5.17.2014

My Trip to Charlotte: Work, Big-City Exploring, and Luna's Living Kitchen!

     When your boss offers to send you on an all-expenses-paid trip to a city you haven’t spent much time in (ok, so I’ve only been to Ikea and back), you don’t say no. This weekend I had the opportunity to spend a few days in Charlotte, North Carolina for a marketing conference at the Charlotte City Club. To be completely honest, when I left my house at 5am to head for Charlotte, I wasn’t expecting much out of my weekend other than to gain some new insight into the world of marketing. 

     At the last minute I decided to contact one of my very old friends who now lives in Charlotte to see if he wanted to grab dinner and catch up a bit after my meeting. He ended up showing me around the whole city and it made for an awesome experience. Charlotte is a really unique place. When you’re in downtown, you feel like you are in a huge city. But its only a ten minute drive until you’re driving down rural roads again. 
Latta Plantation
Latta Plantation
     Even though we knew there was a good chance it was about to rain, we went to Latta Plantation. He wanted me to see the more peaceful and secluded side of Charlotte. It was hard to believe at first that this park was only about 15 minutes away from the busy downtown. It was gorgeous and every bit worth running back to the car just in time to miss the rain. 


     After we left the park, we headed to dinner at Luna’s Living Kitchen. I’ve never been to a vegan restaurant before, so I was eager to see how they could make tasty dinners using only raw ingredients. I’ve gotta say, I was blown away. I enjoy healthy food to begin with, but this stuff was out-of-this-world delicious. We ordered the falafel platter as our appetizer and OH. MAN. Dare I say this falafel was far better than any of the deep fried stuff I’ve had in the past? It was. The platter also came with some of the most flavorful olives I’ve ever eaten and pickled celery, cauliflower, and carrots. 
Dinner at "Luna's Living Kitchen"

     For dinner I ordered a kale lemonade (yum!) and their signature dish, the lunasagna. I don’t know how they made a fully-raw lasagna taste so amazing, but it exceeded all of my expectations. If you are ever in Charlotte, you have to give this place a try. Not only is the food to-die-for, but the atmosphere is very relaxing and the prices are reasonable. They even sell fresh juices to-go, so I bought one for breakfast the next morning. 
"Tree of Life" Juice
     After dinner we made a quick trip to Ikea to pick up a shoe rack/bench that I’ve had my eye on for a while, but didn’t want to shell out the extra $40 for shipping. Then, Billy gave me the grand tour of downtown. We went around all of the major banking buildings by walking through overstreet mall, and we explored the epicenter. The buildings boasted some pretty impressive architecture, and I was surprised by how clean and open the city felt.
Wells Fargo Building
     Overall I had a great time and was glad I took the opportunity to learn more about my field and spend some time in Charlotte, NC. If you ever get the chance to visit the city I would highly recommend it. I can’t guarantee you’ll have a tour guide as good as mine was, but I have no doubt you’ll have a memorable time. 


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