Guys, I’ve finally gotten a chance to write this post! & Let me tell you, I’ve been so excited to share all of my trip with you all. So as many of you know me and Elliott took a mini vacation down to Charlotte North Carolina to visit his mother & sister/brother in law last week. We flew down Friday & came home Monday.
The flights were rough! We flew American Airlines & while the staff was pleasant there were problems on the way to AND from Charlotte. Friday (at 5am) we boarded the plane only to sit on the runway for an hour and a half because apparently the plane made it all the way from N.C. to NY without a gas cap! Luckily we had a direct flight, but others who were connecting to another flight had to reschedule and a few people even missed out on their cruise trips!!! On the way home we had another similar issues involving computer problems keeping us grounded for another 30-40 minutes. We also experienced extreme turbulence while landing on our way home & even had ambulances & fire trucks waiting for us to land… it was SCARY.
On a way more positive note we loved Charlotte. Everything was just so well maintained and beautiful, I was ready to move (you never know). Elliott’s sister’s new house is gorgeous outside and in. It has 4 bedrooms, 4 bathrooms, and a lovely backyard with a beautiful deck, along with vaulted ceilings, an open floor plan and a craft room. The exterior of the house was covered with beautiful bright flowers and lush green everywhere. Such a dream! It’s also about 30 minutes from anything you could need like the lake, city… just everything. We were about 5 minutes from a plaza that had everything from restaurants, salons, stores, veterinarian.. literally everything you could need. We were also across the street from a golf course.
We landed around 11 to beautiful, sunny, 70 degree weather and made our way back to the house. After exploring the house we were brought back to our room that was “American” themed with blue and white color scheme and rustic american decor. Both of our bedside tables had our favorite candy & a few “welcome presents” including some awesome C L T hats, which we learned meant “Charlotte”.
Around noon we went out for Cinco De Mayo lunch at a restaurant called Cantina 1511 that was located in -yep, you guessed it- the plaza by their house. This place was awesome! They had festive bright blue accents and before you even get a menu they bring you homemade tortilla chips and fresh salsa. We ordered the guacamole as an appetizer which was also a cool process. The server brings over a mortar with two avocados, sliced in half, and guac ingredients and actually mix it right in front of you using two forks. It was delicious. I also got the mix & match shrimp taco special, one was Bacon BLT and the other Spicy Thai. When we arrived home Elliott got to work as the handyman, fixing a few odds and ends, while I took a nice nap!
Around 5 we called an Uber to meet the brother-in-law for dinner at this really cool Gastro-American restaurant called Soul Gastrolounge. Basically it’s a super busy hole-in-the-wall place that packs a major crowd due to their new-age food and sushi mix. To drink I got a Cucumber Mule which was made with cucumber, gin, and home made ginger beer. I love ginger & the fresh taste was incredible! As a table we split the Asian Pork Belly Tacos which are sweet & tangy and topped with watermelon (amazing), and Sashimi Tuna Tacos with crunchy taco shell. I loved this place because they offered everything from sushi and ramen, to truffle fries and paninis. We got lamb lollipops and a bunch of sushi/sashimi to share. It’s also nice to note our waiter was super friendly, knowledgable, and funny. He told us the best local places for brunch and was more than willing to help with anything we needed.
To finish up the night we caught drinks at Heist Brewery which had a really cool industrial theme and an active brewery on site. Our drinks were delicious and the vibe was laid-back (but also busy.. everything in Charlotte is busy). The neighborhood used to be an old mill town so they have really cool old homes lining the street that we went out and looked at. Needless to say we were exhausted & had to turn down more drinks at the skyline bar they wanted us to see. It was bedtime! Haha.
We slept in a bit Saturday morning and had breakfast around 11. Elliott’s sister Ava made a delicious quiche with bacon and spinach along with fresh fruit salad. After we ate it was time to get ready for a boat trip on Lake Norman. Around 1 we stopped for lunch at a beautiful restaurant where I got a delicious crab cake sandwich. It was clearly communion weekend and we saw SO many adorable little children dressed in fluffy floral dresses and bow ties.
Lake norman is the largest man made lake in North Carolina.. I mean it’s HUGE. The homes that line the lake are gorgeous and very expensive looking… One even had a helicopter on top of their boat house! We rented the boat from 2-6 but it was such an overcast day we ended up turning in more towards 5 which was perfect because it immediately started raining!
After we returned from the boat tour we (surprise) took another nap. We were woken up to a wonderful dinner of filet & lobster and fresh salad and quinoa. We all finished up the night to game night with red wine, the fireplace lit, and some old soul music. It was great!
Once again Ava and Elliott’s mother created a perfect breakfast spread of blueberry waffles, chicken sausage, fruit salad, and english muffins. After breakfast I lounged around and read my new book on the back deck in the sunshine while Elly installed more home items (he’s suchh a handyman lol).
It was finally the day- white water rafting & zip lining! Gosh I was soooo nervous. We went to the U.S National Whitewater Center which is where they train for the water sport portion of the Olympics. This was such a great water park, there was a man made whitewater river that flows through the entire park, rock climbing, mountain biking, zip lining, adventure courses, paddle boarding and overall was just a great place to relax for the day. So many people came with hammocks and books and dogs and kids to just set up for the day and sit by the water.
We successfully navigated the white water without any casualties. Elliott & his brother in law did get tipped out of the boat but managed to get back in. It was hard work! The instructor calls out orders like “forward” “back” and my favorite “GET DOWN” which means there’s a possibility you might flip! We worked HARD. When we finally finished we went to the bar for a hard earned beer & some food and then laid out a towel by the river to watch other groups go rafting by.
Eventually we made our way to Zipline, which I was also nervous about but was feeling like I could do anything at that point lol. We climbed the 100 foot tower into the sky & strapped up and went zipping by the entire park: into the trees, over the water, and back. There was also an awesome route called “figure 8” which went down and then you complete an adventure course in the trees before moving on to the next zip line.
For dinner we went to Blackfinn Ameripub which specialized in american cuisine. We sat outdoors at the patio and as the sun set heat lamps & bulb lights turned on. I had a hard earned mango mojito & actually had spicy pulled pork nachos for dinner. It was an appetizer, but man I just love nachos lol.
Monday was time to leave unfortunately. We were going to stop at the infamous Chick-Fil-A but there was such a line it wrapped around the building. Elliotts mother said it’s ALWAYS like that no matter what time of day. See you next time chick-fil-a. Our plane left early and we had to say goodbye to Charlotte but I can’t wait to go again soon!
It seems like Charlotte is the perfect place to live for healthy, trendy, young families. It has everything you need, and everyone is just so… polished! I felt seriously inspired just being there and can’t wait to go back ASAP. I highly recommend going for a trip, even if it’s just for the weekend!
That’s all for now my loves,