Since we didn’t get home until late, I slept in on Saturday morning. (a.k.a. productivity would be missing from my day.) Since I was still tired when I got up, the puppies and I snuggled and watched some silly TV shows instead of running. Eventually, I got going and stopped by work for a bit, then it was back to my stay-cation. May 20 marks MeckDec Day here in Charlotte. MeckDec Day celebrates the signing of the Mecklenburg Declaration of Independence, rumored to be signed about 400 days before the American Declaration of Independence in Philadelphia. It’s a rumored, but a reason for a celebration, nonetheless. I guess it used to be a big celebration in the past – presidents have come to visit the city for this occasion. The most recent visit was Lady Bird Johnson, so it has been a while.
I noticed information about MeckDec Day when I was researching museums. I love museums when I travel, so it only seemed appropriate that I make a point to visit all of Charlotte’s museums. The Charlotte Museum of History advertised a MeckDec Day celebration on Saturday, so I wanted to take part. Best surprise – they had free admission!
This is not the first time I have lived in Charlotte, and is a city I have spent a lot of time visiting over the last 9 years. Most people would never associate Charlotte with history. Its growth is relatively recent and its sparkly skyline is quite new. That being said, I’m learning Charlotte has a lot of history, but it’s quite different than what you’ll find in Northern Virginia or New England. The Charlotte Museum of History helped put this in perspective, and it really exceeded my expectations!
(I need to confess that I had incredibly low expectations for this museum. I’ve been blessed to visit some of the biggest and best museums in the world. This was Charlotte.)
First off the museum was much larger than I expected. I didn’t expect much more than a general welcome center, but it was a large building with several rooms for exhibits and the ability to host events. The main attraction for the museum is the Hezekiah Alexander house. He was a wealthy blacksmith and magistrate living in Mecklenburg County in the 1770s. I was really impressed by this house. I enjoy touring historic houses. My experience with Revolutionary War-period houses is limited to Boston, greater-DC, and a little from Charleston. This is unique because Mecklenburg County/Charlotte was “the West” and not inhabited. Everything else I visited was an urban area and quite a different lifestyle. If you’re in the area, I highly recommend visiting. The restoration work has been done well and a lot of research on the house. There is even a spring house which is very cool (even on humid Carolina summer days), which they used as a refrigerator (though not that cold). This desk was also original to the house. Just to think of all of the great work that happened on this desk and the impact that had to his family and the surrounding citizens.
After my visit and informative tour, I decided to have a late brunch somewhere. I ended up at Crispy Crepe in South End. I had a savory crepe and a creme brûlée latte. The latte had cartelized sugar on top – my favorite part of creme brûlée. Quite delicious; just wish I would have given myself more time to enjoy.
Then I realized, this isn’t a stay-cation! This is just what people do when they stay home for a weekend. Something I am not familiar with! Man, I can’t wait to get to know Charlotte better and make it home 🙂