A couple of weeks ago, my husband, my seester, and I traveled to Charlotte to break the curse of the losing New Orleans Saints.  You see, seester and I attend a Saints’ game every year, most often in New Orleans itself.  But, sometimes, we will be present, several years in a row, at a heartbreaking loss (they are ALL heartbreaking, really). When that persists, we attend an away game, in the hopes of breaking the curse.  So, far, it has worked at least 75% of the time.  This year, we chose Charlotte.

In some cases, we have decided it is really fun to experience football from a different fan base.  They have their own customs, traditions, and personality, quite frankly. Now, there are some teams, where we aren’t exactly comfortable displaying our full black and gold colors, for fear of encountering ugly foes.  It doesn’t happen everywhere, but we’ve ruled out a few places due to that.   I’ve heard that Green Bay is a great place to attend a game, but I think the tickets are hard to come by!

The last away game I attended was at the Tennessee Titans.  That stadium is very family friendly, and as such, it falls a little flat on the “we gonna pulverize you and grind you into the ground” feel that other environments produce.  We were underwhelmed, but the tooting steamboat whistle after scoring drives was a little bit cute.  Cute doesn’t belong in the NFL.

So, Charlotte.

The Arts

Charlotte, NC, as it turns out, is a fantastic, walkable, city – at least in the “Uptown” area where we stayed.  The stadiums are less than a mile away from any hotel in the area.  There were many, lovely greenspaces, including a park hosting a free concert on Saturday night.  Charlotte loves the art scene.  One park was dedicated to the celebration of literacy, and I really wish I had thought to really capture it with photos. We kept thinking, this must be where the library is, but it wasn’t.  Just a park with book sculpture, flying copper pages of poetry slapped up against windows and walls, as if blown by the wind, text puzzles in the sidewalks, and all sorts of hidden secrets.

The first picture below is of a sculpture (taller than I) called “Life is an Open Book.” Other random sculptures are from around town.  (I swear, next time I am bringing a tripod and a good camera.)





The Food

What can I say. Charlotte is full of very nice dining venues.  Most we sampled were pretty good, but when we were trying to pin down the signature cuisine of Charlotte, all I could come up with is “salt.”  Almost everything, with one or two exceptions, I ate was over salted, including the breakfast potatoes at the hotel – all three mornings, so it wasn’t an anomaly.  But there is one particular establishment that I must highlight –  The King’s Kitchen.  Their entire purpose is to create fabulous food and serve as outreach to the poorest of the poor of Charlotte.  To lift up the forgotten.  Quite frankly, Charlotte has a very visible homeless population.  These people are trying to make a difference in that area.  The food was fresh, unique and very tasty.  Go visit their website to read more about the mission.

The Football

In our observations, Charlotte is no where on the New Orleans end of the spectrum of football towns.  Until about 2 hours before game time, we hardly ever saw any indication of fandom – not a shirt, not a jersey, not a cap!   And I mean ANY fandom.  You’d think you’d see a bunch of NC university apparel running around, but we did not.  We decided all the sports fans must be commuting, ha ha!

The stadium is very nice, open air and we had good weather so it was not to uncomfortable.  There was some hoopla and hubbub on the jumbotrons, but the pump up the crowd music was tailored to those who love 80’s classic rock.  Not much hip hop, and certainly, no Ying Yang twins in the house.  But that’s okay, right? Their fans/their traditions.   One item of note, they are a little snarky, in a funny way.  We noticed, after the Saints sealed the victory with one more touchdown, the sound guys started playing, “Sunday, Bloody Sunday” over the PA as the fans streamed out and away.



As you can see, we really enjoyed our quick getaway.  Charlotte is a beautiful city. There seems to be something for everyone in the family to enjoy. We barely scratched the surface because we did not have time to visit the various museums and such.

Go if you can.

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