As many of you know, I recently moved to Charlotte, North Carolina and this summer was my first chance to spend a solid block of time in my new home and city. And let me tell you it has definitely been a learning curve.
For starters, the traffic here is INSANE. I live in Indian Trail, a city about 30 minutes southeast of Charlotte and about the same size as Lancaster, Ohio (where I used to live) but there is soooo much more traffic than I’m used to. Plus it’s not just a bunch of cars stuck for a while, there are some rude and inconsiderate drivers who just make things worse. Suffice it to say I’ve gotten a little frustrated and my road rage monster has reared its head a few times – but I mostly just yell alone in my car and honk occasionally.
I’ve also learned to live with the heat this summer. This week the high has been in the 90s every day and it can feel even hotter, so shorts and tank tops have become hugely integrated into my wardrobe. It’s also disrupted my workouts a bit; around mid-May I started each morning workout with a warm up jog around my neighborhood. But the heat, coupled with some minor asthma has made it impossible to continue this routine, so instead I’ve been relying on my trusty old jump rope for my morning cardio.
Complaining and some minor adjustments aside, I’ve begun to really love this new city so this week I’ll be sharing some of my favorite things about it with you.
(Fun fact: I love puns, the sound of music, and I have a blanket that looks like those curtains).
Alright, so even though I complained about the traffic and people being rude drivers, this saying is actually quite a reality. Obviously everyone has their bad days, but when it comes to customer service, neighbors and sometimes even a stranger, people around here are super nice! It’s hard to describe other than calling it what it is, Southern Hospitality. I think there is just more of an easygoing vibe down here then what I’m used to in Ohio and maybe because of that people just seem more polite to me. Who knows if I’m right, but y’all sure are sweet.
One of the best things about living in North Carolina, at least in my opinion, is that the ocean borders one of sides of the state. That’s a big thing for someone who comes from central Ohio and used to drive 12 hours one way to get to the Outer Banks for vacation. This year my family and I went to Carolina Beach, North Carolina and it only took us three hours to get there. It was like a day trip! There are so many different beaches you can go to along the coast of North Carolina, so not all of them are a short trip, but being able to go to any beach just for the weekend if you want to is nothing to sniff at.
The Queen City
When I lived in Lancaster I was about the same distance away from Columbus as I am from Charlotte now, so living near a big city isn’t super new to me. But because I’m new to the area, I feel like I’ve had a lot more motivation to explore Charlotte and all the Queen City has to offer. I found a couple of pretty cool spots during this past Christmas and both are food related because my stomach is the way to my heart.
The featured photo on this blog is a picture of two fruit tarts from Amélie’s French Bakery in NoDa, the historic and entertainment district in Charlotte. Amélie’s has several locations, but the one in NoDa was the first one I ever visited and is their flagship bakery. I’ve been back several times with my family since my first visit, I’ve tried something new at each visit and I’ve never been disappointed. The fruit tarts always taste beautifully fresh and the layered chocolate torte is a must try for chocolate lovers.
My second find is the 7th St. Public Market in Center City Charlotte. For those of you familiar with Columbus, it’s similar to the North Market, but on a smaller scale. About half of the single story market is filled with restaurants and sitting areas, while the other half has stalls of goods like wine, bread, artisan soaps and other merchandise. I’ve never eaten at any of the restaurants in the market, but the food always smells good and the wine and bread we’ve purchased in the past from the vendors have been excellent.
In a month, I’ll have been living in this new city for exactly one year, but it feels shorter for me because most of that time I’ve spent in Ohio at college. This summer has given me a great opportunity to get to know the new city I live in and spend time with my family while doing it, something I’m extremely grateful for.
I’ve got a few more weeks left before I go back to Athens for school, so if you’ve been to the Charlotte area or know someone who has, let me know if there are any other adventures I should take before I leave!
(gif credit http://bit.ly/2tWSZX1)