Wednesday, August 17, 2011


The Carolinas! 

I mentioned in my video titled, "Thanks Huffington Post & Curl Activator Gels" that I would be taking a trip to North Carolina. First, I'd like to thank those of you who commented on the video, offering tips and advice on how to stay cool in the humid south. Unfortunately, the trip was such a short turnaround that I didn't have time to organize a meet and greet as some of you requested. Trust, if I had more time, I would have loved to have met some of my North Carolina subbies ;-). I haven't even had a meet and greet in my hometown yet, so I'm really slacking! The thing that sucks about traveling long distances is that you lose a day or two just flying. And let's not even get into how taxing and cumbersome traveling with a baby can be! Needless to say, the trip was short, but fun. Here's a few highlights:

Let's start with the first day. I couldn't visit the south without having a good southern meal, so I prepared grits, eggs and turkey bacon for breakfast (Okay, so it may not have been a traditional southern meal, but it was a slightly healthier version ;-)).

This meal gets a big thumbs up from the chef!

As you can see, my curls were on and poppin'. I did a co-wash before I left and applied pure coconut oil and Just So curl activator gel to style. I threw in the rose accessory I purchased from Forever 21 that I shared in my Random Beauty Haul post and was good to go!

I got all dolled up to go shopping at a really chic yet affordable spot called...

Walmart, LOL! It's funny how you can travel all over the world and still hit up the same places you visit at home. It reminded me of when I was in France many moons ago and how the friends I went with wanted to do nothing but hit up the many McDonald's and Burger Kings that are out there. So much for delighting in authentic French cuisine. Anyway, I of course couldn't forget about hair while I was there, and ended up buying some of the cute bows you see here:

I bought a bunch for my niece, and picked up a few of the animal print ones for myself. I figured those were the only ones I could get away with rocking without looking too young...we'll see.

Of course, I couldn't leave the store without hitting up my favorite aisle:

You can consider this reason number one...

And this right here reason number two as to why I have yet to lose the last 10 pounds of my baby weight:

This was my breakfast the second day of my trip. Don't you just love IHOP :-P.

I had to fuel up to prepare for the long road trip ahead. We took a two hour ride from North Carolina to South Carolina to visit a beautiful, must-see spot called Pearl Fryar's Topiary Garden. Here's a pic of me in the car on the ride down there:

By the way, I wore no makeup on this trip. By no makeup I mean no foundation, powder, eye shadow, or anything of that nature. Instead, I just filled in my brows, put on a bit of eyeliner, mascara, and lip gloss, and that was it. I decided not to purchase one of the makeup setting sprays by Urban Decay I had once expressed interest in. On second thought, I don't think forcing makeup to stick to my super sensitive skin is a smart idea after all, so instead, I just brought along some of the oil blotting sheets I purchased from some random beauty supply store ages ago, and used them to remove excess oil/sweat. I also applied eye shadow primer by Urban Decay to my lids just to cut down on some of the oil production so my eyeliner wouldn't smudge. After a few hours outdoors, I looked like I had stepped out of a sauna:

I would think that as annoying (and at times unbearable) as the humidity can be, it must be good for your skin and hair. I mean, at least it keeps the hair and skin hydrated. That can't be too bad, right?

Anyway, before I get into the magnificence of Pearl Fryar's Topiary Garden, I want to share the view I had from the car window:

It's amazing to be in a place where all you see are trees for miles. You definitely don't get that everywhere, but it's cool to see there are still some places where concrete hasn't taken over every inch of land.

Okay, moving on. Here's the beautiful entrance to the garden, which, by the way, Mr. Fryar single handedly constructed freehand!

The beauty and detail of his designs are truly amazing. So amazing in fact that his work has baffled horticulturists, affording him much notoriety that includes several speaking engagements around the world, and an award winning film about his life and work.

Now you know I had to take a pic in front of this entrance. I was holding up the delicious iced coffee I made from a self-serve Dunkin' Donuts machine at one of the truck stops we visited along the way.

This was my attempt at capturing the "Love, Peace & Goodwill" Mr. Fryar carved onto his lawn, but my lens just isn't wide enough to do it justice.

Here's a beautiful fountain that Mr. Fryar built. In addition to carving out shapes in trees and shrubbery, Mr. Fryar is a bonafide artist who has made several pieces of art out of various scraps of metal, which you can see strategically placed throughout the garden.

And here's a pic of me posted by the fountain. As you can see, I'm sporting one of the Maxi dresses I featured in my Epic Haul: Mommy Swag video. This one was from Forever 21. It was perfect for keeping me cool in the hot, humid weather.

Above is another shot of the garden, and below is a shot of my baby boy, who started walking shortly before our trip:

He also enjoyed the garden, and his curls stayed hydrated thanks to the weather and the pure coconut oil I put in his hair ;-).

Alas, I had to end the visit by snapping a pic with the man behind the garden. Mr. Fryar is an extremely talented, humble, and personable individual. It was truly a pleasure visiting his property and I'm so glad I got a chance to hear him explain his passion and plans for continuing and preserving his life's work.

One thing I found particularly fascinating about the garden is the fact that Mr. Fryar has been able to "tame" trees and plants that would otherwise grow to massive sizes through consistent pruning and care. When he explained how he could control the growth and shapes of trees and plants, my husband said what I was thinking before I could get the words out. He was like, "This is just like hair," and I said, "Exactly."

It has always been my philosophy that with consistent care, you can "train" the hair to do whatever it is you want it to do. For instance, if you deep condition and or do hot oil treatments regularly, you'll notice the hair become stronger, softer and silkier over time. If you straighten it regularly, you'll notice it becomes easier to straighten, or if you curl or twist the hair a certain way every time, it'll become easier to style as such. Basically, pruning trees is much like "pruning" the hair, and it's amazing to see what kind of results can be achieved through consistent care.

If you're ever in South Carolina for a visit, or if you live there and are not familiar with Mr. Fryar's garden, I highly recommend you hit up his spot for a visit. I plan to go back with the rest of my fam so they can see it and can't wait to experience the wedding garden he plans to create. For more info, visit

On the last day of the trip, I got a little less nervous about wearing my hair out (I basically wore my hair with the ends tucked under in the sloppy bun I featured in my TBYHC 2011: Quick Hair & Makeup post), so I wore it in a ponytail. I still didn't wear it down because it was just too hot to have my hair sitting on my neck and shoulders:

This is what my curls looked like with a boatload of gel. Those of you who live on the East coast or in the south and said your hair looked like it had never been styled thanks to the humidity, I know exactly what you mean because I had to re-scrunch with gel each day I was there, and there wasn't any buildup because by the end of each day, my hair looked and felt like there was hardly anything in it! I even put a little bit of the Isoplus gel I normally only use on my edges on my ends just to give it a little more hold.

As you can see, I had a big smile on my face during another little car ride, but this time it was to grab a bite to eat...

This is the last, tasty meal I had at a seafood buffet in Fayetteville (As you can see, I deviated from my low-fat, high fiber diet...just slightly ;-)). One thing is certain: North Carolina has a ton of great eats!

Although it was super hot (The weather stayed above 80*, and was 84* when we landed in Raleigh at midnight!), we did get some rain. However, it felt like Hawaii, which remains hot even when rain is falling from the sky. Overall, it was a hot, moist trip...and I had a ball!




Tee Eee said...

I"m glad that you enjoyed yourself on your trip to the East. I have tons of fam in NC and have traveled to & through SC & have never been to the topiary garden. I will have to add that to my lists of places to visit. Great commentary, and wouldn't you know it, you're back in the West and we are just now (literally, the past 2 days) having "seasonably" warm/hot days with really low humidity. lol. But at least you still had a good time.

DPrincess28 said...

@Tee Eee: Glad you liked the post! And yes, you should definitely take your fam to see the Topiary Garden on your next visit to NC ;-)

Tia said...

Fayetteville, is my hometown - born and raised :).
I'm glad you enjoyed NC, come back and see us soon. The temp and humidity has dropped a ton - it's really pleasant now.

DPrincess28 said...

@Tia: You have a beautiful hometown! Will do ;-)

ccarter43 said...

Hi, I live in Durham a few minutes fro Raleigh. I am transitioning and as you can see it is a bear to keep my hair straight through this humidity. The ends will stay but of course the roots will start waving or shrinking up. It has been a nightmare. You can see people's eyes go straight to the roots like what is up with your hair. I look like Frederick Douglas (as regards to the hair). I am torn between trying to keep this stuff flat ironed or bc and use the kinky curly line. The humidity hear is NO JOKE!!

Unknown said...

I'm glad you enjoyed your trip, sounds like a very nice laid back trip!! gotta love the da' south!


DPrincess28 said...

@Trice: Thanks!

intoxicatedbiscuit said...

Was the seafood buffet called Sandpipers??? I can't believe you were in Fayetteville and I missed the chance to see you!

DPrincess28 said...

@Intoxicatedbiscuit: Yes girl! Let's have a meet and greet there next year, LOL! We went to two buffets while we were there, and Sandpipers was better than the first (I don't remember the name of the first one though).