Southern Belle in Training

Fashion, Travel & Lifestyle Blog || Est. 2012 || Virginia Beach, VA

March 13, 2024

Travel Diary: An Overdue Weekend in Charlotte, NC

     In January, I got to take Ryan to visit my favorite city for the first time! It was a very quick trip, and I feel like I never have enough time to see all of my friends or do everything I miss doing in Charlotte. But we did knock out several fun things, and Ryan got to meet four of my Charlotte girlfriends and some of their significant others!! So, I'll still count the weekend as a win for our first Charlotte experience together!

       Here's a little recap of what we did during the weekend:

This post contains affiliate links. Thank you for supporting Southern Belle in Training blog!

       If you're newer to reading my blog or following me, I spent five years in North Carolina from 2012-2017! I went to college there and lived there for a year after school as well. NC is also the state that I started this blog in, way back as a college freshman! Although I was never able to find the right radio job to bring me back to live in Charlotte, the city is still so special to me. Ryan had never been before, and I'd been dying to take him basically since we started dating. We finally made it down in January 2024! Charlotte often has pretty mild weather in January, and hotel rates tend to be a lot cheaper. 

      We took off a Friday from our jobs so that we could have a full two days. Charlotte is just shy of six hours away from where we live in Virginia Beach, so we didn't want to make that long of a drive after work. We got off to a bright and early start, and we were treated to this stunning double rainbow outside of Franklin, VA! What a treat!! I took that to be a sign that a great weekend was ahead.

       The first thing that we did in Charlotte on Friday was visit my alma mater, Queens University of Charlotte. Queens is a small school but does have a very lovely little campus that's right in the heart of Charltote. I was so excited to walk Ryan around and show him where I went to school. He went to a very large state school in the midwest, so tiny little Queens was definitely a very different vibe than his college experience. Ha! 

     The weather was absolutely phenomenal on that Friday- it was sunny and in the low 70s. That made the experience of showing Ryan around even better! I also enjoyed getting a couple of pictures at some of the spots that I used to take my old outfit blog post photos at in college. 

      On Saturday, I enjoyed showing Ryan another fun Charlotte spot: the Evelyn Henson Confetti Hearts Mural in South End!! This mural was completed a few years after I graduated college, but I've been to see it a couple times on trips back to Charlotte and it's such a cute photo spot. Fun fact: my best friend Ciera got engaged here at the mural a couple of years ago!! 

      The weather wasn't great for the second half of Saturday, so we spent a good amount of time indoors shopping. But not complaints from me since Charlotte has fantastic shopping! We spent Saturday evening at SouthPark Mall in Charlotte, which I truly think is one of the best malls ever. Truly the best balance of mid-price and high-end stores, and it's also just well designed and well maintained. 

      I also finally got to visit and shop at the popular Charlotte boutique Ivy & Leo! It's across the street from SouthPark Mall. I had always heard about this store when I lived in Charlotte, but for some reason never went. I think this is one of the cutest and best boutiques that I've been to in recent years! I could've bought out the entire store. Everything was so colorful and fun! I was trying to be good, and I only bought one thing, but I could've bought so much more. 

     Let's chat food! Charlotte was always one of my favorite cities for restaurants, but unfortunately so many of my old favorite spots have closed in recent years. But that just gives an excuse to try a couple of new places now when visiting. My friend Priyanka suggested we try a new South End spot called Muraya for brunch. It's a modern Colombian inspired restaurant with a very cool vibe, but they also have some dishes on the menu inspired by other countries. Priyanka and I both got the Ube Pancakes, which were topped with Fruit Loops! 

      One spot from my college years that is still thriving is Amelie's French Bakery! They now have several locations throughout Charlotte. If you ever go to Charlotte, Amelie's is an absolute must-visit!! Their beverages, pastries and sandwiches are all fantastic, and the decor of each bakery is so quirky and fun. It kind of feels like you're inside a French version of Alice in Wonderland. 

      But the best part of the trip was getting to see four of my closest friends that are still in the Charlotte area! I've known all of these ladies for 10+ years now, and they all are so special to me. 

     First up, we got to do a little afternoon double date on Friday with my friend Liane and her husband Eduardo! Liane is pregnant with their baby girl who is due this spring, and I am just so excited for their family. It was also our first time meeting Eduardo and their first time meeting Ryan! Liane was my French teaching assistant during my freshman year of college, and I'm so glad we have stayed in touch over the years. You might remember that I went on an amazing girls' trip to Puerto Rico with Liane in 2022!

     Next up, we had dinner with my friend Perrin, her husband Taylor, and their daughter. It was my first time meeting her daughter which was so special! We went to a casual burger spot called Moo & Brew, which Ryan said ended up being his favorite meal of the trip. We then went to see their new house after dinner. Perrin and I were sorority sisters in Alpha Delta Pi and in the same pledge class! I am thankful for her many years of sisterhood and friendship. 

     On Saturday morning, we met my dear friend Priyanka for brunch at Muraya restaurant, and then walked around South End on the Rail Trail and took Ryan to see the Confetti Hearts Mural! Priyanka and I met when I was in college through our mutual best friend Ciera (Ciera and Priyanka were high school best friends, and Ciera is my college best friend!). I always say that the best gift Ciera has ever given me was sharing her friendship with Priyanka with me as well!! 

      And finally, I was so excited to see my blogging friend Cara and her husband TJ! They were living in Georgia for a couple of years, but recently moved back to Charlotte and bought a beautiful home. They had us over on Saturday afternoon and it was so wonderful to catch up in person and see their new place! It is still crazy to me sometimes how I have made some truly amazing real-life friendships like Cara's- all from just having this blog! 

     And that about sums up our winter weekend in Charlotte!! I do want to give a quick unfortunate note about our lodging. We stayed at a hotel that I had previously stayed at in 2019, and at the time had highly recommended on my blog. Unfortunately, it has gone way downhill since then, and Ryan and I were pretty dissatisfied with our room and the service! (They also now have mandatory parking charges, too.) I would definitely not recommend the DoubleTree South Tyvola in Charlotte (formerly the Hilton Executive Park). I got a good deal for us to stay there, but it wasn't worth it. 

     I already can't wait to take Ryan to Charlotte again! My guess though is our next trip will be in 2025 after we are married.... eek! 😊

     God Bless,

     xoxo Annaliese


No comments

Post a Comment

Thanks so much for reading Southern Belle in Training! Comments make my day- so feel free to share your thoughts on this post! I read each and every comment.
If you have a question in regards to one of my posts, or just want to say hi, the best way to get ahold of me is by e-mailing me directly at: I am better about responding to e-mails than blog comments sometimes!

Blog Design Created by pipdig