You know those friends that you can go months without seeing, but still be on the same level when you reunite? Joe Clarkson is that type of friend. Joe moved down to Charlotte after he graduated from the same small town Ohio college as I, and after about two years of him living down south, I figured I would pay him a visit. I was fortunate enough to have a $150 voucher from American Airlines that had to be used before 2013 ended, so we came up with a weekend that worked for the both of us and I booked the flight about a month and a half in advance. Luckily for me, it was in the beginning of December, when it was about 15 degrees in Chicago and still in the 50s in Charlotte.
I had to leave work a couple hours early that Friday to make my flight on time, but I arrived in Charlotte Friday night around 9pm because of a slight delay with American Airlines. (this was only a minor hiccup in comparison to what comes later). We made some frozen pizza (of course), cocktails (naturally) and caught up on the latest in our lives before hitting the town. Side Note: Apparently in Charlotte, they call downtown ‘Uptown,’ which confused me all weekend. This was my first time in Charlotte, so we went to a couple different bars before insisting the taxi driver take us through Wendy’s on the way home. We had a big day ahead of us Saturday. It was the ACC Championship at Panther Stadium, so we had some tailgating to do. Before we embarked on that journey, we ate brunch OUTSIDE, which was amazing. We went back to Uptown and to keep this story short: we drank for 12 hours straight. Needless to say, Joe and I were always the MVD’s in college. During our escapade, we walked around a lot and visited friends living on the 24th floor of a sky rise, giving me the opportunity to see more of Charlotte in all it’s glory. We ended the night at a bar called Roxbury, which is what they call ‘Blackout Basement’. Now that’s all I’m going to say about that.
That Sunday was a pathetic day in Charlotte. We got bagels, watched Mob Wives and baked cookies (the bake-and-break kind). And we each ate 10. Not to outdo this day, I am getting my belongings to head back to the airport when I check my flight status… CANCELED. I have honestly never had a flight cancel before, so I had no idea what to do. Apparently, there’s not much you can do if the carrier who canceled the flight won’t answer the phone. American Airlines customer service is rotten. I know that there were over 2,000 flights canceled and an ice storm they had to deal with, but I waited on the phone for approximately 1 hour and 45 minutes until I got through to a representative. It was tragedy listening to the broken flute they had playing on their machine for that long. When I finally am able to speak to someone, they tell me the earliest they can get me out of Charlotte is 830 PM THE NEXT EVENING. Will that work, she asked? I fired back with a simple, ‘NO. Not at all.’ You see, I was supposed to be at work at 9am Monday. They transferred me over to United who could get me out of Charlotte earlier, but not early enough. I didn’t make it to work that Monday. The worst part of this fiasco with American Airlines is that the lady didn’t book me on the United flight like she claimed, so I had to call back and wait another hour and a half to speak to someone. BUT, that can be the price you pay when you fly in the winter months and I was understanding and patient with them, as much as I could be.
Regardless, I had a great time in Charlotte and I can’t wait to go back in the summer time for their pool parties and more Roxbury!