I'm alive! Yup, couchsurfing in Charlotte went swimmingly. There was even swimming involved. I met a great group of surfers, tried out kneeboarding (was too wimpy for wakeboarding), saw an orange moon rise, failed at drunk trivia, ate some delicious pastry, walked my feet off, looked at other people's artwork, and just tried to get a feel for the city of Charlotte in macro view.
After exhausting myself in NC, I made my way to NYC and got to relax a bit while seeing pretty much everyone that I miss the most! I went with them to a dumpling festival, to the Staten Island ferry (where beer was disappointingly average-priced), to a cafe in Williamsburg, to a great dinner with a giant spoon, and to cupcakes in disguise. I have now officially set foot on all 5 boroughs of NYC, so I suppose I can cross that off my hypothetical list.
The only snag in my trip was flying home (not a long jump) during which I had two layovers, got delayed halfway through, had to crash overnight on my sister's friend's couch with a crazy stray traveler I took pity on, and picked up the dreaded rhinovirus. I got home 24 hours later, worn out and ready for a full day of just sleeping and sitting on the couch. Which is what I did.
I have some pictures but somehow my phone's memory card got corrupted so I might not be able to pull anything off there. Photos or not, I had a good long trip that should hold off my wanderlust for a least a little while longer!