Thursday, April 5, 2012

Exploring Charlotte With An Old Friend

Last weekend my good friend Jen came to visit from New Hampshire.  You may remember, I went to visit her in September.  We grew up across the street from each other and have known eachother since we were a year old.  She actually hasn't been to Charlotte before, and I've lived here about 5 1/2 years.  She was a little busy having children- two little boys.

I picked her up at the airport on Friday and one of the first things on my agenda was to swing by the grocery store.  I had prepped the house for the visit, but hadn't had time grocery shop and we were out of a bunch of things, especially produce.  Jen and I were discussing organic vs. regular produce and I was busy throwing strawberries, blueberries, lettuce, cilantro, bananas, and carrots in my cart.  Out of the blue, we were approached by a bunch of people that wanted to give us a $25 gift card to Harris Teeter (the grocery store we were in) for choosing healthy food- Yay!  They had a new product line called Eat Think Smile that Harris Teeter would be selling and they told me to check it out if I'd like.  I picked up a bag of Cinnamon Almond Granola Clusters.

They were delicious and we definitely munched on them throughout the weekend.

Friday night's agenda included a gathering of my friends for a birthday at Customshop. 

I started with a glass of wine.  The girls at my table split this bottle.

I think it was Poggio Anima Montepulciano 2009I'm not sure though, Kelly picked it.

We started with a meat and cheese board.

We had proscuitto, sopressata, drunken goat, parmesan reggiano, and manchego.  It was all really good, but I wish the portions were a little bigger since our table of six killed this in about 5 minutes.

Jen and I split two entrees- the ricotta gnocchi and the scallops.  I've had the gnocchi every time I've been to Customshop and it's always really good.  This time, like the cheeseboard, I thought the portion was smaller, and they had also changed the sauce to a tomato based one.  I think it the past the sauce was different.

The scallops were perfect.

A good time was had by all.

Saturday, I had a 4 miler scheduled for my run. 

Jen has been running a little too, so she decided to run with me for part of my run.  We did the first mile together, then I broke off to do more.  I actually ended up running into Jen about a mile and a half in!  I ran with her for a little while.  She was doing 12 miles and is actually in much better running shape than me, despite having a baby 4+ months ago.  My year of running/ not running, and pregnancy/not pregnant has left me slower to get back into running shape. I ended up doing 4.1 miles, so I'm on track for my 10K in a couple weeks.  Jen is doing the half marathon.

After our run and some lunch, we headed to South Park Mall for some retail therapy.  Jen has two little boys, and loved being in a mall sans kids.  We were both successful at Banana Republic and Sephora.

For dinner, we went to 300 East.  It was a gorgeous night, so we sat outside and each ordered a glass of white wine.  I had a pinot grigio.

We started with the sweet potato ravioli as an appetizer.  The ravioli has a fantastic gorganzola cream sauce and toasted walnuts.  We kind of wanted to lick the bowl...

We also each ordered salad.  I got my the same one I usually order at 300 East, the sonoma salad, with crab meat.


We followed up dinner with an unpictured round of froyo from Menchies, and a drive through uptown Charlotte, so I could show Jen the city.

Sunday involved a round of creme brulee french toast (I still owe you guys the recipe!).

Jen teaches English and public speaking, and has each of her students show her a skill.  Jen participates too, as an example, and her presentation was on how to fold a fitted sheet (you can google it on youTube for examples).

We saw the Hunger Games (time #2 for me), since Jen had read the book and wanted to see it.

Then had drinks and chips and salsa on the deck.

I made lettuce wraps for dinner, but we were too engrossed in conversation for me to get a picture! 

Anyway, I'm so glad Jen came to visit and I was able to show her around my home city.  I miss her all the time now that we live so far apart, but I'm glad that we have both made the effort to visit each other and keep our friendship alive.


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