Sunday we went to the Sarah P. Duke Gardens. Unfortunately, it was a little chilly and cloudy but the gardens were beautiful. Genna enjoyed running around and stalking birds and squirrels. We followed our walk through the gardens with lunch at Tobacco Road. It's a sports bar with more t.v.s than you can imagine and yummy homemade junk food. Mom was excited to watch basketball and we stuff ourselves with junk food. As most people love to do, we followed up our junk food binge with a quick shopping trip. It's always fun to try on clothes after eating a plate full of nachos!
Monday morning Mom, Genna and I loaded up and took a tour of the NC coast. our first stop was in Nags Head. The beach was beautiful and their shells were pretty but we weren't impressed with the architecture, restaurants, and retail. Genna got to run free on the beach and it was so cold that Mom and I had to wear extra layers! After a quick tour of Nags Head we visited the Wright brothers' monument and museum at Kill Devil Hill. We trekked to the top of the 90ft incline to see the monument and then we walked out to stand where the first flight occured. It was really cool to think about the history from that place. The Wright Brothers took such a huge risk on their idea that has really changed the world of transportation. We then took a million hour drive through the countryside hoping to experience some different scenery than what we are accustomed to. Come to find out, all of rural America looks pretty similar- farm land, tiny towns, trailer parks and rundown houses mixed in with a few cows, old gas stations, and pretty little churches. The only difference was that rural East NC has more swamp land.
We ended our journey in beautiful historic Wilmington. The meandering highway-less drive was worth it. What a beautiful little city that sits on a river. The historic homes have been well-kept and date back to the 1800s. On the major streets, the sidewalks are lined with signs that give the town's history and all of the important people who contributed to it or called Wilmington home. We stayed in the historic district at a Bed and Breakfast called Camellia Cottage. It's an adorable Victorian style home with surrounding flower gardens and a giant front porch. It's a great dog friendly B&B and we highly recommend it! Our room was comfy and clean and Genna had a special package with treats and Bark magazine. It was Mom's first time to stay in a B&B and I think she might be hooked! We loved the owners who also lived on the property.
We walked to historic downtown for dinner. We were famished after our long day in the car (I'm not sure why because of course I packed lots of snacks...enough to last us at least a week!). Our first stop was a little oyster bar. Unfortunately it smelled like the fish had been dead there a very long time so we opted out and went in search for something less smelly! There was another oyster bar on the corner with no patrons. We asked if Genna could sit with us on the patio but they said they didn't allow dogs. I don't know about you, but if I had a restaurant and no one was there, I'd let a dog sit on my patio so I could make a few dollars! Oh well, we ended up down the street at a little place called the Eat Spot. Yum! It was great! Mom had shrimp and grits with ham gravy and I had sesame crusted tuna on soy glazed carrots with a side of wasabi tater tots! My tater tots were actually mashed potatoes that were mixed with wasabi, coated with panko bread crumbs and then flash fried. I definitely made a happy plate!
The next day I took Genna on a run around town so I could get a better look at the scenery. My goal was to pinpoint my favorite house and a great route to walk with my mom later in the day. I failed, I couldn't pick a favorite house, I couldn't even pick a least favorite house. I LOVED them all! I've never seen a neighborhood with so many consistently beautiful historic homes! I decided that mom and I could walk and any direction and we would find pretty things to see. After my run we made friends with the other guests and their dog, Campbell, on the front porch. We followed that by breakfast- Ricotta pancakes with peach syrup, fresh fruit and raspberry sorbet (ice cream for breakfast?! It worked with our meal). Mom spent a long time talking to Paula (owner) and then we took a stroll around town.
We left historic Wilmington to find a dog park where Genna could run free. She made friends with a bull terrier (Spud Makenzie dog) who later saved her from a run in with an angry golden doodle who was guarding the water bowls. There was some blood but luckily everyone seemed to be ok. We took a quick trip to Wrightsville Beach which is just 15 minutes from Wilmington. It was decided that this would be a future vacation spot. The houses were cute, the restaurants looked yummy, and the community was filled with walkers and runners.
On our last day, Mom and I visited the Greensboro Children's Museum to look at the Edible Schoolyard. What a fun concept! The garden is filled with vegetables, fruits, and plants and tons of educational opportunities for children of all ages. It's such a great way to get a community involved in a common goal as well as teach sustainability. We asked tons of questions and Mom took great notes to share with the Boys and Girls Club Board. Cross your fingers for an Edible Schoolyard in Benton! We followed our tour at Natty Greene's for lunch with our cousin Joel Tull. We had a great time eating and chatting. It was really fun getting to know Joel better. He has a really fun life!
We concluded Mom's trip with one more visit to Guglhupf (our second trip in one day) to get a breadtzle. I'd never even heard of this concoction before. It's like a loaf of pretzel and they fill it with cheese and meat. Yum!! Then we were off to the airport, which unfortunately for Mom turned out to be a very long trip home.
It was so fun to be with my Mom. It's not often that we get to spend so many hours together doing whatever we want. I'm so lucky to have a mom that I crave time with! I look forward to many more mini-vacations with her!
I guess you're wondering why there are no pictures of our adventures. Unfortunately, every time we left the house I left the camera...typical!
...and that's all!