Sunday, August 23, 2009

Friday Night in Small Town USA

What does one do on a Friday night in a small town?

Not like I'm used to doing much on Friday night anyhow. Our big date on Friday night in Walnut Creek was Barnes and Nobles where Ted and I browsed the magazines and books, then met up in the cafe for a latte or tea while we reviewed our treasures. Sometimes we got out of the store spending no more than the price of our coffee--other times it could be a $50 or $60 night. Believe me, Barnes and Nobles is not losing any money on us.

Anyhow, my water fitness teacher performs in a band and she notified us by email that they would be playing in Birkdale (a retail/residental community not far from us) on Friday evening. We decided that it would be a nice evening out so we went.

Birkdale Village is a great place. It's one of the reasons we landed in Huntersville. Just before we started looking for homes, someone told us about Birkdale. It sounded just like the downtown shopping area on North Main Street in Walnut Creek, except that in addition to shopping, Birkdale has apartments over the stores. We visited Birkdale and fell in love with it. It had Barnes and Nobles (yahoo!!), Starbucks, Ann Taylor Loft, Gap, Pier 1, Aveda, Chico's, various small boutiques and restaurants and a huge movie complex. In addition, it has an enclosed area with benches and water fountains that kids can run through. Birkdale gets a lot of foot traffic, both day and night and they have free concerts on Friday nights in the summer. Anyhow, we found Birkdale before we realized that we wanted to live in Huntersville. We just kept coming back to Birkdale at the end of our day. We'd go to Starbucks for coffee or to Barnes and Nobles to browse the books. It made sense that we'd settle in Huntersville, very close to Birkdale village.

Anyhow, on this Friday night, we decided to go hear Cindy's band. What a great evening it was. The streets were packed with people, families complete with kids and dogs, couples, singles, old and young. It was a balmy evening, probably in the 80's. The stars were out and there was a gentle breeze. The delicious smells from the restaurants floated by and if you'd made the mistake of not eating before you came out, you were hooked. You'd have to grab a bite to eat. Kids frolicked through the fountain while their parents watched. Car enthusiasts displayed their beautiful classic cars for all to see.

The band was great. They are a family friendly band and play gospel, R&B, pop, country. The vocals were good and the music had folks up and dancing in the street. We found a bench and listened to the tunes while watching people stroll by. As we sat, watched and listened, I found myself relaxing more and more. It was really nice to be out with nothing to do but sit and nowhere to be but here.

At intermission, we went into Starbucks to get an iced frappicino. Ted bought a trivia card game about Africa. We took our seats on the bench and started working our way through the trivia game. The deck said that it was for ages 8+ but I doubt that any 8 year old (or 9, 10, or 11 year old, for that matter) would know the answers to some of those questions. We did know some answers, though. I knew that Ja and Nee mean "yes" and "no" in Afrikaans. I did not know that Shukran means "thank you" in Arabic.

We stayed for a couple more songs after intermission, then decided to make our way back to the car. It was a little after 9 pm. We thought about stopping at Barnes and Nobles but thought better of it. I was tired.

What a nice way to spend a Friday evening.

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