If you ever have a chance to take off two days in the middle of the week, you should do it.
Bonus points if you had the Monday off before and you leave for three hours on Friday for your friend’s wedding rehearsal/rehearsal lunch. Last week was a little bit nutso. By no means was it an easy work week. But when you have Justin Timberlake tickets, you take the day of the concert off and the day after off. And you RELISH HIM.
You relish him.
And you honor his southern heritage with fried chicken, biscuits and grits. Not necessarily in that order.
I bought these JT tickets for the 20/20 Experience tour at a silent auction a few months ago and I asked my friend Anna to come with me. (You can read her version of our adventure HERE. Also, just follow her blog in general. It’s rull good.)
We decided to make a mid-week weekend out of it. And nothing was bad about this decision. We shuffled off to Raleigh for a late lunch at Beasley’s Chicken + Honey. Fried chicken and waffles, creamy collards, beets, and a chicken biscuit with pickled green tomatoes. Wash it down with a honey white beer named for the place and you’ve got yourself a stew going. Wait, I’m not Carl Weathers… Shaun and Scott, thank you for the recommendation! This place is epic and I want to go back right now.
After the concert, we primped at our hotel (HAMPTON INN, Y’ALL) and then we left (WE GOT A FREE COOKIE FOR THE ROAD, Y’ALL). And headed to drinks and apps with the gal who made the tickets happen.
Turns out, this was the hotel that JT stayed at. JT….and JB. That’s right. Jessica Biel was there too. So, guess what, David Olsen. Anna and I have basically slept with Jessica Biel. And you didn’t. (If you haven’t heard David’s Jessica Biel story…just ask him. He is not shy. WE LOVE YOU, DAVID!!!!!)
We got to the concert, completely missed the opening act (The Weeknd is a person? Who knew.), went to our seats and started playing my new favorite game to play at a JT concert: what kind of man is that? Angry Boyfriend. Trying To Be Cool Dad. Having TOO MUCH FUN Guy. Deaf Guy Signing Holding a Beer. (He was awesome.) Hot Guy Who Wore the JT White Dinner Jacket and his Super Hot Wife (My BFFs Mike and Danielle.) Dumb Guy Who Wore the JT White Dinner Jacket and a Weird Fucking Hat. (Not pictured. He did not deserve to have his picture taken.)
Listen, this is a fake food blog. Not a fake JT blog. But let’s be honest. JT is basically his own food group because he is so delicious. And I would eat him up with a spoon. (Sorry, Jess.) He was incredible. He sang and danced and played guitar and played piano for 3 hours with one ten-minute intermission. He was funny. And charming. And somehow made it seem like he was singing just to us. (CAUSE HE WAS.) Anna and I danced and sang all night long.
Which is why we needed to replenish our strength, and once again honor JT’s southern roots with some southern breakfast. Big Ed’s City Market is the jam. You know how Cracker Barrel has all those knick-knacks on the walls, but you know they just had them made at a factory? Well, Big Ed’s has a bunch of knick-knacks on the walls, windows and hanging from the ceiling but it just feels authentic. Anna and I split the fried catfish, eggs and home fries and a yummy veggie omelet and grits. (Thank you to Shaun and Tony for the recco!)
Run, don’t walk to get tickets to the 20/20 Experience Tour near you. It’s an amazing show.
Run, don’t walk to Beasley’s and Big Ed’s next time you’re in Raleigh. You will not regret it.
Run, don’t walk to hang out with Anna. She’s a ridiculous amount of fun, an excellent travel buddy (at least, the way I travel: frequent stops and needing free cookies), and a very fun concert date.
Run, don’t walk to take a mid-week weekend. You work hard. You deserve a break. Get your sexy on. JT has spoken.