This post is a continuation from my post earlier this week, titled 5 Truths about Living in Charlotte. It is so nice to be able to reflect on the past 3 years and think back to when we arrived here. We had no idea what this city would bring, how it would change and shape us, how we would shape it, what we would learn from living here and I'm just guessing here -- how much we would miss it.
When we first arrived here in Summer 2013, we were excited to explore and check out the area. Jake visited once prior to the move and I had actually never been here until we moved here. That might sound crazy but I've moved around quite a bit in my 31 years so far and moving is just very exciting to me -- It's almost like a new challenge. Heck, at the age of 18, I moved to Spokane, WA to start college sight unseen from Hawaii. How is that for putting yourself out there?
Just for fun, a little chronology of where I've lived (so far):
1984 - 1992 | Port Huron, MI
1992 - 2003 | Lihue/Kapaa, HI
2003 - 2007 | Spokane, WA
2007 - 2008 | Olympia, WA
2008 - 2013 | Seattle, WA
2013 - 2016 | Charlotte, NC
2016 - ??? | Stay Tuned!
This is not a foodie city.
I probably would have said this up until about a year ago. When we first moved to Charlotte, we were not impressed with the restaurant options. Coming from Seattle which is a huge foodie town, we were like, where is the gourmet pizza, ramen and boba tee? Since we've been here all of these things have sprung up and even more! We recently put together our Charlotte Bucket List and I honestly can say that I will miss so many of our faves: Kindred, Alino Pizza, Carolina Smoothie, Luna's Living Kitchen, Food Truck Friday, Futo Buta, Greek Isles (RIP), Foxcroft Wine, Duck Donuts, Bakersfield, Summit Room, Soul, Maki Taco, Fourth Ward Bread Co. (RIP), Stagioni, the list goes on and on... Many of these places were not here when we arrived. So crazy!
The weather is too hot.
Since we've been there, there have been less than (5) 100 degree+ days. I mentioned before that I was worried about my hair frizzing up and looking like a crazy person (I am semi-obsessed with straightening my hair to be pin straight). But, honestly, except for a few times the weather has not really been an issue. Heck, we moved here in mid-July and it was in the 70's so it was basically perfect. I am not sure if this is a temporary thing, but I promise it's not as hot as you think it will be.
There is no water around the city.
I will say that there is no easily accessible lake, river, ocean near the city. But, we visited some friends who live on Lake Norman a few summers ago, and I was very impressed with this man-made lake. Now, this is hardly the Pacific Ocean or Elliott Bay (google it), that I've been used to but it'll work. Also, there is the National Whitewater Rafting Center which we have yet to visit (see: Charlotte Bucket List, above). I've heard really excellent things about it and we are hoping to get in a visit before June. I'll keep you posted but I'm sure we will love it!
It's just a city full of NASCAR Fans.
I have a confession, we have never been to a NASCAR event and I am sure a good chunk of the Charlotte population has not either. What do we spend our time doing besides traveling, eating out at restaurants and working? The Charlotte Knights (Baseball Triple-A Affiliate of the White Sox) recently debuted a new field, which is basically in the middle of Uptown and its the coolest thing ever! Do I pay attention to the game? Not really, but I love the fun atmosphere and I am always down for a baseball hot dog or Queen City Nachos (complete with pulled pork). We've also started going to a few Hornet games which are also very fun and festive. I'm starting to learn the player's names (Jeremy Lin, anyone?) and I just heard they are going to the playoffs! So, there is a lot more to Charlotte than just NASCAR. I think I forgot to mention the Panthers (I didn't go to any games this year, but Jake did) but they had a nice little run this year, if you're into that kind of thing...
It's not a big city.
Sure, it's no New York City, but Charlotte is definitely bigger than I thought it would be. There is a bustling, but compact downtown (lovingly called Uptown) with retail on the way. All of the stores I would ever shop at are here (except maybe Celine, am I joking?!) and it was just named the 16th largest city in the country. Charlotte was recently ranked No. 2 among fastest growing large cities. Surprisingly, Charlotte has a similar population of Seattle, although it's spread out more over here.
Hopefully I was able to clear up some misconceptions you may have had about living in the Queen City. If you have anything to add, be sure to post in the comments section below. Not to keep you hanging, but I do promise to announce where we are moving to on the very next blog post. Are you on the edge of your seat yet?
Have a great weekend,