Back to the Carolinas -- May 2019 Trip to Charlotte
This May my company had a conference in a new location - Charlotte, North Carolina. I was really excited to travel to a new city! Originally Tommy and I had discussed that he would go with me and we would take a week-long road trip through the Carolinas and stop in Charleston (I've been wanting to go back ever since I went to my first conference in 2012). However things didn't go as we wanted - plane tickets were too expensive (about $800+ round trip!), plus hotels, car rental, and food would easily add up to $2,000+ over Memorial Day week alone so we decided he wouldn't go this time. We were bummed but that's how it goes sometimes 😕
|Skyline evening view from the Farenheit restaurant where we had one of our networking events.|
Whenever I fly somewhere, I like to travel early around 6:00am-7:00am from my favorite airport, Ontario International (close to home, there's hardly ever traffic, its easy to get in and out of, plus it supports the local economy). When I got to Charlotte I didn't expect it to be so warm (a 20 degree difference), and I forgot about the east coast humidity, but it was bearable.
Carolina History & Haunts walking tour where the tour guide shared local history and haunted stories. I learned that Charlotte is called the Queen City because it was named after the queen in England, and that there is no downtown, instead its called Uptown. Also, the first U.S. gold rush happened in Charlotte and there are still tunnels and mines that run under the city. This is why Charlotte is one of the top three banking cities in the nation due to the original gold rush.
|One of the haunted hotels in Uptown Charlotte. The city is a mix of really old historic buildings and new skyscrapers. It's very interesting to see.|
|The tour guide showed a lot of haunted locations throughout the city. I didn't get as many good pictures as I wanted since the sun was setting and most of it was in the night time. It turns out that a lot of the really old haunted buildings are now apartments or condos! We concluded the tour at the Old Settler's Cemetery, and the tour guide said that the city of Charlotte loves tearing down old buildings so the only way they could preserve this landmark was by designating it as a dog park!|
|After the tour ended I decided to walk back to my hotel since it was several blocks away. It was an enjoyable walk (on a hot night!) through such an old city and I had to stop to take this picture of this cool old red brick church. A lot of the historic buildings are in this red brick style. You don't see anything like this back home.|
Some of my favorite things about working conferences is getting a break from my regular routine (which includes cooking), and of course the food I get to eat! It’s so easy to eat a lot of junk or fatty food while traveling, so during my lunch breaks at the convention center I try to eat something light like a sandwich or wrap. On the last night I was exhausted so I ordered room service. Those puffy meat brisket things at the bottom were from the Fahrenheit rooftop restaurant. They were small appetizer sized but I filled up on some of the local beers. By the end of the week I'm usually craving vegetables and fruits, something fresh!
This year, on the last day of the conference we offered plant tours to our attendees and I got to be a chaperone. The facility I visited didn't allow photography (due to proprietary reasons) but it was about a 20 mile drive that crossed into South Carolina, which I didn't expect. So that was kind of a nice surprise to see more of the surrounding area besides the city.
My entire trip lasted 5 nights and almost 6 days. It was an enjoyable conference but I was so happy to come home to Tommy and Mr. Gold. That's the hardest part about traveling is saying goodbye and missing them both, especially on the first night away. But I text frequently and call, sometimes even FaceTime Mr. Gold. (We do that when we go on vacation and my sister watches him.) And of course, when I come home Mr. Gold will follow me around for hours and hang out in my luggage to reclaim me as his property 😉
Coming home is nice, especially when my guys make me delicious food and we get to enjoy a nice breakfast and coffee on weekend mornings. 😋