Moving somewhere new can be a little bit on the overwhelming side. I guess I just didn't realize a lot of the things I took for granted back in Oklahoma. Things as simple as grocery shopping can take twice as long these days. I can't tell you how many times I've aimlessly wandered the aisles of the local grocers, because nothing is in the same places as they were in the grocery stores back home. It doesn't bother me, I guess I didn't think that things like that would be noticeable.
Its crazy how the littlest things can make a big impact at times.
I've been doing my best to explore as much as possible. Honestly, I may have been exploring a little too much based on the fact that, after 5 months, I still haven't 100% settled into my apartment. It's fine. The positive side of it is that, I don't get lost quite as much as I used to (but lets be honest I still get lost a lot), and I've found a handful of things that I very much so enjoy about North Carolina. So please, enjoy this list of things I've found that I like so far (in no particular order).
1. The Trees
I never realized how short the trees were in Oklahoma until I started taking brief nature walks on various trails here. Often times you're just walking through a forest of towering pine trees that just shoot straight up into the air. I love the repetition of lines. Also you just feel so tiny when you're walking through a bunch of really tall trees.
I started taking nature walks on a regular basis in college. RSU had a lovely nature reserve that was riddled with trails to explore. Since then anywhere I go I always look for opportunities to walk places...also I don't love driving, so there is also that. In the area I live in there are a bunch of greenways that connect things together for safer foot and bike traffic. I really appreciate that, even though I feel like they are in the baby stages of the project, no where near as developed as Boulder, Colorado when it comes to alternative travel.
3. Amelie's French Bakery
My current boss first brought me to Amelie's when I was interviewing for the position. As soon as I accepted the job offer I immediately got excited about being able to visit Amelie's again. It's everything I've ever wanted in a coffee shop/bakery. You walk in the door and are greeted by a huge variety of freshly made French pastries as well as all sorts of quirky chandeliers and decor. In addition to the fact that everything I have gotten there is just absolutely amazing, the main location is open 24hrs. So if I wake up at 3am in dire need of a fresh fruit tart...I have that option. I love that.
Last summer I went to Austin with my roommates and the hotel we stayed in was just above a creperie. We took a chance one morning and tried it out, and they were literally the best things...ever. Since that moment I've been trying to find crepes that were as good as the ones I had in Austin. The best Crepes I've had in Charlotte this far are from a creperie called Hazelnuts, and while their strawberry Nutella crepe is not *quite* as good as the ones in Austin, they are really, really close. Plus, the variety of crepes hazelnuts has is wonderful, and I want to try all of them. Don't worry Alyssa and I are working on it.
5. Romare Bearden Park
I haven't had too much of a chance to explore enough to find the perfect shot of the uptown skyline...but the view from Romare Bearden Park isn't too shabby.
6. Some Coffee Shops
List of coffee shops I've found that I like (in no particular order)...
- Summit Coffee (Davidson)
- Smelly Cat Coffee (NODA)
- Cup 22 (Greensboro area)
-Amelie's (of course)
Also while Starbucks doesn't make the cut...there is an excessive amount of them here...and none of them have a drive thru. What is up with that North Carolina?
I love thrifting...and the Goodwill stores here are really, really good. Theres a Goodwill outlet that charges you by the pound, its quite the adventure to shop there.
8. Duck Donuts
It's like build your own donuts. Yum.
9. Lake Norman
I live 3 miles away from a GIANT lake. I haven't really figured out how to take full advantage of that yet, but I like it, and its there.
10. Movies with Friends
I've been seeing so many movies, but the movie theatre is within walking distance of my apartment, and the friends are nice. If only the movies were $4.50 like they were in Owasso.
I will say that I don't feel like I've even scratched the surface of wonderful things to explore. Right now I'm thinking about all of the time I spent in Tulsa, and to this day I'm still finding out interesting things about it. I truly think just about anywhere you go has an almost endless amount of character to discover, you just have to look for it. So...If you know the Charlotte area and I missed something you love, feel free to comment, tell me about all the things!