Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Gallivanting Around Charlotte and Asheville

Brian and I had a fun little trip to Charlotte back in June. It was kind of a birthday celebration for him and kind of an anniversary celebration for us and kind of just because we wanted to go! We had both been to Charlotte before for various reasons like work, airport, quick concerts, etc. However, we had never had several days just to hang out and explore the city. 

The main reason we went was for a Counting Crows/Toad the Wet Sprocket concert that Brian had on his bucket list. He was so excited especially because they were touring together. What are the odds?!?! We all know I'm more of a country girl, but I like all types of music and was happy to be there with him. The concert was at North Carolina Music Factory which was a neat little place we had never been before. It was WAY better than Blockbuster Pavilion (that used to be Verizon Amphitheater)!

The night of the concert we ate at a little diner right across the street from the venue. We picked it mainly out of convenience, but it ended up being pretty good.

Handsome Brianaby at the diner
 The music was fabulous except the part where it rained cats and dogs at the OUTDOOR concert. It was actually more like raining elephants and hippos. We planned ahead and took two ponchos and a huge tarp. We were still soaked!
 The next couple of days we did lots of fun stuff around Charlotte like Ikea (my first time ever), the mall, Panthers stadium, and a few other stops. My friend Betsy has always talked about loving a little place to eat called Cajun Yard Dog. We decided to give it a try. Oh my, we were not disappointed!!! (Thanks Betsy!)

Cajun Yard Dog is decorated in such a cute way. We went at lunch and even though it's not a very big place, we didn't have to wait for a table.
 We got the pimento cheese appetizer and I'm still dreaming about it. It was kind of spicy which I loved!
 Brian had a shrimp po'boy and jambalaya. He said it was great!
 Listen people, I had this glorious crab cake. The macaroni and cheese and fries were added on as the (ahem) healthy portion of the meal. I loved it all. The crab cake was definitely one of the best I've ever had.
 We seriously can't wait to go back to Cajun Yard Dog. I'm looking for an excuse to go back to Charlotte!
 We also made a quick stop by Billy Graham Library. There wasn't enough time to take the entire tour, but the whole place was beautiful and so nicely done. I would love to go back and spend more time.
 This is a talking cow at the beginning of the tour. Isn't she cute?
 After Charlotte, we spent some time at Grove Park Inn in Asheville. We've stayed there before and also been back several times just to visit. The view is absolutely beautiful!!!
 While we were in Asheville, we wanted to try a restaurant called Vinnie's Neighborhood Italian. It was highly rated on Trip Advisor, so we decided to give it a try.

The bread was tasty that they brought to the table.
 We read lots of reviews that recommended the garlic knots, so we had to follow the crowd and order them. They were really good, but not the best I've ever had.
 The lasagna had a really good flavor. Again, not the best ever, but I liked it.
We also had the chicken marsala. The flavor was ok overall, but the sauce was too runny. I've definitely had much better chicken marsala other places.
These meatballs tasted really yummy, except they were cold. Really cold. I think I would have really liked them if they had been A LOT warmer.
Overall, we liked it fairly well. I doubt we'll go back though since there's so many other great places in Asheville to eat.

Brian and I had a wonderful get-away. I'm so thankful for him and the time we have together!

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