October 25 - 28, 2019: Charlotte, North Carolina
As we headed for Charlotte, North Carolina we did not have any real plans.
We wanted to visit with a former co-worker from MyBullfrog.com (Teresa) and to see downtown Charlotte (since that is my Mother's name - smile). So we stayed in a central location at the Charlotte Motor Speedway. Unfortunately, or...fortunately, there were no activities going on at the speedway. If there had been, it would have been crowded, busy, noisy, exciting and gave us something to do. Since there was not, it was pretty empty and quiet. Our campsite was directly in front of the Max Dragway and it would have been a short walk across the parking lot to any of the racing events.
The campsite is called Camping World Racing Resort and is you ever come here for races, stay here because you would never have to drive once you got set up!
From prior conversations with Teresa, she told us about a weekly Friday night bluegrass jam in Gold Hill, North Carolina. So as soon as we were set up, we headed to Gold Hill.
We through some great country side, passing a cotton field and giant chicken ; )
First of all, we did not know the setup, plan, or how crowded it was going to be for the bluegrass jam. So we arrived in Gold Hill about 2 hours early and...realized that we had a lot of time to kill because the town is small and most of the shops were closing at 5pm. So we wandered around town and the local park learning about the history of the town. Gold Hill is a historic mining town and gold was discovered and mined here in 1824 prior to the Civil War.
This was a cool old tree. Read the sign posted on it...not soon after, Craig suffered a bite, sting, or something on his foot when we were walking. You can see the red little pin dot...it hurt and itched for the next 5 or so days, his foot was pretty swollen around his toes. I kept threatening to amputate his toes, but he was not too keen on that idea ; )
It was time for the music, so...off we went to the E.H. Montgomery General Store for the bluegrass jam! Holy cow, the place was packed. We were the first ones to arrive in town and we thought it would be small. The place was packed! The locals come out every Friday for this event and they welcomed us and shared a lot of information. What a really cool evening!
It was really cool there were about 20 musicians and they would take turns playing, a mix of singing or just music, joking around. Notice the little kid in the red shirt and hat? He was just learning and played a few songs. Some of the musicians were awesome, the banjo player (not sure of his name) was awesome!
We were able to head over to Teresa's house for dinner one evening. They live in Cornelius, North Carolina which is a small town North of Charlotte. Teresa and I had not seen each other for 10 years so it was great to catch up. Teresa and her family (Paul, Mirah, David, Paul's Mom) and their two of their neighbors, J(ohn and Linda) welcomed us into their home and made us feel like family. Paul cooked an incredible dinner of smoked TriTip, BBQ beans, Quinoa fruit salad, and OMG...the dessert was to die for!
After dinner, we played a few card games: Bullshit, Uno Attack, etc. We laughed so hard my stomach hurt!
Thank you Teresa and Paul for a fabulous evening!!!
Teresa had recommended a few of the District Neighborhoods in Charlotte, so the next day we headed to the South End District. The South End is known for its vibrant nightlife, craft breweries and laid-back pubs, chic artisan shops, and art galleries. The Charlotte Rail Trail is popular with runners and cyclists. We thought about unloading the bicycles, but enjoyed walking around instead.
Teresa said we needed to try Price's Chicken Coop for lunch. It is a take out only, so...we grabbed lunch from there and found a bench to sit while eating and people watch. OMG...THAT was good ole Southern Fried Chicken!
We were just goofing around, so we entertained ourselves by visiting a furniture store and chatting with the sales guy. We both found some awesome pieces we loved, however they were way over our budget and...we don't have room for them. Good thing ; )
The next day we headed into the Noda District which is short for North Davidson. It is the city’s arts and entertainment district. Known for its eclectic galleries, music venues, the Neighborhood Theatre, and the Evening Muse. It also has a ton of Artisan gift shops, jewelry stores and tattoo parlors, and a number of hip dive bars.
We just wandered the streets and took in the vibe of the area and...stopped at...SMELLY CAT coffee house! Yes, this is named after the TV show, Friends and the table tag that I got was "Rachel" - NICE! I had to break down and buy a sticker and something I will use as a Christmas Ornament. Here we go..."Smelly cat, Smelly cat, what are they feeding you...Smelly cat, Smelly cat, what are they feeding you?"
We had a really good time in Charlotte, North Carolina and really enjoyed catching up with Teresa and her family. I found out about 3 weeks later that we missed a former co-worker Kelly who lives in the Noda District - damn! I guess this means we need to come back again ; )