The plan was to sleep in and recharge after a long week of early mornings, but our body’s alarm clock woke us up with the sun. Luckily, we took a nice, long time to wake up and get ready.
A short trip to a nearby Goodwill (Rachel runs a brilliant, thrift-based online clothes shop and wanted to add to her inventory) and Starbucks got us started off right.
More alert and ready for the day, we met up with our friends at Sunflour Bakery for some breakfast. The food looked delicious and comes with rave reviews. The service was meh, but it was some decent food and the coconut macaroons were soooo good.
Tom and I explored around Heroes Aren’t Hard To Find, a comic shop across the street, for a few minutes. I was in search of the second part to Anthony Bourdain’s graphic novel, Get Jiro: Blood and Sushi – a story about a badass sushi chef set in a dystopian future where the city is run by rival restaurants. Technically, it’s a prequel, but I couldn’t find it nonetheless.
We met up with Rachel and Courtney around the corner in a really cool thrift store, East 8th Thrift. They were happily at home here, rummaging through some sweet, vintage finds. I dawdled my time by petting the shop dog and looking through some neat cocktail glasses. We came across a cool set of ceramic goblets and a pitcher that we ended up coming back for later. I got real sipping-wine-from-on-top-of-the-Parthenon vibes from the set.
After spending some time back at their place, we set out to explore the Mint Museum. There are two locations which have different collections. The one in Uptown is modern and focuses on contemporary and American art as well as collections from North Carolina’s craft & design past. While tickets get you into both locations on the same day, we opted for the Randolph location. Walking through here is like walking through an old manor as you explore the history of North Carolina’s first coin mint, costumes from African heritage, and a lot of pottery.
In the spirit of continuity for this trip, we made sure to reward ourselves with more drink and feast. Legion Brewing provided the first libations of the day along with a pretzel much bigger than my head. Over the past year, I had moved away from beer and towards spirits and wine more, so I chose a pilsner for my first drink. It was also called Penguin Pils, which is definitely in my top 3 favorite animals. If you know what my #1 favorite animal is or want to guess, leave a comment below!
For my second drink, I went with their mystery Adventure Tap. You don’t get to choose the beer, but $1 of every drink sold goes toward a rotating, monthly charity. April saw donations go towards Autism Charlotte. The mystery brew ended up being the pilsner again. So much for the adventure, but it was a good drink.
Next stop was The Bohemian wine bar. We sat at the front window that overlooked the empty parking lot and street. It was a nice setting to enjoy a glass of vinho verde. This style of wine comes from the hilly, northern region of Portugal, where you can find many households still practicing the old-style of growing grapes and wine-making. I cannot wait to explore this region in the near future. (Sidenote: The European Union is in talks to open up to vaccinated U.S. travelers this Summer.)
After my palate enjoyed a taste of Iberian Peninsula, our taste buds decided to trek back over the pond to a more American-Mexican food at Three Amigos. Courtney and I got enjoyed some fishbowl sized margaritas with some delicious, greasy food. I go through phases in my Mexican food journey, where I will order the same thing over and over without change, then I’ll cycle on to the next menu item. I love it all, but for some reason, I’ll get on these kicks where I want just one thing. Right now is fajita season.
Charlotte is a cool city with a nice pace to it. There’s plenty to do, but it retains charm, nature, and walkability. I would love to explore more of the city in future trips, like Uptown or the U.S. National Whitewater Center.
Would you make a trip to Charlotte? Have you been and have suggestions? Leave a comment below with any tips you might have.