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Fun in the Sun 

When you ask Charlotteans to name what they like best about the place they call home, almost everyone says, "The weather." Now's your time to get out and enjoy what you keep promoting. We're heading to Lake Norman!

9am: No matter how great you think that new outfit you got just for summertime will look on you, it's going to look damn crappy with legs so white they glow under a blacklight. For dark-skinned women, this may not be a problem, but pretty much all of us have to worry about the out-of-control down-there hair care. Warm weather primping is necessary, so before you women get into a bathing suit, visit Fuze and bite down for an expert bikini wax. To tackle skin tone, the ladies at Sephora can help you find the best self-tanner on the market and advise you on how to apply it without turning out like a zebra.

10am: Fun in the Sun day calls for a wardrobe all its own. For the essential piece — the bathing suit — Water Water Everywhere in SouthPark ought to fill almost all swimsuit needs with everything from modest one-pieces to the "is that legal?" bikinis. Ladies in the market for a cute summer dress to go over the new suit will want to stop on the way to the lake at Luna's boutique in Cornelius, which never fails to provide fun dresses, tops, sandals, etc. And those with more of a sporting bent will enjoy a trip to Charlotte Waterski Center, where you can outfit both your body and your boat for days on the lake. The Waterski Center carries everything from wakeboards and board shorts to speakers and sunglasses.

12noon: Grab a few lunches to enjoy in the sunshine. Ferrucci's Old Tyme Italian Market is close to the lake and offers everything from mouth-watering mozzarella, tomato and basil sandwiches to figure-friendly green salads. They also have a great selection of wine. Just have everything wrapped up and bagged, and you're ready to go.

12:30pm: Finally — to the sun and shore. If you aren't lucky enough to have a boat — or a friend who has a boat — the folks at WestPort Marina will be happy to rent you a pontoon boat. At $225 per day on a weekend, it's not a cheap venture, but just put a few friends on there and split the cost. Fun in the sun and on the water? Priceless.

6pm: There aren't a ton of waterfront dining options on Lake Norman; those that offer food and drinks by the lake are mostly casual, beer and bar-food joints. The most popular are the Rusty Rudder, Midtown Harborside and Vinnie's at the Lake. For a fun option off the beaten channel, Exit 36 Grill has 25 beers on tap and amusement in the form of foosball tables and Golden Tee.

8:30pm: Sun's gone. Go home and nurse those burns.

Just The Facts:

FUZE - 1819 E. 7th St., 704-334-3211.
SEPHORA - SouthPark Mall, 4400 Sharon Rd., 704-366-5080,
WATER WATER EVERYWHERE - SouthPark Mall, 704-770-0248, .
LUNA'S - 19732 One Norman Blvd., Cornelius, 704-892-1004.
CHARLOTTE WATERSKI CENTER - 20210 Henderson Rd., Cornelius, 704-892-2295,
FERRUCCI'S OLD TYME ITALIAN MARKET - 20910 Torrence Chapel Rd., Cornelius, 704-896-3190;
WESTPORT MARINA - 7879 Water Oaks Dr., Denver, 704-483-5172,
RUSTY RUDDER - 20210 Henderson Rd., Cornelius, 704-892-9195,
MIDTOWN HARBORSIDE - 18665 Harborside Dr., Cornelius, 704-896-9013,
VINNIE'S AT THE LAKE - 643 Williamson Rd., Mooresville, 704-799-2090,
EXIT 36 GRILL - 167 Pinnacle Lane, Mooresville, 704-799-6210.

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