Girl’s getaway…CLT-style

This weekend I had a chance to get away with my daughter, our youngest, our baby. Our baby who will turn 22 next week. It’s crazy how fast time has flown in getting to this point.

It feels like yesterday that she was running around in pig tails hardly able to form sentences. Now she makes me laugh with the wit in her words.

All the travel I do for work has earned me a sizable amount of Marriott points. So, this weekend we decided to come down to Charlotte for two nights and stay at the JW. It’s a hotel more on the posh side and located in the “uptown” district of the city. For those of you not familiar with Charlotte, uptown = downtown.

We came in Friday night and my friend Bea joined us for a bit, which was great. Our families have become close friends since our move to the south.

Saturday, we woke leisurely (I even went back to bed until 8:30a —that’s unheard of!), enjoyed breakfast in the lounge and then headed out for the day. First stop — 2nd & Charles.

2nd & Charles is a giant, and I mean giant, used bookstore. Just rows and rows of books for the picking. In addition, they have vinyl, loads of old CDs, games, journals (unused) and miscellaneous merchandise of all kinds. We spent a good hour or so there just looking at all the things.

I was able to find a few books that I was interested in — not that I need more books right now, but at $3 & $5 bucks a pop I could hardly resist. My church journal is also filling up and it’s time for a new one of those once again so I was able to pick one up. How much I love my paper journals.

We left the bookstore and headed to the mall. I know…on a Saturday. Pretty gutsy. It was busy for sure, but we had a purpose. We headed to Athleta and got in on a 20% off sale, PLUS I had a zillion points so, we were able to walk out with two new leggings and a jog top for hardly anything. Happy birthday, Kenz!!

From there we headed back to the room to rest up and hang out for a bit before heading to a light dinner at Sophia’s lounge. This was a very cool speakeasy feeling place, known for their craft cocktails and small, shareable plates. By shareable, they mean the price listed is for each person to partake in the plate!

We hung out there for a while just chatting and enjoying our charcuterie and it hit me how fleeting this time is. And. How much I miss my own mom.

Mom and I made it at least an annual ritual to get away together. For a number of years we headed down to central Illinois where I’d attended college to stay at the Jumer’s French Chateaux hotel. Such good memories of our times there. Later, after she moved to Phoenix and I was a little more established at work, we would head to Vegas, the Grand Canyon, Sedona. Mom has been gone more than two decades, and some days the wound of losing her still feels fresh, and sometimes I feel like I’ve lived an entire lifetime without her. What I would do for another day.

I look forward to many more weekends like this with my girl. Forming memories that will last a lifetime, for both of us. It’s so easy to get caught up in the whirl of life and forget the precious gift of family that we’ve been given.

It’s Sunday morning and I’m letting Kenz sleep in. I’m sitting in the lounge here capturing my thoughts and enjoying a few minutes of quiet. I’m so thankful for the gift of this time together, for the things we did together, the laughs we shared. But most of all for the memories created. I look forward to seeing where life takes my girl. And I look forward to cheering her on throughout all the twists and curves along the way.

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