Trip to Charlotte, North Carolina

Image            Even though we live in Raleigh, we chose to spend St. Patrick’s Day in Charlotte.  Of course, that trip involved a 3-hour train ride (each way) on Amtrak’s Piedmont that leaves early morning and returns early evening.  The weather was perfect for the outing, and we had a personal escort with Jack Stein, volunteer host of the train, and his wife Wanda.  He escorted us on the bus from the station to downtown and even made lunch reservations at the Mint Museum’s Café.

We missed the parade but got right in the middle of the street fair that not only lasted all day but apparently also into the evening.  It was a sea of green.  I got up too early to catch the train to even think about wearing green, but no one noticed.  Because it was warm and sunny most people wore green t-shirts (all the same hue), but there were a few more colorful characters,

Charlotte’s downtown is certainly more impressive than Raleigh with the long rows of skyscrapers along Tryon Street.  Of course, Charlotte has the big banks and big money, and Raleigh largely is dominated by state office buildings.  We copied their design for Tryon St. when we renovated Fayetteville St., but we have the old State Capitol Bldg. that is unique.

The city has a slew of new museums, arenas, and stadiums that have opened in recent years, but we only had time to sample three museums: The Mint, The Bechtler, and Discovery Place.  We also didn’t have time to go a couple of blocks west to sample the new light rail train blue line.

With the train fare, meals, and admissions, the Saturday outing ran almost $100 each, which is rather pricey for me, but it was a very enjoyable day.  It wasn’t that tiring because the passenger train cars are big, quiet, smooth, with large reclining chairs, and big windows so it was a rather relaxing trip even for a long day.

As usual, see my photos at my personal photos

Next month we head to South Carolina, but that will be an overnight trip.


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