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Tuesday, October 17, 2023

UNC Charlotte Parents Weekend.

 This past weekend we visited Sarah at UNC Charlotte for Parent Weekend!  

We got there on Saturday morning around 11:30 and met Sarah at our hotel. She hopped into our car and we went to get lunch.  We ended up at Landmark Diner.  She's been there several times with friends and who doesn't love a good diner on a Saturday morning?

After eating, we headed back to campus and dropped some things off to her apartment and then we headed to the football game. We were playing Navy and it was such a horrible game.  At the end of the first half the score was 0-0 if that tells you anything.  At one point I told Dan it felt like we were watching two very bad high school teams play. 

UNCC ended up losing 14-0 but we still had fun with our girl! It had been raining that morning but it cleared up in plenty of time for the game, there was lots of good people watching to do, and even with the loss, it was still a good afternoon.


After the game, we headed to Mass at St. Thomas Aquinas and then went back to our hotel to check in.  The hotel is about a block from the light rail so we hopped on and headed uptown.  We ended up in South End at Hawkers, a restaurant that Sarah had been wanting to try.  We got there a little before 8:00 pm and put our name on the list.  

It was going to be a 45 minute wait so we walked through the Nebel's Alley Street Market. This was a cute little alley/side stree where they had live music and vendors set up selling their goods.  It was such a nice night out and I enjoyed the whole vibe of the market.  After checking out the market we waited for our table.

Hawkers is an Asian fusion  restaurant where you can get small plates to share or larger plates for yourself.  Sarah and Dan don't like to share food so we got out own plates.  I think it would be fun to go back and get a bunch of things to share.  We did share the Roti which was a Malaysian flatbread with a curry dipping sauce.  It was delicious - so light and flaky! For diner I got the beef bulgogi and a side of jasmine rice.  They both got some sort of ramen.


Dan was not excited about using chopsticks but he did it anyway and was pretty successful.  You could ask for forks if you wanted but we all managed the chopsticks just fine!

After dinner we went right next door to Jeni's Ice Cream.  When we go to Hawker's there was a very long line at the ice cream shop but when we finally got out of dinner, the line was shorter and Sarah and I just had to have some ice cream.  It was so good!

Then we headed back to the light rail and waited for the next train.

The next morning we got up and headed to campus to just walk around.  I love checking things out on my old campus. 

Then we headed to lunch at a Mexican restaurant which is in the same space that the Rainbow Deli occupied when I was in school there.  I had so many good memories of the Rainbow Deli.  They had awesome live music on the weekends (Dennis Davis was my favorite!) and great beer specials like bring your own mug and they would fill it for a couple of dollars.  You should have seen the size of some of the mugs people would bring in! So even though the restaurant has changed, it was still nice being in the same spot!  

After lunch we dropped Sarah off at her apartment and gave her a big hug and we headed back home. But I won't have to go long before seeing her again because her fall break is next Monday and Tuesday so she should be home at some point this weekend!

Tuesday, October 3, 2023

NC State Parents Weekend.

Dan's travel schedule has been crazy this year so when I bought tickets for the NC State Parents Weekend football game, it was touch and go if we could make it.  But the clouds parted and the heavens opened and the angels began to sing and we were able to go!  Now, please note that he left for Ireland on Sunday morning but will be back Friday night.  So we were able to make it to Raleigh AND his trip is a short one.  We are considering this a win-win. 

Interesting side note - as we were driving home from Raleigh Dan calculated that September was the only month so far this year that he has been home for the entire month.  That's too much travel if you ask me.

For some weird reason, the Parent Weekend football game was a Friday night game.  Boo. Hiss.  Dan and I both had to take off work to attend but it was worth it.

We got to Peter's apartment around 1:00 and picked him up.  We headed to Char-Grill for lunch.  It's a hamburger joint that's been in Raleigh since 1971.  Doesn't it look like it's been around that long?

You walk up to the window and order and then if you are lucky there will be a spot to eat at one of two picnic tables on the side of the building. The burgers were delicious!


We wanted to make sure we got to eat there because soon they will be tearing down this little building and the little service station next to it to put up a 20 story building.  But a new Char-Grill will go into one of the shops on the ground floor of the building.  It won't be the same though so Dan and I were excited to make it here before they tore this down.

After lunch we had to go shopping for some black NC State gear as it was Black Out.  The whole student section was in black and Dan and I wanted to be too!  We went to the Red and White Shop and ever parent who came to campus was there. We got some gear and also went to the campus bookstore to see what they had.  

After that, we dropped Peter off, checked in to our hotel, changed into our new shirts and headed to the fraternity tailgate.  That was an  experience.  There is a special parking lot designated for all the fraternities.  They all set up big tents, giant speakers. There's cornhole and die throwing and dancing.  Lots of dancing. (Oh yeah, and there's beer.)  Oddly absent was any food though.  :) 

We stayed there for a while, met the parents of one of Peter's best friends and tried to talk to them. The music from all the different tailgates was so loud we literally could not hear a word any one was saying.  It was still fun though and I'm glad we go to go.  


We left Peter and headed to the stadium. He had a student ticket and was sitting in the student section and we were not. At halftime, Peter left his friends and joined us at our seats.  The people sitting in front of us left at halftime so that worked out great.  

Bill Cowher (head coach of the Pitsburgh Steelers and former NC State all star) was inducted into the Ring of Honor and was at the game.  We happened to be sitting in the section where they put his name.

We lost the game but we still had lots of fun hanging out with our boy.

On Saturday morning we slept in and then headed downtown to kill some time.  There was a blue grass festival going on.  The streets were blocked off and they had multiple stages set up, craft vendors and so many food trucks.  

So many people...

I was trying to get a picture of the Capital House which you can see but it's under construction so the dome is covered.  Oh well...

We left the festival and headed to the frat house where the boys were hosting a cookout for the parents.  Peter's friend, Cal, smoked 3 giant pork butts and they were delicious.  He did such a good job.  The pork was moist and flavorful.  We were actual able to talk to his parents this time and could actually hear what they were saying!

Peter was excited to show us the composite!  (Yes, his fraternity is small but he likes that about it.  He actually knows everyone in his fraternity.  Some pledge classes in other fraternities are as big as Peter's entire fraternity.)

After the cookout, we said our goodbyes and headed home.  It was nice to see Peter in his element, with his friends, enjoying his life.  And I am so glad we got to go!