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Last weekend I visited Charlotte, N.C. for my first time. A friend of mine from college lives there, so in addition to getting to see them, I was able to experience what “Southern Hospitality” is all about.

Overall I was impressed with the area. They call their downtown area “uptown,” thus invoking a Bruno Mars-sing-a-long every time it was mentioned (“Funk you up!”). About 75 people move there a day, so the the city is experiencing a vast amount of growth.

Of course, my trip did not come without its share of moments that reminded me I was far from home. At a house party, a woman spotted an oppossum and immediately went to grab her gun. Later she explained that she would have shot it but she left her purse in the car.

Other noteworthy moments: jogging past a front yard with a chicken pen (live hens included!), seeing a liquor store with a kids play area and of course being called an “expletive Yankee.”

There were also some great people, excellent food (BBQ! Grits!) and a whole lot of sunshine.