Our final hours of the decade were spent not unlike the past few months: stuffing our faces with the most flavorful love-infused fare imaginable. Dan’s mom was on the coast for NYE, and was beyond generous to allow us three and Evan to gather at her home in Charlotte for our heralding in of the new year and decade. We cooked and feasted, we lounged and played a swift-moving card game, we went out dancing, and came back to continue enjoying the night until our tanks were on empty….only to wake up in 2020 to an abundant brunch made by Evan.
After parting ways, we drove up to Chapel Hill for another study appointment (and saw the Blue House where H once lived with Evan!), and headed back down to Charlotte the next day for a final weekend there. A couple of those days were spent relaxing and running minor errands as rain drenched the city, followed by a night of pizza and Exploding Kittens with H’s cousins Keely and Shelby in their freshly moved-in apartment. We spent the first Sunday night of the year back with Stu and Vonnie for an evening at the bowling alley (we didn’t end up bowling, but most of us had some damn good wings!) and a hibachi grill (alongside an endearing three-son family with a mom turning 40 who warned me “the thirties were…weird”). We capped off the night with incredible cookies and gorgeous sunflower-shaped brownies (made in the bundt pan we got Vonnie!) before visiting H’s grandpa and spending one final night in Monroe.
The next two days were a fun time in Asheville celebrating H’s 31st – cooking an epic chili and mac ‘n’ cheese combo casserole and jalapeño cornbread with Bella and marvelling mouths agape at the genius and artistry showcased in Netflix’s Birds of Paradise documentary, brunching until we nearly burst at Sunny Point Cafe, concluding the mega thrice-over-trilogy of Star Wars while squirming in our seats, and enjoying final moments together over rich chocolate cake. The following day was a long travel day pulling into Chapel Hill just in time for H’s very last appointment in NC, while breathing a huge sigh of relief that war with Iran was seemingly not going to be pursued as hot-headedly as we feared.