I arrived in Charlotte Wednesday afternoon by way of Rock Hill and a fabulous, drawn-out lunch with Jeff, a fellow Bridges counselor, at Majistic. No, that's not a spelling error - the restaurant really was called Majistic. Upon finally moving to the North Carolina sector of my trip, I went straight to a country club - my first time! (We don't really have too many country clubs around these parts in West Virginia.) I met Sarah, with whom I would be spending a couple of nights, as well as her younger sister and her best friend, both of whom I had met briefly during the school year, at the pool.
We stayed there for a while before going back to her house to change, and as they left for choir rehearsal, I showered and headed to Fort Mill to see another great friend, Michelle. After we turned down one restaurant for their lack of veggie burgers, we decided upon Salsarita's Fresh Cantina for dinner, which was delicious, I might add. We then toured the old Richmar Fashions building (YES!) and played with her dog, Buddy, a bit before I decided that it was probably time for me to return to the Queen City.
That evening, Sarah and I watched a few episodes of Friends Season One and chatted before it was time to go to bed - like most "normal" people, she, too, had to work in the morning. Per usual, I slept in as she got ready and left the house, leaving me to get ready to meet my good friend, Daniel. He picked me up and we headed to the South Park Mall, which was much more fun than I had anticipated. We purchased some trusty bamboo fishing poles, to be used when I return to the country next year, and made good use of the cushioned benches in the mall hallway as well as in department stores.
Daniel dropped me off at Sarah's around lunchtime, so she, her sister, and I set off to picnic at Freedom Park. We even took her dog, Joey! It was very humid/hot/rainy, so we didn't stay long, but it was fun while it lasted. We went back to her house and she tattooed my right leg in Sharpie as we watched more Friends.
She was then picked up for a date, so I headed to Misenheimer to see one of my two wives from the 2007 Mission of Peace, Chelsea, at Pfeiffer University. I met some of her friends that I hadn't on my previous trip (that brings my total of acquantainces up to about half of the campus population - just kidding, Chels!) and we went to a grand dinner at...WAFFLE HOUSE! haha We hung out in the apartments for a while, and then I went to work with her the next morning before leaving around lunchtime.
I arrived back in Charlotte just after Sarah and her sister got home from from work, and the three of us decided to go to the pool with Andrew again. After that, we watched MORE Friends, ate some of the scrumptious vegetable lasagna and drank some of the southern-style sweet tea that her mom and sister, respectfully, had made for me, and then decided to go downtown a bit later via the tram for dinner. We ate at Brixx and had a grand time, then they gave me a tour of the area, including the Epicenter. Finally, after a brief stop to see her friends at Andrew's house, we went back to her house and watched Paris, J'taime, which she had been borrowing from me for...oh, a few months. The next morning, we all left the house as Sarah left with her sister and mother to watch her dad perform in a play and I headed to Raleigh/Durham.
Charlotte was another great stop on my tour - it was more familiar than Columbia, but not as so as Greenville. I got to see many friends in the three or so days that I spent there, which was wonderful. Despite what residents said, there was always something to do, even if it just involved relaxing, sitting, and catching up. I felt at home there, and I'm glad that I got to see so many people - even if, per usual, I could have spent even more time with them.