12 September, 2015
We are going to The Great Smoky Mountains this weekend. The husband has booked a log cabin and I am really excited about cabin camping. We abandon our original plan of driving down and instead fly to Charlotte, NC.
At the airport, the airline is overbooked so they are offering one to two volunteers $600 (each) and a ticket on a longer and less convenient flight. It would mean losing the money paid for one night at the log cabin and miss seeing Charlotte, but we would still be $1000 in profit. Sadly, the offer has an “if we need” clause, that doesn’t bear fruit.
We’ve booked a car rental, but after a short series of unfortunate events we end up hiring a car from a different agency. We (I) pick a popular ‘soul food’ restaurant for lunch. It turns out to be terrible. We want to take a segway tour but are unable to find the place in time so we ditch it and decide to explore the place on foot. Bang in centre of The Square at Trade and Tryon, with the four historical statues representing commerce, transportation, industry and the future, each standing about 25 feet tall, peering down at it, is an Indian festival; stalls, food, dancing – the works.
We walk around Charlotte for a bit; past the Wells Fargo Plaza and through The Green. The statues of children playing in the cascading fountain at the Wells Fargo Plaza captures and celebrates the exuberance of childhood. The Green is dotted with a number of fun sculptures too. My favourites are the giant books at the entrance and the the signpost pointing the mileage and direction to Charlottes throughout the world. We see the First Presbyterian Church, the Romare Bearden Park and the BB&T Ballpark next to it; we read the quotes on the walls of the Charlotte Mecklenburg Library and even walk around the historic Fourth Ward Neighborhood where restored 100-plus year-old Victorian homes rub shoulders with luxury condominiums. Yet we find ourselves constantly drawn back to the festival at the square.
*Jai Shivaji! Jai Bhavani! – Victory to (King) Shivaji! Victory to (Goddess) Bhavani!