See Mom Run Hits Charlotte
I was greeted at the airport by our See Mom Run contributor, Janie Lam Meyers who welcomed us into her home for two days and pretty much treated me as if I were part of her family. Janie is incredibly giving and gracious and her home appears as if it could have graced the pages of Country Living magazine. She and her husband Gene moved down South from Pennsylvania about three years ago and now live in a gorgeous brick home complete with cathedral ceilings, an expansive kitchen, spacious screened in porch, a master bedroom suite, loft and several bedrooms for their daughters and grandchildren who will be visiting with them this Thanksgiving.
Janie also introduced us to the incredible staff at the JCC of Charlotte and once I met program director Jodi Valenstein, I instantly felt as if I were back home. Jodi and I both hail from New York and several of the members of the JCC are also originally from the east coast and it was so much fun connecting with them in Charlotte rather than in some nondescript strip mall in Long Island and New Jersey...not that I have anything against shopping malls of course!
The food at both of the events at the JCC were sponsored by Harris Teeter, a private label branded supermarket which is located right near Janie's home. At our first event, a breakfast chat featuring myself, Janie and fellow contributor, Sherry Shealy Martschinck, Harris Teeter provided a scrumptious spread complete with bagels, fruit, juices and delicious yogurt, fruit and granola parfaits.
We then shared our personal journey which lead each of us to pursue our passion and even met one mom who told us how she now performs in a rock band (wish I could have stayed longer to catch her performance.) In between events, we went back to Janie's house where Sherry and I hoped on our computers (gotta love Verizon wi-fi) and then enjoyed a pizza that Janie had picked up at Harris Teeter. And despite the fact that I'm a New York pizza snob, it tasted great!
We returned to the JCC to a packed house for our evening event where we were going to be reading our essays from See Mom Run. As moms and a few dads mingled near the dessert table - Harris Teeter provided tasty items for our second event as well (my favorite were the brownies), we then posed for a few photos with Janie's friends and before we knew it, it was time to start the festivities.
It was truly a joy to read our stories in front of an audience who smiled and laughed in all the right places. When I shared that I'm turning the readings into a show, a group of women even said they'd drive up to NYC just to see it! Following the event, Janie, Sherry and I were on hand to sign lots of books and then we posed for photos taken by Janie's daughter Pam, who by day, is a nurse with a great sense of style (she knew exactly where I purchased my dress for the night....Black House, White Market)!
One lucky mom in the audience won the raffle for the Harris Teeter gift bag filled with lots of great goodies for the home and the road and then I gave away a Swiffer WetJet to the mom with the messiest purse.
The evening literally went by in a flash. And if you don't believe me, check out this photo montage that I created on Whrrl. Looking forward to returning to the Carolinas and hopefully, we'll be hitting Charleston in the coming months too! For now, it's on to Chicago, Los Angeles and Seattle!!!