A Little Pre-Thanksgiving Family Turn-up Time

Me, mom and Fantasia

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Did you know Fantasia Barrino, the winner American Idol season 3, lives in the Queen City?

Well, anyone who kept up with her or who's a Charlottean probably does, and that includes my mom. A few weeks ago, she sent me a link to an event and asked me if I wanted to go. I took a gander at the luncheon put on by Café Mocha Radio called the 'Salute Her': Beauty of Diversity Awards. Why was my mom interested in going to that? "Because 'Tasia's' gonna be there," she said. I relented, she never asks for much.

Friday I introduced her to the beauty of Stoke Charlotte — the décor, the ambiance, the pork shank and the pretzel brioche. To my surprise, her sometimes finicky palate was impressed by the subtle flavors and textures I introduced her to. By the time we finished eating and watching Thor: Ragnarok at Studio Move Grill, we were both pooped.

Saturday morning, I didn't think I'd be able convince my body that it was time to get up until my mom gently tapped me and reminded me it was almost time for the luncheon to start. I threw on a simple black dress and called an Uber.

Once there, we eventually reached a point where both of us were asking, "Will we starve before the luncheon starts?" But just as our impatience was taking over, Fantasia walked by. I thought my mom was going to pass out. We watched as she greeted everyone while photographers snapped away.

I tried to help my mom gather herself as we sat down at our assigned table and prepared to eat while our host, Loni Love from The Real, entertained us. Speech after speech, I felt more privileged and appreciative of sharing a moment I would've never even considered if it hadn't been for my mom — or maybe it was the glass of red wine and three-course meal? Nevertheless, as the luncheon was wrapping up, Fantasia walks by and my mom grabs her arm, tells her we're from her hometown and gives her a kiss on her cheek. Fantasia smiled, thanked her and told her she loved her hair. Again, I thought she would pass out. But that's the beauty of Charlotte, you never know who's going to be around every corner.

As if she hadn't had enough excitement for the day, let alone the entire weekend, I'd convinced her to go to the Sofar Charlotte show later on that night. I shared in my last column that Sofar has introduced the city to an entirely unique live music experience. One that is intimate and mysterious. We showed up at the venue, this time it was at Yoga Warrior Studio located off Morehead Street. We couldn't quite tell where we needed to go in when a guy walks up and instructs us to ring the doorbell. I thought, "Okay, Sofar a doorbell? You're taking it too far." "What is it you're here for anyway," he asked with genuine curiosity. I told him that we were there to see a show to which he responded, "Oh you must be here for the video."

It could've totally been possible for the creators of Sofar to allow one of their performers to make a video. But thankfully, that motherly instinct kicked in as we rounded the corner of the office building and saw a room filled fluorescent purple lighting. "What kind of video?" All of a sudden we all realized that we were in the wrong place.

I don't know what I'd done if these guys had convinced my mom to be a video hoe.

We laughed and walked around the other side of the building and found the entrance to one of the most beautiful yoga studios that I've seen in Charlotte. Before even laying our eyes on the intimacy of the smaller event space/stage, we were captivated by a yogi performing some form of aerial acrobatics. I knew then that mom's first Sofar experience was going to be epic. The show unfolded nicely before us while we listened to the unique sounds of Hedera, Dust & Ashes and Sidney Murray. If you haven't checked any of them out yet, you better!

I finished up the third PBR tall boy I'd BYOBed after the show concluded and waited for my mom to agree to drive us to The Corner Pub for late night family time. Again, she'd had a full day but she tried to play it cool as all my regular favorites introduced themselves. By the end of the night, when she hopped in the car to head back to my house, I knew she'd had enough. But the fullness of our Queen City adventures was one of the best pre-Thanksgiving turn ups we could've asked for.

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