Paint & Sip at Addie's Baby in downtown Florence, South Carolina

December 9, 2018


We meet new people throughout our lifetime and some may only stay as acquaintances while others become an instant close connection. I find that having that great, trustworthy friend in this town takes effort and giving others a chance is not easy, but something's gotta give. It is, as we all know, like dating.


And what better way to go on a date or get to know your friend than doing a creative exercise together over a glass of wine? My favorite choice; going to a Paint & Sip in downtown Florence. There's an intimate art studio called Addie's Baby Studio in downtown that's owned by Winter Moore. If you haven't been there, you should. The name of the art studio is "Addie's Baby" because Addie is Winter's mother. It's creative and so touching and as a mom myself, it speaks volumes.
 (Owner & Artist, Winter Moore)

Tonight, my group of moms took a few hours of our busy Christmas season for a Paint & Sip class at Addie's Baby together. Tonight's theme was "Snowman in Paradise". 

Addie's Baby Studio provides the apron, paintbrushes, paint and canvas. You just need to show up with your beverage of choice that you've brought with you (BYOB). Our group decided that sharing a bottle (or 2) of Cabernet Sauvignon that someone brought from home was perfect. 

Sometimes the pressure of creating a perfect canvas can be what's holding you back from just enjoying the experience. For these Paint & Sip classes, no art experience is ever required. What you create on the canvas is yours. After you've completed your painting on your canvas, you get to bring it home to remember the memories of a certain season of your life when you created it. It's more than just painting to me. It's like a record of time of where I am and who I'm with at that given moment. And that is why I'm always eager to come back here to do another painting I've never done before. 

 (Inside of Addie's Baby Studio at a Paint & Sip class)

During the December month, there are many different Christmas themed paintings you can pick from. To see Addie's Baby Studio's calendar and upcoming paintings, go to: https://www.addiesbabystudio.com. If you need to spend that quality time with your significant other, I highly suggest a Paint & Sip class here. If you both have never done it, it'll be a great bonding experience you'll never forget. 

(I forgot my carrot nose on my snowman but that's okay.)

No two paintings from a class will ever be the exact same so when you peek at your neighbor's painting, just remember that that's their painting. You have yours that you created with your own hands and left side of the brain. When I was peering over to see everybody else's canvas, I felt like my painting was missing something but I couldn't put my finger on what it was. I didn't realize until I got home that I forgot to add an orange carrot nose to my snowman! I may have missed a pretty important feature of his face but now I can say that my snowman is not "nosy" like that others. It has made this particular painting experience more memorable and for that, I am thankful. 

To call Addie's Baby Studio about booking a class for yourself or a group of people, you can call 843.229.5862. Studio Address: 290 W Evans St, Florence, South Carolina 29501

Addie's Baby Studio facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/AddiesBabyPaintWineStudioFlorence/

If you are new in town and would like to see a list of mom groups or playdates in Florence, go to: Moms Groups in Florence

For a list of ideas of fun things to do (including Paint & Sips and trivia nights) with your group of moms, go to: Mom Fun page. Every mom deserves a little break. 
 

Christmas Gift Ideas

November 28, 2018
For the Star Wars fan, this light saber mug is awesome. The light sabers come on when you pour hot liquid inside (like tea or coffee, etc) and there are 13 light sabers on this mug. It's one of the best Christmas gifts that won't break your budget. See short clip to see how it works.  The 13 Star Wars sabers on the mug belonged to: Qui-Gon Jinn, Kit Fisto, Darth Vader, Anakin/Luke Skywalker, Obi-Wan Kenobi, Darth Maul, Luke Skywalker/Anakin (he had different ones so his name shows up again), Count Dooku, Obi-Wan Kenobi, Yoda, Asaji Ventress, Mace Windu and Luke Skywalker. See more details on this Star Wars Light Saber Mug.

For the Color Street nail polish fan who doesn't know a distributor close by, they can also buy them online. This one is called Tokyo Lights
 

Veteran's Day Discounts and Free Things in Florence for Veterans (2018)

October 27, 2018
Veteran's Day this year is Sunday, Nov. 11, 2018! Here's a list of places that will offer veterans a free meal or freebie on this special day in Florence, SC! (Many are even for active-duty military men and women.) This holiday is always special to my family because my husband is a Navy veteran. Thank you all for your service!
  1. Shoney's is offering a free All You Can Eat breakfast to all past and present military from 6AM - 11AM. 
  2. Buffalo Wild Wings is offering a small order of wings and fries to veterans for dine-in on Veteran's Day. Must present acceptable proof of military service, which include: permanent or temporary US military ID cards, a DD 214 or veteran's card.
  3. Little Caesar's Pizza is offering a free $5 lunch combo for veterans and active military only between 11am - 2pm (lunch only). 
  4. Cracker Barrel is offering a free double chocolate fudge Coca Cola dessert to veterans. Dine in only. 
  5. Dunkin Donuts is offering one free donut to all active duty or retired military personnel all day long. Must show proof.
  6. IHOP is offering free red, white and blue pancakes for veterans and active-duty from 7 a.m.-7 p.m. 
  7. Great Clips: On November 11, veterans can get a free haircut, or present your military ID and get a coupon for a free haircut, which can be redeemed anytime before Dec. 31, 2018
  8. Red Lobster is offering active and past military members a free appetizer or dessert from a special menu. Offer will be valid on Sunday, November 11 and Monday, November 12.
  9. Ruby Tuesday is offering a free appetizer to past and present military. 
  10. Ripley's Aquarium in Myrtle Beach (1.5 hours from Florence, SC) usually offers a great special for veterans. Last year they offered Veterans $5 admission and their family members only paid 50% of regular tickets each. (Offer may change slightly year to year.) Babies under 2 are always free.
  11. Golden Corral also offers a free meal to Veterans but not on Veteran's Day. They will have their special free-all-you-can-eat buffet offer to veterans on Mon., Nov. 12th, 2018 from 5pm - 9pm. 
  12. Alligator Adventure in Myrtle Beach is offering retired and active military free entry from Nov. 9th - 12th, 2018 and families of veterans 50% off. 
  13. Starbucks Is Offering Free Coffee For Military 11/11. Veterans, Active Duty And Military Spouses, Enjoy A Free Tall (12 OZ) Hot Brewed Coffee On Veteran's Day.
  14. Chuck E. Cheese's is offering a free personal 1-topping pizza for active duty, national guard, retired and veterans with valid Military ID or proof of military service. 
Note: Tell your veteran to be prepared to show military ID or PROOF of military service to any of these places to get their freebie!!! Other websites may have outdated information from previous years that are not offered anymore so be careful. FlorenceMom.com will continually add offers and freebies to this list for our veterans as they are announced.  Hope you and your family will have a great Veteran's Day!

In Florence, you can visit the Florence Veterans Park (601 Woody Jones Blvd.., Florence, SC 29501) located right next to the Florence Center. It is located behind their large parking lot.
 

Emotional Day that Causes Other Buried Issues to Rise to the Surface

October 25, 2018
Have you ever cried uncontrollably about something very petty and have no idea why? Like when a whole bunch of stress from other sad things in your life suddenly combine themselves to build a big burst. And you don't quite figure it out until after the crying is done and you get a quiet moment to analyze it.

That happened to me about 30 minutes ago. I cried to a complete stranger on the phone because something very petty caused disappointment about a program I'm trying to enroll in that I had hoped would help me go back to school. I normally don't cry about things like this but I think my visit to Investigator Farrah Turner's memorial patrol vehicle this morning was really upsetting to me. Then, somehow I was repressing some of it while I was on my way to pick up my toddler from his preschool. 

I've never met Investigator Farrah Turner before but her passing really hit me. The shooting was 3 weeks ago and she suffered so much during those 3 weeks in the hospital; even got both of her feet amputated and then passed away not too long after that. I tried to make sense of it all and it's just senseless. There is no reason why she should have had this much pain before she passed away or for any of it to happen at all. The community had outpours of good things to say about her, how she volunteered her time to help kids; to help the community above all the things she was already doing to serve and protect Florence. 

Then later today, I had an email exchange with a past employer about getting some documentation about a job that I lost through a restructure. I think that when I lost my job 7 months ago, I was so upset that I just didn't know how to grow from it. I've never lost a job before but I think this, however, gave me a reality check and the empathy to relate to everyone who has lost their job before. I now know how it feels; hopeless. Before this, I felt invincible. I was always the hardest worker who earned promotions and awards. I was not used to being the underdog; the one who is easily first to let go from an organization, but that's me and this email kind of helped me with a little bit of closure. It gave me confirmation that whatever happened 7 months ago needs to be let go. Cry it out and let it go. 

The beginning of the day started out with one clear mission; to cut roses from my garden and bring them to the Florence County Judicial Center to honor and show my respect to Investigator Farrah Turner. I tried to pick the best set of flowers that would fit in my green tube of water that helps keep the flowers fresh a lot longer. I found one that had 2 roses in one stem. Using my garden shears, I used my best effort to cut off all the thorns because no matter how beautiful roses are, they will always have thorns. Oh the irony!

As I walked to the vehicle at Florence County Judicial Center, no matter how hard I tried to stop them, tears came. Then after placing the roses on top of the car, I had a few minutes and then had to go back to my car to compose myself and did a beeline to my 2 year old's preschool to pick him up. Then, later that afternoon, I checked my email and received the very important email from my past employer which surprisingly opened a wound I tried to forget about. Some minutes later, I received some bad news from the organization that I was hoping would help me move forward and go back to school. It's just that this has been such an emotional day and everything that I've tried to work so hard for just hasn't been going my way. And I think what it boiled down to is that it's the injustice for Farrah and I felt a little bit of that for myself today too, but of course mine is in no way the magnitude to what Investigator Farrah had to face. 

We're waiting for the injustice to disappear.  Somehow, we hope that we can find that rainbow after a storm but it doesn't seem like it's coming here. It seems like Florence and everybody else in this city just keep getting hit over and over again. Today just seems too much for me to bear! And then I cried to a stranger on the phone who probably thought I was crazy to cry over a little disappointment about my application. I apologized to her on the call for my unexpected cry. It just hit me all of sudden like a ton of bricks. Her bit of bad news was just enough to tip me over the edge and provoked me to continue my flow of tears that had started earlier in the day. I know that sometimes we deal with emotions very indirectly and the way I usually process my emotions is puzzling to me too. 

In a span of 1.5 months, we've had a threat from Hurricane Florence, an active shooter who shot 7 officers with one that passed away on the same day, then, a threat from Hurricane Michael and now another officer who passed from the same shooting incident that happened 3 weeks ago. It just doesn't seem to get better. 

We're waiting for the day where we can celebrate something again. Please let it come soon. 
 

Disney On Ice presents Worlds of Enchantment enchants children and adults at the Florence Center

October 12, 2018
I attended my first Disney On Ice show ever last night with my little family and WOW! It was so wonderful and beautiful that I can't wait to see another Disney On Ice show again.

Disney On Ice presents Worlds of Enchantment was incredible at the Florence Center last night. With stars like Woody, Buzz and the Gang,  Elsa and Anna from Frozen, Lightning McQueen that drives himself on ice, and Ariel and Eric from The Little Mermaid in the same room is enough to blow your mind! 

FlorenceMom.com had a favorite Disney star before coming to the show and that's Ariel, The Little Mermaid. 

She was gorgeous, graceful and performed to all the favorites! Here is one of the performances by Ariel and Eric together.

Woody and Buzz are my kids' favorites. They are 4 and 2 and my 4 year old has watched all of the Toy Story movies so to see Woody on ice was truly special. FlorenceMom.com had the exclusive privilege to interview Kyle Shropshire, who performs as Woody, last month so it was super amazing to see the immense talent he has in person. You can read about the interview here by FlorenceMom.com.

Here is when Woody first comes out to the show! What an entrance! 



What little girl does not love the famous movie Frozen and it's most catchy song "Let It Go"? And what sisters would not relate to Anna or Elsa? They danced and ice skated with surprise, snow from above!



The beautiful sisters ice skated as if it was as easy as breathing for them. It all just makes so much sense and the perfect ensemble for the season. (See a video glimpse of Anna & Elsa's performance last night at the Florence Center above.)

When Lightning McQueen and all the Cars came out, we tried to look inside to see if there was anyone and no, we see no-one. They drive themselves on ice! 

And it isn't a Disney production without all the awesome toys and wands available for purchase and this reminded me so much of Disneyland and Disney World without even having to travel there. 

And of course, we can't forget, Mickey & Minnie Mouse! The most famous couple in the world.

Disney On Ice has everything you think an ice skating show should be like, but with so much more than you can imagine. With pyrotechnics, amazing talented performers, the nostalgic songs and all the right feelings to make you feel whole again, it was an absolutely healing for the soul to be there and Florence desperately needs healing. My kids stayed put throughout the whole show and that's very telling for 2 normal rambunctious toddlers. Dancing is allowed! 

After two hurricane scares, some recent tragedy for the whole city of Florence, this was very needed here. Come see your Disney stars! Make a special date night or family night! Performing for only another few days, you can catch their next performance at the Florence Center this weekend on Friday, Saturday and Sunday (October 12 - 14, 2018).

(Note: All photos and videos uploaded on Pinterest and Youtube shown on this page are actual footage and property of FlorenceMom.com.)

Tickets for Disney On Ice presents Worlds of Enchantment start at $20. All seats are reserved, and tickets are available by calling 800.745.3000. For group rates and information, call 866-248-8740 x4. To learn more about Disney On Ice, produced by Feld Entertainment, visit www.disneyonice.com, or visit us on Facebook and YouTube.

ABOUT FELD ENTERTAINMENT Feld Entertainment® is the worldwide leader in producing and presenting live touring family entertainment experiences that bring people together and uplift the human spirit. Properties include Monster Jam®, Monster Energy Supercross, Disney On Ice, Disney Live!, Marvel Universe LIVE!, Sesame Street Live!, DreamWorks Trolls The Experience (coming Fall 2018) and Jurassic World Live (coming Fall 2019). Across the brand portfolio, Feld Entertainment has entertained millions of families in more than 75 countries and on six continents. Visit feldentertainment.com for more information. 


 

Notable After School Programs for Kids in Florence, South Carolina

October 6, 2018
TOP PICKS FOR AFTER SCHOOL PROGRAMS FOR KIDS IN FLORENCE, SC

Addies's Baby KIDS After School Art Academy Camps - Located in downtown at 290 West Evans St in Florence, Addie's Baby has been known as a great place for creative juices to flow. Starting Oct 30, 2018, Addie's Baby is launching an after school art academy for kids. Your children will have a place for their art to flourish while working on special art projects. There will also be homework help and snacks included in a structured program. For students in grades 4th through 6th, this program is from 3:30PM - 6PM from Tuesday - Thursday. Cost is $65 per week or $55 per week for early registration. Weekly themes include: "A Starry Week", "I Love Pumpkins Week", "Optical Illusion Week", "Glow Paint Week". "Elfs Everywhere Week" and "Merry Christmas Week".  For questions, contact Addie's Baby! Addie's Baby is having a "bestie discount" where the each artist gets 20% off when you sign up 2 or more artists. This could be a family member or friend! For more info, go to: https://www.facebook.com/AddiesBabyPaintWineStudioFlorence/ or call 843.229.5862
.  

Extended Day Elementary (After School program) at individual elementary schools in Florence School District 1 - For $60 a week, your kids can possibly attend an after school care program at the very school your child attends! This includes the following schools: Briggs Elementary, Carver Elementary, Delmae Elementary,  Dewey L. Carter Elementary, Greenwood Elementary, Lester Elementary,  Lucy T. Davis Elementary , McLaurin Elementary, Moore Elementary, North Vista Elementary, Savannah Grove Elementary, and Wallace Gregg Elementary. The Extended Day Academy offers many diverse opportunities for your child to learn skills in mathematics, art, writing, music, technology, sports, and much more! The Extended Day Academy will provide a structured place to receive homework assistance, one on one tutoring, a snack, as well as supper. Extended Day Academy is from 2:30 - 6pm, Monday - Friday. Talk to your school about this program. It begins the first day of school until the last day off school. To see more info: https://www.f1s.org/domain/2102.

Master JKim's Taekwondo Center's After School Care program - Located on 1657 West Palmetto Street, near the Krispy Kreme's, this reputable Tae Kwon Do company also offers an after school care program. Best of all, they will transport your child to their location from the following schools: Delmae Elementary, Royall Elementary, Lucy T Davis Elementary and Carver Elementary. There is supervised homework time and a well structured environment. This is the perfect program for your child if he or she is interested in martial arts. Pick up time is 6pm. For more info: https://www.facebook.com/pg/jkimustaekwondo

Afterschool STEMS Academy for Middle School - Offered at Southside Middle School and Sneed Middle School, this STEMS Academy offers many diverse opportunities for your middle school child to learn skills in mathematics, art, writing, music, technology, sports, and much more! The Afterschool STEMS Academy will provide a structured place to receive homework assistance, one on one tutoring, a snack, as well as supper. Fee is $60 per week and the program is from 2pm - 6pm, Monday - Friday. To see more info: https://www.f1s.org/Page/12913.

La Petite Academy - For children ages from infant to any school-aged children, they offer an after school care program that's extensive. This is a great option for parents who have multiple kids who have one child who is a baby or toddler who already attends La Petite Academy for preschool or day care, and an older child in a different school who needs after school care. They provide transportation from selective schools, so check with them if your school is included. Snacks and homework help are also included. Their operating hours are from 6:30AM - 6:30PM year round. The convenient side of La Petite Academy for working parents is that you can put your child here during the summer months too because it operates year round. For more info, go to: https://www.lapetite.com/your-local-school/florence-sc-7504/

YMCA After School Program - For grades Kindergarten (K-5) to 6th grade, YMCA Florence has an afternoon school program that is very affordable. You get a discount if you're already a YMCA member (family package). Non-members can also use the after school program! Times of the after school program is 2:10PM - 6PM. They can also provide bus transportation from the school if you're under a list of schools that they'll pick up from. They will also provide a snack. Program includes: brain teasers, cool science experiments, games, puzzles, computer challenges and writing. The hands-on activities are based on enriching academic programs, educationally based in thematic units, and fun to do! Homework time is a scheduled part of their daily schedule. Opportunities to perform plays, play musical instruments, sing, dance and express themselves in a variety of creative ways for young artists, architects and other expressive, creative minds. There's painting, crafts, building materials and more! There's also opportunity to spend quiet time or catch up with friends. For more info, go to: http://www.florenceymca.org/programs/child-care/84-after-school-program
 

Interview with Disney On Ice Star, Kyle Shropshire

September 16, 2018
Last week on Sept 12th, FlorenceMom.com had the special opportunity to interview Disney On Ice star, Kyle Shropshire, who performs as Woody on Disney On Ice presents Worlds of Enchantment!

Kyle and a grand team of talented ice skaters will portray an outstanding Disney cast that includes (but not limited to) stars like: Ariel from The Little Mermaid, Elsa and Anna from Frozen, Lightning McQueen from Disney●Pixar’s Cars and of course, the rest of the gang from Disney●Pixar’s Toy Story 3 and they are coming to Florence, South Carolina next month from October 11, 2018 - October 14, 2018 for five performances at the Florence Center! 

At 23 years old, Kyle has been skating since he was 2 years old, which makes him a very seasoned ice skater with two decades under his belt!

As a professional ice skater and casted by Disney On Ice since he was 18 and on his 6th year, Kyle's immense talent has taken him all over the US and to 15 different countries within the last several years. As a mother of two boys, and even though I am not Kyle's mother, I feel so proud of Kyle! He was such a joy to talk to! (Scroll down to see the interview transcript.)

During the interview, Kyle and I chatted about his favorite places to visit, tips for kids who want to become a professional ice skater, and how the holidays can make one miss their family. Here are the highlights from the interview!

FM: Where are you originally from?
Kyle: I’m from Algonquin Illinois, which is just outside of the Chicago suburb.

FM: Where are you located now? Are you rehearsing or performing tonight?
Kyle: For this show, Disney On Ice Worlds of Enchantment, we are at the rehearsal studios right now (actual studios' location has been omitted by FlorenceMom.com to protect all Disney On Ice stars' privacy). We have 2 weeks here for rehearsals before we go out on the road and start performing!

FM: How long have you been skating for Disney On Ice?
Kyle: This is my sixth year on Disney On Ice.

FM: When you found out, before you started working for Disney On Ice, that you were going to be a star, was it like a special phone call while you were shopping, and were you like jumping up and down in the middle of a store or something like that?
Kyle: Not exactly! (laughing) I definitely was excited. So I’ve been skating since I was 2 and my mom was in the Ice Capades back in the day and she became a coach so I grew up skating. Skating was a huge part of my life; in my family’s life. I’ve been competing up until I was about 18. I always knew I wanted to do shows at some point, just any kind of professional show. And I thought Disney On Ice is a good place to start. So when I sent in an audition video, I got an email back sooner than I thought! From there, it kind of just took me on a life adventure for sure.

FM: Well, you must have sent in a very awesome audition video for them to email you so quickly and want you on the show! So then, you’ve been traveling around the US even before you were a part of Disney on Ice, right?
Kyle: Yeah, just a little bit. In Chicago area, I skated and then when we did competitions, it was kind of more in the Midwest. So when we did regional competitions, we would travel around the Midwest. And then, I went to some junior nationals when I was a kid and I did nationals when I was a little older.  I went to San Jose, California and a couple of different places for different competitions around the states.

FM: And now that you’re a part of Disney On Ice, I’m sure you’ve also traveled to other countries outside the US, right?
Kyle: Yeah, yeah. So when I first started, I did mainly just states tours and this tour that I’m on is all states but I got to go to about 15 countries. I went to South Africa. Last year, we did a whole Eastern Europe tour so I got to go to Serbia, Poland, Germany and I just came back from Japan, actually. Such a great opportunity to travel and getting to skate in all of those countries has been surreal!

FM: You said you’ve been skating since you were 2. How many years have you’ve been skating counting all of those years?
Kyle: I’m 23 now so basically, 20, 21 years now!

FM: Wow, two decades. What are your proudest achievements so far? If you could just name the #1 best achievement, what is it?
Kyle: This job is definitely one of my best achievements. It’s very rewarding as a job to growing up skating and working really hard and training a lot. Then to now, get to perform for kids and make them smile and really bring joy to families and bring families together. This job doesn’t really feel like a job. It’s a really exciting lifestyle. I’ve met lifelong friends. People have become my family here. And it’s definitely a great experience to get and I’m really grateful for that.

FM: How many hours of training and rehearsal do you usually have on an average day?
Kyle: Right now because we are building the show, and doing 2 weeks of rehearsals, our days are kind of long. We’re doing a lot of on ice stuff, off ice, costume fitting, learning steps and kind of drilling things over and over again to make sure it’s all good to go. Once we get onto the road, mainly our rehearsal process is basically just the shows and you get notes from each show that keep getting the show better and better!

FM: I hope you get a couple of days off per week to just relax for a little bit.
Kyle: Yeah, usually when we get to a city depending on when we open a show, we have a couple of days off and we have them free to ourselves to explore the cities and explore the towns and eat the good food and all of that stuff.

FM: What’s your advice to kids who dream of being just like you as a professional ice skater and performer for Disney On Ice?
Kyle: Definitely to strive to be your best. It’s a really great job to have and really great opportunity as a skater. Skating is definitely not an easy sport and it’s hard to push through. You keep going with it and not get discouraged. There are so many good skaters out there, and it's such a hard athletic sport but I think that the job gives a great outlet of fun and new exciting adventure with skating. So I would hope that kids can stick with it and work hard and really find the joy in skating that we try to bring to the ice at all times!

FM: Are most of the skaters, who’ve worked with you, like you and started when they were little?
Kyle: It varies but I would say the majority of the skaters here have started when they were younger. I’ve definitely known some people in this company who have started a lot later and they’ve just been really driven to get in this job and skate for a living. So, it’s definitely doable if you start later. But it just all depends. Yeah, but the majority of the skaters have started when they were younger.

FM: So when you say later, were they like teenagers or still in elementary school?
Kyle: Most of the latest that I’ve heard is around like 13. A couple here and there that maybe have started later than that but most of the time they are teenagers or 10 years old. We have skaters all over the world so some skaters came from other countries that maybe didn’t have an outlet of skating when they were younger and so they didn’t get into it until they were older.

FM: Have you had any injuries from ice skating?
Kyle: I haven’t had a ton of injuries compared to some people. I’ve really only fractured my knee briefly. I actually ended up still skating on it because I was told it was a bruise so I didn’t get an MRI for a couple of weeks. When I got the MRI, that’s when they told me. I wasn’t really bedridden for it or didn’t have to rest much for it ‘cause I didn’t really know. That’s kind of what the worst I’ve had.

FM: Well, you’ll be skating as Woody for Disney On Ice presents Worlds of Enchantment! My sons have watched all of the Toy Story movies and they have all the toys, including Lotso and the aliens!
Kyle: Awesome! Well they should come to the show because we have Lotso and the aliens. Our show tells the whole story of Toy Story 3! We have Andy and the green army men number and it goes into all the toys coming out like Slinky, Bullseye, Ham and Rex, Mr. and Mrs. Potato Head. It’s a really fun show. It shows a big story about Toy Story that everybody usually loves!


FM: Oh yeah! My sons will be very excited to see you and the whole production! Disney is just so special. What do you think makes it extra special about Disney On Ice, that you can tell us before we go see the show?
Kyle: For any Disney On Ice show that we have, it’s really cool to bring it to your city. Instead of having to go to the parks to see these characters, we get to travel around the states and get to go to that specific city. Then, in terms of on ice, we’ve added a lot of tricks and athleticism to it so it’s really fun to see those characters in a different way, in a different action and we bring them live to you! Like our show, Worlds of Enchantment features Pixars Cars as well, so they come live on the ice! McQueen drives himself and you know we bring that and have pyrotechnics! 

FM: That’s amazing! Do you miss home from all this traveling? Does it make you homesick?
Kyle: Yeah, a little bit. Around the holidays are a little hard. We still have shows during the holidays. You know, because you go on the road with so many people and they’re going through the same things you are, they are away from home as well. You become each other’s families. You learn how to work through that and you enjoy your times together. But day to day, trying to pack up your bag and then go to another city all the time, it’s exciting but also draining as well. When you do get to go home, you get to be home and relax in that one place for a while!

FM: There’s no place like home right? What’s your favorite food to eat? Like if you can order anything you want right now, what would it be?
Kyle: Oh man. I definitely like pizza. Being from Chicago, we grow up with a lot of good pizza around. Pizza is kind of a good go-to dinner for me. Pizza or tacos!

FM: Do you plan on visiting loved one soon? Do they get to travel to see you instead?
Kyle: Hopefully my family will get to travel a little bit. Maybe during around like Thanksgiving time, my family will be able to come. We’ll be in Greenville, South Carolina around that time so hopefully they can come then. Maybe if there’s another time that I can go home, maybe I’ll be able to travel home for a couple of days and visit.

FM: I know you’re probably an expert traveler now. Have you been to Florence, South Carolina before?
Kyle: I’ve been to a lot of cities on tour but I don’t think I’ve ever been to Florence.

FM: Well, we're so glad you're coming! So, we’re in the middle of a hurricane season right now!
Kyle: Oh right, I was going to ask you. I know that the hurricane is coming to that North Carolina, South Carolina border there. It’s going to hit pretty hard, it seems.

FM: And tomorrow, it’s forecasted to be coming! We went to the grocery store two days ago and bottled waters were flying off the shelves. I couldn’t find water on Monday so on Tuesday, my husband had to rush in the morning to get there. It’s been really crazy over here.
Kyle: Hopefully you guys stay safe over there. Are you guys in a hard area for it? I know it’s kind of covering all the Carolinas.

FM: So Florence is about 70 miles from Myrtle Beach so we’re inland from Myrtle Beach and a lot of them are probably coming here to evacuate. If you could live anywhere, where would it be?
Kyle: Probably my favorite places have been like Poland and Germany. If I have an opportunity to live there, it would be pretty cool.

FM: I was looking at the website and I noticed that you’re starting here on the East Coast and then you’re eventually going to go to California. Is that correct?
Kyle: Towards the end of the tour, we go to Colorado and Phoenix, and then we end up in a couple of cities in California as well.

FM: I was originally born and raised in San Diego!
Kyle: Actually, my mom was too! My mom’s side of the family all lives in San Diego. My dad’s side of the family is from more north, like Stockton, Modesto area. I have a lot of family in California.

FM: So you visit pretty often?
Kyle: Yeah! My dad works for United actually, so we’re fortunate to be able to grow up flying all the time. So we flew to California all the time to visit everybody.

FM: It’s so awesome that you know a lot about the East Coast and the West Coast. You’re traveling a lot. You’re very well-grounded.
Kyle: It’s nice when you get to go to a city where you know people or you have family there. On your days off, you can hang out with them or they can come see the show and have dinner afterwards. It’s kind of a nice, comforting feeling when you’re moving, moving, moving on the road.

FM: Thank you Kyle for taking the time to spend a moment to talk with me today! I can't wait to see you perform next month!
Kyle: Thanks and stay safe during the hurricane!

Disney On Ice presents Worlds of Enchantment will be an amazing performance at the Florence Center in Florence, SC! With pyrotechnics, amazingly skilled ice skaters performing as Disney stars featured from four different Disney movies, these performances are sure to enchant and bewilder!


More information on Disney On Ice presents Worlds of Enchantment performing at the Florence Center from October 11 -14, 2018: 

Get ready to enter a dazzling world of Disney magic, live on ice where Lightning McQueen, Mater and the crew of DisneyPixar’s Cars perform high-speed stunts and race across the ice like you’ve never seen before!  Be amazed and join Ariel as she dives into the underwater kingdom of Disney’s The Little Mermaid.  Buzz Lightyear, Woody, Jessie and other favorites from the Toy Story gang as they try and escape from Sunnyside Daycare in one of their most daring adventure ever from DisneyPixar’s Toy Story 3 – proving that the toys are back in town! Plus, enter the wintery world of Arendelle with sisters Anna and Elsa from the BAFTA and Academy Award® winning and number one animated feature film of all time, Disney’s Frozen. Join Anna as she embarks on an epic journey with the hilarious snowman Olaf and rugged mountain-man Kristoff to find her sister, the magical Elsa, whose icy powers have trapped the kingdom of Arendelle in eternal winter.  

From wheels to waves, icy wonderlands to infinity and beyond, see some of your family’s favorite Disney moments come to life at Disney On Ice presents Worlds of Enchantment.

Performance Schedule:

Thursday, October 11    7pm

Friday, October 12 7pm

Saturday, October 13    1pm & 5pm

Sunday, October 14     1pm

Tickets for Disney On Ice presents Worlds of Enchantment start at $20. All seats are reserved, and tickets are available by calling 800.745.3000.  For group rates and information, call 866-248-8740 x4. To learn more about Disney On Ice, produced by Feld Entertainment, visit www.disneyonice.com, or visit us on Facebook and YouTube.
# # #

ABOUT FELD ENTERTAINMENT 

Feld Entertainment® is the worldwide leader in producing and presenting live touring family entertainment experiences that bring people together and uplift the human spirit. Properties include Monster Jam®, Monster Energy Supercross, Disney On Ice, Disney Live!, Marvel Universe LIVE!, Sesame Street Live!, DreamWorks Trolls The Experience (coming Fall 2018) and Jurassic World Live (coming Fall 2019). Across the brand portfolio, Feld Entertainment has entertained millions of families in more than 75 countries and on six continents. Visit feldentertainment.com for more information.


Enter the Disney On Ice Giveaway for 4 tickets to the opening night of Disney on Ice presents Worlds of Enchantment performance at the Florence Center in Florence, SC!
 

Businesses that Closed in Florence

September 9, 2018
We've lived in the Pee Dee area for 5 years now and I've watched many restaurants or coffee shops go out of business during that time.

Here's the list of local restaurants that have gone out of business:

  • Clay Pot (closed in 2017)
  • Orange Leaf Frozen Yogurt
  • The Library (closed in 2018)
  • Hibachi Grill Buffet on Irby St. (closed in 2018)
  • Fiasco 
  • Cast Iron Waffles (closed in 2016)
  • Smoky Oak Taproom (because of a fire in 2015)
  • Cruise the View (closed in 2016)
  • Primo Pizza inside of Magnolia Mall (closed in 2018)
Here's the list of chain stores that closed in Florence, SC:
  • K-Mart (closed in 2017)
  • Bi-Lo on W. Palmetto (2017)
  • Bi-Lo on Pamplico Hwy (closed in 2018)
  • Applebee's on Irby (closed June 2017)
  • Toys R' Us (closed in 2018)
  • Sears (closed in 2017)
  • Pita Pit (closed in 2018 and Clean Eatz took its place)
(Clay Pot was one of the closed businesses in 2017 in Florence)
(Cast Iron Waffles closed in 2016.)
 

Taking it Easy with a Paint Nite in Florence, SC

August 20, 2018
When it comes to relaxing, just sitting down on the couch to watch T.V. or browsing on the phone can sound so unexciting. If you like creating art or making anything with your hands, Paint Nite is a great alternative, especially if you have an empty wall to fill. It's 2 hours of fun with all painting supplies included (even the apron)! You can look at the calendar to see the painting that catches your eye in Florence, SC: Paint Nite Calendar.

Recently, FlorenceMom.com went to a Paint Nite at Mellow Mushroom in Florence, SC. We painted "Star of the Sea". Instructions started at 7pm but coming a little early to order a beer on tap, specifically a glass of Breakside IPA, sounded like a perfect start. 

Mellow Mushroom offers a variety of craft beers and beers on tap but they also serve cocktails. 

Don't be intimidated by Paint Nite. Painting here is meant to be fun and experience is not required! 

You can paint with girlfriends, a date or even by yourself! It's your art. Let those creative juices flow! 


At any time when you feel a bit stuck, you can seek help from the instructor as well. It can be a question about a technique or anything about the painting at all. Paint Nite instructors are very friendly, helpful and of course, experienced!


At the end of the night, there was a sense of accomplishment and contentment. Being able to have an outlet from a normal busy day was key to getting reenergized. Being able to spend time with it a friend while painting was a great bonus! Here's my "Star of the Sea".

To see all Paint Nite painting dates in Florence, SC, go to: Paint Nite Calendar.


You can also save 40% off using LOCALVIP as the promo code. The original price is $45. With 40% off, the price ends up being just $27. You can currently pick from two Florence locations: Mellow Mushroom or Local Motive in downtown! (FlorenceMom.com does not get a commission from this. This is a promo code saving being passed on to you!) There may be other seasonal promo codes on their website that are better than this, so look out for those as well! 

When there are more Florence locations aside from Mellow Mushroom and Local Motive, FlorenceMom.com will be sure to write an update! 

 

Hotels Closest to Darlington Raceway (Bojangles Southern 500)

July 24, 2018
All of the hotels below offer free parking! Book them quick before they sell out as they get closer to the event! 

Bojangles Southern 500 is on September 2, 2018! Here's the list of hotels located closest to Darlington Raceway:

Raceway Inn (1.5 miles from Darlington Raceway) - Average rate $130 

Comfort Suites Florence
(6.74 miles from Darlington Raceway) - Average rate $259 See more pictures and details of Comfort Suites Florence

Sleep Inn Florence
(7.02 miles from Darlington) - Average rate $200 See more pictures and details of Sleep Inn Florence

Microtel Inn & Suites by Wyndham
(7.1 miles from Darlington Raceway) - Average rate $180 See more pictures and details of Microtel Inn & Suites by Wyndham in Florence

Days Inn by Wyndham Florence I-95 North
(7.1 miles from Darlington Raceway) - Average rate $210 See more pictures and details of Days Inn by Wyndham Florence I-95 North

Howard Johnson Inn Florence
(7.5 miles from Darlington Raceway) - Average rate $257 See more pictures and details of Howard Johnson Inn Florence

Suburban Extended Stay Hotel
(7.6 miles from Darlington Raceway) - Average rate $100 See more pictures and details of Suburban Extended Stay Hotel in Florence

Ramada Inn by Wyndham
(7.8 miles from Darlington Raceway) - Average rate $200 See more pictures and details of Ramada Inn by Wyndham in Florence

Super 8 by Wyndham (7.8 miles from Darlington Raceway) - Average rate $175 See more pictures and details of Super 8 by Wyndham in Florence

Econo Lodge Florence (8.1 miles from Darlington Raceway) - Average rate $170 See more pictures and details of Econo Lodge Florence

 
Go to the 'Events and Activities' Page to see all family-friendly things to do in Florence!


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About Me


I'm a mom who lives in Florence, South Carolina. Originally from Southern California, we moved here when my husband got out of the military and began his civilian work at the Duke Energy Power Plant in Hartsville. I have two sons who were both born at the McLeod Hospital in Florence. Visit the "Events & Activities" Page for upcoming family-friendly events!
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