We recently took a short trip to North Carolina.
Why North Carolina?
The main reason was to visit my older sister and family at their new home with a little exploration on the side. We flew to Charlotte. Then we drove an hour outside of it to quickly realize that my sister was not joking when she said she’d given up the city life for farm life. We drove by long roads of nothing but farm homes and green pastures before we reached her home. We thought we’d never get there. It’s not that we don’t enjoy beautiful drives, I think we just couldn’t believe she’d made this lifestyle change.
Now I won’t get into the details as to what town she moved to or show pictures of her home because I need to respect her privacy. I will tell you it’s beautiful and peaceful. Not even binoculars will help peek into the neighbor’s backyard because they are so far away. We could have walked outside naked, and not worry about the neighbors. On a clear night, you can sit outside, listen to the crickets and frogs singing, while staring up at the starlit sky. Sounds wonderful, right?
I have to admit, we did a poor job documenting and exploring on this trip, so I’m just going to talk about the few things we did do. And hey, it’s my blog. I can write about whatever I want. 😉 My purpose for blogging is to journal our trips and that’s what I’m going to do.
Our focus this time around was to spend time with family we haven’t seen in some years. People ask, how have you not seen your sister in so long? Easy. We live across the country from each other, have our own responsibilities and agendas. When she has time off from work, I do not expect her to fly out to me, I urge her to use her precious time to travel to new destinations and relax… however she sees fit. Plus, we have other siblings and family in other parts of the country.
What I love about our relationship is that years can pass with little communication and when we get together, we pick up right from where we left off. It’s like no time has passed at all. And I know I can count on them if and when I need them.
What to do in Charlotte, NC?
NASCAR Hall of Fame
Hubby grew up a NASCAR fan and Dale Earnhardt is his favorite racecar driver. Although he doesn’t follow it anymore, when he remembered the NASCAR Hall of Fame was in Charlotte, we had to visit. We made an afternoon of it with the family.
I personally am not into race cars, so for me, it was just a fun afternoon at the museum. I love to admire the architecture of museums and how they are built. This one was pretty interesting inside and mostly that’s what my photos are focused on with a few cars thrown in.
Hubby thought the museum was a cool experience. He and the guys had fun racing each other in the race car simulator a handful of times. The museum isn’t big, and it shouldn’t take more than a few hours to visit.
General Admission: $25 pp; more info.
Attending the Coca Cola 600 in Charlotte is now on hubby’s bucket list and with my sister living not too far away, I think he will be scratching it off his list in no time.
I was pleasantly surprised with this Mexican restaurant. The food was a little different than the Mexican cuisine we have here in Los Angeles, but it was tasty. We enjoyed our meals with a special Queso Blanco. Their spicy salsa verde was one of the best I’ve had outside of Mexico.
On the top of my to-do list was to have great BBQ. The family decided Mac’s Speed Shop in Charlotte is the best they’ve had since moving to NC. While it was good, it wasn’t the best I’ve ever had. The best BBQ I ever had was years ago on our cross-country road trip, suggested by a friend we made a pit-stop at Sweetwater BBQ in Missouri. I’d seriously jump in my car tomorrow just to go there again, that’s how good it was.
I will say, the most memorable part of MAC’s was their hush puppies served with brown sugar butter – seriously amazing. I have to thank my brother for ordering them for the table.
For our main entree, we ordered the Lil’Bit combo platter – hand-pulled pork, beer can chicken, St. Louis Ribs and beef brisket with 2 sides, our choices mac-n-cheese, and collard greens. It was edible. Some of it was good. Sadly nothing blew me away. The ribs, the pulled pork and collard greens were the best part of the entire meal.
For dessert, I wanted to try their banana pudding because I’m obsessed with the one at Baby Blues BBQ here in Los Angeles. The banana pudding tasted like they mixed an instant Jello pudding that comes from a box and with bananas, nothing special.
I may have no idea what I’m talking about. It is my sole opinion. They’ve won BQQ championships and I haven’t won any awards for eating – yet.
I am open to suggestions. What other BBQ places do you recommend in North Carolina? Or anywhere else in the US. I’ve love to keep a list and try them all.
I know, this is a chain and I love their breakfast. They have delicious buttermilk pancakes! It’s unfortunate that the closest one to me in Los Angeles is about 2 hours away. The moment I see a Cracker Barrel, it’s a must. Have you visited their shop? They have the cutest stuff!
As you can see, we didn’t do a whole lot the few days we were there. We spent a lot of it driving or enjoying it with family on their country property. With no set plans, my sister and I took the opportunity to get our hair done. At this point, it’s basically a tradition when we reunite.
In all, it was a successful trip visiting family. We had lots of laughs and some great home cooked meals.
What I Loved…
• the rocking chairs they had in public spaces to sit
• country fresh air
• clear starry nights
• the beautiful deer you can see on the side of the road at night
• the lakes with the picturesque docks
• it was very clean
I may be a city girl at heart, I can’t deny the amazingness of the countryside. 🙂
I’d like to walk around Charlotte city and see more of what it has to offer. I already have a list going of what to see and do the next time I visit. I’d love to hear from you what your favorite places are in and around Charlotte.