Wilmington, NC: A Year In Review

I enjoyed documenting my past year’s experiences with a photo review so much for You Capture, that I decided to do another one!

In case y’all didn’t already know from my frequent  ranting and bragging occasional mentions about where I live – I live in the beautiful, historic southern town of Wilmington, North Carolina. Last April I started another blog, Wilmington Daily Photo, where I try to (but did a dismal job in December) post a new photo every day of something that shows off the beauty of where I live.

These photos are my picks of the best of each month. If you click on the photo, it will take you to the blog post on Wilmington Daily Photo, and you can see a larger version, plus read a bit about what you are lookin’ at.

Hope y’all enjoy the tour of my hometown!

April 2009, Horse Drawn Carriage Tour

dcp_0994

May 2009, Battleship NORTH CAROLINA

DCP_6654

June 2009, the Spring Garden at Airlie Gardens

IMG_9486

July 2009, The Cape fear Riverwalk

old pics 227

August 2009, Johnny Mercer’s Pier

IMG_5489

September 2009, The Henrietta Riverboat

IMG_6328

October 2009, a shrimp trawler

IMG_2547

November 2009, Pilot House Oysters

December 2009,  Heavenly Bamboo

January 2010, the Bellamy Mansion

To learn more and see more  photographs of my beautiful city, please visit Wilmington Daily Photo. Thanks, y’all!

Capturing Bits of Red in Wilmington, NC

DCP_6695

The HENRIETTA III, an authentic tour and dinner riverboat,  is a constant and familiar part of the scenery on the Cape Fear River in Wilmington, NC. She is docked at the foot of Dock and Water Streets, on The Riverwalk, in historic downtown.

“Welcome Aboard!” is the motto of HENRIETTA III’s Captain Carl Marshburn and crew. They offer the finest in Southern hospitality. A favorite for locals and visitors, HENRIETTA III is a unique way to celebrate  special occasions like birthdays and anniversaries, family reunions, weddings and receptions, as well as just a lazy day or evening of fun.

DSC00515

This was taken early one morning at Topsail Beach, NC. It’s the best time of day for fishing, if you can get up that early!

Topsail Beach is located on Topsail Island, just off US Highway 17, about halfway between Wilmington and Jacksonville, NC. Topsail (pronounced Tops’l) has a rich and varied history. In the 1700’s, when pirate ships roamed these waters, the pirates had an infamous hiding place  in the channel behind the island, where they waited for passing merchant ships. In time, the merchants learned to watch for the tops of the pirate’s sails, which could be seen over the rolling dunes, and the island became known as Topsail Island.

IMG_9658

This shot was taken at a Classic Car Show in Wilmington, NC. The name Fairlane came from Henry Ford’s Fair Lane mansion location in Dearborn, Michigan. The Ford Fairlane was introduced in 1955 as Ford’s full-size model and was available in six different body styles.

DCP_0993

Horse-drawn carriage tours are offered daily, every half hour, at the foot of Market Street in downtown Wilmington. This is a great way for visitors to see the city and learn about our history. I have taken the tour myself, and every time I learn something new.  The costumed driver, known as “The Carriage Man” has a wealth of information about the stately old mansions, public buildings and streets.

The folks at Springbrook Farms own and manage the horses. Each one of them are rescued Percheron draft horses, born on Amish farms throughout the Northeast. For whatever reason, the farmers were not able to use them, and they wound up at auction. Often these magnificent animals are bought by meat processing companies to make dog food or other products. These folks have saved the lives of many horses over the years and continue to do so with the proceeds they make from the tours.

These folks love their horses. They rotate them throughout the day, so the horses are allowed frequent water and rest breaks. They are out fitted with special shoes, and provided with veterinarian care. After a week of pulling carriages, each horse is given a three week vacation at the Brunswick County farm.

Many thanks to Springbrook Farms, not only for rescuing these fine animals, but for lending a special ambiance to our city!

IMG_2197

Hughes Brothers, Inc. is North Carolina’s oldest tire dealer, in business since 1921. The original shop was at the corner of  2nd and Market Streets, in Wilmington, NC. This interesting red and white building at 1101 Market Street has been their primary location since the 1940’s.

IMG_3062

I captured this photo this past summer on a visit to Wrightsville Beach, NC. It has a lot of red in it, but I particuarly like the red Radio Flyer wagon. The little boy riding in it was having the time of his life!

IMG_4353

This photo was taken in the sound waters near Figure Eight Island.

This is a crab cage. It may also be referred to as a “crab pot”. There are many different types of crab cages, or traps, and they all work pretty much the same way. You place some bait, usually raw chicken pieces, at the bottom of the trap  in a “bait bag,” and secure it to the bottom of the trap so that it doesn’t float away. The cage has a string or cord attached to it. When you toss it into the water, the sand comes up and conceals most of the cage, leaving the bait in plain view. This attracts the crabs, who climb in for a free meal. When the cage is pulled out of the water, the tugging action on the cords causes the sides of the cage to come up, trapping the crabs inside of the cage.

IMG_7218

Wilmington is a beautiful city, rich in history and natural scenery. As a Wilmington native, I am always jumping at the chance to show off my hometown.

Y’all really ought to visit the lovely and talented Pseudonymous High School Teacher today.  Pseudo, as she’s affectionately referred to, lives in Hawaii on the island of Oahu. Anyhoo, she has started a great thing over at her place called Travel Tip Thursday – every Thursday she and anyone who chooses to participate will do a little “travelogue” about a place close to home.

I found a new photo blog to participate in on Thursdays! It’s called You Capture. Every week there is new theme. This week’s was “Red” I immediately thought of these pictures – these are all from my blog, Wilmington Daily Photo. I also participate in a photo forum called Ruby Tuesday. Ruby Tuesday allows me to post photos of something red every week, so I thought I’d recycle some of my favorites. You can see all of my Ruby Tuesday photos here.

How about y’all? What photos do you have of things that are red?

Click on the link here to read about how to play along. Then, do your best to visit the other participants’ site – everyone loves the traffic, the comments and the feedback (not just you!) Next week’s photo challenge is Still Life. I can’t wait to tackle that one!

Sunday in My City

I chose these photos for Sunday in My City, a photo forum that has folks posting pictures on Sunday of their cities. I thought Wilmington NC should be included.

To participate, visit Unknown Mami and link up! Let’s visit and travel the world together.

IMG_7183

Wilmington, North Carolina is a beautiful city; rich in history and natural scenery. As a Wilmington native, I am proud to show off my hometown. I love it so much that I have another blog called Wilmington Daily Photo. It keeps me busy posting a new photo of the Wilmington area every day. I hope y’all will check it out and see for yourselves why I think this place is so spectacular.

IMG_7190

The Battleship NORTH CAROLINA, a.k.a. The Showboat, sits in the Cape Fear River across from our scenic historic district.

IMG_7287

Many restaurants line the river’s waterfront, making it possible to enjoy watching various types of watercraft while dining on local specialties such as crab dip or oysters served on a bed of collards.

IMG_7362

IMG_7389

A walk down Front Street is like stepping back a century into a slower and gentler time.

IMG_7207

Horsedrawn carriage tours down our cobblestone streets are a convienient and enjoyable way to learn about our historic buildings and get a little flavor of our Civil War era past.

IMG_7508

Ourdoor dining is a popular pastime. The weather is almost always perfect  and it’s fun to watch the endless stream of interesting people passing by.

Did you know that Wilmington is home to a thriving film studio and that Dawson’s Creek and One Tree Hill are filmed here?

The Cape Fear Segway Tour – Totally Awesome!

Thanks to my friend, Jan, over at Jan’s Sushi Bar, I’ve decided to give this here posting every day thing a try, y’all. It’s called NaBloPoMo,and I can’t believe how long it just took me to write that. Stands for “National Blog Posting Month”. You post something every day for a month.

It’s ridiculously hard damn near impossible.

IMG_5680

Yesterday, Day 7 of our Staycation, we wanted to give the girls a chance to see our downtown historic district during the daytime. We decided to go ahead and bite the bullet and book a Segway Tour from Cape Fear Segway. This is the number one rated attraction in Wilmington, according to Trip Advisor, so I hoped it would be interesting enough to keep the girls entertained.

It was one of the most amazing things we have ever done!

First they had us watch a little video about some of the hazards and safety precautions of riding a segway. It was pretty amusing watching the little stick figures on the film, falling around in funny mishaps.

Then they gave us a demonstration of the basics of operating these amazing machines. It’s really pretty simple. Step on the footboard when the light is green, hold on with both hands, keep your balance by standing upright. To go forward,  simply lean your weight on the balls of your feet and to slow down, or stop, lean back on your heels. The machine is very intuitive – it will easily follow the commands of your body’s shifting weight.

IMG_5671We were all a little apprehensive at first. It’s just hard to believe that it really can be as easy as the owner, Rich, and our tour guide, Damond, made it seem.

Jeff volunteered to go first and even he was a little unsteady for the first few attempts. Then it was my turn.

The girls hung back and watched me skeptically. Danielle kept saying, “There is no way I’m going to be able to do this!”

It took a few minutes to become acclimated to the “feel” of it.

But after spending only a few minutes learning how to make it move, I was pretty sure I would be able to make it through the tour, y’all.

The girls, however, were not convinced.

This is Damond coaxing Sella along. Danielle is still biting her nails, and telling us “no way I’m doing this!”

IMG_5672

Now it was Danielle’s turn. She tried her best to get out of it, but I told her that if she didn’t want to go with us, she’d have to sit there in the store and wait for us to come back.

IMG_5678

As you can see, that convinced her.

The tour was awesome, we went all over the historic downtown area, and even I learned a few new facts about the beautiful city I grew up in. The girls were bored out of their gourds a little disinterested in the history parts of the tour, so Damond quickly adapted his routine to include more information about places where One Tree Hill stars lived and locations where scenes from the show have been filmed.

IMG_5688

By the end of the tour, which lasted two full hours, after our half hour training class, we all felt like we were segway experts. We were zipping along the riverwalk, waving and smiling at passerbys. As you can tell from the photo, my handsome husband LOVED it.

IMG_5692

It was extremely hot and humid yesterday, so we took a little water break.

IMG_5693

I’ve been bragging lately about how Wilmington is such a haven for movie stars and film locations. Well, while we were having a water break, y’all will never guess who we met!!

Morgan Freeman!!

IMG_5703

Not really. Sorry. His actual name is Thurman.  But isn’t he a dead ringer for Morgan?

This nice gentleman is another Wilmington native, like me. He owns an interesting business called “Jubilee Snooze and Cruise.” This boat is actually a floating bed and breakfast, and he will also let you book a dinner cruise.

We found him to be so charming. Look for me to be posting about a trip on his boat sometime soon!

IMG_5707

I hope y’all enjoyed reading about the segways as much as we enjoyed learning to ride them. If you are ever visiting Wilmington, NC this is the only way to tour the city.

And the best part of the day? The girls spent two and a half whole hours without sending or receiving a single text! Can you believe it? If that’s not an endorsement for this tour, I don’t know what is!