Time was running out before we were scheduled to be in Tennessee at our volunteer posts on May 30, so we put Ferd back on the road and left Maryland a few days ago. We needed to head south and we had been considering an ocean visit, so that's how we came to be in Wilmington, North Carolina. Well, that's almost it. Anyway, we took a recommendation on the Elks Lodge in Wilmington and found it to be great. In fact, we were the only occupants of their five sites, electrical and water hookups, for the five days we were parked there (our Memorial Weekend hangout). The location is between Wrightsville Beach and downtown Wilmington. Good for our intentions to see the town and relax by the ocean a bit.
It has been quite a while since we soaked up the ocean view, so we spent one afternoon at Wrightsville Beach, just a few miles north, and one at Carolina Beach, south about 15 miles. People watching and walking on the beach was all the entertainment we needed. Add a stop at the local Causeway Cafe in Wrightsville Beach for a scrumptious brunch and we were well satisfied. (Thanks for the recommendation Krissy!)
Of course, we used some of our time to explore the town of Wilmington also. The historic downtown streets are lined with an unusually high number of stately old mansions, each one carrying a plaque on the front porch giving its history. The Riverwalk, along the Cape Fear River, has its fair share of restaurants and shops and they seemed popular. There were concerts on the Riverwalk to complete the weekend's festivities.
For those who have an interest in naval history, docked permanently across the river from downtown is the retired WWII battleship North Carolina. Open for all to see, it's a museum of sorts, demonstrating the life aboard this type of vessel. On this particular day, there was quite a contrasting scene in the port area. A huge 1812 schooner,
Pride of Baltimore II, made its way up the river. This exact replica of a sailing ship of that era is voyaging from Maine to Florida and was scheduled to be in Wilmington for a few days. She has visited 42 countries and sailed over 200,000 miles as an ambassador of goodwill for Maryland. We sat on a park bench for a while to watch the old girl as she fired her guns, seemingly challenging the battleship positioned just off her stern. The canons boomed and smoked away. But, thankfully, there was no response from the North Carolina. Silence....unlike past responses.
One more stop for our Memorial Day Weekend,
a visit to the Wilmington National Cemetery.