Charlotte, NC: The Spring 2016 Edition.

iphone-back-up-198-1March in Charlotte, North Carolina is a magical time, and easily one of the most beautiful places I have visited… okay fine, it’s the BBQ that I love.

I took a trip out to visit my baby sister so that we could celebrate our birthdays together. I am 1 year and 356 days older, except add one each leap year. Yes, our birthdays are 9 days a part in the best month of the year, March.

My sister was coming in off a trip (she is a flight attendant) the day we were going to meet so we tried to plan my flight around that. We got in late that night, and both starved, went and picked up a Papa John’s pizza before heading back to her apartment. We unpacked, and got settled in before scarfing down a cheese pizza. Shortly later, we were in bed and sleeping.

iphone-back-up-192-1 The next day was quite exciting. We had big plans. We were going to the US National Whitewater Center to kayak the Catawba River. What I didn’t realize was how amazing the center would be. It sits several miles outside the city of Charlotte, but is well worth the drive.  …but before we wen there we went to Mayo Bird for lunch! A fantastic chicken salad restaurant that offers several different chicken salad recipes and other dishes, as well. It’s so good. My sister, and I go every time we are together there now!

iphone-back-up-189-1-copyWhen you get to the Whitewater Center, you pay for parking and head back to the lot that sits in front of the park entrance. You walk to the ticket counter, and can pay for each activity that you want to participate in. You can white water raft in their man-made white water “track”, or climb the rock walls, paddle board, kayak, bike, hike, or zip line… They also have a couple restaurants and a beer garden. Apparently, they play live music from time to time, and dogs are allowed! It’s really an awesome place! FACT: they do not allow outside food in the park, i think because they don’t want the litter, or the luring of wildlife. (they didn’t check, but they do share that info.)

We got our tickets, and wandered on back to the kayaking center. It was beautiful. The trees were blooming, and everything was so green!!! We got our life vests, grabbed our paddles, then got our kayaks.  We took a seat, and the dock “master” shoved us off into the water. I think we easily spent 3 hours on the water, and towards the end… the wind had picked up. I couldn’t keep up with my sister. She thinks it was me, and I’m 100% certain it was wind… I’m a terrific kayaker! …and I was giving it my all. my arms were so fatigued, at the end of the day I could barely sleep.  For dinner, in honor of my/our birthday we went to Tupelo Honey. It was sooooo delicious, also. We got the fried green tomatoes that are, in my opinion, the best item on the menu. For dinner, I had the fried chicken. It is also, exquisite. I love going to the south, simply for the food!

iphone-back-up-169The next day was just a leisurely day. We started at Amélie’s French Bakery & Café in Noda where I proceeded to have one of the best breakfast sandwiches of my life… {Okay, so I have a love affair with food in Charlotte.} FACT: Amelie’s is definitely a Charlotte gem, and the atmosphere is quite pleasing, and everything is scrummy.

After breakfast we made our way to The Sleepy Poet, a very large antique shop. We were looking for potential goodies for my sister’s new apartment, and she was able to find one. A cute candle holder with a bird on it… it was so Erica! This shop is not for the weak of heart. You have to commit, and be up for a hunting adventure!

Dinner was left overs… and then we were off to a movie… Batman vs. Superman…. yeah, it was a waste of money just like we thought it would be. But, what else were we going to do on a rainy, cold night in Charlotte. Afterwords, we headed back to my sister’s apartment where we proceeded to watch another movie.

iphone-back-up-201-1The next morning, we had a leisurely breakfast, before we went for a walk in the neighborhood behind my sister’s apartment complex. We played the game “that one is mine” haha. We were like a couple of kids dreaming of our future.

With time winding down we headed to lunch. It was BBQ time… the real stuff…. We stopped at a fun restaurant, with an old roadhouse type feel… you know, the type with all sort of pictures and signs on the wall, while sitting at a tall table with paper towels in the corner. It was yummy, but I do have a weak spot for pulled pork sandwiches… If its on the menu of a BBQ restaurant, that’s what I get… and I will rank it, and let you know how it makes me feel.

After BBQ nirvana, it was time to get back to reality… and time to go pack. I had an evening flight…. it was time to go home.

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The Compulsive Traveler

out to see the world, and snap beautiful photos while doing so.

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