North Carolina Was Swell

Well what can I say? This was the first vacation I had all year, let alone the first trip anywhere since the doom that befell me this summer. My husband and I had planned this trip over a year ago, so no damn stiff gimpy leg was going to stop me!

The first part was Charlotte for the USATF Club Nationals my husband was running, plus to see some friends and get to know the city a little better. I like Charlotte. Despite things like the NASCAR Museum (yes we ended up at Dale Earnhart Jr’s nightclub by accident later) I thought it had enough going on and can only see it expanding. Artistic freaks mixed with banking. Lots of tapas restaurants, women in fur coats more so than I’ve ever seen up north, a lively downtown, and the Plaza Midwood neighborhood. We tried lots of North Carolina beers that were quite good, and I gained about 6 pounds eating all sorts of great food too.

We then headed up to Greensboro to stay with my brother. I was hoping to get out to the range and shoot a gun for the first time, but alas, the weather was quite nasty while we were there. At least I got to feel like a bad ass and hold a 9mm loaded (heavy!). Don’t worry, I didn’t do some stupid crap like try to curve the bullet like in the movie “Wanted”. We then made a side trip to Raleigh to check out a few galleries and see my friend Nancy Baker’s studio. We also hit Jerry’s Artarama real quick; Nancy was kind enough to pick out some Old Holland oil colors I would have never thought of. I’m totally geeked about trying them!

First in Charlotte we met up with friends Andy and Lesa for dinner, I got to see one of my prints all lit up over at Soul Gastrolounge.

Great place, we went back a few days later for brunch.

After peeking at the new diner our friends are going to be opening (we’ll be sure to be eating there on our next visit!), it was off to the rock n roll bar around the corner, Snug Harbor. Our friend Scott Weaver hosts a really fun night there every Thursday. “You came on a night we decided to be really conceptual” he said. The theme for the evening was, Plastic Bitch. That meant plastic masks, barbie, surgery, it was all part of the aesthetic and song choices. Here’s Scott getting into character…

Here’s the two sides of before and after plastic surgery…

You know you’re gonna have fun when you go to the ladies room and end up helping wrap a go-go dancer in cellophane while telling ‘Yo Mamma jokes with drag performers. Welcome to Charlotte!

I have to say, it was cool to see such a mixed crowd (more so than I’ve in L.A. on many occasions) and it was packed. We were invited to go on a good ole Southern fish fry by some cool rockabilly cats at a lake the following Saturday. It was at a trailer park, but a fancy trailer park that had a very discerning community that didn’t put up with riff-raff. I would have loved to go, but Saturday was race day.

There’s so many photos, click on them down here…

While visiting my brother we went through an old scrapbook of my dad in the glory days of high school. I knew my dad was a jock before he became an academic,  but I didn’t know he was such a square! Of all his accomplishments, I’d have to say solving the cafeteria line problem was probably his most proud moment…okay not really.

We didn’t make it to Boone or to Asheville, but I think we got enough driving done, all things considered.

What’d I Miss?

Back from my little trip to Lexington, KY. I went for my husband’s cross country championship races, which wasn’t interesting to me until the party started later with drunk runners — funny stuff. When I lived in California, I used to make fun of anything associated with Kentucky, and I keep getting proved wrong over and over again. I didn’t get to everything on my list — Spalding’s Bakery is all — but there’s enough that I am planning on going back possibly for my anniversary. Gives me an excuse to drive over to Louisville during Derby weekend as well. I didn’t bring a camera, which didn’t seem to matter since weather wasn’t the greatest for riding, but here are random things I remember:

Everyone is more polite than you.

Champagne with dinner is normal.

The hotels charge a transient tax, wtf?

Runner chicks dance like whores to Journey.

More than 1 person can’t dance on a folding table without is crashing.

Cornbread.

Bourbon beer.

The tie breaker for arm and leg wrestling, is butt wrestling.

Yay horsies!

It appears there are mothers out there who will feed their 2 year-old a donut followed by a Bratwurst. And then get mad they didn’t finish both. Yeah.

The Mary Todd Lincoln house is kind of depressing.

The clothing stores for women in Lexington are awesome.

It is is true what they say about Spadling’s Bakery.