Charlotte, North Carolina

We headed further into the south, heading for the city of Charlotte (the Queen City). Charlotte was named after the wife of King George III when it was established and has grown to be the second largest city in the South after Atlanta. It is also one of the fast growing cities in the USA as well. When we told various people that we were heading to Charlotte, we got very different responses. Some said we would love it and others questioned why we would want to go there, so my curiosity was well and surely raised.

As we arrived early afternoon, once we were set up we headed into town just to have a look around and get our bearings. Must say this is the first city we have driven through where TOH actually locked the doors as we drove.

In the Centre of town is the NASCAR Hall Of Fame Museum. A must for TOH and I must say I was nicely surprised at how much I enjoyed it. Thinking we would pass an hour there, nearly 4 hours later we left the building.

The Centre of town was lined each side with trees and many park benches. These were mostly taken up with the homeless. I thought I had seen lots of homeless, well Charlotte took it to a whole other level. Where, in other cities we have visited so far, there would be single homeless dotted around. Here in Charlotte there were groups and groups of homeless.

This city is said to be the fastest growing city in the USA, and I tend to think they are struggling with keeping up with the infrastructure growth required. The roads in and around Charlotte are …. well they left us speechless. Enough to say, I will never ever complain about the state of our roads at home. In Charlotte they are shocking and that is being nice to them.

We did have a great evening out at a small bar near where we were staying, called The Evening Muse. We went to see a couple of bands. Mink’s Miracle Medicine and Flechaus. Both were excellent, look them up if you can.

I do have to admit that I was not sad to leave Charlotte, and quite happily left the city behind as we headed to a little town called Florence in South Carolina. I don’t expect anyone to have heard of Florence as there is really nothing there apart from lots and lots of cotton being grown around the area. For us it was only a stop over on our way to Charleston. Our first night in Florence, was spent in awe at the weather again.

The weather we have encountered on the trip so far has been so diverse. From the very cold and snow in Canada through to the heat wave and the “storms”.

The storms are amazing. You know they are coming as you can see the sky change. From a beautiful blue with fluffy white clouds, to such dark grey skys where the clouds seem nearly black. Then the temperatures start dropping. One afternoon the temperature dropped from the high 30’s to 18-19 degrees in 10 minutes. Then the wind arrives. Wow it is gale like, and its a mad dash to get the awnings on Ellie-Mae in and everything outside tied down. We have lernt to never leave without putting in the awnings and anything loose put away before leaving the site to go sightseeing. Luckily the wind usually only lasts 10 minutes or so, then the thunder, lightening and rain arrives. The lightening is fascinating. While in Florence we just sat and watched the lightening. The forked lightening was amazing and I would loved to have been able to catch in pictures.

I understand now why any outdoor sporting event in the USA is halted when these storms roll in. If you are in the Truck with the radio on, there is a warning siren that takes over the radio (first time we heard it we had no idea what was happening). In many Gas Stations, Malls or Public places they have signs up directing you to Storm Rooms. The TV has a rolling line of storm warning and lightening strikes for the areas close to you and giving time frames for how long it is expected to last and how many lightening strikes there have been.

It seems we have these storms most afternoons. The temperature usually plummets just before and during these storms, but believe me it raises back up to where it was and higher (due to the added humidity) just as quickly as it dropped.

Now we are off to Charleston, which is just north of the South Carolina/Georgia boarder, and believe me these southern accents are getting stronger with each town we pass through. I had to use the Restroom while looking around Florence and found myself in a cubicle next to someone on the phone. Well I just had to stay and listen. I loved the lilt of the accent, but I can I assure you I really was not listening to the conversations as I could hardly understand a word she was saying and she was speaking English, I think.Charlotte, North Carolina

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