Sunday, January 19, 2014


Aunt Evey, Holly and Lexi
We left Philadelphia bound for Baltimore, where we had arranged a visit with more friends.  Another ex-coworker of Nicole's from the University of Washington, Heather, along with her husband, four year old daughter and infant son, had moved away from Seattle and ended up just north of Baltimore. (Michelle, who we visited earlier in the trip in Casper, WY also worked in the same lab)  It was an easy one day trip down from Philadelphia with no issues or excitement to speak of.
Lysa with Madeline
Baltimore got hit with snow right as we were arriving and when it finally stopped there were several inches on the ground.  The kids got time to play, we got time to visit, and when all the kids were in bed we got some adult time to share some good wine.  Heather and Shawn were the folks that originally introduced us to the wine and chocolate event in central Washington, so we thought it only fitting to share a bottle of wine from the area.  The road crews in Maryland did a good job of cleaning up the snow overnight and by the time we were ready to leave the major roads were all clear.
From Baltimore we were heading for North Carolina, but having spent a bunch of time around DC I knew we wanted to avoid the area so we did a big detour to the west before heading south.  The drive was pleasant weaving in and out of the Appalachians on our way down.
Visits with Jason and Christy
Our trip to Charlotte was originally to see family.  My aunt Evey recently moved there from Florida, and her daughter Lysa lives there with her husband Scott.  As an added bonus, Evey's other daughter Holly was visiting from Virginia and Lysa's daughter Lexi was home from college for the holidays so we got to see both of them as well.
The other reason we wanted to visit Charlotte is that sailing friends of ours from Seattle, Jason and Christy, were just starting a three month job contract downtown so we got to visit with them as well.  We stayed in town for several days, visiting with family during the day and then socializing with Jason and Christy in the evenings when they got home from work.
On our last night in town we thought it would be a good idea to continue our local gin tasting comparisons so we bought a bottle of North Carolina Cardinal gin to share with Jason and Christy.  With didn't have any other varieties for a direct comparison, but we all agreed it was a very drinkable option.

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