Last weekend, Lindsey and I went to Charlotte to visit her family. Her adventurous, fun-loving parents kept us very entertained. I can relate to their willingness to showcase their hometown; I am just as enthusiastic to do the same when people visit Austin. Each day had something fun and memorable.
On Saturday night, following a home-cooked meal, we ventured over to Crafty Beer Guys. This place is fairly new but a concept that I love. Lately, I have been using an app called Untappd to catalog which new beers I try, where I try them, and what I think of them. I also prefer to drink “locally” whenever I travel; this trip I managed to get at least one craft beer in a day. The app allows me to track what others in an area are drinking, nearby breweries and bars, and gives me recommendations based on my previous ratings of beers. A “craft beer” joint such as CBG made discussing local brews all the more convenient. Saturday night, I chose the Baby Maker by Triple C Brewing Company, an American IPA proving to hoist an 8.5% ABV. If you find yourself in Huntersville or want something different from a downtown bar in Charlotte, head over to this cozy home of hops.
Sunday, my run began in 55 degree temps, a far cry from Austin’s average. The 11.5 mile run to Lindsey’s old high school, North Meck, and back was great way to start my day. Afterwards, we enjoyed another home-cooked meal before heading out to Lake Norman. A friend of theirs chauffeured us around the lake while we pretended to look for real estate. The weather once again was noteworthy, adding to a peaceful afternoon. The local beer of the day was Olde Mecklenburg Brewery’s Copper Amber Ale.
Monday, we headed out to the U.S. National Whitewater Center, a manmade structure used to train for the Olympics. By going on a weekday after summer, we had picked the perfect day to go. The center plays host to a number of other activities: obstacle courses, high ropes courses, zip lines, hiking, mountain biking, a climbing wall, and flat water activities on the Catawba River. On the left is the view from one of the ropes course towers (also seen in my instagram account @themohawkmoon). The local brew I had for lunch was Highland Brewing Company’s Kashmir IPA.
Tuesday, I began my day with another cool run, packed for my afternoon flight back to Austin and hopped in the car to go curling. That’s right, curling. For this we went to the Extreme Ice Center in Charlotte. Members from the Charlotte Curling Club meet there on Tuesdays to play pick-up. One of them was nice enough to pay our fees and teach us the game. Lindsey’s parents, originally from Canada, had seen and played some of the game growing up; for Lindsey and I, we had only seen it from the olympics. The game requires balance, flexibility and a good bit of instinct. I would compare it to bowling and bocce, but on ice of course. One other game difference is after releasing the stone two other team members can sweep in front of it to keep it moving and straight. If you get a chance to visit a curling center or ice rink that offers curling near you, I recommend getting some friends together and giving it a go. The picture, though we are stacked to fit us both in the same frame, gives you a glimpse of the game (and the undefeated Hairy Coo Curling team) minus the sweeping.
Never a dull moment, the weekend was more than I could have expected. My flights back were slightly delayed, giving me time to reflect on the trip and enjoy one more beer. At the Atlanta airport, I stopped into Sweetwater Draft House & Grill. I sampled a couple of beers but most impressed by the Sweetwater Brewing Company’s 420 (American Pale Ale). If you have any weekend trip favorites or craft beers that I should try, leave them in a comment. Cheers!