Lake Norman News, Events and Celebrations, Relocating? Life in Lake Norman

Lake Norman Area Halloween Happenings 2011

My daughter and I had some fun with our pumpkins!


Lake Norman is a great place to celebrate Halloween.  From haunted houses to old-fashioned Main Street celebrations to costume parties and live entertainment at local night clubs there truly is something for everyone!

Every year at this time the Lake Norman area comes alive with pumpkin patches, Corn Mazes,  Halloween festivities for all ages and homes decorated to welcome all of our young trick -or -treaters.  Many of our subdivisions have their own neighborhood events but here are some more options:

If you are in search of a pumpkin patch:

  • Carrigan Farms: Hayrides to the pumpkin patch 9-4 Saturday and 12-4 Sundays through Halloween. Pick a pumpkin, visit the animals and have some fresh apple cider.
  • Patterson Farm: Pumpkin patch is open with tours through Nov. 6th and on weekends don’t miss Paw Paw Carl’s Playground where you can enjoy hayrides, a corn pit, Tomato Slingshot, Duck Races and more!  See their website link above for more details.

Or, just look to any of our many local produce stands like Josh’s Produce Market on Williamson Road in Mooresville who are brimming over with pumpkins and decorations for your Lake Norman home!

Of course, it would not be Halloween without some fun, and even spooky events for all ages and Lake Norman is full of options! Continue reading

Relocating? Life in Lake Norman

Lake Norman Backyard Wildlife Fair is this Saturday!

Lake Norman Wildlife Garden

One of my favorite things about living in Lake Norman is the incredible variety and numbers of colorful birds, butterflies and furry critters.  Creating a “Certified Wildlife Habitat” garden is easy and very rewarding!  Every time I look out our windows I feel like I am in a Disney world alive with Golden Finches (above), Cardinals, Blue Birds, Hummingbirds, Chickadees…the list goes on and on.  Of course, we also attract deer, chipmunks, bunnies and squirrels with their own feeders although one day the squirrel above decided it would be fun to join the birds!

This Saturday, October 1st, you can learn all about how to qualify your own garden (it is SO easy), learn about Native Plants from local experts, learn how to attract wildlife and prepare your garden at the Wild Over Lake Norman! Backyard Wildlife Fair  which is being held from 11am-3pm at Duke Power’s Energy Explorium on Hwy 73 at the south end of Lake Norman.  (At the McGuire Nuclear Station).  There will be plenty of children’s activities plus exhibits on native plants, birds and butterflies.

I will be at the Wild Over Lake Norman! Certified Habitat Garden booth from 1pm-3pm so drop by and say hi!  Here is More:

Lake Norman News, Events and Celebrations, Relocating? Life in Lake Norman

Lake Norman Beer Festival is this Saturday, September 17th!

Lake Norman beer festival


If you love beer and music, this Saturday’s 2nd Annual Lake Norman Beer Festival  is the place to be!

Hosted by Galway Hooker in Cornelius from 12 noon to 10:00pm, not only will you be able to sample over 42 craft brewers, but you will also be entertained by a great lineup of bands featuring Simplified, Blue Monday and Gael Warning and can purchase food and fun merchandise.  And, a portion of the proceeds will benefit the USO. Continue reading

Relocating? Life in Lake Norman

Lake Norman’s Brawley School Road Has Gone From a Nightmare to a Dream!


 “Today (Thursday, August 25, 2011), I saw the world’s most beautiful DOT sign”.

I friend of mine (thanks Beth!) forwarded this photo and the caption to me last week.  It is hard to explain how much the quality of life has improved for all of us living down Brawley School Rd (in Lake Norman) since all lanes were opened just in time for the first day of school last Thursday!

It now takes me, on average, 4 minutes to get to the intersection for Brawley School Road and Williamson Road from Isle of Pines.  ( I used to allow 20-30 minutes for this trip depending on the time of day). I have yet to witness any bottleneck at this notorious intersection.  When making a left turn on Williamson Rd on to Brawley School Rd, simply chose one of the TWO left turn lanes and breeze through.

The funny thing is that now that traffic is zooming by (I think folks are so giddy they are exceeding the 45 mph speed limit) merging on to Brawley School from the Harris Teeter Parking lot or the BP Car Wash now requires waiting for a wide enough space to allow us to merge and get up to speed quickly!

As far as I am concerned the 3-year nightmare was more than worth it.  Living down Brawley School Road is now, in my opinion, one of the absolute best places to live in all of Lake Norman!

Lake Norman's Brawley School Road is Complete

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Lake Norman News, Events and Celebrations, Relocating? Life in Lake Norman

Lake Norman & Charlotte’s Southern Ideal Home Show is This Weekend: August 26-28, 2011!

Charlotte's Southern Ideal Home Show

“Celebrate Summer. Welcome Fall.”   is the theme of this year’s Southern Ideal Home Show which is being held from this Friday, August 26th – Sunday August 28th at The Park Expo and Convention Center in Charlotte.

Perfectly timed just as Lake Norman area schools are back in session and right before the busy fall season of home improvement, this will be a great source of inspiration and information for just about anything to do with your home or garden!

Areas of focus include:

  • Kitchen and Bath
  • Outdoor Kitchen
  • Cooking Stage
  • Building and Home Improvement
  • Outdoor Living
  • Tastes and Travel
  • IDEAL Shopping

Highlights include events on their three stages:  The Walker Woodworking Cooking Stage, BUILD IT Stage and PLANT IT Stage.  Carolina Home Improvement Pros (CHIPS) will be on hand “in full force, ready to answer your home improvement questions as well as hosting a wide array of educational presentations” including Intelligent Energy”.  Think green! Continue reading

Relocating? Life in Lake Norman

Lake Norman Real Estate’s August 2011 Wallpaper Calendar is Here!


Lake Norman real estate August 2011 Calendar

When I think of August, one of the first things that comes to mind is vineyards.  Every August from the year my first child was born we would visit my parents at their vineyard in Napa Valley CA.  The wine grapes were about a month away from picking (looking just like the photo above) and the views of the miles upon miles of lush green grape vines interrupted only by an occasional winery were simply stunning.

What I didn’t know until moving to Lake Norman was that North Carolina also has a thriving wine country located in three major viticultural areas: The Yadkin Valley, Swan Creek and Haw River Valley.  You can learn more at the Visit North Carolina Wine Country  website.  There is nothing more relaxing than a picnic in a serene vineyard on a warm August day so if you don’t feel like going out on Lake Norman, try a day in the wine country! Continue reading

Relocating? Life in Lake Norman

Lake Norman and Charlotte Remain At the Top of The List of Places to Live

The Peninsula Yacht Club on Lake Norman


Sometimes when the news is full of negativity, it is nice to sit back and take a look at the big picture, especially if you are fortunate enough to live in the Lake Norman Charlotte area.  In the recent Kiplinger article which ranked Charlotte #2  in their Best Value Cities of 2011, there are many great reminders of why the future of our area is still so bright.

Some of their reasons for Charlotte’s desirability:

  • Banking/Financial center
  • Diversified Economy
  • Efforts by local governments to entice small and large businesses to the area
  • It is becoming an “energy hub” including Duke Energy, Siemens and Toshiba as well as more than 125 companies in green industries
  • Family-oriented, top-notch schools
  • Affordability including low taxes, utility rates and reasonable construction costs
  • Fun including “upscale restaurants and bars to funky neighborhood eateries”, the “cultural mile”, NBA and NFL stadiums, the arts and festivals
  • Greenspace in the form of parks, greenway trails, the US Whitewater Center, and, of course, Lake Norman
  • Location: Less than two hours to the Mountains and 3 hours to some of the best beaches on the East Coast

Continue reading

Relocating? Life in Lake Norman

Lake Norman Real Estate’s Business of the Week: Shred Wakening!


 Justin Boston Wake Boarding on Lake Norman

Justin Boston is passionate about water sports, being active and action sports of all kinds.  At just 21 years old, he is on a mission to share his passions by getting as many kids and adults outside, enjoying action sports of all kinds and the fellowship that goes along with them.

Last summer Justin ran a very successful wakeboarding school out of his waterfront home on Lake Norman. His vision brought him together with Matt Hemric and he has teamed up with Shred Wakening  a unique recreation company founded on their shared desire to help kids and adults to become “the healthiest and most vibrant” people they can be.   From wake boarding lessons and water sport camps to outdoor adventures like snowboarding, climbing, surfing, paddling and even camping there seems to be no limits to the possibilities they want to offer. Check out their just released video:

Jocassee Wake Trailer from Zach Burkhart on Vimeo.

Shred Wakening is an example of “out of the box” thinking by a handful of extraordinary young men who want to make a difference in their community. It is not just about teaching wakeboarding and other water sports, it is about touching the lives of as many kids and adults as possible, getting them ” off their couches” and outside experiencing adventures they may never have thought possible. 

Lake Norman wake boarder taking a lesson

They just finished filming the documentary above to inspire kids about how important it is for everyone to get outside and be active.  Last week Justin even went to Victory Junction Camp to help those special kids have a good time on the lake! Continue reading

Lake Norman News, Events and Celebrations, Relocating? Life in Lake Norman

Catawba Valley C.C. “Potters’ Workshop” with Renowned Potter Kim Ellington

Kim Ellington Vase
How would you like to be able to learn how to make pottery  from the man who made this one, renowned Catawba Valley Potter Kim Ellington? Yes, I said make, not buy!  For the past two years Kim has been working with the Catawba Valley Community College developing a pottery school “relevant to this area’s long standing Catawba Valley pottery tradition”.  His vision came to fruition last August with the launch of  Catawba Valley Potters’ Workshop, an ongoing series of 10-week classes for beginners as well as experienced potters.


Anyone who knows me or has been reading this blog for a while understands that I have a passion for Catawba Valley Pottery which I discovered and started collecting shortly after moving to Lake Norman in 2005.  So, the thought of being able to learn how to create pottery using this local tradition as a foundation and by an exceptionally talented artist like Kim Ellington is, well, exciting to say the least!  Continue reading

Relocating? Life in Lake Norman

How to Get the Latest Lake Norman News, Events and Savings!


Living in Lake Norman presents some interesting challenges regarding keeping up with local news and events because the 520 miles of Lake Norman shoreline fall in 4 counties and 10 towns.  Before doing research for this Lake Norman Real Estate blog post I was actually contemplating creating a Facebook page for “Breaking News” and special coupon deals just for Lake Norman.  What I discovered was that there were a number of resources online already available, you just need to know how to find them!

Many of you may not use or even care to use Twitter or Facebook.  But, if I provide you with a how-to guide and links it will be easy for you to keep up with Lake Norman news, events AND even coupons and special savings:

Twitter can be overwhelming and almost useless unless you narrow your focus on what you really want to learn.  However, it is absolutely the best way to keep up with what’s happening from events to sales/coupons to news in the Lake Norman Area.  I use HootsuiteThis lets you set up any number of searches with real time feeds which are displayed in individual columns.  I have one column set up for Lake Norman but you can also set searches up for towns or any subject of interest.  Here are the most recent Tweets of interest:  Lake Norman Buzz posted an update a few minutes ago that Lake Norman is going to get 177, 500 bass with a link for more info. Cornelius Today wrote about the North Rail Line from Charlotte to Lake Norman.  There are many Tweets about recent sports as well.

Facebook does not offer as wide a variety and quantity of news but here are some pages worth checking out.  You can search for all Lake Norman pages at the top of your homepage.  Here are a few good ones:

  • Lake Norman  This is a pretty good source for everything from businesses posting sales and coupons to jobs and local news.  With almost 4000 friends it offers a nice variety of hyper local news.  For instance, this week JR Motorsports has a Race Week sale going on, and last weekend Rusty Rudder had a special “end of the world” discount on special drinks.
  • Lake Norman Fan Page   Another Facebook resource with 8450 fans.
  • Downtown Mooresville Learn about upcoming events and sales at local businesses!

Events can be found on Twitter and Facebook as well as our local magazines like Lake Norman Magazine and Currents.  However, there are a few dedicated sites and email updates as well:

Breaking Lake Norman News is most readily available using Twitter.  However, there are several newspapers with websites as well:

Coupons and Savings are all the rage right now.  Of course, Groupon is huge, but there are many local options as well:

  • will email you special “deals”  just for the Lake Norman area and provide quite a few more on their website.  Today I received one about their “Deal of the Day” which is an “In Home Wine Tasting”.
  • is a site dedicated to restaurants and special events and they include a number of special deals at Lake Norman area restaurants.  They even have a separate tab for “Coupons”.
  •  360 Lake Norman offers coupons in the greater Charlotte area but you can search by town.
  • Groupon Charlotte
  • Creative Loafing

Continue reading

Relocating? Life in Lake Norman

Lake Norman Sports Resource Guide

Lake Norman Wind Surfing

Lake Norman Participation Sports Resource Guide

Participating in sports is a way of life for most who live in the communities surrounding Lake Norman, both on and off the lake.  The options are extensive; ranging from the more predictable like golf, sailing and tennis to competitive rugby, lacrosse, ice hockey, scuba diving and skateboarding.

Below is a comprehensive list of athletic organizations, teams, training, lessons, facilities and resources for the sports I have found in my research.  PLEASE add any and all to the list by leaving me a comment or emailing me at:  I would like this to be the most comprehensive resource available for any and all sports available in the greater Lake Norman area!




Cycling/Mountain Biking:

Continue reading

lake norman real estate, Relocating? Life in Lake Norman

Lake Norman Area is Growing and Improving Despite Economy!

While  the Lake Norman real estate market is still struggling, there are some very exciting developments and amenities under construction or about break ground; a welcome sign for our communities!

According to a   WCNC News Release, construction is scheduled to begin in May on the  “Fountains at Mooresville Town Square, a 227-unit, $23 million luxury apartment community located at the corner of Brawley School and Williamson Rd.  This newer project is already home to some wonderful restaurants and boutiques including Fusion Bowl, JJ’s Deli, Cartucci’s, NY Bagel and Deli, Lavendar Boutique and Sweet Grass.  The new apartment community will include a salt-water swimming pool, courtyard, fire pit and grilling area, and a 5,000 sq ft clubhouse.

Also in the news today in the Mooresville Tribune is a great update about two truly awesome sports complexes that are nearing completion: The soccer/baseball complex on Mazeppa Road (Mazeppa Road Park) and Cornelius Rd. (Cornelius Road Park). Mazeppa Road Park will open on Labor Day with two artificial turf soccer fields, four grass soccer fields, three adult softball fields and an adult baseball field.  It will also have a one-mile walking trail and two large playgrounds. The Cornelius Road Park, opening later this fall, will have 6 tennis courts, two youth baseball fields, expansive picnic grounds and walking trails. Add to these the “America’s Park” 25-field youth baseball complex that will serve as host to hundreds of teams from all over the United States and Canada in June, July and August and Mooresville is fastly become THE place for sports of all kinds in addition to our car racing!

Related Articles

Lake Norman Real Estate’s Business of the Week: La Patisserie Cafe and Bakery

Relocating? Life in Lake Norman

Lake Norman Real Estate’s Business of the Week: La Patisserie Bakery & Cafe!

Lake Norman Real Estate's business-of-the-week

La Patisserie Bakery and Cafe in Lake Norman on Brawley School Road

When I saw the La Patisserie Bakery Coming Soon sign in the window of one of the store fronts in the old Lowe’s Market/Rite Aid shopping center at the corner of Brawley School and Williamson Roads I was thrilled!  No more having to go all the way to Historic Downtown Mooresville  for their simply awesome pastries, breakfasts and lunches.

I went to our new La Patisserie Bakery Cafe yesterday for the first time and discovered that not only does our location have all of their wonderful pastries and baked goods but they truly are a full-service restaurant and even a small bar for beer and wine.  What a great addition to our Brawley School Rd/Lake Norman area!  Update 2014: La Patisserie is now THE place to go, especially those of us who live in the Brawley Peninsula area. 

La Patisserie is The BEST bakery in Lake Norman!

 La Patisserie is truly a family’s labor of love.  They use the freshest of ingredients combined with amazing family recipes passed down from generation to generation to make an incredible selection of pastries, desserts,  and gorgeous special occasion cakes.

Over the years they have added a truly unique and wonderful full breakfast and lunch menu including their mouth-watering crepes, omelets, salads, sandwiches and awesome baked Empanadas.  One of my personal favorites is the home-made fresh mozzarella/tomato/basil sandwich. I love their crepes as well.  In fact, I have yet to eat something at La Patisserie that I didn’t happily devour.  Their Sunday Brunch is packed so we try to time it around the crowds.

Their Cuban heritage is evident in some of their special items like their Cuban sandwich of shredded beef, red and green peppers, onions and cheese served on their freshly bake Cuban bread to their empanadas.

A bakery first, however, their cake decorators and pastry chef are known for their exceptional and beautiful wedding and specialty cakes for all occasions.  They also offer a full catering service and food to go for those of us on the run.

La Patisserie Bakery and Cafe

631 Brawley School Rd. Suite 406, Mooresville NC 28117

627 North Main Street, Mooresville NC 28115


 More Lake Norman Real Estate’s Business’s of the Week

Shoals Grill on Brawley School Road

Josh’s Farmers Market

The Fresh Market:  Lake Norman Just Keeps Getting Better!

Lake Norman News, Events and Celebrations, Relocating? Life in Lake Norman

New Restaurants and Retail News in Mooresville Lake Norman!



Driving around our Lake Norman community of Mooresville, you wouldn’t really know that there is a recession going on.  The widening of Brawley School Road and the new Exit 35 are now well under way, teasing us into thinking they will be completed before their scheduled summer of 2011. Bike lanes, side walks and landscaped center dividers are taking shape too!

While some of the big projects like Langtree at the Lake have yet to show signs of activity, a number of wonderful eateries and shops have opened or are due to open very soon:

Historic Downtown Mooresville is Happening!

  • The Bathtub Gin is considered “the destination” for local musicians and as a place to meet up with friends. Drop in at 166 N Main Street on Halloween!  (see my post on Halloween Happenings in Lake  Norman)
  • JJ Wasabi’s at 183 N. Main Street has been open for about 6 months and has added a lot of energy and great food to our Historic Downtown Mooresville.  Thank you Joel!
  • The Daily Grind, one of my favorites, has successfully opened their second location  at 170 N. Main Street. (Their first location is on Brawley School Rd at Canvasback).
  • Epic Chophouse will be the newest restaurant to open in downtown Mooresville.  Owned by one of the co-owners of Mickey and Mooch in Huntersville, It will be “a blend of upscale and casual fare…and an awesome value too”.  It is located in the old Soiree building and is supposed to open in a few weeks!

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Relocating? Life in Lake Norman

Lake Norman Real Estate’s Business of the Week: FreshBerry!

Lake Norman Real Estate's business-of-the-week


Freshberry Frozen Yogurt


All of us transplants to Lake Norman have a list of those special restaurants, markets, hot spots and businesses that we still miss from our prior home town or state.  Mine is kind of like a “Bucket List” and as the years go by I have been checking them off one by one:  Trader Joe’s, Five Guys (well, In n’ Out Burger but Five Guys is pretty darn close to it) Bed Bath and Beyond, healthy breakfast options (Daily Grind and Egg at Davidson), Whole Foods (well, the closest one is in Winston Salem but I count our Fresh Market in Cornelius), Neiman Marcus (I thought this was a priority until I realized that our casual Lake Norman lifestyle has deemed this almost obsolete), North Lake Mall.


FreshBerry Frozen Yogurt Cafe, (which is similar to PinkBerry who has several locations in Charlotte), was near the top of my daughter’s list so when I heard it had just opened in Mooresville sandwiched between Panera Bread and Starbucks on Williamson Road, we were there.

Freshberry does not serve your typical frozen yogurt that you would buy in any grocery store.  Freshberry serves all natural frozen yogurt available in FreshBerry Tart, Decadent Dark Chocolate, Vanilla No Sugar Added, Acai Berry, Classic Strawberry, Mango, and Pomegranate.  Plus, they have over 25 toppings available from fresh fruits and cereals to candies and nuts.  They have a complete nutrition chart available. Continue reading

Lake Norman News, Events and Celebrations, Relocating? Life in Lake Norman

Celebrate at the Lake Norman Beer Festival this weekend!

Lake Norman Beer Festival

What better way (for adults) to enjoy the last of our Lake Norman warm summer weather than sampling ice cold beers?  This weekend, September 18-19, 2010 from 1pm to 8pm Galway Hooker in Cornelius is inviting all to join them “for a celebration of beers, bands and friendship”.

The Lake Norman Beer Festival will be showcasing over 20 craft beers from local, national and international brewers . All ticket holders will be entitled to an unlimited sampling of beers.  With this in mind, the Lake Norman Beer Festival is partnering with Dial-a-Designated Driver to provide safe rides home for those “looking to enjoy themselves responsibly”. Continue reading

Just the facts about Lake Norman, Relocating? Life in Lake Norman

Life on Lake Norman From a Transplant’s Point of View!

Those of you who have been reading my blog for a while will know that I do write a lot about why I love living on Lake Norman.  However, this clever email I got from one of my clients recently pretty much says it all.  I hope you enjoy it as much as I do!


You didn’t tell us we were living next to an airstrip with  low flying traffic.


Aborted Landing

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Relocating? Life in Lake Norman

Lake Norman Real Estate Reaches Out to Our Veterans!

About a month ago I received an email from James Kelly who writes a blog:  VA Benefits.  James wanted to know if I would allow him to do a series of guest posts focusing on subsidized housing financing for our veterans.  So, it is my pleasure to post this article on his behalf:

Written by James Kelly,

Coming home relieves our military members of their duties overseas. Even though the return is anticipated, certain challenges present themselves quickly. For thousands of veterans, getting proper medical care poses obstacles. But employment and housing don’t always come easy either.
A common effect of serving during war time, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) causes a number of serious side effects. Nearly 150,000 veterans from the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan have been diagnosed with the disorder. Getting disability claims for PTSD was a chore until recent amendments from the Department of Veterans Affairs.

Veterans also come home looking for jobs and homes. As with any economic contraction, jobs aren’t abundant. Combine that with veterans adjusting to life at home, and getting hired seems less likely. Last spring, legislators recognized the struggles veterans face when searching for employment by introducing the Veterans Assistance Employment Act   to spur veteran employment. But housing still remains a challenge.

The VA has a program available to honorably-discharged veterans and qualifying active-duty members. Because of frequent relocation, military members may find it difficult to build credit or save money. The Veterans Affairs Home Loan Guaranty program accommodates these hurdles to help veterans find a home.

VA loans do not have income requirements, making them more accessible to veterans looking for work. A host of financial benefits come with VA loans, such as paying no money down. To buy a house worth up to $417,000—or higher in expensive markets—qualifying borrowers don’t put a penny down.
Other  loan advantages include:

  •  – Negotiable interest rates
  •  – No private monthly mortgage insurance
  • – Sellers covering up to 6 percent of closing and concession costs
  • – Refinancing options that can lower interest rates

Not all veterans qualify for the home loan program, but working with a VA-certified lender maximizes veterans’ benefits. A trustworthy lender will also aid veterans in finding an affordable home once they return from service.

The federal government has also developed a  new program designed by the VA and the Department of Housing and Urban Development to introduce new ways to prevent homelessness. This innovative joint federal program aims to get hundreds of homeless vets off the streets and into new homes in the next several years.

Finally, many military families are surprised that the federal first-time home buyer tax credit  remains available to them through April 30th, 2011, even though it is nearly expired for most other home buyers. As long as the qualified service member has a sales contract on April 30th, and has closed by June 30th, 2011, he or she will be eligible for up to $8,000 dollars in tax credits ($6,500 for repeat home buyers). This valuable program can do a lot to help a veteran and his or her family make a new home a reality.

All of these resources exist to help veterans overcome the housing challenge. When used in combination, these programs are a great tool in the fight to provide every American serviceman and servicewoman with a place to call home.

Thank you to James Kelley! To reach James with questions:

IMPORTANT: Added 12/8/2012:

I just got an email asking me to add this important link related to Post Traumatic Stress Disorder:

This site provides great information, has numerous resources, and also discusses substance abuse treatment. Something that many other organizations fail to
recognize yet is a very common challenge people suffering from PTSD encounter.

Just the facts about Lake Norman, Relocating? Life in Lake Norman

New Lake Norman Boating Safety Law Now in Effect!

Lake Norman Jet skier

 Lake Norman in the summer is truly a haven for all ages, but especially for kids.  Imagine the freedom and fun for kids as young as 12 must feel when driving their own Jet Ski or boat! It doesn’t hurt that the National Marine Manufacturers Association listed North Carolina, specifically their “Hot Spot”: Lake Norman, as #4 on their list of top 10 “on-the-water” destinations in the US!

A new North Carolina law that went into effect this past May 1, 2010 was passed to ensure our younger boaters are SAFELY enjoying their summer.  It is now mandatory for all boat operators 25-years or younger to pass a Wildlife Resources Commission boating safety class BEFORE heading onto the lake.  According to Senate Bill 43, “no person shall operate a vessel with a motor of 10 horsepower or greater in public waters of this State unless the operator has met the requirements for boating safety education.”  Operators age 25 or younger must carry proof of boat-safety certification…violators will be issued a citation, which requires a court appearance.

Here is a partial list of Lake Norman area boating safety classes:

Lake Norman Sail and Power Squadron

Lake Norman Marine Commission

Lake Norman Marina

If you are heading out on Lake Norman for the first time, no matter what age, it is a great idea to take this safety class and know the rules and regs of the lake.  Do you know what a no-wake zone is or how far from the shoreline you must be before you can go fast enough to make a wake?

It is also really easy for visitors and newcomers to Lake Norman to get disoriented once on the lake.  We always have on hand our lake map with all of the markers and services/marinas and we take a GPS.

For more information there is a great website: Lake Norman Boaters Guide.

Are you ready for the 4th of July?  It’s going to be a great summer…be safe!


Lake Norman Real Estate: What Kind of Boat is This?

Fly to Your Lake Norman Home at our Lake Norman AirPark Community!

Relocating? Life in Lake Norman

Lake Norman Real Estate: Why a Screened Porch?

Lake Norman screened porch

When we moved to Lake Norman from Southern California in 2005 the last thing on our list of priorities in our home search was a screened porch.  (Other than sleeping porches in some historic estates, one just doesn’t see screened porches in California).  Our new home in Lake Norman had a small rear deck just large enough for a barbecue and a small table.  Over the years as we got more acclimated to our new life in Lake Norman, my husband and I started planning an expansion to our existing porch and then threw in an addition of a screened porch off of our breakfast room.

As you can see from the photos above and below, we finally completed our porch project early this spring.

While we knew we would enjoy it, we had no idea that our screened porch would literally change our lives! We try to spend several hours in the evenings every day just relaxing and enjoying the peaceful tranquility that epitomizes life in Lake Norman.  Continue reading

Lake Norman News, Events and Celebrations, Relocating? Life in Lake Norman

Lake Norman’s 2010 Race City Festival is this Saturday!

Mooresville's Race City Festival 2009

One of my favorite things about living in Lake Norman NC is the incredible variety of community “festivals” going on all around the state throughout the spring, summer and fall.  Like most of our area “festivals”, the Race City Festival held in Historic Downtown Mooresville is a family-friendly event filled with a great variety of booths hosted by artists, local charitable and civic organizations, church groups, delicious foods, creative arts and craft vendors and so much more!

This year’s theme for our “Race City Festival” is “A Celebration of Mooresville Arts and Culture” and it will include 180 booths of food, arts and crafts, businesses and non-profits plus live music and demonstrations.

The festivities begin at 9:00 am on both Main Street and Broad Street and continues through 3 pm.  Many local businesses take advantage of the crowds and offer sidewalk sales.  In the past there has also been a number of groups selling home-made baked and canned goods. Continue reading

Relocating? Life in Lake Norman

Lake Norman’s Brawley School Rd Widening: Be Careful What You Wish For!


Lake Norman's Brawley School Road Widening

All winter long those of us who live down Brawley School Rd. on Lake Norman’s largest peninsula were wondering why construction of the widening project had ground to a screeching halt. So much so that I actually wrote to the NCDOT to get an update and shared his response on this blog: Brawley School Road Widening Update March 2010 .

Well, to say that construction is back with a vengeance is an understatement!  Unfortunately,  with it has come an unprecedented level of traffic delays that are so severe at times that many of us are having to plan our day around what time might be best to try to get in or out.  Continue reading

Relocating? Life in Lake Norman

Hope Park in Mooresville epitomizes the giving spirit of Lake Norman residents!

Hope Park in Mooresville Lake Norman

 On a rainy weekend in March more than 900, yes NINE HUNDRED, Lake Norman residents came together to make  Hope Park at the Lowes YMCA in Mooresville  a reality.  According to several of my clients who volunteered, they did everything from assembling the custom designed swings, slides and climbing apparatus to painting flowers in cheerful colors on several play houses.  Many of our struggling local builders also generously volunteered and played the critical role of organizing and performing some of the more difficult jobs. Continue reading

lake norman real estate, Relocating? Life in Lake Norman

Why are so many Californians moving to Lake Norman NC?


When I tell folks around here that my husband and I moved to Lake Norman from California for no other reason than we wanted to, many of them seemed surprised.  So, when I got this update from a great blog in the Palo Alto area  3 Oceans Real Estate, it was just too great an opportunity to share a glimpse into their current market to pass up.  Remember, the California housing market was hit much harder and earlier than our Lake Norman area:

“As a couple of data points, our listing for a three bedroom home at 842 Sycamore Drive in Palo Alto, an entry-level home priced at $949,000, received 14 offers and sold for over $1,100,000. A similar property nearby on Greer received 12 offers the same week and sold for just under $1,100,000 vs. a list price of $979,000″.

842 Sycamore Drive, Palo Alto

So, for $1.1 million dollars you could have out-bid 13 other buyers and won this lovely “starter” home in Palo Alto.  Or, for about $1 million dollars you could have purchased this waterfront estate on Lake Norman:
Hmmm, I think I made my point!
(Photos courtesy of Nadine Roberts, Prudential Carolinas Realty, Denver NC)
Relocating? Life in Lake Norman

Lake Norman Real Estate: If fitness is your goal, Lake Norman has myriad options!

Woman's legs as she is exercising in Lake Norman


Okay, so I admit it.  Every year one of my New Year’s resolutions is always about fitness.  And, if you turn on a TV or read just about any news or gossip publication while in line at the market you will not escape their annual focus on health and fitness.  If it’s January, it must be time to start that exercise routine, loose the holiday pounds or start focusing on healthy eating habits.

For those of you new to Lake Norman or considering relocating here, you will be happy to know that Lake Norman has an incredible variety of fitness facilities, gyms and parks for every level/age and lifestyle.  Even during this crazy arctic cold spell there are plenty of ways to fight going stir-crazy!

Full Service Gyms and Fitness Facilities: Continue reading

Lake Norman News, Events and Celebrations, Relocating? Life in Lake Norman

Lake Norman Real Estate: New Years 2010’s Celebrations & Happenings

New Years Eve in Lake Norman NC 2010


Unlike my home town of Pasadena CA, Lake Norman and the greater Charlotte area don’t have one major New Years’ celebration.  Our public celebrations are, for the most part, found at local restaurants and entertainment venues spread throughout Lake Norman and Charlotte.  From 5-course dinners to rockin’ oldies bands, there truly is something for everyone.

The best sources for New Years Eve events in our Lake Norman area are  and 704 which are websites devoted to entertainment and dining information in the greater Lake Norman area.   Here are a few headline events from 704 : Continue reading

Lake Norman waterfront homes, Relocating? Life in Lake Norman

Lake Norman Real Estate: What kind of boat is this?

Helicoper on Lake Norman

 On our way to Cornelius one day in our trusty pontoon boat I happened to notice this peculiar looking boat!  Because Lake Norman is so large we have myriad types and sizes of boats from modest fishing dingys to jet skis to Cigarette boats.  Continue reading

Lake Norman News, Events and Celebrations, Relocating? Life in Lake Norman

Lake Norman Real Estate: Holiday Happenings still abound!


Christmas at Birkdale Village in Huntersville

It is not too late to get out and enjoy some of the many special holiday activities in the Lake Norman and greater Charlotte area!  While I didn’t write this in time to tout my favorite:  The Davidson Christmas which was held last weekend, I was still able to find quite a few events, programs and fun from now through the rest of the year!

  • It’s a Wonderful Life”  Davidson College Community Players  @ the Armour Street Theatre in Davidson. 8pm Thursdays – Saturdays and 1:00pm Sundays.  704.892.7953
  • Charlotte Children’s Choir:  December 13th at 3pm.  Mooresville High School.  659 E Center Ave. Mooresville.  704.878.0743.  Iredell Concerts Website
  • You’re a Good Man, Charlie Brown:  December 19th @ 11:00am, 1:30pm and 4:00pm.  No reservations needed.  Davidson College Community Players  @ the Armour Street Theatre in Davidson. 8pm Thursdays – Saturdays and 1:00pm Sundays.  704.892.7953
  • Downtown Mooresville Holiday Festivities:  December 18th at Historic Downtown Mooresville. Visits with Santa, horse-drawn carriage rides and live entertainment!
  • Christmas Wonderland of Lights (Through January 1): One million lights pepper tow miles of forest in Troutman!  A nativity scene, pony rides, petting zoo, a candy shop and visits from Santa!  $20 per car or $5 per person.  6pm – 10p.m.  Exit 42 of Ostwalt Amity Rd.  704.245.6446. Put on by Zootastic.
  • Davidson’s Holiday Farmer’s Market!  Saturday, Dec. 19th from 9am – noon.  Learn more at Davidson Farmers Market’s website
  • Hanukkah Party in Mooresville: Dec. 13th Noon – 3pm.  Lighting of the Beth ShalomMenorah at Mooresville Town Square.
  • Holiday Lights at The Daniel Stowe Botanical Garden:  Events include light displays, old fashioned trains, carriage rides, holiday carols, baked treats and more!   Now through December 31st.  Go to the Daniel Stowe Botanical Garden website  for more information.
  • The Light Before Christmas: An animated film about for children at Discovery Place’s IMAX theatre in Charlotte: Discovery Place website
Lake Norman News, Events and Celebrations, Relocating? Life in Lake Norman

Charlotte’s 62nd Annual Carolinas’ Thanksgiving Day Parade is HUGE!

 Charlotte's Thanksgiving Day Parade

 Coming from Pasadena CA, home of the Rose Parade, you would think I might know that Charlotte has been hosting the fourth largest Thanksgiving Day Parade in the US since 1947.  I truly don’t know how this exciting annual gathering of both Carolinas that is said to touch up to half a million people from 22 county metro areas escaped my radar screen!

So, if you are looking for a great way to spend  this Thanksgiving, I would highly recommend that you head to Uptown Charlotte by 10:00am this Thursday, November 26, 2009.

To learn more about the line-up for the parade and the event sponsors and details, go to: Charlotte’s 2009 Thanksgiving Day Parade or Charlotte’s got a lot.  You can even see the parade route.  They have promised that they will be “marching down Tryon Street rain or shine.

As part of the effort to “greening” the parade, organizers are encouraging folks to take the light rail rather than driving uptown. (Of course, those of us in the Lake Norman area don’t have this option….yet).

Best wishes to you all and I hope everyone of you has a very Happy Thanksgiving!


Lake Norman News, Events and Celebrations, Relocating? Life in Lake Norman

Catawba Valley Pottery Holiday 2009 Kiln Sales are coming!

Steve Abee beside his ground-hog kiln

One of my first exciting discoveries after moving to Lake Norman in 2005 was the extraordinary pottery; first in Seagrove and then in Catawba Valley.  Whether you are an avid collector as I am or just curious, these next four weeks are an exciting opportunity to buy from the most coveted Catawba Valley potters at their holiday kiln sales.

Besides the adherence to historical methods and traditions, Catawba Valley pottery is also unique in that in order to buy from the most popular of the potters you must attend their individual kiln sales held at their homes scattered from Vale to Lenoir.  If you have never attended a kiln sale, I truly encourage you to do so this month.  If you see me, be sure to say hi!

Here is a summary of the scheduled kiln sales.  As always, you can go to Steve Abee’s CV Pottery  website for more information and directions:  Continue reading

Historic Downtown Mooresville, Lake Norman News, Events and Celebrations, Relocating? Life in Lake Norman

Lake Norman Real Estate: Mooresville’s Annual Christmas Parade is November 24, 2009!

Mooresvillle's Christmas Parade

 Mark your calendars!  Mooresville’s annual Christmas parade, as always, is held the Tuesday BEFORE Thanksgiving so mark your calendars for November 24th at 3:30pm.

This truly is a small-town parade where the floats are homemade and the crowds along the route are friends and family.  While riding on a float several years ago I waved at friends, neighbors, folks gathered on their front porches or small businesses and lots of small children!  It was such fun to see so many of our local Mooresville and Lake Norman residents.

The route of the parade starts on North Main Street in Historic Downtown Mooresville and makes it’s way through downtown ending just beyond.  Bring lawn chairs, blankets, family and friends to this downtown happening!

If you are interested in entering the parade (it may be too late but try) or have questions, call 704.662.8210.

To find out about all of the upcoming North Carolina Festivals and Fairs check out:  Charlotte’s Got a Lot!

Relocating? Life in Lake Norman

Lake Norman Real Estate’s Business of the Week: Blip Lake

Lake Norman Real Estate's business-of-the-week


 How would you like to save money AND support our local Lake Norman businesses?  Well, thanks to Tim Ready, a local Lake Norman resident, it has never been so easy!

It all started when the Mooresville South Iredell Chamber of Commerce announced their “Buy Local” campaign in an effort to gain support for all of our locally owned and operated businesses during these challenging financial times.  When Tim learned about this campaign he told me “a light bulb went off”.  He did some research and launched

blip Lake Norman_header


The premise of BlipLakeNorman is simple:  Local businesses sign on to be a member, consumers like ourselves get a BLIP keytag (Like a grocery store tag) which are available at any of the businesses that are members.  Every time you go into a business that is a member of BlipLakeNorman you get a specific discount.  For Example (This is from their website as of today, November 2, 2009 and will most likely change so please go to for the latest discounts!):

  •  Custom Creations By Tina
  • 30% OFF Arrangements
  • Primal Force
    Get the Gear You Need At A Great Price!
  • The Wine Loft
    $1 off any vodka drink , $5 House Wine – Menage a Trois, red & white, Wine Tastings, 1/2 Price Bottles of Wine, $5 Special Martinis
  • Barista Bob’s
    FREE Small Latte, 20% OFF Custom Gift Baskets, 10% OFF Coffee, Save on Party Packs, 15% OFF Fall and Signature Drinks
  • Clipper’s Flowers
    10% Discount
  • R. J. Gator’s
    2 For $20 Dinner Entrees, $8.99 All You Can Eat Wings, $19.99 All You Can Eat Crablegs
  • Pomodoro’s Italian American Cafe
    FREE Small Cheese Pizza
All businesses that participate in this program must be locally owned with less than 8 locations and at least one location in the Lake Norman “Blip Town” area.  (See their website for more details and requirements).

Why buy Local?  Here is a great list of reasons provided by BlipLakeNorman:

  • Keep money in our community
  • Support community groups
  • Keep our community unique
  • Reduce environmental impact
  • Create more good jobs
  • Get better service
  • Invest in our community
  • Put your taxes to good use
  • Buy what you want, not what someone wants you to buy
  • Encourage local prosperity

A list of participating businesses is also available on their website.  So, go out and get that free dinner at R. J. Gators, that small latte at Barista Bobs or find out what Fishing with Gus has to offer!

Lake Norman News, Events and Celebrations, Relocating? Life in Lake Norman

Lake Norman Area Halloween Happenings 2009!

 Pumpkin Field in Lake Norman Area

 For information on Lake Norman Halloween 2011 please go to:  Lake Norman Halloween Happenings 2011

Every year at this time the Lake Norman area comes alive with pumpkin patches, Halloween festivities for all ages and homes decorated to welcome all of our young trick -or -treaters.

If you are in search of a pumpkin patch or Halloween festivities in and around our Mooresville and Lake Norman area,  here are a few ideas:

  • Carrigan Farms: Open 9-5 weekdays, 9-4 Saturday and 12-4 Sundays through Halloween. Pick a pumpkin, visit the animals and have some fresh apple cider. There are even hayrides every 15 minutes and special old-fashioned night time hay rides too! 1261 Oak Ridge Farm Highway/N.C.150, Mooresville.
  • Patterson Farm: Pumpkin patch is open with tours through Nov. 6th and on weekends don’t miss Paw Paw Carl’s Palyground where you can enjoy hayrides, a corn pit, Tomato Slingshot, Duck Races and more!  See their website for more details.
  • Sixth Annual Boy Scout Pumpkin Patch: Pumpkins and gourds of all shapes and sizes. 17115 Kenton Drive, Cornelius
  • The Great Pumpkin Patch for Missions: Pumpkins, decorative corn, gourds and more! Davidson United Methodist Church: 233 S. Main Street. Davidson.

Or, just look to any of our many local produce stands like Josh’s Produce Market on Williamson Road who are brimming over with pumpkins and decorations for your Lake Norman home!

Of course, it would not be Halloween without some fun, and even spooky events for all ages.

The Amazing Maize Maze in Huntersville NC

  • The Amazing Maize Maze at Rural Hill In Huntersville  is going green this year!  Open now through November1st, they have daily hours plus they are open for “Flashlight Mazes” on October 23rd and 31st!  My daughter and I went several years ago and had a great time but do wear comfortable shoes and allow enough time and energy to discover all of the clues to make it through the maze successfully! If you need help, the have volunteers perched high on watch towers there to give you some hints.
  • t1 tapas in Birkdale Village is hosting The Spooktacular Halloween Bash to benefit Loaves & Fish on Friday, October 23rd,  Tickets are $35 in advance or $45 at the door.  Call 704.895.4373 for detail.  They are also having  a “Trick or Treat Weekend Oct 30 – 31st.  Come and enjoy all the amazing new multi-media and enjoy Halloween cuisine and “wicked drink specials”.
  • Downtown Mooresville Annual Halloween Treat for Families: 3-5pm  Oct. 30. Downtown will be crawling with little ghosts and goblins as businesses hand out candy and treats. 3 – 5 pm Pumpkin Carving Contest, photographs of children in costumes and trick or treating for kids.
  • Downtown Davidson’s Halloween March on Main Steet in Davidson 5-7pm. Free. Costumed characters of all ages are invited to march!
  • Howl-O-Ween Bash: Join Pet PALS for their first ever Howl-O-Ween bash at the new hit nightclub, Halo at the NC Music Factory.
    Enjoy appetizers, drink specials and dancing all to support the Humane Society of Charlotte. While costumes aren’t required, they are encourged. We hope you can come out for a howling good time! Halo 820 Hamilton St Suite A2 Charlotte, NC 28206  704-246-1752 .


Lake Norman Can Get Spooky on Halloween!


Looking for something REALLY SPOOKY? So SPOOKY that they do not recommend it for children 12 and under? Check out Forbidden Farms!:

Forbidden Farms

“Forbidden Farms is celebrating the 2009 season with a nightmarish collection of 5 enhanced and electrifying scare zones.

Will you escape the hordes of ghouls, monsters, maniacs and the tormented????

Can you survive the total chaos and terror of spine-tingling, blood-curdling moments in all 5 scare zones?????

Come gather around the bonfires, at the well-known Carrigan Farms Rock Quarry, before or after you enter the haunted trail!

Visit us on Facebook, become a Fan and receive special discounts and coupons.”

Have a GREAT Lake Norman Halloween!!!

Lake Norman News, Events and Celebrations, Relocating? Life in Lake Norman

The Lake Norman’s Folk Art Festival is this Saturday!

Lake Norman Folk Art Festival


One of my first exciting discoveries after moving to Mooresville was the wonderful array of art available, particularly from the Southeastern United States.  Southern Folk Art can be colorful, whimsical, dramatic and fun and can also be highly collectable.  If you haven’t had an opportunity to view the wonderful varity of  Southeastern Folk Art and meet some the our talented artists from all over the Southeast, then tomorrow is a perfect opportunity for you since Lake Norman is hosting the first annual Folk Art Festival at the Lake from 11-4pm.  As their flyer says:

Lake Norman Folk Art


Outsider art.

Outside the expected

Outside the city limits!

And, definitely outside, on October 3, 11-am – 4pm


Paintings, sculpture, pottery and metal works plus Food, Bluegrass music and demonstrations by the artists!

Participating artists include:

Tammy Leigh Pottery  ,Joe Lafone, Sarah Rakes, Mike Essinger, Jeff Young Pottery, Robert Oren Eades, Arie R. Taylor, Theresa Closter,  Gary Mitchell Pottery, Kessiah L Meroney, J & M Helton Pottery, Barbara Miller, Brooks Yeomans, Laura Craig McNellis, Harold Crowell, Michael Ball, Sara Britt, Patti Fenick, Clay James, Wanda Clark, Ray Searcy.

Check out a sample of their works: Here

Location: 4689 Giles Avenue, Sherrills Ford, NC 28673

This project was supported by the United Arts Council of Catawba County through the North Carolina Arts Council.


Lake Norman Real Estate’s Business of the Week:  The Corners of Art and Main

Lake Norman Real Estate’s Business of the Week:  Steve Abee Pottery

Lake Norman News, Events and Celebrations, Relocating? Life in Lake Norman

Lake Norman Real Estate: The 2009 Race City “Wiener” Run is this Saturday!

The Red Baron

Meet The Red Baron.  He is one of the “Wiener”Run competitors in Mooresville this Saturday, September 26, 2009.  His training program is so stealth like that you might think he is sleeping but it is truly a cunning act to make the other Dachshunds think he is out of shape.

Like most folks, I always underestimated these small yet energetic dogs until I attended the annual Dachshund race in Mooresville.  It was truly amazing!  There were Dachshunds of all colors, sizes, and ages everywhere.

It turns out the races are quite serious, depending on the “age bracket”.  The puppies tend to wander out of the starting box looking absolutely adorable but totally confused.  The older dogs for the most part truly get the whole idea and run to their excited owners who are yelling at them from the finish line.  Here is a photo I took last year of the race in action:

Dachshunds running during Mooresville Weiner Race

 This truly is a great way to spend your Saturday morning, especially since the weather won’t be great for going out on Lake Norman.  Plus, all of the proceeds go to the Lake Norman Animal Rescue, a non-profit organization who is raising funds for the future Lake Norman Animal Shelter.

The Facts:

Date:  September 26, 2009

Time:  Registration begins at 9:30, races begin at 11:00am.  Get there early to get a good spot along the fence!

Location:  The public parking lot on Broad Street at Iredell Avenue in Historic Downtown Mooresville

Race Entrance Fee: $10

Who:  All dachshunds are eligible and will race according to age.

Besides the actual races there will be pet vendors, “I was there” T-shirts and all sorts of fun things.  Remember, this is a great cause!  For more information:

 Other Lake Norman Articles You May Enjoy:

 60 Things You Should Know About Life in Lake Norman, Part 1

60 Things You Should Know About Life in Lake Norman Part 2

60 Things You Should Know about Life in Lake Norman, Part 3

60 Things You Should Know About Life in Lake Norman Part 4

Fresh Sushi, Hush Puppies: The Scoop About Living in Mooresville Lake Norman

Relocating? Life in Lake Norman

Lake Norman Sailing and Rowing Center Now Open to All!

Sailing On Lake Norman


Lake Norman is an incredible place to live, particularly if you own a waterfront home or a boat.  But, what if you want to go sailing or rowing on Lake Norman and you don’t have a boat?  Thanks to the generosity and passion of some local sailors and rowers,  North Carolina Community Sailing and Rowing,  a 501(c) (3) non-profit organization working in partnership with Mecklenburg County and Cornelius Parks & Rec Departments, recently opened to the public offering sailing and rowing programs on Lake Norman for all ages and abilities.

What is great about this new Lake Norman sailing and rowing program is that the boats and equipment are provided by the center thanks to the generous donations of many Lake Norman area residents and businesses.  All one needs to do is sign-up, pay a very reasonable fee for a season pass and you are on your way to learning how to sail and/or row.  The center is conveniently located on Lake Norman at Blythe Landing in Cornelius.

Fall Lake Norman sailing and rowing programs are underway but it is not too late to join!

Lake Norman Rowing Day 1 juniors

A friend of mine and I have started the rowing classes which are held on Saturday mornings.  There are three classes depending on your age and experience: Masters,  Adult Novice and Juniors.  This photo was taken of  the juniors out on the first day.  The boats we are using hold 8 rowers but they also have sculls for different sizes.  Learning the technical skills to row successfully as an 8-person team is challenging but really really fun!

Because NC Community Sailing and Rowing is a fledgling non-profit they are looking for financial donations as well as more boats and equipment so that they can offer a full schedule of classes on Lake Norman in the Spring.

Learn more, make a donation or sign up!

North Carolina Community Sailing and Rowing

Center Location: Blythe Landing, Cornelius


Lake Norman Sailing and Rowing Day 2

Here is the Adult Novice Group

(I am the second from the back!)


Lake Norman Real Estate’s Business of the Week:  Icy Waves Surf Shop

Lake Norman NC has SNOW skiing too!

Lake Norman’s Cool Breeze Cyclery:  It’s not just about the bikes!


Relocating? Life in Lake Norman

Lake Norman Real Estate’s Business of the Week: Lavendar Boutique

Lake Norman Real Estate's business-of-the-week

Lavendar BOUTIQUE 

Lavendar Boutique in the Mooresville Town Square

 Walking into Mooresville’s lavendar BOUTIQUE you might just think you were suddenly transplanted to a shop on Rodeo Dr. in Beverly Hills or New York City except for one big difference:  you will instantly feel welcome by the warm and friendly “shop girls” .  Designer fashion with Southern hospitality, what could be better?

There is no doubt that Lake Norman has a casual, lake lifestyle.  That is why lavendar BOUTIQUE’s emphasis on designer denim is both smart and successful.  Transplants like myself (from California) who have adopted Lake Norman’s wonderfully casual ways still want our favorite brand of jeans and we don’t have to drive to South Park to find them!

The Jean Cube at Lavendar Boutique in Mooresville

Neatly stacked by size in the “jean cube” as well as throughout the store you will find such designer labels as:

With the latest designer labels from Bella Dahl, Splendid, Sanctuary, Ella Moss, Three Dots, Tart, Sam Edelman and more, you’re sure to find something fashionable and fearless for your next girl’s night out or vacation. If it’s the latest denim from the runways of NY you’re looking for…Lavendar carries the largest assortment of designer denim in the area, including Hudson, Joe’s Jeans, Paige Denim, True Religion, Citizen of Humanity, Seven For All Mankind and more!!

Lavendar Boutique Owners Sherry Pollex

Located  in the Mooresville Town Square,  lavendar BOUTQUE was created by local resident/owner Sherry Pollex to fulfill her dream of owning the first and only men and women’s designer boutique in the Lake Norman area where she not only offers clothing not readily found outside of South Park but a shopping experience second to none.

From a glass of wine to assistance by a personal shopper, a visit to lavendar BOUTIQUE  is truly a treat.

Today Sherry helped me pick out several pairs of  jeans, pinned the hems and arranged for them to be hemmed and back to the boutique for me in just a few days.  Instead of driving all the way to South Park and back I spent all of half and hour and ended up with exactly what I wanted!

If Sherry is on the road with boyfriend and NASCAR NEXTEL Cup driver Martin Truex, Jr., co-owner and sister Jill and all of their knowledgeable “shop girls” are there to help you too.

 lavendar BOUTQUE

279 Williamson Road Suite f

Mooresville, 28117


lavendar BOUTIQUE on Facebook

lavendar BOUTIQUE on Instagram


Lake Norman News, Events and Celebrations, Relocating? Life in Lake Norman

Lake Norman NC Wildlife Cruise: September 19, 2009

Lake Norman's Lady of the Lake


When you think of enjoying the extraordinary wildlife and beauty of Lake Norman an image of the Lady of the Lake yacht might not come to mind.  However, The Lake Norman Wildlife Cruise on September 19th combines an educational tour while enjoying hors d’oeuvres, a bar and a live auction.

Sponsored by the Lake Norman Wildlife Conservationists, a grassroots chapter of the North Carolina Wildlife Federation,  this 3.5 hour cruise will be narrated, educational tour will focus on “islands, animal and plant species, and ongoing conservation projects that help protect those species.”

Appropriate for children and adults of all ages, this sounds like a great afternoon for learning more about our beautiful Lake Norman as well as simply enjoying a tour of the lake while being spoiled in the Lady of the Lake yacht.

The Facts:

Date:  Saturday, September 19, 2009

Time:  Check-in time is 12:45pm returning at 4:00pm

Place:  Queens Landing in Mooresville (at the 150 bridge).

Cost:  $45 per person or $75 per couple.

Tickets can be ordered on line at:  Lake Norman Wildlife Conservationist  or call 704.332.5696 for more information.

“The Vision of the Lake Norman Wildlife Conservationists is to protect and enhance the natural resources and wildlife habitats of the greater Lake Norman area, for all to enjoy.”


 Before Buying Your Lake Norman Waterfront Home, See It By Boat!

The Silent Majority of Lake Norman Real Estate and Waterfront Homes

Are You Ready To Navigate The Waters of Lake Norman?

Lake Norman, Our Inland Sea

Relocating? Life in Lake Norman

Lake Norman Real Estate: The Ultimate Car Week!

 Bently at Pebble Beach 09mccallparty_02


Anyone who has lived in Mooresville (Race City USA) knows that cars are a big part of life for many folks here.  From NASCAR to the local drag strip to our monthly Cruise-ins and weekly gatherings of car collectors of all kinds, if you are a car fan, this is THE place to be…well with the exception of  Monterey California during “Car Week”!

One of my client’s, Brett Hemphill, thought it might be fun to share a bit about this incredible week for those that may not have been lucky enough to attend it.  All I can say is WOW and I hope you enjoy it:

 Car Week 2009

One of the best ways to wind down summer is to spend five days in Monterey and Carmel for the various car events collectively known as “Car Week.  This was my second time experiencing the “car overload” and can’t wait to do it again.

This year’s event was a little different in that we were selling our Touchless Car Cover and trying to fit all of the great events in. We figured a way to do it.

The week started with the McCall’s Revival Party at the Monterey Jet Center on Wednesday evening. The grounds are filled with aircraft, rare cars and plenty of car talk. Porsche used this event to introduce the new Panamera sedan. The attendees are well heeled, I am told. Rumor has it that there were 15 jets sold at the event in 2008.

Thursday morning is an early wake up call. We head over to the start of the Pebble Beach Concours tour. This event features cars that will be shown on Sunday on the 18th green of Pebble Beach. It is great to see these cars lining up near the equestrian center at Pebble Beach in the early morning. If there happens to be a tie on Sunday at the Pebble Beach Concours, the car that participated in the Tour gets a bonus point and wins.

We spent Thursday afternoon prepping two cars that my business partner is auctioning the following day at the Russo & Steele Auction at the Marriott in downtown Monterey. At this point, a brush fire has started nearby and there is ash in the air.

Alfa Romeo BAT next to Touchless Car Cover

Later, we had to drop off three car covers at Concorso Italiano. The Blackhawk Museum contacted us and wanted the Touchless Car Cover to protect and hide their three Alfa Romeo BAT cars from the evening foggy mist and prying eyes. Then it was off to La Dolce Vita to set up our Touchless Car Cover booth in preparation for sales at that event on Friday.

That evening is the Russo & Steele VIP party in the parking structure with all of the cars that will be sold during the next two days.

Ferrari's and More Ferraris!



Friday morning we were off to Concorso Italiano to retrieve our covers. The venue was quickly filling up with Ferrari’s, Lamborgini’s and all things Italian. Then it was off to La Dolce Vita. We unveiled a 1931 Alfa Romeo 6C Grand Sport. Organizers of the event asked us to cover it with a Touchless Car Cover to protect it from the aforementioned ash shower that seemed to be getting worse. We spent the day meeting people from around the world and talked about cars.


Friday night found us at the Russo & Steele Auction. We did some viral marketing by offering a Touchless Car Cover with the first car on the block. This was followed by going to the invite only party at Mercedes Benz on the 4th fairway of Pebble Beach. An interesting crowd varied between under dressed and over dressed. Cocktails and chocolate were being served. The Mercedes evening was capped off with the Pointer Sisters singing a mini concert. Since we did not expect the lack of food, we ended up at McDonalds. How is that for a contrast?

Saturday was spent at the Mecum auction. I was standing 50 feet away from a Daytona Cobra race car signed by Carol Shelby as it went through the block at $ 7.25 million (plus the buyer’s premium). The auctioneer asked the excited audience: “Do you know the difference between a car and a house? You can sleep in your car, but you cannot drive your house”.

Our celebrity status (read: they want to sell us advertising) got us invited to the $100 per head Sports Car Market seminar at Gooding & Company. Gooding definitely had the premium cars to auction including one of Mario Andretti’s Dean Van Lines Indy car.

Saturday night we were back at Russo & Steele doing viral marketing with the first car on the block. Then it was off to dinner with friends – at the table we discussed cars. Imagine the conversation of five Porsche owners in discussion with one Corvette owner. The guy didn’t have a chance.

The weekend was capped off by attending the Pebble Beach Concours. It is just as much fun to see where the cars came from as it is looking at the cars. We saw cars from Hong Kong, Germany, Switzerland, Australia, and more. Forget the cost of the cars, how about the cost of transporting them back and forth? The biggest chuckle I got was watching one of the owners trying to start up a million dollar car. He had no idea how to operate it and had the assistance of an unsolicited mechanic. I am fairly convinced that he had never driven the car.

We took highway 101 South toward Newport Beach and made a detour to the Peachy Canyon Winery for a tasting. The girl serving admired my car. We knew we had picked the right spot as we sipped wine and discussed cars with our wine expert who currently drives a Mini Cooper (S – of course).

Related Articles

 Lake Norman’s 2009 Spring Fly-In

 Relocating to Lake Norman NC

What is it like living in Mooresville, Race City USA?

Relocating? Life in Lake Norman

60 Things About Life in Lake Norman that the Tour Guides Won’t Tell You: Part 4

Lake Norman after a Snow Fall

 There is so much about life in my wonderful Lake Norman community that one can only learn after living here.  If you have been following this series you will now know that you need to carry a compass with you because there are so many trees it is very hard to get a true sense of direction, that roads will change names when you least expect it and how to pronounce some names that aren’t quite what you expect.  Here is the last of my series:

  • Out Buildings: When I first started looking for homes here I keep reading about outbuildings and I had no idea what they actually were.  Well, they are simply detached sheds, workshops and garden shops.  Most of us have one because we need somewhere to keep our John Deere mowers!
  • If ice or snow is predicted, everything shuts down!  Folks from cold climates truly laugh their first winter here as they observe not just schools but the entire Charlotte area shut down if we have even an inch or two of snow or a threat of ice storms or even ice on the roads forming overnight.
  • Walk out basements versus traditional basements:  It you are from the north where basements come with every home, you will be surprised to know that most all of our homes do not have basements. However, if the lot is slopped enough, we have walk-out basements that are extremely popular especially if they walk out to the lake.  In place of basements, most of our newer homes have a large bonus room on the second or third floor of the home.
  • Hardwood trees are good and Pine trees can be evil:  This may seem harsh, but I learned this from my tree guy who is a native.  It turns out that pine trees have small root-balls so they tend to be the trees that blow over in storms.  Since learning this I have observed it myself.  We have had two trees fall on power lines at different times on our street and in both cases they were pine trees on forested lots.
  • Pine straw mulch is a cure-all:  I had never seen pine straw mulch until moving here which is why I even bother to mention it.  I have since found out that most serious gardeners include a twice annual ritual of spreading bales of pine straw under and around their trees, shrubs and flowers.  It is used extensively commercially because it tends to make everything look very fresh and neat.
  • Siding:  We have all of the common types of siding here.  Brick is the most popular because of the low-maintenance but it is also one of more expensive options.  Other types of siding include stones of all kinds, cedar, cement fiber, logs (as in log cabins) hard-coat stucco and various thicknesses and textures of vinyl.  Some folks are still a bit nervous about stucco because of the synthetic stucco problems years ago but there are great stucco experts that can test it for moisture issues.
  • Inspection issues: moisture, crawl spaces, caulking:  Moisture related problems are the most common found on home inspections here.  From crawl spaces with inadequate drainage or moisture barriers, to lack of caulking at windows to rot damage to door jambs.  Also, look for broken seals in double-paned windows…there will be moisture in between the exterior and interior layers of glass.
  • Barbecue, especially churches and clubs:  I wrote an entire article about North Carolina Barbecue but I just wanted to mention how much barbecue is a part of life here.  Churches, civic organizations, fire departments and schools are known for their great barbecue fundraisers.  Just look for home-made signs at street corners or in the local newspapers.  Pulled pork is the best!

Lake Norman Festival 2009

  • Festivals!  It you want to experience the true, small-town and southern culture, you need go no further than your local town festivals.  The Lake Norman Festival (Now called Race City Festival) is held every May in Mooresville.  Davidson has a wonderful 3-evening Christmas Festival and you will find many around the Lake area on July 4th.  What they all have in common is decadent food (funnel cakes, giant turkey legs, fresh lemonade, barbecue, Kettle Corn), arts and crafts, music and entertainment.
  • Art, Gallery Crawls:  I had no idea how art is ingrained in the culture here.  Whether you are interested in Museum quality, contemporary or traditional, paintings, pottery, wood turning, sculptures and photography, you will find it all right here.  Downtown Mooresville has monthly “gallery crawls” and exhibits at the local Artist Guild.  Davidson has wonderful concerts, plays and performances on and off campus plus some exceptional art galleries and stores.  There are concerts ON the lake as well as movies you can watch from your boat.  Then there is always the Mint Museum, the Daniel Stowe Botanical Gardens and such in Charlotte.
  • No Smoking laws!  Now this truly is a sign of the times as North Carolina recently passed a law forbidding smoking in bars and restaurants.  It is great news for us non-smokers but actually over the past few years most establishments have banned smoking on their own.  With towns like Winston-Salem it truly is a big deal to be able to see this law passed. 
  • Take the time to get to know the locals…we have invaded them.  Most people estimate that 75% of the current residents are what are termed “transplants”.  We have come from all over the country to enjoy life here.  Many folks around the lake never take the time to get to know the old-timers and locals which is truly a shame.  I have met so many wonderful, native residents who have shared what it was like watching the lake fill up in the 1960’s and their sleepy cotton and tobacco towns scattered along the railroad increase in population ten-fold since the completion of the I-77.
  • Yur Fine!  This is one of my very favorite responses you will get from our true Southerners to any kind of apology.  Example:  “I’m so sorry!”   “Oh, yur fine” they respond with a smile!

Y'all Come Back Lake Norman's Catawba queen 

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Boatslips at The Peninsula Yacht Club in Cornelius

 If you missed Part 1 and 2 of this series, then you don’t know how to pronounce Appalachian properly, or that you shouldn’t be surprised to have complete strangers wave at you as you drive by most any Lake Norman neighborhood or why you need to merge quickly onto our Interstates.  Here is Part 3: 

  • Boatslips are scarce on Lake Norman, so try to get one with your house!  This is one thing I wish my Realtor has told us when we purchase our home here on Lake Norman.  Duke Energy oversees the lake and they are making  boatslip and dock regulations more restrictive.  If you plan on having a boat, try to buy a home with a deeded boatslip if you aren’t buying a waterfront home.  There are few public marinas and from what I understand no more permits for multiple dock marinas are going to be allowed in all of Lake Norman. 
  • Green is coming:  When it comes to the environment, we tend to follow other states and are a bit behind, with the exception of areas like Asheville.  Our local towns don’t have curbside recycling but there are several private companies that offer it. (We now have curbside recycling! 2014).  As a member of the Lake Norman Home Builders Association’s Green Council I can attest to the fact that more and more home builders are incorporating energy efficiency and high-performance materials into their new homes.
  •  Round Bale of Hay in North Carolina Round bales of hay, not square!  You don’t have to drive far to see bales of hay spread across a field, especially in the fall.  In fact, we had some until recently on Brawley School Rd.  What I love is that they are all round as in this photo rather than the square bales I used to see in CA.
  • Canoeing during the day and Bobcats at night:  Recreational, amateur and professional sports are a huge part of life here.  I had no idea Charlotte had all of the major professional sports including hockey until I moved here.  Golf courses are dotted throughout the Lake Norman area.  Basketball, especially the college playoffs, is hugely popular.  Go UNC!
  • Very little access to swimming unless you have a boat:  At the time of this article, we only have one public swimming area on the entire Lake Norman shoreline and that is at the Lake Norman State Park.  However, Mecklenburg County is considering approval of several that will be adjacent to public boat ramps in Cornelius.

1957 Chevy in Paint Booth

  •  Cars, cars, cars:  Cruise-ins, shows, racing:  While Lake Norman may be a Mecca for pilots, it most definitely is THE Mecca for all things on wheels.  From NASCAR, to drag racing, Charlotte/Lake Norman is home to approximately 80% of the auto racing industry.  Along with that come the car collectors and enthusiasts…I’m married to one!  If you want, you could probably find a cruise-in or gathering of car collectors almost every night of the week during the summer.  Plus, we have the big shows like Good Guys as well.  So, if you are a car nut, put Mooresville at the top of your list!  (Photo is my husband’s latest custom hot rod)
  • Wine is  local and international:  Full disclosure, my parents had a vineyard in Napa Valley for 25 years.  Yet, despite my exposure to the wine world I had no idea that North Carolina has quite a number of local wineries.  There is even a new one in Troutman right here in Lake Norman.  For those that have not acquired a taste for our state wines which can be a bit sweet, we have a number of wine shops (Total Wine), groups and tastings in the area on a regular basis.  We also have our own local breweries and craft beer makers in growing numbers.  (Yes, and thanks to Trader Joe’s we also have two-buck Chuck!)
  • Lake Norman folks are usually really tan, especially the longtime lake residents:  To get the idea, just visit the local lake hangout Vinnie’s where you will find the waitresses with deep tans as well as many of the patrons.

Red Clay at construction along Brawley School Rd

  •  Red clay:  Our natural soil here is a deep red clay.  If you buy a home with a mature garden you may not even see it but if you have a good rain, don’t be surprised if you track some red footprints into the house.  If not amended with mulch, our red clay becomes rock hard when it is dry.  If you have any planting to do, I would plan it for after a good rainfall.
  • Cycling is not so great on our roads but is improving:  My husband has been a serious cyclist for most of his life and even he finds the roads here too narrow for safe cycling.  Most of our roads have absolutely no shoulders and with just one lane in each direction can be quite challenging for cycling.  However, the widening of Brawley School Road includes bike lanes and there is a group that is working hard to get a cycling path built that will completely surround Lake Norman.  Until then,  Lake Norman State Park, Jetton State Park and The Point in Mooresville and The Peninsula in Cornelius are good options.

Stay tuned for the finale, Part 4!

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60 Things About Life in Lake Norman You Won’t Find in a Tour Guide: Part 2

Early morning on a North Carolina Beach PICT0002

A while back I wrote part one of this series about life in Lake Norman 60 Things about Life in Lake Norman Part 1.  Most of the 60 things on this list are not information you will find in any tour guide or Chamber of Commerce website but I thought it would be fun to share some of the interesting and quirky things  I have discovered/observed since moving here in 2005:

  •  Road names changes:  This is a biggy…Don’t be surprised if the road you are on changes names or if you come to an intersection and find that the right side of the street has one name and the left has an entirely different name.  Always look at both signs when trying to find the name.
  • Lake Norman is about 4.5 hours from the beautiful Atlantic coastline:  The beach is probably the number one vacation destination of local residents many of whom have second homes in Wilmington or Myrtle Beach. Compared to the beaches of Southern California, they are clean, have lots of shells and the water in the summer is really warm!  They can be a bit humid in the summer but are incredibly beautiful all year round.
  • Merging lanes are very short!  The merging lanes on the I-77 and other state highways have a way of disappearing VERY quickly. Don’t expect to have a lot of time to move over when exiting or entering a highway!

Geese crossing the road is typical in Lake Norman

  • Ducks and Geese are quite at home here along with deer, squirrels, raccoons and myriad birds.  But watch out, I have seen a family of geese walking across Williamson Road stopping traffic in both directions!
  • Raft ups is a local term used for boat parties on Lake Norman when two or more boats are tied together.  As I wrote recently, I do believe Lake Norman holds the worlds record for the number of boats tied together at one time!
  • Variety of lifestyles: You can be yourself and simply find others who share your interests.  Casual, formal, conservative, liberal, churches of every kind, party goers, homebodies, those that want to escape and those that want to be surrounded by a community of friends, farm country or city, historic or modern, southern or Yankee, natural or commercial, cutting edge or old fashioned; ee have it all either on the Lake or in the surrounding communities.

John Deere's Line up in front of Lowe's

  • Most folks mow their own lawns with riding mowers .  While this might not be the case in The Point or the more exclusive communities, for the most part you will see husbands and/or wives out mowing their own lawns.  In fact, a John Deere mower was our very first purchase.  My husband actually finds it relaxing.  I have tried it and it really was fun but it seems he doesn’t like to share!
  • People move here because they want to, not because they have to!  I work with a lot of relocating buyers and the most common question I get asked by my friends is why are they all moving to Lake Norman?  While each client’s story is unique, with a few exceptions, all of my buyers are moving or have moved here because they want to live here.  They have done their research and whether it is the lake, the weather, the proximity to so much, most every one has purposely picked Lake Norman as THE place that they want to live….from young couples to families looking for good schools to retirees.

Magnificent Frank Lloyd Wright style Estate on Long Island Airport Lake NormanP1020956

  • Lake Norman Air Parks x 2:  Yes, we have not one but TWO small airparks on Lake Norman, one on the west side and one on the east side.  I am finding that we are a mecca for pilots of all kinds!  This home overlooking the grass runway at Long Island AirPark is one of my very favorites because of it’s Frank Lloyd Wright feel.
  • If you want to fit in, you need to know how to pronounce some very important local names: 

                    Jetton  (As in the street in Cornelius)  Je-t- ON;

                    Iredell:   Eye-er-dell; 

                   Rowan:  Row-Ann 

Appalachian: App (sounds like apple)- a- latch-a.  (the most mispronounced word throughout the US!)


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Lake Norman Real Estate’s Business of the Week: On the Corner of Art and Main

Lake Norman Real Estate's business-of-the-week

Lake Norman Island by Sandie Bell

Lake Norman Island by Sandie Bell

Mark you calendars for this Friday, August 14th, 2009 from 6-9 pm  for the popular and growing “On the Corner of Art and Main” monthly gallery crawl in Historic Downtown Mooresville!

“The Corner of Art and Main” is an artwalk featuring live music, art and festivities. Enjoy wine and cheese as you browse the many shops on Main and Broad Streets that will be featuring the works of local artists.

This Friday’s artwalk coincides with the Depot Fine Gallery’s August Exhibit free opening reception from 6-8 pm.  (105 West Center Avenue in the historic train depot).  This month’s exhibit features three artists:  Leo Gordon, Sandie Bell and John Weidman.

I would like to particularly highlight a friend and very talented artist, Sandie Bell  whose art I have admired ever since I met her when I first arrived in Mooresville in 2005.  A local resident of the Mooresville Lake Norman community, Sandie’s work has won numerous awards and is included in private collections throughout the country.  Sandie is also an active member of  the Mooresville Artist Guild, Lake Norman Art League, Charlotte Artists Society and Associated Artists of Winston Salem.

Things are looking up

Things are looking up

This is one of my favorite works of Sandie’s which she has replicated on note cards that I love sending to family and friends:  “Things are looking up” reflects her spirit as well as life in our great Lake Norman area where hot-air balloons are quite popular.

One of the qualities I appreciate the most about Sandie as an artist is her versatility.  She is currently working in acrylics, pastels, collage, watercolor, and mixed media. From traditional still life to abstracts, she enjoys “creating new visual statements by using shapes, patterns, colors and values.”Asian Influence

I am particularly fond of abstract art like this piece of hers entitled “Asian Influence”

Lake Norman Hydrangeas

To see more of Sandie’s work, visit her gallery on her website  in which is included these categories of subjects: Landscapes and Flora, Fauna, Still Life, Abstract, Figures and Others.  And, definitely go to the Depot Fine Art Gallery to meet her on the 14th!

If you have time after the Opening Reception at the Depot Fine Art Gallery on the 14th, I highly recommend that you stroll along Main Steet where you will find more wonderful artists such at “Cotton Ketchie” at his popular Landmark Galleries.  This month he will not only have his wonderful water colors, photographs, local pottery and gifts, but the gallery will be showcasing the works of NC artist Tony Craig who also enjoys “incorporating the nostalgic old country stores and grist mills” in his artwork just as does “Cotton”.

Finally, stop by for a great glass of wine at our Historic Downtown Mooresville’s gourmet wine shop at the corner of Main and Moore Street.

If you can’t make it this month, On the Corner of Art and Main is held the second Friday of every month.  Enjoy!

Lake Norman News, Events and Celebrations, Relocating? Life in Lake Norman

Lake Norman’s World Record Breaking Raft Up Party is July 25!

Lake Norman-Like Raft Up Party

Lake Norman is poised to set a new world record at the mega “Raft Up” party tomorrow, July 25th! And, this in not the first time as Lake Norman has long held the record for a Raft-Up until local officials thought it was too dangerous and stopped them in 2005.

If you are new to Lake Norman and/or aren’t settled here yet, you may be wondering exactly what is a  “Raft-Up”?.  Well, according to one Lake Norman local on the Lake Norman Sail and Power Squadron website a raft-up is:

Lots of fun with your boat sitting still in one place on the water!  Members bring their boats together at a selected location on the lake and tie together with an anchor boat. Then a really a great “cocktail party and dinner” on the water begins. We all share stories, food and beverages while enjoying the gentle rocking of the boats and possibly even some swimming.

This year’s “Lake Norman 2009 AquaPalooza” is free for all and runs from 10:00am – 4:00pm.  While the main attraction is the world record setting tying up of boats that will stretch from Lake Norman’s Midway Marina just south of  the NC 150 bridge south, there is a full day of fun planned including an on-the-water concert from 1-3pm by the Sponge Tones of Charlotte.  And, there will games for kids as well.

If you are brave enough to want to join the actual Raft Up, you can register your boat at the Aquapalooza website. I believe the current record is well over 1000 boats!  For more information you can also call Tom Riemann at 704.892.9676.  For some great photos, check out the Lake Norman Sail and Power Squadron website.  The event headquarters is Midway Marina at the 150 bridge.

So, if you love to party and love boating on Lake Norman, you simply can’t miss this day of fun and craziness.  Have fun but be safe!

Lake Norman News, Events and Celebrations, Relocating? Life in Lake Norman

Brawley School Road Widening to Include Bike Lanes and Grass Median

Lake Norman's Brawley School Rd. Widening Project Sign

 FOR THE LATEST UPDATE GO TO: Brawley School Road Update May 2011

Those of us who live down Lake Norman’s infamous Brawley School peninsula know only too well that construction is well under way on the two-year widening project.  The large, orange sign “warning, expect delays”  blinks at us daily although by now we pretty much know what to expect.

One of my fellow Brawley School friends/clients asked me at lunch yesterday whether I had seen any renderings of the completed project and details as to whether there would be bike lanes, landscaping and other details which I hadn’t.

So, today I made full use of Google and uncovered some fairly well-hidden information on the North Carolina Department of Transportation’s website  and contacted John R Cook, Resident Engineer, Statesville Construction who provided some prompt and exciting information as well.

Here are the Brawley School Road Widening Project Highlights:

  • Widen to four lanes with a median south of Southfork Rd to Talbert Rd
  • Sidewalks will be built on both sides
  • Sharp curves will be straighten (We can see this just from the grading that has already taken place)
  • The median will prohibit left turns into and out of individual properties along the project

The Design and Public Hearing Maps are available from this website as PDF files so you can see in great detail what the process will involve and what the end product will look like in 2011.

Mr. Cook, in response to my inquiry, provided unexpectedly good news:

  • There will be bike lanes!!!  (This is such great news.  Finally we will have safe cycling in our community!)
  • The median will be grass.  There are no details yet regarding landscaping.

If you would like more information, John R. Cook can be reached at #707.876.3543.

Short term, it is a bit of a pain in the neck but the end result is going to be well worth it!


Lake Norman Real Estate: The McKendree Road Neighborhoods

The Silent Majority of Lake Norman Real Estate

Relocating to Mooresville Lake Norman; Subdivision or No Subdivision?

Relocating? Life in Lake Norman

Lake Norman Real Estate’s Business of the Week: Lake Norman Gardens

Lake Norman Real Estate's business-of-the-week

Lake Norman Gardens Front

Lake Norman Gardens

If  you drive  north along Perth Rd. on a regular basis you may have noticed the quiet evolution of a garden center and nursery on the right just before you get to Fern Hill.  Unless you have taken the time to stop inside and talk with local owner Robbi Grayson, what you won’t know is just how special Lake Norman Gardens  is now and how very exciting it is going to be very soon!

What started as a lawn and garden center focused on “bulk products”, according to Robbi, has evolved into  “Perth Road Community’s one stop shop for all things one needs to create inspiring outdoor rooms”.  Their recently approved rezoning plans will include:

  • A park-like arboretum
  • A new, protective greenhouse
  • A safer mulch yard
  • A tree nursery
  • Expand their ability to carry retail plants


Lake Norman Gardens' Perennials

If you are a garden enthusiast like I am  you will love their variety of perennials and their creative displays of plants with garden art.  Plus, their friendly staff is happy to special order to fill your unique requests.

Inside Lake Norman Gardens

Inside their large shop is an incredible array of  indoor plants, decorative art and accessories and even some fun, upscale Vietri Italian pottery.  Lake Norman Gardens is truly a mecca for house warming gifts!

Charming Display at Lake Norman Gardens

From outdoor furniture to chimes to statuarys of all kinds,  I always come away inspired with a new list of ideas for my garden and patios.

It you get on their mailing list (Lake Norman Gardens) you will receive Robbi’s weekly emails which announce all of the new plants that have arrived, weekly specials, news, as well as upcoming events like their Vietri event on July 21st from 5-7pm during which they will be serving Bella Cucina gourmet foods and a Vietri ambassador there to sign their pottery.

Robbi recently hired landscape designer Keith Stallings who will be starting full-time on July 1st, just in time to plan your fall landscape projects.

We are all very fortunate that Robby Grayson and her parents had the vision and enthusiasm to take this 4-acre site that was once an unsightly tavern and dump site into what is evolving into an exceptional garden center that will inspire even those of you who don’t have a green thumb.


Lake Norman Real Estate: Early Signs of Spring! 

 Relocating?  Learn about plants and gardening in and around Lake Norman Part 1

Pine Needles Versus Hard Wood Mulch: Lake Norman’s Great Debate!

Lake Norman Relocation Resources

Relocating? Life in Lake Norman

A Sneak Preview of The Club at Westport in Denver, Lake Norman!

The new Junior Olympic Swimming Pool at Westport

 Picture one facility where you can play competitive tennis on 8 lighted clay tennis courts, watch your children in a Junior Olympic pool swim meet or sliding down their 42 foot slide, working out in a state-of–art fitness center or relaxing on an expansive patio sipping a cold beer or glass of wine.

Starting this Friday, May 15th, you will be able to do just that at Denver Lake Norman’s exciting, new hot spot:  The Club at Westport.

Developers T.G Daniel, his son Tom Daniel and their new builder Brian Robinett invited a group of us to the Westport Golf  Club to learn more about the new direction of their  housing community Westport Club  and the Westport Golf Club.  But, the highlight of  the tour was getting a sneak preview of  The Club at Westport.

The Club at Westport Lake Norman

Owned and operated by Robbie and Pattie Smith, who also own and manage the popular Charlotte Racket Club North, Pattie told us that this spectacular new club is the result of everything they have learned from their other club.

The 6000 square foot Club House is home to their fitness center, a mult-purpose room for such things as aerobics, pilates and yoga, a pro shop, locker rooms, snack bar, meeting room and a member lounge with a big screen TV.

The  wrap around porch overlooks the tennis courts, pool and views of Westport.

8 New clay tennis courts at The Club at West Port Lake Norman

The beautiful 8 lighted clay courts have a special underground watering system so the courts are always perfect and never in need of overhead watering.

Those that know Robbie Smith will remember that he is a former world-ranked tennis player and nationally recognized teaching pro.  This new Tennis Facility will offer year-round programs, league play, club tournaments and lessons for all  ages.

Fitness Center at Westport

The spacious Fitness Center has brand new PRECOR equipment, free weights, and numerous cardio machines from tread mills to stairmasters.    And, they will be open 24/7 to accomodate all of their members’ lifestyles.

Precision Fitness will be staffing the center and will oversee all of the classes and personal training.


The swim club actually offers two pools.  For the serious swimmer, there is is an 8-lane wake-free pool designed for top level competitive swimming.

But, the obvious highlight is the 42′ “double flume” water slide!  For the younger children there is a splash pool as well.

From competitive swim teams to water aerobic classes, there truly is something for everyone, even full-time lifeguards.

The Club at Westport, with the Westport Golf Club just a golf-cart ride away, a variety of  housing opportunities and even plans for a commercial area all combine to make Westport THE community in Denver and even the entire west side of Lake Norman!

Learn More About Life in Lake Norman:

10 Things Lake Norman Waterfront Home Buyers Should Know BEFORE buying

Lake Norman Relocation Resources

Relocating to Lake Norman

60 Things You Should Know About Life in Lake Norman, Part 1

Relocating? Life in Lake Norman

60 Things About Life in Lake Norman That You Should Know: Part 1

Lake Norman Waterview

 If you are contemplating a move to our Lake Norman area you most likely have gone to the Chamber of Commerce websites and already know about our great weather, proximity to Charlotte, the Blue Ridge Mountains and the beaches.  But what is it REALLY like living here?  Here is my list of things that I found most interesting after I moved here from California in 2005:

  • Trees, Trees and More Trees:  There are so many beautiful, tall trees, even along the Interstate that it is easy to loose your sense of direction.  From hardwood trees like Maples to towering Oaks and Pines to numerous varieties of blossoming fruit trees (like the Dogwoods above), we are surrounded by trees.  It is incredibly beautiful but you might want to have a compass handy as it is easy to get disoriented at first!
  • Wave!  Everyone waves at you here.  If you are driving in neighborhoods people in their yards or walking their dogs will wave at you.  Smiles and waves are a part of daily life.  It didn’t take long for it to become a habit for me too!
  • Imagine getting ready to get in the checkout line at a grocery store and having no lines or better yet have the sales clerk walk out to you to grab your cart!  Friendly customer service is a priority and a part of life here.  This is especially evident to me at grocery stores, banks and when I go to our local Lowe’s Home Improvement.  There are always plenty of knowledgeable sales people who go out of their way to help.
  • Stars at night:  If you live out on the lake and away from the center of town, you will be treated each clear night with myriad stars sparkling in the sky.

  • Peace and Quiet:  No matter where you are, you are never very far from almost complete serenity.  Even though I live off of Brawley School Road, once I am home I rarely ever hear a car go by.
  • Sounds of the lake:  Unless you live on the main channel, in the boating months you most likely will have just the occasional sounds of a boat going by or the screams of delight of children water skiing or riding in one of the amazing variety of tubes and clever things pulled by boats.
  • Birds:  If you put out a bird feeder or two you will be treated with a constant variety of visitors from bright red Cardinals (our state bird), to Blue Birds, Golden Finches, Wrens, Chickadees, Woodpeckers and many more who come and go all year round. Don’t forget to put sugar water out for the hummingbirds as well. I highly recommend you get a Southeastern US guide to birds!  (Also, visit Wildbirds Unlimited in Huntersville).
  • Sounds of nature:  If you are lucky enough to have tall trees, the sounds of birds singing and chirping will be in the background most of the day.  On a windy day the pine trees and other tall tree make a wonderful rustling sound.  During the summer we add in the crickets, cicada’s and the cute little tree frogs croaking as well.
  • Chances are you will pass a farm, produce stands, goats and beautiful glimpses of the lake on your way to the market or the Interstate.  We still have many wonderful reminders of the days before Lake Norman was created and became so popular.  You don’t have to go very far to find the beautiful farming country in addition to the few still lingering around the lake area.
  • Polite Drivers:  Now some people may not fit in this category, but I can tell you that the majority of drivers will let cars merge in front of them and even stop to let a car from a side street get on to the main road.  I rarely hear horns.  When in doubt, be polite.  I left my road rage in Los Angeles!

  • Parks and natural areas are a priority.  Many housing communities are designed to maintain what we call “natural areas” where the native, mature trees that were once part of a forest still remain.  We have lots of green space and many parks from small neighborhood parks to the 1300 acre Lake Norman State Park.  
  • Sports are an important part of life here in Lake Norman just as they are in the entire Charlotte area.  You will find that our local TV stations and newspapers will cover high school football and basketball on their prime-time news.  Our schools have highly competitive sports teams of just about every type you would find anywhere.  Of course, during the Sweet 16 basketball tournaments most everyone keeps track or watches the games.  UNC (Charlotte) was crowned the US Champions again this year but there are always a number of North Carolina Colleges in the competition including our small town favorite of Davidson College who made it to the final 8 last year. And, you can’t forget we are the auto racing center of the country as well!  See my Lake Norman Sports Resource Guide for a comprehensive list.
  • Recreation is an important part of daily life here from boating on the lake to walking, cycling, hiking and mountain biking. Lake Norman is large enough to accommodate the fastest “cigarette boats” and large sail boats but also has many small coves that are perfect for canoes, rowing, paddle boarding and kayaking. Water skiing, wakeboarding, wind surfing,…you name the water sport and we probably have it!

  • Vegetable gardens are a common site, especially in neighborhoods outside of the major subdivisions.  The neighborly thing to do is share when you harvest.  My neighbors even offer bulbs and plants when they are dividing them up.  A little sign of the country and the old ways which I love.
  • Variety of people:  About 70% of those of us lucky enough to live around Lake Norman are “transplants” from other states.  Everywhere you go you will hear a great variety of accents.  Even the Southern accents vary tremendously depending on where they are from originally and how long they have lived here.
  • Yellow pine pollen in April. One day in April you will suddenly notice what first looks like a layer of dust on cars and outdoor furniture. Pretty soon it will be apparent that there is a light layer of sticky, yellow pine pollen everywhere!  It doesn’t last but a month or so but I highly recommend you close your windows during this time.

  • Japanese Beetles.  Usually towards the end of May you will start to see an iridescent flying bug sitting on your rose bushes, crepe myrtles and other tender flowering plant.  Within a week they will become a force to reckoned with, particularly if you have young plants.  They eat the plants and flowers leaving just the lacy veins.  Do not get the bags that are meant to capture them as they actually attract more to your garden.  Several bug sprays are popular but we find hand picking them off of our plants to be more environmentally friendly along with an application of a systemic on the vulnerable plants in March.
  • Casual life style and clothing is the way of Lake Norman.  While you can find occasions to dress up, generally life is pretty casual and we all dress accordingly.  Shorts and sandals are fine just about everywhere in the warmer months.  It’s a bit like living at the beach or on vacation.
  • Tanning salons seem to be in every strip mall.  Having spent too much time on the sunny beaches of California I am now a regular at my dermatologist due to minor skin cancer so while many here still believe in having a deep tan, some of us use SPF 45!
  • No matter what type of shopping you are looking for, we probably have it nearby.  We have upscale boutiques and malls, all of the major Big Box stores and chains as well as Outlet Malls,  the Metrolina swap meets and antique events.  Our grocery stores range from Harris Teeter, Fresh Foods, Whole Foods (New!), and Trader Joe’s to the mega stores like Wal-Mart, Super Target, Sam’s Club and B.J.’s.
  • As I have written about before, those of us from other states have brought our favorite foods with us!  From New York style Italian to Five Guys awesome hamburgers and fries to upscale restaurants featuring a huge variety of foods, there is little you won’t find here in the way of food.  Having fresh produce stands so nearby as well as farmers markets means we have wonderful, locally grown fruits and vegetables as well as baked goods, honey, pickled green tomatoes and seasonal plants.

  • Porches:  For those lucky enough to have a “rocking chair front porch” as they are called here, there is nothing more relaxing then soaking up the peace and quiet, enjoying your morning coffee or evening glass of wine and greeting those who happen to walk by.  Screened porches are GREAT for the back side of your home too.
  • Take time to talk to workers…fence installers, pest control, tree trimmers, plumbers.  Whether you are having a fence installed, trees trimmed or a plumbing leak fixed, especially if the service person  has a Southern accent, you will find a friendly conversation to be an important part of the service.  Things are more personal here.  Enjoy slowing down a bit and chatting with folks!
  • People are nice, polite, talk while waiting in line, friendly.  I think we all adopt the Southern hospitality and culture a bit after moving here.  People are more likely to chat with you while waiting in line at Starbucks or just about anywhere if you welcome them.
  • Stop for pedestrians at the market:  If you even put one step towards your car after leaving the market most cars will stop and wave you on.  Just as when driving, there is a politeness that extends way beyond what is experienced in many areas of our country!
  • 4 seasons:  Yes, we do have 4 distinct seasons but all are mild.  Trees have usually finished loosing their leaves by Thanksgiving and by mid April everything is almost completely leafed back out.  Our hottest months are July and August.  We get about one real snowfall (snow sticks to the ground) each winter and a few hail or ice storms mixed in here and there.  We have afternoon thunder and lightning during the warmer months but they are very sporadic. You can be driving along and run into a heavy rain and be back out in the sunshine 10 miles later.  Because we are so far inland, hurricanes generally bring tropical rains but little else.

So, these are the first 26…Look for Part 2 soon!


 60 Things You Should Know About Life in Lake Norman Part 2

60 Things You Should Know about Life in Lake Norman, Part 3

60 Things You Should Know About Life in Lake Norman, Part 4

Fresh Sushi, Hush Puppies: The Scoop About Living in Mooresville Lake Norman

Lake Norman Relocation Resources

Relocating? Life in Lake Norman

Lake Norman Real Estate’s Business of the Week: Steve Abee Pottery

Steve Abee Catawba Valley Potter

Those of you who have been reading my blog for several years already know that I am an AVID collector of Catawba Vally pottery, particularly the potters that follow the same historic traditional methods passed on by the late Burlon Craig.

Of all of the potters that are included in the book “Catawba Clay; Contemporty Southern Face Jug Makers”, there is no doubt that Steve Abee is one of my favorites.  Born in 1968, Steve is one of the youngest  yet one of the most collectible of this coveted group of potters who follows the traditional Catawba Valley method and styles.

 As with each of the Catawba Valley potters, Steve has created a certain look to his face jugs that is immediately recognizable. The well defined nose with flaring nostrils, white bulging eyes with cobalt pupils and the large gapping mouth with two rows of white teeth are part of Steve’s trademark look.

Going to one of Steve’s kiln sales is always exciting because Steve goes out of his way to make some unusual and even whimsical pots like this great pig I was able to get last year.

Steve is one of the few potters who also excels at miniature jugs and pitchers just as Burlon Craig did so many years ago.  And, he does beautiful swirl pieces as you can see from the pig and this miniature pitcher.  The swirl technique that is such an important part of historic Catawba Valley pottery is fairly hard to find these days.  Charlie Lisk is known for his multi-colored swirls pieces but he has not made any swirl pieces since I have been collecting.

In 2006 Steve had his first successful “burn” in his new ground hog kiln.  This is a miniature jug which notes this major achievement.  The kiln sale that day included works by Charlie Lisk and AV Smith as well.  I love the color of this particular glaze.

Because Steve and other Catawba potters fire their pieces in their own wood-burning ground hog kilns, there is always an element of surprise when the pieces are unloaded.

The excitement when arriving and seeing all of the pieces arranged on Steve’s lawn is indescribable.  It is always hard to choose a few favorites and then have to wait to see if I get a low number and therefore have a good chance of getting the piece I want!

As you can see, I have quite a variety of face jugs, a face birdhouse (lower shelf on the left next to the large jug), wig stand (lower shelf on the right) , and face vase plus numerous miniatures.  Steve’s glazes range from nearly clear on the swirl pieces to a very dark brownish green.

Steve and his wife Rita have created a website:  Catawba Valley Pottery of North Carolina where you can learn abut the history, find a schedule of kiln openings, and, starting soon, even purchase pottery which, until now, was only possible at their kiln sales or pottery festivals.  (or on EBay for a WHOLE lot more money!).

They also produced this great 8 minute video in which Steve explains the history and techniques of Catawba Valley pottery: Steve Abee Video about Catawba Valley Pottery.  For general information:  I hope to see you at the next kiln opening!

Learn More About Catawba Valley Pottery

The Catawba Valley North Carolina Pottery Festival

December is THE month for Catawba Valley Pottery kiln sales!

How to buy the best Catawba Valley Face Jugs!

Lake Norman, Face Jugs and Collecting Catawba Valley Pottery

Relocating? Life in Lake Norman

Lake Norman Real Estate’s Business of the Week: LKN

One day when I was surfing the web about Lake Norman and Lake Norman real estate I happened upon this great website that sold fun and unusual Lake Norman stuff:  LKN  Since I am always looking for new and different types of locally owned and operated businesses to highlight each week I decided to email the company and find out more about it.

It turns out is the brainchild of a local firm:  Artisan Signs and Graphics located on Old Statesville Road in Cornelius.

Owner Scott Crosbie was kind enough to meet with me and explain more about their company and the Lake Norman Merchandise website.

Artisan Signs and Graphics has been making high quality, custom signage for the greater Lake Norman and Charlotte area for over 15 years. But, it became clear to me while talking with Scott that this isn’t just your typical sign company.

With in-house graphic designers and a lot of enthusiasm and talent they are willing and able to offer much more than just signs.  Scott told me they can even take photos and make life-sized “fat heads” which are life-sized cutouts of a favorite football player or even your own child!

One of their designers came up with the idea of and they then set out to create some fun design options like the Vinnies one above.

This is a great example of their flexibility and interest in trying new things.  From local schools, sports teams, clubs, churches and businesses, they can custom design and produce everything from T-Shirts to stickers.  What a great local resource!

One of the best things about the Lake Norman Merchandise is that you can order any item in any amount and in any size and they will be shipped to you within several business days!  Instead of having to buy in bulk and guess on sizes you can order only what you really want even if it is just one sweatshirt!

I’m already thinking about the potential for client gifts, T-Shirts for a local charity that I am involved in and even canvas recycle shopping totes for the Lake Norman Home Builder’s Green Building Council.

I happen to live down Brawley School Road so I particularly like this design.  However, I’m thinking I might have some made in 2011 that says:

“I survived the widening of Brawley School Road”

 To order or learn more:

Artisan Signs and Graphics Website

Artisan Signs and Graphics 18335 Old Statesville Rd. Cornelius 28031