Sunday, June 10, 2012

Some reasons we are loving Wilmington, NC ...

On the way to Wilmington we passed roads named Green Swamp Rd and Back Swamp Rd and Cabinet Shop Rd and a town named Old Hundred.  How can you not love such a state already?

Carolina Beach

That's the swimsuit I would like to wear...neon orange!
Trolley tours (we've now been on 7 - Eureka Springs & Little Rock in AR, Memphis & Chattanooga in TN, Asheville, Wilmington and New Bern in NC - in the past month).  We love them!
Boat tours (our 4th this month - Loch Lomond & Beaver Lake in AR, Tennessee River in Chattanooga & Cape Fear River in NC)  That is old downtown Wilmington in this picture.
Shopping!  Oh, Gregg LOVES it!  (He walked right by that sign & didn't even chuckle...)
Crab cake lunch along the International Waterway - mostly crab, not mostly bread crumb.  Yummm!  Fresh mahi mahi for Gregg.
Great performance of the musical Legally Blonde at the Thalian Theater, operating continuously since 1855.
Incredible tour of the USS North Carolina Battleship

The amphibian on board that Gregg wishes he could fly...

We got to go into the gun turrets.  Fascinating - claustrophobic.  I walked onto the ship thinking I could have enjoyed doing service at sea myself.  I changed my mind during the tour...what hard work and close quarters!

Beds over the desks in some of the quarters.  No space wasted...

HUGE anchor.  There is a tiny white speck above the right side of it that is Gregg's shirt in the background.  The ship is VAST.  About 2,300 personnel were aboard when at war in WWII in the Pacific.
Now, on to New Bern, NC, about 80 miles N of Wilmington.  The 2nd oldest community in NC, begun in 1710.  This building is the stable and carriage house of the first NC governor's palace, Tryon Palace.  This building survived a 1798 fire that destroyed the rest of the complex.  About 80% of its bricks are still the originals from 1700's.  Amazingly, the rest of the complex was rebuilt and refurnished with authentic 1700's artifacts in the 1950's at a cost of about $3.5 million.  The tour of the area is incredibly interesting.  

Formal gardens at Tryon Palace

My camera couldn't capture it, but at the end of this long arbor is a view of the Trent River - gorgeous.
Trolley tour in town taught us a lot.  That is a walkway for chimney sweeps - not a Widow's Walk as most would think.

Cemetery is interesting with grave stones old enough that the 6 pointed star was still in use within the Christian cross, rather unusual.
Grand Union flag on one of the houses - the first national flag of the US in 1760's.

New Bern is where pharmacist "Brad" Bradham invented Pepsi Cola.  It's also the hometown of author Nicholas Sparks.  Small community of about 28,000 with interesting old downtown street of shopping and restaurants, rivers, history - loved it there!

Maria and I went to dinner one night.  The necklace I am wearing is one that she gave me, made by her daughter Perla who is an artist that works with woven glass.  It's gorgeous!  See her work at