Even though the temperatures still have not returned to our liking, we have finally gotten ourselves back out of the house again. (Even the Great One can only watch so many old John Wayne movies in such a short period of time – although he will probably dispute this claim.)  

So late Saturday morning, with list in hand, we headed out.  We decided to start with Village Emporium at 1615 Sardis Road North, Charlotte NC.  Our GPS was a little uncooperative at first.  I guess she likes the cold weather even less than we do, but eventually she got on board and headed us in the right direction, although her choice of routes was a bit baffling. 

And while I’m on the subject of the GPS, where do they come up with the pronunciation of what I consider fairly common street names and places?  For example, how would you pronounce P-i-n-e-v-i-l-l-e? Or how about G-a-l-l-e-r-i-a?  Mind you, I’m no elocution expert, but wouldn't it be Pine(like the tree)ville and not Pin(like a needle with a head but no eye)ville?  And, who in their right mind would pronounce Galleria(gallery plus an a) as Galaria(malaria with a g instead of an m)?  HAL 9000 from 2001: A Space Odyssey would be appalled. 

After multiple twists and turns in what could have been a more straightforward path that took a little reconnoitering on our part at the end, we finally arrived at Village Emporium, right beside the Harris Teeter.  This is a great place for a unique, one-of-a-kind gift for that special someone.  As with most of the shops we visit, they house many individual booths including well-known brands such as Willow Tree and Avon as well as many handmade items, children’s clothes, quilts and blankets.  You will also find booths with antique and vintage furniture, jewelry, purses and unique wall art - don’t miss the vintage fans.  Among their booths you will find Glazed Over pottery by Robert Davidson a Charlotte artist, as well as jewelry and decorative/functional fused glass artwork by another Charlotte artist, Kevin Kennedy of Mixed Media Studio.  While we enjoyed looking, it really isn't suitable for our purposes, but if you are looking for some really unique gifts, then this is your place!

Heading to the next place on my list, an antique store in Matthews, we found it was no longer an antique store but was now a church.  The next 3 on my list were in Indian Trail and although I was certain we’d never been to them, once we saw them, I remembered them well.  So we decided to run through Chick-Fil-A and head to The Sleepy Poet instead.  Unfortunately, they must have given us spicy sandwiches by mistake.  Oh well, after all the holiday treats, I could stand to skip a few calories here and there.

The Sleepy Poet, as always, soothed our souls.  Unfortunately, the cupcake truck was not there, but the popcorn was freshly popped and still warm – so much for my saved calories.  We saw quite a few interesting items, such as the item in the picture.  I bet you can’t guess what it is.