Friday, June 20, 2014

Still in Wrightsville Beach

When I last left you, Dear Readers, we were trying to figure out what to do about Wilmington. This town had come up as a stopping place for us on this trip because we had never been there. However, our research was giving us limited options on where to stay once we reached the town. Our best bet was the city docks- a marina run by Wilmington right in the heart of the historical district. Further research turned up tales by other mariners that were not inspiring. Several captains complained about their boats being robbed. Some captains said it was a nice place, but you had to pay attention to the logs in the river. Yes, Dear Readers, NOT debris but LOGS! Added to that, there was talk about the swift current at the city docks. All in all, some of the crew just were not in favor of the Wilmington docks.

As you could tell from the lovely dinner drink posting, we did end up in Wrightsville Beach. The plan was to rent a car to go into the city. But, we did not count on the lack of cooperation from Enterprise. Yes, they will pick you up. But, in Wilmington, that appears to be whenever the mood strikes them. We asked for a 2:00 pick up. When we called at 2:10 to ask where they were, they said the driver was just leaving. When we called at 2:30 to ask where the driver was, we found out that he was stuck in bridge traffic because he had a drop off in Wrightsville Beach. BTW, Wrightsville Beach is across the bridge from us. So, it was after 3 before we actually got the car. 

Now, here in the south, everything except restaurants closes at 5:00. Not much to do as tourists if  most everything is closing. So, we started with the top of our list- the Cotton Exchange. The write up made it sound like an eclectic collection of shops. It was, but the shops really didn't have that much to offer. The big excitement was the collection of buildings that housed the shops. There actually was a cotton exchange in one of the buildings - a place to buy and sell cotton. Some of the buildings date back to the 1860s. And, they had done a nice job of documenting the history with photos and displays.

We did make some interesting purchases. One of the shops had kitchen goods and foodstuffs. We got three collapsible bowls- better for storing here on LUX! Mike bought pickled peanuts because it was a local product that seemed rather unusual. The rest of us have already made enough weird faces that he has had to remind us that we are supposed to be open to trying new and different things. Hmmm... We will try these things, but not many of us seem hopeful about Mike's food experiment this time.

We also found a bookstore that stayed open later than 5. Of course we had to spend some time wandering the big collection of both new and used books. It was an interesting old place with stacks of books everywhere. It also had a quasi-snack bar that sold beer, sodas, wine, and dried kale chips. Yes, that is an unusual collection of offerings,isn't it? This place also rents books by the yard to movies being made in the area. The proprietress had just rented 65 feet of books to the set designers of Under the Dome. Yes, they are shooting that show here locally!

After that, we just rode around Wilmington to see what we could see. We then headed back to Wrightsville Beach. We decided to go out to dinner, so we ended up at the restaurant with the really pretty drinks. And, the food was very tasty. 

Unfortunately, we were all pretty tired by this time. We managed a short foray to the shopping center. The guys went to West Marine, and we went off the Harris Teeter. We had just enough energy to get back to the boat. It wasn't long before we were all in bed. Another great day.

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