Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Life List: Once Upon a Time in North Carolina

It all started with a dresser.

A long, long time ago, in a land far, far away (Texas), Prince Matt owned this brown dresser that lived in his walk-in closet. It had begun to rebel, expelling undershirts and matched gold-toe socks every time a drawer was opened, as each drawer-bottom had partially capsized into the drawer below.

He put up with this dragon of a dresser until soon after his wedding to Princess Allie, at which point they figured, they had a walk-in closet, Princess Allie had a dresser big enough to allow him half the drawers, so they didn't really need this broken-down dresser anymore. It was valliantly slain and laid to rest at Goodwill.

And they lived happily ever after, until they moved to Virginia.

Now, their new castle did not have walk-in closets, and it would have been awkward to share such small spaces. Princess Allie took the master closet and still needed every drawer in her dresser, while Prince Matt took the guest room closet.

Prince Matt figured out really quickly that it was kind of a pain to walk from the en-suite to the guest room closet every time he needed clean intimates, so the royal family decided to make a trip to that glorious Swedish palace — IKEA — to find the prince a new dresser.

Except Virginia once again foiled their plans. The only IKEA in all the land was a grueling 4-hour carriage ride away, near Washington D.C., so instead, they decided to leave their kingdom to go to the only other IKEA nearby, which happened to be in Charlotte, North Carolina. They decided to make a day trip of it, and see some other local attractions while they were there.

And thus, Princess Allie got to cross another state off her Life List.


We pulled in to Charlotte around 11:30 in the morning, and made our way to Pure Pizza in Uptown for lunch. I had read reviews that said it was in this cute marketplace type area. I'm not sure what I was expecting when I read "marketplace," but it was not this.

It was this enclosed food court area, but with local shops — wine shops, cheese shops, butcher shops — and eateries all over the place.
We ordered a pesto pizza, which was quite delicious, and when we had consumed the whole thing, I managed to start some of my Christmas buying at one of the shops. (You've always got to have an eye out for perfect gifts!)
After lunch, we braved the chill — though NC was warmer than VA! — and walked around downtown for a bit.
Matt asked me why I always have to get photos with statues, and I had to remind him about college.

When we got close to the public library, we saw all these pillars with famous literary quotes on them, so I had to stop and take photos. And then Matt was like, well, why don't we go in?
The man never set a single foot in either of the College Station libraries in the NINE YEARS he lived there, so I about died of shock that he wanted to go in, but he said it was because the library was probably warm. Ha!
It was. And it was very pretty on the inside, and on the third floor it had this kinda neat gallery hallway with photos of the beautiful homes that used to be in the neighborhood, but have since been knocked down to make way for skyscrapers and drugstores because we're not allowed to have nice things.

Once we were sufficiently warmed, we drove the couple of blocks to the other place I really wanted to see: Green Park. It's basically a literature-themed park, and it was lovely and I would like to live there.
They had poems engraved in metal and draped over the edges of benches, and towering book statues, and a hopscotch made of words.
It was magical. I wish the fish fountains had been turned on, but it was probably too cold for such things.
 Mosaic tile throw pillows for sitting!

Our next stop was the Carolinas Aviation Museum. Now, we've gone and seen airplanes before, because Matt really enjoys museums about airplanes, and well, he did take me to the library and a book-themed park. Normally, I could give or take another airplane museum, just because I don't find them that fascinating, but this one had a really excellent exhibit about the plane that crashed into the Hudson River back in 2009. 
They had the exact plane, and video interviews from the people on board (every person on the plane survived), and luggage, and the voiceovers from the cockpit as the pilot determined they were going to have to make a crash landing three minutes into the flight. There was even some engineering and math stuff about the angle of impact, landing procedures and everything, and it was all very well done. I quite enjoyed that, and so I'd probably recommend this one more than any of the other airplane museums we've seen.
Just like I need to pose with statues, I needed Matt to smile next to the plane that looks like it's smiling. :)

Finally, our last stop before heading back home was to IKEA. Can I just say that IKEA kind of sucks? I mean, yeah it's fun, and you end up buying 10 things you didn't know you needed until you got there. But you have to walk behind slow people who want to look at every single thing in the store, and if you've only come for one particular thing, you still have to wind your way through the entire thing to get it. Plus, we've gotten out of that college-kid mindset, so we were looking for real-wood pieces that were a little bit nicer than what you traditionally think of when you think IKEA.

We did end up getting Matt a real-pine dresser, which was important to him, and it wasn't that weird brown-black hybrid color, which was important to me. (Seriously, does brown-black match anything other than more IKEA furniture?! Our coffee tables are brown-black and I kind of hate them.)
I promise I'll share house photos one of these days. It's almost completely set up now!

And of course, we also wound up getting a TV stand, and a lamp, and a rolling pin because both Matt and I were tired of my using the sides of water bottles to roll out pizza dough. Then finally, with our IKEA haul loaded into Matt's truck bed, we pulled out of Charlotte and headed back home.

Do you like IKEA? Have you started Christmas shopping yet? 


  1. Those mosaic throw pillows are so cool!

    And we totally have the same dresser, in the brown-black, because it matches all our other brown-black IKEA stuff (Desk, coffee table, dining table, dining table chairs, nightstand, etc...) I can't seem to get away from it. :P

    We've gotten so "good" at going to IKEA that we can get in and out fairly quickly by taking the shortcuts without winding around everything, but yeah... the store setup is so annoying sometimes. First time we moved together we went to IKEA three times in one month and my husband almost exploded with rage, even though we were getting faster and faster each time!

  2. This post is hilarious! Yay for day trips, and as a Texan, I will never get over the fact that you can drive to another state and come home the same day. So funny about Matt never entering a library during his college career, because I felt like I lived in them.

    And I loathe shopping at IKEA. To me, it feels like an airport, and people walk so slowly. We try to take the shortcuts and get out as soon as possible. I actually feel claustrophobic there and I've read that IKEA is notorious for causing arguments between couples because the setting is so stressful.

  3. I love that particular IKEA line! You're so right about IKEA. We make it better by getting a soft-serve cone on the way in and on the way out. That book-themed park is amazing!

  4. That park looks like so much fun!! And I laughed really hard at that pic of Matt. :) The last time I went to IKEA it was to get something random (I can't even remember what), and I tried to take shortcuts and got totally and utterly lost. But I did get a free cup of coffee because I joined their family club. So there was that. :)

  5. If you ever find yourself heading down to the Charlotte Ikea again, let me know! I'd love to meet up with you! The 7th Street Market is so fun. The coffee shop in there is delicious!

  6. I forgot that you moved there! So sorry. Will definitely let you know next time, it'd be great to see you!

  7. Oh my goodness, three times in a month … you are a superwoman.

  8. Did you ever watch 30 Rock? There was an episode about how IKEA destroys relationships, and the episode was funny while also being sadly accurate. Clips from it:

  9. That's a good idea. We did stop for dinner at the halfway mark, and that made the second half much better. :-D

  10. I asked him if he wanted that photo, and he said no, and I said that he had to take it anyway because I have a weird thing for photos of people posing with inanimate objects. :)

  11. Katie @ A Beautiful Little AdvNovember 20, 2014 at 12:50 PM

    Sounds like a fun day trip! Love that park. Also I think my most favorite thing about this post is when you admitted to using water bottles to roll out pizza dough. That's both genius and hilarious :)

  12. I've always been a little hesitant to order furniture online without having seen it in person first, otherwise we might have considered that if we hadn't been able to drive down.

  13. Ha! It's the only kitchen item I had that was long enough and rollable! But now I am a proper domestic goddess, and so when I bake things should magically just not be disasters. :)