Thursday, September 9, 2010

Wilmington, North Carolina USA

When we were making plans for our trip to North Carolina, this really fabulous thing happened. Steve got the dates wrong and bought our airline tickets with the wrong return date, which had us returning two days after vacation ended. So we were faced with the dilemma of finding something to do for two nights. After much conversation we decided to stay near the airport and explore the city of Wilmington. It is a wonderful city full of rich American history dating back to the 1700's and earlier. PS that's old for America and better yet, there was an historic district to explore!

As we traveled around the city on foot I shot all my images with the mindset of black and white. As I was editing them I started to go in a different direction. The buildings were so full of detail and fabulous color that I was missing something in the translation. Even the bricks were multicolored! I chose to punch it up so each and every variation of detail would really show up.

We had two really fun days of just being together and hanging out in the humid heat of North Carolina. We visited the most fabulous Ice cream store in the world twice, rode a trolly, ate the best eggs benedict ever, and washed all our dirty clothes before we even got home.

It was the perfect ending to a very long holiday. Enjoy the tour of Wilmington and settle in because I posted a ton of pictures and am going to tell you a couple of stories. You may even want to get a snack for this one.

These cross streets are right in the middle of the historic district. At this spot you can catch a trolly or a tour boat. There are special shops full of art and clothing and fantastic treasures you could never find at the mall or Target, if you know what I mean. The feeling here is relaxed and slow, and wonderful.

When I ran images of Wilmington in Google, this spot came up several times. It is the center of the historic district. We ate breakfast at the restaurant in the image below. I have to tell you when we went in I wasn't sure it was going to be good, yet there was an "A" rating on the door and we were hungry.

Hey, what do you think of the little balconies on the outside of the restaurant? Aren't they wonderful? Imagine sitting out there eating dinner with your sweetheart watching the sunset over the harbor. (That's what's on the other side of this street, the harbor) We all wanted to sit there but being that there are five of us, that wasn't going to happen. Let's go inside, shall we?

There were no tables available so we waited in the bar. Honestly, this made me worry a bit more about what breakfast was going to be like. However, I enjoyed looking at these doors and the glass. There was something going on outside the doors and you could see all the people moving around outside... I love the broken window repaired with a piece of cardboard.

Ooooo shinny! Pretty little votive that reminded me of my big sister, just saying.

We were sat in a bright sunny room up stairs and it was seriously the best breakfast ever. The food was fabulous and savory and creamy and warm! We laughed and had fun taking pictures of each other. I would really say if you are going to eat down in the historic district you have to eat here, but try to sit on one of those darling balconies. Seriously, I have no idea what the name of it is! Sheesh, good thing I don't work for a travel magazine.

In the sunny room, enjoying some iced tea...

And water... Alix asked me to please not edit the images I had of her drinking her tea... lol

Here's Dad hmmmm...
When Steve saw me editing this image he stood next to me at the computer and asked, "Did you photoshop those on me, or did I actually put those on?"

So, after our wonderful meal we set out to explore. My main goal was to get on that trolley and see the city with a tour guide
And we're on the trolley...

This man is our tour guide. He works for tips and he knows a ton about the city and its history. We learned about the housing structures, the people, and the events during the Civil War and earlier. We all enjoyed the stories he told us. I would highly recommend this tour!

PS here is our tour guide behind the bus sneaking a cigar before the tour. Tee hee hee Very funny with a bit of creepy.

In his seat and ready to go.

Sweet Emma enjoying the tour/stories.

A little sugar on the bus...

I love that I have funny children. I also love that they are up for most anything. Here we have Amanda on the trolley dancing. We were waiting quite awhile to get started (cigar) so I thought it would be wonderful if Amanda did what I would call a little jig. Of course she did!

My favorite part of this dance was when all the other people on the bus turned around and looked at us as though they were stricken with fear that Amanda was going to dance through the entire tour.

After the tour we walked around and shopped and enjoyed the city. I'm so glad we were able to stay the extra days here and I'm really glad my daughters were able to see the other side of our country and hear about how it all started.

Take some time to enjoy looking at some images of the city. The buildings are a mix of very old and then very modern and then some new made to look old. I loved the variety of it all and the colors of everything. All I could think of was that the city would be a great place for a Photowalk. There were fabulous details from the street lights to the sewer drains, go ahead, check it out.

I love alleys

This star looked strangely familiar...

I get very excited to find initials in "nature"
-save this one for later...
This is the ceiling just outside the public bathroom, beautiful light

It is important to be able to carry a child on your shoulders if you are planning on becoming a father... just saying.

Even the trash looks interesting to me.

Cape Fear

Sisters modeling

Sister not modeling

Even the bird houses were cute.

I sat under the trees and in front of the ice cream store and enjoyed this praline. I hadn't had one since my Grandma Faithe died. She hand made the only pralines I'd ever eaten till now.
Alix thinks this picture is hilarious...

Across the street is the building I'm going to buy and live in and make art in. Not really, but we all have fantasies.

The following images were of a cemetery we passed on the trolley tour. Steve and I wanted to really see it so we went back after the tour and took these shots. Its always odd for me to be at places like this. I don't believe in ghosts but I often wonder if people don't leave some sort of residue behind because I can feel lives in a place such as this.

Just imagine the stories this cemetery holds.
Surrounding the location were trees dripping with spanish moss. In California nothing drips from out trees but sap and ants. I think it looks amazing!

Our trolley driver called this the most beautiful intersection in Wilmington. The fountain is in the center of the round-a-bout and it really is nice. On one of the corners was a mansion that is open for tours. It was said to be all original on the inside and I really wanted to see that. Unfortunately we missed the last tour of the day by ten minutes so we missed out. I did, however, take some pictures of the outside details.

While we were on the trolley, our driver told us of how, at the end of the Civil War, the night the Union troops arrived at the river's bank the roof of this house was filled with black slaves. They stood on the rooftop and watched the Union soldiers travel up the street into Wilmington. The slaves all cried, knowing that seeing the Union soldiers meant they were going to be free. At that moment they knew their lives would never be the same. My heart was filled with heartache and excitement as I tried to imagine what the moonlight looked like as they looked over the town, what did it smell like, did they sing or just cry? How did they keep their hearts from leaping?
Look at the image below and just imagine.

The fencing was fantastic and I thought it would be great inspiration later in making stationary or a design on a book cover.

Pomegranate in the garden.

There were so many wonderful plants and flowers and trees in this city. We really enjoyed exploring and playing and eating. I'm so happy to have shared all of this with my favorite people in the world.

Next year the big girls will be planning our vacation. I wonder where we will be going.


  1. My favorite is the fence detail - I would love to use that somewhere else. I love the history and am so envious of that type of architecture. I guess we all want whst we can't have, right? Fabulous blog, as always.

  2. You told such a nice story about our visit there in both pictures and words. I was so happy to read it and I was there even! Another winner, xoxoxo.