Hello everyone! Welcome to Ciao Bella’s East Coast segment of the Discover.Savor.Share Tour 2009. As you can see, we finally have the blog up and running. We are really excited you decided to share in this amazing experience. We hope you enjoy reading about our tour as much as we love participating in it. Please feel free to share any comments or ask any questions about Ciao Bella and the summer tour. We are here to share our thoughts and experiences and to help you in any way we can. We will be constantly updating our blog as well as Twitter and Facebook so make sure to check in daily.
We started the tour off with a bang! Lauren and I both got our first experiences driving through Manhattan. Lauren got to drive through first in her dad’s SUV. I was too nervous to drive that day because I had never been in New York state, let alone New York City. Lauren did a fabulous job!
We went to pick up the truck at All Star Carts & Kiosks in Long Island. We were able to take the parkway from New Jersey to Long Island, but once we got to LI we found out the truck was registered as a commercial vehicle. In other words…no commercial vehicles allowed on the parkways (cue Debbie Downer…wah wah waaaaah). After we each had a mini anxiety attack, and a pep talk from Bob Smith (who by the way is great!), we felt a lot better. P.S. this is how our pep talk went:
Lauren: “We can do this. We can do it. People drive big vehicles through Manhattan everyday. We can do it.”
Bob: “Yeah, but those people have training first.”
Anyway, we pulled out of the All Star Carts & Kiosks parking lot in our beautiful pink and orange Ciao Bella Dodge Sprinter completely collected and ready for our new adventure. I was the one driving this time. Country goes to town headed right for Canal Street…followed by the Holland Tunnel. I have to say, this was a great feat for both Lauren and me. Two girls who had never driven through anything like that (one who had never been there at all) came through feeling great about ourselves at being able to accomplish this. We have new found faith in ourselves and we know we can do anything now!
We left New Jersey headed for Charlotte on June 2 with a truck full of Ciao Bella Gelato and Sorbet. We had a smooth ride up until we hit Virginia. We stopped at 10 p.m. to have a snack. When we stopped we had some complications with the truck. A mechanic named Barney from Lee Hi Towing and Recovery saved us. He and one other mechanic checked the truck for us to make sure everything was okay. He made sure we stayed in the safest hotel in the area. He also gave us his home phone number in case we had any more trouble. We could not have asked for a greater man to help us. We finally made it to the Howard Johnson in Lexington, VA around midnight. We were welcomed by a very intricately carved wooden Indian, and a friendly front desk staff.
June 3 was our first event at a Harris Teeter in Charlotte. It was also Lauren’s 23rd birthday. We had to cancel our first event due to the truck issue, but we made it to the second event. Thank you to Justine and Darryl for making the event possible. We were so happy to finally start the events. It’s great to see so many people smile and enjoy Ciao Bella.
Our first week in Charlotte was great! We started having people recognize us. We met a sweet old couple at the library and told them where we would be that afternoon. They came by to visit us, excited to try the product. The wife had been wanting to try it for a long time. We had a few other people tell us they had seen the truck around as well. We are very small-time local celebrities, but it’s great that people are looking for us.
We just finished two days in Greensboro, NC. Greensboro is a beautiful place filled with happy, welcoming residents. We discovered the favorite flavor of Greensboro is the Chocolate Alba Hazelnut.
Please stayed tuned for our daily posts. Once again, we are so happy and flattered you have chosen to be a part of our lives, and we look forward to seeing you at our upcoming events. Have a great night!
P.S. Tomorrow we will be at the Harris Teeters located at 4101 Park Road and 8538 Park Road. Both located in Charlotte. We’ll see you there!
P.P.S. This is Lauren! I just pulled the truck back into Charlotte and I look forward to seeing you around and writing blogs to come!