Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Wacky Wilmington!

Today's Wonder of the World is...Wilmington, North Carolina! And all the wonders I found there!
Wilmington really is a wonder-full town. It's old--at least by American standards, incorporated in 1739. And it's on the Cape Fear River.
See its pretty river walk?

There's a secret surprise in this picture!
If you look really closely, you'll see my blogging friend Susan Sandmore looking at you from down the way. Neither of us is crazy about getting our pictures taken (though I don't mind sticking my head on seashells or paper doll bodies, close ups make me nervous) so we decided a far off shot of each other might be acceptable. Maybe I'll do all my pictures this way!
Though I would have enjoyed getting a close up of her. She's great!

Susan is a writer and has an amazing blog, HERE, that you should visit. She's a really cool person, so when I found out we were vacationing not far from her, I called her up to see if we could get together. She biked over to meet me (how about her-- living my dream with a historic house downtown, and biking to work and everywhere else! I should be really eaten up with envy, but she's too nice to hate her guts) and we had a great visit.

Before we met, Todd drove us all over historic Wilmington while my children lectured me about the dangers of meeting strangers I had found on the internet. I nodded my head at the kids but I wasn't really listening. I was too busy drooling over the cobblestone roads and gorgeous houses.
See what I mean?

Maybe some day I can live in a house like those.

When I was a little girl, my family toured the USS North Carolina in Wilmington, and many years later we brought our own kids. It's a fun thing to do.

Of course Wilmington is also famous for all its Hollywood connections.
Did you know Matlock was produced there?
Remember Matlock?

I can't help it. I just love Andy Griffith. And his seersucker suit.
I had to play tourist and take a picture of their town hall. Andy walks up these very steps in the intro.

Okay, now I feel like a really old fogie, revealing my Matlock love and that I was on Andy Griffith patrol the whole time we were in Wilmington, scanning the streets for an old gray man in a seersucker suit. (Don't think I'm an idiot. I realize that Matlock is not real and that Andy is just an actor. For your information he lives close to Wilmington.)
Just so you know, I'm also aware that One Tree Hill and Dawson's Creek are filmed in Wilmington too. Though I've never watched either of them. No seersucker suits, I'd bet.

And to show you how un-fogie-ish I am, here's a picture of a store that I really wanted to visit while we were in Wilmington. Susan told me about it. It's called Planet.

Really, who could resist a store that has a mannequin out on the sidewalk wearing a gas mask? I had hoped to go shop before the fireworks on the 4th, but we didn't have time.
We were too busy avoiding drunken people and getting back into our car.
Oh. Didn't I tell you our 4th of July story?

To make it short-ish, the lady at the Science Museum (yes we're a family of nerds) told us that the best place for watching fireworks is by the side of the highway outside of Wilmington.

"By the side of the highway?" we asked.
"Oh yes. Just get close to the battleship, pull off the highway, and you can watch from there. Everybody does it."

So we did what she said. And she was right. EVERYONE does do that!

But apparently we pulled off the highway at the designated spot for drunk people. When a man yelled at my husband for pulling off the highway and parking near his family (who was also pulled off the highway) my poor nine year old started thinking he was about to attack (really I don't think he could have stood up) and begged us to leave.

So we went a little farther down the highway.
Where, two minutes after we parked and got ourselves ready, another carload of drunk people pulled off behind us and began yelling at each other, using very...um... colorful language. The low point was when the nineteen year old driver shoved a one year old into his girlfriend's lap and yelled, "You *#%, fine, I'll just go PEE by myself!"

I still haven't figured that one out.

Sam begged to just go home and forget the fireworks all together.
But it was 4th of July! We had to see fireworks! So we decided with Sam that we could stay but we would keep the car moving and watch as we drove all around Wilmington! What a terribly American way to watch the fireworks--IN OUR CAR! Watching out our windows!
Oh well. But everyone got happy and it really was one of the best fireworks shows I've ever seen!
Next time we'll just go into town and watch them from Matlock's steps!

Maybe if I'm lucky, he'll show up wearing seersucker!

Have a Wonder-full Tuesday everybody!
Love, Becky

PS. Don't worry Mom. I had corresponded with Susan before I met her. I don't randomly call up people I meet on the internet and arrange meetings. And I made clear to my children that Mommy really did know Susan fairly well before we met. Plus Susan was on a bike. It's not like she could force me into her basket and wheel me away to a dungeon somewhere.
But thanks for caring!

PS. Again: Thanks to my flickr friends for their public photos: wrestlebehr, rcoss2001, Operator No. 9, and D. Rich.


Doreen said...

What a great post..thanks for sharing ...I feel a bit as if I've actually been there. I don't blame you at all for being envious of Susan...how wonderful to live in a huge old historic house and be able to bike wherever you go....aw..that would be wonderful.

So sorry you had to encounter those terrible drunks though...there's always got to be something that puts a kink i things doesn't it!

Happy 4th to you and yours.


Susan Sandmore said...

Oh my gosh, I could SO have totally put you in my bike basket! But that's not how I am. I will, instead, post a picture of YOU on my blog!

P.S.--Sorry about the terrible drunk fireworks watchers. And on the road, too. How embarrassing!

Julee Ann said...

Your post made me put Wilmington on my list of places to see.

I spent the 4th on Mackinac Island, another historic relic with a couple of movies to it's name.

Somewhere In Time with Christopher Reeve =(
This Time For Keeps with Esther Williams

And now I'm off to read Susan's blog.

Rebecca Ramsey said...

Hey Doreen! And Happy 4th to you as well!

Susan, you crack me up. I can just see us wrestling on the river walk.
And don't feel bad about the drunkards-- they were clearly out- of- towners. (If they were from Wilmington, they would have stayed home and watched from their porches like you!) At least we got to watch the fireworks from inside Wilmington, which was really cool. I just love your city.

Hey Julee Ann. I've heard of Mackinac Island. Sounds fun!

Suzie said...

Thats so cool. I keep reading about people meeting their blogging friends. i would love to do that some day. Ive met such great people blogging.

Rhondi said...

Thanks for the tour. I've been to Wilmington before and I love all the beautiful old homes.
Hugs, Rhondi

Susan Sandmore said...

I'm so excited! I found my camera connector wire thing. Now the companion photo of you is up on my blog. :)

Pamela Terry and Edward said...

I just saw the movie "Waitress" on hbo and Andy Griffith was in it. He was adorable. I still love him, and Barney.

Anonymous said...

I love Wilmington been there 2x!The houses are gorgeous and funky shops!
Yes too bad it was a drunk-fest at the beach here where I live fireworks going off the beach numerous bonfires,sirens..my apartment was filled with smoke from beach! Come on over and pick up your blog award!

Rosemary said...

What a great place. I would love to visit there sometime.
How nice you could get together with your blogging friend.
I knew that they filmed Dawson's Creek there. My daughter and I were hooked on that show when she was in High School.
Great post as usualy Becky!!
Have a wonderful day!

The Scarlett Rose Garden said...

Ah, I love the Carolinas. Great pics! Too funny about your girls taking far away pics of yourselves.
Ok, great.. now I'm worried about the one year old with the jerk driver... ugh!

Rebecca Ramsey said...

Hey Suzie and Rhondi!
Susan, thanks for putting the pic of my huge foot on your blog!
Pamela, I haven't seen that movie yet. I'll have to look for it.
C. de papier, you're the sweetest thing! Thanks for the award!
Rosemary, Susan told me that folks make pilgrimages to see the Dawson's set site.
Scarlett Rose Garden, I know! I thought about that little one too. What some kids have to grow up with. It's sad.

TattingChic said...

No wonder we didn't hear much from you over the July Fourth weekend...you were having TOO MUCH FUN in Wilmington! I don't blame you one bit I would've done the same thing. It sounds like you and your family had fun and it's so nice that you got to meet a blogging buddy.

Mya said...

Love your funny story. I love the Wilmington/Wrightsville beach area. I visited many years ago. I am currently working on a piece of fiction that takes place in that area.
I agree that we should be very jealous of Susan, but you are right she is too nice. I popped over to her blog and checked her out for myself.

Barb said...

Hi Becky,

What a fun post! Love the pics and thank you for introducing me to Susan. It sounds like you had toooo much fun!

Please come visit- you have an award waiting for you.


She'sSewPretty said...

Becky, Thanks so much for stopping by my blog. I am enjoying my visit to yours. I'll have you know that my daughter who is 24 is a big Matlock fan and so am I. We would have been looking out for that white seersucker suit too!

FrenchGardenHouse said...

What a wonderful post! I have put Wilmington NC on my short list of "maybe one day's"...it looks so great.

Isn't it fun meeting blog friends? I'm glad you had a great visit with Susan.:)

Hope you are having a happy week!
xo Lidy

ps. I still love Matlock!

Susan said...

HA! Once again, I was at that same spot on the boardwalk just a couple days before you! We had driven up to visit the Railroad Museum. Two little boys and you just gotta visit the railroad museum!

Danette Haworth said...

Wonderful post and great pics. I love that sort of atmosphere. I would have been on Andy watch too--Sheriff Andy, that is.