I’ve never had a particular urge to go to Charlotte but a few months ago Avios announced the devaluation of their air miles. A flight from Chicago to Charlotte was going up from 4500 to 7500 miles. As I knew that I’d likely be in the Midwest in late August and needed to be in Florida by mid-September I took a punt and booked a flight at the old favourable rate.
The flight was sparsely populated but I’d still managed to end up on the back row of the plane. Across the aisle I’m sure I’d saw a bag on the floor move on its own accord. That wasn’t strictly true though as there was a dog inside it. Is that sort of thing allowed? Apparently American Airlines allow small dogs on planes. This was one of those Paris Hilton-style toy dogs. The owner had it out a few times (which is definitely against the rules) but to be fair it wasn’t yapping away and was well behaved.
Within the first couple of hours in Charlotte I got Australian-ed twice. Firstly by the hotel shuttle bus driver and then by one of those slightly batty old ladies who seem to hang around bus stops and talk to random strangers. The bus driver’s conversation starter was something about the dingo stealing the baby. I just looked at him blankly to which he replied, “You’re Australian?” “Er, no.” In fact I’m from almost as far away from Australia as you can get and that dingo story supposedly really happened so making jokes about it is in fairly poor taste. I didn’t say the last bit!
Charlotte is an OK city but from what I saw it seems a bit generic. It’s a financial centre with lots of modern buildings but not a whole lot of distinct attractions, the NASCAR Hall of Fame aside. I can’t think of a funny sound-a-like or pun of a place that I’d rather visit than the NASCAR Museum but it’s not really my cup of tea. Don’t get me wrong though, Charlotte’s pleasant enough. There’s plenty of bars and restaurants in the city centre. The NFL stadium and NBA arena are central which is nice to see and there’s lots of flats and people living in the city. However it’s probably a better place to live than visit.