Our Weekend Trip to Charlotte, North Carolina

by Crystal Carder

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This past weekend, we went to Charlotte, North Carolina. Even though the trip was originally meant for business, my family had to leave some time for fun!

The night before our family’s trip actually started things begun to get rocky. My family even considered canceling our trip.

The camper place we were using had forgotten to schedule our truck to get a hitch and brake lights on and they wanted us to change our pickup date to Monday. With work and a hotel already booked, we knew Monday would never work.  After threatening to not get the camper, the place finally worked with us. The camper shop decided to send us to a muffler shop in Concord, North Carolina.  The only problem was,  we had to be there at 10 A.M. Meaning, we would have to wake up around 2 A.M. the next morning!  That meant our relaxing trip was out the window. We now had to rush our trip. 

 At 2  A.M. the next morning, my family hopped in the car and begun our 7-hour long drive. Thank goodness for Dunkin Donuts because about 45 minutes down, my husband and I were already feeling the sting of tiredness. We grabbed a coffee in Morgantown, West Virginia and filled up on gas and quickly got back on our way.

 A few more hours into our drive, the sun was finally coming up and we were around one of the most beautiful places in West Virginia, New River Gorge. We didn’t intend to get out and see the bridge, but after driving over it, I knew if we didn’t, we would regret it. So, we turned around.

 At 6 A.M. that morning my husband and I walked three kids down to the New River Gorge viewing area. My family has all been there before, but this was the first time my children can actually remember it.  

new river gorge wv

The view that morning was breathtaking. Fog rose between mountain peaks. And, I eventually got a few pictures that looked so surreal.

After our family left the Gorge, it seemed like endless bathroom breaks. We were getting off almost every exit because someone had to pee. When we finally did get on the road, the kids were hungry, so our trip made its way to a Kroger.

Since our oldest was still recovering from his tonsillectomy, we had to find him something he would eat. But, being as stubborn as he is, he only wanted Gogurts with Avengers on. So, we spent twenty more minutes in the store, looking for something he would eat. He eventually settled on the same Gogurts he didn’t want the first time.

 A little later, and a few hours to go, our family finally made it to North Carolina. This time the GPS took us a different route and I finally got to see the city of Winston-Salem.

At 11 o’clock, we finally made it to the muffler shop for our hitch.

My husband and I, almost immediately, started second guessing ourselves. We decided that if the muffler shop said the hitch would take longer than two hours, we would just forget about it. It was like God wanted us to get that camper because the muffler shop told us it would be two hours max. Then, we waited with three over rambunctious kids for 6 hours! There’s literally just something about the way God knows what’s best for you!

When we got out of that muffler shop, needless to say, we were beat and ready to make it to the hotel.

It was about 5 o’clock and our hotel was 30 miles away, in the heart of Charlotte and it was rush hour.

hotel in Charlotte

After fighting to keep the kids awake we finally made it to our hotel, only to realize we needed to make a trip to the grocery store.

Our kids were hungry, so we ended up at a Publix Grocery Store.

Another hour and a half down, we were back at the hotel. We ate and then took the kids swimming for a while. That killed a lot less time than we expected, so we took a ride.

We ended up in South Carolina, somehow and in a little bit of a rough neighborhood. Of course, I choose this time to look at recent news about Charlotte and I read Charlotte was number 1 for sex trafficking. So, we decided to head back to our hotel, before nightfall, and it wasn’t long till we went to bed.

The next morning, we woke up semi-early and decided to explore the city. We saw a few things, but it was more the fact of how clean downtown Charlotte was, that impressed us.

Still, the one thing that my kids couldn’t get enough of was the airplanes. Charlotte has so many airplanes flying in and out, that when we heard there was an overlook, we had to go.

Airport looking Charlotte nc

The airport overlook was probably our favorite thing we did. None of us have ever been on an airplane before, so watching one take off was pretty neat.

Since we had to be in Concord at 1 o’ to pick up our camper, we spent our last few hours at the Concord Mills Mall.

Maybe it’s because we live in the sticks, but the Concord Mills Mall is huge!! One of the places our kids couldn’t get enough of, though, was the Disney Store. Frankly, I was seriously impressed with the amount of Disney items my kids are missing out on!

After we left the mall, it was about time to head to the Camper shop, so our family headed right there.

Thankfully, the camper place was fast and our family was in and out in about two hours.

weekend trip to Charlotte

My husband and I originally planned on camping that night, but we got a little nervous. So, at 4 pm, we decided to drive the 7 hours back home.

And, the rest is history. Somewhere around 10 P.M., I fell asleep. My poor husband had to drive the next three hours in peace and quiet. What can I say though, he’s pretty amazing!

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