After returning from the mountains on Sunday I immediately returned home, repacked, and hit the road for Wilmington. You’d think after over 3 years in the state of North Carolina this would not be my first trip there. But that it was. For some reason I can’t justify a trip to the beach when I can head west, but this time was talked into it.
BILLBOARD SPOTTING: 1. I realize that not all Christians are crazies, and I genuinely feel bad for the normal ones when I see billboards like this one. But this one just disgusted me. I have many Christians in my life who are loving, caring, and compassionate, and then stuff like this in public view on 40W kill it for me. Jesus has my number? What the hell does that mean? And you’re demanding me to repent? Right now? I don’t take demands like that well, especially from someone I don’t know. I wonder which church is spending large amounts of money, that could go towards helping people, to put up a billboard like this one…
TRAVELODGE WILMINGTON: 6. I’ll admit I was a bit hesitant about this one. We used Hotwire to get a cheap hotel for the night, as I had an awesome experience back in my first year of teaching. We were headed up to DC for the Halloween bar crawl and somehow scored a room at the Hilton in Dupont (literally walking distance from the bars) for only $100. Not bad. This one we found one for $39, but as soon as we booked it we got the name and some recent reviews. The first one said “This ‘hotel’ should be blown up and rebuilt from the ground up. At least the WiFi worked and the strip club next door was closed. Next time I’ll sleep in my car’. There were more where that came from and some talked about mold, dirty sheets, the loud strip club, etc. Needless to say we weren’t too excited, but knew no matter what it’d be an adventure.
It turned out to be clean, a pretty decent location (about 10 minutes from the beach) and overall worth the money. It was significantly cheaper than every place else, and had everything we needed. I was a bit nervous about staying on the first floor, and would probably request the second floor next time, but other than that I’d go back. Wouldn’t be super excited and thrilled about returning, but would do it.
BREAKFAST AT CAUSEWAY CAFE: 10. Breakfast is hands down my favorite meal of the day, and for anyone who feels similarly, and is in the Wilmington area, you MUST go here. They have tons of seafood on the menu, and serve breakfast all day, so I got the crab omelette with egg whites, wheat toast, and sweet potato fries. That’s right, they had sweet potato fries. GOOD ones. The omelette was STUFFED with crab meat (which I love), topped with mozerella cheese, and the whole thing had a homemade hollandaise sauce on it. Despite not loving the beach too much, I’d return just to eat breakfast here again. I didn’t even have to pay, so I can’t think of anything to take points off for. Plus they sold newspapers outside and I got a chance to catch up on the news for the first time in a while.
After breakfast we stopped by a local farmers market (only open on Mondays, how perfect!), and while I didn’ t need anything they were selling, everyone there was awesome and it was a nice unexpected surprise.
BEACH CROWDS: On a Monday it turns out they’re not too bad, but still significantly more crowded than those in LA during the week. I’d rate it a 6, as we still got a stellar parking spot, it provided some decent people watching, and no one was too loud or obnoxious.
ENJOYMENT OF THE WATER: 8. At first a bit chilly, but I haven’t been in an ocean this warm in maybe forever? Once I was in I could have stayed in forever, and had a great time playing around in the waves (large enough for surfing). Fear of sharks takes off a point for enjoyment of the water, as this is a neverending fear that disrupts every ocean experience.
MY ENJOYMENT OF THE BEACH: 4. While I do love playing in the water, hanging out on the beach is just not my thing. Constantly reapplying sunscreen to avoid burning (and still ending up with awkward spots here and there), lying around while I slowly overheat and start to sweat, and getting sand EVERYWHERE is just not my idea of a fabulous day. Is it fun every once in a while? Sure. But if I have a choice, the beach is not where I’ll end up. That only became more clear after the contrast of this weekend. With the right company, however, everything is a bit more enjoyable.
TACKY BEACH STORES: 7. I found this trip that I don’t enjoy them nearly as much as I used to (I suppose a limiting budget takes away some of the joy of purchasing unnecessary, and sometimes obnoxious, shirts and hermit crabs) but I still enjoy poking around and laughing at the ridiculous collection of things they have. I’m curious who’s in charge of purchasing, and deciding what they’ll sell that month. It’s just so random I’d be curious to figure out what the method to their madness is…
SCA SPOTTINGS: 7.5. During this 3 day trip, I spotted SCA towel dispensers at 3 out of 4 public restrooms (hence the 75% turning into a 7.5). My sister is a product developer/manager for SCA, and towel dispensers are her specialty, so I thought she might enjoy this 🙂
From there we headed home and overall I’d say that 24 hours is the perfect amount of time to be spent at the beach 🙂