Wilmington, NC

Thursday September 21, 2016 – Travel Day

Since we stayed at a Moose Lodge for the last 5 nights, we had to find a dump station along the way to Wilmington.  There is a Flying J on I-95 South, Exit 106 in North Carolina. It cost $7.50.  We got a Good Sam discount (it is listed as $10.00). That took about 20 minutes.  Easy in and out.  They have 2 dump stations with diesel right there too.

We arrived in Wilmington about 1:00.  We were not sure where to park, so we waited for Bill, the administrator to show up. 20160928_122043He set us up behind the Lodge.  We have 50 amp service and water.  There is a dump beside that bath house.  For $15.00 a night, you can’t beat this. Do you see the white square thing sticking up above our rig?  That is our Winegard Rayzar antenna.20160924_192838Check out the great picture we got from our Rayzar Antenna.  This was a square dancing competition being broadcast from Smithville, TN.  You can’t see it from this picture, but in the back, behind the man on stage, the Wilson Bank & Trust is one of the sponsors.  It seemed sort of weird to be on the coast of North Carolina and receive this broadcast from our little antenna.20160921_132823Moose Lodge outdoor pavilion.20160921_161422We decided on a local place for some fresh seafood. Fish Bites. I had Shrimp and Grits and Cliff had the Fish and Chips.  Both were very good.20160921_154857This is a very cute place and our waitress was very nice.20160921_164538Then off to Walmart where we found a Maserati in the parking lot.  You don’t see that very often.

Thursday September 22, 201620160927_124800It started raining last night and it is still raining today.  I made a pot roast in the Instant Pot Pressure Cooker.  In about 1.5 hours, we had the most tender and flavorful pot roast I have ever made.  It was wonderful and we ate it for 3 days. As Cliff said, “It’s a keeper”. Just send me a message if you want the recipe.  I also rented a movie from the RedBox at Walmart.  A Hologram for a King with Tom Hanks.  Pretty good.  I had a discount on my app, so we got it free.

Not much going on Friday and Saturday.  We had a free spagetti dinner at the Moose Lodge. New recruiting technique.  If you come to a Lodge meeting, they give you a ticket that can be used for a free meal on a Friday night. We did not attend any meetings, but they were being very nice to us and gave us the dinner anyway.  We did offer to pay, but they declined.  Saturday, I got a pedicure and a haircut.  I am not even going to tell us how upset I am about both.

Sunday September 25, 201620160925_092434We went to the NC Spot Festival.  We did not know what it was, but “when in Rome” right? The Spot is a small short-lived saltwater fish. The species inhabits coastal waters from Massachusetts to Texas and derives its name from the prominent spot behind each gill.20160925_092908There were camel rides.20160925_093053They also had ponies and goats, but who wants to ride a pony when you can ride a camel? There were vendors selling art and other items.  Some really cute stuff, but we have no where to put it.20160925_095651This was the Spot dinner for $8.00.  It was kind of fishy tasting and had a lot of bones.  But now we can say we had Spot.20160925_102233There were quit a few people here.  It had a very friendly small town feel to it.  Everyone was very friendly. We stayed a couple of hours.20160925_111233Then we drove to Wrightsville Beach20160925_1113260There was a very nice ocean breeze.20160925_111331Nice large sandy beach and not too crowded.  I wish I could bottle the sound of the ocean and add it as background music to this blog.  That would be cool. 20160925_112839The water was colder than I had expected.20160925_112846We had some nice waves. This is a beautiful place.  We had kind of forgotten how nice it is to walk on the beach and hear the sounds of the ocean.

Monday September 26, 201620160926_091119We took a ferry over to Southport, NC. It is only about a 14 mile drive to the ferry.  You can actually drive to Southport by car, but there is no fun in that.20160926_094746It was a beautiful day for a boat ride. The ferry is $5.00 a car, one-way. 20160926_094752We were right up front and this bird decided he needed a ride too.20160926_101504The construction of Fort Johnston was approved in 1745 to defend the Cape Fear River region’s British settlements from pirates and Spanish attackers.    Fort Johnston was originally built by the British in 1748.  Fort Johnston was conveyed to the city of Southport in 2006 after 250 years of federal service as the oldest active-duty fort in the United States.20160926_105545The town has a total area of 3.8 square miles. 20160926_102441The town was founded as Smithville in 1792 adjacent to the fort.  The town was named after Benjamin Smith, a colonel in the Continental Army during the Revolutionary War and later Governor of North Carolina.20160926_102219In an effort to promote the town as a major shipping port, the town changed it’s name to Southport in 1887.20160926_102209It is 596 miles to Key West and 581 miles to Nantucket.20160926_114910It is a charming town with a nice list of movies and TV shows filmed here. The Nicholas Sparks movies are A Walk to Remember, Nights of Rodanthe, and Safe Haven. Other movies like Crimes of the Heart and Summer Catch were also filmed here.  I think that is pretty impressive for 3.8 square miles.20160926_102720There is a nice walking Historic tour. 20160926_114020A late lunch at Provision Company at the Old Yacht Basin.  It is Monday and some restaurants are not open because it is now “off season”.20160926_113622You order at the counter.20160926_113632Find a seat and they bring the food to you.  It was very pleasant.  We both had the special, 1/4 lb of steamed shrimp with a deviled crab cake, with a drink for $7.95.20160926_130025Back to the ferry ride to Fort Fisher Ferry Terminal. We probably should have taken the ferry to Bald Head Island, but we were running out of time.  The only way to the island is by ferry and no cars allowed. So the only means of transportation on the island are bicycles, golf carts and your own 2 feet.  Sounds very cool and maybe we will make it another time.20160926_130021We passed a big container ship on its way to the ocean.20160926_131922A beautiful drive back along Carolina Beach Road.20160926_131926Right on the ocean.20160926_132147The town of Kure Beach is very nice and colorful. This house is really Purple, but it does not show up that bright in this picture.20160926_132259A very contemporary house being built right on the beach.  It was a beautiful day.

Tuesday September 27, 201620160927_184446Moose Lodge #343.  Draft beer special on Tuesday night.20160927_182826It is a nice large lodge with pool tables and shuffleboard tables.20160927_182821They also host a game called Feather Your Nest.  It is similar to Bingo.  You pay $1.00 a card for 2 rounds of play.  If you cover all 3 cards on your card, you win. First round paid $10.00 and second round paid $11.00.  I won $10.00 once. It was fun, fast and easy to play.

We have really enjoyed our time here in Wilmington.  This is a great Moose Lodge and I hope they can encourage more members to join. The bartenders are very nice and Bill, the administrator was a perfect gentleman.

We are off to Myrtle Beach on Thursday.  Until then, Cheers!