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My favorite parts of North Carolina

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Sometimes, it takes some time away from a place to truly appreciate what it was and what you enjoyed about it.  When I left Fremont, I longed for the place that I came from, and I still look at it with a nostalgic eye.  When I left Ashland, the nostalgia set in immediately and I looked upon my college years fondly, even though they were mere hours behind me.

But Wilmington, NC–I loathed it while I was there, and for about three years (OMG it’s been 3 years since I finished my Master’s), I couldn’t see why anyone wanted to go back.  I think I hated Wilmington so much because I didn’t like why I was there.  I hated grad school and I didn’t get on well with the people around me.  I felt so different than everyone else–and I really was.  I am Midwestern and fairly conservative (but socially liberal), and I thought they were all a bunch of crazy hippies.  There were maybe 5 students I connected with, and I only made about 4 true friends down there.  And that’s good enough for me.

But now one of my coworkers is on a cross-country road trip, and mentioned on his blog that he was on his way to Wilmington, NC.  I immediately had the urge to tell him where to go.  It was then that I realized a small SMALL part of me missed CERTAIN PARTS of North Carolina.

So to those of you who are going to Wilmington, NC, here are my Midwestern suggestions:

You MUST eat at Flaming Amy’s Burrito Barn (on Oleander).  You must big the Big Jerk or the Thai Me Up.  And you must must must try every salsa, especially, the pineapple jalapeno.

Go to the Battleship North Carolina.

Go downtown and walk the streets (mainly Front, Market, and Water).  

Go to the Barbary Coast on Front St. It’s the oldest bar in Wilmington.

If you make your way to Carolina Beach, go to The Fat Pelican. Just walk to the back of the bar and into the cooler and pick whatever beer you want. Pay at the register and then wander around the bar and look at the walls. You’ll ALWAYS find something new. And if you see a black lab, his name is Atta Boy and he loves Cheez-Its.

And if you’re really feeling adventurous, go a little further south to Fort Fisher–old war monument. The trees are gorgeous, and if you look hard enough, you can find the bunker of the Fort Fisher Hermit

 

Proof that I didn’t hate Wilmington as much as I thought. 🙂

 

 
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Posted by on May 13, 2013 in Daily Happenings

 

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The BIG Weekend

Tomorrow on my calendar is outlined in red, and in the middle of that square, it says, “JUDGMENT DAY.”  It says this, because two years ago on March 19, Mike and I decided that we would JUDGE whether or not we were going to try to make a relationship work.

My 2-year anniversary with Mike is tomorrow!  Two years Mike and I have been together!

This is exciting.  Truly.  Two years ago tomorrow, we were in North Carolina.  We met up after Mike got off work at and drove down through Carolina Beach, through Kure Beach, all the way down to Fort Fisher. 

And we sat here:

Right on the steps of this monument, Mike and I talked about “us.”  We were just neighbors, who happened to smile at one another the autumn before, and once we began spending time with one another, we knew that we would have to figure out if we were going to be together.

Mike was moving north to Pennsylvania for a job.  I still had a year of grad school left in North Carolina–12 hours away.  Would we be worth it?  Should we take a chance?

Two weeks prior, my parents had rented a condo on Carolina Beach during my spring break.  I kept sneaking away to see Mike, and my mom said, “Why don’t you just have him come here?  We don’t mind.”  So Mike came over, hung out for a little bit.  Poor guy.  He met my whole family in one day, and this is what he had to contend with:

Mom–super cheery, two-beers tipsy.

Dad–6’5”, bearded, angry because he’d just quit smoking after a heart attack in January.

Brother Jason–drunk on Rumple Minze thanks to…

Bourne–a friend from grad school who got completely hammered, crashed his bike and ended up with a concussion.

Brother’s friend Drake–also drunk on Rumple Minze.

And as I stood on the balcony overlooking the ocean with my mom and Mike, I thought it felt good.  And when Mike left, my mom said, “He’s very nice.”

“Don’t get attached.  He’s probably moving away from here before long,” I said, knowing my mother’s tendency to get attached to guys that I never ended up dating seriously.

She looked at me and said, “Don’t dismiss this one so quickly, Hooty.”  And she went inside with the drunks and the grumps.  I stayed on the balcony for a little bit thinking and staring at the moon.

On Judgment Day, we sat at the foot of the Fort Fisher monument and decided we probably shouldn’t be together.  But in the car staring at the waves crashing against the rocks, Mike kissed me, and I said, “I want to be your girlfriend.”  He smiled, stared at me, and said, “Okay.”  We’ve been inseparable ever since.

Two years later, she was right.  Moms always know these things.

So so far, this weekend ROCKS because I got Delilah back today and because Mike gave me this for our anniversary (in silver):

Because I already have my present (I’m a weasly little goat), I had to give him the complete freedom to plan the weekend and surprise me.  So all I know is that we are going to spend Saturday in Cleveland, and I cannot wait.

Since I don’t blog on the weekends, HAPPY ANNIVERSARY, MIKE!  I’ll update the rest of you after the weekend.

Happy Friday!

 
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Posted by on March 18, 2011 in Domesticity

 

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