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Tuesday, October 4, 2022

UNC Charlotte Parents Weekend...sort of...

 This past weekend was supposed to be Parents Weekend at UNC Charlotte. But on Wednesday they postponed it until November due to Hurricane Ian.  While Charlotte was only supposed to get heavy rain and high winds the school felt it better to postpone due to all the uncertainty. The football game, was still going to be played but all of the other weekend events would be postponed.

We were only planning on attending the football game but since we (well, me and Sarah) didn't really want to sit out in the rain watching a football game, we decided to just transfer our tickets to the November game. But, because our hotel reservation was non-refundable, we decided to go to Charlotte and spend some time with her on Saturday and Sunday anyway.

Since we weren't bound by any kind of schedule, we got to Charlotte around 2:00 and Sarah met us at our hotel which was just a few minutes from campus.  We loaded ourselves and a small vacuum into her car and went to her dorm.  Sarah had asked me to bring the small vacuum down.  She has a broom but sometimes you just need to run the vacuum. :)

We then headed to the light rail station on campus and hoped the train the uptown Charlotte.  

The light rail in Charlotte didn't open until 2007 (which was the year after we left Charlotte) and this was our first time on it. It's so convenient that Sarah can just hope on it (for free) from campus and go uptown. 

We walked around uptown for a good hour and a half before Mass at St. Peter Catholic Church. Just before our visit to Charlotte, I was talking to Dan about the memorial brick a friend of mine had placed for Rebecca in a park near her home uptown.  Dan had never seen it and I've only seen it once, right after it was placed.  Since we had lots of time to walk around downtown, we decided to find the park.  We found it and we found the stone!  Dan was so glad we were able to find it because he really wanted to see it.

St. Peter Catholic Church was founded in 1851 and is the oldest Catholic church in Charlotte.  Also, as I was reading the history of the church I learned that St. Katharine Drexel was an early benefactor of  St. Peter and donated pews.  She founded Sisters of the Blessed Sacrament for Black and Native American peoples. Her gift of pews to the parish was contingent on a promise that they would be reserved for the “colored” people, in fulfillment of her order’s mission. 

Fun fact: the morning after our wedding, Dan and I, and his whole family attended mass at St. Peter's but we had not been back since. (We were married at St. Patrick's but St. Peter's was within walking distance of our hotel.)

After Mass, we headed to Tupelo Honey for dinner.  It was soooooo good.  I got the Roast Beef Debris.  It was roast beef served over goat cheese heirloom grits with braised green beans, green tomato salsa, fried onions and fresh cilantro and it was delicious!  

After dinner we hoped on the light rail and headed back to our hotel.  There was a stop right near where we stayed so it was super convenient. We watched the NC State football game and sadly they lost to Clemson.  We were pulling for the Wolfpack but they fell short.

Peter and his friends had fun as well.  They set up a projector under a tent  outside so they could all watch together and they had a bonfire too!

We slept in on Sunday morning which was so nice!  Check out at our hotel wasn't until Noon so that was a plus.

Sarah has tickets to a Harry Styles and Taylor Swift Dance Party on Friday night at a club in Charlotte. She's very excited about it but I'm not sure exactly what it is.  It sounds like they will be playing only Harry Styles and Taylor Swift music and there will be photo booths, a costume contest, lip syncing, etc.  She's very excited but she wasn't exactly sure where it was. So we drove to the venue and there is a light rail stop steps away. So now she knows where she's going and which station to get off the train at.  She's going with one of her new friends. I'm hoping she sends me a picture of two of the fun.

We then had lunch at Zapata's.  Zapata's is an old favorite restaurant of ours. We hadn't been in years so we were excited to take Sarah there.  After lunch we dropped Sarah back off at her dorm and said our goodbyes.

Dan and I then found the place we used to work (it has since been sold and ultimately closed) and we checked out one of his old apartments and one of mine. It was a nice little walk down memory lane.  The 90's feel like just yesterday to me but they were so long ago. While our old apartments looked basically the same from the outside, the building where we used to work looked so run down and old.It has not been well taken care of.

Part of me wishes we hadn't seen it because now that's in my memory as well as the way it looked back in it's glory days.  Charlotte has grown so much in the past 30 years and as we were driving around our old stomping grounds, we couldn't help but notice how much everything  has changed.  It was looking going on a scavenger hunt trying to find buildings that I vividly remember because now they are surrounded by so many other new (new to me) buildings and were almost unrecognizable. 

It was a nice 24 hours with our girl.  She seems to be doing just fine. Her classes are going well, she's making friends, and she seems quite happy. (Plus, have I mentioned that the Target near her has an Ulta and a Starbucks inside? She might be spending a little too much time and money in there.)   So even though it wasn't quite the Parents Weekend we thought we were going to get, it was a really good one!  (And now, bonus - we get to go back next month for a football game!)


Colleen said...

How great that Sarah is settling in so nicely and that your kids are close enough to go visit :) I like how you let us know what you eat on your trips because that's exactly why Phil and I like to travel - all the food!!

Mandy said...

I love your updates on how the kids are doing at college. So glad they are both enjoying it! And what fun getaways it makes for visiting them! The food you got looks amazing! I’m a Southern girl, so I love grits with just about anything.

Mari said...

It's still hard to believe you are going to parent night for Sarah! Glad she is doing well.
So glad you found Rebecca's brick.

Pat Birnie said...

It sounds like a lovely relaxing weekend & it also sounds like Sarah is doing well & has adjusted fairly well. That photo of the brick for Rebecca is so touching. I'm glad you finally got to see it.

Ernie said...

I love that this rail system makes it so easy to get around. Glad she is doing well. I'm so glad that you were abel to find the brick. What a sweet rememberance. It is ashame that they cancelled parent weekend, but how great that you get to go back next month.

Madeline said...

Even if it wasn't what was expected you sure made the best of it!!! So glad you had that time together! And I am glad you saw the brick, I still think about Rebecca often and ask for her intercession.