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Halloween Homecoming

I realize Halloween is over, but like almost every post I…post, this one is referring to a time in the past.
Last I left you Sister and I had frolicked through the Charlottesville mall. Originally the plan was for Husband to stay in Charlottesville until Sunday, and because the flights had booked up, I was going to ride with Sister back to Charlotte and fly out of there on Monday. Well, thanks to Sandy all of that changed.
Husband flew back to Rapid Saturday afternoon and we went to Charlotte a day early.
Our hangovers thanked us for not subjecting them to another night at the mall 🙂
We arrived at my aunt’s house just in time for some pumpkin cutting. Don’t poke fun, this awesome buffalo was hand drawn by moi, and drawing has never been my strong suit.
Refreshed by Sunday morning, Sister wanted to take me to her favorite Sunday/football hangout, Selwyn Pub.

She was just telling me how it is a favorite hang out of Mr. Michael Jordan himself, when he pulled into the parking lot. Unfortunately the already thriving crowd must have changed his mind because he ended up leaving.

Sister’s signature look…

We have a number of “terms” in our family that were created through years of big families growing up in the mountains of NC. Seriously, if you get my grandfather and his brothers and sisters together it’s hard to understand them sometimes. They have a whole language all their own!
So I’m not sure if this is family slang or commonly used, but we called days like this particular Sunday, “Gusto Grabbing.”
It basically means making the absolute most out the one day you have left before it’s back to the grind. 
So what started as a leisurely morning sipping bloody mary’s and buckets of beer while watching the football game, turned into a spontaneous trip to the Whitewater Center to go ziplining.
Did I mention I was wearing a maxi dress??

Awesome. I know.

I can be a good sport. Sure my sweater dress and witch boots were not ideal for ziplining per say. And sure everyone there looked at me as if I had lost my marbles. And sure the employees told me they had never seen anyone wear a dress before. But hey, it’s all in the name of fun right?
So I got all suited up, then flew through the air like a witch (heh, heh, because I was wearing witch boots. Get it?)

But the fun didn’t stop there. It had been in the plans from the beginning to have a sort of reunion dinner while I was in for the night. So we meandered to the NoDa area of Charlotte and met my favorite uncles at a bar called Growlers.

Being so close to Asheville meant that I also got to see my cousin Nedge…

AND my best friend Lu!!!

Dinner was had at Cabo Fish Taco.
Then drinks continued as we frequented the NoDa bars.

And we may or may not have crashed a film festival in the process.

And then THIS wall happened.
Sorry all in involved in this picture, it was too hilarious not to post!

The rest of the pictures involving this wall were so ridiculous I totally couldn’t post them.

The next day, feeling surprisingly good considering the previous night, I made the 35 minute drive to our old South Charlotte stomping grounds for the sole purpose of picking up some of my beloved Pei Wei
When we lived in Charlotte, Pei Wei was walking distance from our house, and every Sunday night it was a given that we would be eating our favorite dishes (take out) and watching a movie on the couch. To this date it is some of my most favorite food.
Food in hand I drove back up to the Southpark area to stop by Diamond’s Direct to have my rings dipped and cleaned, and then finally back up to University to visit Sister’s office, have a quick lunch, then say my goodbyes. 
I wasn’t sure how I would feel about visiting Charlotte. When I was young and we visited my aunt there, it always seemed like the most amazing place on earth (that could have had something to do with the fact that my aunt was my biggest hero). By the time I graduated high school with plans to attend there, I couldn’t leave Asheville fast enough. Charlotte was calling me. But then college sucked. And I got a big girl job and bought a house. And slowly Charlotte lost its luster. By the time Husband and I moved back to Asheville (into the barn) I couldn’t wait to get away from that city. It represented everything I couldn’t stand.
Driving around this past weekend I kept waiting for some feeling of nostalgia to wash over me, but it never did. I looked at all of the new developments and growth that had taken over all of the places I had known, and I just kept thinking there was so much stuff there. At first I was reminded and amazed by all of the amazing conveniences there were. Nothing in South Dakota seems convenient. But after fighting traffic all day, and cussing the countless medians and resulting U-turns, I remembered how hard it is just to get around there.
It’s a great city, and has a world of things to do and see (a lot of which I know I didn’t even get the chance to experience), but it’s just not for me. 
But at least I can fly into there for cheaper and have a rousing good time with a few people I love dearly.

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