Day 27 of #IDareMe30: Pole Play in Raleigh

I can’t tell you how many times someone asked me ” have you ever tried one of those pole dancing classes?”.

I always laughed.  “I’ll put in on my list.”

When I starting planning the #IDareMe30 tour, 30 dares in 30 cities in 30 days, well, I just knew something  would get cancelled or fall through.

I kept “Pole Dancing” as the dare in my “back pocket” knowing you can find these classes in EVERY city now.

Day 26 of #IDareMe30: Pit Crew School in Charlotte

I did not know that my final IDareMe30 Tour partner, Andrea Lawful-Trainer, was a Nascar fan. When I told her we were going to Pit Crew School for our dare in Charlotte she jumped up and down like a kid going to Disney World.

My former intern Pam Escobar (formerly Pam Cunningham from Philly) is a reporter at one of my former stations – WBTV in Charlotte, South Carolina. She was also a former intern at NBC10 in Philly.

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Pam arranged for the Pit Crew School professionals to train us to change a race car tire, pit school style, and then compete for the best time for the daily dare.

Day 25 of #IDareMe30: Biking and Reuniting in Atlanta

Atlanta is where I grew up and where my two sisters live.

It’s also home to a couple of friends who have truly adopted the I Dare Me lifestyle.

But before I tell you about them, you will see in the video, my Philly friend Andrea Lawful-Trainer has joined me for the last days of the #IDareMe30 tour.

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I saved her for last because I thought I might need some extra energy to pull me over the finish line.

Day 24 of #IDareMe30: Back to My First Station, Rock City and Throwing Dough

I don’t think I consciously realized when I mapped out the #IDareMe30 tour that I was kind of doing a final tv news  career victory lap.

I did do a “tour of the south” during the first years of my career. Chattanooga was my first stop.

I’m not much of a saver, but for some reason I saved the newspaper ad when I became the first female anchor at WTVC News Channel 9 right out of college.

I made so many mistakes in Chattanooga – I was in my news director’s officer nearly every day.  I was terrified I wouldn’t survive the business or that I wouldn’t become a good reporter.

Day 23 of #IDareMe30: “Hot Chicken” in Nashville

When Nashville Fox reporter Kelly Rippin dared me to eat “Hot Chicken” in Nashville, I thought, “What kind of a dare is that?”

Obviously, I had no understanding of what I was being asked to do.  I’m not sure she did either.  It was a FIRST for both of us.

So what is “HOT Chicken”?

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It burn your mouth, your guts, steam pouring out of your head, spicy chicken. It has become “Nashville’s food.”

Kelly convinced the owner of Party Fowl, Austin Smith, to open the doors of his restaurant at 7am just for us to do this dare.

Day 22 of #IDareMe30: The Crazy Dash in Memphis

I talk a lot about the importance of play.  It makes us more productive and creative. Well, Memphis was a REAL PLAY DAY.

Karen Araiza and I indulged in more fantastic BBQ ribs, stuck our head into the Juke Joint on Beal Sreet to hear some pretty awesome blues and then? THEN, we did the Crazy Dash!

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So what is the “Crazy Dash”? It’s a wild, wacky, seriously fun digital scavenger hunt. You sign up online on your smart phone and then it gives you clues and directions like find the Elvis statute and pose like  Elvis.  You take a picture, upload it and then it sends you somewhere else. It actually sends  you running all over the downtown area.  You learn history,  and do some really dumb things that make you laugh.

Day 21 of #IDareMe30: Revisiting My Little Rock History and Calling the Arkansas Hogs

I spent 8 months in Little Rock early in my career. It turned out to be one of the most pivotal 8 months of my life. I was just 23 years old.

I left in 1982 and I never came back until this week.  I knew I wanted to put Little Rock on the #IDareMe30 tour because Dave Parker is there.  He was my boss, the assistant news director at NBC10 for 10 years. He’s the guy who oversaw our investigative unit. It was probably the best decade of my career so I wanted to catch up with him. He was also a big fan of I Dare Me and the blog when I first started it in 2010 so he’s connected to this journey.

Day 20 of #IDareMe30: Left My Modesty in the Hot Springs

I have to tell you that I still don’t know what to make of Hot Springs, Arkansas.  It’s a place that was apparently popular with gangsters and gamblers in the early 1920’s.

The weird thing is, it kind of feels like time stopped right after those guys all left town. It’s a perfect setting to shoot a gangster movie or a horror film.  A horse track still draws in some gamblers from time to time but the town itself is diminished from what it used to be.

The other business that remains in Hot Springs, AK?  The bath houses built over the hot springs heated by the geothermal water from the earth’s crust.

Day 19 of #IDareMe30: Shreveport Bayou Cleanup

We did not know what the heck we were going to do in Shreveport, Louisiana. It was a stop we decided on between Houston and Little Rock.  We had no friends in the area, no dares to do; we had nothing! Still, Karen Araiza was determined to find a mission; our purpose in Shreveport. It was MLK day.  She wanted to find a service project, something new that we’d never done before. “Ever canoe on a bayou and pick up trash?” she asked. “I just found a cleanup project in Shreveport.” It was definitely a new one for me. When we arrived on the Anderson Bayou we were warmly greeted even though we were the out-of-towners.  I learned some say “By-YOU” while others say “By-YO”. Either works.

Day 18 of #IDareMe30: Houston Raw Oysters with the Araizas

Karen Araiza and I had a incredible experience in Austin yesterday. We soaked it all in. Everything was a first in Austin for me. I’d never been there before. For Karen, it was coming home. She’d worked in Austin early in her career as a tv news producer.  She remembered those days , the newness of it all back then.

The gathering of breast cancer survivors in Austin was emotionally charged, for me as a 23 year survivor and for Karen as the daughter of a mother fighting breast cancer now for the second time.