Hey friends! So I thought I would do a little recap of the trip that Stephen and I took to Charlotte for my birthday. And I want to start off by saying one thing in particular because I feel like this can happen a lot. So many times, on social media especially, we see people taking these crazy and elaborate trips. Well, that isn’t realistic for a lot of people when it comes down to either having the time or money to do that. Even on our way to Charlotte, Stephen was like, is this gift/trip lame? And I was like NO! I guess my point is, everything is what you make of it. I honestly had such a good time in Charlotte with Stephen. Did it matter that we didn’t travel somewhere far away or elaborate? No, it didn’t. So, yeah, while those bigger trips are definitely fun, they aren’t always necessary! Okay, rant done hahah.
So, Stephen decided that we would spend my birthday in Charlotte because a couple months ago we were both talking about how we haven’t ever really explored the city. It’s a huge city and it’s less than 3 hours from Durham/Raleigh so we were like that may be a place to take a weekend trip to! So then, once my birthday rolled around Stephen told me that we were going to Charlotte for the weekend–fun! I honestly love going to new places and especially trying out new restaurants. Charlotte has so many great ones to choose from plus their shopping is amazing haha, so I was definitely looking forward to going.
We ended up getting there Saturday afternoon and starting off with pizza. What else?! We went to this really cute spot that my bestie recommended (she is a big foodie and sent me a list of Charlotte’s 18 Top New Resturants, I’ll link it here). They had this outdoor patio area and the weather was PERFECT! It was so nice outside. So we sat out there, enjoyed some beer & wine, and ordered two pizzas to share. The one I picked had pistachios, ricotta, pesto…and a few other toppings, but omg it was so good!!
Afterwards we went to check into the hotel. We stayed at a Hilton Garden Inn uptown (they gave us free parking and breakfast since it was my birthday–so nice)! Then we went to do some shopping. We went to SouthPark Mall which is evidently the nicer mall in Charlotte. Just meaning that they have more of the designer stores here (Tiffany’s, Stuart Weitzman, Prada, etc.) And while we weren’t going to really be purchasing anything from those stores, it’s always nice to go and browse (until you leave wanting that new Chloe purse hahah). I will say though it as a successful shopping trip! Stephen didn’t find anything but it wasn’t his birthday so who cares (jkjk), but I did! I ended up finding this great trench coat that was on sale at Banana Republic and then this pair of sunglasses that I had been eyeing for months now. They were on sale as well so I just thought, it’s my birthday, I’m going to buy them! (And I’ll go ahead and link all the items that I bought plus what I’m wearing in the photos at the bottom of the post).
By the time we got done shopping it was already around 6pm, so we made a quick trip to DSW for Stephen and then headed back to the hotel to quickly get ready. I never really wear eye makeup but this trip I was like, I’m going to branch out and wear it! A few days before we left I purchased the Persona Identity Palette and I absolutely loved how the shadows turned out! I followed this super easy smoky eye tutorial that Sona Gasparian, the creator of the palette, did on YouTube. What do you guys think?! (Eye makeup look below 🙂 )
For dinner we went to Stagioni’s, which is an Italian restaurant that was recommended to us. Stephen knew I would want Italian so he did his research ahead of time 😉 The ambiance of this place was great and the food was delicious! Not to mention their Zeppoli’s which we got for dessert. I mean, let’s be honest, you can’t go wrong with fried dough!! Or as they said on their menu, fried pillows of heaven haha.
After dinner we went to get one last cocktail at another recommended spot, Essex Bar & Bistro. The vibe in here was really cool–definitely good for a night cap or date night. We both ordered the Italian Old Fashion which I would really recommend! One of the best cocktails I’ve had in a while!
The next morning we filmed a YouTube video about moving in with your significant other (coming this week–stay tuned!) and then we went to Joe’s Dough’s. This was a recommended donut spot and I have to say, as a self-proclaimed donut connoisseur, I would recommend going here! The consistency of the donuts was interesting, but in a good way! The donuts were yeast, but they were denser than most yeast donuts I’ve had. They were almost like halfway between a yeast and cake donut. Okay, clearly I know too much about donuts hahah. Afterwards we did a little bit more shopping, and then had a late lunch before heading back to Durham. We went to a Korean BBQ place called Seoul Food Meat Co. This was on the list my friend sent and my parent’s friends who live in Charlotte recommended it as well. Since Korean BBQ isn’t super common we definitely wanted to try this spot before we left, and I’m so glad we did! I ended up getting a pumpkin beer with a cinnamon sugar rim (soooo good), and then we got spicy BBQ wings (imagine Chinese sesame chicken but in a crispy chicken wing), their kimchi fries, and then this other meat that looks like the sushi roll below. I can’t find it on their online menu and can’t remember the name specifically, but imagine a sushi roll with cooked pork inside (this was actually my favorite).
Overall, I really liked Charlotte! Even though we were only there for 24 hours, I definitely want to go back and visit and explore a little more. Next time we go back, anywhere that is a must-go?? Let us know! xx
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