The beauty of a city like Charlotte is that it has so much to offer. Shopping, restaurants, bars, breweries... you name it, the Queen City has it. New houses go up every day, the job market is promising. Plus there's plenty of green space: parks, trails, walkways, greenways. You don't really have an excuse to be a couch potato around here. Especially with events that mix the beer with the brawn.
Yet, the small town girl in me recognizes a good thing when she sees it, even if it's not an urban advantage. Case in point, I tried a new place for lunch today after reading with my CMS student. I crossed the lake over into SC with the intention of getting a smoothie. I ended up instead with a sandwich, chips and a drink... as well as a pickle and a little dab of coleslaw... which I learned come complimentary with the sammie.
When I walked in, I was instantly greeted by a woman behind the counter with a sweet smile and chomping at the bit to tell me the different breads for my sandwich and an array of drink options. Then I sat at a high top table awaiting my food. The place was not fancy, in fact, the floor looked like it could use some work. But that didn't stop a steady stream of folks from filing in, taking the time to exchange pleasantries before grabbing a bite to eat.
This simple, everyday experience made me stop and think: I wonder if there are people in CLT who've never ventured out into these smaller communities. Especially those who are from big cities. Oh sure, they go to secluded mountain towns and trendy downtown areas on the outskirts. No, what I'm talking about are these plain old places where people have lived and worked their entire lives. There are no attractions, no hot spots, no claims to fame. Just pure hospitality.
There's something to be said for the way a lunch lady's smile brightens the day. The way religious music playing off an iPod fills the room with a sense of calm. The way a dab of coleslaw tastes so damn good you wish you could've ordered a tub.
Then, you see a woman, walking away with the smoothie you should have ordered, whipped cream and all. And it's official: you're definitely coming back. For the treat, and all the feels.