The Black Keys & BBQ

Destination: Charlotte, NC.

On yet another weekend adventure, I drove (well, actually I didn’t, but you know…) 14 hours in 2 days to see The Black Keys in Charlotte, NC. Totally and completely worth it.

Though we went primarily for the concert, we (as professed foodies) also decided to seek out all-things-delicious that Charlotte had to offer. I do believe I ate more grease in the last two days then in the last two years. My heart does not thank me, but my mouth sure does! First stop, a place we discovered via Diners, Drive-ins, and Dives, The Penguin. We went for the world-famous fried pickles and homemade ranch, and it most certainly did not disappoint.

Afterward we checked out the neighborhood, then headed to our hotel. After swimming in the lap pool (I may or may not get as giddy as a 10-year-old schoolgirl when around water) and chilling in the men’s steam room (Spoiler alert: I did not get caught), we headed to the concert.

A coliseum of middle-aged, slightly inebriated ex-hippies dancing is always a treat, and The Black Keys certainly delivered. Any concert finished with two giant disco balls is a win in my book.

The night ended with pizza and beer. It was glorious.

The next day was also filled with delicious food and drink.

I finally saw real-life coffee art (!!) and drank what is hands-down the best espresso outside of Italy.

Also, I ate the.best.bbq of my life. As a true blooded Southerner, there is no way that I would joke about this. It was heavenly.

Midwood Smokehouse makes me want to move to Charlotte. I would do it, I would weigh 300lbs, and I would love it.

Afterward, we went back for coffee because the place was just so cute (please, please, please get a macchiato at Not Just Coffee) then hit the road (notable road snack discoveries: honey roasted peanuts, oreos chex mix, and funyuns).

Food + Fun = The perfect weekend.

 

 

You have brains in your head. You have feet in your shoes. You can steer yourself, any direction you choose.

~Dr. Seuss

 

 

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Spring Break-ing, 2012

I just got back from the beach, and I have the perfectly tomato-red legs to prove it. We only had one actual day of sun (the others I spent in a hoodie, wrapped in a towel, admiring the ocean from afar), but boy did I use up that one day of sun. Sunscreen is for wusses (which I will happily be next time).

(1) My book of the week, (2) the cloudy beach, (3) delicious food, courtesy of the bestcooksintheuniverse, (4) obligatory nail-beach photo

It was really an excellent time, complete with nail painting to Beyonce, a fabulous game of putt putt, and loads of ice-cream, but now it’s back to reality, with papers to write, an apartment to clean, and loads of ice-cream to eat.

Only one problem: I can’t get out of bed because moving disturbs my monster of a burn.

Good thing the ice cream is near.

I Want to Go to There.

Preach it, Liz Lemon.

Last weekend was, on the whole, wonderfully relaxing.

It was a surprise weekend (that I figured out, thanks to an embarrassing large number of years as an avid Nancy Drew fan) which started off rather inauspiciously when the entire city of Tuscaloosa closed down due to threat of tornadoes (understandable, with what happened last year) that never actually came, but caused us to postpone the trip and instead grocery shop and “watch” Moneyball.

Foreboding.

I’ve heard that this movie is great, but as just hearing the word “baseball” makes me yawn uncontrollably (unless followed quickly by “hotdog,” “cheesy fries,” and “beer”), I fell asleep 5 minutes into the movie and woke up just in time for the end.

The next morning we headed up to North Alabama, armed with a playlist I compiled when at work (which for me entails watching a bunch of computers to make sure they don’t walk away. I had some extra time.):

After a slight detour which landed us at this interesting farmer’s market (that title might be a slight stretch, but their onlyslightlyexpired vitamins and Tim McGraw lamps certainly looked ever-so-appealing).

We arrived and had a picnic of homemade bread and chicken salad on the porch, with a delicious view:

View from the front.

Then off to rock-hop in Little River Canyon! Rock-hopping is one of the most relaxing activities (my third favorite exercise behind bar dancing and lake swimming). Until, that is, you fall into the frigid March waters. Not that that would happen to me, just a hypothetical.

Soon after this little accident, we hopped in the car and headed out in search of stunning views and waterfalls; we found ample amounts of both.

Ice, ice, baby.

After more food, a Mexican-inspired feast this time, we relaxed by the fire (as close to the fire as possible, actually, since the heat was out. I had to restrain myself from actually sticking my feet IN the fire. It seemed like a better idea at the time.) then fell asleep, because the outdoors make me delightfully exhausted.

The next day I wielded a fire-arm, though not before vocalizing my views on the lack of gun control in the U.S. which is ATROCIOUS, but boy are they fun to shoot. I felt a bit like a very b.a. Annie Oakley, and who doesn’t like that feeling?

And thus the weekend came to an end, though not without copious amounts of the most delicious road trip snack ever:

All of the mango and banana chips mysteriously disappeared, and then we threw raisins out the window (to help the birds, of course).

Nothing beats a good road trip.