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Finding new life up on the lake 

I have a new boyfriend. Like an actual, technical boyfriend -- I haven't had one of those in more than five years. I even changed my MySpace status (once I figured out how) to "In a Relationship," thus apparently making it official. Can someone please explain to me why your MySpace status is such a big deal?

But it's a long distance relationship ... he lives up at Lake Norman. With that said, I have been spending a lot of time up there.

As I told some of his lake friends who so quickly adopted this Uptown girl (even the girls were welcoming to me), a huge perk of dating him is that he comes with some cool people. Because there are a lot of cool people up at the lake ... and a lot of things to do.

The atmosphere has a beach vibe to it -- people can go to bars in their swim gear and the girls don't even wear makeup. But there's also an upscale element to the lake, such as Birkdale Village where Red Rocks Café is.

I've decided that you've officially made it in life if you have a menu item named after you at Red Rocks -- I aspire to be a salad one day.

The lake also has Vinnie's Sardine Grill & Raw Bar, Midtown Sundries, On the Roxx, NV Lounge and The Hooker -- Galway Hooker Irish Pub that is, which is also home to The Comedy Zone. Not to mention the Double Door at Lake Norman where we went to the release of Creative Loafing Presents Jeff Hahne's Homebrew: Summer Stash 2008 CD.

But my favorite spot at the lake is the Rusty Rudder.

It's like the Disney World of local bars. It's a place where you can dock your boat and eat at the tiki bar or play electronic beer pong and watch football inside. The kind of place where everyone knows your name like Cheers, yet Dale Earnhardt Jr. can just sit on a patio and jam to Simplified without anyone caring. Because nobody up there cares what you do, they only care who you are. There's no pretentious attitudes -- just laid back people concerned with having a good time. And, on Tuesdays, the Rudder offers $1 drafts.

Then there's also the "Sand Bar," a spot on the lake where boats tie up and anchor. And you can go out on the Ragin' Uptown Luxury Charters like we did for WSOC's Redneck Yacht Club with Pat Green.

Note: when you're doing the walk of shame aka stride of pride -- or drive of pride rather from the lake to Uptown -- leave before 7:30 a.m.

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