Saturday, May 31, 2008

Vacation Day 3 - Wilmington NC

By now you may not care about the last day of our vacation but I will tell you anyway! We had decided that we would look for furniture while we were in North Carolina because we hears you can get good deals there. This was something Lorne really wanted to do. We need to replace the furniture in the basement as the frame on the leather couch is broken and not worth fixing.
We spent all morning into the early afternoon going from store to store and not being wowed at all. We did find what we were looking for at the last stop we made and we will probably purchase the sectional we found there.
After all this furniture hunting we were hungry and it was almost 3 PM. There was a restaurant called Old Chicago and we ate there before heading back to the hotel to give an exhausted Jasmine a nap. We needed one too!
After nap, we decided to go swimming at the hotel pool because Jasmine really wanted to swim and had been to scared to swim in the ocean. We loaded her up with her pool gear and found that we had the pool all to ourselves. It was great. Jasmine was a star in the water. She had been scared last summer when we tried to get her in the pool but this year she is loving it! With her floating ring and life vest she paddled around the pool by herself trying to chase and play with us. We had a ball and I was even able to set the camera up for a timed picture of the 3 of us! After the pool we got showered and I gave Jasmine a pedicure and myself one too. Jasmine loves to have her toes painted and we had fun. I even let her wear a bit of my lipstick because she asked so nicely and seemed fascinated by it - we have a girly girl folks!After sprucing up, we decided to go to a little shop down the street called Rita's. I have been trying to get my hands on a Rita's Water Ice treat for a few years now and it has always eluded me. I told Lorne I was not leaving North Carolina without having one so we went. It was delicious and we all had fun eating it. We retired for the night after a nice day and after breakfast on Tuesday we headed home. All in all, it was so nice and needed for us to get away and I am so grateful we were able to find the time to do it.

Friday, May 30, 2008

Vacation Day 2 - Wilmington NC

The forecast for Day 2 was good and so we decided that it would be our beach day. We also decided to go to a different beach than where we flew the kite the night before since we had already been there, done it. We decided to go to Carolina Beach and Kure Beach. There are right next to each other so we aren't sure which one we actually went to! Jasmine was so excited. We had bought her some great toys to make sand castles with and to play in the sand and we bought her a little life vest she could wear to go in the water. She loved the idea of going swimming. The only thing was, after we got there and tried to get her into the water, she wouldn't have a bar of it. She decided she was scared of the waves. The weather was GORGEOUS - 77 degrees and the water was warm like being in a bathtub. Lorne watched Jasmine for a bit while I tackled the waves for a bit and then we watched Lorne in the water for at least an hour. Jasmine finally let me put her feet in the water and let the waves come to her and I decided that was a small victory. We ended up staying until about 3 PM and then decided to take a leisurely drive on the backstreets back toward our hotel. We house-hunted, even though we aren't in the market. We took lots of fliers and looked at quite a few beach houses that are up for sale. I think if I have an extra $2 million, a house there would be the best. I daresay it is better than the OBX. Let's go there for Thanksgiving this year! We also drove by the house my grandma used to live in. I wanted to talk to the people living there to try and understand what had happened but when I knocked on the door I found no one was home. Oh well...I did take pictures since Lorne told me I would regret it if I didn't. He is always looking out for me that wonderful man...

We had linner (lunch and dinner together) at a great place called Casey's BBQ ( which was buffet of Southern foods. The food was amazing and definitely a place for locals. The restaurant itself was rundown but the food was worth the tired ambiance. The fried chicken was the best I have had and the macaroni and cheese was amazing. Lorne even tried fried okra - wasn't his favorite but didn't hate it!
We decided to go to the movies that night as a family to wind down. We were full of food when we left the restaurant and so we didn't even buy snacks at the movies! We watched Narnia: Prince Caspian and Jasmine fell asleep halfway through on Daddy. We really enjoyed the movie and thought it was totally worth watching. It was a great end to a great day.

Thursday, May 29, 2008

Vacation Day 1 - Wilmington NC

We finally found a few days to get away (over Memorial Day weekend) and Lorne asked me where I wanted to go. I chose Wilmington NC because my grandma used to live there before she died (I just found out she died a year and a half ago - no one bothered to call). We left Friday afternoon (5/23) and checked into the hotel around 11:30 PM. We used Lorne's Hilton points to stay at the Hampton Inn for free while we were there and Lorne even managed to get us a suite by sweet talking the receptionist! They are very friendly in the South and I really enjoyed my stay there! There was a sweet old lady that helped man the breakfast in the morning and she paid special attention to Jasmine all the mornings we were there.
On our first day, the weather forcast wasn't looking good so we decided to do a few touristy things that didn't require being in swimsuits and possibly getting rained on. The first thing we did was take an hour long trolley ride through the streets of Downtown/Old Town Wilmington. Did you know that Wilmington NC was where our president Woodrow Wilson was born and raised and where Michael Jordan went to high school and was kicked off the sophmore basketball team because he wasn't any good? These and many other interesting facts were given to us by the driver who had his script downpat. The old homes were gorgeous and I loved seeing the moss hanging off the trees (very Southern). Jasmine got a bit bored but she behaved which we were happy about! After the trolley ride we went into a quaint little market, the oldest in Wilmington, where artisans display their wares and we bought a few fun things, mostly for Jasmine. We had lunch at a nice waterfront (the Cape Fear River) restaurant called Elijah's that had some great crab dip and Lorne experienced his first softshell crab sandwich (they deepfry the whole crab and lay it on the bun - very interesting when it gets to you). I played it safe and had flank steak. After lunch, we walked the boardwalk and I took some great pictures of Jasmine. We headed back to our car so we could go visit the USS North Carolina, a battleship that was in service during WWII. It was the BIG thing to do in Wilmington so we decided we had to go see it. Let me tell you, it was so interesting, I dind't think I would enjoy it but I must have forgotten that I like living history, history you can touch and explore. My imagination went crazy wrapping my mind around how it must have been to be on that ship with so many other people. It was a whole town on one ship. It was enormous and we were able to tour the entire belly of the ship, many levels and miles of walking. I couldn't believe they would give us so much access, and they had it set up beautifully, complete with cardboard cutouts of men working so you could imagine how many were squeezed into any given place at one time. I was impressed and awed and we spent about 3 hours there. Jasmine was a trooper, she walked up and down many ladders and walked and walked. She was exhausted by the time we finally left the ship (with some unexplored parts). We took her back to the hotel for a short late nap before heading off to dinner. Jasmine had fun in the gift shop where she donned a military helmet, grabbed a flag and sang God Bless America for the crowd. People clapped for her and we just couldn't believe how amazing she is to just love to perform for people wherever we are. Before dinner we hit the beach to fly a kite. We figured it would be nice and windy at the beach so it should not be a problem to fly it but we were wrong. There wasn't very much wind at all and we ended up working our tails off trying to keep the kite in the air. It was very fun but tiring and we ended up giving up after about 15 minutes. We took some great family pictures though. We found the cutest Italian restaurant for dinner called Osteria Cicchetti and the food was fabulous. We had meatballs as an appetizer and shared a yummy salad before I dove into my meal of spaghetti and meatballs and sausage (I know, I was just in the mood and it happened to be really good there!) and Lorne had a special linguini with sun dried tomatos, chicken and a lemon sauce.

By the time we got back to the hotel it was well after 10 PM and way past Jasmine's bedtime. We brought a little cot from home to see how she would respond to not being in a crib and she did great. She never got out of the bed and waited for us to come get her in the morning. What a darling!