How fitting that it's raining in Knoxville right now as I write this post.
I visited Charlotte, N.C., for the first time last weekend and it was quite a fun, rainy time. Fortunately, the skies were clear when my friends and I were out on food adventures and when they were showing me the sights around town. But as soon as we got back to their house, it started to rain. It was quite conducive to going to bed at night, lingering in bed in the morning, and the Saturday afternoon nap I took when their baby went down for a nap. A sleepy weekend, indeed.
While in Charlotte, I spent a lot of time staring at this little one:
All together now: Awwwww! :) She belongs to my friends Will and Angela.
I met Will when he was with Scripps, the company that owns the Knoxville News Sentinel where I worked until last year. You know how there are just some people you connect with right away? Will was one of those. Well, Will got a sweet job and took the family on to Charlotte.
I've come to realize that friends moving away is not such a bad thing. I get to go where they are and explore a new place. Will and Angela are a couple after my own heart and are all about food adventures. For weeks before I went to Charlotte, Will would send me links to eateries and bakeries we could explore. My only concern was how we would fit them all in. We did our best, though :)
Angela threw down in the kitchen that Friday evening when I arrived. (I told her she should consider opening her own eatery. The woman is good!) After Frances the baby went to bed, Will and I went to French bakery Amélie's for dessert while Angela had some down time at home.
The bakery had a lot of cool wall art but this was my favorite:
On Saturday morning, we went to Luna's for brunch. They don't use fire there. Literally. Most everything that came out of the kitchen was raw, meatless ... and tasty.
Then it was on to the Farmer's Market next door. Of course, I had to sample stuff. We eventually left with chocolate-dipped macaroons and cookies.
That evening, we went to Meskerem, an Ethiopian restaurant. On the way there, we saw this double rainbow.
On Sunday, we visited Pike's Soda Shop for brunch (and then ducked into a neighborhood bakery for some treats on the way back) before I got on the road to head back to Knoxville.
We did a lot of eating and laughing. (Frances wasn't too keen on the loud laughter and would cry each time she heard it... which was every five minutes the first night. She got used to it by Saturday.) All this was really the backdrop for the sweet and refreshing catch-up time we had as we talked about life and our doings.
Oh, yes, there was one other part to the weekend:
Will and Angela's crazy, sneaky cat, Olive. Because of my allergies, she had to be banished outdoors and was only let in to eat and at night to sleep. But she found ways to make her presence known. I went to the bathroom during the middle of the night and when I came back to the guest room, something told me to flip the light on. There was Olive, with one paw on my bed and about to jump in it. She meowed in protest as I shooed her out.