“For the longest time these songs were eluding me. I felt like a kid trying to collect lightning bugs. I’d catch a glimpse out of the corner of my eye and run for it, but the light would go out just as I thought I’d gotten hold of one. But eventually I caught on to their game. I stopped chasing them altogether. Instead I just sat there as if I were completely disinterested in them. And wouldn’t you know it, one by one they came to me! Flew right into my jar.” Ray LaMontagne
Songwriting is a lot like love…
…heville in Charlotte!
For years, each visit to Asheville has always included a meal at Tupelo Honey and shopping at the Dillard’s Clearance Center…and a solicitation for a pot brownie recipe from a LaZoom’s tour guide. With a Tupelo Honey Cafe now twenty minutes from me instead of two hours, I only have one reason to visit Asheville…maybe two.
If there is a bananas Foster French toast hole in your heart that developed when Pewter Rose shut its door, trust you can fill that hole with Tupelo Honey’s sweet potato pancakes.(And you can order it any time of day unlike the bananas Foster French toast which was limited to weekend brunch.) I could write poems about these pancakes. At $5.95, they are one of the cheapest menu items. And also the largest. And most delicious. And fluffiest. They’re served with whipped peach butter and spiced pecans. Pour on the warm maple syrup and get ready to fall in love!
THC in Charlotte is not the same as the original (nothing ever is), evidenced by the waitstaff buttoned up to mask any tattoos. This is conservative Charlotte after all and I imagine all the bankers appreciate the absence of impromptu drum circles and eau de hippie as they make their way to dinner.
A lovely balcony awaits warmer weather!
Gathering together around the table is good for you!
Tupelo Honey Cafe is the bee’s knees!
Why does dessert always taste better after dark? After a late dinner along South Blvd. Saturday night, we concluded the evening with dessert at Kai’s Kookies and More.
I can’t say enough great things about this place! The owners are incredibly friendly, the selection is varied and mouth-watering, the turtle brownies are moist, the hours are great (especially if you don’t want to queue up with hipsters at Amelie’s for your late night sugar fix.)
Even if sweet treats aren’t getting you in the door, Kai’s coffee would keep a caffeine fiend like me coming back for sure. Their coffee, priced at $1.80, comes with two shots of espresso!
Look at how cute this place is!
I’m already making plans to return this weekend…and every weekend!
There’s a midday coffee in my hand and it tastes bitter and strong like a love lost. It tastes like every bad day, every tear drop, every disappointment, every missed opportunity. It tastes like the one that got away.
In school, I loved maps. Faraway places provided much more interest to me than my current address. I loved to read adventure books. I loved to know the names of exotic locales. Before recess, I loved to spin the globe fast and land my finger on my next destination. I would go to wherever my digit landed, so what if it was in the middle of the Pacific.
There was a woman I once loved with a body like a classroom globe. Her backside was the feel of the Sahara, bumpy and craggly. When she undressed, she still wore her faded stretch marks. They were everywhere. They were the rivers of the Nile, they were the snowy peaks of Swiss alps, they were my topography. I was an adventurer traversing her landscape. She thought her lumps and bumps were something to be ashamed of. To me, her terrain was my manifest destiny, westward my fingers would roam, my palms curved the flesh of her backside, the soft weight of her breasts. I explored every inch of her.
She left because I told her too often that she was beautiful. She didn’t believe me. She loved with only half of her heart and so I overcompensated by loving for the both of us. And that’s no equation for a lasting love. Not that she ever said she loved me.
Years later, I called her. She was too busy to talk. She was out the door to take her twins to their dance recital. I heard from mutual friends she married a plastic surgeon. I imagine I wouldn’t recognize her if I saw her again. I wondered if she saw herself beautiful after the surgeries, or if she wished she looked like her old self and resented her husband for making her do it.
It’s been so many years, but I find myself thinking of her in the oddest of moments. Like when I’ve got my current girlfriend snuggled up beside me in post-coital bliss. Or when I’m in standing in line at the coffee shop and catch a whiff of the perfume she used to wear. Even though my order is up, I linger to enjoy the fragrance that reminds me of her. I drink in this stranger’s molecules like I drink my coffee.
I gather my things and a buzzing cell phone shakes me back into the real world to let me know that I’m late to a meeting.
There has been a (drunken) request for me to update this piece of blogosphere real estate. I’ve been so busy the last few months that blogging has been on hiatus. I could give you a laundry list of excuses, like I’ve been out of town (which is true), or I’ve been busy reading (that’s a lie since I only managed 30 books this year), or I’ve been busy dating (that’s another lie since nuns can’t date), or I’ve been busy with work (ha, that’s laughable) or I’ve been busy adjusting to having a roommate again after 5 years (I’m going to start a separate blog for how ridiculous this girl is). Honestly, I haven’t been inspired. Here’s hoping for an inspiration 2014!
Last year I signed up for the 8k Turkey Trot. I didn’t run since I was sick. This year, miraculously healthy on Thanksgiving, I ran the 5k Turkey Trot and finished those chilly 3.1 miles in 34:30 minutes. I was very surprised with myself since I don’t make it a habit at the gym to run three consecutive miles on the treadmill. Why my quick time? I have to thank the children. Subjecting children to running 3 miles in the cold on the morning of the holiest of eating days is some sort of child abuse and something that I will never subject my children to. I was trotting along next to a family and one young runner complained to his parents of needing to blow his nose. These ill-equipped parents had no tissues so the mom offered her hand for her son to blow his nose into. And that was all the incentive I needed to pick up my pace. It was then and there that I decided I was in no hurry to become a human hanky.
The rest of my orphaned holiday included watching “Dallas Buyers Club”(all the awards to Jared Leto for his role) and a meal of popcorn and Tofurky sausage, just like the pilgrims had on their first Thanksgiving.
I wish you enough sun to keep your attitude bright.
I wish you enough rain to appreciate the sun more.
I wish you enough happiness to keep your spirit alive.
I wish you enough pain so that the smallest joys in life appear much
I wish you enough gain to satisfy your wanting.
I wish you enough loss to appreciate all that you possess.
I wish enough “Hello’s” to get you through the final “Goodbye.”
I’ve never been so reluctant to write about a restaurant before. You see, I’m afraid that once I divulge just how amazing this place is, you’ll go there and love it, then tell your friends about and then I won’t be able to pop in for a quick takeout dinner on my home from work every night. It is that good I want to keep it to myself.
But I would be doing a disservice to the community if I did. Second Helping is in the same complex as Three Amigos so it’s not too hard to find along Central Avenue. As of now, it’s carryout&catering only and the Southern comfort food menu, with nothing over $7.95, features pork chops, fried chicken, meatloaf, shrimp&grits etc.. That’s just fine for all you carnivores, but I came for the sides. A $5.95 veggie plate includes a double portion of your favorite side in addition to two sides and cornbread. I ordered two veggie plates because I was unable to select only three from the list of twelve.
(You could say I was beside myself with the sides menu!) Of the mac n’ cheese, fried green tomato casserole, Parmesan grits, roasted beets, green beans and ginger ale glazed carrots I sampled, my absolute favorite was the carrots.
The food is great, their mission even greater. Changed Choices’ Second Helping is giving women a second chance. At the end of Piper Kerman’s wildly popular memoir turned Netflix series Orange is the New Black, she recognizes the struggles some fomerly incarcerated women face getting jobs after being released. Second Helping is providing that job opportunity they would otherwise not have had as many employers are reluctant to hire applicants with a colorful past. Personally, the only color I care about with this place is the color orange. I am so in love with the ginger ale glazed carrots! Orange is the new black indeed.
So now you know, and you can go and be amazed, then tell your friends and have them be amazed. All I ask, dear reader, is that you save me some giger ale glazed carrots.
Please go here to support their fundraising campaign. I already have my eye on the $30 perk!
On love: If your feelings are euros and theirs are vouchers for buy one get one McFlurries, get out.
~Kelly Williams Brown