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?
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!
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.