Thursday, September 3, 2015

Charlotte Day Trip

I want Paris. I have been reading about its history, customs, cuisine and language for years. Paris takes time and money I lack so instead I spent last Saturday looking for Paris in Charlotte, NC. Charlotte historically has British roots, but it's pride in it's art culture makes it tres French. And it was a previously unexplored city to check off my mental list of  Places I've Never Been.

In fact, Charlotte has a very active art district called NoDa (For the street it's on: North Davidson.) This is where I found the popular French coffee and cake shop, Amelie's Bakery. When I say popular, I mean the line to order wraps around the store. Sometimes twice, I'm told. But fear not, you won't get bored in the queue. French-themed art and antiques are in every nook and cranny of the building- shoes and chandeliers, deco and dauphines (and weird modernist crap I don't get but respect all the same.) Friendly people all around us chatted up my daughter and I. Charlotteans have a reputation as being hospitable to live up to, after all. Before you know it, we were in front of the bakery glass staring at all those confections. I promised myself I'd get the macarons because I had never tried them. We got a dozen of them in flavors ranging from lime basil to rose to the classic pistachio. We also go a pretty mini chocolate cake to just in case we didn't care for the macarons. The cake was perfection- delicate, not too sweet. I have been waiting to try macarons forever. I. did. not. like. them. Not at all! Too chewy. Too sweet. These would straight up kill a diabetic. It was the pastry type not the bakery. Amelie's did not disappoint. I had an espresso with whipped cream and caramel that made my toes curl, and that cake. That marvelous cake.

My daughter's inspiration for going on this trip to Charlotte was the American Girl Store in South Park Mall. But we tied this in with the French theme because the AG girl of the year is Grace, a girl who learn how to bake in... yep.. Paris! So I bought my daughter and her beat up ebay-bought Samantha doll a commemorative tshirt. They were also the only reasonably priced items in the store!

She had to run to the dressing room to it on as soon as my card scanner said "Approved."

We also "met" the new Beforever doll, MaryEllen. She has all kinds of 1950's- inspired accessories. Not French, but cute!

Then, we rounded off our day trip with a stop at Discovery Place, a children's museum. You know who loves museums? The French! I mean, look at these jelly fish. How cool! My squimish daughter even touched a living (if you could call it that) horseshoe crab. She had her hands in everything!

And oh, look. Someone at the museum built the Eiffel Tower out of blocks. See how I pulled the Parisian theme back in! 

Vive la Charlotte!

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