My trip to Charlotte began, as it always does, with a sense of dread for the drive. The first two hours weren't so bad...two lane highway through the country. There were things to see and the traffic was minimal -- of course, I had to dodge the occasional tractor, but that was no problem. Then reality set in as I gathered speed on the ramp to merge into the craziness that is I-85. For the next three hours it was a game of holding my lane and hoping the NASCAR wannabe in the next lane held his. Do you get the idea that I don't like driving on the interstate? It wouldn't be so bad if you could count on other drivers to be reasonable, but something happens to some people when they get behind the wheel -- they become raving loonies with egos the size of their vehicles. I felt a great sense of relief when I pulled into the driveway of my sister-in-law's suburban home.
As cities go, Charlotte is not bad. There are still plenty of trees and even the occasional patch of honest-to-goodness woods. Traffic is horrific and the air quality is pitiful, but still, it is my hometown and I have a soft spot for it. The downtown area is nice and the restaurant selection is good -- I like Thai, Vietnamese, and Brazilian cuisines and Charlotte has all that and more. So, I guess, all in all, the trip wasn't bad.
Family occupied most of my time so I don't really have pictures to share. I did take one shot of a robin nesting in the chestnut tree in my sister-in-law's backyard. The bird appeared quite serene amid the bustle of the neighborhood. Whenever I needed a little break I would step outside and watch her as she patiently incubated her eggs.
When it was time to come home, I decided to take the "back" way. Instead of traveling the interstate to save an hour, I opted to save my sanity and take state and US highways back. The trip is longer, but only about 40 minutes of it is nerve-wracking (the outer belt loop around Raleigh and through Knightdale). During my trip back I saw wildflowers we don't have in the coastal plain, a bullfrog, hawks, a monster of a snapping turtle and many other delightful sights. I pulled into my lane tired, but with a list of wild things to share with my husband rather than a rant about crazy drivers. Yep, there's no place like home...
Somewhere on US 64.