This past weekend was all about getting to know the people of Charlotte a little bit better. And after two back-to-back sporting events, I was hyped to see if the weekend could maintain such a high level of excitement. As I came to find out, not only was it possible, but that’s exactly what happened.
Friday, I participated in my very first 5k. Held by Free More West, the “5k on the Greenway” offered everything from great food, live music and even pre-race yoga. While I’m always happy to support a good cause, I wanted to test out my recent transition into healthier living as well. In the end, I finished the course with a time of 28:43.9. I’m not sure if that’s good or not, but I don't think it's too shabby for a first-timer. After I crossed the finish line, I chatted up some of the other participants and told them about #TGAA. Everyone was really impressed with the project and told me of their own adventures in return. I also got wind of an event taking place the next day, which immediately struck my fancy.
This leads me to Saturday, when I attended the “Charlotte Smokeoff: Amateur Backyard BBQ Championship” at Unknown Brewing. I’ve always considered my stops in Charlotte, Memphis and St. Louis to be the trifecta of barbecue, so I was overjoyed to finally get a taste of what the Carolinas have to offer. The scrumptious bites of pulled pork, smoked chicken and habanero mac n’ cheese did not disappoint in the least. After pushing my limits the prior evening, it was a welcomed change of pace to stuff my face with delicious local fare. I like to think that you can’t truly know a city, until you’ve tasted its food. So, needless to say, I have a better—and more filling—understanding of Charlotte now. In between the samples, I even managed to talk with some of the pit masters about sauces, smokes and cuts—you know, normal stuff.
After an entire week of new experiences and unexpected outings, I decided that Easter Sunday was best spent resting up and reading in the nearby Freedom Park. I did cap off the evening by catching the movie Draft Day though. I absolutely loved it and even got a little homesick while watching it. Truth be told, I couldn’t have asked for a more beautiful day, or for that matter, a more beautiful week.