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QC this weekend (8/5)

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Ok, I'll be in the QC this weekend. Yearly venture to Hot and miserable at Carowinds (family tradition...dates back to the 70s). My family (Durham) and my brother's family from Wilmington. I booked rooms at the Residence Inn in Uptown. I initially reserved rooms at the Marriott City Center on Trade but with kids, more bang for your buck at the Residence. Bad timing as the Sting are out of town this weekend and my neice really wanted to see them.

The Residence isn't my favorite location as you have to wade through a mass of parking lots. I can only imagine how much the minor league stadium will improve the area (kids love the ballpark and especially urban ones). Does the rubber wheel trolley venture over there? My brother isn't big on urban discussion boards (computers either) but he enjoys urban development. He hasn't been to uptown in about 15 years and I guess we'll make the walk around.

Pisses me off that the Epicentre isn't open yet. Marriott City Center would've been a priority!

What else is going on in town? What time does the trolley do the tour bit?

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Saturday morning, the Panthers are having FanFest at Bank of America Stadium.


Sweet! I've been waiting for a reason to take advantage of being able to walk to the stadium since I moved downtown! Ahh...I can't wait for August 12 vs. Bills (even though it is just preseason).

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We arrived in Charlotte around 11:00 AM on Saturday morning uptown at the Residence Inn. There were tons of people flocking to the stadium (fanfest). Spent most of the day in the Kiddy Rid section at Carowinds which was cool for the young ones. Carowinds sure has it's share of roller coasters (sideways, on-your-back, backwards, you name it!). ThunderRoad and Goldrush will always be my sentimental favorites (classic wooden coasters). And the Waterpark, you could actually spend the whole day there.

My brother's room had a malfunction so they upgraded him to an executive suite in the Residence Inn facing uptown on the 7th floor (of course, the cheapies had sold out). The suite has a small balcony and we watched the Criterium (bike race) from the balcony. He took some remarkable camera phone shots. That room provided postercard material views as it allowed for vantage points that I have not seen of uptown. My other half's camera malfunctioned or we could've taken additional quality shots.

There was a ton going on up/downtown and mobility wasn't great with some streets blocked for the bike race. We wanted to grab a meal in the heart but felt too tired to walk (Carowinds + Heat is a BEAST on the feet). If there was a timely trolley or something that could move people with info on dining locations would've been great. So, we chose the fine dining at the residence inn (not bad for hotel food).

It was a tax free weekend, and all my sister-n-law talked about was shopping. If retail availability had been there (something close by), she would've been all over it. Hopefully, the epicentre and other venues will change the retail climate uptown. My brother was thoroughly impressed with uptowns growth. As we stood on the balcony, he was picking out the bldgs he remembered and the brown Wachovia one was the tallest or the tall one at that time.

All-n-all it was a great weekend and wish we would've had more time and energy to do other things. I'll be back this weekend for the Panthers/Buffalo game this weekend on the way to the ATL.

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