The Hungry Wanderers

Eating and exploring our way through the world

And We’re Off… Good-bye Charlotte

Posted by gingerbreadpirate on April 25, 2010

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Well, the day that we’ve been thinking of had finally come; we were moving away from Charlotte.  It was a hectic day, indeed.  Half the day I spent working, half the day I spent working with the movers and cleaning, and half the day we spent preparing for the trip (packing the car, getting hotels, etc.)  It seems like three halves is impossible.  I’m reasonably certain my math teachers and professors would agree.  However, as far as I’m concerned, I have physical proof that I managed to squeeze it all in on Friday.

The movers were friendly, fun, and hard-working, but it took longer than we expected to get the house emptied.  Once they were gone, it was like a closing shot from a season finale of a sitcom.  Rooms emptied except for maybe one or two boxes bound for the car.  Soon we would be locking the front door forever.

But not quite yet.  We still had all the cleaning to do, so that the house would be in good shape for being rented.  And we still needed to pack the car.  And we still needed to take out all the trash.  And we still needed to take the cats to the kennel for boarding.  And we still needed to terminate the cable service.  And we.. and we… the list seemed interminable.

As 9 pm came and went, we were rounding the end of packing the car and getting all the trash out.  It was a slow process.  Finally, though, the time came for us to walk through all the rooms to verify they were all completely empty, turn off all the lights, and close the front door.  It was surreal.  I’ve moved before, but it’s never felt like this.  Leaving all our friends for something otherwise so undefined… and taking 6 days to get there.  How odd?  Finally, the door was locked, and we headed for the car.  It was about 9:10.  I felt like we were the Baltimore Colts, sneaking out in the middle of the night.  We had only told a couple of neighbors we were even moving, simply because we hadn’t seen them (keep in mind all the travel we’ve done recently). 

Believe it or not, we were tired after all that.  And generally grumpy.  Not in any kind of angry way, really.  Just in the “it’s been a long day, and things took longer than expected, and we still don’t have a hotel, and when are we going to be able to see our friends again, and I hope the cats are alright, and…” kind of way. 

We decided to meet up with some friends at OMB.  They were scheduled to get there at 7, but we had long since abandoned the idea of meeting them there on time.  We decided to try to get some rest and relaxation, along with some camaraderie, just before slipping out into the Charlotte night. 

OMB was just the trick.  We had a great time.  Some friends invited us to Nolen Kitchen for a late night meal.  We had managed to skip dinner, so we knew we needed SOMETHING.  Nolen Kitchen sounded good to us.

Dinner was great, albeit a bit late.  We didn’t get out of dinner until after midnight.  The Wife had managed to make a reservation at the Westin.  We decided early in the week that we were going to use Hotwire to book a 4-star hotel in Charlotte, and let the magic of Hotwire determine where we would be staying.  This wasn’t our first Westin, as we had stayed in one for her sister’s wedding in 2007 in Annapolis.  They are wonderful chain hotels, with remarkably luxurious amenities. 

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As we woke up Saturday morning, it was with melancholy anticipation that we headed for the car.  We enjoyed our dual-showerhead shower, and got ready to depart the city for our last time as residents.  Anytime we return, we will be guests… visitors… tourists. 

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When we had our first Thanksgiving in Charlotte, the Wife saved the turkey’s wishbone.  We had never made a wish, but we decided we would save it for something special.  During packing, I had painstakingly shuffled it from place to place so it wouldn’t be broken, nor would it be forgotten.  Now, feeling like we needed a little emotional boost, I pulled it out to show the Wife.  She smiled.  I suggested that we make a new tradition; we will save the wishbone from the first Thanksgiving in any new city we move to, and we will make a wish when we move on.  It sounded like a wonderfully simple and elegant tradition to begin. 

We both took several seconds to decide on what to wish for, and then each grabbed an end.  We pulled.  The wishbone exploded.  Pieces flew all over the room.  There was no satisfying “dominant” piece.  We each held a small remnant of the entire wishbone.  Had the moment been just a bit more somber, I fear the Wife would have burst into tears, and I would have crawled back into bed.  Not so, this morning, though.  We smiled at each other and burst into laughter.  We had made a new tradition, and managed to destroy that tradition all in 3 minutes.  The event gave us an emotional, boost, oddly enough, and we packed up our things and headed for the car.

IMG_8263Perhaps the Wife asked for a sign to help us realize it was ok to move on.  And maybe she got her wish in the destruction of the wishbone.

Either way, good-bye Charlotte.  We have called you home for nearly three years, and we’re sad to see you go.  We hope the feeling is mutual.  We’re excited about new places, new faces, and new experiences.  In the mean time, we’re hauling down I-40 across the country, and we hope you’ll come back and see how our trip goes.

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3 Responses to “And We’re Off… Good-bye Charlotte”

  1. kath said

    Tears!!

    We will miss you guys.

  2. Matt said

    I like to think that you’re still in Charlotte, but you just don’t want to hang out with us anymore

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