and coffee maker. Where as the studio had a small kitchenette area  that included dishes. The beds felt cozy, perfect for after a day exploring Fayetteville. If you had work to do they had a very nice desk in the room. The bathroom was your typical bathroom except for one thing, the shower. The shower was AMAZING! The pictures we took just did not do it justice. I would have loved to stay the night like a couple of my fellow bloggers to fully experience the room but it just wasn’t in the cards for me since my husband was away doing exciting Army stuff in Louisiana.

Bloom Where You are Planted : Fairfield Inn

Among the other amenities the hotel has an indoor heated salt water pool. Personally, I love salt water pools over the typical chlorine pool. The pool area also included access to a patio area outside. This pool was really calling my name, if only I was staying the night!  Directly across from the pool is the fitness room. The room was a very large room filled with a row of Precor treadmills and ellipticals and a rack with some free weights. Just enough for a quick work out while you are away. I really appreciated that there was more than one of each machine also!

Bloom Where You are Planted : Fairfield Inn

A welcome addition to the Fairfield was an outdoor area in the back of the hotel with a BBQ grill and a fire pit and comfy seats. The fire pit is gas and is set to a timer for those oops, I forgot to turn it off moments. The back patio had everything you could need for a relaxing evening.

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The Fairfield Inn does offer a complimentary breakfast and it is more than your typical cereal and maybe baked goods. They offer both hot and cold breakfast items and you can find something to meet most dietary needs. Even though I was not staying there I was able to try out their breakfast. Being gluten free this is often a challenge at many complimentary hotel breakfasts but I was able to have a couple pieces of bacon, a sausage patty and some yogurt. They also offered your typical make your own waffles, scrambled eggs, assorted pastries, fresh fruit to include a fresh fruit salad and more.

The Fairfield Inn isn’t just a place to spend a night away from home but they have meeting space and small banquet space. Are you part of an organization that holds regular meetings but is constantly looking for a place to meet? The Fairfield Inn has a conference room that you can rent seats 12 that is set up just to host meetings. Are you having a small wedding, sweet 16 or other small party? They have a room just for you. The room even includes a door directly to the outside to a patio area where your guest can smoke or just hang out.

The Fairfield Inn by Marriott is a great hotel for all your hotel needs where you get your money’s worth. They also offer government/military rates upon availability. I hope you take it into consideration when looking for a hotel in Fayetteville!

Taken by Fayetteville Area Convention and Visitors Bureau
Taken by Fayetteville Area Convention and Visitors Bureau