Friday, June 26, 2015

the queen city

hello bloggy world! HAPPY FRIDAY! it is wonderful to be here writing to you!!

i am going to be real with you all for a moment [i mean, i typically am...but you know what i mean...] i have been in a HUGE writing funk lately. all of my writing outlets are suffering and i am at a loss of how to get past it. i want to write and share. i even spoke to this on my other blog [blackOUT]. it's tough to get going when you don't know where to go. it's tough to get the words out when you feel there are none. BUT! i am going to try. i must. i love to write and share. i think for some reason i feel stifled. there is no true place that feeling comes from. no person, except for myself, has made me feel like i cannot share with the world. so. here we go. new adventures and stories for you.


two weeks ago keith and i headed to charlotte, the queen city. he had a continuing education course, so we figured we'd make a long trip out of it. we ended up staying for six days. charlotte is a massive city with so much to offer. however, the oppressive heat severely limited our activity. it was almost like it rained for six days straight because we had to spend most of our time indoors. if you know us at all, that is not how we like to spend a vacation [or our time in general]. however, we made the best of it. because charlotte is a large city with numerous suburbs, we did some exploring in and around the downtown area. here are some of the highlights [in no particular order].

breweries: of course this was top on our list of things to do. whenever we travel we scope out beer + food. i mean, what else is there?
charlotte doesn't have as many breweries as other NC cities [raleigh + asheville], but we tried all of them. here are our favorites.
  • ass clown [it's actually in cornelius]: they do all kinds of funky stuff with their beer, but they are good at it. salted chocolate stout? please and thank you. 
  • triple c: we went there twice. and i had their 3C IPA three times over the course of our trip. this is definitely a brewery i wish distributed locally. 

  • sugar creek: they make mostly belgian style beers, which typically isn't our style, but they do a phenomenal job. we brought home their first bottled beer, biere de garde. again, this style is definitely not one i drink, but i'd have this again. and again. and again. 

  • noda: this was better than i was expecting. i am not sure what i was expecting, but they had a variety of styles. i'd go back. 
  • sycamore: this is a very new brewery, but so excellent! we also went here twice. we tried two different IPAs + saisons. all were outstanding. they are not distributing yet, but hopefully soon. 

  • honorable mention: olde mecklenburg: so this brewery is german style beer + food. the beer was ok [at best], but we really do not care for german style beers. however, we could tell it was made well [if that makes sense]. despite the mediocre beer, the food was amazing! we had german brats, sauerkraut, and potato salad. plus, the atmosphere was completely kick ass. they had a large open dining room with long cafeteria style tables. so you could just sit anywhere and make new friends. and they had a wonderful outdoor patio/lawn area with tons and tons of tables, plus an outdoor bar + food truck. the space was really amazing. i do recommend going here in the fall when they will have more seasonal beer on tap. 
sorry for the fuzziness.
he's really excited.....

the other stuff:

  • reed gold mine: we checked out the first gold mine in the US. who knew it was here in NC? i didn't. it was also nice to go underground when it was 100 degrees outside. we toured the museum, mine and the grounds. we also panned for gold! it was fun to do and brought back childhood memories of gem mining. and keith even found the tiniest gold flake. we're rich, bitch!


  •  UNCC's botanical garden: this was also a beautiful treat. despite the heat, what a gorgeous garden! there were sprinklers going while we walked, so that was a pleasant and welcome surprise. it helped keep us cool. even with the shade and mist of water, once we were done, so was i. the humidity is brutal.
log cabin in the gardens. interesting, huh?

  • al mike's: this is a locals restaurant located in downtown charlotte's historic 4th ward. we went there for lunch one day. we didn't order anything extraordinary, but it was just that. it was everything a "hidden gem" and "local spot" should be. quaint. homey. comfortable. welcoming. and delicious. 

  • valhalla: restaurant and pub located in the heart of downtown near the baseball park. it was a great local spot to eat, drink, and relax. they specialize in local brew and good food.
  • IKEA: OHMIGOSH. that is all. i wanted to buy all the things. 
we had a great little getaway visit a city that we rarely visit. next time, we'll just come in the dead of winter.

until next time, charlotte....


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