My weekend in Wilmington was so nice. The drive ended up being not as dreary and long as I remembered from six months ago. In fact, since I didn't make any stops, I was there in about 4-and-a-half hours. Not bad.
I had some long-distance drama on my first night there, after hearing from Sister Kay that our Mom was having a medical emergency, vomiting and feeling faint. I was on and off the phone with both sisters until after 2 AM, when they were all headed home from the ER. Mother had a UTI and was low on potassium. And now all is well, except in Mother's words, she feels "weak as a dishrag."
On Saturday, we got out the door to a grand opening of a Verizon store there in Wilmington, where we snacked on chicken nuggets, registered for a free Wii, and picked out new cell phones. I seriously can't believe I put up with that damn Chocolate phone for two years. What a pain in the ass. Anyway, I love my new phone, so far. I copied Adam and Brandy and got the LG enV. More than I really need, I suppose, since I didn't opt for the Internet, and I don't text message enough to even pay for the text package ... but it feels good in my hand, and I like having a real live keyboard for those seven texts a month that I DO send out.
We went to lunch at a place called Fat Tony's. (I think.) It smelled like really old cigarette smoke (in a way that was NOT unpleasant to me) and the food was REALLY tasty.
The remainder of Saturday was: hanging out, looking at the houses up and down Wrightsville Beach (it was raining and cold, so no beach combing), and a little shopping. Jud had to go into work for a bit, and Emilie napped ... and then the torture began. For Christmas, Emilie gave Jud Rock Band (edited to add: Emilie tells me it's not Rock Band, it's Guitar Hero World Tour) for his XBox, and on Saturday night they FORCED me to play it with them. With Jud on the drums, Em on guitar, and me on vocals ... try to imagine the caterwauling the neighbors heard. Oy. I can only imagine how bad I sounded, but I guess the wine I was drinking dulled my hearing a bit. Because I KEPT singing. It was lots of fun, and lots of embarrassing.
On Sunday the rain was gone, so they decided to take me to Bald Head Island for a few hours. We bundled up and before I knew it, we were on a ferry boat. I never knew this place existed until Em told me about it last year. From the website:
"Amid Bald Head Island's 12,000 acres, you'll find 10,000 untouched acres of beach, marsh and maritime forest preserves. The intimate neighborhoods dotting the landscape rise gently and seamlessly, as if Nature herself had a hand in their development. Bald Head Island is a two-mile journey across the Cape Fear River from Southport, North Carolina. Appropriately, you can reach the island only by boat – a transition that prepares you for a place strikingly different from the one you left behind.When you board the passenger ferry for the 20-minute ride to Bald Head Island, you leave your car behind — along with the stress of everyday life. Transportation on the island is limited to golf carts, bikes, skates and well-worn walking shoes...an accurate reflection of the slower, more relaxed island attitude."
SO. Now I know where I'll build my house after I win the lottery. I LOVED THIS PLACE!
Here's "Old Baldy", the lighthouse on the island ...
I don't think I've EVER been on a beach alone ... not one other person in sight. I know, I know, it's January. (And it was so crazy cold out there!) But the cold and wind could not distract from the incredible beauty of this sight ...
This is before we got as cold as we were gonna get. I know this because the sun is still shining in the picture. After awhile, the clouds got thicker and we we shivering ...
I drove home last night ... again with the no-stops, 4-and-a-half hour trip ... and send my "Thanks for the memories" to Em and Jud. I won't wait another six months before I visit again.