There’s no place like NC

The past few days have been quite an adventure! Let me recap my weekend. I’ll consider it starting on Thursday night, since Friday I worked for a few hours – but it was basically a travel day.

Thursday night:

Elizabeth’s Birthday Party at Route 20 (on Route 20) just outside of Freeport… The restaurant was surrounded by cornfields – no homes or anything anywhere to speak of. Lucky girl was in Freeport for her 30th and got to celebrate in style. While all I wanted was a good burger (and had been saving up for it… not getting one elsewhere), it turned out to be just ‘eh.’ The pickle chips and homemade ranch on the other hand… nom nom delicious! Food so great you will want to lick your plate? I may or may not have done that with the ranch. Don’t judge me… wait, never mind… judge away!

Route 20, see it’s on Route 20 on the way to Freeport!

Me in a cornfield


Woke up early in Freeport, worked until lunchtime and felt very helpful! Enjoyed my 2 hour drive to O’Hare – I surely have logged a lot of ‘windshield time’ in the past few weeks.. Thank goodness I had XM Radio in my rental car. Really, I am not sure how I would have survived. Security at the airport took forever (yay Friday) but I made some friends in the security line that helped past the time with some chit chat. I was like an hour and 45 minutes early, so I decided to pass the time with a few glasses of wine – and wandered the airport until I found my spot. Wicker Park – they served sushi. Airport sushi, I braved it… and survived. It was good, hastily put together, but not as good as the sushi I had in Freeport.

Alaskan Roll and Yellowtail Roll

2 glasses of wine later… I was in a great mood and it was time to board the plane!! I was provided more wine by the lovely and oh-so-friendly US Airways flight attendants (read: not friendly.) About 2 hours later, I was finally back in Charlotte – oh, it had been a long two weeks and one day (not that I was counting or anything…). Hung out at the airport for a little while while I waited for Christine to arrive from DC for the night. She made it! And we cabbed it back to my apartment – so happy to be back at my apartment!

We went to Tavern on the Tracks across the street from my apartment – I got the black bean burger with pepperjack (I forgot to take a picture, but don’t worry… it’s my favorite thing on the menu and I eat there like 4 times a week). If you live in or near South End Charlotte, you must check this place out. The food is all homemade and delicious – I haven’t had a bad thing on the menu, and I’ve tried a lot of it. I keep mentioning ranch dressing – but they have a chipotle ranch that is just divine – I could basically dip anything in it and be happy. They had a live band that was mildly entertaining – food and company were great 🙂

Cheers! Beer for me, margarita for Christine

We then went to the bar next door called The Gin Mill. The bar was pretty quiet – maybe it’s because it was Friday? But… they had cheap drinks, good people watching – they have a rooftop bar where people were playing cornhole. It was fun! I’ll definitely go back – maybe on a Saturday night it will be more lively!!


Saturday started with me not knowing where I was when I woke up (no, it wasn’t all the wine…). I was very confused not to be in a hotel, but much to my excitement I realized I was waking up in NC!!! Which, no matter where I am in the state – it is my favorite place to be. I took Christine to the airport so she could continue on her weekend adventures. Then I went to the Farmers Market, World Market, and Target. The Farmers Market trip was very successful, and until our farmshare starts up – I plan to visit here at least once a week to pick up fresh produce. The rest of my Saturday was not that entertaining – so I will spare you the details.

Here is my creation with Farmers Market veggies: baby spinach, baby bella mushrooms, onions, tomatoes, cucumbers, garbanzo beans, and ham. Also, featuring homemade ranch – it looks like there is a lot on there, but it’s pretty thin dressing (and super low in fat/calories). If I used a recipe for it, I would share it… but basically I take low fat or fat free sour cream, add in a tiny bit of low fat mayo, and enough milk to my liking for the consistency, then add a packet of buttermilk ranch dry mix, some garlic powder, and lots and lots of black pepper – this can be modified in almost any way and still taste delicious.

Farmers Market Salad

Today was a good day for a drive. Spent the day in Knoxville – usually when I am in the car for more than… oh 10 minutes, it gets dangerous because I start thinking about everything. But, today’s drive was really good – for some reason it cleared my head. Anyway, why the heck did I go back to Knoxville? Katie, you complained about living there for 11 months…

Well, my friend Sehar who lives in Nashville and I came up with the brilliant idea to go see the Glee 3D concert movie together. Yes, we are Gleeks that couldn’t face the prospect of going to the movie without each other. Knoxville was the only logical meeting place. The movie was great and the company was as well! I once again live in a different city than (most of) my friends – so it’s nice catching up with ones that used to be your neighbor!

The movie was what I expected – it was basically like seeing the New Directions in concert… and while I don’t usually get all philosophical, I really did like the message of the movie. In between concert scenes, they featured three real life Gleeks that each had an inspirational story. At first I was like “ugh, show the characters – that’s why I came to see the movie!” But in the end, their stories tied in to the concert “experience” nicely and it was a bit like watching Glee + True Life: I’m a Gleek/midget/gay/have aspergers.

Gleeks in Glasses

All in all, this has been a great weekend filled with great food, great friends, and lots of travel! Looking forward to just pushing through this week and what next weekend has in store (and staying in NC for once!!)


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