Although traveling south to escape the freezing temperatures hasn't exactly worked out for us, the heaping amounts of southern hospitality we have been shown has left us warm and cozy. Arriving in Charlotte on Wednesday the 13th, we were received by our dear cousins, Abe & Lindsey Lehman, along with their three kids, Gabe, Lovie, & Ezra.
Thursday evening we had the opportunity to share the stage with a Contemporary Christian band that Abe leads at a local bar called Harveys as a part of a preschool fundraiser. It was our first time playing in such a loud space, and was a good learning experience for us as we had to really focus on our tuning without being able to hear each other well. A highlight of the night was calling up Lovie on stage to sing "Let It Go" with Bekah, while a mash-pit of 4-8 year olds (and a few parents) sang along to the Disney classic.
We cherished a few days hanging out with the cousins, taking in some of the sites of Charlotte, seeing the new home the Lehman's are building, watching Ezra tear it up at a lacrosse tournament, and playing lots of indoor football with the kids. :)
Sunday morning we played alongside Abe and his worship band, while performing some solo songs at Bethel Church. That evening, we gave our final concert on this leg to a wonderfully diverse crowd. With kids playing in the back, young families, and older folks all gathered in one space, we gave one of our best performances, even though we were still a bit hindered by our lingering colds. It felt great to leave it all out there before this upcoming break from performances. We would like to extend gratitude to all the members of Abe's praise band, who set up and tore down everything for us, making our jobs super easy. Also, the sound in the space was spectacular, for which all credit goes to Brad, the sound man.
We were surprised by three more cousins that came to see us! Ben Hollenberg from South Park, Charlotte, and the other, Rehan Tillekeratne, traveling from Raleigh. They both came for the morning service and the evening concert, and we are so thankful for their support. We had the pleasure of lunching with Rehan and his girlfriend, Juliana, catching up with these lovely souls. Joe Lehman came out to the evening concert from Asheville, and it was great to see him in the second row! We are going to stay with Ben a couple nights this next week as we take in the Smoky Mountains and the other views Charlotte has to offer.