What would you do if you were leaving Charlotte, and had just a few weeks left to do everything you love in the Queen City? Where would you eat, what beer would you drink, who would you spend your time with?
Okay, so I’m being a little bit dramatic: I’m not leaving Charlotte forever (nothing could keep me away for that long), but I am leaving for now. With my boxes packed and my security deposit returned, I’m ready to head north for the winter. That’s how you’re supposed to do it, right?
But before I left the Queen City for a new, shiny job, I had to make my “last” month in Charlotte count for something. Here are the places I had to go, the people I had to see and the stuff I had to do.
(1) Eat fried pickles at VBGB.
I love fried pickles, and the fried pickles at VBGB are incredible. Not too much breading, and plenty of ranch on the side, just the way they should be. VBGB is one of my favorite places to hang out on weekday nights, when it’s not too crowded. Play a game of giant Jenga, order a Honey Nut Cheerios shot (this was on the list of specials one time and it was AMAZING) and make sure your fried pickles order is a large.
(2) Drive to Fort Mill for Grouchos.
I’ve worked in Fort Mill for the past two years. Less than a week after my very last day, I found myself sheepishly texting my work friends to see if they wanted to go to Grouchos “one last time.” I made the 35-minute drive out there, just for an STP sandwich with pink sauce (not the actual name, but whatever, it’s pink and it is amazing). The man on the door was even wearing a similar outfit to me, which I think was his way of saying “I’ll never forget you, my most loyal patron.”
(3) Stay out way too late at the Roxbury.
I won’t be too sad if I never spent another night walking on a sticky floor at Dandelion or Prohibition, but the Roxbury – that’s a place I’ll miss. There’s something about the ’90s music and The Breakfast Club playing on a TV in the background. I can dance my heart out at the Roxbury, and that’s exactly what I did.
(4) Brunch at Krazy Fish.
Here’s a Haiku I wrote to say goodbye to the buffalo fried shrimp tacos and jalapeño cheddar grits at Krazy Fish, on Central Avenue.
Don’t you ever say
I just walked away. Cheese grits,
I’ll always love you.
(5) Splurge on Ru San’s sushi.
In my opinion, and according to my bank account, Ru San’s is the very best sushi in Charlotte. I went there three times in the past month, and I’m not sorry about it. Not. Sorry. At. All.
(6) Drink wine with my mom.
It’s funny how when you’re leaving somewhere, you only do the things you want to do. Some obligations stop feeling obligatory. I passed on doing a lot of chores and tasks just to drink wine with my mom instead.
(7) Win a game of ping-pong at Sycamore.
This was a really exciting moment, and just one final reason I love Sycamore more than anywhere else. Other reasons: vanilla beer.
(8) Take a trip to Myrtle Beach.
One thing I love about Charlotte is its proximity to South Carolina beaches. Although Litchfield and Pawley’s Island are my favorite beaches near-ish the Queen City, a trip to good old Myrtle can be exactly what the doctor ordered. (Even if he didn’t order a dozen hush puppies and endless sangria.)
(9) Throw a party for my best Charlotte friends.
I wore a crown and made some really disgusting pancake shots that tasted nothing like pancakes. I received some Charlotte-themed gifts and almost cried, but somehow didn’t. Proud of myself for that.