Making Plans, Taking Names

Next week. It’s on.

It just so happens that the same week Jay will be out of town for Appalachia Service Project with his youth group, Lady Amelia Rose will be livin’ it up with her Grandma…which means, Mama gets a week to herself. A whole entire week.

I truly love my people — our little tribe of 3 — but it’s in my DNA (and all of ours, really) to relish in a little dose of “me time” every so often. Jay’s all about it. He, too, knows the power of “off time” where we can catch up on dreaming, scheming and all the things we tend to push aside in lieu of the daily routine. We don’t get to do it often, but when we do, it’s magical. It’s my official #SelfCare week. Lots of cleaning, lots of organizing, lots of meditating and exercising, lots of facial masks and even treating myself to a deep tissue massage.

Last year’s #SelfCare week with my girl, MK ❤

I’m starting to plan my week, and so far, it includes a little bit of work, a little bit of cleaning, a little bit of catching up with friends and a LOT a bit of eating delicious food around the QC.

Amelia’s heading out of town on Friday, so Jay and I will have some much needed US time before he leaves on Sunday. I’m catering a Spanish Tapas-themed graduation party on Saturday (woot, woot! pictures to come!), celebrating some dear friends’ retirements on Monday and then it’s ON.

So far on the agenda, I think I might go on a quest to find the BEST DANG cappuccino in Charlotte. I plan to try a different coffee shop each morning (Looking at you: UndercurrentHexNot Just CoffeeQueen City GroundsTrade & LoreCoco & The Director…anyone else I should add to the list??)

I’m also planning to visit some of the the newer restaurants in the QC that are on my bucket list…The Stanley, Fin & Fino, and more. And maybe even venture to dinner by myself.

But first, a story. A few years ago when I traveled to San Francisco for my National Geographic Photography Workshop, I had one of the most transformative experiences of my life. I arrived in San Fran, checked into my AirBnB and then walked around the Mission District to find dinner. Being alone, I shyly planned to grab something quick to bring back to the apartment. Fate had other plans, instead I found myself in an adorably quaint pizza shop around the corner. As I was about to inform the hostess of my takeout plans, when I was overcome with this need to stay for dinner. To sit, by myself.

I had never done that before. I was turning 30yrs. old later that year, and in this particular journey of self-discovery at the time, I was led me to take a seat at the bar, alone. I made a conscious decision NOT to pull out my phone to aimlessly scroll the interwebs while I sat in isolation, and it was the BEST decision. Instead of shutting out the world with my phone,  I watched the chefs handcraft every pie, meticulously and intentionally arranging each ingredient. We chatted as they cooked. The waitress and I talked for the longest time about traveling and how this was my first trip traveling alone. Next thing I know, the owner of the restaurant was pouring a glass of the most incredible red wine from their neighbors in Sonoma. I stayed for what seemed like hours. We talked and laughed, drank wine and shared stories of food, traveling and life. The chefs started experimenting and creating random dishes, insisting I taste-test each of them. As the night wound down and I asked for the check, the only thing listed was my salad….everything else was “covered.”

You guys, it was incredible. It was an experience I would have missed out on had I A.) gotten take-out or B.) taken the introverted route with my phone in my face.

So, here I am in my own City, and I am looking for THAT kind of experience again. Sure, I’ll spend some of the week catching up on practical matters like work, cleaning, etc., but more than that, I want to take advantage of this gift of time.

Yes, I could eat this entire platter by myself. ❤

Time to slow down.
To slow down and notice.

I don’t want to just “eat food”, but experience the richness of an incredible meal shared with friends or even shared with just myself.

I’m on the lookout, I’m making plans. Send any and all suggestions my way!! Any places that you’ve been wondering about? I’ll try them and report back…OR you can even join me.

Shoot me a message or leave a comment. I can’t wait. I’ll report back next week:)

❤ Jess

One thought on “Making Plans, Taking Names

  1. linda minor

    Jess, I love the San Francisco story—what a treasure that evening must have been! Next week you’ll have that same kind of experience (if you’re lucky), because you will be open to the joys that come with slowing down to savor the moment. You are a notice-er for sure…


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