weekend trip: charlotte

earlier this month, g and i took a road trip down to charlotte, nc. it was our first road trip together – and we now know that i have serious driving anxiety and i should always pack a pillow to sit on for long drives. i’m a super fun wife.

the weather in charlotte happened to drop as soon as we arrived – from like 70 degree sunshine to 50 something gloom. but the sun did manage to peek out for the clouds on our last full day of exploring for which we were quite thankful.

friday was spent traveling to charlotte, checking into our hotel which happened to be hosting many nascar fans for the big race that weekend, and showering before lights out.

saturday morning we woke up refreshed and ready to find some good local acai bowls for breakfast to feel like we were truly living the dream. only to find out that every trendy cutesy place i had bookmarked was about 20 minutes in the wrong direction of where we needed to be at 9am. so bob evans it was! this was surprisingly g’s first time eatingĀ at bob evans, yet for me this was a chidlhood favorite. it was delicious and fast.

the whole purpose of being in charlotte for the weekend was for a conference I was attending. you can read all about it in this post. while i learned about all the things, g went exploring the town. he found mcdowell nature perserve and hiked around a bit until the wind just was too cold to bear. on his way back to the hotel he found the billy graham historical library and stopped in for a visit. he came out with a new book and a cute wooden sign for me. he’s so thoughtful and sweet, seriously.

after the conference, we tried to do the cool hip thing and visit the cool hip part of town – but we just weren’t feeling it after walking around and having an hour long wait for a table – or maybe it’s that we just weren’t cool and hip enough? so we ended up a few blocks down at ruru’s tacos & tequila. it was loud yet adorable – we really liked the atmosphere and the food! seemed like it’s definitely a local date night spot for many!

sunday morning was exciting! we had plans to meet up with brittany (longtime childhood friend) at elevation church. it was such a sweet expeiernce to get a behind the scenes look at prep for the service, while meeting some really awesome team members/staff. brittany was such a great host to us and we really enjoyed the experience. elevation is the kinda church you can learn so much from.

the rest of sunday afternoon was spent exploring 7th street market. we had pizza at a local spot and then took the train to southend. g and i discovered were not much of the exploring type – we need a plan, a destination, a purpose. so after walking around aimlessly for a few hours, the hotel was calling our names. lame, we know.

we chilled in the hotel, i probably took a nap, and then we awoke to grumbling stomachs, ready for the next meal. isn’t that just how it goes on vacation? hurrying up to the next time you’ll eat? haha

we stumbled out of the hotel to a beautiful pond with people paddle boating. so cute.

g and i are obsessed with mexican food and even though we had just had it the night before for dinner, we easily said yes to trying out zapata’s. and good glory we are so glad. this was hands down the best mexican food we have ever had. each of our dishes had amazing flavor. we now hold zapata’s at the top of the list, and like i said, we have frequented many a mexican restaurant since our trip, and nothing compares. so delicious.

monday morning, ironically, the weather in charlotte shot right back up to the usual sunny and 70 degrees – but alas we had to hit the road back home around 7AM.

it was fun to get away for the first time since being married. g had really been looking forward to our charlotte trip and would remind me often during the snowy maryland months that we were only xx days away. he’s always so encouraging and hopeful. i love him. would love to return to charlotte for a longer stay with a tad bit more of a purpose – maybe an itinerary created by some of the locals. that’s more my cup of tea. enjoy the pics, y’all!

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first timer.

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the past seven days have been filled with first-time fun. the above picture describes how i feel about first-time fun.

the first was that one time i saw on instagram that you could make a smoothie with just watermelon & banana. i was a little skeptical bc, well, [watermelon + anything] always sounds disgusting to me. but, i had bananas & i had watermelon & i was feeling dangerous, so i tried it. & it was uhh-mazing! i can’t really describe how it tasted – but it was the most refreshing, delicious combo i’ve ever had! easy-peasey too!

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the second was that one time i realized i have impeccable balance. not really – but kinda. i am amazed at the amount of beauty & outdoor-zee stuff my hometown has to offer. you’d think since i have lived here over 25 years i would have been hiking, kayaking, canoeing, fishing, paddle boarding, star gazing, sunset chasing my whole life. but no. no, it’s not true. i didn’t really start to appreciate where i live until a couple years ago. i guess it comes with maturity, & the fact that you no longer rely on your parents for rides, & you don’t have homework to worry about, & you don’t necessarily have to be around your friends 24/7 – like you can do things solo & survive. so first-time adventure number 2 was paddle boarding! board courtesy of ryan & training/instruction courtesy of rachael. it was a gorgeous night & such a relaxing time. you do need to focus on balance, but once you’re up, you just chill. now it’s time to invest in a board for myself . . . right?

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the third exciting first-time event was the end hunger dragon boat festival. i’m not much of a competitive person, nor do i have any upper body strength, but i gotta say – racing against random people in a boat that looks like a dragon is pretty sweet. my team was full of competitive, strong people, so it balanced out my lack thereof. it was a blast to be out on the chesapeake bay racing to help end hunger in my hometown. every stroke meant something – something big. we didn’t win any kinda stellar trophy or sweet medal, but we did learn the art of teamwork & that sunscreen is a must. this will absolutely become the biggest event in calvert county & i can’t wait for next year. ((all dragon pics courtesy of tom & corinne)

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