Sarah, Ashley and friend Jen are en route, as well, via car. I strongly suggest you follow their travails on Sarah's blog over the next few days.
There will be much to report on a new city, but before that, I think it's only proper to send off Charlotte, a place I have enjoyed greatly. I've made great friends, had good times and learned a bit about what makes the South the South. So... a few things I will miss about Charlotte and some I won't (and people don't count on here. I am talking about material things...)
I will miss:
- The trees. Charlotte is still a city of trees. Crepe Myrtles, Magnolias, Mimosas... even some palms here and there. The coniferous Northwest beckons, but there is something about driving in Charlotte from February until September and always having some manner of flowering tree.
- The language. Might-could. Fixin' to. Wonderful turns of the tongue that make the South stand out.
- CLT airport. Fortunately, Sea-Tac is a pretty fantastic airport as well. But, take it from a traveler, Charlotte-Douglas Int'l makes the process of traveling pretty easy.
- Bad food. Look, it'll kill you, but if you want bad food, the South is your place. Bojangles. Waffle House. Just outstanding (and knock you down dead bad) food.
- Sitting poolside in March. That says it right there.
- Manners. Living in the South has made me more patient and more polite. Things come with a "please" here and it's OK to smile at a stranger. In fact, it's kinda weird not to. That, I will miss.
- Traffic on I-485 at rush hour. It's like Charlotte wanted to build a little Los Angeles from Exit 67 to 59...
- The left turn out of my old neighborhood. I'd like to thank the driving deities for not having someone broadside me turning out of there for 2.5 years. Also, I wish I had added up the minutes of my life spent waiting to be able to turn safely.
There are a handful of other things I'm going to be happy to be away from, but sorry... those you'll have to come get a drink with me to hear. :-)
See you soon, Charlotte. I have friends and family (Hi, Maggie!) here and we'll be back soon enough.